Your blog’s SEO still relies on backlinks; even those acquired by guest blogging. Learn everything about guest blogging: who to guest post for, when to guest blog, where to submit a guest post and much more!
What is Guest Blogging?
Guest blogging is when you submit a high quality piece for a popular blogger to post on their site. Some guest blogging opportunities pay for your work, while others do not.
Whether you guest blog for money or for free is up to you, but there are certain things to consider. We’ll come back to this later!
Why Do I Need to Guest Blog?
A backlink to your blog embedded in a guest blog post that you provide to another blogger is important for SEO. Backlinks tell Google, “Hey Google, this link is authoritative so we’re going to link to it as a source.”
This “authority” flows to your blog as you build your backlinks with frequent guest blogging.
But here is the catch: guest posting sites must be relevant to your audience and to the blog post that you link back to. If you write guest posts for any and every site that accepts them, you may be wasting your time.
Who Should I Guest Blog For?
Remember, not all backlinks are equal. If a blogger reaches out to you to guest post (for free) on their blog in exchange for a “valuable backlink,” check their DA.
Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). A Domain Authority score ranges from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank.
If the DA of a blog is 1 to 15, I wouldn’t guest post for them without fair payment. If the DA is 15 to 60 I would guest blog for free (or cheap) as long as the blog is closely relevant to my niche. I will guest blog for blogs with a DA of 60+ for free that target a similar audience that I target but are not in the same niche.
My standards for guest blogging are my own and you can decide who to post for! Keep in mind that you may be handing out your free work in exchange for a backlink that is not valuable.
I always cringe when I see a blogger with a domain authority of 1 to 10 asking for others to guest post for them for free. They use the incentive of “a free valuable backlink.” But a backlink from their site is often not as valuable as your time to craft a great piece.
You can also check their social media following. If their DA is low, but they have a great social media presence, it may then be worth your time guest blogging for them.
Where to Guest Blog: 2 Examples
We’ve now cleared up a little bit about how to approach guest blogging so that it benefits you. Here are 2 examples that you could target for free or paid guest blogging opportunities.
1. Scary Mommy
Scary Mommy was started by Jill Smokler in early 2008 as an innocent online baby book to chronicle her stay-at-home days with her children. It transformed into a massive vibrant community of millions of parents, brought together by a common theme: Parenting doesn’t have to be perfect.
Write for Scary Mommy
READER is BuzzFeed News’s home for cultural criticism, personal essays, fiction, and poetry, as well as BuzzFeed’s Emerging Writer Fellowship.
Compensation: yes (not listed)
Niche: broad news
Write for BuzzFeed News
When Should I Start Guest Blogging?
Building your backlinks by guest blogging for other popular websites can take a lot of time. Start guest blogging as soon as you have the time and opportunity!
If you don’t have time to guest blog the day you launch your own blog, don’t worry. Guest blogging is important, but it can and should wait until you have your own ducks in a row!
How to Guest Post
Guest posting for popular blogs is not always easy. There are a few simple steps that you can take to ensure popular bloggers accept your guest posts.
Step 1: Research the DA (domain authority) of the sites.
Step 2: Read through recent contributions on the blog you choose.
Step 3: Look through their featured categories and choose a unique spin-off topic.
Step 4: Write. Write. Write.
Step 5: Relax. Research. Replace.
Step 6: Edit.
Step 7: Review submission terms and submit.
Read more: How to Guest Post on a Popular Blog
How to Get Backlinks without Guest Posting?
There are many ways to get backlinks. The best backlink is when another site links to your post as an authoritative source. But this does not happen overnight.
- Ask other bloggers for them
- Linky Parties
- Blog comments
- Create your own on Quora by answering related questions
- Write “linkable” content
By posting in-depth, well-written material, you are more likely to receive natural backlinks.
Read: How To Get Backlinks Every Day (without guest posting).
Is Guest Blogging Still Important for SEO?
Search engines (like Google) want to see natural backlinks to your blog.
In the best case scenario, you should hyperlink a niche word or phrase back to your blog post on a supporting subject.
Author/bio links from sites with a DA of 60+ are also better than nothing.
Google is cracking down on those who guest blog just for backlinks. It’s important that backlinks are relevant and invite your target audience when clicked. Only then will these links help your blog’s SEO.
Guest blogging is a great way to expand your audience! Let me know in the comments where you like to guest blog!