All the things You Have to Know

Guest blogging is the third most popular link building strategy, according to Aira’s State of Link Building report

Not solely is visitor running a blog effectively and alive, it’s nonetheless extremely efficient. On this submit, you’ll study every little thing you’ll want to learn about visitor running a blog. 

However first, let’s make certain we’re on the identical web page.

Visitor running a blog is the follow of writing and publishing a weblog submit on one other particular person’s or firm’s web site.

For instance, I wrote a guest post for Grow & Convert a number of years in the past:

SQ's guest post for Grow & Convert

What are the advantages of visitor running a blog?

Visitor running a blog is a win-win for each the author and the writer.

Advantages for the author:

  • Construct hyperlinks again to their website
  • Develop relationships with editors and publishers
  • Expose their model to a brand new viewers
  • Construct their fame and place themselves as a thought chief

Profit for the writer:

  • Leverage the experience and expertise of writers. For instance, we couldn’t have written about Zapier or Pet Eager’s firsthand web optimization expertise with out visitor writers.

begin visitor running a blog

Getting your first visitor submit printed will be daunting. I’ve been there. Following the steps under will make the method simpler and maximize your possibilities of success.

1. Discover visitor running a blog alternatives

Most individuals use Google search operators to search out blogs with “write for us” pages. Nevertheless, if everybody’s following this tactic, then everybody’s discovering the identical alternatives. Competitors will probably be rife, and publishers might ignore your pitch. 

You don’t must restrict your self to this small pool of blogs. Even when they don’t promote it, most blogs will probably be completely happy to publish a visitor submit so long as it’s good.

So right here’s tips on how to discover related blogs to pitch:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Content material Explorer
  2. Enter a broad key phrase or phrase associated to your area of interest
  3. Choose In title from the drop-down menu
  4. Run the search
Finding guest post opportunities using Ahrefs' Content Explorer

Right here, you possibly can see greater than 2 million potential alternatives. That’s too many, so let’s slim the checklist down by making use of these filters:

  1. Area Score (DR) from 30 to 60
  2. Click on the One web page per area filter
  3. Click on the Exclude homepages filter
  4. Click on the Exclude subdomains filter
Narrowing down Content Explorer's results using filters

Then click on on the Web sites tab. 

Using the "Websites" tab to find the best guest blogging opportunities

These are the potential web sites you could possibly pitch.

2. Develop visitor submit concepts

The blogs you pitch will need profitable content material concepts. So how will you give you good visitor submit concepts? 

Listed below are some strategies you possibly can use:

Copycat Method

Three issues are true:

  1. Each weblog needs extra search site visitors.
  2. To get search site visitors, you’ll want to goal subjects persons are trying to find.
  3. Each weblog has extra subjects to jot down than sources to cowl them.

So why not assist your goal blogs out? Discover subjects they need to be rating for and pitch them these subjects.

Right here’s tips on how to discover them:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Aggressive Evaluation software
  2. Enter the area of your goal weblog within the Goal part
  3. Add the primary three recommended competing domains within the Rivals part
  4. Click on Examine
Ahrefs' Competitive Analysis tool
Finding content gaps you could cover for your target blog

This report exhibits you the key phrases the competing domains are rating for, however your goal weblog isn’t. 

Undergo the report and search for key phrases which might be related to your goal weblog. For instance, this looks like a possible matter to pitch:

Potential guest post topic to pitch DietDoctor

Refresh Method

Refreshing outdated content material can present an enormous site visitors enhance, as seen once we up to date our submit about free web optimization instruments:

A boost in search traffic after an update

Your goal weblog will seemingly have outdated content material that has declined in search site visitors. Pitch them an replace.

Right here’s tips on how to discover pages with declining site visitors:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Web site Explorer
  2. Enter the area of your goal weblog
  3. Go to the High pages report
  4. Set the Examine filter to Earlier yr
  5. Type the Visitors change column from lowest to highest
Using Ahrefs' Site Explorer to find declines in traffic for your target blog so you can pitch it an update

This may present you pages in your goal weblog which have the biggest decline in search site visitors for the reason that earlier yr. Undergo the report and look out for appropriate subjects, particularly these with declines in site visitors and key phrase positions.

For instance, SmartBlogger’s submit on membership websites has dropped in each key phrase positions and search site visitors:

SmartBlogger’s post on membership sites has dropped in both keyword positions and search traffic

Should you have been writing for SmartBlogger, this is able to be an excellent matter to pitch.

Robin Hood Method

Common blogs are widespread for one cause: They’ve nice content material. Lesser-known blogs are lesser-known for the other cause: They’ve but to publish tons of nice content material.

So why not take content material concepts from the highest blogs and provide them to lesser-known ones? 

We name this the Robin Hood Method, named after the English folks hero who stole from the wealthy and gave to the poor.

Right here’s tips on how to execute the Robin Hood Method:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Web site Explorer
  2. Enter the area of a high-DR weblog in your area of interest
  3. Go to the High pages report
  4. Toggle SERP titles on
Finding opportunities to gain topic inspiration from, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Look by way of the report and see if there may be any concept that resonates. Put a novel spin and pitch it to a lesser-known weblog.

For instance, in case you’re writing for a private finance weblog, this looks like an excellent matter to be impressed by:

Potential topic to pitch a personal finance blog

A possible thought to pitch will be “free (or low-cost) issues to do on a date.”

Splintering Method

Our hyperlink constructing information is so complete it spans 5 chapters:

Table of contents for our link building guide

Every chapter could possibly be a submit on its personal. 

So we are able to break this submit into “splinters” and create standalone articles. Every of those splintered articles will be pitched as a visitor submit.

The Splintering Technique

Since we already did the analysis by creating the unique piece, the “splintered” articles would seemingly not take a lot time to write. 

Perspective Method

You’ll be able to simply reuse a subject by switching up the attitude. 

For instance, let’s say we wrote a visitor submit titled “Finest Distant Jobs for College students.” We will cowl the identical matter for various publications through a number of views:

The Perspective Technique

3. Pitch the blogs

This step is each the simplest and probably the most nerve-wracking. It’s simple as a result of it’s merely an e-mail you ship. It’s nerve-wracking as a result of your destiny is within the different social gathering’s palms.

It doesn’t must be that anxiety-inducing, although. Listed below are some ideas to enhance your possibilities of getting your pitch accepted:

Learn the rules

If the positioning you’re pitching has a “write for us” web page or writing tips, learn and comply with them. For instance, that is what CoSchedule expects:

CoSchedule's guest post guidelines

Discover the right e-mail

If the publication has a “write for us” web page, then it’s seemingly it’ll present both an e-mail tackle or a kind. 

How to submit a guest post pitch to CoSchedule's blog

In any other case, you’ll want to search out it.

Publications and blogs are sometimes managed by a managing editor, head of content material or, in the event that they’re a small website, the proprietor themself. So that you wish to first ensure you determine who that particular person is. 

You’ll be able to normally discover them by visiting the “groups” or “about” web page. For instance, a fast scroll on our “workforce” web page exhibits it’s best to pitch to our head of content material, Joshua Hardwick:

Joshua Hardwick's bio on our "team" page

If the “workforce” web page is uninformative, then a search on LinkedIn or Twitter normally suffices.

Searching for our head of content on LinkedIn
Searching for our head of content on Twitter

When you’ve recognized that particular person, use an e-mail discovery software like Hunter to search out their e-mail. Add their identify and web site, and Hunter will do its magic:

Finding Joshua Hardwick's email on Hunter

Write a tremendous outreach e-mail

A number of years in the past, I wrote a visitor submit for Develop & Convert. Benji Hyam, the co-founder, was so impressed with my outreach e-mail that he did an evaluation.

Publications get loads of emails. It’s a must to stand out; in any other case, your e-mail will probably be ignored.

Somewhat than search for a template that you could copy-paste, you wish to perceive the ideas behind what makes an excellent outreach e-mail.

You’ll be able to take a look at Benji’s evaluation of my e-mail to see what publications expect. You’d additionally do effectively to learn the submit under and comply with the ideas it lays out.

4. Write the visitor submit

In case your pitch is accepted, then it’s time to write.

I like to recommend beginning first with the define. Some websites might request this. However even when they don’t, a top level view will assist flesh out your ideas, manage the submit, and stop clean web page syndrome. 

To create a top level view, you’ll want to know what subtopics to cowl. The simplest strategy to discover these subtopics is to have a look at the frequent key phrase rankings amongst top-ranking pages and eyeball the checklist for subtopics.

Right here’s how:

  1. Enter your goal key phrase into Ahrefs’ Key phrases Explorer
  2. Scroll right down to the SERP overview
  3. Choose the top-ranking pages you wish to analyze
  4. Click on Open in and select Content material hole
Open in Content gap, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

For instance, if we analyze the subject “affiliate internet marketing,” we’ll see that the top-ranking pages additionally rank for:

  • what’s affiliate internet marketing
  • tips on how to change into an affiliate marketer
  • tips on how to do affiliate internet marketing
Common keyword rankings for the top-ranking posts for "affiliate marketing"

These would make good H2s for a weblog submit on “affiliate internet marketing.”

When you’ve created your define, all that’s left is to fill within the “gaps,” i.e., write the precise submit. If they’ve one, ensure you return to the rules, learn it fastidiously, and comply with it to a T.

CoSchedule's editorial guidelines

The place related, don’t overlook to incorporate hyperlinks again to your personal content material. Don’t overdo it, although; one to 2 hyperlinks ought to suffice.

5. Promote your visitor submit

You need to count on some back-and-forth because the writer edits and sends suggestions about your draft. As soon as they’re glad, they’ll inform you of a publishing date.

SmartBlogger's editor letting SQ know when the guest post will be published

Don’t simply disappear when the submit is printed. Comply with up! Thank the editor. And if there’s a remark part, keep round and reply.

SQ's thank-you email to the editor of SmartBlogger
SQ staying around to reply to comments after his guest post was published

Assist promote the submit by sharing it on social media too:

You’ll be able to even go the additional mile by selling the submit in related communities. In my case, Benji did it for me by submitting it to GrowthHackers. However I stayed round to reply feedback.

SQ staying around to answer comments after the guest post was posted on GrowthHackers

It was seemingly the explanation why it received a lot engagement:

SQ's guest post got a ton of upvotes and engagement on GrowthHackers

It was even the #2 submit in that yr’s year-end roundup: 

All the things above will get you 90% of the best way. However visitor running a blog shouldn’t be a mattress of roses. So I’m sharing the information under that can assist you overcome among the frequent roadblocks.

1. Pitch extra blogs than you possibly can deal with

The merciless actuality of visitor running a blog is that even when they’re good, your emails will be rejected or ignored. That’s no fault of yours—publications are simply too busy.

So right here’s a controversial tip: pitch the identical subjects to a number of blogs. Then provide the article to whoever replies first or has the next authority (in case you get a lot of replies).

This manner, you’re by no means missing for visitor posts. You gained’t even must be nervous about rejection, for there will probably be one other weblog prepared to just accept your concepts.

Should you get a couple of reply, merely inform the reality:

Sorry, you weren’t responding for a couple of days, so one other weblog took this concept. I’ll be in contact with extra article concepts that’ll be simply as good.

2. Write for blogs which have by no means linked to you earlier than

Our research of 1 billion pages exhibits a powerful correlation between natural site visitors and the variety of backlinks from distinctive web sites (referring domains).

Chart showing the correlation between search traffic and referring domains

Which may be one cause why you wish to write for blogs which have by no means linked to you earlier than.

To seek out distinctive web sites, hit the Spotlight unlinked dropdown and add your web site as you’re following step #1:

"Highlight unlinked" feature on Ahrefs

These instruments will make your visitor running a blog course of extra environment friendly:

  1. Ahrefs – Analysis visitor submit alternatives, discover content material gaps to pitch blogs, construct your outlines, verify backlinks from visitor posts, and observe your visitor submit rankings.
  2. Hunter – Discover the e-mail addresses of web site house owners and editors.
  3. Pitchbox – Ship outreach emails at scale.
  4. Ahrefs’ free AI writing instruments – Generate outlines, titles, and proofread your drafts.
  5. ChatGPT – Generate visitor submit concepts, create outlines, flesh out posts, proofread your work, and extra.

Listed below are some incessantly requested questions on visitor running a blog:

How does visitor running a blog assist web optimization?

Hyperlinks are an necessary Google rating issue. By writing a visitor submit, you possibly can construct hyperlinks again to your pages and, due to this fact, enhance their efficiency in search engines like google and yahoo.

Is visitor running a blog unhealthy for web optimization?

In 2014, Google’s former head of net spam, Matt Cutts, printed a blog post proclaiming that “visitor running a blog is completed.” Nevertheless, he was primarily referring to low-quality visitor running a blog printed on low-quality websites for hyperlinks. 

Writing a priceless weblog submit for a longtime website with a related viewers will nonetheless assist your web optimization and is unlikely to harm it.

Can I get referral site visitors from visitor running a blog?

A number of years in the past, our chief advertising officer, Tim Soulo, requested 500+ bloggers how a lot site visitors they received from their visitor articles.

Average referral traffic from a guest article

The typical referral site visitors throughout 239 visitor articles was solely 50 visits.

So sure, you will get referral site visitors from visitor running a blog—however don’t set your expectations too excessive.

Remaining ideas

This information incorporates every little thing our workforce has discovered about visitor running a blog over the previous few years. I hope it can assist take your abilities to a brand new stage. 

Did I miss out on something? Let me know on Twitter or Threads.