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How to Grow Inbound Links With Guest Blogging Opportunities [@InboundNow #34]

In this episode of Inbound Now , we discuss how to find guest blogging opportunities to grow the number of inbound links pointing to your website. Inbound links are by far the leading factor in how well your website will rank organically in search engines .

guest blogging

Guest blogging is one of the most credible ways of building keyword-rich, authoritative inbound links to your site. Guest blogging will also help build your authority/thought leadership in your industry and can help jump-start a brand new blog . Here are several tips for finding guest blogging opportunities that can help you increase inbound links to your website.

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Use Advanced Search Queries

A great way to find guest blogging opportunities is by using advanced search queries in Google.

By combining a keyword phrase with any of the variations below, you can pull back a targeted list of sites that accept guest posts and will more than likely allow you to link back to your own content.

Common phrases used by sites looking for guest content:

  • “Submit a guest post” / “Submit post” / “Submit blog post”
  • “Add blog post”
  • “Submit an article”
  • “Suggest a guest post”
  • “Send a guest post”
  • “Write for us”
  • “Become an author”
  • “Contribute to our site”
  • “Become a contributor” OR “Become guest writer”
  • “(Write for our) guest column”.

Use Google Blog Search to Find Authoritative Blogs in Your Industry

You're probably already aware of other blogs in your particular industry. If you know the go-to blogs in your space, reach out to them, and see if they accept guest posts.

If you need to do some digging, Google's Blog Search can be a good place to start.

Search for the keyword phrases you're targeting on your own website and scan the search results. Blogs ranking higher for a particular keyword phrase are most likely more authoritative in the eyes of Google, so generating an inbound link from them will be a little more powerful than a link from blogs on subsequent search engine results pages.

Most blogs have contact information somewhere on the page or social media icons for you to contact them via Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Make sure you do your homework before starting off the conversation. There is nothing worse to a blogger than a blind pitch.

Use Social Media 

Once you have exhausted the known blogs in your space and have searched high and low on Google using some advanced queries, it's time to turn to social media.

Twitter directories can be a great place to find relevant people in your industry.

Followerwonk.com  is a tool that allows you to scan Twitter based on keywords in a user's Twitter bio. It then sorts the users by follower count (or "influence"). This can give you a pretty good list of people to see if they are blogging or are linking to other industry-specific blogs you haven't already found.

Wefollow and Twellow  are two other directories to check out if you strike out with followerwonk.

Leverage Existing Relationships for Links

Before diving into the guest blogging world, you should have already grabbed all of the low-hanging links you possibly could from existing relationships.

Did you ask friends, family members, colleagues, business partners, or evangelical customers with a website for a link yet? 

If so, good job! If not, why not?

4 Things to Keep in Mind After Finding Guest Blogging Opportunities

1. Do a "Gut Check" of the Site

Doing a gut check of the site means making sure the site is credible and has "followed" links before you submit your hard work (content) to them.

A followed link means that the link will indeed pass SEO credit to your site. Links with a rel="nofollow" attribute carry no SEO value in the eyes of Google.

You can easily check for nofollow links with the Quirk search status plugin or a bookmarklet for Chrome.

2. Don’t Reuse Your Existing Blog's Content

Avoid reposting the exact same content you have on your site to another site. You can run into duplicate content issues, which is not a good thing in the eyes of search engines.

In some cases, the blog on which you posted guest content may actually outrank your own site! Instead, rewrite the post completely, or -- better yet -- start from scratch. Don't make Google and other search engines angry.

3. Keyword Specific Anchor Text is Key

If you are spending the time to find guest blogging opportunities, create new content, and publish it on someone else's site, it would be foolish not to include a keyword-specific anchor text link somewhere in the body of the post or in your author's bio.

Having the link look like http://www.mysite.com is bad.

Having the link look like Keyword-Specific Anchor Text is good!

4. Personalize Your Blog Outreach Messages

Reaching out to bloggers with a form email is going to annoy the blogger and yield few guest blogging opportunities.

Always, always, always personalize your outreach.

Reference a recent blog post the blogger has written, and find a question they might have asked on Twitter, and try and answer it.

Do something to pass the "Is this a robot or a real person?" test.

Feedback Wanted!

As marketing and the internet evolve, so shall the show!
  • Did you enjoy this type of episode of Inbound Now?
  • Do you like the shorter version?
  • What topics would you like to see covered?
  • Are there any particular guests you would love to see?

Let me know in the comments below or tweet @DavidWells or drop me a line here.

Photo credit: PhotoDonuts

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