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?
If 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.
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.