The Ultimate Guide to Guest Blogging and Outreach
Guest Blogging Outreach is one of the most popular link building strategies. What makes Guest Blogging really effective and how to achieve maximum results with minimal time spent? Get access to our full Guest Blogging Guide and learn more about how to do Guest Posting, which outreach emails can be more effective, how to control Outreach in the company and other important points.
Guest blogging is one of the most effective methods of link building
There are several guest blogging guides available online. But most of these articles and videos are created for informational purposes only. They are created for beginner marketers and mostly contain basic information. They include answers to basic questions like ‘what is guest blogging’ and ‘how it works’, etc. Such content usually covers obvious information and simple explanations without any practical application.
We have been engaged in outreach and guest posting for the past 6 years. During this time, we have practically figured out the advantages and disadvantages of different techniques. We have learned how to better shape relationships with website owners and how to cut bounce rates in outreach. Finally, we have understood how to make the most efficient use of time and budget of the company. This information and a lot of examples are shared in this guide. A full version of the guide and our free guest blogging websites’ list are available for our users on a subscription basis.
Many marketing agencies treat guest blogging as their favorite way of link building. Many well-known marketers argue against buying links, but they actively use outreach. Guest blogging (also known as Guest Posting) isn’t a new method of getting traffic and backlinks. It is widely used by SEOs and the major SEO companies due to its high-efficiency.
Marketing explains Outreach as a method of link building done by writing messages and getting replies from editors and website owners. Though Outreach doesn’t imply purchasing links, it also doesn’t exclude it. There are more effective ways to make website representatives publish your content for free.
We have collected a lot of knowledge based on the methods of guest posting in this detailed guide. It includes creating email templates and collecting the database of websites. It also considers the process of automating guest blogging at a scale of marketing agencies. This guide intends to cover only those practices that have proven their efficiency. It does not just list different guest blogging techniques. This guide ensures that guest posting methods included in it indeed work in the current digital environment, because we frequently adjust and update them.
What are the benefits of Guest Blogging?
• Referral traffic. It is the number one goal of guest blogging. Referral traffic to your website is a sure sign of high-quality guest blogging. If your guest post links don't result in visiting your website then their effectiveness in search engine promotion is doubtful.
• Backlinks. Guest blogging allows creating an outstanding reference profile with high positions in search engines and also offers several other benefits. In the long term, marketers use guest blogging for their brand building.
• Branding. Guest blogging at popular websites is an incredibly useful tool for shaping the company's or your personal brand. The visitors of other sites read your guest posts. They remember your brand, your name, the name of your company or service if they find your content interesting. They can also search it on Google and visit your website. As a result, it could have significant benefits for your business. Many of them are ready to become your customers. And may also become loyal customers of your products and company.
How does Guest Blogging work?
Guest blogging can be used both by a single person and by a team. Everything depends on your needs and opportunities. By default, we assume that one person is in charge of guest blogging. In the final section, we will tell you how to scale and automate this process in a business framework. We will also cover the process areas that allow you to save the budget and the expenses involved. Let's talk about how guest blogging works.
Guest blogging includes:
- Searching for websites to publish content;
- Evaluating the websites in order to drop low-quality sites and sites with low website traffic;
- Sending first communication emails;
- Communicating with site owners;
- Analyzing website content;
- Writing articles on specific topics;
- Sending written articles for publishing and control purposes;
- Supporting posts in social networks and link building.
* We put 3 and 4 points separately since these actions need different qualifications. So, we recommend assigning them to different employees. To make it easier, you may combine both points in your correspondence with editors and site owners.
Each aspect requires an efficient approach and skills to achieve good results. Before we discuss them in detail, let’s consider the common mistakes of guest blogging. By understanding these mistakes you will be able to avoid them in your work.
How do others usually do outreach and what are the errors?
Most guest blogging and outreach mistakes are not errors in a classic sense. But these are the actions that reduce your campaign’s effectiveness. Sometimes it is a significant mistake. As a result, the percentage of rejections from site owners may increase.
Many emails may simply remain unanswered. Follow-ups and any other actions may not make sense. Also published guest posts may not get referral traffic. The backlinks in these posts may not have any positive effect in promoting your website in search engines.
Let's figure out why it happens and how to avoid it.
How not to search websites for Guest Blogging?
There is a universal and standard method to find websites for guest posting used by many SEOs. But it is becoming less effective each year. The essence of such an approach is in using the following Google search queries:
category + "write for us"
category + "write a post"
category + "write an article"
category + "write on"
category + "become a writer"
category + "become an author"
category + "join as an author"
category + "submit a post"
category + "submit an article"
category + "create a post"
category + "content guidelines"
category + "guest posting guidelines"
category + "guest blogging guidelines"
Thus, it is possible to find pages that describe guest post guidelines to get published. Or, it refers to pages with login options that may be required to submit posts. In theory, websites collected by this method state that they need either content or contributors.
In reality, sending emails with such approach has an extremely low conversion rate, and most emails remain unanswered. The reason is that site owners and administrators receive dozens or even hundreds of such emails, which they don't want to answer or may have no time to answer. Some of them may even configure automatic answers with the following text:
"We receive a great number of emails and unfortunately cannot reply to everyone. If you feel that you have high-quality content that we can publish, send it in a response to this email, we will notify you in case of publication. If within 2 weeks you don't get any reply it means that your content isn’t good enough and you can publish it elsewhere".
Here is an example of such auto-reply:
It is evident that your content won’t be published irrespective of its good quality. The reason is the same. An employee on the other side just cannot read and assess hundreds of articles.
In fact, most of these articles are nonsensical, and overtime administrators stop checking and publishing guest posts. It happened to Blogher.com that published content from contributors for a long time. Eventually, they abandoned this practice.
The same also applies to both About.com and Lifehack.org. These sites merely use in-house journalists or a limited number of proven contributors.
This method was very effective when guest blogging wasn’t so popular. Our link builders used it for a long time, but we also see a decrease in its practical efficiency each year. The percentage of unanswered emails has also increased. It is primarily evident in popular niches.
The websites you see on the first few pages of SERPs will reject or ignore your emails in 90% cases. A massive amount of spam emails sent to the site administrators every day doesn’t leave them another choice.
It is also necessary to consider another drawback of this method. It refers to the low quality of websites found by this method as compared to other search methods. These sites commonly have low website traffic or contain many Free-for-All links. Also, many websites are removed from the list after being reviewed. Eventually, only a small percentage of them are left to work with. Hence, several years ago we completely abandoned this practice in favor of other more effective methods. They are listed below.
Which ranks are useless while selecting the websites?
So, you may have a considerable list of sites for outreach. Now, you need to drop the sites with low SEO indicators and also those sites with questionable value. You need to exclude sites that have no practical benefits before sending emails. But it is sometimes managed in doubtful and ineffective ways.
Marketers usually trust a single rank of the many popular SEO ranks: PA and DA by MOZ, AR and DR by Ahrefs, SEMrush Rank, and Citation Flow MJ to name a few. They usually analyze websites in the following way:
"For example, since this website has a high DA score, it implies that it is a good one. The other website may have a lower DA score; it implies that is not as good as the first one. I will use only those websites that have a DA score above 45 since these sites are of high quality."
This may be misleading due to the following reasons. Several marketers may not even know about this. Almost every popular SEO tool has its internal ranks to check the quality of websites. You have to understand that these SEO ranks are more or less artificial. They merely show a subjective perception of website quality specific for each SEO tool. In other words, reality and SEO ranks are entirely different.
There is no SEO tool, even with the best software at its backend, that can exactly mimic how Google evaluates sites. All the quality assessment algorithms used by them to check websites are approximate. So, they are not an accurate metric to determine the quality of sites.
Many websites may have high SEO ranks, but these are the sites that have many Free-for-All links. Many websites are under Google Penguin (and other filters), and they also have high SEO ranks. If you publish a guest post with a link on one of these sites your website could be at risk of being put under Google sanctions.
Which emails are ineffective for outreach and why?
It sounds weird, but the content of most outreach emails isn’t thoroughly considered. Typically, marketers believe that it is enough to just send an article. Unfortunately, it is not enough. Site owners and their administrators receive tons of emails daily. They may hardly notice your email amongst them.
Here are examples of ineffective outreach emails:
The sender provides different article topics to choose from but hasn’t received approval for cooperation. In general, such an email has an imposed nature, which means the sender is ready to follow any requirements to place a link in the article.