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How to Successfully Guest Post on Popular Sites

Despite Matt Cutts (of Google fame) scaring guest bloggers all over the place, it remains probably the most viable SEO and brand building strategy in existence.

There are two different types of guest posting:

  1. Posting for quantity in order to get lots of links.
  2. Posting for quality on top sites in order to build a brand and generate traffic through your bio link.

Both of these strategies are very successful. Posting for quantity is a bit easier to do, but requires much more work in order to be successful. Posting for quality is a tougher strategy to get down, but one single guest post could potentially launch you into another stratosphere.

Because it can be so effective, let’s talk about guest posting on popular sites.

Find the Best of the Best

You probably know your niche pretty darn well. Whether you’re a blogger or you just have a site where you sell your services, you should understand your competition and recognize who the “inner circle” of the top people are in your industry.

Create a spreadsheet with the URL of these top sites. If you only know a few, do some research on Facebook and Google. What sites consistently show up at the top of the search rankings? Which people constantly get their stuff shared on FB by everyone?

These are the people you want to keep track of. Keep going until you have a massive list – at least 50, but the more the merrier.

Find Topics to Pitch

Now, go down your spreadsheet and visit each of these sites. Read a bunch of their posts, and see which ones are popular (many bloggers will have a list of popular posts in their sidebar). See what they like to write about, the tone, the length, and anything else you can learn from them.

Determine 3 topics that you can pitch to them that they haven’t covered recently (preferably never) and would appeal to their target audience. Do this for your whole list.

Sniper Them for a Week

I’ve seen some bloggers skip this step, but I think it’s nearly essential.

This strategy means to stalk them for a week. Share all their stuff, leave comments, Like them on Facebook, etc. Don’t get crazy and go back and Tweet every post they’ve done, but do this for a couple of them. Many top bloggers follow the activity with their site, and they’ll notice your name if it pops up frequently. They’re more likely to respond when you contact them.

Email Them!

There’s a lot of leeway with the email you write, but a few points should be in there.

You need to

  • Tell them you’ve been reading their blog lately and that you are a big fan.
  • Point out a specific post that you enjoyed.
  • Tell them that you’d love to write for their site.
  • Give them the 3 post ideas you came up with and ask them if they like any of those.
  • Close!

That’s it! Make it friendly, not desperate. Use their name and inject some of your personality! They’d much rather work with a real person instead of someone robotic.

Write the Post and Send it Off

These posts you write for top sites should be the best posts you’ve ever written. They should be very well researched and cover the topic thoroughly.
These bloggers are the best and they’ll love you for providing amazing content that their readers can use.

Of course, your post needs to have a bio on it with a link back to your site.

Visit Back Often!

The day your post is published, be sure to visit and respond to comments. The blogger will appreciate that you didn’t just abandon the process once you got what you wanted. Share the post on your social media to help them get a little extra love.

You want them to love you so that they’ll let you write for them in the future!

Any questions about guest blogging on popular sites?

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