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Nick Wharton By
Posted 14 Jul, 2016 | 16 Comments
Posted in: Travel Blogging, Travel Blogs

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.

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.

Monetize Blog

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. 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 list by 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+.

Reaching Out

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:

Hi _____,

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 ________.

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!

Warm Regards,

YOUR NAME & EMAIL SIGNATURE.

Keyword Research

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.

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:

Keyword Tool Google

Now enter in a few keyword ideas in the box like the example pictured below:

Keyword Tool Enter Keywords

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.

Keyword Tool Result charts monthly search

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.

On Page SEO

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.

yoast seo analysis

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.

Guest Post Bomb

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.

travel blogging make money

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.

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.

Guest Post BombAfter 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 it’s finest… and it works.

location independent

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. This is a guaranteed path to quick success and it could be the difference between your blog being successful or just fizzing out.

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!

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The Ultimate Travel Blogger’s Guide To Guest Posting

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Nick Wharton

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Nick is the co-founder, editor and author of Goats On The Road. He contributes to numerous other media sites regularly and shares his knowledge of travel, online entrepreneurship and blogging with the world whenever he can. Nick’s advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider and Forbes.

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16 thoughts on “The Ultimate Travel Blogger’s Guide To Guest Posting

  1. Great post Nick. Haven’t read too much about the guest post bomb concept. Have you guys used it successfully for any of your posts?

    Do you know of some great case studies related to it that are worth a look? Cheers

  2. Great post! Guest writing is difficult to get your foot in the door, but once you do, the traffic opportunities are totally worth it. Also, just wanted to say hi! We loved your site so much at NomadsNation we hired EldoWeb to design our site! Couldn’t be more pleased! Good luck with your new design, and we’ll keep you posted how our “guest post bomb” goes.

  3. Thanks for this post. I have seen a few of these guest post bombs in action, so it was great to learn what was behind it. Uh, is that Nick playing Minecraft while Dariece slaves away in that last pic?

  4. Hey there, many thanks for this post! I was actually just thinking about emailing you and asking you for some tips about guest posting a couple of days ago, so you guys must have read my mind haha.

    I have a little question about what you’re writing about. I think that 20 guest posts every 2 months is A LOT of content to share. I mean, I don’t even have that much content to share on my own blog, let alone for guest posts. I wander how do you “distribute” the posts once you decide to start writing for other bloggers. If you want other bloggers to post your content, you must write about something really amazing, but then you run out of good content to share on your own blog. Any advice on that?

    Thanks!

  5. Hi Rea,

    Ya, that’s a good point. You must write epic content on your own site, and then write great content as well for the other sites! You’d be amazed at how many articles you could come up with, just based on one single destination.

    Example: Malta.

    10 off track things to do in Malta, Exploring Valletta: Malta’s UNESCO City, Top 10 best restaurants in Malta, The ultimate guide to travelling in malta, 5 activities for water lovers, How to travel to Malta on a budget, where to sleep in Malta, An adventurer’s guide to Malta, 5 day trips from valletta…..etc, etc, etc.!!!

    You have to get creative and be able to come up with many articles, even if it were just 1 destination 🙂

  6. Hey Jub,

    We did the guest post bombs more at the start of our blogging. We linked back to our epic travel guides, and to our website in general. These days, our travel guides rank either #1 or at least on the 1st page of Google (ie: “backpacking thailand” is #2 in Google)

    It creates a buzz around your website, and obvioulsy, it’s great for SEO.

    Cheers!

  7. Lack of information nobody can write on difficult subject, so you have complete information and skill on this topic because it is well written and good for readers.

  8. Holy crapoly this is an amazing guide to guest posting. I’m approaching this point with my site Explorography and this is definitely hands down THE MOST USEFUL article I’ve found about guest posting.

    I have a question! If you’re selling a course, or focusing on a particular topic or destination, should most of your guest posts revolve around that theme as well? It would make sense for SEO as well as just establishing your authority on that topic and driving the right kind of traffic (traffic interested in that topic) to your site. Thoughts?

    Thanks a ton!

  9. When you talk about guest posting, I get the concept and just waiting for some more content published on my site first. But, are all guest posts completely original posts that are not already published on your own blog? That seems like a lot of great content out there that you would also want on your own site, correct?

    Give me some insight on this please! Thank you so much.

    Tim

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