SEO Recipes – What Makes The Perfect Guest Post
Hello again! Welcome to another episode of “Krista talks about SEO” with me, Krista Grenier, your friendly neighborhood digital marketing manager. Today we will be discussing one of the White Hat SEO techniques that I touched on in my last blog post, Guest Posting.
Guest Posting as a definition sounds super easy. Write a blog post about the topic of your choosing (preferably with some links back to your site in it) and get someone to publish it. Easy business, right? I am here to tell you folks, that this isn’t necessarily the case.
Coming up with original blog post content ideas can be difficult. Actually writing the post (especially when you’re not an expert on the topic) can be difficult. And last but certainly not least, getting site owners to actually respond to your content ideas seems almost near impossible. Looking for the exit door of this strategy? Not so fast. While Guest Posting can often feel like the insurmountable task, I am here to tell you today that I have a some tips (my recipe I like to call it, it’s nearing the holidays and I am very into baking). So sit back, relax, and let’s discuss how to effectively guest post!
Step 1 – Angles AKA Should You Be Writing This?
When my team and I would brainstorm how we wanted to tackle our backlinking goals, we would often separate sites up by angle, or, topic. This might seem confusing, but let me explain. Your angle is like the flour in a cake, you cannot have a successful cake without the flour, and you cannot have a successful Guest Post without an angle. Every site you will ever have to backlink for will have a purpose, or topic, that they cover the most.
One of our sites was focused on teaching, and my coworker who had extensive experience teaching took it on. If you are now thinking “Duh Krista, of course your coworker took that one, she’s got experience that relates to the site topic” you have hit the nail on the head. She was successful in backlinking for this site because she had relevant experience to write, and pitch, to other teaching related sites for a backlink. She was not going out into the world trying to convince people that she was a NASA scientist with no relevant experience, and you should try to do the same.
The internet is full of articles written by people who halfway researched a topic, and have now declared themselves experts in it, when they certainly are not, and the internet needs no more of that in my opinion. When guest posting, take on projects that you have a good angle on and can write on with some authority, it will go a long way in the next to steps and you will thank yourself later.
Step 2 – The Writing
What can be the hardest part of Guest Posting, especially if you’ve got a bad angle, can be the writing portion. Actually putting pen to paper (or hand to keyboard in this case) and forming a coherent thought takes practice, and working knowledge of topics. My first rule of thumb for blogs is that it needs an opening paragraph, two to three middle supporting paragraphs, and some sort of conclusion (like this blog… am I creature of habit or what?), but I’m sure that you dear reader know this formula from most English classes you have ever taken. My second tip for writing a solid Guest Post is writing what you know. I feel like I may be sounding like a broken record at this point, but writing on topics that you have a basic knowledge of goes such a long way in creating quality content. Quality content comes in handy when pitching your topic, which will will be covering in the next step, onward!
Step 3 – The Pitching
Now, the final, and in my opinion hardest part of Guest Posting, pitching your work to various websites. When I first starting Guest Posting my initial response to this step was, “Ok cool, I’ll fire off some emails, and it’ll be done super fast!”, I was wrong.
What I didn’t realize is that webmasters can get dozens of Guest Post pitches a day, and they’re usually sub-parr pitches that can get very annoying after you’ve received a week’s worth. This is where the first step of having a solid angle comes in quite handy, as it makes selling yourself as a viable author a lot easier.
I usually open emails with stating who I am, my qualifications, and my previous writing experience. I find that opening with your credibility works best at convincing people to keep reading your email. My next point is my topic that I’ve written on, and why it would be a good fit for their website. Once again, your good angle makes this a whole lot easier. I then will close out with a “looking forward to hearing your thoughts” sentence or two. I try to make this entire introduction email as personalized as possible, as it makes my request seem not like spam, and people are more likely to respond when you add a personal touch.
Hopefully you will be able to take this recipe out for a spin in your next Guest Posting adventure, and if you do, let me know how it goes! (or if you have anything to add, this recipe is by no means perfect) and we’ll meet back here in December with more SEO tips!