When you are starting out with guest blogging, you will have to do some research on blogs from your niche that are open for guest posts. But you should be able to find a few – or better even a long list. And once you found some blogs you need to narrow it down again to a handful of blogs which are perfect for your guest post.
Not every blog is perfect for your guest posting venture. As your content creating is going to be a considerable effort to create a great post you want to choose the perfect blog to publish it on. There are many factors you need to consider when you plan your guest posting. Some of them will be more important to you than others, but you should take all of them into account.
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1. The Topic of the blog (hopefully you already got that right within your search for blogs). The topic should closely match your interest and expertise. The audience of the blog should be from your target group.
2. The blog only publishes high-quality content. You do not want your outstanding content to appear side by side to wrongful or crappy content.
3. The blog looks inviting and is easy/enjoyable to read.
4. Traffic of the blog (check Alexa, Compete or other sites that analyze traffic of websites). A blog with no readers will not give you the audience you are seeking. Do not set your stakes too high, though.
5. Subscriber list – not all blogs disclose this number, but a large part of the best blog’s audience usually comes from email subscribers. A sign that a blog is actively collecting subscribers and has a considerable amount of subscribers can be that there are lead magnets and newsletter subscription forms on the blog in exchange for your email address. If you can’t find any of those, the blog most likely does not have many email subscribers.
There is a lot more to successful guest blogging than finding a blog that accepts your post. The right blog with a targeted audience will help, but you can get more out of your guest posting efforts if you know what you can do and what you can achieve.
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6. Activity, social shares – this is for everyone to see: Do the articles on the blog get a good number of shares? That is a good indicator for an active audience. You should also check if the blog or blog owner has social accounts, how many followers they have and if they take an active part in sharing the articles from the blog.
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7. Easy communication with blog owner – some blogs publish a guest post after one Email and sometimes you need to write emails back and forth for 6 weeks before the post gets published. Easy communication is a plus especially if you do not only want to get one guest post out. This is hard to check before you get in touch – but if you are considering sending a second or third post this makes a lot of difference.
8. Guest blogging guidelines – it is nice if a blog clearly states, what it expects from its writers – but some of these guidelines are not very inviting. Take a look and decide for yourself, if you want to follow the guidelines or not. Not all blogs, who accept guest posts, state their guidelines on the site or have guest blogging guidelines at all. If there are guidelines, stick to them as closely as you can.
9. Length of posts – even if there are no guest posting guidelines or the guidelines say nothing about the required word count of a post, you should take a closer look at the length of the articles usually published on the blog. A blog that usually publishes short snippets of around 300 words is not going to publish your epic 2000 word post, and a blog that goes for post between 2000 to 4000 words is not going to publish a short paragraph of 400 words.
10. Are you able to write to the quality standards of the desired blog? – It is not only the length of the post that can make or break your guest blogging success. A blog is certainly going to decline your post if you are a total newbie to writing and still struggling to stick to the story and the blog is run by professional copywriters.
11. How well do guest posts run on the blog? On some blogs, the guest posts perform very poorly in comparison to the posts from the actual blog owner. Reasons may be a very loyal and fan like audience – or in rare cases blog owners may not share the guest posts on their social media channels as they do with their own posts.
12. Who are the guest bloggers? Some blogs prefer a certain kind of guest authors. For instance, some of the larger marketing blogs mainly accept guest posts by other marketing influencers. There can also be preferences to freelancers, consultants, executives, speakers or other types of professionals.
13. How is a guest author announced? Is the author bio hidden away or in plain sight? Is the author only mentioned by name, or would you get an author bio where you can link to your own blog and social accounts?
14. How many links are you allowed to post? Are you allowed to place links to your own site? If you are allowed to set links, these should still fit well into your content. Do not simply set links because you can. Links in content always have to add value – or they are superfluous
15. Ranking, blog lists – there are a ton of blog lists out there. Do a google search on the blog and browse the results. Is your target blog listed somewhere as a favorite blog from your niche? That is not bad at all. While a blog not being listed or ranked is not a reason NOT to guest post on, these lists still give credibility to the blog.
16. Do they ask for money – guest blogging is work, and if done right you are providing value to the blog which is going to publish your article. You should not aim for blogs that ask for money to let you guest post. That is not a guest post but a sponsored post. There are even blogs that pay their guest authors, they are rare, but they have a point. You invest your time and expertise into the post, and you should not pay for getting it published.
The above criteria are only to give you an idea what kind of blog you are looking for. In the end, it will also be a matter of personal preferences, and you also need to feel comfortable to publish on this blog.
Many blogs accept guest posts. Aim for blogs you like. In the end, you want to be proud of your published post and not ashamed that you published on this blog.