The Author’s Guide to Guest Posting and Increasing Traffic
The craziest part is that most authors don’t know about this simple, effective technique!
Or what’s worse – they do know about it, but they don’t fully understand how to guest post and waste their time.
Now, I don’t like to work in ‘definites.’ There are ways to grow your online presence without guest posting, but that stuff is crazy.
However, guest posting is a simple, straightforward, wholesome technique. It serves to help you, your author brand, and your website grow in many ways.
Guest posting can serve a couple of major purposes:
- Drive Traffic
- Create SEO Juice for your website site (or target area)
“Hmmm, Dave. That sounds a little too techy for me.”
Don’t worry. To help demystify this awesome way forward, I have created the Complete Guide to Guest Posting for Authors.
**Even if you aren’t an author, and you are building an authority site for some other purpose, keep reading. This applies to you too!
Being an SEO goober, I have used this same practice to help rank my 34 sites and generate targeted traffic. It takes time and lots of work, but when done right, it can become the lifeblood of your website.
With this Guide, I will show you the following:
- How to discern if a site is good to guest post on or not
- How to find good sites that offer guest posting opportunities
- How to engage with site owners and convince them to let you post
- How to structure an effective SEO article to maximize link juice
- Advanced techniques to maximize the overall effectiveness of your post
And with that, let’s kick the tires and light the fires! Hoo yah!
Let’s Face it, the Tactic Works!
Guest posting can be an absolutely powerful way to increase one’s rankings as well as gain new customers/visitors. I have had a lot of success doing guest posting and has completely helped Kindlepreneur rise on a speedy trajectory.
Along with my own statistics, here is a perfect example of how someone spent a little time working the guest posting tactic and absolutely rocked it!
So, ready to begin and get your numbers up?
How to discern if a site is good to guest post on or not
As I said in the beginning, there are two reasons to guest post. The first is the most important: Drive Traffic. It’s also the hardest to come by.
The second – Creating SEO Juice – is easier…if you know what to look for.
Reason #1: Site Traffic
The hope in writing for a high-traffic site is that you create some epic content and people read it, click on your link, and fall in love with your website. But finding sites for your target market can be quite difficult to do.
If this is your first foray into guest posting, I would HIGHLY recommend not starting by going after the super famous sites like Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income or Joanna Penn’s The Creative Penn right away.
In most cases, even if your information is mind-blowing, they will not accept your post unless you’ve achieved some kind of recognition or have a pre-existing relationship with them. Those requirements take major connections and lots of time. Believe me when I say, it’s a dream to one day guest post for Pat Flynn….(fan girl sigh).
Instead of trying for these uber famous sites, we want to find those that have traffic and are respectable for our target market.
So, how can you find out if a not-so-major site has good traffic?
Luckily there are some free resources out there that will show you what kind of traffic a website gets. The first is http://Compete.com. It’s good. However, I personally prefer http://www.SEMrush.com.
Let’s do a trial run together with SEMrush.
Enter the potential site’s URL in the search field.After that, you should see whether or not a site gets traffic. If SEMrush says the site does not get much traffic, it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the case. There’s usually more to the story.
To get a more accurate number, most of the time, I like to take the number SEMrush gives me and multiply it by 14. So, if SEMrush says a site gets 100 visitors per month, then the more accurate number is probably closer to 1,400. So, take their results with a grain of salt.
Again I remind you that this free method isn’t supposed to be perfect – you have to pay a premium for better results – but it gives you a good free indication of a particular site’s traffic. Which, for guest posting’s purposes, is quite valuable.
Reason #2: Site SEO Juice
Some of you may be asking “Why do I care about SEO juice?”
The short and simple answer is, the more links you have pointed to your site, the more SEO juice you get, which in turn means the more your site will naturally move up in Google’s rankings for certain keywords.
Notice there are a lot of statements in that statement. For brevity’s sake, I’ll try to keep it simple. Just understand that backlinks from good websites will eventually make Google like your site more and give your more traffic.
So, let’s hunt ‘em down!
So, how can you tell if a site is a good SEO juice site?
Search for sites with good Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA). These two genius metrics was created by a fantastic company called Moz.
They were created to help online marketers figure out which sites are healthy and legitimate.
Now, someone may be thinking: “What about Page Rank (PR)?” To that, let me quickly say, “NO! Bad!”
Google stopped updating the PR metric in Dec 2013. So if a site is touting their great PR, they’re touting their PR from back in Dec 2013. Most likely, a LOT has changed in their niche since then.
And a side note: SEO gurus that tout PR – I don’t trust them.
(Yep, I’ll probably get some hate mail for that one.)
So, back to DA and PA. To find out what a site’s DA and PA is, you need to go to Open Site Explorer:
From this point on Open Site Explorer, you will want to see the following information:
- Root Domains > 10
If a website has met the above metrics, then it’s decent enough for SEO purposes and the backlink is worth the trouble.
Site owners with DA<20, please don’t take offense to this. Just roll up your sleeves and start guest posting so that your DA/PA can rise!
How to find good sites that offer guest posting opportunities
The second biggest dilemma that people face is how to find potential blogs that accept guest posts.
You will want Google to search for two things:
- Any site that involves your particular topic or subject
- Any site that offers Guest Posting opportunities
Tip: The key to success is telling Google that you only want results that show BOTH of those things!
How do you do this? Boolean Criterion AND Direct Statements
There are a lot of crazy cool search parameters to use, but here are the two that are most important for this endeavor:
- “…..“ : Placing quotation marks around a phrase or word tells Google you ONLY want that word or phrase to be searched for. It won’t guess and it won’t show you other versions of the world. ONLY that word or phrase.
- InURL:…: Using InURL tells Google to only find sites that have a particular word in their URL.
- AllinTitle:…: All in title is just like the name says. It looks for opportunities
Now that you have a very basic understanding of some of the Advanced Google search parameters, here are a couple I would recommend using to find your potential guest posting opportunities. Just change out “Keyword” with whatever topic you focus on.
So, if you are a writer for “Sci-Fi Military”, then use that instead of “Keyword.” Just make sure to change up the niche words in order to find more opportunities. So continuing with the examples above, try “Science Fiction Military,” “Space Opera,” “Science Fiction,” “Alien Fiction,” etc…
The Awesome Sauce Advance Google Parameters for Guest Posting
allintitle:resources + keyword
write for us + “keyword”
keyword + “guest author”
keyword + “suggest resource”
Again, highly recommend you check out my Advanced Google Search Criterion article to better understand this awesome tactic. You will find that it will help you discover more opportunities on the net than you ever knew existed.
List of Websites that Accept Guest Posts
You can use the above information to search for a niche specific genre, or you can access this free list that Kim Roach made that lays out some of the top websites that accept guest posting, like me:
Example Run Through of the Above Information
One thing that makes me smile from ear to ear – besides a Packer Superbowl win, Bulletproof coffee and hanging with my family – is when one of you guys reads the information here and immediately takes action. Fist pump, double score!
The uber talented Megan Pangan applied the above and created this awesome run through of the information. Check it out!
How to engage with site owners and convince them to let you post
No no no no no….. Rookie move!
First, do your research.
Actually read their blog. Look at their posts and see what they write about.
One area I love to look at most is if they have a sidebar widget that shows their most popular posts. These usually tell me what subjects they found successful and more importantly, what their readers like to read…always a good place to start.
As you read their blog and take in the subjects they discuss, take notes on what potential posts of theirs that your guest post can link to. This will help with your posting pitch because telling them that your post will link with other posts of theirs tells them that you read their stuff, understand their blog, and are going to keep THEIR traffic engaged with THEIR content…it’s actually a big plus.
Now that you have the general idea of their site, and have checked the metrics (see above) so as to ensure its worth your time, you can now formulate your proposal or pitch.
I like to call it a pitch because that is what it is.
I get LOTS of emails every day with people wanting to guest post on Kindlepreneur.com. So, if their pitch doesn’t catch my eye in a couple of seconds…delete. No hard feelings but that’s the nature of the beast.
Here are a couple things you want to do when making your pitch:
- Make sure you check to see if they have a guest post policy. You wouldn’t believe how many times a particular blog will have guidelines on guest posting. If they have them, then definitely follow them.
- Keep it simple and concise. Owners of popular websites don’t have time for fluff so get to the point.
- Let them know who you are and what your blog is. They will want to know what your writing style is like and whether or not your site is okay. No one wants to have their prized site pointing to some spammy poo.
- Make it evident that you have read and understand their blog.
- Offer three potential article titles and list any particular pages of theirs that you would link to.
- Tell them how you will market the guest post. You wouldn’t believe how much this will make them happy. Who doesn’t want GREAT content and free traffic driven towards their website? Highlight what you will do to get that guest post in front of as many people as possible for them.
- Insert some kind of personal information about them. No, I don’t mean get creepy. But definitely, check their “About Me” page and see if there is anything you can connect to. Do they have a favorite hobby, sport, etc.? I usually like to make the P.S.-type statement. Example “P.S. Go Red Sox!”…especially if they are a Yankee fan 😉
It feels pretty weird sharing this because one day, I will send the information above and below to one of you and you will probably get a nice little chuckle out of it. Fair enough. All in the name of progressing good author branding, even if it is at my expense! 😉 So, if you get a guest post response, just chuckle and (HOPEFULLY) say yes!
Here is an example of what I typically send:
Dear [Insert their real name here],
I’m Dave Chesson of Kindlepreneur.com and came across [Insert name of blog here] the other day. I really love what you are doing, especially your article [insert name of article of theirs that you like]. I’ve had a lot of experience in that area over the past couple of years. If you would be interested, I have a couple of ideas I think your readers will love:
[insert the three titles on each line]
Furthermore, if you were to accept an article, I would be happy to not only send out an email blast to my active email list of [insert number of email subscribers], but also promote it on all of my social media sites.
Anyways, I look forward to hearing from you and hope we can work together.
PS: I agree with you, winter sucks! [insert something that shows you know something about them]
Pretty simple right? I hope so. It’s helped me to land countless guest post opportunities and has never really let me down.
While the above is pretty straight forward, I would challenge all of you to write your own personalized pitch each time you engage with a different blogger.
The above example feels a little too professional for my taste. So, check out their vernacular and ensure you incorporate your flair into it! I can always tell when someone’s VA has contacted me with a “copy and paste” type method…
How to structure an effective SEO article to maximize link juice
Here is where the tire meets the road. It’s one thing to get a guest post, but it’s another thing to get the most out of it.
The perfect SEO guest post is one that:
- Allows “dofollow” links
- Allows you to link to your homepage within the content
- Allows you to also link to a particular page on your website
There are many blogs out there that do not allow you to do the above. In some cases, you will write for them and they will make the link a “nofollow” link, which means that Google can’t crawl it. And if Google can’t crawl it, then you will get no SEO Juice…boo!
In many cases, blogs will not allow you to post links to your content but instead will only allow you a link that sits at the bottom of the “About the Author” section. There is still some good SEO juice in this. However, this is not the ideal spot for your precious link to sit.
The best link is a link that is in the middle of your content, surrounded by potential keywords, using an anchor text of your choosing.
Lots of components to that last sentence, I know. If you stick with me, I’ll break it down for you below.
Advanced techniques to maximize the overall effectiveness of your post
At this point, you have a well-written (hopefully) guest post and are receiving some juice and/or traffic.
“So, why are you still writing this Moby Dick-sized guide, Dave?”
Because for those of you brave souls who have made it this far in the guide, I am going to reward you with some amazing trade secrets.
Advanced Pro Tip or Trick #1: Never link swap. This nullifies all of your hard work. Google caught on to the tactic a while ago. They saw that website owners were trading links. Therefore, if Google finds that you have swapped links – and it takes a little time, but they will find you – both of your links will be reduced in power or nullified in the eyes of the Google Search Monster. Just try to stay away from that practice.
Advanced Pro Tip or Trick #2: Since you probably intend to write lots of guest posts, try to also link to relevant guest posts of yours on other sites…spread the love! This not only passes juice to your article but passes double the juice from your previous guest post to your site.
Boom, double the juice.
If you really have some SEO swagger, put that tactic in your proposal. Sometimes I will say something like, “if you accept my guest post, I will not only send out an email to my active readers, or to my hungry social following, but I will also build up your page SEO for that article.”
How about them apples.
“Accept my post and I will not only drive traffic to your site, I will improve your SEO.” Who could say no?
Just make sure the next time you are guesting posting on another site, you are true to your promise and shoot a link to that particular page. Then take the time to let them know. They will thank you for it and appreciate your effort.
Did you enjoy this little trip through the fun and wacky world of guest posting? I hope you did.
Guest posting is an effective form of branding and is incredible in generating interest for your blog or book. Without guest posting, you can’t find new traffic or build good wholesome SEO.
So, roll up your sleeves and get to work.
And finally, for those of you who read to the VERY end, if you would like more information or just want a better explanation or guidance, go ahead and signup for a free 15 minute Skype strategy session.
Why would I do that? Because I LOVE engaging with you awesome Kindlepreneurs…that’s why.