I have learned a lot about guest blogging over the years, and I have put a lot of different techniques into practice. I can’t say I have a perfect strategy – no one can – but I’m confident enough in my knowledge and ability to have created this website.
I can’t say that I’ve come to this knowledge on my own, through thought and experiment. Rather, like most modern knowledge, mine has come from an accumulation of wisdom from other authors, many of whom themselves have gained their expertise through the experiences of yet others. We are all, as they say, standing on the shoulders of giants.
Everyone has their own relatively unique strategy for successful guest posting. What I’ve done here is compiled published examples of these strategies and summarized them for you. If you’ve read other posts on this site, you should know in general how everything works, so I’m going to assume you know the basics and terminology to make sense of everything.
And, of course, you can simply click through and read the accounts first-hand.
Kristi is one of the most prolific freelance writers I know, and has both grown her own career through guest posting and grown the presence of the sites she writes for. This detailed guide gives you a total rundown of guest posting from start to finish. She covers choosing goals for your blogging, finding guest post opportunities, pitching guest post ideas, submitting finalized pieces, writing an author bio, and tracking the results of your posts.
What I like about this guide is that it covers everything you need to get started with guest posting, but doesn’t linger too much on any one topic. Each sub-section has links out to more detailed posts on the subject, so there’s always further reading if you need to do some research first, but you can pick up and run with what you’re given right out the gates.
Additionally, there’s quite a bit of value in the comments. Kristi responded to a lot of them and helped expand on a few techniques she mentioned in the main text. Even if the post is half a decade old at this point, you can still learn a few things by giving it a solid read.
Neil Patel is known for some incredibly deep, insightful articles on a range of different subjects in the web marketing industry. This is one such post, a solid 5,000 words of detailed data on guest blogging as an inbound marketing strategy.
He’s not saying anything new per se, but he’s saying it with a massive pile of data to back it all up. We all know guest blogging is a valid and viable strategy, but he brings case studies, personal data, and comparative analysis to the field. Right up near the top he also has three good examples of people who have used guest blogging to great effect.
He covers pretty much all of the same topics as the KISSmetrics post up above, but in greater detail. Where each section in that guide is a hundred or so words, Neil’s is several times longer. He mentions specific tools and ways to analyze the sites you’re investigating for possible guest posts, and most importantly, he backs up everything he says with yet more data. You really know that this isn’t just a post he banged out for the keywords; it’s a strategy he uses to get featured on big sites like Forbes.
This post is number seven in a longer series of posts on content marketing, and all of them are pretty great. This post specifically starts off with a lengthy justification of guest blogging, why it works, and why it’s worth considering. Each section has a pro tip that distills some nugget of wisdom down to a sentence or two, and they’re all worth reading.
That’s unfortunately where the post sort of tapers off. There’s a section on how to do guest posting, but rather than actually giving you instructions, it just links to some other excellent posts on the subject. There’s actually not much overlap between that list and my own, so if you want more reading after reading this post, you can check out that list.
Neil Patel gets another shoutout here, along with Brian Dean of Backlinko. Together those two put together what is probably the single most authoritative, in-depth guide to link building ever published. This link is specifically to chapter 10, which talks about advanced guest posting as a link building strategy.
Where this guide shines is in actually being a guide, rather than being opinions and data or vague recommendations. Each step has its own step-by-step guide to completing the task, from finding new guest post opportunities and analyzing them to writing and submitting your guest posts.
The only down side to this guide is that it doesn’t cover writing a pitch all that much. One of the key elements of guest posting is writing a pitch prior to writing the post, both so that you can get your idea hammered out before you write it and so you don’t waste effort in writing something that isn’t going to be published.
I do actually disagree with a few elements of the link building guide as a whole, such as the emphasis on edu and gov links, which aren’t THAT much better than links from authoritative .com sites. Still, the guest posting advice is top-notch.
I can’t give one part of the Quicksprout team a mention without giving the other, can I? Brian Dean is another one of those high profile marketers and writers who shows up all over the place, and you can be certain that his techniques and his information is all top-tier.
This post goes over many of the same concepts as the others, but covers them in even more depth. For example, most of these posts, under “finding guest post opportunities”, mention doing Google searches for a few queries, and they give five or six examples of those queries. Brian here gives 37 of them, and then goes on to give other methods for finding guest post sites on top of it.
My personal favorite part of this guide is that it goes outside the box in a few instances. For example, he uses Google’s search by image function on author bio images to find locations where an author has guest posted before, which implies that those other locations accept guest posts as well. He also has a unique two-tier system for producing his guest posts that I have adapted into my own slightly more varied category system.
We’re all so used to looking at marketing blogs for inspiration and strategies that we sometimes forget that there are people in other similar niches doing the same things, and we can sometimes learn from those people.
Perhaps the biggest “guest posting” industry outside of marketing is in freelance writing. Freelancers want to expand their careers, both through their own writing and through ghostwriting, and they can do that via guest blogging. After all, what better way to show off your portfolio than by using it to grow?
This isn’t the most in-depth guide, nor is it great in terms of specific steps or detail. What it is, however, is a different – and very optimistic – perspective on guest blogging. It’s worth a read to get a different perspective on your action and to see how other people approach the problem as a whole.
Blog Tyrant is cited in just about every one of these posts, and with good reason. Ramsay, the guy behind it, is really good at what he does, and has published several posts over the years about guest blogging. I chosen the more recent of them, updated this past February, though it’s a more generic blogging article rather than solely about guest posting.
A good chunk of the article is about guest posting, and it gives some good examples of how to categorize the various blogs you might want to post on. A lot of people, when they guest post, feel like they don’t want to offer a guest post for a site that is “below them” in quality or traffic. The idea, I guess, is that those sites aren’t giving them much value so why spend the effort on it?
The fact is, a site that is “below” you is not valueless. For one thing, they can explode in popularity and surpass you, and then they might recognize that you didn’t do them any favors and may be less likely to do you any in return. Plus, if you’re not willing to help someone lower on the totem pole, why would anyone higher than you want to help you?
This is another one of those sites you might not have heard of, but that has some interesting perspectives to share. It’s another freelance writer – a guy named Jawad Khan – who writes and ghostwrites for a lot of different businesses, entrepreneurs, and marketers. He talks about what guest blogging is, why you would want to do it, how it can benefit you, and what you can get out of it beyond just traffic.
Once again, this post isn’t entirely a strategy you can implement; rather it’s another perspective you can read about to see things from another angle. I consider it rather valuable to be able to look at your industry from the perspective of the people supporting it, and this instance is no exception.
When you want more mechanical, usable tips, ProBlogger is generally a great place to go. In this case, it’s a guest post on that site, from the owner of Aliventures. He dives right in and gives you tips to make sure your guest blog pitches are accepted at as high a rate as possible. No one set of tips can give you a 100% success rate, but you can get pretty close if you approach things the right way.
One of the strategies in the Art of War is to pick your battles carefully. Choosing the right sites, making sure you’re fully prepared, and studying the opposition to make sure you’re well positioned to win; it’s all there. In guest blogging, it’s all about studying the sites you want to post on, learning their quality levels, their perspectives, their guidelines and recommendations, and where you fit amongst it all.
The more preparation you do before your pitch and with the pitch itself, the more likely you are to be able to get your guest post published. Ali covers a little bit of everything, from studying sites to writing bios, and it’s all valuable information.
10: My Own Content
You had to know it was coming, right? No blogger is going to give up a prime opportunity to talk about one of their specialties. In this case, it’s my composite guide to guest blogging; everything I know compressed into 2,000 words. You can see elements of strategies from other authors on this list, like my three-tier system instead of the two-tier system mentioned above. What other elements can you spot?
I like to think I have something that works and is repeatable by people who can replicate my position. In fact, I’m pretty confident that others have been able to guest post based on my information.