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Digital Marketing

How to Solicit a Guest Post

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Today I am going to explain how to suggest a guest post, how this can benefit you, and why.

How Can Publishing Guest Posts on Other Sites Benefit Me?

Publishing guest posts on relevant, high authority sites, can be a great way to build your reputation and visibility, either for you personally, or for your business. The audiences of the sites where you publish can see what you know, how well you communicate, and become your audience over time. Done well, a smart guest posting campaign can play a big role in growing your business, as well as drive substantial SEO value to your site.
Take care to not implement such a campaign solely for SEO reasons, as this can lead you into trouble. Also, think about trying to get guest columns on the top sites that cover your market space. Since reputation and visibility are our primary objectives here, being a columnist on those types of sites is one of the best ways to do that.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s discuss how you go about suggesting a guest post.

  1. Identify your motivations. If you are simply looking to get links for SEO value, STOP, and start over.
  2. Make sure the target site has a relevant audience to your topic area of expertise. If it doesn’t, don’t pitch it.
  3. Study previously published content on the target site before deciding on an article topic to pitch.
  4. Come up with a suggested topic that will add significant value to the target site.
  5. Dig into detail on the site to figure out who you should make your pitch to.
  6. Determine how you are going to be able to contact that person. For example, email, social media, 3rd party introduction, etc.
  7. Study that person’s publishing activity, both on the site and in social media to learn as much as you can about them.
  8. If possible, before you pitch, connect with the person online and begin to build a relationship with them.
  9. When ready, construct a pitch that leverages what you have learned about that person. Your pitch should never come from a template.
  10. Send your pitch.

But Wait, There’s More!

For starters, know that no one is going to accept a guest post suggestion from you unless accepting that post benefits them. They just won’t. This is why understanding what they publish on their site is so important. Reasons for not publishing on someone else’s site include:

  1. If they don’t publish related content.
  2. If they don’t ever accept guest posts.
  3. If their audience is not relevant.
  4. If the site is not one where publishing a post will be positive for your reputation.

Once you have decided on a target site, you really need to do your research. If you are targeting an A-List site (or in SEO terms, a site with very high Moz Domain Authority), then you should plan on spending at least 4 hours gathering information on the site, and the person you are going to pitch, before sending in a pitch.
Honestly, there are sites that I write on now that took me years to get to, so that 4-hour number seems small. Remember, the benefit of these relationships, when they are the right ones, to your business can be huge, so don’t try to get by on the cheap. Think of guest posting opportunities as campaigns, and you start to have the right mindset to be very successful with them.
Lastly, this will only work for you if you are publishing world-class content. Creating a great reputation does not get done with 2nd tier content. It’s also important to be unique in what you publish. That means you need to be a subject matter expert, or get the help of a subject matter expert to create content on your behalf.
Don’t shortchange this part of your guest posting strategy either, because otherwise it will all be for naught. However, If you invest in guest posting, and guest columns in the right way, they can be a cornerstone of your reputation and visibility building process. Thank you.

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Eric Enge

Eric Enge is part of the Digital Marketing practice at Perficient. He designs studies and produces industry-related research to help prove, debunk, or evolve assumptions about digital marketing practices and their value. Eric is a writer, blogger, researcher, teacher, and keynote speaker and panelist at major industry conferences. Partnering with several other experts, Eric served as the lead author of The Art of SEO.

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