Are you seeking to improve your website backlink authority through guest posting? Do you want to build more brand authority and increase referral traffic to your website?
It is indisputable that backlinks are one of the factors that influence website ranking.
Of course, the other two core factors are
- Content both on the page itself and within the sphere of the website
- Technical optimization
But today, I will be talking a little bit more about backlinks with specific reference to guest posting as one of the main means by which you can get more links to your website and I will look specifically at why most guest postings are failing and how to do it right.
In any link building school, there are arrays of backlink technique that beginners are usually taught. I seek to believe that the easiest ones most beginners are encouraged to start with are usually:
- Guest posting
- Bookmarking site
Not necessarily in that order but the idea is that these link building techniques are
- Easy to implement
- Cost almost next to nothing
- Can be done at scale
While other link building techniques can be done at scale, I will like to point out that none is less effective than the other. A healthy backlink profile should contain a mix of these in somewhat reasonable proportion.
But we know why this is usually difficult. Some link building technique just are more difficult to implement than other which makes a lot of people prefer link building techniques such as guest posting.
So why do most people fail to land a guest post on their target site?
Before I go further, I will like to briefly look at the theory of guest posting, what is it and why a lot of people use it as a means to get links
What is Guest Posting?
You can find various definitions but if you want a very simple definition, here is it.
“Guest posting is the process of writing articles for another website” usually with the aim of
- Sharing your expertise with the audience of the other website
- Acquiring links back to your own website
If you look at the definition of guest posting above, you will notice easily that guest posting is usually a win-win for most both parties.
Let me explain
- Sharing your expertise with the other website:
As you notice earlier in this piece, I explained why guest posting means writing content and rather than placing it on your own website, you look for a partner website which has an audience that will benefit greatly from reading the article you have written.
Why this works a lot, is because the content is one of the many other ranking factors and “good content” is becoming increasingly difficult to produce so for the partner website. For the most website that allows guest posting, it is an avenue to get content on their website without having to type a single word-literally.
The other major reason, why a site might allow you to gust post for them is simply to give a different tone and to share information sometimes same information through a different eye view.
- For the writer, it is a good avenue to get exposure to a new audience for either branding or pure lead generation. Imagine landing a guest post opportunity on a site like Hubspot if you are in the digital marketing space or even on a Forbes if your article is geared towards executive or CEO.
The other major reason is purely simple and something selfish reason.
- Getting more backlinks to the writer’s website.
I sincerely believe that hit s was one of the major reasons Google almost wanted to kill guest posting. Unfortunately, if you look at the fundamentals of guest posting as explained above, you will quickly notice that it has such good intentions when done for the right reasons, so there was no way, they could stick a fork in it.
So in all its glorification, guest posting is good.
It has good intentions and can be beneficial to practice almost everyone involved.
So how do most link builders mess it up?
Let me share a simple scenario.
So through a stroke of pure genius or luck, I started ranking for a query which supports guest posting. Also just a few months ago, this site published a list of the top 300 websites in a different niche where you can submit a guest post article and my site was also picked up and mentioned. So you can either arrive at my site if you run the query above or simply land on the site through the referral link.
Is this a blessing in disguise or a curse?
As a small website and benefiting from the scenario above, I get daunted with over 20 requests every single month for guest posting opportunities and 99% of the time, I turn down the most request.
In fact, in the last 3 months, I have not accepted any request for guest posting and this is what drove me to write this piece in the first place.
Two major reasons why I have not accepted a guest posting in a while:
- I am extremely busy- running an SEO agency on the side is hard work
- Your outreach process sucks.
For a site that posts an article once every 3 months, I should be happy to get a request for guest posting. After all, I can fill my site with content which we know can help the site stay fresh when you look at it through Google eye lens.
For SEO newbies, freshness in terms of new content on a site or updating old content is one of the many numerous Google ranking signals.
But yet, I turn down almost all requests majorly due to reason #2
Your outreach process sucks.
I am not even talking about getting content that sucks. I mean 99% of people do not make it past the first initial contact stage.
Mind you, I don’t even have a rigid guideline in place.(show a link to my guest posting page)
And this has made to even fine tune my own guest posting process.
Let me give you two scenarios where I had to turn down guest posting request and we will learn a lesson or two from them. When we are done with that, I will explain how you can get better at winning more guest posting opportunity.
#1: Case Study Reasons
This guest posting request failed because from my own perspective, it contains the worst guest posting sample in the history of link building
The above image is a sample of a guest posting outreach email I got. This email is dead on arrival for a lot of reasons.
- The subject line is asking if I accept guest posts on my site. Of course, I do which is why I have that simple page
- Lack of signature – The email lacks the verification factors I need to let me decide if this email is worth taken seriously. There is only a name and a generic email address. Even if I ignore the email address you are using to send your outreach, how do I know who or what you represent?
#2: Case Study Reason 2- Do not make it obvious you doing it for links
Sometimes your guest posting fails even when you have a good guest post outreach email. So I got this email request and for whatever reason, guess I was in a good frame of mind, I accepted.
Then I got a further email like this after responding to the initial email. Notice the part where I added a pencil mark?
For whatever reasons, you should not ask me if I add a do-follow or no-follow.
It really does not matter.
When guest posting is done for the right reasons – brand or personal awareness, educating a new set of audience, then getting a backlink is just one of the added benefits.
So here is a process I used in getting a link to site, we build a guest post for
- Contacted site owner
- Sent the first piece
- Sent the second piece – after a month
- Sent the third piece and inserted a link to a page I wanted to rank in the body of the article.
Now that I have shared with you some major reasons why your guest posting outreach may fail, it will be unfair not to share some insights and process into how to make sure that your guest posting outreach is successfully and indirectly help you build more links.
After all, when done right, guest posting can be done on a manageable scale which means you can earn up to 4 links per month through guest posting as a link building technique
The Recommended Guest Posting Process
- Get a list of target site –
Most people hardly fail here but what they lack is not having a proper record. A simple excel sheet contain URL, Name of Site Owner and Notes to document what happened during the process is enough. The reason for this is that you want to make sure that you are not sending the same message to the same persons. There are tons of tools you can use to manage your process but a simple excel sheet still works
- Understand the site
So making a list is just half the battle. If you have run a guest posting query such as “keyword + “write for us”, then there is a possibility that your target list is good. But for goodness sake, take a moment to study the site. The fact that I accept a guest article on my site does not mean I accept anything and anyone. Read the guidelines. Get to truly understand the site. How many authors? Is it a one-man show or not? Are they active on social media?
- Tick or cross off your list
Once you conduct your due diligence on the site, you will know if you want to proceed with getting a guest posting gig on the site or not. While some sites may be compatible and within your industry, they may simply be out of reach depending on your perceived authority within the industry.
Once you have finalized your list and have categorized them, you can now start your outreach process. As seen above, if your email sucks, your outreach success is going to be less than 1% which eventually means you may not hit your target for the month.
- Don’t hit and Run
Some for some weird reasons, you landed the guest posting gig on that site. Your article is now live and probably you have even shared it. But then, what happens a week, a month or even a year later. Did you even take time to visit the site again?
Most successful link building activities is a result of building relationship either online or offline. I have succeeded in landing guest posting gigs and even getting links on another website without building any relationships before contacting the site owner.
But what I have never done is set and forget.
Because eventually, we will still need each other in future.
Over to you, what guest posting outreach email makes you want to shut down your system and never want to read such emails again.