This is a guest contribution from Danny Adetunji
It’s no secret that getting your content published on the most popular and highly trafficked blogs in your niche can do a lot to grow your business. However, if you’ve ever tried to land these guest blogging spots, then you also know it’s not the easiest thing to do.
You need to first figure out which blogs are worth publishing on, and then you need to convince the blog owner that your content is worth publishing.
You see, there is a lot of competition to get published on popular blogs. If you want to grab one of these coveted spots for yourself, then you need to know the secrets of finding and getting published on the best blogs.
That’s what you’re about to discover how to do inside this report. Here’s an overview of how to find the best B.L.O.G.S. for guest posting:
- Build a Presence: This is the little-known key to getting published that many people overlook.
- Look for Suitable Blogs: In this section you’ll learn how to find plenty of guest blogging opportunities.
- Optimize Your List: Not all blogs are created equal, which is why in this step you’ll cull your list to retain only the best guest blogging opportunities.
- Get Published: Here you’ll find out tricks for getting published more often.
- Send Inquiries: At this step you’ll find out how to get published on blogs that don’t actively solicit guest content.
Let’s get to it…
Here’s a little secret many would-be guest authors overlook: blog owners don’t want content from a “no-name nobody.”
Truth is, there are plenty of places for them to get this sort of content all over the web, such as from article directories. What’s more, plenty of “no-name nobodies” submit their content all day long to these blog owners.
You see, blog owners can afford to be selective. And when they publish content, they’re thinking about how it benefits them. Often they’re looking for two things:
- Guest bloggers with big platforms, such as a big social media following. Guest authors often tell their followers about their publications, so this means a link back and some fresh traffic for the blog owner.
- Guest bloggers who’re established experts. This goes back to not wanting to publish content by no-name authors. Blog owners would much rather publish articles from known experts in the niche.
So here’s the point: If you don’t yet have a social media following or you’re not yet an established expert, you need to get on that before you start submitting guest articles to the big blogs. Here are tips and guidelines to follow:
- Get established on all the major social media channels. This includes Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. Be sure to present a professional image, including your full (real) name, a photo and mature posts. Many blog owners will research you, so you want to show you’re a real person on these social media sites.
- Build a following. Merely getting established helps, because it shows you’re a real person (not a spammer). However, building a following is better because it shows the blog owner that you can offer something of benefit to them – fresh traffic.
- Showcase your expertise. Next, you need to publish content widely online. This helps establish you as an expert, while also serving as a bit of social proof that yes, you would make a good guest author.
To that end, publish content on your own blog, publish on your friends’ blogs, write and publish a book (using Kindle and/or CreateSpace), release “special reports” in your niche and so on. Basically, you want to see a lot of good content come up when someone searches for your name.
- Befriend the big players in your niche. Tag them on thoughtful posts via social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Write about them on your blog and leave a trackback. Engage in discussions with them on their blogs, on forums and on social media. Develop relationships with them, as not only will others see you as a solid part of the niche, but these relationships make it easier to get published on the blogs belonging to the big players.
You get the point – become a solid part of the niche, showcase your expertise, and demonstrate that you have something of value (followers, expertise, etc) to offer blog owners.
Once you’ve built up this presence in your niche, then you can move onto the next step…
Now it’s time to find blogs which may offer guest blogging opportunities. For now, you’re merely making a list. Just a bit later you’ll find out how to cull this list in order to create a shorter list of only the best and non-spammy blogs.
So what you want to do is first think about the big players in your niche. If you’ve been working in your niche for any amount of time, then you should be able to produce a list of some of the most respected authors, bloggers, marketers and other influencers in your niche.
To help you brainstorm, add the following to your list:
- People who get talked a lot about in the niche.
- People with big platforms, like popular blogs, forums, newsletters or social media followings.
- People who’re noted authors, including published books as well as newspaper or magazine columns.
- Marketers with the top-selling products in your niche.
And so on – basically, list everyone who is a “someone” in your niche.
Once you’ve listed all the big players you can think of, then your next step is go to Google to uncover more of the big sites as well as the big players (AKA influencers) in your niche.
What you want to do is plug in several searches that are all closely related to your niche. Be specific with longtail keywords, as this will help you uncover the blogs and influencers which are most closely related to what you’re doing.
Example: Let’s suppose you’re interested in weight loss for women. Your searches might look like this:
- Weight loss for women
- Lose weight for women
- Dieting for women
- How women can lose weight
- Tips for women weight loss
- Get a bikini body
- Safe ways for women to lose weight
- Get rid of belly fat females
- Female fat loss
- Exercise tips for women
- Dieting advice for women
Take note that the above examples tackle the topics from multiple angles by searching for synonyms both women (alternative females, but may also try ladies and girls) as well as dieting (alternatives include lose weight, weight loss, fat loss, etc). Google will display results that include synonyms (unless you put your search in quotes), but you should see slightly different results when searching for your own synonyms.
At this point there are two things you’re looking for:
- The top sites on the first two pages of Google for each search. Don’t look at the sponsored results, as right now you’re looking for top blogs that have earned their way in through good content (versus bought their way in with an advertisement).
When you encounter a site, click on it and quickly see if they publish a blog or content in any form, something which you could contribute to. If so, add it to your list.
Finally, take note of who owns these sites – these folks are some of the influencers in your niche. Which brings us to the second thing you’re looking for…
- The influencers listed on the first two pages of Google for each search. When you search Google, you’ll see photos of authors alongside their names at times. Add these people to your list as well.
Tip: You’ll want to begin building relationships with the influencers in your niche, as it will make it easier for you to get published on their blogs. You’ll learn more about how to do this just a bit later in the report.
Next, go back to Google and this time search the names of the influencers on your list. You want to see where these folks are publishing content online, because you may want to publish your content on these same sites, so add them to your list.
Be sure to check out their social media pages, as most influencers tweet or otherwise post about the places where they are publishing content. Obviously, you should also visit their websites, as they likely list their publications there as well.
The final part of this step is re-run your niche keyword search as mentioned above, except this time you’re going to specifically search for sites which accept guest articles. To that end, search for your main niche keywords (such as “women lose weight”) alongside the following types of keywords:
- Guest article
- Guest author
- Guest article submission
- Guest author submission
- Submit articles
- Submit guest articles
- Submit blog articles
- Submission guidelines
- Guest author guidelines
- Guest posting guidelines
- Guest article guidelines
- Guest blogging guidelines
- Contributor submission
- Contributor guidelines
- Become a contributor
- Submit article contributions
- Submit your article
- How to submit your article
- Become a guest blogger
- Become a guest author
- Guest post
- Guest posting
- Guest blogging
- Write for us
You’re likely to find some overlap as you go through these different searches, and that’s okay. Just keeping adding new sites to your list as you find them.
Once you have your list of possible sites on which you can publish, move onto the next step…
You should have a pretty good list of possibilities at this point, but not all these sites are worth publishing on. Some of them are rather spammy. Some of them don’t have good content, so it’s not the sort of place with which you want your name to be associated.
So here’s how to cull your list:
- Make sure the blog is in your niche. Sometimes a keyword search will uncover a blog, but the blog may not even be in your niche. It may be an article directory or content farm. You can cross these off your list.
- Read the content to be sure it’s high quality. Would you be proud to have your name listed on this blog? Is the existing content high-quality, entertaining and useful? If so, keep this site on your list.
- Look for popular blogs. Is there any indication that the blog is popular, such as several people commenting on each blog? Be sure that if there are blog comments, they’re relevant and not spammy. You might also compare sites using a tool like Alexa.com, which will give you an idea of how much traffic a site gets.
Note: Alexa is not a perfect tool, as it only counts visits from those who’ve installed their toolbar. As such, be sure that you’re only comparing similar sites – “apples to apples.” Comparing apples to oranges on Alexa won’t give you good results, because there may be some bias in that Alexa users may visit one type of site, but not another type of site… which would skew the estimated traffic numbers.
- Cull the spammy sites. Some sites may possess the above characteristics, and yet they just look spammy. If it’s hard to read an article without being interrupted by ads everywhere (pop ups, ads in the content, ads in the side bar, etc), then it may not be the best place for you to post your content. Stick to the sites that present a balance of ads and content.
- Check if links are “nofollow.” If you are interested in publishing on a site primarily for SEO linking purposes, then you’ll want to be sure anywhere you post allows the search engines to follow links. You’ll need to check the page source to be sure. If you’re using a browser like IE, then go to “View” and “Page Source” (other browsers have similar methods). Then search for a “nofollow” tag.
Note: If you’re not publishing for SEO (search engine optimization) purposes, then don’t worry about this step.
- Find out if people are talking about the site. First, check Google to see how many people are linking to and talking about the site positively. Use “link:domain.com” as a search operator in Google, being sure to replace “domain.com” with the actual domain of the site you’re researching.
Secondly, check social media. Are people retweeting and reposting articles from the site? That’s a good sign. Keep those sorts of sites on your list.
Once you’ve optimized your list by crossing off the spammy and other undesirable sites, then move onto the next step…
Now it’s time to get published. You’re going to start by picking the low-hanging fruit – this means submitting your content to sites which actively solicit guest articles. These are the sites you searched for when you sought out your keywords alongside search terms such as “contribute guest articles.”
Obviously, this also includes any other sites on your list that seek out guest contributions.
Here are the keys for getting published on these sites…
- Read and Follow the Guidelines. The popular blogs in your niche get a lot of contributions and can’t publish them all. In many cases, the blog owners will initially sift through the contributions and immediately trash any of them which don’t adhere to the published guidelines. As such, be sure that you read and then follow the contributor’s guidelines closely.
- Study existing content for inspiration. The second thing you want to do is study the articles that are already posted on the blog, and pay attention to the topics as well as the overall style of these articles. That’s because one good way to predict what type of article will get published in the future is to look at what types of articles are already getting published.
Example: Does the blog owner prefer conversational-style articles, opinion articles, academic research-type articles, tips articles or something else? Figure out what they like, and then model your article in the same style.
- Offer something original. In other words, don’t put up the same rehashed content as everyone else. Instead, offer a fresh approach. For example, if you’re talking about a fairly common method for doing something, then offer your own “twists” and tips for making the method even more effective.
Another way to craft something original is to coin a new phrase of formula around a solid method. This report is an example, with its B.L.O.G.S. system corresponding to each step of finding suitable blogs and getting published. As you’ll discover in just a few moments, this report also offers a fresh approach because it includes an email template that you can put to work for you immediately to land guest publishing spots.
- Create high-quality content. Your article should be both entertaining and very useful, so that readers can take action on it and see good results. You can also include graphics (such as infographics, illustrations, mind maps, etc) to add value to your article and make it more useful and attractive to both the blog owner as well as his or her readers. You can also pass the article by a good proofreader or editor to make sure it’s easy to read and in good condition technically speaking.
- Give it a good title. Finally, be sure to add a good title to your article, perhaps one that promises a benefit or even arouses curiosity. A good title is essential because if your title doesn’t catch the reader’s eye (beginning with the blog owner), then you’re doomed before you even get out of the gate.
Example: A: Let me give you examples of “before” and “after” titles, where the after titles are spiced up and present a benefit in a more exciting way:
Before: 7 Weight Loss Tips for Women
After: The 7 Secrets for Quick and Easy Fat Loss Every Woman Ought to Know
Before: Improve Your Golf Swing
After: How to Improve Your Golf Swing Using One Weird Trick
Before: How to Negotiate a Used Car Deal
After: 5 Surefire Steps for Getting a Great Deal on a Used Car
Once your article is polished, primped and ready to go, then submit it according to the submission guidelines. And what if you’d like to post on a site that doesn’t actively solicit guest content? That’s where the final step comes in…
Just because a site doesn’t actively solicit content doesn’t mean they won’t accept it. You will likely need to be prepared for a high rejection rate, but don’t let that deter you – it’s well worth the effort if you do get published on a busy and popular site.
There are three things you need to do to increase your chances of getting published on these sites:
- Be prepared to submit extremely high quality content. See the tips in the previous section.
- Develop relationships with site owners. Simply put, it’s easier to get published on these sites if the site owner knows who you are. More about this below.
- Craft a compelling inquiry. Rather than directly submitting content to a blog owner, you’ll be submitting an inquiry. You’ll find an example below.
Let’s look at these last two separately…
At the very least you should seek to get on the radar of the big players in your niche, but it’s even better if you can develop friendships with them.
Here are five tips for making yourself known:
- Join important niche discussions. In particular, join the discussions of which they’re a part of, such as discussions on their blog, their Facebook Group, their Facebook page and elsewhere.
- Start up a personal dialogue. You might begin by tagging them when you talk about something related to their business on Twitter or Facebook. Once you have your foot in the door, then start up a private conversation.
- Attend live events. This includes both offline industry events (such as trade shows or seminars) as well as online events such as Google Hangouts. Introduce yourself, ask thoughtful questions and get to know the big players on a personal level.
- Blog about the big players (using trackbacks). This is actually another way to join a discussion – blog a response to it, and use trackbacks to point back to the blog post to which you’re replying. You may also blog about the big player’s products, ideas or anything else.
- Become an affiliate. Finally, another good way to become known by the big players is to make money for them. Be sure to use the same name on your affiliate account as you use everywhere else so that the vendor recognizes you.
Again – the more known you are, the easier it is to get published on sites which don’t actively solicit content. Which brings us to the next point…
If a site doesn’t actively solicit content, then any articles you submit directly will likely go straight to the trash (as that looks presumptuous of you). For these sorts of sites, you need to send an inquiry instead. In some cases, even sites that actively solicit content will ask that you send an inquiry (or query) first.
What you need to is craft an inquiry that gets the blog owner excited about publishing your content. This means you should let the blog owner know why it’s beneficial to publish your content, perhaps based on your unique article, your established expertise in the field, and/or your ability to drive traffic to their site.
Let me give you an example inquiry. Please note that you should research each blog thoroughly so that you can craft an inquiry that’s personalized for each blog owner.
Subject: [Write a Personalized, Attention-Grabbing Subject]
Dear [First Name],
My name is [your name], and I run the [name/URL] website. The reason I’m writing today is to offer you the opportunity to get both free content for your blog as well as free, highly targeted traffic.
Let me explain…
What I’m proposing is to offer you an original, exclusive and high-quality article for your readers on the topic of [topic]. I’ve seen your readers [explain what you’ve seen them do – ask for this topic, show interest in the topic via the comments, etc], which is why I think they’ll be really pleased to see an in-depth treatment of the subject. You can see the article here [post link to article – should be a private URL, not accessible to the public. In other words, this article shouldn’t already be published elsewhere.].
The second benefit you’ll enjoy is free traffic coming into your website. If you publish this article on your site, then I’ll send out a link to my [number] of social media followers, [number] blog visitors and [number] newsletter subscribers. That’s free exposure for you.
To discuss this proposition further, or if you’d like content on a different topic, please contact me at [contact info]. I look forward to hearing from you.
P.S. I enjoyed your discussion on [some recent topic] because [specific reason why you enjoyed it – prove you’ve done your research]. I think my article on [topic] will tie-in nicely with yours, and give your readers [some benefit]. Let me know what you think…
As you can see, the idea is to show the blog that you’re not sending out a cookie cutter form letter, while also letting him or her know the benefits of publishing your content.
Remember, getting a “yes” to an unsolicited request like this is easier if you’ve built relationships with site owners.
Now let’s wrap things up…
So there you have it: The five steps to finding high-quality sites on which to publish content, as well as plenty of tips for maximizing your chances of getting published.
Let’s quickly recap these steps:
- Build a Presence in social media and elsewhere so that you become known in your niche.
- Look for Suitable Blogs using special Google search terms.
- Optimize Your List: Here you found out how to cull your list of blogs.
- Get Published: This is where you discovered the tricks for getting published more often.
- Send Inquiries: At this step you found out how to get published on blogs that don’t actively solicit guest content.
Now you have the plan – all you need is the content. And if you’re offering original content to dozens of blogs (which is well worth the effort), then you’re going to need a lot of content.
Now, I’d like to hear about your guest blogging success in the comments below. How do you find blogs for guest posts? I’m waiting at the comments section below!
Danny Adetunji is a freelance copywriter with over 5 years experience. He writes all things about copywriting and marketing at Thewolfofcopy.com. If you want to boost your revenue, turn leads into sales, retain more repeat customers, and generate more revenue from your online business, you should hire him!