The number one best way to start marketing your blog is guest posting. A guest post is when you write an article for another website or blog and include – within the copy or in the author’s bio – a link back to your blog.
Just writing a bunch of guest posts and sending them out isn’t going to be all that effective.
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There are many different things you should think about before starting a Guest Post Strategy. You’re going to want to have deep links back to your blog (links to specific posts, not just the home page) with very specific anchor texts and calls to action.
When you’re starting out, guest posting should be your number one priority. I’m going to cover all of the main things that you’ll need to know to be a successful guest blogger so you can grow your SEO and explode your traffic.
Who Should You Guest Post For?
Guest posting for a bunch of new blogs will help you out a little bit, but it’s more fruitful to write a guest post for one very large blog than it is to write for 50 small ones. This is due to many factors including SEO, traffic and domain trust.
When you’re starting a guest post strategy, you should try to write guest posts for blogs that have higher rankings than you. What ranking system should you use? Domain Authority (DA) by MOZ. This is the current, #1 most important ranking factor for SEO.
If anyone says the word Google Page Rank to you, ignore them. The page rank algorithm hasn’t been updated since December of 2014 and it’s completely useless. When you’re first starting out, the only metric you need to check when choosing who to guest post for is DA.
As a general rule of thumb, any site with a DA equal to or higher than 30 is doing pretty well. If you want to have a successful and beneficial guest post plan, you should try to get your posts (and links) on sites that have a 30 DA or higher.
To check DA, simply head to Moz’s DA checker or download the MozBar Extension for Google Chrome or Firefox.
If you’re having a hard time finding blogs with higher DA’s, then check out Nomadic Samuel’s (old) list of top 150 bloggers or the frequently updated top 50 by The Expeditioner. Use these lists to compile your own list of blogs with a high DA that you want to guest post for.
Of course, some great bloggers may have a low DA and rankings aren’t necessarily the be all and end all of guest blogging. Many bloggers have huge social media followings, and by having your post shared on their platforms, you will probably see a lot of traffic.
If you really like a blog and want to get featured there, go for it! But for SEO purposes, try to have 50% or more of your guest posts appear on sites with a DA of 30+.
☞ Looking for some tricks and hacks to maximize the effect of your blogger outreach strategy? Check out this post by MarkinBlog.com: 9 Surprisingly Effective Hacks I Use With Influencers to Blast My Audience
Also if you’re looking to find new guest posting and collaborative post opportunities, check out these Facebook Groups:
- Travel Collab Post Opportunities
- Guest Posting Opportunities
- DNW Make Money From Blogging
- Travel Blogger Link Swap Group
Alternatively, you can just search in Facebook for “[your niche] + guest post”, “[your niche] + collab”, or “[your niche] + links” and see what groups come up. Normally you have to answer a few questions to get accepted into a closed Facebook group.
Now that you’ve compiled a list of the blogs and websites that you want to get featured on, it’s time to start reaching out. You’ll have to find the editor’s email (usually available on the blog itself) and then send a short, but concise & personalized email. At first contact, something like this should do:
My name is ____ and I love your blog. I’ve been reading it for a while and it’s been a real inspiration for me, both as a blogger and as a travel-lover. I love the post you wrote a while back called ________.[ADD 2 PARAGRAPHS OF PERSONALIZED CONVERSATION HERE]
I’m reaching out today because I have an awesome article that I think would look great on your site! It’s called: ________ and it’s unique because ______ and _______. I’ve included a link back to my personal blog in the article and I’ve included an author’s bio as well. It’s not a commercial link of course. I’m just a new blogger trying to get my name out there. I hope that would be okay!
You can find a copy of the draft here (LINK TO GOOGLE DOC). It’s 100% original and just waiting to be published online! I hope you like it.
Thanks for taking the time to read this email and for considering my guest post for your excellent blog!
YOUR NAME & EMAIL SIGNATURE.
When doing any guest posts, you should always use a solid anchor text to link back to your content. Use the Keyword Planner in Google to find what keyword is best for your article. To do this, you’ll have to create a Google Adwords Account to have access to the keyword tool.
UPDATE 2020: I now use and recommend KeySearch. You have to pay for it but it’s miles better than Google Keyword Planner. Use the above affiliate link and use code GOAT20 at checkout to get 20% off.
Once you create your account, sign in and simply open the Keyword Planner by clicking “Tools” on the top menu and then “Keyword Planner” from the drop-down menu.
Once you’re in the tool, select the second option “Get search volume data and trends” as pictured below:
Now enter in a few keyword ideas in the box like the example pictured below:
Now click the blue “Get search volume” button at the bottom of the page. This will bring up a chart showing the average monthly searches for each of the keyword phrases you entered in the last step.
Obviously in the example above “Best hotels in Manila” is the best option because it has the most searches. Don’t let this fool you though. If one of your keyword phrases has 10,000 monthly searches, it’s not necessarily the best option. 10,000 searches is probably too competitive and too hard to rank for using a simple guest blog strategy.
Ideally, you’re looking for between 1,500 – 5,000 searches per month.
I recommend trying to think of three different keywords or keyword phrases for any post. One of them should have between 1,500 – 5,000 searches monthly, but if you can find two more secondary terms that have +/-500 monthly searches, you can also try to rank for them by SEOing the article and your guest posts accordingly.
Every time you write a post, you should use the Yoast SEO Plugin for Wordpress to make sure that the post is properly optimized for search engines. After you have written the entire article, scroll to the bottom of the Edit Post screen in Wordpress and follow the directions that Yoast gives you.
Perhaps you need more keyword density, better readability or the keyword needs to appear in the title. Use Yoast to make sure your post is as optimized as possible for the keyword(s) that you chose in the previous step.
Yoast rates each post with a traffic light. Red is “bad”, yellow is “OK” and green is “good”. Try to make sure all of your posts are green and good to go.
Guest Post Bomb
Now it’s time for me to reveal my biggest blog marketing secret and one that you should DEFINITELY try to do on a regular basis… especially when you’re starting out. The guest post bomb is the ultimate traffic boosting strategy and when executed properly, it can have a huge effect on your blog audience and overall SEO.
If you want your blog traffic to grow fast, trust me, this is the best way to go.
What is a guest post bomb?
Basically, it’s when you write multiple guest posts (think 20 – 40) and have them all published on the same day (or at least in the same week).
How can you do this? You’re going to need some advanced planning for sure. Start by creating a Google Spreadsheet that includes Blogger Name, Blog, Contact, Anchor & Link. Link is going to be the specific post that you are going to link to on your blog from the guest post and anchor is going to be the text in that link.
You don’t want to just link to your home page when doing a guest post bomb, you want to deep link so that you can maximize your SEO and traffic to important articles on your site.
I recommend creating a strategy for your top 4 posts. These posts should be epic and they should have the potential to earn you money either by affiliate sales, product sales or sponsorship.
Every time you get a blogger to agree to publish your guest post, add his or her name, blog and contact info into the chart. If you’re doing a 20 post guest post bomb, you should link to 4 different posts on your blog from those 20 guest posts on other blogs. Ideally, you link 5 times to each of your 4 posts.
Make sure that the 5 links that point back to each of your 4 posts uses a variety of your chosen keyword(s). This is going to help Google to know what those 4 posts are about and it will inevitably increase your organic traffic to those posts. Never use the exact same keyword multiple times.
Every time a blogger agrees to let you guest post, make sure you add their name, blog name and contact info into a Google Spreadsheet. Then add the keyword for the post.
After you send them the first draft of your guest post (which includes your special SEO link), ask them politely to hold off on publishing it until a certain date. If you’re confident that you can write all the posts by a certain date, choose that day on the calendar and tell all the bloggers exactly what day you want it published.
Explain to them that you’re trying to do a Guest Post Bomb because Nick at Goats On The Road told you to (haha).
In my experience, bloggers are pretty understanding and while this isn’t a widely used practice, they’ll understand that you’re trying to create a buzz. And that’s just what you’ll do. By having your name appear on 20 different big blogs on the same day, you’re going to create a massive buzz for your brand.
People will be surfing the web, checking out their favourite blogs and they’ll see that you guest posted on ThePlanetD.com. Then they’ll see your pretty face again on Vagabondish.com and again on LonelyPlanet.com and all of a sudden, they’re thinking “wow! This blogger must be a big deal, I better go check them out”.
This is social proof at its finest… and it works.
The main value in a guest post bomb will come from this social proof and new readers appearing on your blog, but the secondary bonus will be from the SEO effect that this tactic has. Your 4 best posts will now slowly move up in ranking for the keyword terms and phrases that you chose.
If you’re willing to hustle your ass off, you could do a guest post bomb of 20 posts every 2 months and explode your traffic in just one year, but this isn’t totally necessary. This is a guaranteed path to quick success and it could be the difference between your blog being successful or just fizzing out.
While doing a guest post bomb, you may have to slow or halt publishing content on your own blog because there aren’t enough hours in the day. That’s fine! When you’re starting out you should be writing more content for other blogs than your own anyways.
This tactic should be one of the main things focus on when growing your online brand and you should start your first guest post bomb today. Good luck!