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The Ultimate Guide to Guest Blogging for Backlinks

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With over 2 years of guest blogging experience , I’ve learned a lot about guest blogging. This ultimate guide to guest blogging for backlinks will show you some of the vital lessons I’ve learned about this subject.

I’ve written a single guest post that resulted in around 2,000 visitors directly from the blog it was published on; more than half of which I experienced the month in which the guest post was published.

I’ve written more than a dozen guest posts that each resulted in at least 100+ subscribers. In fact, some of my guest posts resulted in over 300 subscribers.

I’ve been published on almost all the A-list blogs to which I sent guest posts. In fact, my guest posts have been published on major technology blogs like Business Insider and ReadWriteWeb (before it was ReadWrite).

I’ve written around 2,000 guest posts for myself and my clients in the past two years, around 270 of which were written in the first 8 months.

In other words, not only have I had enough time to write a lot of guest posts, I’ve also had the opportunity to publish a guest post on some of the world’s biggest blogs.

One major lesson I learnt that stuck with me to date is the fact that guest blogging for backlinks is the most profitable form of guest blogging.

In other words, even though it took me several tries to get published on some very big blogs – up to 5 in some cases – and some of my guest posts on A-list blogs resulted in hundreds of visitors and subscribers after they were published, my most profitable guest posts were the ones I published on smaller blogs that required less effort and time investment on my part.

This is especially true for a group of 31 guest posts I submitted in a particular week:

  • Getting these guest posts published was a lot easier than getting published on the A-list blogs
  • Some of the blogs I submitted the guest posts to have a fraction of the authority that most big blogs have
  • These guest posts often resulted in 0 visits directly from the blogs they were published on

Yet, they’re my most profitable guest posts because I still get traffic from them indirectly. This is as a result of improved search engine rankings a year after they were published.

These guest posts were written with the aim of achieving better search engine rankings, specifically for the backlinks. Yet, they’ve resulted in over 100,000 visitors a year after they were published; more traffic than every other guest post I’ve written has sent, combined.

With that said, the purpose of this article is to give you everything you need to know about guest blogging for backlinks. I hope this article will be the ultimate guide to guest blogging for backlinks.

Is Guest Blogging for Backlinks Immoral?

You’ve probably read a lot of articles about guest blogging and since the trend with guest blogging now is to write guest posts to gain backlinks, a lot of these articles come to the conclusion that guest blogging for backlinks is bad.

In other words, they come to a very important AND right conclusion but they come to it in the wrong way.

This conclusion is usually that guest posts should be written only to contribute value (which is right) and as a result guest blogging for backlinks is immoral (which is wrong).

The notion of guest blogging for backlinks isn’t bad, here’s why:

Whether you’re guest blogging for links or not, you’re guest blogging for a reason. It could be for traffic, exposure or even to build relationships with a particular blogger. With this knowledge, you put all effort into your guest posts to ensure it helps you achieve your aim.

That doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing value, but what would you do if, when writing a guest post to get traffic, a particular tweak to your guest post can result in an additional 100 visitors? Would you implement that tweak or would you ignore it?

The same thing applies to guest blogging for backlinks. You don’t write guest posts for free, just to help the community. No, that’s often part of the reason but it is not the only reason.

It takes a certain amount of time and effort – and in some cases, money – to write the perfect guest post. Why not try to get the best from it, then?

If your purpose for writing a guest post is to gain backlinks, why not do your best to get great results from your efforts?

Now, the good news is whether you’re writing guest posts for backlinks, for traffic, for exposure or any other reason, the better your guest post, the higher your chances of success.

This is especially important when guest blogging for backlinks. Here’s why:

A lot of factors influence what Google and other search engines consider to be a great article today. Some of these factors are the quality of the content, engagement in the form of comments, and social shares. In other words, the more people share and comment on your post the more valuable it is deemed by the search engines – and the more results you can get.

People won’t comment on crap nor will they share it with their friends, so contributing quality content as guest posts will benefit you on the long run.

With that said, guest blogging with the notion of building backlinks, if done right, is not immoral.

How to Get the Best from Guest Blogging for backlinks

The worst way to get results from guest blogging as a link building tactic is to merely “guest blog”, and forget all the other important aspects – especially when building backlinks to a static website.

Guest blogging on its own isn’t very powerful, but when you combine it with effective content marketing you can expect to get great results.

To better understand this, here are a few ways to get results by guest blogging for links:

1. Have a blog: If you don’t want to have a blog you should at least have a kind of content hub. The aim is to publish regular content that ultimately serves as marketing material for your products.

These articles should be related to your niche  and you should publish them as often as possible.

Instead of linking only to your homepage in your guest posts, you should also regularly link to articles on your blog from your guest posts.

This will not only make the process look natural but more of your content will rank well in the search engines, your domain authority will increase and you’ll get more traffic and leads as a result.

Another benefit to having a blog when you publish regular guest posts is that you can get quality links from inside your guest posts to content on your blog that compliments your point. These links are often the most valuable form of links you can get.

2. ONLY Submit Quality Guest Posts: Guest blogging done incorrectly is not only ineffective, it can cost you more than you anticipate.

There are a lot of crappy, 500-word, spun-like guest posts on the internet today. The people putting out those guest posts think they’re helping their brand when they are silently destroying it.

Ask yourself, “will this guest post make a great article on my blog?” If it won’t, don’t submit it.

Here’s a checklist to help you know if a guest post is quality material:

  • Is it something you would publish on your blog?
  • Is it properly formatted and scanable?
  • If you wrote it, how much time and effort did you put into it?
  • If you outsourced it, how much did you pay for it and who wrote it for you?
  • Does it only contain links to your website and products or does it contain links to relevant and authoritative content on the internet?

If you’re willing to put in the effort, the good news is that the better your guest post the more successful it will be.

Your aim is to write a guest post that gets shared a lot and linked to. The value of a single guest post of this kind is worth a lot more than 10 crappy guest posts.

3. Target Related Blogs Only or Bridge Your Topics: If you have a website that talks about weight loss, submit guest posts to similar websites that talk about weight loss or look for a way to bridge your topic when submitted to unrelated websites.

For example, you can easily promote your weight loss website on a work at home mom website by writing a quality guest post titled “5 Weight Loss Tips for Work at Home Moms“. Do you see how such a guest post caters both to work at home moms and people who want to lose weight.

4. Don’t Focus Just on the Numbers: All things being equal, a guest post on a blog like Problogger is more valuable than 10 guest posts on blogs related to this one.

In other words, authority matters a lot.

Even though you’re guest blogging for backlinks, the better the quality of your blog – the better it is for you.

5. Be Unique: Don’t submit the same guest post to more more than one blog. Don’t use the same anchor texts or author bio in all your guest posts.

Be unique and learn to variate.

Guest Blogging for backlinks and Use of Anchor Text

When writing guest posts to build links, how you use your anchor text is very important.

The aim of your guest posts should be to make things look as natural as possible. To this effect, if you were to write 10 guest posts make sure you don’t use the same anchor texts in all ten of them.

To show you an example, if I were to write a guest post to promote this blog and I aim to rank for the keyword “guest blogging”, my author bio for 4 different guest posts should be something like these:

Bio 1

Joseph is a professional guest blogger with 2 years of guest blogging experience. His main aim is to help people learn guest blogging at GuestBloggingTactics.com

Bio 2

With over 2 years of experience with guest blogging, Joseph is no novice as far as guest blogging is concerned. He helps others learn guest blogging at his Guest Blogging Tactics blog.

Bio 3

Joseph Oni has mastered the art of guest blogging and he’s committed to teaching others what he has learned. You can follow his journey on his blog at GuestBloggingTactics.com

Bio 4

Joseph Oni eats, sleeps and dreams guest blogging. If you’re interested in learning guest blogging, make sure you check him out.

You’ll notice from the above example author bios that while the main keyword I want to rank for is “guest blogging”, it was only used directly twice. A variation of the keyword is used in other cases. The interesting thing about those keywords is that they also contain the main term, “guest blogging”, so they’ll influence my blog ranking for “guest blogging” to some extent.

Sometimes your anchor text should not even contain any part of the keyword you plan to rank for. Using generic terms such as “click here” or “check him out” as anchor texts can be very powerful too.

How to Send Your Pitch for Guest Blogging

The process of sending a guest blogging pitch should not be different from that of sending any other pitch, but the number of people doing it wrong, especially when guest blogging for backlinks, is very high.

Here are two example guest post pitches I got from a popular blog I run:

Example 1:

Example 2:

As you would have guessed, both of the above pitches were rejected.

When sending a pitch to a blogger, don’t tell the blogger that all you want is a dofollow link or any form of link in the first place.

It’s standard guest blogging practice, when you write a guest post you have to get a link. Any host who would prevent you from having a link in your guest post is abusing the very nature of guest posting and you shouldn’t bother with such a fellow.

However, how many links a blogger will allow is up to the blogger. Some bloggers will allow as many natural links as possible, as long as you don’t abuse the opportunity, while some will only allow one. It’s their choice!

Also, whether a blogger decides that links in guest posts will be dofollow or nofollow, it’s their choice.

The main issue is the fact that a lot of these bloggers will make it clear what you’ll be getting in their guidelines. Emphasizing the fact that you want dofollow links makes it clear that you don’t care about the blogger as long as you get your two dofollow links.

To make things worse, emails similar to this are often used by “spammy guest bloggers” and most bloggers you’ll be approaching get at least 5 of these kind of pitches every week. It doesn’t help you stand out in any way.

How to Send a Great Pitch

How do you send a great pitch, then?

Here’s an example of a great pitch for a guest post:

The pitch is a little personal because it was sent by someone who previously knew me. Yet, it’s an example of a quality guest post pitch and can be tweaked for someone you don’t have a relationship with.

The pitch is personal and shows that the person who sent it actually follows, or cares about what I do. He’s also giving me an option to check out the post he wrote and is willing to make it convenient for me to publish it by offering to send over the HTML.

From the pitch, it’s obvious that the person has studied my blog to know what works and what doesn’t. Hence, the title of the post in the pitch email.

As you’d have guessed, the guest post was accepted and published quickly.

The above pitch isn’t the ultimate guest posting pitch. No, the ones I personally use are different but I think it’s a perfect example of a pitch that get results.

Also, some bloggers will tell you how to send guest posts to them – either in a Word document, HTML or whatever – so make sure you adhere to these conditions.

The Importance of Understanding a Blogger’s Audience when Sending Your Pitch

When sending your pitch, the most important thing is to understand the audience of the blogger you’re pitching. The last thing you want to do is ask the blogger to “suggest” an idea for a post you should write.

That sucks! And a lot of people do it.

Even if you just discovered the blog you’ll be writing for, it’ll only take you few minutes to dig deep into the blog to see what sort of topics are published there.

Also, reading the guest blogging guidelines of a particular blog will make a lot of difference.

How to Find Blogs to Pitch Your Guest Post to

When writing guest posts for backlinks, it’s very important to find the RIGHT blogs to submit your guest posts to.

There are millions of blogs in every niche, but a lot of them have no value. Some of those blogs are content farms while some only publish guest posts. Blogs like these won’t benefit you. You want to target blogs that have real value.

While I’ll be giving you a few tips and tools to help you find these kind of blogs below, having metrics you use to determine which blog to target is also important.

Metrics to Find Blogs You Can Guest Post on

These metrics are what I use to determine “quality blogs”. You can use just one of these metrics, or you can use a combination of them all. You’ll get more results if you can combine all the metrics.

You should note that these metrics are subjective so it depends on what you want, and what you’re paying for should you desire to hire a professional guest blogger.

Pagerank: This is Google’s pagerank system. A blog with a Pagerank of 2 and above is okay in my books. The Pagerank of any website can only be 1 – 10. You can check the Pagerank of any website by installing the Google Toolbar or by using a pagerank checker website.

Alexa Rank: A blog with an Alexa rank of 400,000 and under is okay by me (I mean anything within Alexa 400,000 – 1); you can check the Alexa rank of any website by installing the Alexa toolbar.

Customrank: A blog with a Customrank of 30 and above is okay by me. The maximum Customrank any website can have is 100. You can check the Customrank of any website here.

Mozrank: A blog with a Mozrank of 3 and above is okay by me. The maximum Mozrank a blog can have is 10. You can check the Mozrank of any website here.

How to Find Blogs You Can Submit Your Guest Post to

While there are countless ways to find blogs that are willing to accept your guest posts, here are my favorite ways for finding blogs that will be willing to publish my guest posts.

1. Google Search Engine: The Google search engine is my number one tool for anything. By looking up a host of guest blogging related keywords you can find a list of sites that accept guest posts in Google. Here are some keywords you can start with:

{niche} + submit guest post

{niche} + write for us

{niche} + contribute

{niche} + submit an article

{niche} + contribute your article

{niche} + guest blogging

{niche} + guest posting

{niche} + guest blog for us

You should replace “{niche}” with your niche. For example, for the first example keyword, should I decide to write a post on a marketing blog it’ll be “marketing + submit guest post“.

2. MyBlogGuest.com: This is the number one guest blogging community online. Any article on guest blogging that doesn’t talk about this site is incomplete.

It has an active community of bloggers that want guest posts. By registering an account with them you can network with other guest bloggers and publish your guest post easily.

It’s also properly managed by Ann Smarty and there are guidelines that ensure it’s spam-free.

3. Alltop.com: This is the highest quality directory of blogs online; it contains only quality and authority, spam-free blogs. Almost all the blogs featured in this directory meet all metrics I cited above.

4. Technorati.com: This is one of the oldest blog directories online. With over a million blogs listed, you can be sure to find blogs in every niche.

5. List of Blogs that Accept guest Posts: Several lists of blogs that accept guest posts are springing up online today; with the right list you’ll have enough blogs that accept guest posts. Finding a list is as easy as doing a Google search for “list of blogs that accept guest posts”

How to Write a Guest Post that Brings Results Years after it is Published

When writing a guest post that brings results, there are a lot of factors you should consider to ensure your guest post brings results years after it is published.

1. Post quality: Make sure your post is of the highest quality. The better it is the more it will be shared, read and the longer it will last. These kind of posts have eternal value. In other words, their social value and authority increases every day and your site benefits from this.

Crappy 500 words articles won’t work this time around. Personally, I’d go for anything 700 words and above. Remember, the emphasis isn’t on the word count here but on the value of the article you’ll be writing.

2. Thematic relevance: Make sure your post is relevant to the blog you’re submitting it to. This should be easy if your website is relevant to the blog you’re writing for. If it’s not, look for a way to “bridge your topics” as I explained earlier in this article.

3. Author bio: The author bio is a very important part of the writing process. Make sure your author bio contains relevant introduction of you and what your website does and then use your keywords in your bio.

Have a targeted keyword and unless your keyword is very important, don’t use it more than twice in a particular guest blogging campaign. Focus on a lot of long-tail keywords; it could be 20, 50 or even hundred. You’ll get results as long as the keywords are related to the main keyword you want to rank for.

Don’t ignore your main keyword altogether. If it’s a really important keyword, don’t let it be used directly in more than 30% of your guest posts.

Increasing the Value of Your Guest Posts over Time

Once you’ve written a guest post for a particular blog, especially a major one, it doesn’t end there. You can actively work to increase the value of your guest post over time.

This can be done when you regularly link to your guest posts in your blog posts or via other guest posts. Not only does this complement the content you wrote, it also increases the value of the guest post you link to, while influencing the value of the link to your site in the process.

That’s Pretty Much It!

At over 3,500 words, I’d like to think this is the ultimate guide to guest blogging for backlinks.

Furthermore, I’d love to help you develop a guest blogging-based link building campaign for your website or brand. You should get in touch with me for more info.

Also, if you contact me as a result of reading this post I’ll give you a 10% offer on your order of 10+ guest posts. Just let me know in your message that you came from reading this post!

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Joseph O.

I'm Joseph O., the founder and admin of this site. I've mastered the art of guest blogging and I think it's a game changer. This blog will be sharing various guest blogging techniques that can help you take your business to the next level!

    4 Comments

  1. 2013/03/01 at 13:08

    Hey Joseph, I landed on to this page from the link of your guest post on Kikolani’s blog and I really loved the content. You have covered almost everything about guest blogging. Very informative post.

    Ram

    Reply
  2. 2013/06/02 at 6:05

    Thanks for the tips and the links, it was all very helpful, now I see why my article was rejected, lol. Thanks!

    Reply
  3. 2013/06/19 at 21:04

    First of all thanks Joseph for such a great and informatory post. It has really helped me out well. But I want to know one thing, will it be good if I use guest posting sites which are not related to my site’s niche?

    Regards.
    Sahil

    Reply
  4. 2013/06/21 at 7:33

    Awesome tips for starters looking to guest blog. Guest blogging is increasingly becoming an important technique to connect and build one’s online authority as well as community building and gaining quick backlinks for SERP. Thank you for coming up with this ultimate guide and sharing links to some great Guest Blogging communities.

    Reply

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