I will start off with acknowledging this is in no way a hack. More of an observation that can get you around using marketplaces to buy guest posts.
It should also be noted that paying for links & guest posting goes against Google’s best practices however, the grey area around “paying for content” naturally gets blurred. Owning a high-ranking website on Google is like owning real estate. Renting that space out is the natural free-market practice. Whether it’s an ad, vlog, guest post, or any other type of content, if the content creator doesn’t own the domain, the content was paid to be put on that property one way or another.
First, let’s talk about what a guest post is for those who are new to Search Engine Optimization. A guest post is when you write and publish an article on someone else’s site. Depending on the domain authority of the website you are guest posting on you may link this guest post to your money site or 1st tier sites. Guest posts are great because they give websites free content and your site gets a backlink.
Next, we have to find these sites. There are online marketplaces where you can pay for guest posts but this can be costly. A pretty common strategy is to do a Google search of your industry and the phrase “write for us”. Yes, include the quotation marks in your Google search. This will tell Google that you only want to see websites that are about that industry and have the words “write for us” somewhere on the website. Sites with the phrase “write for us”, “contribute”, “guest blogger”, “submit a guest post”, and many similar terms are most likely looking for content! Another tip, turn your search tools to only show web pages built in the last year. These sites are more likely to be active and have a contact point available.
So, now you have a list of 100 websites in an excel sheet and you’re happy. These people should be easy to work with. Who doesn’t want free content!?
Before you send anyone anything, we need to make sure that these sites are worthy of our time and energy. Guest posts are supposed to be original content so ideally you’ve worked on this piece for a minimum of 2 hours. How can we be sure?
In this stage, the first thing I like to do is judge a book by its cover. I know, your mother always advised against this. Some SEO experts may say I am missing out on potential. I say I want only the best. Look at every link in your excel sheet and throw out everyone that has a spammy looking domain name, a domain that makes little sense for your industry, or links ending in things other than .com, .edu, .org, or .net.
Now that we’ve cut some junk domains out we want to see who’s the best of the rest. Go over to your Ahrefs account or a free tool like websiteseochecker.com and enter your links one by one and record the domain authority (DA) of each site.
We now have a list we can start to make sense of. What I like to do is now break this excel sheet up into tabs and label them “DA 0-10”, “DA 10-20”, and so on. We now have a visual break down of our potential guest post sites and can make a better decision on our reach.
Tip: I like to add 3 columns to the right on the domain authority column. One that is a color code. I use red, yellow, and green based on how receptive they are to me. Anything in red I will put a number in for how many times I’ve reached out. After the third time with no response I delete them from the list. The next is the last date contacted, followed by what their blog requirements are.
Many of these sites will require 750+ words or more per blog with a minimum of one picture. If you have a 500-word blog you want guests posted it's nice not to waste your time with sites that won’t waste their time with your blog.
Now, do we throw away all sites with a DA under 30? No. SEO is all about balance. We want our guest posts to spread out. A simple 33% split between 0-20, 21-40, and 40+ is a safe place to start. It will never be perfect but it will signal to Google that you are well represented around the web.
We have our plan and emails ready. We will assume you have created an awesome piece of content that complies with these site’s requirements and it is time to write approach these properties for a post.
Some sites will tell you what they want in the subject line. (This should be in your notes column next to the word count). For everyone else use a straightforward approach. Remember, we found these sites by searching terms like “write for us”, there’s no need to use all caps or make someone think there’s a problem with their site. A simple “Your Next Guest Post” or “Looking to Build Guest Post Partnership” will go a long way. The word partnership is great, who doesn’t like getting something in return for helping out. It could get you a few more opened emails.
You communicate with the site editors, get your blog posted, get that juicy backlink, have made the proper notes on your guest post excel sheet and you’re ready to go.
If you have expensive software like SEMRush or Ahrefs keep an eye on this link with one of their tools to make sure it continues to give you positive results. If things go awry you can always disavow it.
Now to that “hack” I mentioned in the title…the reason you’re reading this...
There are a ton of platforms that bring together buyers and sellers of paid guest posts. The one we used when starting out was BuySellGuestPost.com. The job got done but there were times where communicating with a website owner was difficult after you already shelled out. Sometimes you wouldn’t hear anything from anyone. There were a lot of moving parts. Then it hit me, instead of paying through this platform hoping for a responsive site owner, why not cut out the middle man. Sites like BSGP are riddled with sites looking to pay reasonable prices for content. Find some sites you like using their platform where you can break down by price and DA, saving you a ton of time. Reach out to these sites and make contact before paying! You may even be able to get a cheaper price with the middleman taken out of the equation.
Now you’re really building a network.
Acquiring guest posts is work, it takes a lot of emails and even more writing. If you write a paragraph and add 5 new sites to your excel sheet a day you will have a list worth envying in a year’s time. Maybe even worth selling.
Mad Mango Marketing has also done the work for you! Reach out to us today and start utilizing our already built network!
All blogs are written by our incredible staff here at Mad Mango Marketing. Your Connecticut SEO, App Development, and Online Advertising experts.