This is a guest post by Annie Chopra, an author and entrepreneur. She specializes in the fields of content creation and marketing and is currently running digital media brand She TheQueen to empower women across the globe. Annie loves to travel, read, and write.
Guest posts are incredibly common amongst the writer and blogger community, essentially because of the search engine optimization benefits and networking potential they demonstrate. Additionally, if you are a writer, posts for commercial websites can a great way for you to get an additional income stream as well as more credibility for your work.
Strategically, guest posts can be an exceptional way to promote your own blog or brand and create a network of backlinks. Nonetheless, despite there being so many places to choose from and even though there are many benefits to it, it can be difficult to find the right place for you to guest post, especially if you’re new to blogging.
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Now, what really defines the “right” place? I believe it to be a place where: a) you can achieve your goal (promotion/income/both), b) a place that fits your niche, and c) a place where your work is valued.
Most importantly, a guest post should be in a place where it is mutually beneficial to the writer as well as the blog or website. You should provide as much value as you are being provided.
So, now that you know what the right place comprises, let’s get into the details.
Before starting your search
1. Define your purpose
Before you begin your search you need to understand what you are looking to gain out of this collaboration. That means you need to understand and define the purpose of your guest post. Are you looking for a place where you can gain more traction and subscribers for your personal website? Are you hoping to promote your latest product? Are you growing the links to your website in order to improve your search rankings? Is additional income what you desire? Or is it a bit of both promotion and income? Once you know your purpose it will become easier to narrow down your options from the millions of websites worldwide that are currently accepting guest posts.
2. Decide on the right sized websites/blogs
A website has many characteristics that help us understand it, one of the main ones being size. The “size” of a website is represented through its traction and engagement. There are three major divisions in terms of size; small, medium and large. A small website can have anywhere between a couple hundred to a couple of thousand monthly readers and around the same amount of followers on social media. These are best for guest posts if you are just starting out and want to create backlinks to your personal blog or brand. In most cases, small websites won’t be able to pay you but will be happy to cross-promote.
The medium-sized blogs/websites have a readership base of around 10,000 to a couple hundred thousand. In contrast to small websites, these are a great platform to earn additional income. Finally, the large websites have a readership starting at approximately 500,000.
While some well-established blogs might have paid guest posts, many look for a barter trade whereby they provide you a platform and you provide them a guest post. These are the websites you choose when looking to increase your chances of traffic and/or serious backlinks. While it might take more effort to get published in these, they are well worth it.
Every niche will have these three sizes of blogs/websites, according to your defined purpose you can find the right place for you to guest post. Remember to start with a long list and keep your options open. You will narrow it down over time.
3. Engage with shortlisted websites/blogs on social media
Finally, you have to take into account the vision and voice of your shortlisted websites. You don’t want to have a guest post in a blog you don’t enjoy reading or in a website whose vision you don’t relate to. While your selected websites might have the same niche as you, you need to find the one that will truly suit your brand voice. Therefore, you should start by engaging with the selected websites, subscribe to their newsletter and follow them on your social media. This is also a great way to introduce yourself to the websites; people are always flattered to hear you enjoyed their content.
Additionally, engaging through social media will allow you to see how the websites treat their readers and will help you spot red flags if there are any, and see how generous they are with promoting guest posters and other websites. Remember to also pay attention to how the writers engage with the website, this will showcase whether they are a credible platform and the right place for you to guest post.
How to find websites accepting guest posts
Using search engines
When you search for a website in your niche on Google you will get a vast array of options. However, not all these sites will be open for guest posts, so it’s best to narrow your search by including terms likely to be used by websites looking for guest posts plus your niche or topic. For example:
Home Décor + "Guest Post"
You could also try some of the following:
your niche + “write for us”
your niche + “write for”
your niche + “guest posting”
your niche + “guest post written by”
your niche + “guest post guidelines”
your niche + “contribute an article”
And so on. You can also switch “guest post” to “submissions”, “freelance writers”, “freelance guidelines”, etc. For WordPress sites, you can also have a search of author pages. A lot of author pages can mean a lot of guest posters, or you may uncover a specific guest post author, like Lyrical Host uses.
Using social media
If you are looking to guest post in a small-sized website/blog the best way to find one is on social media. You can search for the hashtags and “guest post” related keywords for your niche on Twitter and look for influencers, bloggers or brands that run an active blog.
Facebook groups can be invaluable for finding opportunities in a more closed environment. Try joining or checking out blogging groups and seeing if they have guest post threads, or start your own if the rules allow. There are also some Facebook groups specific to guest posting and collaborating, so use the search bar and see what you can find.
Leveraging your network
Make the most out of other collaborations – e.g. podcasts, bundles, or giveaways – by tying in a guest post as part of your arrangement. Even better, you can suggest it if people approach you with one of the above. It saves a lot of time you’d otherwise spend on research and email pitches.
Use your competitors as inspiration
Find out where your search competitors and other people in your niche have guest posted. If you already have SEO tools, they likely have an option for searching a website’s backlinks. If not, try Moz’s Link Explorer (you can get some data for free). Have a look for guest posts your competitors have done and pitch the site for a guest post too if you can see they’re still accepting posts (and if you can’t find any information about it, it’s worth emailing them to ask anyway).
Through these tips and the three steps provided you will be able to find the right place for you to guest post. Nonetheless, it is your responsibility to ensure that you receive the most value out of your guest post. You have to be patient when sending out pitches and always deliver an incredible quality of work. Remember, a guest post should be mutually beneficial, and one of the most important benefits of a post is for it to be quality content for the readers.
Now that you know how to find the right place for you to guest post, you can repeat the steps and create a network of websites to grow your writing skills and your brand. Happy hunting!
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