Guest posting is among the most efficient ways for entrepreneurs and specialists to build their reputation as experts, to gain exposure towards a large audience and to attract new customers for their business. When you guest blog, you are not paid for the articles you contribute, but receive something equally, if not more, valuable: the right to post backlinks to your own blog or website. In other words, you receive free traffic from potentially qualified leads.
Before you start guest blogging, you should have a blog of your own and a portfolio of articles on topics of interest in your niche. This is a basic prerequisite because most blog owners or administrators will ask for some credentials – examples of your writing style and approach to various topics.
Assuming that you have developed a personal and fluent writing style and you can always produce reasonable samples of your work, the next critical step is finding guest blogging opportunities. It is not as easy as you may think. The best places where you should aim to get your articles published are specialised blogs or very popular ones, which are read by other people in your niche, potential customers and influencers.
Here are a few ideas to help you identify the right blogs on which you can try to get your content published:
1. Probe Your Own Network
You will have the highest chances to obtain a favourable answer from a blog administrator if you are recommended by a reputable person in your own network. Or, the blog administrator may even be your connection – this would be the best case scenario.
At any rate, before you start searching elsewhere, begin with your own network – either on LinkedIn, or by sending individual emails to some of the most prominent connections you have (never send a mass email with Dear Madam/Sir in the header!).
2. Check Your Competitors’ Backlinks
The golden rule in business is to be where your competitors are, as well. This is why you should perform a check on the backlinks appearing on their websites and social media accounts. This will give you an idea of the types of blogs they publish on.
Although it seems tempting to start emailing blog administrators right away after you have compiled the list, take the time to look for a menu option named ‘Submission Rules’ or ‘Write for Us’. If the blog has specific rules for guest bloggers, make sure you comply with each of them in your initial submission. If you miss your first chance, there is little hope that a second message will even be opened.
3. See Where Top Influencers Write
If you have been in business for some time, you already know who the top influencers in your niche are. If you’ve just opened your business, find out who they are and where they share their posts. It is possible that some of the blogs they post on are highly selective in their guest posting policies and they will not accept beginners. Keep these blogs in a separate list for a later moment when you’ve achieved a certain level of online notoriety through your guest posts.
4. Use Google
The simplest way to find a comprehensive list of blogs which accept guest blogging is to go to Google and type in the specific keyword for your niche followed by “write for us”, “guest post”, “contribute an article” and so on.
It is important to use a keyword (such as “online marketing”, ”logistics”, or “cloud computing”) because otherwise the first results will be blogs with a general character, which are not necessarily those among the preferences of your influencers and potential customers.
5. Search Blog Directories
Online blog directories such as Alltop and Technorati are very useful to help you identify guest blogging resources. The advantages of blog directories over Google Search is that the blogs are categorised by niche and by popularity.
The downside is that you cannot know from the off whether they accept blog posts and you will have to browse the blog or contact the administrator in order to find out.