If you’ve been reading my blog the last couple weeks, you may know that I’m on a traffic mission. I am on a mission to get more traffic to my blog allowing for me to get more money by building my list and sharpening my skills at building products I believe YOU want. For more information on this, read these posts.
In this specific post I want to talk about guest posting. Not only will I look at guest posting, the how, what and where, but also give you the best 7 blogs out there for you to invest your time in.
Why guest blogging?
I just did a stint over at Basic Blog Tips where I wrote on why you should make your blog a blog business. I took an hour or so to write it, and if you can see looking at it, it’s quite an extensive and valuable read. But something else you’ll notice is that it got 108 comments, which is pretty good social proof for me.
Looking at the stats the post gave me the following:
- Hundreds of new visitors which would have otherwise not known about me or my blog.
- Brought down my bounce rate, because not only did people want to read the post I referred to (or my blog), but they also dived into a but of my content.
- I saw that people also spent a lot more time on my blog than the average visitor does.
So, looking at the stats and reaction to my post, I can deduce the following about guest posting:
- It exposes you and your writing to a wider audience.
- It increases your traffic to your site as well as decreases your bounce rate.
- It gives you credibility as you are associated with the blogger on whose blog you are guest posting.
- If you send a little time on the comments and click through to the people’s sites, you can get exposed to more blogs and may even pick up great connections through it.
How to rate blogs for guest blogging.
Didn’t think that was coming did you? I could write how to find blogs to guest post on, but that’s too easy. You just Google ‘your niche’ + blogs and it will spew out a lot of blogs for you to look at. But how do you decide which one of those blogs are worth it to guest post on.
Following is the criteria I use.
- The bloggers are active themselves – it doesn’t help you guest post on someones blog and that person is not active on it’s own blog, meaning regular blog posts, replying to their comments, have a social media presence etc. It’s about symbiosis. You don’t want to put a great guest post on someone else’s blog, share it on social media and so on if they don';t put some work in themselves. You both have to benefit from the exercise.
- Not too crowded – What I liked about Basic Blog Tips is that posts are posted 2 days apart from each other, which means each post gets a little more traction. Sure, if you know the blog gets lots of comments and it posts every day, it’s still worth it. But, you want to know your post is getting traction.
- Have a decent PR – Look, let’s be honest, one of the reasons you are guest posting is because you are looking for a nice back link with anchor text to your blog. So for this to make sense and be worth your time, make sure the blog has a decent PR rating. You can check it here.
- Have decent traffic – It’s important for you to guest post on blogs that have high traffic volumes. This is important because getting traffic from the blog you’re guest posting on is the plan, right? You can compare different sites traffic on Compete. you can also check the traffic rank of the blog on Alexa. It’s usually best to go for blogs that are below a score of 75k.
- Good comments – Your post is what should start a discussion and plant some seeds or lay a foundation. What is awesome is when people start interacting through comments. Here they could give their opinions, disagree (Nothing wrong with that), or even asks questions. So you want to look for blogs that have an active commenting community, but not only that, that they are adding value to the platform. Because, let’s face it, I wouldn’t be too happy with the platform if I had 100+ comments and everyone simply said, ‘nice post’ or ‘I agree’.
How to approach guest blogs.
Look, I’ll be honest, it helps a lot if you already have some kind of relationship with the blogger. Or better yet, you already have a great reputation for your content online. I just recently added a guest post to a prominent blog and all I did was said I want to guest post and asked for an author account. That doesn’t just happen. Don’t get me wrong, I do a lot of approaches and get rejected, and the reason is simple: They don’t know me.
So here are a couple ways to approach blogs/bloggers for guest post opportunities:
- Have a relationship – Try and build some kind of relationship with the blogger first. The easiest way for me to do this, and this method is actually how built my online rep, is by being a great commentator. Leave great comments, add value to the platform and address everyone by name. You can strengthen the relationship by sharing content on social media or now and then shooting an email via the contact form thanking the blogger for something he may have done for you – like a testimonial.
- Have a reputable blog with great content on it – Let’s be honest, if you don’t have great content on your blog, why would you blog posts be a great addition to mine. I’m helping you out, right. Remember, symbiosis. There’s gotta be a benefit for both parties.
- Discreetly contact the blogger - It’s best to, if you have the previous two points down, shoot an email to the blogger reminding him who you are and perhaps where you have made a connection online or at an event. After introductions, tell him that you are interested in guest posting on his blog. Pitch him an idea that you have for a guest post that would compliment his blog and provide value to his audience. It’s important to be discreet, don’t contact him on a Facebook status or a Tweet. That’s not going to work. A DM, PM or email is best.
How to get approved.
You may have soft-soaped the blogger into allowing you a submission, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to get approved. Once you got a positive on your desire to guest post, you halfway there. The tips below is to make sure you get approved, because I’m assuming you did a lot of hard work to catch the attention of the blogger.
- Provide great value - Perhaps you could offer a post sharing a unique experience you may have had, or success you may have gotten with something specific. Remember that you need to provide value, no use in you rehashing any content the blogger may already have on his blog. I got scolded by a big time blogger for posting on something he already covered, and it makes sense. Also no use in rehashing tired tips and concepts you can find somewhere else. Write on something you have experience with.
- Provide related content – So you got approved, now, not wanting to repeat the point above, you want to provide content that’s relatable to the blog you’re writing for. For instance, when I wrote a guest post for Wong Chendong of The Bad blogger, I offered up a guest post on online scams, which was a great article he could build his list with, as it’s on the same topic. I also did a post for Fransico from iBlogzone on my product fails and gave advice I learned from it. His blog is about online business, so the post was valuable to him.
- Limit your links – Look, you really just want one link that promotes you, and you can see what I did with that one link in my strategy in a section on it below. When it comes to link, this is what is best practice when it comes to guest posting IMHO. Have one link for yourself, one that links back to the blogger and one thats’ outside of your circle. That’s way it’s well balanced and you don’t
pisstick off the blogger.
- Be professional – If you managed to get an author account, make sure you fill in a proper bio and you have a Gravatar. If you haven’t got an author account yet, then you can just add your bio to the bottom of the submitted post and use your Gravatar email for communications.
So, when I did my guest post on Basic Blog Tips last week, I DID have a proper thought out strategy so it get’s me the best results. Here is it:
- Have a post written on your blog you know will build your list, will make you money and provide tons of value (and is properly keyword optimized)
- Link with anchor text to the post mentioned above as close to the top as you can.
- Keep the topic of the post as related to the post on your blog as possible.
- Constantly speak of your successes you may have had, it gives what you’re saying ans suggesting (or venting on) weight.
- Name drop. Hey, if you know well known people, refer to them: either conversations you may have had in passing, email, social media or what you just picked up in a post they’ve written. It adds to your blog cred Make sure your referrals aren’t of sensitive or private conversations.
- Reply to every comment. Be nice and interact with the community. If they make a statement, agree with them still adding value, or disagree with them respectfully and tell them why. And try to have the last word without being obnoxious (my friend Holly Jahangiri taught me that one)
Now, without further adieu, the much anticipated list of great blogs you may want to consider guest posting at.
The Top 7 Blogs to guest post on.
I have a lot of respect for these blogs and bloggers mentioned in this list. I deem most of them friends of mine (online) and they obviously meet the criteria mentioned above passing it with flying colors.
- Basic Blog Tips – Ileane and I have worked together on a platform before and not only is she a joy to work with, but she is very professional and kind. Her blog was sort of a case study for this post, so you can see why she’s first in this list. She has a great, active community and space her blogs nicely apart so you get the best exposure. Alexa: 10,078. Pr Rating: 5
- iBlog Zone - This blog is hosted by my friend Francisco, or Ditesco as he is also known. He has an active community and a great standard of posts. This blog is mainly about online business and will focus a lot on SEO and link building, but if you have some experiences or anecdotes to offer as pearls, this blog is great to guest post on. Alexa: 11,362. PR Rating: 4.
- Growmap - This is a blog by my friend Gail Gardener. She actually mentored me for quite a while. Her blog is about businesses and blogging for businesses more specifically. Her blog discusses local issues but is great for blog businesses and she often talks about search engines and how Google can stick it. Alexa: 39,957 Pr Rating: 5
- Blogengage – This is a platform by my friend Brian Belfit. We’ve worked together on a lot of projects before, but a little about the platform. Blog engage is a social blogging platform. Not only is it great for building links and gettingtraffic, but this a great way to build your network and community (not even speaking about exposure). Alexa: 10,754 PR Rating: 3.
- Dragon Blogger - Justin is another buddy of mine and we also used to work together. DB is mostly a tech blog, but he has a very active blogging community and often write on the subject. Justin is one of those bloggers that’s active himself, so him doing that already provides great value yo your guest blogging experience. Alexa: 43,255 PR Rating: 4.
- Blogging Tips – I like this blog as it allows guest posting on it. What’s more is it’s run (or owned) by Zack Johnson and is obviously a high quality platform for you to get exposure at. If you want to guest post here, you’re going to have to buy his book on amazon first. See it as you’re price of entry and a way for them to weed out the spammers. It’s totally worth it. Alexa: 14,690 Pr Rating: 5.
- Social Media Examiner – Let me say this: I added this site because I dream of writing for them. All the pro’s write for them, and as I consider myself one, I will soon make the rounds. I added this one because it’s a great site with a unique design a LOT of people read. So exposure will be a lot and benefits the same. Alexa: 2994. PR Rating: 6.
Most of the owners of these blogs are friends of mine, so please don’t spam them, follow my guidelines in the post and I’m sure you’re going to do just fine.
Are there blogs you guest post on that also provide you with a lot of value? Feel free to list them in your comment below.
Image courtesy of Techieblogger.com