In the early days of blogging, guest posting was a tried and true way for writers to expand their reach, build relationships, and grow their authority in a niche. Writers would pitch relevant blogs with their ideas or samples of work in hopes of being featured as a contributor. It was a mutually beneficial arrangement – blogs got fresh, high-quality content while writers received exposure to new audiences.
But as blogging exploded in popularity, so did the practice of guest posting. Suddenly, it seemed like everyone was pitching guest posts in an effort to gain backlinks and improve their SEO. The market became oversaturated with low-quality guest posts published just for the sake of a link.
As a result, many blogs stopped accepting guest posts altogether. The golden age of guest blogging was over. But that doesn’t mean there still aren’t opportunities out there for high-quality writers who take the right approach. Here’s how to land coveted guest posting spots in today’s saturated landscape:
Do Your Homework
The key is finding the right blogs that are likely to say yes to your pitch. That means doing thorough research to identify blogs that actively welcome guest contributors. Spend time reading the blogs you’d like to write for and look for signs they accept guest posts, like submission guidelines or calls for contributors. Avoid pitching blogs that don’t have any indication they’re open to submissions.
You’ll also want to evaluate metrics like domain authority, Alexa rank, social media followers and engagement. A blog with strong metrics signals an established audience you can tap into. But don’t write off newer blogs either – a hungry site looking to grow can still be a great opportunity. The most important factor is your content is a good fit for their audience.
Pitch Relevant Ideas
With so many writers pitching guest posts, you need to stand out. Generic offers to “write an article for your site” are unlikely to garner any interest. Instead, familiarize yourself with a blog’s content and target audience. Then develop 3-5 concrete article ideas specifically tailored to that blog.
A customized pitch shows you’ve done your homework and gets editors thinking about how your piece would be a valuable addition for their readers. Bonus points if your pitch offers a new angle on an evergreen topic they haven’t covered before. This demonstrates you can bring real value vs. repurposed content.
Lead With Your Best Work
Any blogger worth their salt wants to see samples before agreeing to publish you. When pitching, include links to 2-3 of your best articles that are similar in style and topic to what you’re proposing. This gives editors confidence you can deliver what you’re promising.
While it’s tempting to blanket blogs with mass pitches, a targeted, personalized approach is much more effective. Take the time to craft custom pitches for just a handful of blogs at a time. Quality over quantity is key.
Be Patiently Persistent
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t hear back right away. Follow up if you haven’t gotten a response in 1-2 weeks. Blog editors are busy and emails can slip through the cracks. Send a polite reminder reiterating your interest and value proposition.
If a blog says no, be gracious and move on. Don’t take it personally or try to argue why they should accept you. Take any feedback they provide to improve for your next pitch. With persistence and continually refining your approach, you’ll eventually land the opportunities you’re seeking.
Deliver Excellent Content
The hard work doesn’t stop once a blog says yes. Writing a great guest post is crucial for getting invited back and building your reputation. Thoroughly research the topic and infuse the piece with your unique perspective. Make sure the article is well-structured, hits the right tone for the blog’s audience, and follows their editorial guidelines.
Resist the temptation to over-optimize for backlinks or keywords. Guest posts stuffed with links and keywords come across as spammy. Keep the focus on providing value for readers. If your post is a hit, the blogger may proactively suggest ways to link back to you.
Promote Your Post
To maximize exposure from your guest post, let your own network know it’s live. Share it on social media channels and link to it from your website and email list. This helps drive traffic and shows the blogger you can deliver an audience.
Down the line you can even repurpose the content into a different format for your blog. Turn a guest post into a slideshow, podcast, or video to give it a second life.
Guest Blogging Still Offers Big Benefits
While guest posting has changed, it remains a valuable way to expand your reach as a writer. By carefully targeting your pitches, persistently following up, and over-delivering on content, you can still land opportunities at reputable blogs.
Sure, it takes more effort than blasting out mass pitches. But placing your work in front of invested audiences allows you to organically build an audience and gain new perspectives. Approach guest posting strategically, and you can reap big benefits.