PART TWO – HOW TO GUEST POST

How To Get A Guest Post Anywhere

Elijah Masek-Kelly, Managing Director @ Powerful Outreach

January 16th, 2018

Welcome to PART TWO of our super comprehensive guide to guest posting. This is the meat of the guide. Upfront: this guide is massive. Probably take you an hour or so to read the whole thing. If you’d like, we’ve made this available as a PDF ebook for you to download and own as a resource. Sign up to our email list here and we’ll email it with haste…

Part 2 – How to Guest Post

Part two covers 9 of the top “best-practice” tactics available for generating constant guest post activity. This is perhaps the most comprehensive breakdown of these tactics. Please try not to be over-whelmed as the step-by-step approach here can be a lot. 

  1. How to Build an Author Profile
  2. How to Develop Content Ideas
  3. How to Find Potential Guest Post Opportunities
  4. How to Build Target Lists
  5. How to Find the Right Contact Information
  6. How to Pitch a Guest Post
  7. How to Build Relationships that Lead to Guest Post Opportunities
  8. How to Write a Guest Post
  9. How to Backlink in a Guest Post

1. How To Build an Author Profile

The first step to guest post is to gather all of your resources that prove your authority as a guest contributor.

I have pitched guest post campaigns with over a 30% acceptance rate and I know that the biggest reason for failure is:

  • Boring, generic content ideas
  • Aiming too high without the writing portfolio to back it up
  • An author profile that isn’t targeted

Of course if you are just starting out with guest posting, you might not have any previous writing samples or you might not know what makes a great guest post idea. Don’t worry – it’s ok! Everyone needs to start somewhere and that’s why we’ve created this guide 🙂

So How Do I Start Building An Author Profile?

There are three main steps to creating a strong author profile for guest posting:

  • Choose Your Author
  • Write the Bio
  • Collect Examples of Writing Experience

A) Choose Your Author

Every guest post needs an author – that much is true. Exactly who that author is depends on what you are trying to achieve with your guest posting campaign. For example, you might be trying to:

  • Demonstrate your authority or expertise on a subject
  • Get your company or product/services in front of new audiences
  • Build backlinks to your website
  • Build trust and credibility in your industry

Based on your priority goal – you need to choose an Author Profile that will help you achieve it. It doesn’t matter who is actually writing the article, choosing your author profile should be based on how you plan to present your content. There are two main types of Author Profiles that you may choose to use:

  1. 1st Person Persona
  2. 3rd Party Persona

1st Person Persona Author Profile In most cases, your guest posting Author Profile will be based on someone who represents your business in some way. This might be the CEO, Founders, or anyone else from your team. Usually choosing someone with previous writing examples or industry expertise to back up their qualification as a guest contributor is best. These types of Author Profiles are best when you are trying to prove your industry expertise, develop your brand and messaging, or build trust and credibility for your company.

3rd Part Persona Author Profile In some cases, you may want to use a 3rd party persona as your Author Profile. This means that you might choose someone who is not directly related to your company or business. This is a bit of a grey hat technique and is usually applied when you are trying to build backlinks to your website, build 3rd party validation for your company, or push positive reviews of your product/service. In many cases, editors will reject or remove links from articles that seem overly self-promotional or created just to insert a backlink.

In these cases, sometimes it is possible to get up some content, either containing a backlink or more direct promotion of a business, if that content is submitted by someone who “appears” to have no direct connection to that business or website. Creating a 3rd party persona is not easy as it takes a lot of work to develop over time and support with examples of writing, social links, etc. I would never recommend using a fake person – but working with an outside party can sometimes be a way to circumvent tough editorial guidelines.


B) Write the Bio

After you have identified your author, you will need to write a bio for them. Your author bio should:

  • Demonstrate authority on the subject
  • Give a brief background on the author
  • Typically consist of 2-3 sentences
  • Contain a backlink as appropriate
  • Include a professional headshot

Your author bio should be well-organized and easily shared with potential publications. Keeping a brief document with an uploaded headshot on Google Drive or DropBox is an easy way to keep everything in one place.

Here is an Example of a Great Author Bio —> the next web


C) Collect Examples of Writing Experience

A good author profile will be supported by a solid set of previously published articles that demonstrate the author’s ability to write. Any examples that are chosen should be of the highest quality possible and always attributed or bylined under the author’s name. Ideally – they have also been published on other authoritative sites. If you haven’t been published anywhere (yet!) – then examples from a company or personal blog, or unpublished written examples can also work. If you don’t have any writing samples – then you will need to work on building your author’s portfolio with time. For those without a lot of writing examples – starting at lower-tier publications is the best way to go. With time and more examples, you can start aiming at larger and better publications. Sites like Medium, LinkedIn, or Steemit, are a super easy place to start publishing work as almost anyone can add content to those sites. It can also be useful to save all of your published work in one place:

  • Use a page on your site dedicated to sharing writing examples
  • Use a 3rd party portfolio site like content.ly
  • Save examples in a google drive folder or on dropbox

Here’s an example of a great writing portfolio —> Directive consulting

 

2. How To Develop Content Ideas

Now that you have created a solid Author Profile to support your guest post campaign – it’s time to start generating some content ideas to pitch to publications. Your content does not need to be written before you start pitching – but you do need to have some solid ideas that will appeal to editors and potential publications. Although some people prefer to write their content first – then find a home for it – this is not 100% necessary. In fact, most publications have different guidelines, so sometimes – even a completed piece may need to be modified to fit the bill for an interested publication. That being said – some publications will only accept a completed article for consideration and will turn away pitches, ideas, and outlines without even considering them.

Regardless of when you write the article – you will need to come up with some solid content ideas first. The Golden Rule of All Guest Posts —> Focus on Value First The biggest mistake that people make when trying to guest post is that they are overly concerned about promoting themselves or their business or trying to pack an article with selfish backlinks.

Don’t do this! Focus on value first! Self-promotional or backlink ridden guest posts are spammy, advertorial and not that interesting to most readers! Plus – they probably won’t get accepted by many publications! Of course you want to promote yourself and your business – but let that promotion come by answering important questions, providing insight on a topic, or giving great advice to your readers (and potential customers!). You want to provide value to your readers up front. By demonstrating your expertise and helping others with your work – your readers will come to you when they have questions or need solutions to their problems.

So How Do I Create Incredible Content Ideas? When you sit down to start creating some content ideas, there are a few ways to approach it: Read, Read, Read – The best way to become a great writer is by becoming a great reader. Look for articles that inspire you. Don’t become a plagiarist or simply rehash tired ideas – but consider content that works well. Why did it work? What was interesting about it? How can you emulate their style? Review Content on Target Publications – If you want to get featured on a specific publication, then you definitely want to be knowledgeable about the type of content that they produce. Just like reading, monitoring big publications will give you a better idea of what editors might want to see in a pitch.

Be Creative – Yeah, ok – this might be obvious and probably easier said than done. However, fresh and new perspectives will always catch an editor’s eye. Your “Top 10 List Of Boring Things” isn’t going to make the cut! Try to bring something new to the conversation.

The above is about thinking like a writer – but you may still feel like you don’t have any concrete guidance on creating content ideas.

Let me make things a little easier – here are a few ideas that can help get the gears grinding:

  • Answer Important Questions with Your Expertise
  • Test Two Industry Theories Against Each Other
  • Tell A Personal Story
  • Share an Interesting Case Study
  • Provide Actionable Advice or a “How To”
  • Be Controversial – Uproot a Common Belief (with Evidence!)
  • Give Industry Insight on a Misconception
  • Interview Other Industry Leaders or Connections

 

3. How to Find Potential Guest Post Opportunities

Now that you have your author profile and some great content ideas – it’s time to find some guest post opportunities. There are essentially four ways to find guest post opportunities:

A) Guest Posts through Open Submissions

B) Guest Posts from Source Requests

C) Guest Posts through Cold Outreach

D) Guest Posts from Relationship Building

Each of these methods requires a slightly different approach to come across them, but the principal is the same – how can you get your content on someone else’s website?

A) Guest Posts through Open Submissions

There are many websites that are actively seeking guest contributions from writers like you. Usually, this is advertised on their site under a “write for us” or “become a contributor” page. Sometimes it is more obvious on some sites than others, but even big publications like Entrepreneur and Inc. have open channels for submitting content.

Check this out to submit to Entrepreneur —> Entrepreneur Or this for submitting to Inc. —> Inc

This is probably one of the easiest ways to get a guest post. When a website advertises that they accept guest posts it means:

  • They have established guidelines and procedures for contributing
  • They are actively seeking new content
  • They are open to receiving pitches and ideas at any time

Here is an example of a website that has open submissions for guest posts —> https://smallbiztrends.com/contribute-articles

And another —> http://traveltamed.com/submit-a-guest-post/

And one more —> https://tech.co/contributor-faq

So How Do I Find Websites With Open Submissions For Guest Posts?

Really, the best way to find websites that accept guest posts is by looking. I know – that doesn’t help much 😉 But here are three ways that will help!

Read the Fine Print

If you are interested in a particular publication, look through the website to see if there are any opportunities to contribute.

Sometimes this is obvious – sometimes you need to look a little closer…

Use a List that Someone Else Made!

Believe me – you are not the first person who has wanted to guest post. In fact, a lot of people guest post a lot of the time because it is a solid strategy with a ton of benefits. As with any strategy that works, there are always people who seek out ways to make it an easier process. Luckily – lots of them share that information for free. It is relatively easy to run a quick online search relative to your industry and pull up pre-made lists of blogs that accept guest posts.

Here is a great example —> Shout me loud

Here is another useful list —> Effective business ideas

Do Targeted Search Engine Queries

Another way to find publications that accept guest posts is by using good ol’ fashion Google. Surprise, surprise. When you are searching for guest posts – simply use some basic search engine commands and try a variation of keywords until you get what you are looking for. For example: <Your Industry> “write for us”

Or “guest post submission”

The Problem with Open Submissions for Guest Posts… Wait? There’s a problem with websites that actively seek guest posts? Well, the short and long answer to that is yes and no. Yes – it’s a super easy way to find guest post opportunities and submit content for a site that actually wants it. The problem is really a popularity problem:

  • Top tier publications that accept guest posts are typically overwhelmed by submissions and enforce strict quality control to weed out the unwanteds. This can also mean crazy long wait times (up to 6 months!) before anything gets published 🙁
  • Lower tier publications that accept guest posts quickly and easily are usually full of fluffier content, hold lower traffic rates, and less ‘authority’.

This is not a pervasive problem and there is usually a nice middle ground of decent websites with reasonable editorial schedules. However – be prepared to wait for the best!

B) Guest Posts from Source Requests

Believe it or not – some websites actually send out requests for writing contributions. This is another easy way to find a guest posting opportunity. All you have to do is sit back and stay tuned for the next opportunity that comes your way. Here are two super easy ways to monitor potential guest post opportunities from source requests!

Use a Tool like The Source Bottle

If you haven’t signed up for the Source Bottle – do it here —> Source bottle The Source Bottle will send you emails everyday that are chock-full of tasty press opportunities. Some of these opportunities include guest posts. Here is an example of a guest post request:

Monitor Social Media Requests

Another way to find requests for guest posts is by monitoring social media. Twitter is particularly useful for this – but there are also some Facebook and LinkedIn groups that can yield guest post opportunities. Typically, opportunities can be found under #’s related to guest posting and blogging. Some good ones include: #guestpost #blogger #bloggerswanted #bloggersrequired #bloggerrequest #prrequest #writeforus To be fair – not all of the results under these hashtags will be exactly what you need, but if you keep a careful eye and filter out the noise, you can find guest post opportunities.

There are two ways to monitor social requests:

  • Manual Checks – Whenever you have the hankering for a guest post, hop onto social media and dig around to see what you can find.
  • Set Up Some Automation – If you want to keep an eye out for activity when you are not at your desk, then you can set up some automation to keep track of activity. This can quickly become a very sophisticated way of monitoring social activity, but here is an easy start:

Easy and Free Way To Setup Automated Twitter Monitoring

Step 1. Create an account on IFTTT —> Ifttt

Step 2. Create a New Applet

Step 3. Set your search parameters to something like “guest post” or “#writeforus”

Step 4. Keep track of your opportunities in Google Spreadsheets.

Step 5. Set up automatic filters on Google Spreadsheets or do a search to focus on the most relevant requests!

C) Guest Posts from Cold Outreach

We’ve covered how to get guest posts when their are open opportunities and active requests for them – but what happens when no one is looking or when you want to publish on a specific site? This is where outreach comes in – our speciality 🙂 The reality is that there are many sites that accept guest posts, but do not actively advertise that they do or only do so on a case-by-case instance. Really, the only way to find out if a publication accepts guest posts is by asking – and this requires a little bit of cold emailing. We are going to talk more about:

  • How to build target lists
  • How to find the right contact information
  • How to craft a good pitch

But for now – I want to cover the basics of cold outreach for guest posting. Here are a few things to keep in mind when starting cold outreach for guest posting:

  • Select publications related to your niche or industry
  • Always send an email to the best person possible (Editors, Blog Managers, Content Marketing Managers, Etc.)
  • Don’t send spammy pitches
  • Create a value exchange with the targeted website
  • Focus on great content ideas and leave out self-promotion

With these points in mind, all you really need to do to get a guest post is:

  • Find a website that you would like to post on
  • Check if they have any guest posting guidelines
  • Find the best person to contact
  • Send them a friendly and compelling email 🙂
  • Wait for their response!

We are going to explore some strategies on how to do this more effectively and on scale below – but understanding the basics is the best place to start.

D) Guest Posts from Relationship Building

Some of the best guest post opportunities come from new or established relationships. Heck – if you keep pumping out great content and develop a strong portfolio – people will start coming to you and asking for a guest post straight up!

We are going to talk more about how to build and maintain relationships that can lead to guest post opportunities soon – but as with almost anything you do – relationships are key! Building relationships is easy when it comes naturally, but if you are trying to do it with intent – it can be a little more tricky. An important thing to keep in mind —> When you want to get in as a contributor or guest poster on top tier publications like Forbes or Entrepreneur, sometimes the only way is through a relationship that gets you in the back door. Sometimes all it takes is a referral from another contributor or an introduction to an editor to really get it started. With this in mind – sometimes your cold outreach should be based on building a relationship with someone before asking them if you can contribute. The most important thing for starting a relationship with someone is – provide value up front! If you can help someone first – they are much more likely to help you out in return. A couple ideas on how to start relationships that could lead to guest posts:

  • Ask people you know or other contributors for an introduction to an editor
  • Comment on other people’s work
  • Answer quora questions that reference other writer’s work
  • Share other people’s work on Social Media
  • Ask people for an interview to enhance an upcoming article
  • Find mistakes or broken links in other people’s work and let them know!
  • Connect with them on LinkedIn for a reason that is about them

4. How to Build Target Lists

Now that we have covered some of the ways to find guest post opportunities – we are going to explore some strategies that will help you pitch faster, more effectively, and at scale. The first step to this is building target lists. This will help you stay organized on the websites you have pitched and will help you move through a large amount of them quicker and easier. We are going to cover a couple aspects and methods for building target lists including:

A) Defining/Qualifying Guest Post Opportunities

B) Using Scraping Tools to Build Lists

C) Using IFTTT to monitor RSS Feeds

D) Using Google Alerts to Find Targets

The best method to use depends on how you plan on approaching your guest post acquisition. Are you going to do it all at once? Or monitor over a period of time? Typically, I would recommend a combination of both…

A) Defining/Qualifying Guest Post Opportunities

Before you start building your target lists – you need to define what types of opportunities you are looking for and what characteristics qualify them as a potential target. How you define your targets will depend on your goals with guest posting – but in general, there are a few qualities that most people desire in any website that they publish on:

  • Niche or Industry Relevant
  • High Domain Authority
  • Follow or No-Follow Links
  • Good levels of Website Traffic
  • Social Reach

If you find a website related to what you do, with a high domain authority and healthy levels of website traffic and social reach – you probably have a great guest post opportunity on your hands. Of course – you may need to make concessions depending where you are at in your guest post campaign. If it is your first guest post – aim lower and build up to the big ones with time. If you already have a great portfolio – aim for the top! However –  you always want to stay on topic. There is no point pitching a guest post about SEO to a yoga blog 😉

Niche or Industry Relevant

The first step to building your target list is identifying the types of publications that you would like to pursue. They should be directly related to what you do and what you want to write about. Depending on what type of content you want to submit – there may be cross-over into multiple types of websites or publications. For example, if you are writing an article about “How to Setup Successful SEO for 2018” – then it may be suitable to submit the content to:

  • Marketing Blogs
  • SEO Blogs
  • Small Business Advice Blogs
  • Entrepreneurship Blogs

The main principle here is that you should submit your content to sites will be interested in what you have to say. Not only is it more likely to be accepted by the website, you will also be reaching an audience that will be more engaged by your content.

High Domain Authority

If you are new to SEO – then you may have never heard of DA or Domain Authority. It is essentially a method of ranking or valuing a website in relation to search engine rankings.

Here is how Moz describes it.

Generally – the higher the DA of a website, the more valuable it is as a guest post opportunity (and potential source for a backlink!).

If you are guest posting for the purpose of link building, then this is definitely something you want to consider when building your target lists. Due to changes in Google’s algorithm – there have been some changes to how people approach backlinking for SEO. In general, there is a much greater emphasis on quality of backlinks over quantity of backlinks.

This means 3 or 4 links from High DA and relevant websites is much more valuable than 20 crappy links from spammy, random websites. We all want our content on the best sites possible, but as a general rule —> it is best to pursue websites with a DA equivalent or higher than the DA of your own website.

When you are building your list – the DA shouldn’t be a hard and fast rule, but more of a general guideline on the level of sites that you would like to be featured on.

Here Are Two Easy (And Free!) Ways To Check The DA of Any Website!

  1. Use SEOReviewTools.com —> http://www.seoreviewtools.com/website-authority-checker/

Just plug in the domain URL that you want to check and it will give you tons of useful information on that website!

  1. Use the MozBar Extension —> https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/mozbar/eakacpaijcpapndcfffdgphdiccmpknp?hl=en

This is a incredibly useful tool for checking the DA of any website that you visit. All you need to do is install, switch to DA mode and it will automatically show the DA of any website you visit in the corner of your browser.

Follow or No-Follow Links

Another SEO element that many people consider when seeking out guest posts is – do they provide follow or no-follow links? A follow link (sometimes referred to as a ‘do-follow’ link) is a link that allows search engines to follow the link (via the search algorithm) back to the website that it leads to. This provides you with ‘link juice’ or a ‘backlink’ that people employing SEO are seeking.

Here is an example of a follow link: Google A no-follow link is a link that does not allow the search engine bots to follow the link back to the linked website. The link will still lead to that website – but only a human will be able to click on it and follow it through. There are still some SEO benefits to a no-follow link – depending on where it is placed on the page – but most people are primarily seeking follow links.

Here is an example of a no-follow link: Google http://www.google.com/” rel=”nofollow” Depending on the website, there may be a mix of follow and no-follow links in your content. Some editors will remove links or make them no-follow if they think they are being used for SEO purposes only. Some editors will allow a certain number of follow links or they will only allow a follow link in the bio of the author.

Really – the only way to tell if a website provides follow or no-follow links is by checking some of their posted content, reviewing the guidelines, or asking the editor.

Here is an example of content with No-Follow Links: It could mean spending 5 seconds on the homepage of the Financial Times – that counts as 1 impression on all the pages linked to the homepage.

Good Levels of Website Traffic

Another characteristic of a website that many people consider when selecting a target for a guest post is the level of traffic or visitors that the website gets. This can give you an indication of how many people you are going to reach with your guest post. The more people you can reach with your content – the greater the impact.

Here is an Easy (And Free!) Way To Check the Traffic of Any Website

Step 1. Go to Similar Web —> Similar web

Step 2. Pop in your URL And presto – you have tons of website metrics!

Social Reach

Another aspect to consider when selecting a website for a guest post is its social reach. This means – what type of value will you get if a website shares your article on their Social Media?Sometimes a website’s traffic levels may be low – but they may have a highly engaged social following.

To get a quick idea of how far your content will go – just click through to their social profiles and see what kind of following they have. There are also tools that can give you an overview of a website’s different social media profiles.

For example —> BuzzSumo provides analytics on content and average shares.

B) Using Scraping Tools to Build Lists

Now that you know what type of websites you want to go after – it’s time to start building lists. Here is an extremely easy and quick way of putting together an extensive list of websites in any niche or industry. This is a good beginner step to learning how to scrape data from a website.

Step 1. Install the Scraper Chrome Extension —>  Click Here

Step 2. Go to a website that contains lists and links to websites that you might want to publish on. For this example – we will use All top

Step 3. Click on a topic related to what you are pitching.

Step 4. Right Click on an active link on the page that leads to another website.

Step 5. Click on “Scrape similar…” inside the pop-up menu. This will lead to a pop-up from the Scraper chrome extension that has gathered all of the URLs from that web page.

Step 6. Click on “Export to Google Docs…” This will automatically export all of the data to a spreadsheet in your Google Drive.

Step 7. Purge and review the results… Within minutes, you know have an extensive list of potential targets. It may take a little extra time to aggregate multiple scrapes and to pick through the websites – but it’s a really fast and easy way to start building a great list. You can now start manually checking for contact info on each site and qualifying them based on your parameters – but for the slightly more advanced… Extract More Data!

Step 8. Login to an outreach tool such as BuzzStream.com

Step 9. Create a New Project…

Step 10. Import the Scraped URLS to the platform.

Step 11. Review the extra data extracted by BuzzStream like Discovered Contact Info, Discovered Social Media, Domain Authority and Posting Frequency

Step 12. Look even closer at more website data!

BuzzStream isn’t perfect at extracting the right contact info – but don’t worry, we will get into that! However, it is very useful for getting some more insight on your scraped URLs. You will still need to go through the websites and figure out if they are right for you or not – but this is a quick way to jump ahead and make informed decisions.

C) Use IFTTT to Monitor RSS Feeds

Another way to build target lists is by monitoring new content that is released across the internet. This gives you some idea of places that might be looking for more content like yours. For example – if you find a website that consistently publishes content similar to your upcoming guest post, this may mean that they would like to publish yours! Here’s a way to set up a little bit of automation to help you stay on top of new content.

Step 1. Install the Get RSS Feed URL chrome extension —> https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/get-rss-feed-url/kfghpdldaipanmkhfpdcjglncmilendn

Step 2. Go to a website that aggregates content from many different sites. Here is an example of an aggregate content site that shares RSS feeds: http://www.blogengage.com/rssfeeds.php

Step 3. Get the URL for the RSS Feed. *Look for the RSS Symbol or use the chrome extension!

Step 4. Go to IFTTT.com —> Create a New Applet

Step 5. Select RSS Feed as the first Ingredient —> and “New Feed Item Matches”

Step 6. Input your Keyword and RSS Feed URL

Step 7. Choose Google Sheets as the Second Ingredient —> “Add Row To SpreadSheet”

Step 8. Fill in the final details for the spreadsheet and launch it!

Step 9. Review the results and see who is sharing content similar to what you want to share.

D) Use Google Alerts to Create and Monitor Custom RSS Feeds

This is for the advanced user – but it’s really not that hard if you think through the steps and follow this guide. These steps will show you how to turn Google search results into an RSS feed that can automatically be imported to a spreadsheet. This allows you to automatically and easily monitor any new results that pop up based on the parameters of your search.

Step 1. Go to Google Custom Search —> https://cse.google.com/cse/sitesearch/create

Step 2. Enter “*.com” (without quotes) to search the entire web and enter a name that is relevant to the project.

Step 9. Review the results and see who is sharing content similar to what you want to share.

Step 3. Go to “Edit Search Engine in the left-hand menu.

Step 4. Go to Set Up in the drop down menu.

Step 5. In the details section —> Click on “Search Engine ID”

Step 6. Save the search engine ID —> You will need it later 😉

Step 7. Go to the Google Developer’s Console —> https://console.developers.google.com/?pli=1

Step 8. Create a new project.

Step 9. Click on “Enable Apps and APIs”

Step 10. Search for “Custom Search” to pull out the custom search API.

Step 11. Enable the API

Step 12. Next click on “Create Credentials”

Step 13. Save the API Key —> You will need it later 😉

Step 14. We now have everything we need to create our Custom Google Search RSS Feed 🙂 Remember?

  • Your Search Engine ID —> Example: “016805211022684332975:xvqksgq8epo
  • Your API Key —> Example: AIzaSyALyv0qRAEKNPI5RKHHOCUYQbxw-mppHF4”

Step 15. Now we need to create the RSS Feed URL. The basic RSS Feed URL will look like this: https://www.googleapis.com/customsearch/v1?alt=atom&cx=[Search Engine ID]&key=[API KEY]&q=[Query]

Step 16. Replace “xxx:yyy” with the Search Engine ID.

Step 17. Replace “abc” with the API Key

Step 18. Replace “query” with the words that you want to search. If there are multiple words to your search seperate the values with a “+”. Example —> &q=future+of+work If you want an exact match, include quotations around the query values. Example —> &q=”future+of+work”

Step 19. Add additional search parameters as desired. Additional search parameters can be found here: https://developers.google.com/custom-search/json-api/v1/reference/cse/list#parameters

Step 20. Your final Custom RSS URL should look something like this (without the highlights):   https://www.googleapis.com/customsearch/v1?alt=atom&cx=016805211022684332975:ixyfepegw9c&key=AIzaSyCWksPz01VWWSmArneJY9_Ej25QuHlmjFY&q=future+of+work

Step 21. Set up an some automation to extract data from the feed to a google spreadsheet. IFTTT (Free) —-> https://ifttt.com/create Zapier (Not so Free!) —> https://zapier.com/

E) Using Google Alerts To Find Targets

Another way to track potential websites to share your work is by using Google Alerts.

Step 1. Set up a Google Alert to crawl for content that is similar to what you want to share —> https://www.google.com/alerts

Step 2. Adjust the settings to your preference.

Step 3. Review your Google Alert Emails and pay careful attention to the publications that are sharing work that is similar to what you are trying to share as a guest post.

Step 4. Track interesting or potential publications that you would like to pitch in a spreadsheet.

Step 5. Check out the website for contact information or guest posting guidelines.

Step 6. Pitch away!

5. How to Find the Right Contact Information

Now that you have a list of places that you would like to pitch for a guest post – you need to find the right contact information. There are a few things to consider when attempting to pitch a guest post:

A) Who is the best person to contact?

B) How to find their email

C) Submission forms

A) Who is the Best Person To Contact?

Whenever you pitch a guest post – it is always better to send your pitch directly to a person who has the authority to approve a contribution. In general – it is better to avoid a generic email (hello@publication.com) or a submission form. Sometimes, this is the only choice, but you will usually get better responses if you send to a specific person instead. As a guideline, you want to find:

  • Editors
  • Content Managers
  • Owner/Founder of a Blog

One of the easiest ways to figure out who is in charge is by looking at the editorial page, masthead of a publication, or the ‘About’ page.

Here is an example of an Editorial Page —> https://www.hrdive.com/editors/

Here is an example of a Masthead —> https://www.fastcompany.com/staff-masthead

Here is an example of an ‘About’ Page —> http://dailycupofyoga.com/about/

Usually these can be found by looking at the top or bottom banners of a website – or by doing a quick google search:   “Publication + Masthead” If you are having a hard time finding the right person – sometimes a search on LinkedIn can also yield results.

B) How to Find Their Email

Finding the right email for someone can range in difficulty depending on the website or the person. Sometimes emails are listed in plain view – but other times you may need to use some tools or make an educated guess. Here are 3 of the easiest ways to find someone’s contact information:

  • Look at their website!
  • Use an Email Extractor Tool
  • Make an educated guess
Look At Their Website!

Yes – this may be obvious, but it should be repeated. Most of the time – you can find the contact information for someone right on their website. You might want to look at:

  • The Contact Page
  • The Editorial Page or Masthead
  • The About Page
  • Top and Bottom Banners of a website
  • The Team Page

*PRO TIP —> Pay careful attention when searching – sometimes email are written like this: jimbojones at gmail.com Or jimbojones {at} gmail {dot} com

Use an Email Extractor Tool

Sometimes finding an email can be a little more tricky than just poking around on a website. When this is the case – using an email extractor tool is the next best thing.

There are many tools like this – but a personal favorite is —> https://www.interseller.io/

Here is how to use the chrome extension to easily grab almost any email:

Step 1. Install the chrome extension from their website

Step 2. Go to any website —> Type in the name and associated URL of the target

Step 3. You’ve got their email! Or

Step 4. Go to any LinkedIn Profile

Step 5. Click on the Interseller.io Button

It’s really that easy 🙂

Make An Educated Guess

Typically, most websites follow some kind of format for all of their emails.   For example —> Forbes usually uses the first letter and the full last name @forbes.com This means: Jimbo Jones = jjones@forbes.com If you can find one email – you can try a similar format and see if it works!

*BONUS TIP Ask someone for the right person to contact 🙂 If you can find the contact information for anyone at the site – send them a quick note and ask who is the best person to contact about your query.

C) Submission Forms

Sometimes the only way to contact a website is through a submission form. This is not the ideal way to pitch a guest post – but it does work! There is usually someone who monitors those submissions, but the only draw back is that it usually takes a little longer to get a response. You may want to hold off on your entire pitch until someone responds and you have a direct line of communication with someone.

6. How to Pitch a Guest Post

By now – you should know exactly what you are pitching and where you are pitching it! The next question is – How do you pitch a guest post?   How To Write A Good Pitch When you are doing any type of cold outreach – you only get one shot at making a first impression. This means you want to ensure your pitch is as solid as it can be before you send it anywhere.

The Golden Rule of All Pitches —> Be Personal Personalized emails will always do better than a generic out-of-the-box pitch that is used over and over. Of course – you may want to use some sort of template, but more personal and customized emails will always get better responses.   First —> Don’t Do This!! Here is an example of a real guest post request that I received:

What’s wrong with this pitch?

  • No name of recipient —> Do you know who you are pitching?
  • Forgot to put in the URL of my website —> Clearly a template sent out to many people.
  • “Ton of spammy link submissions” —> Yup, like this one!
  • Typos 🙁
  • 3 different headlines ideas —> No consideration for what might work best on my site.
  • Clearly false praise and ‘love’ of my site.

So How Do You Write A Good Pitch? The truth is – there is no secret formula for the perfect pitch. I’ve tested many different types of pitches from elegant emails to short and simple notes. Both have worked – both have failed. In reality, sometimes no response to your pitch doesn’t mean it is terrible – there may be just too many other submissions for your pitch to make it through. The most important things to keep in mind when crafting a pitch:

  • Be personal and sincere
  • Stay on topic
  • Be succinct (AKA short)
  • Provide clear outlines on proposed writing
  • Submit a draft when possible
  • Pay attention to their guidelines
  • Provide examples of your published work

Here is an example of a particularly simple pitch process that got me a contributor position on a website with a DA of 86!   Here is how it went: First, I sent this pitch to the editor:

7 days later… Still no response 🙁 So – I sent a quick follow up note asking how long it usually takes to get approved… and she responded!

Pretty simple and really nothing special. Why I think it worked:

  • I demonstrated value in my content by mentioning an extensive test
  • I shared a sample posted on a website with strong authority
  • I stayed on topic and kept it short

Of course, this kind of pitching will not work for every site. Some sites only want to see completed articles. Some sites only accept submissions through a portal or submission form. Some sites only accept formal pitches with clear outlines of a proposed article.

The (2nd) Golden (Silver?)

Rule of Pitching —> Review Their Guidelines First! Here is an example of guidelines for submitting a guest post at Fast Company —> https://www.fastcompany.com/3008467/guidelines-submitting-contributed-articles-fast-company-and-tips-getting-published

7. How To Build Relationships That Lead To Guest Posts

Let’s say you’ve tried pitching your ideas for guest posts and have not received a single response 🙁 Or maybe you really, really, really, want to submit something to a highly-competitive, top tier publication.   Well, sometimes the only way to get that golden guest post is by receiving an awesome introduction to the right person, or by having a friend that can get you in the backdoor. Particularly for websites that don’t normally accept guest posts, or for the supersaturated top-dog, big boss publications that receive 100+ submissions a day – a relationship may be the only way to get your content up on that site.   But what if you don’t know have any solid relationships? Then it’s time to make contact and start some conversations! The main thing to keep in mind is that relationships are built on a value exchange. People aren’t going to help you just because you ask. People will help you because you have helped them first! There are really many ways to go about building relationships – but the reality is that they need to be earned. It can’t just be about you – focus on them first! Here are a few ideas on how you can start talking to people:

  • Comment on their articles
  • Answer Quora questions referencing their work
  • Share their work on Social Media (Don’t forget to tag them!)
  • Share useful resources or other articles with them
  • Give them something for free!
  • Ask someone for an introduction

Relationships start with conversations and shared interests. If you can find a way to connect with someone for a reason – you will find a relationship will form very naturally.   That relationship will thrive if there is a strong value exchange between everyone 🙂   How I Used A Guest Post To Build Relationships With Top Editors Sometimes being creative can help you build relationships.   Here is an example of how I started some conversations with editors from Fast Company and Inc. I knew that I wanted to talk to any of the big editors at a top publication. I also knew that our commonality was pitching – I send ‘em and they receive ‘em! With this in mind – I thought about how I could provide value to them and start chatting! I decided that writing an article that featured their advice would be a cool way to connect… So I sent emails to a few editors similar to this one:

The best part? They responded 🙂 I was now chatting with some top editors from big publications about something that wasn’t entirely selfish. I was interviewing them, demonstrating that their opinion was valued, and establishing them as experts by sharing their advice online!   After a bit of back and forth – this article eventually materialized: https://muckrack.com/daily/2017/10/12/actionable-tips-from-top-industry-editors/   The same article was republished on a few sites like PR Daily and shared across social media! The idea was a success. I could now email these editors and they would at least have some idea about my presence in the world 🙂

8. How To Write A Guest Post

Once someone has given you the opportunity to write a guest post – you want to ensure that you are delivering top-shelf material. Just because someone has agreed to look at a draft or consider your article for submission, does not mean that it will be published. When you submit your content to an editor to be approved as a guest post – this is your first (and probably last!) chance to get it published. Some editors are kind and will let you re-write your work until it is on point.

Some editors will make suggestions on how it can be improved or they might just change it around themselves. However, many editors will reject any article that is not to their standards and quickly move on to the next submission.   This means you need to write your article with strict adherence to their guidelines. It’s simple – follow their instructions! In most cases, an editor will reject an article because:

  • It is poorly written
  • It is clearly self-promotional
  • It was constructed only to serve as a host for a backlink
  • It doesn’t fit with their publication
  • Boring, bland, or off-topic!

When you are sitting down to write your guest post – focus on providing value to the readers. Yes – you might be doing this for promotional purposes or SEO, but don’t let that take away from the quality of your writing or the value of your message. Instead, allow your promotion to come through sharing knowledge and value.   Show off your expertise, answer tough questions, and give advice that people actually care about.This will help people trust you more and ultimately make them more eager to work with you.

Here is an example of a guest post that I did for the HubSpot Marketing Blog: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/bots-vs-humans-instagram

At no point do I try to promote myself or my services. Yet, this is a very valuable article to many readers and it is something that is shared over and over. This one article constantly brings in leads and connects me with people who are interested in talking. I’ve also used it as a great example to help me get even more guest posts 😉 Writing is a craft, not a task.

This means that when you are ready to start writing your guest post – it may take some effort to get it right. If you don’t have the time or the skill to do it – don’t let this stop you from guest posting. You can always hire someone to ghostwrite your articles. Regardless of who is doing the actual writing – make sure that the content provides value to readers, fits with your brand message, and makes the editor happy!

9. How To Backlink In A Guest Post

Fine! I know it, you know it, and editors know it! Lots of people who guest post do it for SEO purposes and backlink building. Yes – we all want that SEO juice 😉 But there’s a but! Not every guest post will yield the juicy backlink that you might be seeking! In fact, some editors will remove links that seem to be promotional or placed for SEO purposes. Other editors will allow one or two links because they are nice 🙂 Some only allows links in the author bio… It all depends on the publication! Guest posts will provide linking opportunities in three forms:

  • Follow Links
  • No Follow Links
  • No Links At All!

The majority of publications will mention linking in their guidelines, but in general – most websites will accept articles with links that actually expand on the value of your content. For example, a link that leads to another high-quality article will almost always be permitted.

Good Link —> https://moz.com/blog/case-study-ranking-high-volume-keyword

However, a link that leads to a sales page or any affiliate link will probably get removed depending on the guidelines of the website.

Bad Link —> https://powerfuloutreach.com/pr-starter-package/ *Shameless Self-Promotion Moment!!!

As a gift for reading this guide —> Email me at elijah@powerfuloutreach.com for 50% off the PR Starter Pack! The Golden Rule for Backlinking in a Guest Post —> Always Make Your Links Relevant and Natural! 5 Methods for Backlinking In A Guest Post Ok –

so if you are savvy SEO person who has an inkling for some backlinking and you’ve chosen to use guest posts as part of your strategy – here are a few ways to backlink with success!

  1. Link to Relevant Resources

The best and easiest way to link back to your site is by linking to content on your site that is related to your article and expands on the value of the subject.   For example:

  • Link to Blog Posts or Articles
  • Link to White Papers
  • Link to Data, Research, or Case Studies

Editors will usually let links like this fly because you are providing more value and information to the reader, or it is clearly a source that was used to inform your guest post.

  1. Present the Link as a Tool

If you are really trying to push user acquisition or build links to a main page for your product – sometimes presenting the link as a useful tool can work. This usually works better if it is in some sort of ‘round up’ article that includes other tools as well.   For example – an article like this: https://www.business2community.com/seo/8-best-tools-finding-competitor-keywords-01956920 This really works if the tool is free in some way!

  1. Embed the Link as a Source Attribution from a Quote

Another way to justify a backlink is by placing it as a source attribution for someone who has provided a quote in your article.   For example: “Blah, blah, blah, important things relevant to this article,” Jimbo Jones, founder of <LINKED COMPANY>, says. Or like this:

If you are writing the article – it might be a little weird to quote yourself. This is where you might want to consider a 3rd party persona or quote someone else from your team!

  1. Save it for the Author Bio

Many sites recognize that people want a link to their site and in an attempt to keep quality of content high – they may provide a backlink in your Author Bio. If you save your backlink for your bio – you can focus on the quality of your article without worrying about trying to stuff it with backlinks. Of course – you might want to do both 😉 Here is an example of a bio with a backlink:

  1. Link to a Free Resource

Another method that editors usually permit is linking to a free resource that the readers might find useful. For example, this could be a landing page for a free e-book, mailing list CTA, or a community page. Perhaps something like this —> https://powerfuloutreach.com/free-ebook/ Links like this are usually more likely to be accepted if you ask permission from the editor directly.

The Flow of our Guide

Thanks for reading PART TWO. Parts 1 and 3 are available at the links below…

Share This