17 Guest Posting Tips I Learned from Failing Thousands of Times

Ah, good ol’ guest posting. The oldest, most battle-tested link-building tactic in the history of humankind (kind of).

Like pretty much every other link-building method, It’s also come under fire in recent years, especially when Matt Cutts published “The Decay and Fall of Guest Blogging for SEO,” which, as you can imagine, caused SEOs around the world throw their laptops in the trash, burn their websites to the ground and move into wilderness, where they could live a life free of the emotional rollercoasters of Internet Marketing.

I kid, but before we get into our 17 guest posting hacks below, I think it bears repeating: guest posting ain’t dead if done properly.

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As long as links are an important part of Google’s ranking algorithm (and they are) guest posting on reputable sites will continue to be one of the best ways to earn them.

Want some proof? Just look at my site...

Personally, I use guest posting (or version of it) as one of my primary link acquisition strategies. Of course, I also mix it up, but when I start any site (or help someone start a site), the tactic I usually kick things off with is guest posting.

Here’s a screenshot of the first couple of months of growth of my current site. The site had been live for about six months at this point, but this is when I really started guest posting.

Guest posting results

Of course, I’ve kept guest posting and executing other types of link building campaigns, and the site has grown a lot since last summer, but still, you can see the obvious positive impact guest posting had on my site.

Why is guest posting so awesome (and why isn't it "dead")?

Guest posting is still alive and kicking for one important reason: it's built on relationships.

To secure a guest post, you have to talk to the person on the other end of that Ethernet cable—the person in control of that website’s content. They have to like you. They have to like your idea. They have to make the decision to publish your article, and, even more importantly, they have complete control of your link.

Aside from natural links earned by the sheer awesomeness of a piece of content, this is one of the purest forms of link building possible.

And that’s lesson #1: guest posting is safe.

It’s also powerful. If you’re new to link building, do yourself a favor and read “All Links are Not Created Equal: 10 Illustrations on Search Engines' Valuation of Links” by Rand Fishkin. It’s a great primer on which links are actually worth going for.

The whole article should be required reading for any SEO, but here’s the long and short of it: contextual, dofollow links inside the actual content area of a trusted sites are the most powerful links you can get.

Here’s a quick visual from the same post.

How to get guest posting links

The problem, of course, is that those links can be tough to get. Of the hundreds—or possibly even thousands—of link building tactics out there, only a few can get you those kinds of links. And of those, guest posting may be the best at it.

So that’s lesson #2: guest posts get you powerful links.

But that’s not what I love most about guest posting. Nope.

Here’s what I really like about guest posting: it completely squashes the hands-down most idiotic link-building practice alive today: PBNs.

You Don’t Need a Private Blog Network when the World is Your PBN

A lot of you know about the darker days of my SEO past, but if you don’t, the elevator-story is that I used PBNs (setting up a private blog network by buying and hiding expired domains to trick Google into thinking people are actually linking to you), and my whole business got destroyed overnight.

Since then, I’ve been on a rampage. I’ve been telling anyone who would listen how terrible an idea PBNs are (if your goal is to build a long-term business, anyway).

That said, PBNs do work, because they provide the same kinds of powerful links mentioned above: contextual, dofollow links in the main content area of a post.

But here’s the thing: a simple guest posting campaign can do everything a PBN does—only much better and an order of magnitude cheaper.

There is a LOT required to set up an adequate private blog network. You need to find domains (good ones with half-decent DAs can cost $500+). You need to host each one on a separate C-Class IP. You need to fill it out with good content (so before you even get your link, you have to write 5-6 more “natural” articles per site). And if you’re really trying to make the site look natural, you may want a logo and other design elements.

In my experience, it’s not uncommon for one PBN site to cost $500-$1,000 and take upwards of 20 hours to set up. Does that seem like a good cost-per-link to you?

My last guest posting campaign took me about 20 hours and cost me $250. And for that, I got eleven links. Not one. Eleven. And one of the sites was a highly relevant site with a DA of 75.

PBN

Guest Posting

Initial Cost

$550

$60

Yearly Cost

$25

$0

Link Power

Link Safety

The difference between guest posting and using a PBN--in cost, time, effciency, and risk--is so extreme, so utterly obvious, that I'm honestly starting to question the business acumen (...and in some cases the overall sanity) of SEOs who still insist on using PBNs.

Looking at the (approximate) table above, you get 9 guest post links for the cost of 1 PBN links. Who do you think really wins on the SERPs in the end?​

...I'm honestly starting to question the sanity of SEOs who still insist on using PBNs.

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Here’s the cherry on top…

By guest posting, you’re building real relationships with people in your market. Friends. Colleagues. People who can help you or with whom you can launch joint ventures. As your little hobby site begins to grow into a “real” business, these are the relationships that can really boost you to the next level.

Anyway, here’s my point: if you’re a PBN’er, please just consider guest posting. Try it once, and compare the total ROI.

…Phew…

With that out of the way, we can probably talk about how to actually do this stuff, eh?

Lots of people know how to guest post, and there are plenty of great guides out there (like Brian Dean’s). We don’t reinvent the wheel here at Authority Hacker, so, instead, I wanted to give you a big, juicy list of all the little hacks I’ve learned along the way.

Some of these are new twists on old tricks. Some of them may be totally new. But they should all be extremely useful and help you squeeze every last ounce of ROI out of your guest posting campaigns. Let’s get started.

17 Killer Guest Blogging Tips & Tricks

1. Create Market Overlap & NEVER Run Out of Guest Posting Opportunities

When I really started trying to scale up my outreach, one of the first obstacles was running out of blogs to contact in my niche. I’d contacted about 400 dog blogs, and everything else was mostly just crap.

Obviously, I wanted more links than the 20 or so I got from those 400 blogs, so I had to come up with a creative way to manufacture more opportunities.

The answer was something I like to call market overlap.

Market overlap is essentially just finding a place where your niche overlaps with some other niche.

Say you have a camping blog, and you’ve already emailed the 500 good camping blogs you could find. It’s probably not a great idea to email 200 more spammier, weaker camping sites. Those links won’t move the needle Instead, your next move could be contacting fitness blogs.

When you contacted these blogs, you could pitch posts like, “9 Surprising Fitness Benefits of Hiking” or “What Type of Fit Do You Need to Be for Extreme Camping?”—or anything else that would feasibly connect the two sites.

Here's a quick visualization. ​

Market overlap for guest posting

But here’s the idea: you can guest post in pretty much any market. All you have to do is find a little common ground.

2. Use (Even More) Advanced Queries to Find Quality Sites Publishing Guest Posts (even if They Don’t Advertise It)

Advanced queries are modifiers you can add onto your Google queries to apply advanced filters your results. They’re a great, creative way to find really specific stuff, including guest post opportunities.

For example, if you type in “inurl:guest-post,” you’ll find pages with “guest-post” in the URL. Advanced queries are perhaps the most “traditional” way to find guest posting opportunities. And, honestly, they’re not the best way to find them.

Guest posting is one of the oldest link-building tactics, and as such, it’s been beaten to death by virtually every Internet marketer and digital marketing agency. And most of the time, these folks rely heavily on guest posting.

And how do the vast majority of them find guest posting opportunities? Advanced queries. What’s that mean for you? Mostly, it means that using advanced queries to find guest posts is more likely to yield opportunities that have already been pitched by a bunch of other people.

Of course, that’s no reason not to do it. It’s still an efficient way to compile big lists of potential targets quickly. Just be ready for a slightly lower conversion rate than some of the other tactics I’ll show you below.

Most people use advanced queries to search for “write for us” pages (e.g. inurl:write-for-us). The problem is that these pages get bombarded with guest post pitches almost daily.

You’re not most people. You’re an Authority Hacker reader. You do stuff in a smarter, more efficient way: instead of looking for for “write for us” pages, you search for high-quality sites that publish guest posts without necessarily advertising it. 

This is basically a way to take the path of least resistance. Instead of going after targets likely to get hundreds of SEOs pitching them every month, the aim here is to identify lesser-known targets by efficiently sniffing out guest posts published in the past.

Here are a few advanced queries to find these higher-quality guest post targets (just type them into Google):

  • [Keyword] "guest post by"
  • [Keyword] "guest post written by"
  • [Keyword] "guest author today"
  • [Keyword] "my guest posts"
  • [Keyword] "places I've guest posted"
  • [Keyword] "this is a guest post by"
  • [Keyword] "guest article"
  • [Keyword] "the following guest post"

As you can probably guess, these queries are meant to help find footprints inside actual articles. Your results will typically be a bit higher quality, since what you’re essentially just following around good guest posters instead of looking for sites with pages looking for guest posts (which are pitched a lot).

3. Conquer Contact Forms with TextExpander

If you’ve ever done even a tiny outreach campaign, you’ll probably know how annoying contact forms can be. If you’re not rewriting your pitch over and over, you’re copying and pasting from a notepad.

Either way, it takes tons of time, and if you skip sites with contact forms only, you’ll be missing out on a lot of opportunities.

Luckily, there’s a really awesome little plugin that makes filling out contact forms (or any text field) about 100 times faster than normal.

It’s called TextExpander (see it in the Chrome store here).

TextExpander is a Chrome extension that allows you to create custom keyboard shortcuts inside of Chrome. It uses some simple JavaScript to check to see if your last keystrokes match any of the shortcuts you created. If they do, it replaces that shortcut with a second set of predetermined text.

For example, you could create a shortcut “@contact,” which, when typed into a contact form, gets replaced with your guest post pitch. This ultra-simple plugin has saved me dozens of hours of work.

Want to see it in action? Here’s a short video.

4. Use VoilaNorbert & Rapportive to Find Almost ANY Email Address

One of the most frustrating things about outreach is not being to find any damn emails.

And it’s not by accident. Editors are often busy people, and they’re typically really tired of being pitched by weirdos with Viagra sites, so they sometimes bury their emails to ward off spammers. Of course, we still want to get in contact with them (we’re not spammers, and we have brilliant content that can help their audience!).

They need our content. We just have to get creative to find the right email, so we can deliver it.

There are a couple ways to do that. First, however, you need at least one name. An editor. A marketing person. A webmaster. Whoever. You just want to find the best person possible and look for their email. The best places to find names are “Staff,” “Meet the Team,” “About Us,” and “Editors” pages.

Gael's Notes                 

To find the names of people working at companies, don't hesitate to use Linked in and search for people associated with the company. Together with these 2 tactics you'll find anyone's email.

When you do have a name, use these two tools to find their email:

Rapportive is a Gmail plugin. When you type in an email address associated with a LinkedIn account, that person’s LinkedIn profile will show up in the right sidebar of your Gmail window. It looks like this.

Rapportive for guest blogging

Here’s the cool part: you can use Rapportive to guess emails. Simply type in emails until a LinkedIn profile pops up. If one does, you’ll know you’ve found the right email.

To guess, use common combinations of a person’s first name, last name, first initial, and last initial with a site-specific domain email address. For example, if I were trying to guess Gael’s email, I might try:

If you want to completely automate this process, you can use VoilaNorbert, an ingeniously simple website that checks for working email using the same kinds of combinations of names domain-level email addresses.

All you have to do is type in the name of the person you want to contact and the site. VoilaNorbert does the rest.

Here’s a quick video demonstration of these two tools.

VoilaNorbert is free for a limited number of searches. After that, you can buy searches for $0.25 each. It only counts successful searches, which makes it super reasonable.

5. Automatically Scrape Site Metrics & Contact Info with URL Profiler

If you’re a BuzzStream fanboy like we are, you’ve probably discovered that their built-in contact finder leaves a lot to be desired. This isn’t some crazy phenomenon unique to BuzzStream, either. Virtually every contact-finding program I’ve tried has be mostly crap.

Except one: URL Profiler.

This is one of my favorite paid tools. It’s a relatively cheap ($19/mo) desktop program that scrapes a list of URLs you provide for pretty much any data you could ever want for outreach, including contact information.

URL Profiler finds:

  • All emails on "Contact" pages
  • All emails on "About" pages
  • All emails on "Write for Us" pages
  • All other emails on the site
  • "Contact" page URLs
  • "About" page URLs
  • "Write for Us" page URLs

But it also scrapes loads of other information:

  • Google indexation
  • Spam and malware status
  • Domain authority
  • Trust and citation flow
  • Topical relevance
  • And a whole lot more

Honestly, I try to be really careful about what I scrape with this tool; it can return so much information that it becomes difficult to sift through.

However, with the right filters, URL Profiler makes it extremely easy to prioritize the best guest posting targets and can automate 90% of the contact-finding research.

Here’s a quick demonstration of how it works.

6. For Small Blogs: Make Friends Before You Pitch

One of the biggest revelations I had when doing outreach was this: you’ll have much better results if you treat small blogs differently than you treat big sites—and vice versa.

Consider the context.

A small blog is usually run by a single person who’s simply blogging about their passion. Most of the time, these webmasters are struggling to make a splash. They’re often ignored. Many don’t have traffic, and even more have a bit of traffic but aren’t making great money.

More importantly, I’ve often found that small-time bloggers are extremely suspicious of people looking for links. There was a time—circa 2010 or so (a.k.a. the Wild West)—where people gave out links with almost no thought. As a result, most people were absolutely abused by spammers, especially the small bloggers.

They learned their lesson, and now, most bloggers’ default response to any link request is going to be a big fat NO.

How do you get around that? Don’t pitch them.

At least not at first. Instead, engage with their content (via comments and shares) and spend your first emails simply making friends. Ask them about their blog--or a trip, or a hobby, or their dog.. Swap stories. Have a laugh. Don’t make a friend hoping to get a link. Actually try to make a new friend.

After you’ve made a friend—a real-life friend—then offer to write some content for them. You’ll already be friends, and it’ll be a win-win for them.

Does it take more time? Yes. Can you still fail to secure a link. Sure. However, your conversion rates should skyrocket, and your network of industry colleagues should grow by a lot, which can lead to much more profitable opportunities outside simply getting a link or two.

7. For Big Blogs: Pitch Up Front & Make it Snappy

Big blogs are the opposite of small blogs.

You’re not talking to someone who’s poured their heart and soul into a blog. Instead, you’ll probably be talking to an editor who’s paid to come into the office and respond to emails.

Lots of emails. Hundreds of emails per day. And a good chunk of them will be pitches just like yours.

You can’t make friends with these folks (most of the time). Here’s what works about a thousand times better: show them you value their time by pitching extremely good ideas in a very short email.

Don’t give them your resume. Don’t write a laundry list of your accomplishments. Don’t include anything other than your article ideas. They. Do. Not. Care.

They want one thing and one thing only: quality content (i.e. content they don’t have to edit much) for free. So write a short email and pitch some killer ideas. If they don’t respond, follow up with a few similarly short, snappy, professional emails.

8. Use BuzzSumo and Ahrefs to See (and Emulate) a Site’s Most Successful Posts

Really want to impress an editor? Show them you know exactly what works for their site and pitch them similar ideas.

The problem with guest posts—from an editor’s standpoint—is that almost nobody takes the time to really think about what would work for their audience. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been pitched totally irrelevant guest posts. And every time, I ask myself, “What is this person thinking?”

If you can demonstrate that you understand a site’s audience, your conversion rates should increase dramatically. One of the best ways to do that is to use BuzzSumo and Ahrefs to see a site’s most successful posts and pitch similar ideas.

These are paid services, but each has either a free trial or a free version. Both platforms show you the most highly shared piece of content. There are just a couple differences between the two.

For example, Ahrefs also shows you how many links each piece of content earned, which may be important to some webmasters.

BuzzSumo, on the other hand, does not show you links, but it does allow you to filter results by guest posts; so, not only can you see which posts are most successful overall, but you can also see which guest posts have been most successful. This can be great leverage.

To use BuzzSumo, just type a domain into the front page.

BuzzSumo for Guest Posting

Then, set the date filter to “Past Year,” since you want to get a feel for their all-time most successful posts—not just recent ones.

BuzzSumo for Link Prospecting

If you want to look at guest posts, un-select all “Content Type” filters except guest posts. Then, click “Filter.”

BuzzSumo for Content Marketing

You can use Ahrefs in pretty much the same way. First, navigate to the “Site Explorer” section. Then, enter the domain, and click “Search” (you’ll have to register for a free trial account if you don’t have one).

Using Ahrefs for Guest Blogging

Scroll down until you see the “Top Content” section, where you can see the top-performing content. If you want to dive a bit deeper, click “Explore more results.”

Ahrefs link prospecting

Take some notes. See if you can spot some patterns. What type of content really knocks it out of the part for them? What do their readers gravitate to? What’s getting shares? What’s getting links? Which guest posts are doing best?

Then, bring this stuff up in your pitch. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Something as simple as, “I saw [Post X] did really well for you. I think I can expand on that in a way your readers might really get a kick out of. What do you think of something like, [Your Post Idea]?”

9. Use the “site:domain” Operator to See What They Like to Publish on YOUR Topic

You’re not always going to be writing a guest post on blogs in your exact niche. The world just doesn’t work that way.

Lots of times, you’ll end up writing a post about your specific niche on a more general blog. For example, if you’ve got a site about weight lifting, you might find a good opportunity on a general wellness blog.

In these cases, doing a bit of extra research can pay big dividends. Why? Because just a tiny bit of investigation can tell (1) if they’re even open to publishing content about your niche, and (2) you can see what they like to publish if they do publish content from bloggers like you.

And it’s super simple.

Just type this into Google: “[Your Niche] site:targetdomain.com.” So, for example, if you had a weight lifting blog, and you wanted to guest post on MindBodyGreen, you’d Google “weight lifting site:mindbodygreen.com.”

What is a good guest post pitch

This is a great way to see what kind of posts from your sub-niche a target site actually publishes, and it’s much faster than searching the site manually. Is it all one type of article? Are they mostly in a particular format?

In the example above, you can see that MindBodyGreen does publish weightlifting articles, but they’re almost always lists, and they often combine with other topics that are more relevant to their audience, like yoga or women’s health.

If you know this stuff, you can make much more educated pitches and not waste your time pitching to sites that are not interested in your sub niche.

10. Reverse Engineer Prolific Guest Posters in Your Niche

What better way to find a bunch of amazing places to guest post than to see where the very best, most prolific guest posters are posting?

Lots of people don’t even know this is a possibility. But you can do it. All you need to do is find one good guest poster in your niche. You can do that simply be searching for your broad keyword in BuzzSumo and setting the “Content Type” filter to “Guest Posts” or by using one of the advanced queries above.

When you do find someone who looks like they’re writing a bunch of guest posts, there are two ways to find where they’re getting their guest posts published.

First, you can simply Google their author bio. Most people use the same author bio for every guest post they do. So, if you simply search for their exact bio in Google, you’ll likely see a bunch of different sites on which they’ve posted.

If this doesn’t work, try simply googling the first line of their bio; even if they don’t use the same exact bio for every guest post, they may start it the same way.

Here’s an example. In our industry, one of the most prolific guest posters is Neil Patel. I know Neil guest posts a lot at Search Engine Journal, so I copied and pasted his author bio into Google using quotation marks, so Google knows to search for the exact text. I also already know he guest posts at Search Engine Journal, and I don’t want those to show up in my search, so I excluded those results.

This is what I googled:

"Neil Patel is the co-founder of KISSmetrics, an analytics provider that helps companies make better business decisions. Neil also blogs about marketing and entrepreneurship at Quick Sprout." -searchenginejournal.com

I’m asking Google to find every place on the Internet where this specific block of text occurs except for Search Engine Journal. Here are the results.

Reverse engineering guest posts

You can do this with virtually any guest poster. It’s a great way to quickly compile a list of sites that actively publish people like you.

Gael's Notes                 

Beware of scrapers though. Some sites with the bio will be sites that copy/paste content from other sites. If a site does that, don't bother pitching them a guest post.

Of course, there’s a tool for this (…if you didn’t know by now, there’s a tool for everything): BuzzStream’s Discovery Beta.

This is a relatively new tool developed by the BuzzStream team, and, as of the time of writing, you don’t need an account for the first couple of searches. It’s built to help find influencers, but it’s absolutely fantastic for finding guest post targets as well. Here’s how to use it.

First, type in the name of a prolific guest poster. Here, we’re using good ol’ Neil Patel again.

BuzzStream Discovery for guest posting

Find the person (sometimes the matches can be weird), and click “View Full Profile.”

Then, click the “Footprint” tab. This will show you all of the places that person has posted with all of their known footprints. How cool is that?

Perhaps the best feature of this tool is that it ranks the sites according to the number of times that person has posted, which makes it extremely easy to find opportunities that are working best for them. For example, Neil posts a lot of posts on Entrepreneur.com. Something’s clearly working for him there, and it’s certainly worth some deeper investigation.

11. Use CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer to Suggest Better Ideas in Your Pitches

Editor’s know what a good idea looks like. Even more importantly, they know what a good headline looks like.

If you can suggest an amazing idea with an even better headline, you’ll be much more likely to get a “yes.” One super-easy way to come up with great headlines whose emotional impact is backed up by actual data is to use CoSchedules headline analyzer.

This is an awesome tool that measure the quality of your headline based on the types of words you use, the format, and the length of your headline.

Take your idea, and simply start typing in headlines. As long as your score is green (above 70), it’s probably pretty damn good.

I’ve spent way too long trying to come up with great headlines. See if you can beat this one (…and feel free to steal this if you’re reaching out to parenting blogs; I’m kidding—don’t use this).

CoSchedule for headline brainstorming

12. Use Yesware to Organize Outreach & Follow Up for Free

There’s no shortage of email tools. Here, we prefer Buzzstream (it just seems to do the job better than everything else).

However, if you’ve never done outreach, want to save money, or simply don’t need to build links at scale, there’s no sense burning that $19/mo. Instead, go with something free.

And for free outreach, our weapon of choice is Yesware. Yesware is a paid tool with a very robust free version. You can use it to organize contacts, set follow-up reminders, create custom outreach templates, and more.

Yesware for guest posting

If you want a full walkthrough from Gael, he breaks down Yesware—as well as a bunch of other amazing free outreach tools--in our members area.

13. Use Google Apps to Increase Sending Limits

If you’re like me, you like to do things in batches. Research a bunch of outreach targets first; and then, when you’ve got a list, email them all at once.

That can put you up against some pretty annoying technical issues, namely, Gmail’s sending limits. And if you don’t want to invest in an expensive third-party delivery service, like Mandrill, it can significantly slow down your outreach.

By default, you can send Gmail’s sending limit is 500 messages per day and 20 messages per hour. Luckily, there’s an easy way to get around that: sign up for Google Apps.

Aside from some other cool features like being able to use Gmail with domain-specific email addresses and built-in team collaboration, Google Apps also increases your email sending limit.

Google Apps for guest blogging

14. Put Links in a “Resources” Section at the End of Your Guest Posts

One of the trickier parts of guest posting is getting your links past editors. Editor’s aren’t dumb, and they do not want shady links on their site. Most of the time, especially on big sites, editors will be on the lookout for links that don’t fit.

Of course, they also understand that the link is your compensation for writing the post, so they can be cool about it, too. But the point is that they don’t want weird, semi-relevant, anchor-rich links plopped into their content willy nilly.

The first part of getting your links past editors is, of course, linking only to fantastic, highly relevant content.

Aside from that, though, there’s one other awesome little trick: putting my link into a “Sources” section at the bottom of the article. Instead of awkwardly working my link into a sentence, I’ll create a list of amazing, relevant sources at the end of the post and use one of those bullet points to link to my own amazing, relevant content.

It’s natural, it’s less obtrusive, and if you include a bunch of other fantastic sources alongside your own, editors are much more likely to be in “yes” mode when deciding whether or not your link can stay.

Gael's Notes                 

I also use a variation of this technique in my guest posts. I usually make them list posts where each point is associated to a piece of content on our site.

Then at the end of each section I add something like this:​

It adds value, it doesn't feel spammy, it gets you a lot more referral traffic from your guest posts and a bunch of deep links to help all these pages rank!

15. Link to a Sales or Opt in Page Your Author Bio

Don’t get me wrong: we want to shoot for dofollow, contextual backlinks in our guest posts. But most of the time, we’ll also get an author bio box to do with as we please.

So don’t waste it.

This isn’t the best place for a link, but it absolutely IS the best place to pre-sell someone who really loved your post.

If someone reads through your entire post and likes it enough to look for an author box to find out more about you… they have officially become a warm lead, my friends. So sell them something.

It can be as easy as something like this:

SEO Links in author bio box

Of course, this works better on blogs with active audiences, and you can’t very well implement this strategy if you don’t have anything to sell. But if you do have something to sell, this is a really, really good place to sell it.

16. Become a Contributor for Endless Streams of “Deep” Links

By now, we probably all know that multiple links from the same domain experience diminishing returns. For this reason, it’s usually not worth the effort building multiple links from an external site to a single page.

You don’t want to guest post a bunch of times with only your homepage link in your author bio, for example.

However, securing multiple links to strategic, “deep” pages on your site—individual articles you want to rank for targeted keywords—can be benefits.

One great way to do this is to become a regular contributor for a site.

There are a couple ways to do this. The most optimal way is to form a relationship with a site that doesn’t actively seek out contributors.

Most of the time, these will be sites for which your guest post is a home run; when your post generates a bunch of traffic, shares, and links, it’s pretty easy to ask to post on a regular basis.

If you’re accepted as a contributor, you’re more or less free to link to whatever you want (within reason, of course), and you can tap into a virtually endless supply of “deep” links.

Another way to do this is to search for large media sites actively looking for contributors. For example, Entrepreneur.com has an ongoing application process for new contributors. You just have to fill out an application and pitch some ideas.

You can find these sites with advanced queries like:

  • [Keyword] "become a contributor"
  • [Keyword] "apply to be a contributor"
  • [Keyword] inurl:contribute
  • [Keyword] inurl:contributor
  • [Keyword] inurl:contributor-application

Just be careful, some of these sites are saturated with spammers. NaturalNews, for example, took on as many contributors as they could, and the site virtually imploded.

So shoot for big, reputable sites with massive audiences.

17. Engage In the Comments of Your Guest Post & Email People Who Liked it

Want to know what the easiest pitch in the world is? Pitching a post to a person who liked another one of your guest posts enough to leave a nice comment.

Really, you should be pretty active in the comment sections of your guest posts anyway. It’s good for that blog’s audience, and it’ll show the editor you really care, which goes a long way when trying to secure another guest post.

In the comment section, look for people who really like the post, and then see if they have a related blog of their own. If they do, make friends and ask if they’d like some similar content for their blog.

I’ve only done this a few times, but my conversion rate has been really close to 50%. That is insane.

For these opportunities, I usually connect via social media if I can, since I’ve likely already talked to these folks, and we’re typically a bit friendlier. Here’s an example of what I’ll send.

Blog Comments for guest blogging
Gael's Notes                 

The comment part is huge provided blog readers engage with your content. A lot of our Pro members today found us via guest posts, followed us then signed up.

Wrapping it up…

Above all, guest posting requires creativity.

And this might be more true with guest posting than any other type of research. Guest posting is built almost entirely on relationships, which means every email sent counts for a lot more.

So if you’re going to try to “hack” anything, hack guest posting. And if you’re going to hack guest posting, these tricks are (hopefully) a good place to start.

Perrin Carrell
 

Hey there :) I’m Perrin, part of the Authority Hacker team. When I’m not blogging about Internet Marketing here, I help businesses improve their online presence, and, of course, I run a couple profitable blogs of my own.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 35 comments
Khan - March 8, 2016

Hi Perrin,

Thanks for providing very informative and detailed post. I have learnt a lot. What would you suggest of different guest post services out there in the form of thehoth.com and similar other services?

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    Perrin Carrell - March 10, 2016

    I’ve generally found that they’re not worth it. For me, it’s amounted to either paying $3,000 or spending 20 hours of my own time. That’s a pretty easy choice for me. I wouldn’t buy guest posts unless you’ve got plenty of money coming in the door.

    Reply
Kris - March 8, 2016

Wow, some great tips. The [Keyword] “guest post by” tactic isn’t all that great, so I look forward to trying some of the other suggestions. The challenge is balancing limited time with posting my own content vs guest posts. What type of ratio do you suggest?

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    Perrin Carrell - March 10, 2016

    Personally, I like to do stuff in batches. When I start a site, I’ll write ~40 articles one month, and then the next month, I’ll go build some links.

    After a site starts making money, I typically get a writer trained to post; that way, I can focus more on marketing and monetization.

    Reply
Curt - March 9, 2016

Helluva post Perrin! Haven’t kept up and didn’t realize you were writing here. Awesome work, man.

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Matthew Warren - March 9, 2016

Wow. I’m convinced. Guest posting is the way to go, it seems! I like the underlying theme of building relationships throughout this piece. They are key no matter what business endeavor you’re in.

Side note – Are you still working with Spencer?

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    Perrin Carrell - March 14, 2016

    AND… those relationships can be the foundation of a network of colleagues in your market. It’s not all about the links!

    Reply
Colbie - March 9, 2016

Awesome post! Thank you Perrin and Gael!

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Leon - March 9, 2016

Hi,

Just wanted to say that I love the article. Very practical!

Leon

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Eddy Baller - March 10, 2016

I enjoyed this post. Some of the apps you listed are gold, especially for finding emails.

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    Perrin Carrell - March 10, 2016

    Yep; URL Profiler’s a beast.

    Reply
      Perrin Carrell - March 10, 2016

      And VoilaNorbert. And Rapportive. Outreach can be super tedious, so good tools really do go a long way.

      Reply
Alter - March 10, 2016

Hi Perrin thank you very much for such a wonderful long post about guest blogging. This is probably the best i have read so far. I did like one from backlinko on same topic but your’s have few tips he missed out. Thoroughly enjoyed and thank again.

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Mark Thompson - March 12, 2016

Thanks, Perrin great post, I get several unsolicited guest posts a week despite the first line on the guest post page saying “we do not accept unsolicited guest posts”

Just added a link to this article in the hope it helps people approach us in a way that I’ll be happy to add their content.

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    Perrin Carrell - March 14, 2016

    Thanks man! Yea–guest post pitches care 95% awful. Just a TINY bit of effort can turn it into a win-win for everyone.

    Reply
Lewis - March 15, 2016

Hey Perrin,

I’ve followed you since the day Spencer took you on full time, and you’ve really found your feet in the internet marketing world since :)

(Your coaching calls with Colleen are pure GOLD!)

I really loved this post and I’ll be referencing it plenty when I start doing guest post outreach.

Question: In your pitch, do you provide a sample to previous guest posts you’ve done, or just suggestions for topic ideas?

Cheers,
Lewis Parrott.

P.S. I embedded one of your videos into my latest post, hope that’s cool!

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    Perrin Carrell - March 18, 2016

    Thanks brother :)

    Nope. I find that people mostly don’t care. I take Jon Morrow’s advice on pitches: short and to the point (at least for big sites). I just let them know I’m a writer and give them a couple good ideas.

    Thanks man!

    Reply
Marco Burgin - March 16, 2016

Hi Perrin, I enjoyed this post.

We used rebump.cc and yesware.com to follow-ups, but recently moved to www.replyup.com (free alternative).

ps: great list! ;)

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Mukesh Negi - March 29, 2016

Will i get any benefits if do guest post in another niche. Means if blog is related to Travel and i doing guest post in SEO blogs in that case will i get any benefits.

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Efrain Avelar - April 18, 2016

Love your post im new but i have been following spencer perrin and gael i learned so much from you guys love this phrase on authority hacker So if you’re going to try to “hack” anything, hack guest posting. And if you’re going to hack guest posting, these tricks are (hopefully) a good place to start.

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David Cross - April 20, 2016

Hi Perrin, just finished reading your post and I’m convinced to start my guest posting journey based on your tips. Thanks for the great piece of information.

I have done some guest posting in the past, but found to be very time consuming to get a post published to an authority site, so kind of gave up. But after reading your article I will rethink my strategy and will start again.

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    Perrin Carrell - May 6, 2016

    Thanks David :) Just be sure to mix it up with other tactics. Guest posting can be awesome, and it may be the best bet to get those really insanely powerful links, but it’s probably not the most efficient. So mix it up!

    Reply
Martina - April 21, 2016

Well, even though I use Pitchbox which automates most of steps you mentioned, this post is really helpful and I would recommend it to everyone who is new to guest posting or even guest posting experts to fill the gaps. Kudos for the effort, Perrin.

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Justin Bilyj - April 22, 2016

Perrin (and Gael?),
The only thing this post was missing was a gif of someone dropping the mic at the end. I stopped bookmarking these tools and just bookmarked the post midway down, too much value to in this post to only read it once.
You covered a ton of tools, what’s your opinion on NinjaOutreach?

I gotta say this site, fatstacks and rankxl have to be my top 3 sites for creating an authority site and monetizing it. Look forward to reading the rest of your blog.
Again, nice review of the tools, and nice work on the videos, tons of hard work went into this post!

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    Perrin Carrell - May 6, 2016

    Lol. Thanks man. ANd I appreciate the kind words!

    I know Dave from Ninja Outreach, and the tool certainly has its upsides; however, it’s still a bit tool manual for me. I think it DOES work well for guest posting, but I think there are better tools for other tactics.

    And I can’t justify using/buying a tool for just one type of outreach.

    Reply
Thomas - August 15, 2016

Great value Perrin. Thank you. By the way, how come that there’s no link in the author box beneath this post? :)

Tom

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Matjaz - September 29, 2017

Great post as always! Ton of value.

I’m also training my VA on how to find guest posting opportunities, to brain storm relevant pitch ideas, getting guest post written and published etc…

Based on your experience how quick do guest post kick in? How many guest posts (backlinks) to specific post on my site would you recommend before moving on to the next and waiting for results?

Regards, Matjaz

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Gurusvevo - October 21, 2017

What an enlightening post about Guest Posts!! Learnt new tactics.

Reply

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