Search engine optimization is a tricky field. However, although many people believe that it is very complicated, this isn’t entirely true. But let’s start with the beginning. What exactly is SEO? Simply put, it is a practice that takes into consideration the many parameters and algorithms of search engines (especially Google), in order to help a page, or content, rank higher in SERPs. So if you are a business, a blogger or entrepreneur, you might want to apply some of the general practices in order to grow your site.
Back-links, were, are, and forever will be the back-bone of all SEO practices. In the past, it was considered that a site that links to another site actually gives it its vote of confidence. Sadly, black hat specialists abused back-links, and Google reinforced new rules. Nowadays, you cannot simply spam links on sites that have nothing to do with your niche. In order to create a valuable link, you should think of guest-posting. It is true that it is the slowest method of creating back-links, but it is also the most efficient one on the long run. Keep in mind that only by creating high-quality content will you be able to post on other, authoritative sites, and hopefully promote your link. Here are seven tips that you should take into consideration when guest-posting.
1. Find the Perfect Website
Don’t imagine that you will be able to post on the Guardian or BBCNews without a portfolio, or samples of your work. The best way is to start low, and work your way to the top. There are a lot of guest-posting communities were you can find opportunities, but in most cases the best approach would be to manually search for sites on which to post. Take into consideration the Domain Authority and Page Rank before sending an outreach email. These two parameters (D.A. and P.R.) determine how authoritative a website is. Stay away from sites that have P.R. N/A, because they have either been penalized, or are simply not indexed correctly. In order to find suitable sites easier, you should check out these amazing Competitive SEO Analysis Tools.
2. Send a Great Outreach Email
Try to understand that most blog owners receive hundreds of emails every week. They have to go through them all, and after having read so many emails they immediately sense if yours is spam or a template message. Why would a webmaster even consider your request if you didn’t even take the time to look around the site? This rule also applies to people who try to sell links, or start their mail with a request. The first and most important rule, would be to find out the name of the site owner. This will make him think that you have taken the time to read his About me Page. Furthermore, if you have read his guest-posting guidelines, make sure you let him know.
The most successful outreach emails are usually the ones in which you also compliment the owner (and by this I do not mean fake compliments, but real, sincere ones). Lastly, finish your mail with what you can give him in return (do not specify that you can add value to his site because he already knows this, and this is also the reason for which he is wasting his time with hundreds of guest-posters).
3. Conduct Proper Research
Now that the site owner has replied to your email (lucky you), it is time to prepare your article. I forgot to mention, that most blog owners appreciate people who pitch their idea from the beginning, because this will save them time. Anyway, think about the topic on which you wish to write if you haven’t yet. Once you decide on one, make sure you read about it from different sources. You don’t necessarily have to be a guru in all fields as long as you know how to use words. While writing your article make sure to credit the sources that you inspired yourself from.
4. Write a High-Quality Article
Your research is complete, and it is time to start writing. As far as article length is concerned, different bloggers might ask for different lenghts, so make sure you abide by their rules. Make your article unique, insightful, informative and interesting. Make sure you bring a fresh perspective on a subject. I hope it’s not necessary to mention that grammatical and spelling mistakes should not be found in your piece.
5. Focus on Details to Make Your Post Matter
Whenever I write something, I try to focus on the writing part first, and then take care of other things. These other things include adding images (with credits), relevant links and sources. In addition to this, I always link my article to relevant posts from the bloggers page. Last but not least, bold keywords, or phrases that are important, and format your content properly. Interminable blocks of texts don’t look good, and they will make the reader loose interest quickly. Divide your content into paragraphs, use Headings and subheadings and so on.
6. Send Your Article
When you are sending your article, make sure that it is in the format that the blogger wants. They might ask for the HTML version, and this means that all the information should be found in one document. This includes images. You can do this by editing from your own WordPress dashboard, but make sure that you upload images by link. Credit yourself in the Author Bio, or if the blogger permits it, in the article body. (as long as it is relevant to the content).
7. Check Your Live Post Regularly and Comment
Congratulations! Your article is finally live, but your job isn’t. Make sure to check your post regularly, respond to comments and engage with the audience. This will ensure that people view you as a source, and they may actually be tempted to click on your link. It is important to create a lasting impression, and who knows, a great guest-post might bring you new opportunities and help you create meaningful connections, and this is actually the main reason why some bloggers decide to guest post in the first place.