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Guest Blogging Guidelines – An Extensive Guide

by Peter Attia
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This is a guest post by Peter Attia from PeterAttia.com.

I was recently tasked with training a few link builders on guest posting. Previously, their main concentration was on directory submissions. This was a good introduction for them as it gave them some basic understanding of SEO: anchor text, page value, backlinks, etc. However, manual outreach was completely foreign to them.

I needed to make a quick and simple document that they could use as a reference point. Something we could go over in detail during a training session that could later serve as a resource in the field. This is what I ended up with.

Quick Overview

 

  • Finding a niche to write about
  • Finding blogs
  • Finding contact information
  • Tailoring your opening email
  • Correspondence
  • Writing a post
  • Author bio
  • Link Placement

Finding a Niche to Write About

1) Figure out a niche that isn’t too specific, otherwise you might not be able to find many blogs on the topic.

Example: If you were working on a pizza related client, you should search for food blogs, not pizza blogs. 

2) Make sure it’s a niche that could easily incorporate the anchor text you’re working with.

Example: Again, for pizza, if you targeted a niche specifically about deserts, they may be unwilling to put up a post regarding pizza. (However, if you can think of a clever way to sneak the keyword in while writing about desert, go for it!)

Finding Blogs

The easiest way to find blogs that accept guest posts is to simply do a Google search. Below is a list of search queries you can use to find blogs that accept guest posts.

  • Guest Post “niche”
  • Write for us “niche”
  • “Niche” submit guest post
  • “Niche” submit a post
  • “Niche” guest blogging
  • “Niche” guest blogger

Alternative Ways to Find Blogs

You don’t have to search guest posting related terms. You can simply do searches like “Niche blog”. Some of them just might not accept guest posts or only allow people they’re familiar with to guest post. 

Alternative search engines

  • Technorati.com – Blog search engine
  • Alltop.com – Blog directory
  • DuckDuckGo.com – Alternative search engine
  • BlogCatalog.com – Blog search engine
  • Best of the Web (blogs.botw.org) – Blog directory

Finding Contact Information

This is usually as easy as striking ctrl+f in your browser and searching for “Contact”. Sometimes it’s in the about page instead. If you can’t find it like that try one of these alternatives.

  • Do a ctrl+f on the main blog page for “mail” sometimes they’ll mention their email in a post.
  • If you’re on a Blogspot, WordPress, or other blog network you can search for “profile” and check their profile page for an email.
  • Search the site on whois.domaintools.com and check the “Registrant Contact” information for their email.
  • Find them on Twitter or Facebook and contact them directly.

Note: Avoid using contact forms if possible. They usually look automated and not as personal.

Tailoring Your Opening Letter

You want your opening letter to be personalized for each blogger as much as possible. You can use a similar opening letter for multiple blogs, but at the very least make sure there are a few key components that are specific to their blog.

Subject Line: Use their blogs name in the subject line (not the URL, the actual title). This will immediately catch their eye. I usually just stick about in front of their blogs name – Ex: “About Best Blog in The Universe”

Body: If you’re able to find it, use their name in the opener. Also use their URL somewhere in the body. Ex:

 

Hey {name},

I was wondering if you accepted guest posts on bestblogintheuniverse.com. It’s about awesomeness, so it would be a perfect fit for your blog. Thanks in advance!

All the Best,

-Peter

 

Other Notes:

  • Keep your email short and to the point.
  • Personalize your email as much as possible, but don’t spend too much time on the site. The response rate is going to be low, so you want to send emails out as timely as possible.
  • In the URL, don’t put the http:// in front of the address: it can sometimes trigger a spam filter.

Correspondence

Obviously this is going to vary from person to person, but there are a few things you should avoid doing.

  • Do not mention SEO. Some bloggers think SEO’s derived from hell directly. (Exception: Some bloggers will already be very knowledgeable and open to SEO practices)
  • Don’t mention your client right away. (Incase it’s one of the bloggers I mentioned above, in which case they may rant about your client all over the internets)
  • Don’t make it sound like you’re guest blogging specifically for linking purposes.
  • Don’t decline any requests they may have if possible: for example if they want to adjust the linking keywords slightly, that’s totally fine.

Note: When the correspondence is done and they agree, you should request that they inform you of any changes prior to putting up the post. This will give you adequate time to make any corresponding requests in return.

Writing a Post

You want to appease the blogger as best you can and so you should tailor the post to their blog specifically: even if you’ve pitched the same idea to multiple bloggers. For example, say you were writing about getting around in LA. If you notice that the blogger is an avid biker, make the post about biking around LA instead.

Perks: These aren’t must dos, but they help keep readers from abandoning your post.

  • Use images to make posts visually appealing
  • Make use of indents and bullet points to make posts more readable
  • Use bolding for key phrases to help them stand out
  • Split posts into titled sections to break things up
  • Use informational graphics like charts to visualize what you’re writing 

Author Bio

Guest posts usually have an optional author bio (byline) at the end. This is just a small three-sentence blurb where you can place any personal links, such as links to your own blog or twitter. This is typically not required.

Link Placement

You’ll want to place your link within the actual post. Preferably, you want it to be the first link in the second paragraph. If possible you should also place 1 or 2 other content relevant links to high authority sites like BBC, WordPress, or Youtube.

Alternative

Some bloggers will not allow links in the blog post at all. However, they are usually comfortable allowing links within the author bio.

After the post goes live

After the post goes live there are still a few more things to do.

  • Check the post and make sure everything checks out
  • Subscribe to the posts comments to get email notifications
  • Respond to any comments in a timely manner

To download/print this set of guidelines, get the PDF here.

This post was written by...

Peter Attia – who has written 1 posts on Point Blank SEO.

Peter Attia+ is the Senior Search Marketing Specialist at Get Page One. You can find Peter on Twitter: @attiapete and on his personal blog.

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32 Comments
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