Guest posting is as old as backlinks building. Before it was bastardized, it was seen as a white-hat method of building links that point back to your blog, hence increasing its credibility. Well, I wouldn’t want to call it a grey-hat method of building backlinks since it is still very much effective if done the right way.
As long as the posts are not promotional but, it is adding value to the readers, you are safe. In fact, most bloggers will reject your article if you break these first two commandments. Nobody is ready to take the risk of being penalized by Google for pointing to irrelevant websites, not even blogs that accept certain fees before posting your guest article on their blogs.
During the course of guest blogging, we often target blogs with high Domain Authority (DA) because they are capable of boosting the credibility of your blog. This is one of the reasons why guest blogging is a task that is a little difficult to carry out now.
You will face a lot of rejections from bigger blogs because they already have enough content and seldom post new ones. Besides, the only blogs available are not having high DA. The ones having high DA may charge you as high $100 for each guest post. Damn! That is quite expensive.
Consequently, I have put this article together to walk you through how I was able to pitch my article to a blog having over twice as much DA than the blog I was working on has. It wasn’t that difficult and it basically includes these things:
- Searching for blogs in my niche
- Filtering out those that accept guest posts and their guidelines.
- Further thinning out the list by checking the Domain Authority (DA) (My target was DA>40).
- Harvesting their email addresses.
- Sending my pitch mail.
- Following up the previous mail with a new one.
- Getting positive replies.
First of all, I created a spreadsheet to input all the details of the blogs I am targeting so that I won’t lose count of them. Or, probably send the same email twice to the same blogger. Also, to make sure I know when it’s time to send a follow-up email, etc.
You can copy the Google sheet template that I created for this purpose.
1. Searching for blogs in my niche
For this outreach, I needed blogs that are into SEO or Digital Marketing and Blogging tips, most preferably, the ones that focus solely on any of these two and may be closely related ones like PPC, Email marketing, Social media marketing, etc.
I did some quick queries on Google and I got some lists of blogs in this niche. Quite impressive! The 2 that were quite helpful are: Feedspot and Bloggerspassion. I wasn’t truly satisfied with the result I was getting since some of the blogs in the list are no longer around while others already removed the “write for us” page. As a result, I searched for more alternatives.
Finally, I got one! I got hold of some of the methods I can use to refine my search queries to get more accurate results- Advance search queries.
Some of the queries I used are:
- “write for us” SEO
- “Submit post” SEO
For these ones, you have to change the keyword to your niche’s own. In my experience, it will be “SEO” or “Blogging”.
- keyword intitle:” write for us”
- keyword intitle:” write for me”
- Keyword intitle:” contribute to”
- Keyword intitle:”submit” + inurl:blog
- Keyword “submit a guest post”
- Keyword inurl:/guest-post/
- Keyword “guest post”
- Keyword “guest post by”
- Keyword “accepting guest posts”
- Keyword “guest post guidelines”
- Keyword “guest author”
- Keyword “guest article”
- Keyword “guest column”
- Keyword “become a contributor”
2. Filtering out those that accept guest posts and their guidelines
Even though some of the blogs listed in those sites naturally accept guest posts, some no longer do. Again, different guidelines for different blogs. I had to take note of all this information if I want to create a well-personalized pitch.
Moreover, some blogs deliberately hide their “write for us” page may be to discourage spammers. But, nothing is hidden from Google, right? Except if it’s kept in the robot.txt file. Haha. Once I get to blog and I am having difficulty locating the “write for us” page, I simply head to Google to use this search query: "write for us" site:blogengage.com. Now, there are several variations to this too, like it was listed above.
With this, I am able to see the page I was looking for and have access to guidelines. I don’t need to hammer it into anybody ears on how it is important to read the guidelines, because it often contain some information that will determine the approval or rejection of your article.
Some may go as far as adding some strings of codes or texts you must include in your pitch, all in a bid to dissuade the schemes of scammers.
3. Further thinning out the list by checking the Domain Authority (DA)
Yes, I needed backlinks, but I want the quality ones. Not the backlinks that will add little or no value to my blog. What then will be my return on this investment (in this scenario, I invested a lot of my time)? I was more interested in the quality of the links not the quantity of backlinks I got. If I get a high quantity of quality backlinks, that is even much better and good for me.
A link from BBC will do you more good than many links from blogs with DA<20. You now the get the picture I am painting right?
I used this tool to check the DA of the blogs and removing the blogs that didn’t meet my benchmark.
4. Harvesting their email addresses
Luckily, some of these blogs have their email addresses included in the guidelines pages. Some already have a form through which you can pitch your article to them and maybe even send them a copy to review.
For those that have an email address, I got them. For others that don’t have, I try checking them with Hunter- a limitedly free tool. I am on a low budget, so I don’t want to pay for any of the plan since the free plan was. To a great extent, helping me the way I wanted.
But, in case this tool is unable to get me an email address associated with the blog, I tactically pitch my article through their contact us form. I know this is crazy, yea. After this, I always get an acknowledgment email, fortunately, I can reply back to this email and send a proper pitch. Yippee!
5. Sending my pitch mail
I always take my time to make sure the email I am sending to every blogger is something they can relate with because I try to create an impression that I spent time on their blog, reading the articles.
It is not necessary I make them feel like I visit their blogs frequently, No, In fact, most of them will take this to be a lie. One secret is that they need your article too. So, why waste time praising and hyping them instead of going straight to the point.
Just let them know what value you are offering to them and their readers. That is all that matters.
To do this, you can give a brief insight into what you addressed in the article and how it will benefit the readers.
In my own case, I offered some big bloggers free access to our premium SEO tools. Surprisingly, this worked well too. In return, they will personally write a review on the software so that their readers can read it. Cool right?
Summarily, I include a short introduction in the email, featuring my name and what I do. Then, I briefly talked about something that picked my interest on their blogs. Afterwards, I propose the value I am offering to them without even mentioning backlinks. I don’t need to tell them how the article is meant to embed links back to my blog. They know this already, I shouldn’t reiterate it.
7. Following up the previous mail with a new one
For the range of DA, I was targeting, I should normally expect that these bloggers get tons and tons of guest post pitch every day that they start seeing emails like this as spam. In fact, most of the other blogs that stopped accepting guest posts did so because they didn’t want to get spammed anymore.
Consequently, there is a very high probability that my own pitch may get lost in these other emails. Or they may not take time to properly read through it for proper consideration. Hence, the need for a follow-up email.
The follow-up email should just remind them that you have previously sent a mail they forgot to reply. Endeavor to quote the previous email in this new one for easy access and for reference.
I’d recommend just sending a follow-up email once. After the first one, if you are not getting any reply, back-off. I repeat, back off. But then, this is just my suggestion.
8. Getting replies- positive or negative or no-reply
If you have done everything right, you will get most of your pitch replied. Rejection is not alien to pitching an article too. Some may reject you pitch outrightly, maybe because it’s not good enough or maybe because they feel your blog is not popular enough. Despite all this, you shouldn’t be deterred. Just pick the valuable lesson and keep doing your thing. Rightly.
No matter the reply you get to your pitch, you must remain focus and keep improving on your tactics. Also, you shouldn’t try to spam these bloggers by sending pitches that are not personalized enough. Do these and you are good to go.