Why Guest Post Opportunities Require Relationships, Time & Money! Firstly a small apology for the lack of content lately. Things have been pretty hectic for me, in a good way though so I shan't complain. I hope you all had some well deserved R&R over the festive period. Wishing you all Happy & Prosperous 2016! Let's get down to business.. If you have been reading my threads since the beginning you know that I say it like it is. I don't sugar coat anything and tell you one thing while doing another like many of the SEOs gurus. They tell you that creating amazing content will magically make you rank, while they are building links on authority websites in the background. Links matter. Links rule SEO. Nothing has changed and nothing will, so if you want to increase your rankings you need to constantly look for link opportunities. Guest posting has always been a great way to get niche links that give your SEO a nice solid boost. This is an area of SEO I've been researching and honing my skills on a lot lately, I'm speaking here from these experiences. Real high quality guest post opportunities are not $5, $10 or even $10 links. Why? Well, because they aren't easy to get. They take relationship building, favors, introductions, and sometimes bribes. Authority links is serious business involving a lot of money and anyone telling you something different is lying to your face. What does guest post outreach involve? There are so many services that offer "guest post links" but they really aren't real guest post links. This is because they are placed on blogs that the service provider owns. These blogs don't receive real visitors, they include links from any website and niche that will pay for them and they put a huge target on your back that screams "Hey Google, please come slap the shit out of my site and shove a penalty up my ass!" There is no outreach when you buy these low priced "guest post" links. It involves a VA writing a low quality article and tossing your link in the middle and hitting the "publish post" button. Real guest post outreach involves making contact with bloggers, writers, and website owners and convincing them that you can provide value to their blog by allowing your to post. Sounds simple enough, right? It's not easy because they get requests all day long and they know everyone wants links. It isn't some big secret. Links rule, don't you remember? Most websites that are worth guest posting on will require that you establish a relationship first. This could include exchanging emails for weeks or even months before asking. It could mean going back on social media for weeks or even months before you ask to guest post. This takes time and time is essentially money. Guest posting outreach is the most time consuming SEO process you will ever do. It isn't easy and when you consider the odds along with the actual work involved you can hopefully realize why real guest post opportunities require that you break out the big boy funds. How do you get the attention of bloggers? I've said it thousands of times: people in the position to offer a guest post opportunity get emails all day long. Most are spam and they delete them before they actually read the email. This also causes them to delete a lot of genuine requests simply because they are so sick of being bothered. "Dear sir, plz allow me to send you most best quality hand written native article. I would like a do-follow backlink to my website sir." That is what 95% of guest post requests look like. Do you blame writers and website owners for deleting every single email that they think even resembles a guest post request? This is why it's never a good idea to just send a request without the person knowing who you are. How do you get them to notice you? Follow them on social media and start to share their posts. On Twitter start to retweet them and reply to some tweets. Don't make it obvious that you are trying to kiss their ass. It's not going to happen overnight so just interact with them on social media for a few weeks. Comment on their main blog. If it's a writer you are going after figure out where they post most often and start to comment. Use your real name as the comment author and write long comments that make it look like you are interested in what they write. Now, after a few weeks or a month of communicating through social media when you decide to email them or contact them through their site your name has a good chance of ringing a bell. If they think they know who you are there is a much better chance of them opening and reading your email. It's free to reach out to people so why would I pay an SEO company to get the links for me? A lot of people assume that because outreach doesn't cost money that SEO companies are making a pile of money because they charge high prices for authority guest posts. Some relationships are considered priceless in this industry. Some agencies have spent heaps of money basically bribing writers and bloggers to the point that they take their requests with open arms. This includes fancy dinners, large bar tabs, trips, gifts, etc. If you don't think this happens you are clueless. It happens all the time. The big SEO agencies with the connections made them because they have deep pockets. They know what they had to do to put their SEO company in the position to offer these links, so they are charging accordingly. There are some websites that will never let you in, no matter how "high quality" your content is. They are gated by the agencies that have bought their way inside. So, if you believe the likes of Rand Fishkin and the other gurus you will be creating content until your hand falls off, while the people willing to pay get their links on the big sites (and they don't have to write a single paragraph of content! lulz). What software helps to automate the process? None. There are so many "influencer outreach" programs coming out and they are all shit. As soon as a new one launches there are thousands of outreach requests sent out to the same people and they all use the same message. It is funny that people think these writers and websites owners don't notice after a few that everyone is using the same format and the same pitch. The only one making out from outreach software are they people selling it to the clueless SEO sheep. I will put my manual outreach and Excel spreadsheet up against any of the software on the market and I promise you that I will always beat it. People are lazy and want to get results without putting in any work. Look at how many people ask how to do SEO with software like GSA. People are lazy and want an option that will do all the work for them. So, these software creators will keep coming out with "outreach" tools with fancy names and features, but when it comes down to it you are just wasting money and hurting your chances of getting a favorable reply by using them. There will be some people that disagree with this, but they are either the creators of the software or they are paying monthly to use the crap. I've secured guest post links on some of the hardest websites for both clients and myself and I can tell you that a software was never once used in the outreach process. Where do I find websites to approach for guest post opportunities? You are probably thinking: Forbes, Huffington Post, etc. Those are good links but it doesn't mean they are the best links for you. I suggest you always opt for niche relevant links on websites with a lot of traffic over websites with only great metrics. If I have a website that sells high end pet accessories would I want to get a guest post link on Huffington Post because of high Domain Authority (but nobody will actually click on my link and visit my site) or would I want a link on a popular pet blog with low DA but it will get thousands of people with pets on my website? The answer should be very clear to you. When you are looking for guest post opportunities you want to search for websites in your niche that get traffic. You want to make sales, not just boost your website Domain Authority. DA is a joke. It is a metric that Moz made up. They are a software company. They want everyone to get excited about their imaginary metric so you keep paying them $99/month for their tools. Use Google to find popular websites in your niche and then look for contact information and also look for pages like "write for us" and "contribute." You can also use Google search commands to really filter this out. This is helpful especially if you are working in a large niche. What is a good email template to use that will get the attention of a blogger? The correct answer is one you only use once and make custom for the person you are contacting. Outreach templates are a waste. There are many guru bloggers that post a template and guess what happens? Thousands of SEO noobs use them and spam the shit out of everyone using the same copy and paste email. The trick to getting the attention of a writer or website owner is to be someone they remember. You do this by building a relationship before you approach them as I mentioned above. Then, you need to create a pitch that reference the reasons why you were following them and how you are going to bring value to their website. They know you want a link. You don't even have to mention that. Tell them why you like their blog. What articles of theirs have you read in the past? What ones were your favorite? Where can they see some examples of your content? This all needs to be explained in 5 - 8 sentences. One mistake I see a lot of people make is writing a novel for their pitch email. They don't have time to read huge emails. If an email has 10 huge paragraphs it's going to get deleted. You should focus on writing a subject line that will get opened and then slam your point home in just a few short sentences. If you are memorable AND brief you will stand a much better chance of receiving a reply. Should I pay for links? Google says this is against their T.O.S. Everyone pays for links one way or another. All of the big companies are buying links like crazy. Think of all the big niches that are dominated by companies that do $XXX million every year. Do you think their SEO team is just writing "high quality content" and watching Rand and his white board Friday videos? Hell no! They are reaching out to every website and writer they can find to buy links. They are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on authority editorial links. This is a loaded question. Should you pay for spammy "guest post" links that come from blog networks that are bullshit fake sites? No. Should you pay for authority guest post links? Yes, if you want to get your hands on them with minimal work. Not only are some websites going to take a huge amount of effort to crack, but some of them will never let you in because they have walls in place that have a price to enter. That's just the way it is, and it's time that someone actually tells the truth. The gurus will tell you to create great content so the website wants to link to it. LOL. They only want to link to stuff that fills their pockets with cold hard cash. Welcome to authority link reality. Conclusion: The Truth You can do all the outreach and create amazing pieces of content, but the truth is that some high quality links will require you to pull out your credit card. Relationships and clever outreach will help you get some, but there are others that don't care about how compelling your content is.. they just care about your payment being processed. Will Rand ever do a whiteboard Friday telling the truth about authority links? Nope, never. The SEOs in that crowd will pump your ears full of shit until it begins to drip out of your eyes. I have no reason to lie to my readers and don't think I'm trying to sell you. I have more than enough business. I'm just here to shed some light on how it really is. Far too many SEO gurus are telling you one thing and doing the complete opposite. It's good to be back BHW. Questions, feedback or comments? - Fire away below. Until next time.. ciao for now!