10 Best Practices for Guest Posting to Improve SEO Ranking
To draw the attention of a target audience to your brand, you need a platform to present it. That platform may be owned by you or by someone else. Guest posting, also called guest blogging, is when you post your article on someone else’s website. Guest posting has several advantages which we shall discuss in detail later in the article. Just to introduce it as a strategy, we would stress that it can be used very effectively when you are trying to establish the reputation of your brand and draw traffic to your own website. The effectiveness of the strategy, of course, depends on how well you use the best practices of guest posting. The rest of the article will teach you how to do that.
Benefits of Guest Posting
- It boosts your content’s ROI and drives traffic to your website
- When you publish your content on someone else’s site, a new audience gets to know about your brand. So the boundary of knowledge about your expertise is extended.
- Guest posting is built upon trust in your expertise. The more you guest-post successfully, the more trust you generate and your brand’s reputation grows.
- When your host site has a high domain authority, then the SEO ranking of your website will increase as you build links with them.
Guest Posting also Benefits the Host
The reason why editors of websites are interested in allowing guest posts is that it also benefits the host.
- The host’s website can be infused with fresh ideas when a guest blogger brings in a fresh perspective.
- Editors are always on the lookout for experts who can add value to the website with their informative posts. The relationship between editors and guest bloggers is one of synergy. The guest bloggers acquire a reputation as experts as the host provides them with a platform, and the hosts expand their network of expert bloggers whom they can invite to add value to their website.
- It boosts the SEO of the hosting website when a well-written and well-informed blog is linked by readers. When you provide authentic, helpful, and informed content, it is already one of the best practices for guest posting since it leads to an organic increase in links to both the host website and your website.
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Define your Goals Clearly to Attain Success as a Guest Blogger
The first step toward any strategic action is to have a clear idea of the goals you are trying to achieve. As someone who is a beginner, the following goals should be kept in mind.
- Create Authority: To be a successful blogger, one must attain a position of authority in one’s chosen niche. If you can successfully guest-post your writings on reputed websites in the same industry, that draws people’s attention to your work and establishes you as a name in the industry.
- Create a Network: Successful blogging garlands acceptance as a blogger in a wide network of websites that publish information on your brand. The more guest posting you do, the more your network will expand.
- Get Exposure for Your Own WebsiWhile you can successfully build up your individual authority through guest-posting, it also brings greater exposure to your own website. Readers who like your post will link back to your website to attain more information on the same topic or other topics you have written on.
- Build Backlinks: You must be super careful in pursuing this goal because this is something that Google does not view favorably. Though creating backlinks is an essential SEO strategy, you should be careful to let it happen organically without going overboard in linking your own website too many times in your post.
The above goals must be carefully considered as the first step toward the best practices for guest posting.
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How to Search for Suitable Websites for Guest Posting
- Do a Google Search: As we know, Google has answers for every query. You are searching for a suitable host for sending your content. You must first select your keywords carefully. For example, a good keyword can be “submit a guest post”. Or you may search for sites that are proactively looking for guest posts with a keyword like “accepting guest posts”.
- The Site Must Be Relevant to Your Product:: It is a waste of time for both the host and the guest if a blog is sent to a site whose interest is not focused on the brand of the blog. Make sure that the host’s expertise complements yours.
- The Site Should Have an Engaged Audience: Check if the readers share the posts on social media or comment on the posts. It is a good sign if the audience is engaged, for it will then be engaged with your post too. Also, check if the host has a Twitter or a Facebook account of their own.
An example should help clarify the point. Let’s assume you are selling sports shoes. You would be most benefitted to publish on a site that is focused on sporting activities and necessary accessories and has sports enthusiasts as its audience. These preliminary points must be kept in mind before we move on to the best practices for guest posting.
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10 Best Practices for Guest Posting
1. Research, Research, Research:
- The first decisive step toward best practices for guest posting after having selected a few host websites is to immerse yourself in researching the website. Carefully read the published blogs there. What kind of topics do they cover? What is the style in which they are written? Are they pieces with short texts of 500 to 800 words with many visuals, or primary texts with primary visuals? Read the rules of submission extra carefully. Follow every detail of the rules carefully while writing your content.
- Researching your target host website is of utmost importance because it will show up in the pitch you send to the editor. They will get the message that you are not wasting their time with a casual pitch irrelevant to their brand or their interest. The first impression you create with an editor will go a long way in strengthening your professional relationship in terms of getting more opportunities to publish guest posts.
- While going through the blogs already published by your target host site, pick out one or two that may have content relevant to your cost. Remember to include at least one internal link back to one of these earlier blogs in your post.
2. Narrow Down Your Search:
- Once you have selected a few sites as promising for sending your guest post, try to narrow down the search by checking the domain authority of your selected websites. This is very important because it is the connection with websites with high domain authority that will rub off on your own professional identity and the status of your own wee.
- Take some time, maybe a couple of weeks, to familiarise your name with the owner and the audience of the website you have decided to pitch for. Go through their published posts, make comments, and share some of those posts on your social media account. These actions will make the owner of the site take note of you in a favorable light and that will make it easier for your pitch to be accepted.
3. Send an Interesting Pitch for Your Guest Post:
- You have already done meticulous research on the site. So you are informed about the level at which they address the audience, whether it is a B2B or a B2C site, whether their interest lies in general concepts or specific technical issues, or if they primarily publish listicles.
- The pitch for your content to the editor must focus on what is of interest to them. Remember, each editor receives hundreds of pitches for guest posts every day. So your chances are over if the editor reads your pitch as irrelevant. This point is the most important of the best practices for guest posting.
- Keep your pitch short and to the point. Remember, the editor gets hundreds of pitches every day. Try to grab their interest with your first sentence and don’t waste their time.
- Within this limited space, try to highlight the title of your suggested post. You may consider using it as the Subject Line of your email and then repeat it in the body of the mail.
- Briefly describe the idea of your post in the body of your email within a few sentences or a few bullet points. Make the point about how the idea of your post should be of interest to his other readers because you are bringing a different perspective to a common interest.
- Write a sentence or two about why you are the right person to write this post. Being brief is the mantra. The email must not become a resume.
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4. Craft an Attention-grabber Headline for Your Post:
- The battle is half won when a reader is hooked on your headline. Normally, a captivating headline will take the reader through the rest of the article. Even if they hop, skip and jump, they will be enriched by the information. A good headline should make the benefits clear to the reader.
Example: 5 Ways of Searching for Keywords that will End Your Anxiety about SEO
Touch the reader’s emotion. In the above example, “your anxiety” should motivate a reader hassled by the complexities of SEO ranking. Action words should be used. In the above example, “will end your anxiety” sends the message that the post will actively change the situation of the reader.
5. Carry Out Keyword Research Before Writing Your Blog:
Your host will be impressed if your post ranks high on SEO which will help in driving traffic to their site. So research your keyword with a great deal of attention so you rank high on SERP, leading readers to find you and your content. Keyword research is extremely important among the best practices for guest posting.
6. Write Your Post:
Let’s say you have followed all the best practices diligently. Now you must focus all your attention on writing the post in such a way that all the prior hard work does not go to waste. Keep the publisher’s standards in mind and be careful about your spelling and grammar. It is recommended that you take the help of tools like Grammarly or Hemingway for both grammatical and stylistic purposes.
Be careful not to digress from the topic and organize your content with thoughtful use of subheadings and paragraphs. After completing writing to your satisfaction, remember to check it for plagiarism with a reliable plagiarism checker. Your reputation as a blogger is at stake. Do not let even the smallest hint of plagiarism throw a shadow over your post.
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7. Link to the Rules of Your Host Permit:
Some websites set linking guidelines for their bloggers. This is because Google tries to keep a strict watch on unscrupulous use of backlinking to rank high on SEO. Even then, appropriate linking will always enhance the value of your post for the host by creating links to some high-domain authority sites. As long as you do not go overboard and keep linking within limits, appropriate internal and external links will always add value to your brand as well as to your host website.
8. Format the Post:
You should format your post because you should leave as little work to the host as possible. All sites have certain stylistic norms regarding headings, subheadings, capitalization, etc. Pay careful attention to these norms by going through earlier blogs and then format your own text accordingly. The owner-host will appreciate your efforts.
9. Write a Concise but Informative Bio:
This is the last of the best practices for guest posting. The bio is where you finally get to legitimately link your own site as a part of introducing yourself and your brand. You may
- Add a link to your home page or to a particular page that may be relevant for the host site
- You may add your social media link to your bio.
- Don’t forget to add a Call to Action (CTA) for the audience like, “Please comment” “Follow me on Facebook or Twitter” or “Please subscribe to my website”. If you find some audience responding to your call, you will know your post is a success.
10. Track the Result on Your Post and Actively Promote It:
When you have come this far, you would naturally be curious to know the effect your blog has created. It will be a learning experience as you will find out how to implement the best practices for guest posting fares in the real world. Also, once the post has come out on a platform, that’s the time when you must do your best to promote it to draw traffic to it. To promote your post, you should
- Share it on all your social media networks
- Send an email to everyone you have linked on the post
- Send it to online community forums
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Guest Posting is a Long Term Project
Now you know the best practices for guest posting. What you need to keep in mind, however, is that guest posting is not a one-time project. If you taste success with your first guest post, then you must continue with more guest-posting, or what you have gained in terms of drawing traffic and establishing a reputation as an expert will be lost in the rush of other people’s guest’s posts.
In the digital market, you have to keep your reputation alive continuously by reminding people of your skills through posting either as a guest or on your website. Since guest posting allows you exposure to a new audience, it extends the boundary of your reputation. You should, therefore, keep publishing guest posts.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. Given the proliferation of blogs, is guest blogging still effective?
Regardless of how many blogs are flooding the market every day, guest posting can always help in establishing your reputation as an authority in your niche, especially if you are posting on sites in your industry that enjoy a high domain authority. It also improves SEO ranking both for your website and your host’s website.
2. Is blogging different from posting?
Yes, there is. It is called “blogging” when you write something on your website. But it is called “posting” when you write for someone else’s website.
3. Is there a difference between a post and an article?
Generally speaking, posts are shorter, while articles are longer, giving you more scope to showcase your expertise. For example, Linkedin limits the length of its posts to 1,300 characters but allows up to 125,000 characters for articles.
The digital world offers a vast scope to anyone with substantive knowledge and expertise in a niche topic to build up their reputation as an authority in that subject through best practices for guest posting. If you have a passion for writing and want to share your knowledge with like-minded communities, you can successfully establish your interest as a brand in the digital market. This will serve you to both pursue your passion for writing as well as earn good money. Guest posting is one of the most useful strategies to reach that goal, so start following the best practices for guest posting listed above.