Guest blogging is an effective way to increase your online visibility by getting in front of new audiences and earning authoritative links back to your site. When used right it can increase traffic through referrals and improved search engine rankings. However, be careful to avoid the trap of wasting time on sites that are off-topic or are low quality as this may produce weak results or even hurt you as Google continues to penalize sites that use low quality link acquisition tactics.
Here are some tips for finding good guest post opportunities to spend your time on:
1. Search Google for Known Authors
If you come across a guest post by someone in your niche, search for the author’s name in Google in quotations + guest post. This can reveal sites where the author has contributed guest articles and are likely sites that are willing to accept guest article submissions. You can record these opportunities in a Google Document if you want to pursue them later.
2. Search Keywords in Google Blog Search
Google Blog Search is an excellent way to search the blogosphere for targeted blogs. By filtering out most non-blogs, it is easier to find the blogs you are looking for that have recently accepted guest contributions.
3. Find Lists of Blogs in Your Niche
Searching Google for “top ______ blogs” can return some curated lists of blogs in your niche that may accept guest posts. It can be helpful to start reading these blogs regularly and leaving comments that add value before pitching them on your idea. Alltop.com is an excellent source for lists of top blogs in almost every category you can think of.
4. Use MyBlogGuest
MyBlogGuest is a forum that also has a gallery where you can post your articles so that bloggers can offer to publish them. Bloggers who are looking for free content will post guest post opportunities to the forum. In my experience there are a lot of low quality sites that you must filter through but you can also find some gems.
5. Develop Relationships in Social Media
Followerwonk is an excellent tool for searching Twitter bios for a keyword and can help you find people in your niche to follow. Engaging with key influencers can develop relationships that can lead to positive things like guest blogging invitations. Retweeting someone or commenting on a blog article they wrote can help get on a successful blogger’s radar.
6. Outsource Guest Post Prospecting
If you work with freelance writers, you could request that they also research guest post opportunities. Another option is to hire virtual assistants from the Philippines to research opportunities and record them in a shared Google document. Onlinejobs.ph is a good resource for finding virtual assistants in the Philippines. The cost varies on the individual but the average is around $500 per month for a full time VA. The drawback is that Filipino VAs may require a lot of training up front to get up to speed.
Charles Sipe is an online marketing specialist from Seattle, Washington and the executive editor of Cool Marketing Stuff. You can follow him on Twitter at @charlessipe.