This article will show you how to win guest posts and build links on some very high quality sites without having to pay for them. If done right, you'll have plentiful free opportunities on strong websites. Sites that don't take money for guest posts are generally going to be much higher quality - They care more about great content than a little bit of cash.
We're going to be targeting passionate websites owners and bloggers who have a passionate interest in their subject area, and our value proposition (giving them free content) is going to be enough to win a link on their website without having to pay for the privilege.
P.S. If you'd rather have someone handle the guest posting process, then check out our dedicated guest post service to land big links without all the heavy lifting.
We will cover two key components of guest post success:
- How to quickly and simply prospect sites for guest posts
- Pitching guest posts and closing links
How to build a prospect list for guest posts
Guest posts - this is where you will produce a piece of content to be placed on somebody else’s site, you can usually insert a link in the piece of content as well as link out in your author bio. (You will need to produce this content for each opportunity)
Step 1 - Establish your target keywords. Your keywords will depend entirely on the website you’re promoting, what it’s about, and the type of content shown on the website.
For example, if we’re promoting this website - https://www.crazygames.com/ - a website for browser games.
Our staple keywords would be;
- Browser Games
- Online Games
- Game Development
- Arcade Games
- Game Reviews
Building the prospect list
1)Open the search operators file
2) Insert one of your keywords (from the stage above) into cell C3 and click enter or return:
3) Filter column A to show the results for one specific type of opportunity. We’ll be filtering for guest posts only.
4) Deselect all of the options that aren’t guest post related and click “ok”
5) Select a cell in column C and input into Google, this will display any guest post opportunities for that keyword.
6) Go through the results on Google by eye and if they are suitable, input them into your “prospect” list, inserting as much of the information as possible. This should include the root site URL and the guidelines URL (aka write for us or contributor page URL).
7) Always record contact information: Try and find an email address first; If not, find the contact page URL and record it.
8) The prospect list must be input onto the client Project Management tracker file.
9) Rinse and repeat for each keyword and search operator - You can then repeat this exact same process using the next cell down in column C, and then for all of the other keywords in the content info tab (if you don’t get enough targets from the original one). Eventually, you should have a list of 100+ highly targeted websites that accept guest posts.
Pitching Guest Posts and closing links
- Select the best guest post opportunities based on how relevant they are to your project, as the response rate for these is very high. Only send around 30 at a time, for guest posts, since we don’t want countless articles to write.
- Send a suitable guest post template, but customise it as much as you can. We are only sending 30 emails so each one can be fairly custom. Include at least first name and always add the site name in the title.
Here’s two examples of highly performing guest post outreach templates:
Example 1 - 60% response rate outreach template
The below template was sent to over 70 tech websites with an incredible 60% response rate. We ended up winning a substantial number of free guest post links on many websites with a DA greater than 30, all with strong organic traffic.
Reasons this template is so successful:
- It highlights some seriously good topic suggestions. These are easy to find - just go to Google news for inspiration or visit Buzzsumo or Ahrefs, and type in keywords relevant to the niche. Just get creative, and always avoid 'top 10' style suggestions.
- It shows examples of previously published content. This is known as social proof, and it's an extremely powerful concept. It's the same reason why some digital marketing agencies are so successful - people see they've worked with other big brands, and they want to do the same.
- It's to the point. It cuts through the garbage and gets straight to the point, and it has immaculate grammar.
Example 2 - 46% response rate outreach template
The below template was sent to over 80 websites related to the productivity niche. We got a response rate of 46% and a very strong success rate, closing guest posts on multiple blogs with thousands of visitors each month on very strong websites.
Reasons this template is so successful:
- It highlights some seriously good topic suggestions. Again, it covers some good suggestions.
- It shows examples of previously published content. Again, this is essential for social proof!
- IT FEELS REAL. Contrary to some people's belief, people actually like working with real business people. The signature has a name, a phone number and an email address and a real Gmail picture. It just feels real, and people truly appreciate that.
Other Key Considerations for Templates
- Read other websites in the industry, or search Google news for your keywords to get some topic inspirations for your templates
- Visit Buzzsumo or Ahrefs, and type in keywords relevant to the niche. Just get creative, and always avoid 'top 10' style suggestions
- Always write a nice, balanced description for your topic ideas. Consider possible points of controversy, and interesting ways of looking at the subject matter
Dealing with Responses
Here’s the key checklist on how to deal with successful responses.
1)Respond to any positive email you receive as soon as possible. It doesn't matter if you can't deliver the guest post straight away, but always respond fast in order to 'lock the deal in'
2) A good response would be something like this - very friendly and appreciative, whilst sounding professional:
3) Always check any editorial guidelines they may have!
4) Be sure only to add this as a real opportunity after you've responded to the person.
How to Deal with sponsored fee requests
Some websites will respond to the email and ask for a payment in exchange for the privilege of posting on their website. Here's the checklist before they respond:
- Check the DA of the website - Make sure it's greater than 25. Tools like Pitchbox will tell you this number.
- Go to Ahrefs or SEMRush and plug in the website - Make sure it gets some organic traffic (at least 1,000 organic visitors) - this is an indication that it performs well in Google.
- Go to similarweb and make sure that the overall traffic level looks reasonable - at least a couple thousand visitors per month
Now it's time to negotiate.
- Always ask for a 50% discount on the proposed rate. Let the webmaster know that you have a tight budget for things like this, and assure the webmaster that the article will be of impeccable quality, and genuinely valuable for his or her visitors.
- If they come back and refuse but offer a different rate, then document the price along with the information
- Let the webmaster know that you'll consider the offer and get back to him or her