While there are a number of ways to hit the target number of links for your blog every month, the most effective and classy way is through guest blogging. It is the perfect opportunity to give value-packed content to your readers and in exchange, you can get a link or two for your blog. Believe you me, it is quite a fair exchange.
Naturally, finding the best guest blogging opportunities is the place to start for building links to your blog/website. Here is a quick step-by-step way to go about building links through guest blogging:
1. Build a blogging portfolio
Before you can approach blog owners and ask them to let you guest blog for them, you need to have something to show for yourself. Building a portfolio is a must to establish the quality of your work when you reach out to them. It will increase the chances of them saying yes to you.
If your company owns a blog, for example, make sure you have posted a good number of quality articles on it. You can use them as samples when you are reaching out to other websites.
What do I mean by quality? A detailed, well-researched, evidence-based, and insightful piece will make a quality post.
2. Research guest blogging opportunities
When you think you have enough blogging experience and enough number of posts to show, start looking for guest blogging opportunities.
Here are some points to remember:
- Make sure that the blogs you pick are of interest to your potential customers.
- Research a handful of keywords you want to be ranked for and check if any blogs/websites address these keywords.
- Keep a document with the list of potential guest post opportunities and track them continuously.
3. List out relevant topic ideas
It is important to have a good number of blog post ideas ready. That way when you reach out to the blog owner you will have some topic ideas right up your sleeve.
It is important to keep two things in mind while looking for topic ideas:
- The topic ideas should be relevant to the type of blogs you want to pitch to. For example, you can’t pitch a project management post idea to a sales blog.
- They should also be relevant to you or to your customers. If you write about topics in which your prospects will have no interest, you are wasting your effort.
4. Reach out to blog owners
In the document where you compiled the list of blogs you want to approach, maintain a column for the contact details of the blog owners. Reaching out is a pivotal point to securing the guest blogging opportunity.
Here are some tips you would do well to keep in mind:
- Write a well-crafted outreach email that is sure to get you a response.
- Be straight about the purpose of the email. Tell them that you want to guest blog on their website – don’t beat around the bush.
- If possible, reach out to them with a finished article. You will have a better shot at getting it published.
Remember that most blog owners are happy to get free content and will readily give you a link to your blog/website in exchange.
5. Optimize your guest post
First off, craft your guest post well. Include all the keywords you want to be ranked for but also ensure that they are relevant – don’t just dump them.
Start creating the content as soon you get a reply from the blog owner and submit the guest post to them in a timely fashion (preferably as a word document). Another important thing to remember is to make sure that the content is an original creation. Plagiarism is not taken lightly by blog owners or the search engines.
Now to the most important part: while writing the article, fish out 1-2 links to your blog or to your website and find a place to fit them in the article. Even better if you can make sure that you link to the keywords. But the key point to remember here is that you have to be subtle about it and not at all sound self-promotional. This is your perfect chance to design a traffic-driving inbound link.
Also, make sure you have a 2-sentence byline with a link to your website so that people who want to learn more about you will have a way to do so.
Ensure that you share all your guest posts on your social networks to maximize their impact.
6. Make sure to track your efforts and results
Invest in analytics to make sure you can track the visits, leads and SEO results from your guest posts. In addition to the link building value to SEO, you will also see other benefits as readers click on the links and visit your blog and website.
Keeping track of these results can help you adjust your strategy. For example, if you see that guest blogging on sales-focused websites isn’t bringing in much result, you can reduce your effort there and focus it elsewhere.
You can always buy links, but perfecting the art of guest blogging is the best way to create attractive inbound links. This is because guest blogging opportunities have many advantages besides link building; it can increase your reputation and boost your brand name, grow your blogging reach and social media exposure and more. Also, buying links and dumping them in random articles will look too self-promotional and will lack authenticity. Hence, it will fail to attract your readers – they can always sense click baits.