You already know that guest blogging is one of the most powerful link building strategies on the planet…
…but you also know that it’s a time-consuming pain in the butt!
Just look at all the work you have to do to get one guest post published:
- Find sites that accept guest posts
- Build a relationship with the blogger
- Come up with a topic
- Comb through guest post guidelines
- Write your article
- Edit your post
- Submit your post
- Go through rounds of edits
And sometimes all this effort gives you is trickle of traffic and a handful of new subscribers.
Isn’t it time to get the traffic and SEO benefit you deserve?
Today I’m going to share with you 20 tips that I’ve learned from publishing over 200 guest posts.
#1: Get Contextual Links
You may have read the ProBlogger article that claims Google will crack down on guest posting this year. While I don’t believe that for a second, I do think that they’re going to devalue links coming from author bio areas, like this:
Whenever possible, try to get a link embedded inside of your guest post. This will increase your CTR and give you a more sustained SEO benefit.
#2: Blog Comments = Traffic
Guest posts rock my world because they bring pre-sold, targeted traffic to my site that converts like crazy. But how the heck can you estimate how much traffic a guest post is going to bring you?
I cover a few metrics you can use to estimate traffic potential in my Definitive Guide to Guest Blogging. But I’ve found that the number of blog comments is directly proportional to how much referral traffic you’ll get from guest blogging.
As an example, I published this guest post on Search Engine Journal last month:
As you may expect, I was pumped and ready for some server-melting traffic…
…but it never came.
Even though the site has a top 3,000 global Alexa ranking:
I only got X visitors from the post.
I quickly realized why:
The site doesn’t get that many blog comments (most of their posts have about 5).
Blog comments are a sign of a legitimate, engaged community. While the content at Search Engine Journal is consistently superb, the traffic is more of the “hit and run” variety: they consume the content and leave.
And because of that they’re not very inclined to click through author bio links (another reason to get contextual links whenever possible!).
#3: Link to Your Other Guest Posts
If you’re knee-deep in SEO you probably already know about tiered link building. Tiered link building is where you “build links to your links”. Generally these links are from low quality web 2.0 properties or article directories.
But you can apply the same technique to make your guest post links more powerful…without having to build spammy tiered links.
I originally saw this idea on the KISSMetrics blog:
Basically, whenever you publish a guest post, link to your other guest posts.
With this strategy you’re getting “two links for the price of one” every time you publish a guest post.
#4: Get OCD Organized
If you scale guest posting even a little, you’ll eventually lose track of the guest posts you wrote…and who you wrote them for.
To make sure you don’t let anything fall through the cracks, I recommend setting up a simple Excel spreadsheet for every guest posting campaign.
Mine looks something like this:
As you can see, nothing elaborate. But it helps you keep tabs on the basics: what you send to who…and when. This way you don’t email the same person twice with a follow-up email or send two people the same guest post (I’ve made both of those blunders before!).
#5: Focus on Page-Level PageRank
As you may already know, the PR of the page your link is one is much more important than the homepage PR.
Although the two usually correlate, this isn’t always the case.
For example, I’ve published a few guests posts for my clients at Business2Community.com. This is a site with a PR5 homepage. However 100% of the guest posts I’ve published sit on PR n/a or PR0 pages.
Before guest posting, make sure you look at the page-level PR of some of their articles.
#6: Stalk Their Social Media Accounts
Another way to get an idea of a guest post’s traffic potential is to see how many followers they have on social network sites. In general, blogs tend to promote their guest posts the same way they promote their own stuff on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and the major social media sites.
So if you see a blogger with 5,000+ Twitter followers, it’s a fair bet that a lot of people will see your article when they tweet it out.
Also, Google is paying more and more attention to social signals. And links on pages with lots of Tweets, Likes and G+’s may pass more SEO juice onto your site.
#7: Add Co-Occurrences Around Links
According to SEOMoz, co-occurences — the keywords that surround your links — are replacing anchor text.
This means that adding your keywords around your link can help you rank for your target keywords.
So when you write your author bio be sure to add a target keyword or two near your link. This will help Google know what your site is all about.
Photo credit: Kevin Morris