Blogger Outreach Best Practices – How To Write A Guest Blog Post For SEO
Before I get into the real life example of one guest post that moved my site to #1 on Google, let me tell you the 8 things I did and that you should always do in blogger outreach that will make all the difference with SEO.
I came up with these different criteria, they should be called blogger outreach best practices, that I have found make a difference between a powerful editorial link and a link that provides little SEO value.
When Google looks at a blog they are looking for signals that tell them the blog is legitimate and not just a place for website owners to get links (read: PBN).
If you look at any of the high authority blogs in any niche you will see that any post has certain things that send the signals to the search engines that the blog is legitimate.
1. Include Internal Links
Internal links, if you’re not already familiar with them, are links from one page of your website to another page of your website. It is a way to increase a users (and search engines) ability to navigate your website.
Typically in a blog you should link from one blog post to another, but in reality you should include several internal links in each post.
The best example of the value of internal links comes from the website that ranks in the top 3 for almost every single key phrase ever imagined…Wikipedia.
For example, if you go to the page about SEO on Wikipedia, you will see link after link pointing to other related pages in wikipedia’s website.
Google loves internal linking. Google expects to see internal linking. If you are running a blog, anytime you post any blog post be sure to include internal links.
When you are submitting a guest post, one of the reasons you want to know which blog you are submitting to before hand is so you can include a couple of internal links in the guest post.
2. Include Authority Links
Google hates link hogs. They don’t like to see websites that have plenty of external links pointing to it but almost none going out to other sites.
In other words, they want to see you share the love. It helps Google to be able to index the internet better when people freely link to other relevant sources when they blog about a certain topic.
So when you write a guest post include links (citations) to other relevant blogs that are related to the topic your blogging about (see external links in this post).
3. Optimize Your Link
Ok I know this seems really obvious but I have to put it in here because obviously this is the most important.
If you’re trying to learn how to do guest posting for SEO, you need to remember to include a link back to your (or a clients) website.
This is another reason you want to include authority links in the guest post, you want your link to be among the other authority links.
It makes you look like an authority site as well.
You will have more SEO success if you link to a deep page of your website (not your home page).
I will just leave you with one of the most important blogger outreach tips: If you are doing many guest posts it is in your best interest to get a mix of anchor text and many if not most of those should be phrases people would not normally search in Google.
In other words, don’t just get anchor text that is your main key phrase. Do variations, do your website name, sometime even just do your URL only.
Google expects to see a mix so mix it up. That will appear more natural and give you better results.
4. Readable Content
One of the easiest signals to Google or any search engine that a blog isn’t legitimate is blog posts with terrible english.
There is an obvious temptation to hire a content writing service for $3 an article to pump out 20 articles that you can turn into guest posts.
The problem with these types of articles is often times they are spun content (which is a big no no) or they are written by someone who barely speaks english.
As we will discuss in a minute one of the key factors of a good guest post is social signals. You’re just going to have so much more success with content that is well thought out and well written.
Apart from that, if you aren’t providing real value to another bloggers website why would you be guest posting in the first place. It should be a win-win-win situation between you, the blog owner and their readers.
If you don’t want to write the guest post yourself, hire a qualified writer who can give you great content.
5. Provide Great Content That Paints You As An Expert
Too many times I have seen “guest posts” that are less than 300 words. They say nothing and unfortunately wave a red flag that the only purpose was a link.
It’s extremely hard to provide content that has a lot of meat to it or real substance in less than 500 words. Many would argue that a truly good blog post should be above 2000 words.
The more engaging and useful content you can provide the more sharable your post will be, the more people will comment and the more you will look like an expert in your field.
When you can establish yourself as an expert in any field others will trust you more and be more willing to pay for products or services that you offer. If nothing else they will be more willing to link to other content that you have created.
Again, if you feel like you can’t write like an expert, then hire an expert to write like one for you.
6. Post On Blogs With Good Social Signals
The new page rank is social signals. If a blog has tons of Facebook likes and Twitter followers and users comment like crazy, you better believe the blog posts are going to rank high in the search engines.
One of the things you should highly consider when finding a blog to guest post on is the social signals the blog has already. There are a couple of tools out there that I already use to check social signals of any blog.
This tool will quickly check a URL looking at things like Facebook likes, shares and comments, Tweets, and Google +1s.
It can give you a quick gauge of how social a blog is.
This tool is similar to #1 except it also shows LinkedIn and Stumble Upon results as well. It also differs in that it acts almost like a toolbar to a page.
7. Guest Post On Relevant Blogs
The folks at Google have said time and time again over the years that relevance is a major factor in link building.
And links from relevant websites have shown that they do hold a lot of weight.
Since you are in control of which blogs you post on, instead of trying the blanket approach where you do as many as possible regardless of relevance, try to pick 5-10 blogs that are totally relevant to your site.
If a few relevant links truly are more powerful than 1000 spammy blog links then it is a much better use of your time and energy to convince a few relevant authority blogs to allow you to guest post.
8. The Pitch
If you can’t get past the gatekeeper of a blog, or convince the blog owner to let you write for them then none of the previous 7 steps will do you any good.
There are right and wrong ways to pitch an authority blog your guest blogging services and making a couple of key mistakes in the beginning can kill your chances.
Here is a great example of how NOT to pitch someone. (This is a guest post pitch I got recently)
Spend your time trying to build a relationship with a blog owner before you ever pitch them. Ask them a question, tell them something about their blog that really helped you. Then after they respond ask them about a guest post. Check out this post I did on guest post pitching that goes more into this process.
Where To Go To Find Good Blogs To Submit To
One of the most time consuming and difficult parts of guest posting (apart from writing amazing articles) is finding the right blogs to guest post on, and then having them agree to post your article.
Because I do SEO for clients every single day I needed a good list that I could work from. I spent many many hours putting together an extensive list of blogs that accept guest posts in pretty much every category.
I had friends in the SEO industry beg to share the list with them which I finally did.
I decided to make the list available to anyone who is serious about building their brand through guest posting.
So I created Guest Post Tracker.
It is my (always updated) giant list of blogs that will accept your guest posts which you can search by category.
It also keeps track of all your submissions so you know exactly which blogs you have submitted to.
I do charge a very small fee to access the list. This is to keep the blog owners from being slammed with thousands of requests, and so I can afford to keep the list awesome and updated.
I also have built some awesome software to not only track submissions, but also to help you use guest posts to optimize your site for any key phrase.
Once you join, I also have video tutorials that teach you how to use blogger outreach to dominate the search results. I show you some pretty sneaky tactics that force other blogs to pass maximum link juice to your site.
Give it a try. Start using Guest Post Tracker.