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What To Watch When Prospecting Blogs For Guest Posting Opportunity

Many internet marketers think they can succeed simply by submitting as many posts in as many places as possible and linking them back to their site. This strategy has it’s benefits, but you need to foster relationships with the right bloggers if you want to achieve the best results. Here’s what to look for from a blog if you’re considering guest posting:

What Does the Blog Look Like?

It should be obvious at first glance that the blogger cares about their site. Ads are almost inevitable, but they shouldn’t overpower the site. A quick read through should tell you whether they know what they’re talking about and whether they intend to build a genuine, loyal audience. It should stand out and have some branding elements that give the site personality. Sites that lack these qualities are often build simply to build links from, and are likely to languish at the bottom of the search results with little traffic.

How Often is it Updated?

Guest Posting checklistIf it has been more than a month since the site saw an update, it’s probably best to avoid it. The site might no longer be active at all. If the blog posts don’t have dates, you have no way of knowing whether the site receives regular attention, and it might not be worth the effort. By the same token, if the site is updated hundreds of times a day with low quality content and no general theme, they are just a content mill and aren’t really worth the effort either.

Check the Blogroll

Some bloggers will include a blogroll in their sidebar.

The intent of a blogroll is to link to other sites that the owner of the site has a great deal of interest in, but some bloggers will use this space to sell links instead. If the blogroll is filled with keyword optimized text, links to sites that nobody would be interested in, sites that aren’t at all related, or more than 15 or 20 links, it’s probably a good idea to stay away. There is a good chance the site is selling links, something that will get them penalized by the search engines and is generally off putting to any genuine audience.

Look for Guest Posting Guidelines

Some sites will have a specific page describing their guest post guidelines, or a “write for us” page. If they don’t, most will have a “contact” page and many of them will be very specific about how they prefer to be contacted. Look for sites that are somewhat discriminating about the quality of a guest post. Some of them will include guidelines about where the links will be placed, how much you can optimize the text, and how many links you can include. This is all okay and often preferable, provided that they are accepting links at all. Be sure to meet any guidelines or you could risk losing the chance to post.

The page may also explain what is and isn’t considered on-topic. If your site is completely off topic, don’t bother. If, on the other hand, you think you could provide their audience relevant information even if your site isn’t a perfect match, this is no reason to turn down a guest post. Some blogs will even offer a prepared title for you to use.

Find at Least One Guest Post on the Site

If the site has zero guest posts, it’s not worth the effort to request one. Some bloggers want total control of their site and are very suspicious of letting others write for their site. Others may claim to allow guest posts but have standards so high they haven’t accepted a single post. Either way, there’s little chance you’ll be able to solicit a guest post on a site that doesn’t already have a guest post.

Read a Couple Posts Before Taking any Action

This should give you some idea of the style of writing they prefer, what topics they are interested in, and whether you can meet these expectations. Be realistic and solicit to blogs that you can match in quality. At the same time, don’t sell yourself short and only solicit to bargain barrel sites. Look for sites that genuinely match your quality level and keep pushing the limit in order to improve your skills.

Good luck!

Jeff has been blogging since 2007 & contributing on many websites since that time. He is a professional internet marketing and blogging consultant. He is also a consultant and content contributor for condos in Queens website.

About 

Jeff is an internet marketing consultant and a part time blogger. He writes mostly about blogging, internet marketing, Pay Per Click Strategies and Search Engine Optimization techniques and best practices.

66 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. I’m not into guest posting at the moment, but whenever I get news feed from your site, I read something else that interests me instead. Keep up the good work!

    • Hi Jim,
      guest posting is one of the most efficient tactics to bring traffic and search engine love to your blog. With applying proper prospecting technique you can save lot of time and increase CR. Thanks on your comment!

    • Jim,

      I’ve been reading up often on “the awesome power of guest posting”, and how it can benefit your overall search engine rankings, as well as build a positive online reputation. Perhaps you will consider guest posting in the near future, as it’ll do much good for your online visibility :-)

  2. Jym

    Sound Advice, Jeff…

    It’s clear to see why you have found your way to guesting here at Basic Blog Tips.

    I don’t entirely agree with the last point about not approaching blogs with zero guest posts. Sometimes they’ve just been afraid to ask, or haven’t been sold on why they stand to gain from it. Always worth a try I say!

    Thanks, enjoyed :)

    • Thanks on your opinion Jym. In my humble opinion it is more likely that you’ll not get opportunity on blogs without at least one guest post included. But, if you succeed value of such link will give extra power to your blog.

  3. Great advice from Jeff. In case anyone is interested, I’m always interested in receiving guest post proposals for my freelance writing blog. I’ve linked to my guidelines from my name (above). Hope that’s OK!

  4. Wow!..superb info on guest posts.
    Even though I try to follow all the points mentioned here, but after a couple of emailing, the person who wished to publish my guest post, just goes to hibernation.

    • Hi,
      that’s why you must have Twitter, Facebook and G+ account. Through Social Networks you can connect with other side and increase possibility of publishing your work. And, it is not all in publishing and getting backlinks. On this way you can build new quality friendships (Ileane knows that). Thanks on feedback!

    • Hi Shanky Sahni,
      if you are blogger or have plans to be this article will help you to achieve main goals, direct traffic – your readers/subscribers and search engines traffic. Thanks on comment!

  5. A friend of mine was just asking me about guest blogging, and then I randomly came across this article! Weird! :) I will forward it on to her.

  6. Guest posting is done only for black linking process i suppose so either way the spend time on the blog which is good for SEO.. Dont you think ?

    • Hi James,
      great SEO authorities recommend this link building tactics as “legal” and “efficient”. There is nothing wrong in guest posting. If you write and offer quality content, readers will follow you and you’ll get links on natural way – because your content is worth to be linked. Blackhat lb methods are totally different, but we can about that in next guest post.

  7. I’m learning more more as I progress in my online marketing efforts about the “awesome power of guest posting”. Guest posting or “guest blogging” is responsible for the “positive abnormal success” of many bloggers and online companies that started years ago. And, as I “strive for excellence” in improving my [writing game], I look forward to hopefully being granted a humble opportunity to guest post, or guest blog, on someone’s site. :-)

  8. Great tips, Jeff. These are helpful as well when it comes to screening guest posts that are submitted for posting in our personal blog sites.

    I’m with Jym about what you said about not considering blogs that don’t have any guest posts yet. If the readership is pretty good, it doesn’t pay to ask. For all we know, maybe the owner of the blog hasn’t really considered the idea, and asking about it may spark a lightbulb that would be for your benefit.

    • Hi Adeline,
      I’m not saying that is impossible to get published on blog without at least one guest post, but you’ll probably spend a lot of time and energy to convince blogger (if she/he replies) to publish your work. This tip was pointed more on efficiency if you understand? On the other hand, if you produce genuine content, every blogger should publish it,am I right? Thanks again on comment, starting debate.

      • That’s true, Jeff. But like I said, there’s no harm in asking, right? That doesn’t mean to say that you’ll spend all of your time and effort on that one blog. If they respond, well and good. If not, no biggie. At least you tried. :)

  9. The only things I looked for when guest checking sites for guest posts were the archives, any recent posts and the style and tone of the site. I will check out the other things you mentioned in the future.

    • Thanks Marcie. Just be consistent in efforts and all be fine. Watch on details and follow experienced bloggers, that is almost complete story. Prefect example is my dear friend Ileane, admin of this blog. Everyone should follow her tips because she knows exactly what she’s doing.

  10. that is a very nice piece of advice.. i always look for guest post opportunities… you have made some good points regarding how to be effective while writing a good blog post.. thanks for the share..some people misuse guest post so that may be reason why some bloggers stay away for providing guest opportunities for their site..

    Regards
    Aniket

  11. Jeff loved your post :)!

    I have a question related to Blog rolls. I have a blog roll in one of my blogs, the blog has been doing great and now i am daily getting good offers where some niche based sites want to place their links, they are offering decent money. I am in the process of finalizing 5 of them. If i use these 5, will it harm my blog?

  12. Blog is important part of search engine optimization. It is the best medium to promote a website around the world. Here are some tips to optimize a blog in search engine such as the title of the blog should be descriptive, use image titles that match content in your post, use SEO keywords in your content, submit your blog to the major search engines and generate inbound links.

  13. Great Tips Jeff. This is a very informative blog. Sharing your knowledge and providing us with refreshing idea is a big help. I learn so much on you. Thanks !!

  14. Hey Jeff,

    You have got some really good tips for a guest blogger who is looking forward to get the most out of guest blogging. Yes, I agree with all of your points. It is really important to research before you guest post. As you mentioned in the post, it helps us to write “better” posts at “better places” and build better relationships with the blogger and the reader.

    Thank you for the article,

    Jeevan Jacob John

    Note: You also have written about a few things that most bloggers usually miss: Like picking up the writing style of the blog you want to post on and guest posting guidelines. Thanks again!

  15. Stephen Mills

    I looked for when guest checking sites for guest posts were the archives, any recent posts and the style and tone of the site. I will check out the other things you mentioned in the future.

  16. If I wanted to start to guest blog for an attorney, to get him some inbound links, should I only be looking to get the articles on legal blogs, or will any sort of blog do, as long as it is relevant?

    Thanks for your time, and posts, I’ll be looking at the blogroll more now!

    • Hi Pete,
      unless you’re lawyer it will be real hard task for you to blog in legal niche. My advice is to start in blogging niche and ask bloggers to put link of your project in Author’s Bio. Relevancy is great, but sometimes to hard to accomplish. On the other hand, if you succeed in other niche your work will be awarded with better positions on search engines. Good luck!

  17. I’m at the other end of that right now since I just opened up my blog to guest blogging and I’m amazed at how many people don’t practice your last point of reading a couple posts before trying to submit a post. I’m getting submissions so far off my niche that I have to wonder if they even read the title, much less an actual post there. Seriously, I’ve had two real estate submissions this week already.

    • Hi Brian,
      in this post I’ve explained what’s on my mind when prospecting for guest post, based on my personal experience. When prospects leads me to a new blog, I like to read few posts to figure what’s quality and what topics blogger prefer for publishing. Many bloggers have instructions about preferred topics on their “guest post” or “write for us” pages, but many bloggers have not. But anyway, before I start with writing I like to know more about particular blog. Thanks on responding and giving advices to develop my strategy.

  18. Daniel

    These are some good things to keep in mind Jeff, I might have to write these down somewhere! Especially your concluding point: “Read a Couple Posts Before Taking any Action”. It just seems like common sense, but there are those who just try to ram their own information onto every site out there.

  19. khalid

    Thanks Jeff for these nice tips.I have just started blogging and this site has been really helpful to me with such quality writers and quality content.

    Khalid recently posted ABH World

  20. The tips are just awesome to go with and its really important that we should consider at least a single guest post on the site as wall as to publish a guest post.

  21. Good tips. From what I understand, it is acceptable to sell text links as along as you include the “nofollow” attribute to them. Google requires that all links that stem from an advertisement or sponsored conversation contain the “nofollow” attribute, so that they don’t include that specific link in their ranking algorithm. Of course you’ll only want to work with companies that you can legitimately recommend to your readers.

    • Hi Holly,
      links with “nofollow” attribute are worthless for SEO and site authority. Usually, if you advertise on particular blog (banner, text ads) you get “doffollow” link which means direct traffic and link juice (love) from search engines. Google doesn’t approve buying links just for linking purposes, but buying advertising space with links included is something totally different. Advertising is legal, buying links only for backlinking purposes is forbidden and may cause different penalties for both sides.

  22. If we are writing good and quality content regularly will it effect the blog.
    I mean to say will it get spammed or not or how regularly we should post articles on the blog.

  23. Jeff, I enjoyed this article because you covered all the best tips for guest blogging. I have not allowed guest bloggers on any of my sites because my consultant told me not to have any more outbound links from my sites than I absolutely have to have ( I own affiliate sites) He insist my link juice will be diluted. The other reason is that I just can’t seem to find great quality from guest bloggers. I subscribe to myblogguest and even their quality is not consistent. Can you comment back to me on your take of outbound links from my sites.

    Thanks,
    Dori

  24. One of my goals is to guest post in 2012, but I want to put the content where it will do the most good. Your guidelines are right on time for me. Thank you!

    • Hi Clara,
      if you’re totally new in guest blogging, you may start with Myblogguest.com community. Register for free and start with exchange. Good luck!

  25. Do your best to guest post on sites with similar tone as your article as well as accepting guest articles. Although there hasn’t been any proof that it’ll help increase your site’s rank even more, it’s weird to read a gardening article on an SEO blog.

    • Hi Louis,
      it is really weird to see published article which is not related with niche of blog. I would never publish this type of post, even if sounds great. Simply, SEO fans mostly don’t care about gardening. And, if they do, they’ll search for blogs in gardening niche. Thanks on feedback!

  26. “Some bloggers want total control of their site and are very suspicious of letting others write for their site.”

    I think I feel for this. The first time I received a guest blog request, I WAS very suspicious. I could have wanted the guest blogger to post it on his own, since I received the article firsthand and it was impressive (with no copyscape hits whatsoever.) but the Blogger platform I think doesn’t allow a moderated post wherein when a guest blogger post something, the overall admin will have to approve it first. There’s no such thing like that but rather an auto-post thing. But I was quite weary he will do something so I did not let him. I posted his quest blog via my account with a line that stated it was written by him.

    On topic, do you know of a tool or gadget in Blogger wherein a poster’s guest blog will first have to be approved by the admin before it gets published rather than an auto post thing? Thanks!

    Wow. I am learning a lot from this site.

  27. Hi Jeff,

    I started to guest post last month and it has brought me some good results. I believe guest posting if done properly is really beneficial for generating traffic, links, and building relationships.

    Your post gives the kind of advice I need in the right time.

    Thanks for the great post!

  28. Another thing I look for is the engagement level of a blog post, If a post is getting lot of comments it’s a sure sign that their are eager readers. For blogs like that I try to come up with really awesome guest posts.

  29. I use a lot BLU (Blogger Link Up) to find new guest post opportunity. It’s a mailing list where people ask or offers guest post. You can scroll the index and find appropriate themes and blog categories. Give it a try it’s really a good service.

  30. These are some good things to consider to keep Jeff, I would write about this somewhere! Especially your last point: “Do you read a few posts before the action.”
    It seems like common sense, but there are people who are just trying to ram their own information on any website.

    Thanks nice post