Link Building Strategy 101: Ultimate Guest Blogging

Workflow for computer. Enter of content on the computerGuest blogging has been an awesome source for traffic and brand recognition. I’ve used it to generate thousands of targeted visitors to my website. Many people underestimate the power of guest blogging but it continues to be a vital tool in blog growth. On January 20th, 2014, Matt Cutts, head of webspam at Google, published the following;

“If you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time, it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging, then you’re hanging out with really bad company.” Then,

“I’m not trying to throw the baby out with the bath water. There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future.”

After reading Matt Cutts’ statement, many of you are asking: How does guest blogging help with link building?…

The answer is very simple! If done correctly, it can attract links from authority websites to your article and to your website. You already know it’ll drive “targeted” traffic to your blog and many of these people are looking for epic content to link to from their own blogs.

It’s important that guest blogging is done correctly so that you can utilize the power of this awesome traffic generation and brand recognition strategy.

What you’ll learn…

  • Finding Guest Blogging Opportunities (10 Things To Consider and Avoid)
  • Calculating Future Value of Guest Post (ranking and traffic)
  • Developing Guest Post Ideas
  • Writing Epic Guest Posting Content
  • Ultimate Outreach
  • Promoting Your Content
  • Making It All Count
  • Wrapping It Up!

Finding Guest Blogging Opportunities

For you to get the most from “guest blogging” it’s important you find the right opportunities. Finding the right guest posting opportunities will create magic for your blog. It’s well known that posting on the right blogs can generate loads of free targeted traffic, build your brand, attract valuable link backs, and lead to more opportunities. However, you need to follow a blueprint when searching. For example, it’s time to work smarter, not harder when finding the right places to guest post. Let me ask you something…

Would you rather publish “3” articles on “20” different blogs, providing 10 visitors each month, or “2” posts on “1” single blog that provides 4,000 visitors per month?

Here’s a solid game plan to follow when searching for guest blogging opportunities

1)       Search for Relevance

Find relevant blogs so your content and the traffic generated will be from an overlapping audience. Each time you publish content, you’re building opportunities for yourself in the form of exposure. The value calculated is by how many of these visitors engage with your brand and follow through to your blog. In simpler terms, if the blog doesn’t add value through their audience, you might want to consider other opportunities.

If you’ve been blogging for some time, you’ll know exactly what blogs can provide value. For everyone else, do a quick search in Google using your “keyword” + blogs and you’ll get the precise results you’re looking for. Here’s a quick example using “food” + blogs…


2)       Search Their Value

By now, you should have a list of 10-20 (+ or -) relevant blogs that fit your niche perfectly. I’m sure there are several more, but the idea is to find blogs that add value to your blog. Looking through the list, you’ve probably determined they have similar content and would be perfect for you and guest posting.

You’ll be using this website to generate traffic but want to ensure they have the right ranking factors in place. A blog with a high domain and page authority means they have more credibility within search engines. If you publish content on an established blog, you might be able to rank your guest post higher in the SERP’s, which will lead to greater brand recognition, ongoing traffic, and exposure. Publishing a guest post on a reputable blog can generate value for years to come.

I can’t count the number of times people are concerned with organic traffic for their personal blog and forget how a guest post on an established blog can drive traffic through organic search.

Here are some ways to determine the value of any blog you’re considering guest blogging for…

Start by copying the URL of a previous guest post on the blog you’re looking to publish content on. If you don’t know how to do this, it’s simple; start by clicking on a post on the blog. Once the page loads, look for the following:

Remember, your looking for the value of a guest post on the blog. You have to first identify a guest blogger so follow the following steps…

Here’s an example from…

Check the byline toward the top….



Scroll to the bottom to view the author box. This will have information on the author and if they’re guest contributors, it’ll be someone different than the administration or owner of the blog.


Finally, copy the URL of the page and head over to…next,

Paste the URL within the box and hit search. The process will generate a few important numbers, which are Domain and Page Authority.


Here is why these two numbers are important:

Domain Authority – is measured using these 3 factors: Age, Popularity, and Size. These 3 factors are all important because the recent Panda update has paid close attention to these factors when ranking websites.

The older the domain means the longer it’s been around and built credibility over time providing a valuable resource to visitors.

Popularity can be contributed to the website producing high quality content that resonates with its readers and has enormous social shares. A website that is popular has produced enormous amount of links through blogging, interlinking, commenting, social media, and article marketing.

The larger a website is in “size” means it has enormous amount of content interlinking between pages. A larger website with quality content tends to have more links than a smaller website, which will have very few.


Page Authority – Relates to the pages within the website and the likelihood of that specific page ranking high within the SERP’s. The metrics involved are relevance and inbound links pointing to that page from external resources.

A few things to remember…

When measuring “page authority”, you’re calculating the internal pages that specific page is linking to. Each page interlinking will have an influence on each other. When Panda 4.0 was rolled out, they wanted to eliminate “thin” content websites, which means sites with 1-2 high quality pages and the rest being of low quality content. Google wanted to eliminate “1” page review style websites with content only on the home page. These websites would write a lengthy product review then built links ranking the page high enough to generate income through affiliate commissions. However, those that put time and effort creating actual content suffered losses.

Page Authority involves a new metric to create a fair playing field and the only weapon you can use to win is creating “high” quality content.

Looking back at previous guest posts will show you potential and how much value the blog can bring to your overall traffic and link building strategy. The higher the value, the better your chances of ranking higher within the SERP’s in a shorter time frame. This can lead to FREE organic traffic and a few links back to your website can generate huge traffic flow.

3)       Frequency (important)

When narrowing down your list of guest blogs, it’s important to look at frequency. What I mean by “frequency” is the rate at which new content is published and changes are made to the blog. A blog that does not update content regularly will become stagnant more quickly, losing visitors, rankings, and engagement. This is bad for guest bloggers because your effort could have been more beneficial somewhere else where continued growth of the blog would have been an asset. To illustrate my point…here are some good examples,

– A blog frequently updated will have an active social profile that translates into social growth in followers. Content shared on a large social profile can produce enormous exposure and results.

– A blog frequently updated will be visited by Google bots more often because sitemaps.xml and engagement is active. Google uses the freshness factor to rank content and websites over time. A website that actively revises content or adds content scores much higher. Here is something from The Moz Blog:

“One of these recent updates was Google’s Freshness Update, which places greater emphasis on returning fresher web content for certain queries.”

There are many ways you can translate that statement however it’s widely believed an active website will provide just the type of information people are searching for.

– A blog frequently updated has a better chance of becoming an authority within the niche, which spawns a huge following through references, link backs, and word of mouth. This only means better exposure for those who have content published on the website.

How can you determine rate of frequency or freshness of a blog?

Initially, start by visiting each blog on your list and keep a close eye on the following. Grab a paper and pen or use your word processor to mark down…

1) Most recent post publish date. Mark down the number of social shares it has and comments.

2) Current Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ Followers

3) If possible, # of email subscribers, and sign up for newsletter (This will help show follow-up frequency and you’ll get live alerts to your inbox)


Visit the blog each day, looking for improvements in all the factors mentioned above. If a new post is published daily or weekly, you know they are active. Check to see how fast people are sharing content and the rate at which people leave comments on newly published content. Visit the social profiles to check how fast the numbers are growing. An active blog that has visitors and provides value will show improvements pretty quickly. It’s your duty to visit this blog daily looking for improvements because you can expect the same results if you get published, which will be awesome for your blog’s brand, traffic, and engagement.

4)       Don’t Forget Social Profiles

Social media is changing the way people find and engage with content so make use of this phenomenon. Skim through your list of potential guest posting blogs and look at their social profiles. Pay attention to the big “3” – Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

If your guest post gets published, it’ll be shared on the blog’s social profile, which can be huge for engagement. Imagine the blog you were published on has 10,000+ Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ followers. It’s a great way to build brand recognition and increase traffic. As far as link building, each of these followers can have their own blog, which means a potential link back if they like what they read.

5)       Blog Commenting (very cool)

The way people leave comments has evolved and it’s no longer a simple box but a community that can drive traffic to your website. In October, 2014, a WordPress comment plugin referred 36 visitors to my blog, which is not enormous, but it’s better than “0”… right?

A growing number of people are switching to Disqus, a comment box plugin you can add to your blog. It’s works by displaying other relevant content below the comment box. You can utilize this plugin if the blog owner has it installed on their blog because it’ll display other content you’ve published. It essentially sends people to your other content, where they can skim through and click on other external links you have within your content, many of which are to your personal blog.


It’s a great way to generate topic ideas because you can read through, looking for questions people are asking or find relevant content that is displayed. You can look for patterns and create content not written or revive low quality content, making it better.

6)       Don’t Forget the Guidelines

Blogs that accept guest posts have strict approval guidelines so read them before submitting your content. These blogs have hundreds of submissions each month so those not following the guidelines will be rejected right away. Guidelines are a great way to streamline your writing process because everything you need to know is outlined within them. Blog owners will even provide you with topics they are interested in, length, image requirements, formatting rules, approval time, and linking policy.

Guideline requirements are very easy to locate as 99% of the time they’ll be provided on the submission page right before the form.

Here are some things to pay close attention to…

  • formatting rules (H1, H2,H3, category, tags)
  • image rules (size, featured, #, format,)
  • linking rules (internal, external, personal, location, affiliate)
  • general writing rules (editing, publishing, topic, comments)

7)       Check Statistics can provide valuable information for a given website. The most important being a breakdown of the audience, ranking, sites linking in, keywords, and upstream. I’ve always encouraged people to view this information when considering a guest posting opportunity. First,

Because you can’t view the Google Analytics profile of the website as its only available to the owner, you’ll need to find out how the trends are. For example, using, I can see (+) or (-) changes in the rank, bounce rate, daily page views, and time on site. For anyone familiar with blogging, you know that a drop in these numbers over the last couple months usually means insufficient activity on the blog.

For someone looking to guest post on a blog that continues to show negative declines, it can be a waste in effort. For now, the drop might not influence traffic, brand awareness, and readership but a continued drop might have an impact on all “3”. When I guest post, I always look long-term and how my post can generate engagement going forward. For example, I have a few guest posts that, over the last year, still drive traffic to my personal blog. You should hope for the same when you guest post.

The keywords data in is perfect for guest blogging SEO because when you create content, you can focus on the keywords that already drive traffic to the website. You know people are arriving to the blog through various keywords so why not give them the content they want to read? It’s just a great way to increase engagement!

How about upstream data?

Many people don’t know how to utilize it correctly but I’ve managed to pull a few strategies. Upstream data provides a list of websites that people “immediately” visited before arriving to the guest blogging website. This means these websites provided traffic to the blog, which can be awesome for you. You can use the same sources to drive traffic to your website. I’m not going to go into too much detail on this because it’s a complete different link building strategy. I’ll discuss later in another series.

8)       Compete Data

This website is perfect to analyze traffic data of a single or multiple websites. It’s a great way for you to find out how the traffic trend is when searching for guest blogging opportunities. By now, you should have a list of potential websites so paste their URL into the Compete search bar to check monthly traffic trend. Take a quick look at how the traffic has been growing or decreasing over several months. Another cool feature is you can compare multiple websites side-by-side, which streamlines the research. Here’s a quick example,

In this example, I’m trying to find guest blogging opportunities within the “cooking” niche. I have “10” websites, which I’d like to narrow down to 3-4. I’m searching for websites that have an increasing traffic trend. Remember, a blog with traffic can translate into social shares, brand awareness, and traffic to your blog for years.

I’m comparing “2” websites to streamline the process.


9)       Email Subscribers (important)

When looking for blogs that accept guest posts, it’s important to check their email subscribers as you can leverage this number to drive enormous traffic to your post and directly to your blog. How does this work? Bloggers understand the power of email subscribers for return traffic and will promote epic content through follow-up messages. There are two types of bloggers I’ve had direct experience with. First, those who send a follow-up each time new content is published and those who ONLY send one when epic content is published on their blog. That’s why I’ve put emphasis on creating high quality content when submitting guest posts to bloggers. Here’s an example,

I regularly guest post on, which is owned by my mentor, Zac Johnson. I’ve followed his work for years and he always provides me insight on creating a sustainable business. Over the years, he’s grown is email list to around 10,000 subscribers. How do I know? I asked him and here’s his answer…

“Hey, Rizvan,

Sure thing, I clean the list often, but it’s around 10,000.”

Imagine being published on this blog and your author bio containing “2” links to your website. When Zac Johnson fires a follow-up to his 10,000 email subscribers, it can potentially drive a huge amount of “targeted” traffic to my blog. Let’s say 50% of the email subscribers visit my guest post and they click on a link within my author bio to my blog. That’s a potential 5,000 unique visitors!

When searching for guest blogging opportunities, focus on high authority relevant blogs because they have built a loyal following over the years with a large email subscriber count.

10)       Other Guest Bloggers

Here’s a cool strategy I used to understand value more accurately. If I’m planning on guest blogging, I’ll check how well other posts have performed on the blog. I look at other guest posts to understand the value better. For example, if other guest bloggers have high social shares, comments, and backlinks, it helps provide a better picture. I’ll use free tools like Open Site Explorer to view domain and page authority of the specific page so I can understand future ranking potential. I’ll discuss these later.

Other guest posts can provide content ideas because you’ll want to submit posts based around topics that have performed well in the past. If, after skimming through 10 guest posts, you notice the “3” on link building have the highest engagement, you might want to stick to those topics when writing content.

How to find other guest posts…

Look for posts creating by someone other than the blog owner. That’s it!

Calculating Future Value of Guest Posts

Your guest post is only effective if you can pull long-term value from it. Long-term value is how good the ranking potential is in search engines after a few months. Here’s an example,

If you publish a post on a reputable blog that has been online for years, you can drive enormous organic traffic for years to come if you’ve done keyword research correctly. The hardest thing when ranking websites is to build a solid link profile, quality content, and credibility, but some authority blogs have already conquered all metrics, which allows them to rank in search engines like Google quickly. These are the blogs you should be targeting when searching for guest blogging opportunities. Why?

Over time, you can keep generating enormous traffic and a link on a page ranking high within search engines can add huge value to the site it’s linking to. Basically, it’s a growing traffic machine and with social media growing more popular each year, it can increase engagement 10X. To understand this strategy, it’s important to understand “domain” and “page” authority.

It’s important to note, there are other factors that will influence how well a page will ranking within the SERP’s like quality of content, external and internal links pointing to a page, engagement, etc. However, PA and DA are a great predictive metric to calculate the potential.

Here’s some I wrote in a previous post a few months back…

Domain Authority – is measured using these 3 factors: Age, Popularity, and Size. These 3 factors are all important because the recent Panda update has paid close attention to these factors when ranking websites.

The older the domain means the longer it’s been around and built credibility over time, providing a valuable resource to visitors.

Popularity can be contributed to the website producing high quality content that resonates with its readers and has enormous social shares. A website that is popular has produced enormous amount of links through blogging, interlinking, commenting, social media, and article marketing.

The larger a website is in “size” means it has enormous amount of content interlinking between pages. A larger website with quality content tends to have more links than a smaller website, which will have very few.


Page Authority – Relates to the pages within the website and the likelihood of that specific page ranking high within the SERP’s. The metrics involved are relevance and inbound links pointing to that page from external resources.

A few things to remember…

When measuring “page authority”, you’re calculating the internal pages that specific page is linking to. Each page interlinking will have an influence on each other. When Panda 4.0 was rolled out, they wanted to eliminate “thin” content websites, which means sites with 1-2 high quality pages and the rest being of low quality content. Google wanted to eliminate “1” page review style websites with content only on the home page. These websites would write a lengthy product review, then built links ranking the page high enough to generate income through affiliate commissions. However, those that put time and effort creating actual content suffered losses.

Page Authority involves a new metric to create a fair playing field and the only weapon you can use to win is creating “high” quality content.

Whenever I search for guest blogging opportunities, I’ll focus on blogs that have a high “domain” authority and research other posts to understand their “page” authority. The higher the “domain” authority, the higher the value given to those pages that interlink on that domain. A website with a “domain” authority of “97” has a greater chance to influence the “page” authority of sub-pages compared to a website with a “domain” authority of “33”. The internal links built between pages on a high “domain” authority will have a greater ranking potential over time. This is why it’s important to do your research when choosing blogs to publish your post on.

Now that you have a list of potential domains, it’s time to do your own research.

First, head over to OpensiteExplorer…next,

Copy and paste the domain in the search bar to check “domain” and “page” authority. At this point, you should only pay attention to the “domain” authority as “page” authority only represents the home page, not internal pages.



Start skimming through other guest posts on the blog, gathering a list of 3-4. It’s important to copy the URL of the post page and to choose posts that were published 3-4 months ago. Next,

In OpensiteExplorer, paste the full URL of the page to check the “page” authority. If the “page” authority of the guest post page is “1”, you know after 3-4 months, no value was provided to the page. A higher page authority means that it can generate momentum as time goes on.

If a guest post has a high “page” authority, it normally has a solid internal linking structure. This means the blog owner requires all guest bloggers to link to a relevant internal source in the first and last paragraph of their content. This linking pattern has allowed the “page” authority of your post to increase over time while increasing the chances of it ranking higher in the SERP’s.


Developing Guest Post Ideas

Many would agree coming up with content ideas is probably the hardest part of blogging. There is so much content available online that building a reputation for providing the best requires you write about something unique and different. Many of you would agree almost everything has been covered, so this makes the task even harder. However, I personally believe if you can do something better than your competitors, there might still be a huge market available for your brand. As a matter of fact, I’ve seen more than a handful of people do very well putting a twist on content that has already been published by others. Let’s clear one thing up…

Putting a twist doesn’t mean to copy what someone else has written and put it in your own words. I’m talking about choosing a hot topic and creating something special by adding videos, making it more in-depth, images, and even infographics. The problem with content these days is that much of it is very vague and doesn’t offer a complete solution. Imagine people search “how-to” content and land on a page that doesn’t show the complete process of solving the problem. It’s a complete waste of time and leaves people with a sour taste in their mouth about returning for a second time.


Here are some ways to generate guest blogging content that will resonate with your readers and build your brand.

Revive Older Content on Your Blog

This strategy works if you’ve already published existing content on your blog.

The one thing about content is it frequently needs to be updated, especially when you’ve learned so much over the last couple of months. For example, in December, 2013, I published this content: A Starters Guide to Clickbank. Since then, I’ve been experimenting with Clickbank and other marketing strategies that have proven to be effective. I’ve been able to generate more effective strategies for beginners who are experimenting with Clickbank. I can go back and revive the older content and submit it as a guest post. There are a few reasons why this would work…

First, Clickbank is still a very popular network that is used by millions of people all over the world and beginners are always searching for effective strategies that will help them earn money. Next, recent research has shown me top bloggers use Clickbank and will always welcome content that reflects products and services they use themselves.

When reviving content, don’t forget the following:

  • Videos are a great way to build engagement, so add them (if not already included)
  • Make older content more in-depth and detailed so it’s a complete solution
  • Add images for people who understand better through visual aids
  • Infographics are popular so add them to create something more up-to-date.

Once you’ve created something special from older content, you’re going to be tempted to re-publish it on your blog. However, you need to weigh out your options. Ask yourself…

Can you generate more buzz by publishing it as a “guest” post on a very popular blog? Or, is it better suited for your blog?


This strategy can be applied to any previous post that you’ve published on your blog and where your knowledge has grown since you published.

Make Other Content Better

When using this strategy, DO NOT copy other peoples’ content. It’s important you write it in your own words with your own voice. This strategy should ONLY be used to gather ideas and how you can improve content.

Instead of reviving “YOUR” content, you’ll be searching online to find other people’s content that has gone stagnant since it was published. I can’t count the number of times I was able to find someone else’s content that was outdated and transformed it into something “up-to-date”. Approximately “5” times, I submitted guest posts and was approved because I put a twist on a topic that had gone stagnant, but was still very popular amongst bloggers. For example, I know content marketing is a growing trend among bloggers and this topic is always changing with new skills and strategies being introduced. I did a quick search in Google for “content marketing 2014” and here were the search results…


Next, I skim through the top “5” websites, checking to see what they are missing within their content. I also collected data on what some experts were saying about content marketing going forward. I spent “2” days skimming through the results and gathering opinions from experts so I could put together: 5 Important New Skills for Content Marketers For 2015. Why did I do this?

First, I noticed that, each year, people were publishing content that outlined changing trends in “content marketing”. Secondly, I used Google Trends to check the search pattern for the phrase “content marketing”, here are the results…


You can see more people are searching this phrase each year so they’ll be interested to know how content marketing is changing in 2015. Secondly, from my experience, bloggers are looking for fresh new content that represents changes in their niche. Third, I’ve researched and gathered enough information to put something together that will resonate well with readers. You can implement a few of your strategies when writing to give your point of view if you have enough experience with content marketing.


You don’t need to focus on one type of content because I’ve done very well revamping other content, too…for example…

I found an interesting post that was missing some information…

5 Actions to Apply Right Now for Massive Blog Success…

I submitted: 10 Quick Actions to Apply Right Now for Massive Blog Success

With this post, I made it more in-depth and added a few tips from my own personal experience. I added images, videos, and infographics.

Try it for yourself.

Start by gathering a list of relevant blogs within your niche. If you don’t want to focus on blogs, then write down a list of keywords focused around your niche. Use the following to do some research…

Using a list of blogs,

Head over to

Paste the URL of the blog…then, will generate a bunch of results. Click on “Social Media Analyses”, where you’ll find content that has performed well through social media engagement. These are awesome examples of content proven to create a buzz on social networks. Go through the top “10”, looking for ways you can improve the content by updating it or making it more in-depth.

Once you’ve improved the content and it’s guest post material, go through your list of potential guest blogging opportunities and start submitting.


If you’re going to search content by keywords…

Head over to and type in your “targeted” keyword. is an analytical tool that provides you a breakdown of the most shared content related to your keyword. You can even filter the date and type. You can use and apply it to find influential content to improve. Here’s a quick example,

Start by typing in a “targeted” keyword related to your blog and click search. In the left-hand column, you’ll find filter options to set the type of content and date. I usually like to go back around a year but you can set a custom date range to go back even further. The objective is to find content that has been shared on social platforms and is influential.


Focus on the top “3-5” results because they are the ones with the most social shares in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google +. You only need to pay close attention to the “Total” shares displayed in the final column on the right hand side. Once you’ve gathered the list of the most influential “3-5” posts related to your keyword, you can do the following…

Visit each website, looking for ways to improve the content. Try these…

  • Ways to include images to provide visual aids for visitors
  • Adding videos to tutorials
  • Outline the content by providing an infographic
  • Simply adding length to the content to make it more in-depth
  • Find ways to combine relevant topics to create an “ULTIMATE” blog post

These “2” methods work very well in finding content that you can improve, then re-create and submit as a guest post to blogs. Remember, you’ve just made content that already had enormous social activity better so being published on a popular blog with traffic and social engagement can create an immediate buzz online.

Ask For a Pitch

For you to understand this strategy, it’s important to understand why blogs accept guest posts. Many people will be looking for guest bloggers for two very important reasons. First, they are searching for fresh new minds to put a twist on content. These new bloggers provide a different point of view that is both unique and setting a trend for the future. Next, blog owners just don’t have the time to keep writing content at the pace they previously did. Once your blog becomes popular, you have a whole new set of responsibilities. You’re involved in many side projects or are managing a group of loyal readers, which have very unique demands in the form of podcasts, tutorials, guest speakers, etc. This doesn’t mean they don’t have content ideas in mind, they just don’t have the time to put something together every week. This has just opened up an opportunity for you…

There are a handful of times I’ve contacted a blog owner, asking if they have any content ideas in mind that I can put together for them. I’ve had some people respond with “No”, but had about “2” who provided a list of topics. Once I responded back with the topic I’d like to write about, I put something high quality together and it was posted right away because it was something the blog owner had suggested. Try it next time you are out of ideas and need some help!

Search Guest Blog Services

For beginners, it’s is a good place to get started and over time, you’ll start relying less on these services because you’ll develop the skills to spot great content on your own. The main objective when using these services is to get an idea of the types of content some bloggers are looking for. There are 2 popular guest blogging services I would recommend.

Another great network but it can be pricy. The trick is to use this network to find “HOT” topics to write about. The approach is very simple because it simply requires an account and once you’re approved you can get started. When I was starting, I decided to join both networks so I can get a better idea of topics related to my niche. For example,

I logged into my account, searching through “Opportunities” related to my niche. In the section, you’ll find various topics that are available for you to write about. You have two options:

First, you can accept the project and earn money through writing content on, or…

You can take the idea and create content for other blogs relevant to your niche. You obviously wouldn’t be paid but it’s a great way to gain exposure. Grab some ideas, generate the content, and submit it to high authority blogs within your niche. Using this strategy, I was able to gather some cool topics, especially when I hit a mental roadblock and couldn’t generate any on my own.



Their network has a directory of 109K bloggers and is growing daily. For someone looking for bloggers, you can filter your search by keywords, category, Klout score, gender, and other demographics. However, as a guest blogger, you don’t have access to a list of topics out in the open. is great for those searching for bloggers to create content for them, but you’ll have to wait until you get contacted by a blogger, which will depend on your profile. Unfortunately, finding content ideas by simply searching the database is not an option. I mentioned because it has a controlled interface for those who want to set up a campaign and “pitch” ideas to those bloggers who qualify.

Thinking Outside the Box

No one will argue that it takes truly epic content to get published so you need to think outside the box. These days, in this industry, you’re going to have competition and it takes a different mind-set to excel where others have failed. It’s not as hard as it seems because you just need to follow a few clear patterns when developing content ideas. I’ve learned it’s about writing something better than the other guy. Remember, getting published when guest blogging comes down to a few main things:

Post Format –

You have a variety of different post types available so take advantage of them. For example, take an existing list of “Top 10 Link Building Strategies” and create “Top 30 Link Building Strategies”. Make it more in-depth and add images, videos, and infographics. Guest bloggers love up-to-date content because it’s what their readers are looking for and keeps things fresh.

Relevance –

When writing, keep things as relevant to the guest blog as possible because it will decrease your chance of being rejected. Many bloggers are becoming more “niche” targeted because the industry is growing tougher each year. Focusing on a broad topic requires 10x harder work and is already dominated by the big players. This is why a narrower niche focused around “long-tail keywords” is out-performing others. It’s great for blogs, but for guest bloggers, you need to start becoming more relevant in your content writing. If you can accomplish this, you’ll have no problem getting published. However,

Relevancy depends on the blogger and many just require what I’m going to talk about next.

Trends –

This is why it’s important to have tools in place that alert you on the changing trends within the industry. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but you need to make sure you get the latest news quickly. Having access to tools that provide updates will help you establish a changing trend within the industry that you can write about. If you notice similar news appearing regularly, you should start putting content together so you can be the first to share it on a blog with thousands of readers.

Here are some tools to help you implement all “3” factors above…

Authority Blogs –

The most effective way to stay relevant and trending is to follow the top blogs within your niche. These blogs have a panel of experts who are networking with influential people to bring you the latest news. Make a list of the top blogs within your niche and visit them daily. You can subscribe to their newsletter to get alerts once they’ve published new content.

Authority blogs are a great place to read comments and find questions others have about a specific topic. You can then create something that answers these questions or makes this existing content better. When I use this strategy, I look for topics that are “evergreen”. Evergreen content does not change over time and will always be relevant so stay away from news or press releases. Stick to content that is knowledge based and provides a solution to a growing problem. Here’s a quick example,

I went over to They collect the headlines of the latest stories from the best sites and blogs that cover a topic. I was able to locate a “2” content ideas within minutes and can revive the content by adding my experience, making them user friendly.

Google Alerts –

Google Alerts is truly a hidden gem that more people fail to utilize to find trends, interesting topics, or anything really new that appears on the web. It’s a powerful tool that can be customized to your niche and allows you to stay on top of new content. You’ll get alerted directly to your email address. Here are a few creative ways to get started with it.

Start with registering a account if you don’t have one. Next,

Browse over to:

And then enter “targeted” keywords relevant to your niche. Here’s an example using the keyword “link building”



Click on more options, where you can configure…

  • How often
  • Sources (use automatic or blogs, news, discussions)
  • Language (English)
  • Region
  • How many (all results)
  • Deliver to (add email)

Now, because we are looking for content that is question based, we can use a few cool commands to narrow it down further. When inputting your keyword within the Google Alert’s search bar, use:

  • why*keyword
  • how to*keyword
  • what is*keyword
  • or any other question based phrase

Using Google Alerts for guest blogging…

Simple! Implement the same strategy as above, where you’ll find relevant information and create something more in-depth for guest blogs. Once you’ve been published, you can go back to some of the alerts by finding them in your email inbox and provide the link to your guest post. It’s a great way to build brand awareness and drive traffic to your blog through your guest post.

Writing Epic Guest Posting Content

With so much competition, even with guest blogging, it’s important to submit EPIC content so you create an immediate buzz once you are published. It’s one thing to have an idea but you need to be able to communicate it exactly the way you imagined. Writing epic content isn’t hard as long as you have the fundamentals down.

Here are a few guidelines to get you started.

Keep Audience in Mind –

Always start with keeping the audience in mind so you stay on track when writing content. If you’re writing about “link building” strategies, you want to make sure your content resonates with the right audience. From experience, I know “link building” will resonate well with web developers, bloggers, content marketers, etc. Knowing my audience will allow me to produce my content and add wording relevant to my desired audience. It’s a great way to avoid certain words if I know my audience won’t understand. For example, when writing about “starting a blog”, I’ll pay close attention to depth because I know my readers are inexperienced and will do better if I explain things in greater detail.

Here’s a cool trick…

Before starting to write, add a little note toward the top of your document that outlines your audience. This way, it’s visible when you write. How can you research your audience?

You should have a clear indication because you have a list of blogs you’d like to submit guest posts to. However, if you’re still unsure, go back through the list of blogs, looking over the type of content published. You can visit the guest blog’s social profiles to find a list of people following them. These people will have a description stating hobbies, business, etc. You can find out everything you need about the audience by reading their social profile bio.



Go through the content one more time, looking for the most shared content. It will give you an indication of the type of content readers enjoyed. Make a list and go through each one, looking for trends.

Organization –

I can’t stress how important it is to organize your writing before getting started. Proper organization will allow you to stay on track and write about the points that matter most. After completing step number 3, Developing Content Ideas, you should have a clear indication of your topic. Now it’s time to dissect the topic and create the following:

  • title or headline
  • introduction
  • body
  • sub-headings
  • conclusion

Why is this important? It helps you stay focused and remember the points most important to you. Imagine having an idea that is unique and could have generated enormous buzz online, but forgetting to write it down. With your mind processing so many thoughts, it’s simple to forget valuable ideas so make sure you write things down.

The Keywords –

Having the right keywords in your content is important for search engines. If your guest posting on a high authority blog and have the right keywords in your content, you can shoot up the SERP’s quickly. This means you’ll have higher traffic flow to your content and a better chance of someone clicking through to your blog. When writing content, it’s important to focus on the right keywords, which can translate into higher rankings.

First, start by generating ideas using your main keyword. Your “target” keyword essentially describes your content in its entirety. For example, if I’m writing content on “link building strategies”, I can use the following main keywords to generate secondary keywords: link building or link building strategies. Here’s a quick illustration…

Do a quick search in Google using “link building strategies”. Scroll to the bottom and under “Searches related to link building strategies” you’ll find awesome secondary keywords.



There are several tools available to generate keywords. However, start by using the FREE tools like Google Keyword Planner. I’ve been using it for years and it can do the job you need it to. Here’s a quick way to generate a handful of keywords that you can use when writing content.

1) Head over to Google Keyword Planner and type in your targeted keyword into the search box. The tool will generate related phrases and secondary keywords. I would suggest selecting 5-6 to add into your content. Now, remember, no matter how many you select, it’s important to keep the keyword density in mind of 2%-4%. Anything above this number may result in keyword stuffing. Next,

When selecting keywords, choose those with sufficient search volume between 500/mo-1000/mo. If you rank for any of these keywords, you can generate traffic simply through organic searches. For example, a keyword with 1000/mo means you can generate 33 visitors per day (1000/30 days in a month). In reverse, choosing a keyword with 10/mo has a potential of “1” visitor per month.

2) You can generate keyword ideas by simply typing in your keyword within the Google search box and wait for the search interface to provide a drop-down of related keywords. The search interface will automatically provide a handful of related keywords when you’re done typing in your “target” keyword. Next, take each one and head over to Google Keyword Planner to see what the search volume is of each. You want to choose keywords with a sufficient search volume.

3) Another great strategy I’ve used to generate awesome keywords is through Google related terms, which is displayed toward the bottom of a search query. Once you enter a keyword within the search box and click search, scroll toward the bottom, where you’ll see “Searches Related To…”. Here, you will find related keywords and phrases to your main keyword. Create a list and head over to Google Keyword Planner to check monthly search volume.

With keywords, it’s hit or miss because I’ve used competitive keywords within my content and ranked high within the SERP’s quickly. The difference was my content was high quality compared to others and I provided substance. Google has over 200 ranking factors, so to determine what causes one page to outrank another would be impossible. However, it’s still important to have the right keywords within your content for indexing, search, and user engagement.

Here are some other great resources on keyword research…

Define Length –

The discussion of length has flooded the Internet in the recent months and continues to be something that needs to be addressed. When people ask me, “How long should I make my content?” I always give them the same answer – As long as it needs to be to get your point across, keeping quality in mind. However, no matter who you ask, you’ll receive a different answer. Some people feel long content won’t keep the visitors attention while short content won’t give you enough time to provide a complete solution to your reader.

When writing epic content, the rule of thumb to follow is to keep the length as long as you need to so you provide a complete high quality solution to the reader. They must find the information they are looking for.

Here are “2” cool charts I found on


Based on the graph above, you can see that the first result typically has 2,416 words and the 10th result has 2,032 words. This shows that Google prefers content rich sites.

The interesting part is that Google doesn’t prefer more content because it feels it is more valuable. It actually prefers content rich sites because data shows you like it, which leads me to my next point.

Content Rich Sites Get More Links:


Basic SEO –

Writing epic content involves a basic element of SEO so that people can identify with it in search engines. I like to call this guest blogging SEO because it involves utilizing the authority of the guest blog to boost your content rankings within the SERP’s. Google has over 200 ranking factors and basic SEO is one of them. Google loves content that is easy to identify and has keyword rich content. This means simply adding keywords in your content makes it easy to index and find within search engines. Search engine optimization can be divided into basic and advanced, however, when writing content for guest posting, it’s only important to have just the fundamentals in place. The rest has been done by the blog owner.

Before you publish content, make sure you have the following elements in place:

Meta Title tag (60 characters) –

It’s important to have your primary or target keyword within your title. It’s a great way for Google to determine what your content is about. Next, when people search a term and the results are displayed, they look for the specific keyword within the title as they skim through. If your keyword stands out, you’ve increased the chances of getting a click-through to your content.

Meta Description tag (150 characters) –

This element is very important because it’s a 150 character slot for you to sell your content to the searcher. It’s what will differentiate you from your competitors within the SERP’s. Imagine someone searches the term “link building strategies” within Google and the following to appear in the results.

101 Link Building Strategies (Title)

Use these 101 link building strategies to boost your rankings in 30 days within Google. (Description)


101 Link Building Strategies (Title)

Great guide to blogging and growing your audience. (Description)

From the two examples, which one catches your eye and you would click on from within the SERP’S? Many would agree the 1st because it has the keyword we typed within Google and catches your attention. Right?

Before you send your content, be sure to submit a well structured Meta Description tag so it can be added to your content before publishing. However, if you’ve been given a contributor account, then you can add the text yourself.

Content Keywords –

Here’s where things get a bit tricky because a lot has changed over the last couple years. For example, keyword stuffing no longer works and your content can be flagged. Next, you can’t use EXACT match keywords through your content because the way people perform searches has changed. It’s time to tweak your keyword marketing strategy to include related, LSI, and long tail keywords.

Related and LSI –

These keywords closely resemble your EXACT or TARGETED keyword. The mechanics behind these types of keywords is to provide users a variety of ways to locate content through search engines. For example, instead of your content ranking in the SERP’s for “link building strategies”, it should also appear when someone types “strategies for link building 2014”. Both variations mean the same thing, which is why your content should appear for both when searching within Google. It’s important to stay ahead of the curve by adding keyword variations people are typing within Google search.


Long Tail Keywords

These keywords represent a user’s search pattern, which is becoming more precise. When people search, they are more targeted and type longer phrases. It’s your job to be able to cater your content to these users by adding long tail keywords. For example, instead of “dog collars”, you might want to add “red dog collars for cheap” in your content so people who type that long tail keyword phrase will land on your content. Obviously, your content must be related to “red dog collars for cheap” for you to use it, but you can cater it to your content. Finding long tail keywords is not difficult as Google Keyword Planner has already made the change. You simply need to look for keyword phrases that include 3+ words.

You can also purchase tools like Long Tail Pro, which provides you with search trends on 3+ keyword phrases and other in-depth data.

The Strategy –

Once you’ve created your content, it’s time to perform some additional keyword research. As you read through your content, start making bullet-points of the sub-headings covered within your content. Over time, this will automatically be something you do from the start but for new guest bloggers, it’s something you need to get accustomed to. Next, gather a list of 5-6 keywords that are a combination of exact, related, or LSI and long tail keywords. Use the main keyword within the title, description, and 1st paragraph of your content. Scatter the rest through your content, keeping a keyword density of 2%-4%.

Calculating keyword density is not difficult and I have written a great resource on this topic.

Text Formatting –

Always remember to format your page correctly so your visitors find it easy to read and search engines know what text to reference during indexing. Think of formatting your guest blog just like a report you’re submitting to your teacher. You need to ensure your report has a heading (H1 tag) and sub headings (h2). You need to make sure important parts and keywords that represent your content are highlighted with bold, underline, or italics.

Use Research Data –

As I’ve previously mentioned, some of the best content available online are case studies. They have added unique value backed up by strong data. Even though they take time to create because of the time required to gather data, they are almost immediately published. They are a true asset and bloggers know the value of data driven content. If you have a content idea and would like to put a twist on it, then find a way to transform it into a case study. For example, if I’m writing a guest post on the “most effective link building strategy”, then instead of writing content without any data proving the results, I’m better off writing content with graphs and charts showing my research. This research will show a clear indication of me utilizing each of the techniques and showing what results each produced over a specific time period. Why is research data content so effective?

Case studies provide people a complete solution so they save time and money not investing in strategies that provide no results. In my “link building” example, instead of bloggers trying every strategy on their own, trying to find which one provided optimal results, I’ve done the work for them, showing them which one to use and even provided data. It simply saves people time having to go through vast amounts of online content, finding what works on their own.

Setting up a case study is not tedious because once you have your topic idea, you can start implementing the strategies. Next, all that’s required is an efficient method to write down the various different steps as you go through them. When the case study has been completed, you need to gather the data and create one single post outlining everything from start to finish.

Ultimate Outreach

This is where things get exciting because with the right outreach program, you can skyrocket your engagement and traffic to your blog. Ultimate Outreach, for those not familiar, is when you start networking with influential bloggers within your niche, letting them know about the piece of content you just published. If it adds value, or if you’ve mentioned their name within your content, they’ll be more than happy to share your content with others on social platforms. This is an integral part when guest posting because we’ve already discussed how being published on an authority blog can increase your content’s organic rankings within the SERP’s quickly. However, having authority people mention your guest post can add more value in the form of mentions, engagement, and increase in search rankings for even more high traffic keywords. Through an effective outreach program, you’ll receive backlinks from high authority blogs, which is the fundamental principle behind Google search algorithm: Value= Quality Backlinks Links=Higher Organic Rankings=Traffic.

Now that you’ve written top-notch content, let’s look at some effective outreach strategies.

Gather Relevant Blogs – Manually

This shouldn’t be difficult because in the first part of this guide, you made a list of high authority blogs when looking for guest blogging opportunities. You can use the same list or do some more research, lengthening your list of potential blogs for your outreach program. Go through your list, making sure it contains only blogs that will be interested in your content. Next, if you’ve referred to an external resource within your content when writing, make sure you add them to the list. For example, when I write content, I provide examples throughout, which add value to my content. These examples come in the form of relevant content or actionable content created by other authority bloggers. These same people will be great to reach out to because they love sharing high valuable content that mentions their names.

Here’s a great example from an expert post I did for my own blog:

14 Expert Bloggers Discuss Their Most Effective Link Building Techniques

11/14 bloggers who were mentioned in this post were more than happy to share it on their profile once it was published. Some of these bloggers have been around for years and have thousands of social followers. A simple share generated hundreds of visitors to my blog for an entire week. 🙂

Automatic Outreach –

It’s awesome how the advancement in technology has allowed us to create tools that streamline an entire process. The same can be said for “outreach”, which can now be done under one portal. For example, outreach tools like have taken the time-consuming tasks of managing influencers off your plate so you can focus on the things that matter. It’s an awesome tool you should use to leverage your outreach and find people who will be interested in your content. is a directory of bloggers in every niche with different experience levels. Some are starting out while others are successful, so, either way, you have something to gain. For example,

Those starting out need to link to content that provides substance so let them know about your content. Next, experienced bloggers love to link to content that provides value and may offer an exchange in mention to promote content. It’s an amazing platform and I’ve taken a screenshot of some of the features:


In short, it’s a tool where you can find relevant bloggers all in one place. You can reach out to them before you create content for their opinion or even pitch an idea for your upcoming content. Let them know your intention and what you’ve written because some of them may be more than willing to help and share your content or even link to it.

The Pitch –

You’ve done your research and written your content. Next, you need to start contacting the people on your list to let them know you have something special that you’d like them to check out. Each message to influential people increases the chances of social shares and link backs. However, contacting these people needs to be done strategically or you’ll leave a nasty impression. Influential bloggers are very busy and don’t have much time to read emails so make it count quickly. For example, here’s Neil Patel’s contact us page at



Here are some tips you can use when pitching your content to other bloggers. The goal is to show them the value and ask them to help get the word out.

  • Show them your previous work and credentials so they know you have experience. Influential bloggers have a reputation and don’t want to ruin it by linking to content with no substance or proof. If you don’t have a blog or other writing samples, contact them anyway, but having a portfolio definitely helps.
  • Be yourself and write an email just like you do to others. The key is to not sound like a marketing campaign or like you’re trying to sell something. Influential bloggers are approached all the time with offers and are quick to shut you down.
  • Keep it short and right to the point. Remember my example of Neil Patel? They have so much work and emails to go through and usually skim through messages quickly. Get right to the point in your email message and let them know what you are all about. Here an example of my follow-up email when I published my expert post,

“A few months back, you provided me with your feedback on a question I had on “effective link building” and I would like to thank you for that again. It took a while but I finally completed that post and would love for you to check it out. As promised, I have provided a link back to your website. I want to thank you for providing me with guidance for several years as I have been an avid follower of your blog. 

I would love your feedback on the post I published and if possible, if you can share it with your followers. It has been tough for me starting out so any support would be awesome.

Here is the blog post I published and please let me know what you think. Again, please share it as it will really help me out.

Best Regards,

Rizvan Ullah

Obviously, this was a follow-up message, but you get the point on how direct it should be. One of the best ways to spark interest would be to ask them for their feedback because it shows you respect their expertise. In most cases, these bloggers would be happy to help you with feedback, etc.

  • Don’t act arrogant or macho because it will not get you anywhere. They are influential people because they worked hard, so show them the respect they deserve.

Useful Resources

BuzzStream: How to Pitch: Outreach Tips from Journalists

Promoting Your Content

Outreach is when you communicate with other bloggers within your niche, asking them to share your content. However, you have to take control of your promotion strategy. If your content is high quality, engaging, and provides value, it has a great chance of going viral. Social media provides a portal for your content to generate some serious buzz in a very short period of time. This means a greater chance of ranking higher in the SERP’s and generating profits if you utilized affiliate links within your content. As mentioned, when guest posting, I would discourage the use of affiliate links as blog owners would think you’re spamming for profits. However, you still have a chance in the author bio below your post to insert links back to your website. Anyway, let’s go over some cost effective ways to promote your content once it’s been published as a guest post on an authority blog.

Your Network –

If you’re working in a specific industry, chances are, you’ll have a network of friends and family in the same industry. Utilize them to get your content promoted to their circle. Some of them will have their own audience and blogs to share your content on. If your content provides value to them and their audience, they’ll even link out to it, providing exposure and an authority link. Here’s a great example. While I was writing this ultimate guide, I managed to find someone in my network willing to share it even before publishing. It just shows the power of friends and networking with people in your industry. It’s also important to ensure you continuously exchange emails because you never know when your network will come in handy.

Email Signature –

If you correspond through email daily, then it’s a great idea to add a link below your signature and trust me when I say this strategy works. For example, I recently inquired about freelancing some of my content writing and exchanged emails with a writer in my niche. When she emailed me, I skimmed to the bottom and found this…


It seems interesting so I clicked and read through the content. Personally, I enjoyed it and shared it on my social profile and even left a comment. In short, this strategy works and you’ll be surprised how many people utilize this technique. Why? Everyone emails and the best way to network with people in your industry. It’s also free, not costing you a penny to include in your email signature. Once its set up, you’re pretty much ready to go!

Forum Signature –

If you’re active on forums, then once your guest post goes live, do a quick edit to your forum signature to include a link to your post. Most forums are niche specific so will find your content valuable, so take advantage of the forum audience. When you change your signature, it’ll even update on all your previous forum posts, which can generate even more traffic to your content. Don’t forget, all these people will read your guest post, then your author bio, which increases the chances of traffic to your personal blog.

If you’re not part of any forums, then join a few before submitting your guest post. Do a quick search in Google using “niche keyword” + forum.

Internal Linking –

If your guest post provides an additional resource to previous content published on your blog, then go back and link to it. This strategy not only provides value to your guest post, but adds credibility to you as someone who knows the topic well. Over time, if your blog post gains traction in the SERP’s, and you’re linking to your guest post, it can give it a push in the SERP’s as well.

External Linking –

If you’re a regular guest blogger, you can edit your previous guest posts to include a link to newer content. Many blog owners don’t allow you to edit content once it’s been published on their blog. However, if you exchange emails regularly with them, you might have some more leverage than others. If you don’t communicate regularly, then it’s still worth a try to shoot them a quick email, asking them to add your content as an additional resource. Try this…

Send them your new content so they can read over it and how it can help their readers. If it truly provides value and is relevant, they might add it to your previous guest posts.

Making It All Count

You’ve just created something special and added value online. It’s a great feeling because you added something value during a time when it’s so easy to publish low quality content. You contributed to the information highway with the hope your content will go viral and change the lives of readers all over the world. That’s right! I said “all over the world” because the Internet has connected everyone located in every single corner of the earth. Now that you’ve published your guest post…what’s next and how can you make it all count? The answer is very simple and I hope all of you will follow through…

It’s time to repeat the process, creating more valuable guest posts to educate your readers. The more you write content, the greater chance of being published, increasing your brand awareness. It’s important to keep the momentum moving in the right direction and contribute back to those who helped you get started. Remember the benefits of guest posting…

  • Creating brand awareness
  • Increasing social engagement
  • Increasing traffic
  • Getting backlinks from relevant websites
  • Building your credibility with your readers
  • Giving back to the community
  • And many more

Making it all count means to rinse and repeat the entire process.

Wrapping It Up!

By now, you would have learned the fundamentals of guest blogging but these will only be effective if you use them and apply them exactly as shown. Finding guest blogging opportunities, initially, will be difficult, but after you’ve established yourself with a handful of blogs, you’ll be fine. The key is to test each guest blogging opportunity for maximum benefit as outlined above. Here’s a quick overview of what to look for after you’ve published your guest post…

  • Referral traffic
  • Analyze relevant traffic and conversions
  • Social shares
  • Comments
  • Click-through on other links embedded within your content
  • Analyze the growth to ensure you are publishing guest posts on a blog increasing in popularity
  • Analyze the results of your outreach program

When I first started guest posting, I had 7 regular blogs I would contribute to but after months of analyzing, I understood a few things. First, I was getting all my traffic from 2/7 blogs and the others were not performing well at all. Next, I was putting effort toward writing 4-5 guest posts a week and was wasting them by publishing on non-converting blogs. How did I know they weren’t converting? I look over the statistics from the factors above and compared them.

The important thing is to apply the 20/80 rule, even to guest blogging. For those of you not aware of this rule, it’s very simple…Put 20% effort and get 80% results.

For everyone, this should be the objective when guest blogging. The 20% effort should be put at creating “high” quality content and 80% should be toward choosing a blog that produces 80% of the results (traffic, engagement, growth, conversions, etc).

I hope my guide will be put to good use and I’m always available to answer any questions. Please post them above or use the contact us form.

Useful Resources

13 Content Writing Tips That Will Crush Your Competition – See more at: