Before you can really get going, you’ll need to channel your inner super spy so you can sleuth out some seriously sassy guest posting targets.
This is probably going to be one of the most time consuming phases of the guest posting process, but it will be well worth it.
Are you ready to get all bad ass like Sydney Bristow? (Yep, I was just waiting to drop in an Alias reference.)
Where Should I Guest Post?
A lot of marketing experts and blogging gurus will tell you to only go after “authority” sites with lots of traffic. Solid advice because you totally want the maximum number of eyeballs on that post and driving traffic back to your site.
But it is also misleading, as you are often going to need to a certain level of credibility in your niche to be accepted to post on these sites. Not to mention, a smaller, highly focused site can go a long way to helping you reach customers in your sweet spot.
If you are just starting out and have never had a guest post published, focusing only on higher authority sites is likely going to be a recipe for frustration. Insert banging head against desk here.
Smart entrepreneurs like you don’t have time for that. You need to be making progress and building up a body of work for your “as seen on” page.
Start with some smaller, more targeted sites ones and then work on pitching the big kahunas. This gives you time to learn the guest posting process and avoid rookie mistakes. I’m all for the stretch goal, but you don’t want to choke on your first big mission, right?
Already been guest posting for a while? This means you have published posts you can share when you are pitching, so look for targets where you can play a little bigger. Maybe a more general site in your area of expertise or even a higher tier business site.
Keeping Track of Opportunities
Before you jump in, you want to create a place to keep track of any and all opportunities you find. Create a spreadsheet and include details such as site address, contact, link, guidelines, page rank, Alexa rank, any story ideas you have and notes.
How Do I Find Guest Posting Opportunities?
There’s many ways to go about researching opportunities, but my favorite way to find guest post opportunities is to reverse engineer the process. Find top bloggers in your target market and go to their media pages and see where they have guest posted. Check out where your competitors have been guest posting. By using this approach you’ll save yourself a lot of research as you’ll know most of those sites are open to guest posting.
Another sure-fire way to find them is Google. Use the main search and the blog search function and then topics you want to write about as your keywords. Simple.
Try using a few different tactics to seek out your information such as:
Questions – how to, why, what
Tips – tips for, five easy steps for, three tips for, top 10
Common Search Terms – use variations on common search terms people would use searching for information on this topic. For example, for guest blog posting, I may search for blogs focusing on PR, marketing, online marketing, blogging, search. Think of all the adjacent areas.
Also, you want to go back to your story ideas from the storytelling worksheet. Do you have an idea outside of your niche that you feel passionate about and want to pitch? Look for specific targets using your story ideas. Perhaps you want to write about tips for working moms, as most of your clients are busy moms. So you’ll use search terms related to working moms like work/life balance, mom blogs, and more.
Next Steps: Determining Your Top Five
You’ve done all the hard work, so now you want to pick five of your targets that you’ll work on preparing pitches for. The rest of the targets you can file and save for later as you don’t want to create a situation where you pitch 10 at once and spend two straight weeks writing guest posts. (Unless you have time for that, but I’m guessing you likely don’t as you have a business to run.)
Great research will help you feel much more confidence about the pitching process, so time spent before your start pitching is time well-spent.