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How to guest post for idiots

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by BadyBoySEO, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. BadyBoySEO

    BadyBoySEO Regular Member

    Joined:
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    In virtue of having a contact page with an email address on it, I receive a huge number of requests for guest posts. The vast majority of these prospective guest posters never get one piece of content on my site, generally this for one of two reasons:


    1. There outreach sucks.
    2. There content sucks.

    Many have hailed guest posting as the SEO tactic of 2013 but very few people I come across seem to have a clue about how to make the most from this link building tactic. If people were to adopt a more thorough approach to guest posting they would be gaining some valuable links which will serve them well for years to come, those who rush in and take what is essentially a spam mindset will not only harm guest posting as a valuable link building method but will probably not get much return from it.

    Selecting Sites
    Many who go into guest posting operate with the quantity over quality mindset. This is somewhat understandable as SEO in the past has been about getting a ton of links regardless of how dirty or poor they are. Selecting the right sites to place your posts on is crucial when undertaking a guest posting campaign and will reflect how much you get out of guest posting. Finding opportunities is easy, I found 10 decent opportunities this morning by just searching 'main keyword guest post'. There are a number of different variations you can try. Though you can often get guest posts on sites that don't explicitly offer guest posting opportunities, this involves getting your outreach right.

    Sites To Avoid
    • Sites built for guest posts. Place an article up on myblogguest and you will probably get about 20 offers from such sites. I have a couple of posts on such sites and they seem to bring very little in terms of positive SERP improvements. Many of these built for guest post sites are like the content farms of old and should be avoided. A perfect example can be found here, I found this particular gem on the Blogger Link up newsletter which can on occasion can turn up some reasonable opportunities.
    • Sites without traffic. Again often these sites are similar to those in the above category and will generally host low quality content and some guest posts thrown in for good measure. Often SEO's are focused solely on getting links from high PR sites, but when targeting a good opportunity you should think about whether the site gets real visitors who might actually click through to your content. PR of 4 might sound impressive but when you see a link profile which includes a ton of spam and porn links you may think again.
    • Some pay per post sites. There are some pay per guest post sites that add value and are worth paying to have some articles placed on, but some aren't. I know a webmaster in my main niche that accepts paid posts, his site is useful and high quality with a pure whitehat back-linking approach. Paying for an in post link here may bring some value. Others like the ones you will find on Fiverr will probably add no value and you would be better served paying a VA to do outreach for you.

    Outreach
    If you have deemed a site worth pursuing for a link, it is time to move onto outreach. I get people asking for guest posts on a daily basis, the majority of outreach attempts are awful.

    Bad Outreach
    Example 1:
    Hello Webmaster,
    I would love to get backlinks from your site.
    I will write you a guest post of 500 words and
    in return you will give me two backlinks.

    Example 2:
    Here is my guestpost will you place it on your website.

    I get requests that are worse than the both the above examples. But hopefully you understand why the above shouldn't be done.

    Good Outreach

    Example
    Hello,
    I love your site "example.com", it has some great content on it.
    I particularly like your piece on "blah" and would love to have a piece of
    my mine featured on your site. Do you have any particular content you are looking for?
    I would be willing to tailor my content to suit your audience/site.
    If you want to see what content I have written, you can check 'my site' out.
    If you have no opportunities I am sorry for taking up your time.
    Many thanks, "name"

    I'm sure you could formulate a better outreach email, but the above example would be a good start. A good initial outreach can lead to you building some long term mutually beneficial relationships and is worth the time and effort. You could always outsource this part of guest posting to a competent Virtual Assistant, but personally I like to do this myself. Asking about what content a site would like will massively increase your response rate and helps in building relationships.

    Future Proofing Guest posting efforts
    As with any type of SEO the goal posts are always moving and their indications that Google make the move to devalue some poor guest posting or guest posting in general. It is important to make moves to future proofing your guest posting activity, so if Google does make a move against those engaging in guest posting your efforts aren't wasted.


    1. Avoid over-optimized anchor text. I personally use generic anchor text in all my guest posts, while this overly cautious I want to ensure my hard earned links remain valuable in the long run. Google has already taken action against over-optimized anchor text so its sensible to make efforts to diverse anchor text anyway.
    2. Links in content, rather than in author bio profile. The easiest way for Google to take action against guest posting as link building tactic would be to devalue links in author bio or bottom of the page summaries. Links in this position typically signal that a piece of content is a guest post, so I personally avoid them again this probably overly cautious. Instead use the rel=author markup or something similar.
    3. Selecting the right sites. Again selecting the right sites will help ensure that backlinks from guest posting aren't overly devalued in the future. The worse guest posting opportunities are no better than having your article placed on a major article directory and this type of guest blogging won't remain a feasible white hat option in the future.

    If you can't use guest posting successfully after reading and properly implement these tips, there is probably no hope for you. I admit I'm probably overly cautious in regards to guest posting but I like to try and position myself for future updates rather than simply react to them.