We do a lot of guest posting here at Referral Rock. We’re all about increasing our exposure and making new friends and content partners. Which, as you guessed it, is a big reason we love guest posting!
Even though we have a well fleshed out process for ourselves that produces results, we wanted to see how other people approach guest posts and what their results were like.
For us, guest posting isn’t one of our top priorities, but we still spend a good chunk of time on it. Between doing a little research, reaching out, finding the right backlink, and of course writing. So then we started to wonder how much time do people usually spend on guest posting?
Then suddenly, we had a ton of questions about guest posting and wanted to not only get advice but to get some insight. What better way than to ask the great community of marketers who are happy to share their experiences?
So we reached out to the experts and received an overwhelming number of responses. We were hoping to get 25 or so and ended up with over 70 responses within a week.
Because of the overwhelming responses, we split up our research into two portions. The first portion of our research was to look at the numbers. You can find the answers to the following 3 questions in our article on guest blogging statistics.
- How much guest post outreach should I do?
- How many guest posts do most blogs write per month?
- What roles are involved in guest posting?
Our second portion of our research and what you’ll see below was to gain some valuable insight. With all these responses, we took a lot of time to curate and organize the results, so you can get the most value out of the 70 contributions.
Last but not least, a big “THANK YOU” to all the contributors. On to what we found:
Guest blogging best practices
We’ve split the entries up into 9 different categories according to key terms mentioned in their responses. As well as our guest blogging statistical findings. Let’s dive into our guest blogging tips and advice.
Best guest blogging tips from the experts
At last! We’ve turned to seasoned bloggers, to get the inside scoop on guest posting. We grouped and summarized the entries into what we thought were the most common tips, but make sure you read through all the responses as there is some real gold.
To determine these categories we asked two open-ended questions.
Our key questions were:
- What is your best tip on sourcing guest post prospects?
- What is your best tip on getting responses from people you reach out to?
We read through all the data and found a ton of varying responses. Though there was quite a variety, we were able to pick out a few commonalities and group them accordingly.
Here’s what the experts had to say.
Tip 1: Stay close to home
Focus on the blogs and businesses who are similar, but non-competing with your own. This way you’re writing for your target market anyway.
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Find people who have previously covered similar topics to the ones that you cover, using a tool like Ahrefs content explorer or Buzzsumo. You can easily create an outreach sheet by exporting a list from one of those tools, getting email addresses for the domains and mapping them together.
- Tip on getting responses: Show examples of content you’ve created for other websites – especially big names. We’ve written posts for the likes of Bitly, GoDaddy, and AT&T – when people hear those names, they will listen! Also, highlight similar content they’ve created, and say why you think they’d like yours. You can automate this through a tool like YAMM.
Corey Northcutt from www.northcutt.com/
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Look to see where your competitors are earning backlinks on. This will give you an idea of sites that are looking to include insights from professionals in your industry. Using Moz’s free Chrome extension, you can also do a quick Google search for “target keyword + ‘write for us'” and find plenty of sites within your niche, as well as see their domain authority at first glance.
- Tip on getting responses: Put in the effort. There is no bigger turn off than receiving a pitch that looks like it came straight from some generic template. Let’s say you receive two pitches asking for backlinks on your site: The first pitch begins with a personalized intro, gives you all the information you will need, but the content is an idea that’s recycled frequently. The second pitch has a personalized intro, gives you all the information you will need, but gives you a piece of content highly-relevant and unique. Which would you choose? The answer should be obvious. That is why it is essential that when you’re pitching content to higher-quality sites, it is a requirement that you put in the work.
Rachel Craig from meridianspshop.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Research the most respected blogs in your industry and explore those sites for published articles from guest writers.
- Tip on getting responses: Offer a few topics that you would like to write for them, then make it as easy as possible for them to respond by finishing with a polar question.
Jx Tan from motmdigital.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Begin by shortlisting post ideas and target audiences relevant to your business. Next, search for platforms that are already featuring similar posts that you are planning. Prioritize approaching platforms based on their Similarweb.com ranking.
- Tip on getting responses: Assume your respondent has only 10 seconds of time to read your email! List the key points of your planned post in point form and indicate how this may be of interest to their readers. In addition, do not to be discouraged by rejections and inquire what are the topics a platform is seeking when replying to rejection emails.
Oksana Chyketa from albacross.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Usually, I search for the websites in my company’s niche. There are many tools for this purpose, for example, Ahrefs, NinjaOutreach, etc. However, my best tip on sourcing guest post prospects is to not purposely looking for them. Yeah, that’s right. All the best sites I have found were discovered accidentally.
- Tip on getting responses: Just two tips – Write compelling text with examples of written posts. And follow up – people tend to forget to respond to some email and a short follow-up will help.
Jeff Martin from healthlabs.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Building relationships with non-competing websites and blogs in your niche are one of the best ways to source guest posts. You can build a relationship by sharing their content on your social media, commenting on their blogs or even adding them to your LinkedIn network. By doing this, it not only opens up the possibility of guest posting, but you will get other organic mentions in their own blog posts. It requires a lot of time and effort, but the benefits of having good relationships with everybody in your niche opens up unforeseen avenues of growth.
- Tip on getting responses: The chances of you borrowing $20 from a stranger is much less than borrowing $20 from a friend. The same principle applies in guest posting. Do not open communication by asking if you can do a guest blog post on their site. Just like a friendship, you introduce yourself and get to know their website. You give genuine compliments about their website and blog. From there you can start to open up lines of guest posting or other mutually beneficial ideas.
Laura Hall from shiply.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Google high authority sites in your niche. Once you’ve found one, you can look at other sites that they mention, or look on Twitter to see who they follow/who follows them and you’ll find tons of sites to look through. They won’t all accept guest posts, of course, so keep a list of those that do and keep track of them.
- Tip on getting responses: In your initial outreach email, it helps to already suggest some topics for guest posts. This means that the receiver will have all the information they need straight away and don’t need to ask for more information from you when it is YOU that is seeking THEM.
Douglas Mitchell from insurancequotes2day.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Reach out to blogs and websites that you have knowledge about the subject. If you are already writing content that fits what they are looking for, they are more likely to allow you to write a guest post. I have also found that you can reach out to some of the authors already contributing to the blog to make connections. There are so many good websites out there that need help with content to keep track of them and pitch to them on a consistent basis.
- Tip on getting responses: Explain your background and what your qualifications are. You can also send a couple of URLs to some of your guest post to other sites.
Gath D’Silva from thejacketmaker.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: I’d say it’s really important to read, read, and read. It’s vital to get a feel and idea of the blog/website you’re interested in guest posting for. Part of the research is to find areas as close to your niche as possible. That is if you’re seeking to expand your visibility in a particular area.
- Tip on getting responses: It’s best to be as original as you can while staying true to who you are as a person and writer. The voice of your email should also match the theme of the site you’re reaching out to.
Alex Birkett from alexbirkett.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: If you know the industry you’re operating in, it should be somewhat obvious what the big fish are in the industry. However, if you’re new to the space, as I have been in the past, a few quick research methods work well. First, just do a Google search for “Top [industry] Blogs”. You should get the main 5-20 blogs there. Second, find a category page on Capterra or G2Crowd, something like “customer experience software,” and scrape the names of companies. Plug the list into an SEO tool, like Ahrefs, to find their domain ratings, and see which ones have blogs that accept guest contributors. Finally, use a specific content marketing or influencer marketing tool, like BuzzSumo, to surface the most popular content in an industry.
- Tip on getting responses: 1. Have a portfolio and reputation for creating excellent content. 2. Pitch a few topic ideas. 3. Be really straightforward and don’t beat around the bush. What do you want, and what’s the benefit for the other party? 4. Make sure you’ve found the right email contact. 5. Generally speaking, the best way to place guest posts is to create really awesome content, be straightforward about the ask, and complete it by the deadline. Really fundamental stuff that people seem to forget.
Tip 2: Think quality over quantity
Try to reach out to high quality blogs. This way your efforts can actually help build up traffic, as you’ll earn a quality backlink.
Mark Aselstine from uncorkedventures.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: There’s a lot of information out there on how to search and we all, of course, have our favorite search strings to find sites which allow guest posts. Personally, I do some searching myself. But when I find a site that allows guest posts, I track who is actually guest posting on the site itself. Using ahrefs, I track their backlinks to see where else they’ve guest posted, often finding a few hundred guest postings spots in a single lookup.
- Tip on getting responses: Personal email and honest outreach. Instead of going for quantity, I try for quality. Fact is, these are pretty hard to find. I don’t want to ever lose any by sending a generic email, so I spend a minute or two writing a personalized intro. Really no matter what you’re pitching, you should take a few moments to see what else the site has published and the types of topics that you might write about.
Danica Novakovic from activecollab.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Quality, not quantity.
- Tip on getting responses: Be short and concise. Introduce yourself, explain why you are contacting them. Offer something that would be valuable to them. Ask from them one and only one thing (this way they don’t lose focus in the email and you don’t look like someone who’s asking too much too soon).
Dana Scott from dogsnaturallymagazine.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: I look for quality websites that I think our prospective customers read. I don’t write a ton of guest posts, so my goal isn’t to improve our SEO or build links. Instead, it’s to focus on opportunities that help build our brand and audience.
- Tip on getting responses: Include a link to your LinkedIn profile in your pitch. It can help the editor or writer quickly research your professional background.
Patricia Milleza from seo.hacker
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Always remember, quality over quantity. Do not casually choose prospects just to be able to send 100 emails per week and see whoever will respond to your pitches. Always prioritize those top and quality blogs that are related to your niche. By choosing this kind of prospects, you have the assurance that these people will more likely be interested in your blog and in your content. These prospects might find your blogs helpful and might get back regularly on your blog. Focus on building relationships.
- Tip on getting responses: This always depends on the tone and the structure of your email. Never ever solely depend on templates. Make your pitches as personalized as possible. Be natural and get straight to the point. Do not beat around the bush by praising every aspect of the prospect’s blog. Remember, if you choose the right prospects, these people receive tons of emails every day. They most likely have no time to read long and boring emails. Tell your intentions straight and clear. Another personal tip, at the end of your email, just put something like “Let me know what you think”. Most times, we do not get a straight yes or a no. By doing this is like saying that you are giving the prospects the free will to say whatever they want in regards to your pitch. Remember, build relationships.
Allen Michael from homeviable.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: I find that sourcing can be sent to anyone, provided that you have a good SOP and description of what you are looking for. I source a list of guest post opportunities and then handle the outreach myself. This has proven to be the highest value for me.
- Tip on getting responses: Two tips stand out to me. For one, start by finding an article on the site you like, read it, and provide a valuable comment. Then, when reaching out, reference the article, and what you liked about it. Adding personalization shows that you aren’t mass-producing the outreach, which is important. No one wants a mass-produced guest post.
Srajan Mishra from tsiapparel.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: The key is to find blogs with the highest potential for traffic and quality backlinks. I prefer to begin with search engines because blogs that are highly ranked are the most trusted. Those are the most viable blogs to address your guest post pitch to. And you can be sure that they will drive organic traffic, eventually. Make sure that the audience of the blog will be interested in your industry. I would also look at the domain authority, brand & social media presence as well as the website traffic before finalizing the top list of blogs to reach out to.
- Tip on getting responses: Make the email outreach personal and not be robotic in your approach. Learn a bit about the person you are reaching out to from their website or social media and tune your email accordingly. The idea is to stand out from the hundreds of emails they would be getting every day. Introduce yourself and link out to some of your previous posts submitted to other blogs. This will establish credibility and authority.
Jessica Dais from takelessons.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: I only pitch guest posts to sites that have a high domain authority score, on the MozBar tool. If a site has over 50 DA, it’s a better candidate for a guest post than a site with 35 DA, for example. We want to make sure that the effort we’re going to put into creating a quality piece of work, will have a solid ROI in the long run.
- Tip on getting responses: I use BuzzStream to track which subject lines get the most opens and responses from our prospects. I also customize every email template we send out, commenting on some of the site’s recent work and how I feel we can contribute something of value to their audience. Using BuzzStream, I also set automatic follow-ups (that start with “Re:”) for everyone I reach out to.
Nellie Akalp from corpnet.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: My best tip for sourcing the right outlets to secure guest post opportunities is to do your research organically! Put in the time to research outlets that make sense for your expertise. Don’t just blindly pitch any outlet that accepts content for the sake of securing a link. You want your topics to fit in with their content so their readers get useful insight from you and you ultimately are able to grow your community from theirs.
- Tip on getting responses: When sending that initial pitch to editors or bloggers, it’s important that your pitch is tight and to the point. The shorter and more direct you are, the higher the chance you will get a reply. No need to include a long drawn-out bio or tons of links to your other work. Let the editor know why you are a fit for their outlet, send a few sentences of your background, a few example links, and a few article topic ideas so they can get the info they need. Also, don’t attach a full post in that initial pitch. You’ll want to send along those topics first to make sure that you’re a fit before you spend the time drafting the post.
Kenneth Burke from textrequest.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Pay attention to the domain authority and site traffic. I use the Mozbar and Alexa rank Chrome extensions. Whenever I go to a site to see if it’s somewhere I want to contribute, I check those two extensions. Normally, I won’t pitch a site unless their DA is at least over 50 (over 70 preferred) and their Alexa rank is better than 100,000. It’s going to take me roughly the same amount of time to create a good piece of content no matter who publishes it, and I want to make sure I get the most bang for my buck.
- Tip on getting responses: Add value for their audience in the pitch. I’m an editor, too, and I know how many terrible pitches I get every day. It’s really not hard to stand out. Skip the fluff. No editor cares about how you “regularly read their site” or how much everyone loves what you write (which are probably lies, anyway). An editor wants to see: Why are you writing me? What’s your idea? Why should I care about it?
Ben Taylor from homeworkingclub.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Site relevance is really important for guest posting, so it’s good to make prospect seeking part of your everyday workflow and not just treat it as an isolated exercise. By making it a habit to investigate guest post opportunities whenever you’re on a relevant site, you uncover better and more high-quality opportunities.
- Tip on getting responses: Take time to look at the destination site, understand their guidelines, and craft a genuinely enticing pitch. As the owner of several sites, I receive dozens of guest post pitches, and the vast majority of them are mass produced and poor quality. Well-crafted pitches genuinely do stand out and often receive a response.
Seb Dean from imaginaire.co.uk
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: My best tip would be to really drill down into a topic and focus on the quality of the websites you’re approaching so that you know everybody you’re reaching out to is a good potential match. After that, I’d suggest using Google to your full advantage — use operators such as inurl:blog + keyword to find websites writing about the topics you want to be featured for and then use search tools to narrow the results to those that were published within 12 months — that way you’re not wasting time on websites that aren’t active anymore.
- Tip on getting responses: Short and simple. All the advice on SEO blogs tells you to go into detail about the articles you love on their website and stuff like that, but I think it just comes across desperate. I keep my outreach emails to 1-3 sentences max and we generally see a response rate of 20-30% on a campaign.
Tip 3: Try to start small
You don’t always have to focus on the top blogs and businesses. Sometimes hitting the up and coming ones can lead to great exposure.
Bart Turczynski from zety.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Start by writing for a few smaller sites to get some exposure. Enough to show off your skills and prove you exist. In my experience, it’s actually easier to successfully pitch to more authoritative publications than smaller ones, so don’t paint yourself into a corner by assuming you’re not ready for “those” blogs. It’s a paradox, but cooler sites are actually more eager to publish good articles than run-of-the-mill blogs.
- Tip on getting responses: Be honest, don’t rely on catchy and sales-y subject lines. Make sure your intent is clear. Always, and I mean always, write personal emails. None of that “personalized template” stuff.
Sam Warren from rankpay.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Find publications that are in your league! Don’t go for the A-list from the get-go. Build your way up by trading in small wins to land bigger and better publications.
- Tip on getting responses: Write a unique and personable email. Templates that you find online simply won’t do the trick as everyone has received far too many versions of them these days. Try to find a way to let your own personality shine through, and don’t be afraid to get a little crazy. Sometimes the weirdest subject lines can deliver big results!
Matt Bentley from canirank.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Start with smaller, less known sites. As you build up your profile over time, you can begin pitching more high profile targets.
- Tip on getting responses: Focus on your unique selling proposition (USP). A USP is essentially a hook in your pitch that helps differentiate you from other potential guest contributors. For example, I have a background in data science so I frequently include in my pitch that most of my content is backed by data and research. A USP can help you stand out and get replies to your pitch emails.
Tip 4: Do your keyword research
The easiest way to scope out a blog to guest post for is to use a few keywords.
Roman Daneghyan from renderforest.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Best tip on sourcing guest posting prospects is to do a simple Google Search by using Google search operators. They help us to find the websites in our niche which have such keywords or texts on their website. That keywords include “Write for us”, “Send us a pitch”, “Guest post opportunity” and more.
- Tip on getting responses: The most important thing is to have a look on the website, analyze the content, read the guidelines if there are any on the website, and only doing all that stuff to reach out to the administration of the website. It’s really important to analyze the website and see if it matches your needs and if you ask the same questions which are already answered, chances are low that you’ll get a response. Moreover, if the website gets tons of requests for guest posting, you should be unique somehow for getting a reply.
Sarah Hancock from bestcompany.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: When I’m looking for websites to publish guest posts on, I want to make sure that they are relevant to my industry. To quickly find websites that are both relevant to my niche and allow guest posts, I use Google searches such as [TOPIC] + “guest post”, [TOPIC] + “write for us”, [TOPIC] + “guest blogger”, etc. Then, I utilize BuzzStream’s prospecting tool and BuzzMarker extension to go through the results. I’d highly recommend this tool; it really streamlines the prospecting process and helps me keep good track of the blogs that I’d like to guest blog on.
- Tip on getting responses: Keep it real and offer them something that’s valuable to them and their readers. My website accepts guest blog posts and we get several pitches every day. I can always tell when people are being fake (i.e., “I’m a loyal reader of your blog” when it’s clear they’ve never even looked at it) or just sending out some generic, templated message, and it really kills the pitch. Just be honest and do your research on the site before reaching out so that you can pitch something that is on brand and will be interesting to the people that particular blog is trying to target. If you pitch something that will provide actual value to the person’s blog, you’re much more likely to get a response.
Darcy Cudmore from powerfuloutreach.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: It’s all about research. Do your keyword searching and explore each website, look through the content and read the articles. Make sure it is a fit and don’t just settle.
- Tip on getting responses: Instead of sending a mass email to 100 websites, pick 10 to 20 and send a customized email. Compliment the editor on the website and make a connection. By writing each individual email, you stand a better chance of getting a response – and having an article reviewed. Another suggestion would be about ‘the ask’. Don’t simply ask the editor “can I have an article posted on your website?”. Ask if they will review an article – it’s all about the wording!
Eric Johnson from http://feedbackwrench.com/
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Know your keywords. By running just a few different phrases through Google, you can find almost any guest posting opportunity out there. Another great idea is to do a Google Image Search using the headshot of someone you know is a guest poster. By running this image through Google, you’ll find almost every guest post they’ve ever written.
- Tip on getting responses: Have genuinely great ideas that contain no fluff whatsoever. If you can convince someone that you’re going to write something worth reading, it will be hard to say no to you.
Saj Devshi from learndojo.org
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Firstly, the most effective technique to find potential target guest posting websites is to search for websites that are actually accepting guest posts. You can search a variety of queries in Google combined with your keyword to find niche relevant websites. Secondly, you can try to identify all the top ranking websites in your niche or “shoulder” niches that are not directly competing with you. For example, if your website is about dogs, you can approach websites that are in any way related to animals as they are niche relevant.
- Tip on getting responses: When reaching out to potential prospects, you absolutely must personalize the email so it does not seem automated. You have to understand website owners and editors receive hundreds of emails from automated software all the time. The recipients, as well as email providers, may simply see and flag it as spam. So if your email copy is not personalized and looks like it’s been written for mass distribution, it’s going straight in the trash can. Mention the person by name in the email, keep it short and snappy and also be mindful of when you send the email, timing wise too.
Jordan Harling from wooden-blinds-direct.co
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Focus on research, know what you can provide and then find those who need it. Every single perspective is unique, they all have their value and something different to offer. So you need to identify what you have that sets your views apart from everyone else’s’. This could be your reputation, it could be expertise, it could be cold hard data. Whatever it is, you need to understand it fully and then find those who are in need of it.
- Tip on getting responses: Display your value and don’t be shy about it. Be charming, affable and easy to communicate with. If you sound like the sort of person that is easy to chat to and do business with, then you’re already halfway there. The other half is showing how you can benefit the person you’re contacting (this is where all your research starts to pay off). If you can display the reason why working with you will be beneficial, then you’re guaranteed a response.
Theo Ellis from animemotivation.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: BuzzSumo (content marketing tool) is a great place to start. First thing I’d do is start with a keyword related to your business (music for example) or a keyword related to the content you want to publish as a guest post. From there it’s a matter of drilling down the most relevant sites based on how many authors there are (a good sign they accept guest posts) and reaching out them. It’s really that simple.
- Tip on getting responses: Don’t waste the other person’s time. Each site has its own set of rules for guest posts, with their own dedicated page in most cases. Read it thoroughly so you know what to expect beforehand. Then when you send the email, get straight to the point, state your reasoning for the email, and be as concise as possible. Do that and you’re bound to get a response from a good percentage of the sites you reach out to. Knowing the policies beforehand is the most important thing. And if they don’t have that? Be concise. It works well for me.
Alistair Dodds from smokingchilimedia.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Run searches on Google for the following: NICHE + “guest post”, “contribute to”, “write for us”, “contributors”, “guest writer”, or “guest post guidelines”.
- Tip on getting responses: Modify your outreach template so it is genuinely personal to your target. Make sure you read some of their material so you can reference it in your outreach. Then explain how/why you would like to expand upon the topic. Include suggested titles and outline the theme of the topic. Include references to your best past material and why you are the ideal source given your experience. Make sure to follow up! If possible build relationship via Twitter or blog commenting to increase name familiarity.
Tip 5: Offer something they can’t resist
It’s not always about you. They know you’re working at getting a backlink, so make it worth their while and offer something in return like a link back, or a spot to guest post too.
Tim Brown from hookagency.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: I find it extremely useful to have some type of epic tool or infographic to pitch along with the guest post. For instance, I pitched 3000 blogs and was able to procure 40 guest posts with a ‘Marketing Budget Calculator’ and plan on doing another big push with a ‘Blog Post Title Generator’ from Hook Agency.
- Tip on getting responses: I think having 3–5 titles that relate directly to your ‘epic tool or resource’ – and being really open and honest about the fact you want to help promote (and ideally sharing highly followed social media profiles so they understand you can wield an audience) can get you more quick and qualified responses.
Giorgio Cassella from akatekohq.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Utilize a mix of manual and automated tools to source guest post prospects. One of my favorite tactics is to combine specific Google queries (i.e. “niche” + “write for us”), update URL parameters to show 100 results (&num=100), and order in the last year to find up to date opportunities in mass. Build on this using either a scraping tool like import.io to obtain huge URL lists to work through. Or go the more manual method with a tool like Buzzstream’s Buzzmarker to quickly obtain contact details for each site you’ve identified for a guest post opportunity.
- Tip on getting responses: Outreach for guest posting is very similar to a sales process, in a lot of cases you won’t get a response until after a few follow-ups! Don’t give up easily and make sure to keep reaching out with a 4 or 5 email flow to try and get through to someone. Tools like Buzzstream make this super easy to automate.
Haku Kapule from inseev.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: First of all, use Google search operators. Then, when you are searching for prospects, make sure that the prospects accept pitches and not full articles. In my experience, I’ve found that when you pitch ideas to a target site and they accept one, there is a higher possibility of placement than when you just send in a fully written article. You also save time because you aren’t spending time writing articles that may not be published.
- Tip on getting responses: Be sure to introduce yourself and the site you write for (if applicable) and explain what you are an expert in. Along with that, explain why you are qualified to write about what you will be presenting. Always make sure to provide previous pieces that have been published on other sites. Also, make sure those articles are related to the topics that the target site covers.
Dayne Shuda from ghostblogwriters.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: You have to focus on making the website you’re guest posting for to look as good as possible. One way I’ve seen that work is to go through the most popular articles on the site. Views, shares, comments, etc. See what the audience likes. Look for common themes and topics. Then look for gaps in those themes and topics. That is where the opportunity is for something the website will want.
- Tip on getting responses: When you reach out, include a pitch of 3–5 titles. You want the website to see a title and say, “I want that!”
Sarunas Budrikas from angle180.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Be creative and don’t give up. The first ten attempts might not work but the 11th one will. From trading guest posts, gathering expert interviews, performing case studies to offering other useful information that others aren’t as likely to share. Create a tool, video or infographic that could actually bring more traffic to the other sites and share that with other blog owners. They will be happy to link to something that could actually benefit their readers. A simple google search can do wonders as well. Look up for keywords that contain your niche word and “guest post guidelines”, “submit a guest post”, “guest post by”. This way you will find websites that are actually interested in posting your article. Another great way is to reach blog owners is to contact them via social media instead of an email.
- Tip on getting responses: You will never get a yes if you don’t offer something actually useful to the people you are reaching out. Do your job first before asking for a possibility to guest post. High-quality content is not that easy to find these days. So don’t be afraid to walk that extra mile and prove the content value for readers. If somebody doesn’t know you, you will most probably need to do more convincing. Thus, writing a follow-up email is a must. Maybe even more than one.
Sophie Miles from calculatorbuddy.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: It’s all about reputation. Contribute value to users in each paragraph of content. If we have a great guide and we want to put a link, welcome, that will add value. However, if we begin to indiscriminately link the content, then the interest will start to fall as the user finds signs of commercial interest in your content. Let the reader discover you little by little thanks to those pills that make you improve in your work.
- Tip on getting responses: We are full of information, we all know it, so getting noticed and contributing something new is very complicated. If you want those saturated users to stop and read your post, offer content well done and meaningful. Use images, videos, give a good format with HTML, have fun and have a sense of humor. And above all, talk about what you know. Not what you think people are looking for.
Tip 6: Aim for target blogs
Sometimes you need to hone in on a specific market, strategy, or search query to find the perfect blog.
Christine Kilbride from majux.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: My best tip on sourcing guest post prospects is to find outlets that have a past history of hosting guest bloggers. I have found that brands will often source guest content since writing blog content may not be the marketing manager’s top priority.
- Tip on getting responses: Be patient. Blog and news organization editors have a lot on their plate. Reach out with a thoughtful pitch after carefully surveying the site’s content. Follow up after a week or two if you haven’t received a response. Additionally, graphic elements are highly appealing – create an infographic to go alongside your content for an added benefit.
Joel Lee from trumpia.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: It is crucial that you have a strategy beforehand. Once you have decided on the industry you want to target and the topics you are proposing, target people without being sales-y. Instead, be informational and inform them that the goal of the guest blog is to educate their target audience. Lastly, make sure that you are friendly, professional, and responsive throughout the entire process.
- Tip on getting responses: One tip to getting a response is to sound as organic as possible. Not only do you want to let them know that you were browsing their site, but pick out a specific blog of theirs that caught your attention. This informs them that you did your homework on their site instead of proposing a guest blog right away. Finally, propose interesting topics that resonate well with the site and its audience.
Jamie Sterling from powerfuloutreach.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Do targeted search engine queries. Try a simple search with some basic search engine commands and a variation of keywords until you find what you’re looking for. For example: [Your Industry] + “write for us” or “guest post submissions”. You’ll see a list of websites that are actively searching for new content and specific instructions on how to submit.
- Tip on getting responses: Make sure you show that you’re familiar with the person or the outlet you’re reaching out to. Good quality sites get tons of requests for guest posts and the ones that look like a generic template often go ignored. Demonstrating your interest and your value to a specific person or outlet not only makes you stand out from the masses but also fosters a good relationship and opens the door for repeated contributions, social sharing, and referrals. Treat it holistically – guest posting isn’t only for building backlinks and sharing expertise, it’s a way to reach new markets, accelerate your public relations, expand your network, and create mutually beneficial relationships.
Tabitha Naylor from tabithanaylor.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Focus your efforts on a few select websites that you really want to have a presence on for one reason or another. A common mistake that many people make is to try and be everywhere to everyone. Why spread yourself that thin, however? Focus on a handful of websites where you know your target audience is active and engaged. It’ll deliver much better results in the long run. As I always tell people, go deep… not wide.
- Tip on getting responses: The biggest thing is to be genuine and sincere and to understand the audience of the website itself. The last thing business owners and webmasters want is to be inundated with a bunch of canned messages that are clearly being mass-spammed to everyone and their brother in hopes that something sticks. You’re much better off if you take the time to invest in learning more about the site itself, as well as its readership. Bonus points if during your pitch, you’re actually citing a few things about the site that you really like, and including one or 2 articles that are complementary to the subject matter you’re hoping to write about it. Flatter them… and make their job as easy as possible. It works like a charm!
Kris Hughes from projectmanager.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: To properly align a guest post pitch, it’s vital to research, research, research. Figure out what the site is writing about and what the tone of their content is. So you’re able to custom-tailor a pitch that fills a gap for the site you’re writing for. But is also a knowledge area you’re comfortable writing on in a timely manner. If you can pitch an email with the suggested article idea in the tagline, one that fills a gap in their content, response rates naturally will increase.
- Tip on getting responses: Follow up is the name of the game. If you do get a response to an initial email, great. But it’s a rarity when the individuals who receive these pitch emails get them daily. Follow up a few days after your original email with a different angle. Do it again a week later. Send a breakup email two weeks later with your farewell and notice that you’re removing them from a mailing list. These often get the greatest response because people fear missing out what you could have provided. The moral of the story is, send one more email than you think you should. So many people give up after the first email with no response and that’s entirely self-defeating.
Casey Hill from musingsofentrepreneurship.wordpress.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: I begin by using Moz research tools to find the highest authority players for the keywords in the space I am prospecting. Then I look at the root domains that link to them and look for sources of high authority there. I record down these sources and then begin a relationship building phase which involves social media engagement.
- Tip on getting responses: From my experience, the most substantial thing you can do is develop a relationship in advance, via social media. Respond to their twitter, be active in any of their FB groups, etc. The key is when you make that outreach that your name/handle looks familiar. Don’t wait to do this a week in advance but rather spend months engaging with these influencer channels beforehand.
Jimmy Chan from pixelicious.ca
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Rely on a three-step approach when sourcing guest post prospects: Is the niche relevant such that I can contribute as a subject matter expert? Does the site accept guest bloggers to begin with or is the content written in-house? What is the domain authority of the site? The higher the better.
- Tip on getting responses: Understand that the site owner ultimately wants eyeballs so pitch a story such that it will rank high on search engines.
Marko Saric from howtomakemyblog.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Use the different tools available to you. I like pitching relevant but popular blogs only. This means that I need to do some analysis in order to figure out which prospect is worth pitching. One thing I look at is recent activity and the popularity of recent posts in terms of social media shares. Another thing I look at is the strength of the site in terms of search engine visibility and rankings.
- Tip on getting responses: Be relevant and targeted. If you reach out to someone with a relevant and targeted message they are much more likely to respond. You will not believe it, but the majority of guest post pitches are sent without proper salutation, they are sent to wrong people pitching totally wrong topics. So just getting the basics right can put you miles ahead of the average pitch a blogger is receiving.
Francesco Baldini from betakrea.net
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Learn how to use Google advanced search query. You want to find opportunities you can’t find with a regular search. You want to be surgical with the site you’ll reach out and make sure they’ll accept your post – not as a sponsored one.
- Tip on getting responses: Everything is about them, you have to reach them out with a hook they can be interested in. Don’t tell them you loved their content, rather make them feel comfortable with a short sentence you and them have in common, something real if possible, and with empathy.
Max Robinson from fishtankbank.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: My best tip for sourcing guest post prospects would be to avoid using search operators. And to find blogs/publications which don’t openly offer guest posts on their site. Guest posting is mostly used as a link building tactic. And is generally frowned on by Google and could land you in some hot water. The reason for this is that it’s easy for Google to spot when a site has a ton of guest posts on it. If you can find sites which don’t openly offer guest posts and write content for their site, you have a much better chance of not only staying out of trouble but also getting links/content placements that your competitors aren’t, which can give you an advantage.
- Tip on getting responses: My best tip for getting people to respond is, to be honest, and to not ask them too much upfront. I will generally send a 2 line email initially just to get a feel for the person on the other side of the email. If I get a good vibe, I’ll likely try and pursue a partnership.
Steph Taylor from stephtaylor.co
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Use an SEO research tool, like Ahrefs, to identify what websites are backlinking to your competitors. From there, look to see which ones are worth your time from an SEO perspective (i.e. which ones have high authority) and from an audience perspective (i.e. are their readers in your target audience?)
- Tip on getting responses: Tailor the pitch to the person you’re pitching to! Yes, it can take longer but your response rate will increase dramatically. Compliment them on a recent post they’ve written, or reference an existing post in your pitch.
Elise Dopson from elisedopson.co.uk/
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Search for sites with a niche, established audience. Heading straight to Forbes is a popular tactic, but if you’re not exclusively discussing business or finance, it can be tricky to see results. So, aim to find sites that have lower submission boundaries with established, niche audiences. The people reading your content are more likely to be interested, and you’re gaining a backlink from a niche website that’s trusted by Google in that industry.
- Tip on getting responses: Build a relationship first. Instead of going straight in with the pitch, it’s best to “warm up” your contact beforehand by connecting on LinkedIn; responding to their tweets; commenting on their blog posts. That way, when you’re landing in their inbox for the first time, you’re not a stranger—they already know who you are, and are more likely to welcome a pitch from you.
Tip 7: Pitch to your favorite blog sites
Write for the blogs you already love and follow. It’ll make pitching a post easy.
Gina Hutchings from thetreatmenttester.co.uk
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Use social media where possible. Sometimes people are more inclined to give feedback on social media than on the actual websites for the content. For example, an article shared on social will get more comments than on the actual website. So it’s worth checking what social interactions content has on sites. Who shares the content and who interacts. Utilize forums and groups on social media and blogger sites as these can be a great source of websites to contact.
- Tip on getting responses: Do your research. Take time to look at the website and read the content and then tie in your outreach email with something you have seen on the site that interests you. You can mention an article or give an opinion on a feature. You need to show you have an interest in the site content as a whole, not just your own contribution. It also helps to find a direct contact, a named email. Take a relaxed approach, it works better than a formal approach. Offer a feature in collaboration and a means of mutual benefit.
Scott Perry from catchershome.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: To be engaged with their site and their content first, rather than “cold calling” them and trying to fake an interest in their work. A simple way to do this is to connect to their mailing list and/or newsletter prior to reaching out to them.
- Tip on getting responses: When reaching out with a pitch via email, don’t write too much. Be succinct. The site owner is busy and being short and to the point is key. Also, I’ve had a lot of success during my pitches with suggesting two or three guest post topics to site owners and asking for feedback on which topic would be most useful or interesting to their readers.
Stacy Caprio from acceleratedgrowthmarketing.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: My favorite way of sourcing guest post opportunities is to reach out to people I am already getting emails from whose sites I respect and admire.
- Tip on getting responses: I address them by name and cite some of their past work that I admire, then I offer an idea that fits their site theme perfectly, that is SEO keyword researched so it will likely rank on the first page, and is a complete value-add for their site.
James Feldstein from audioden.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: I like to reach out to people who have written a guest post that caught my attention, to see if they are interested in accepting guest posts on their own blog. This can be a great way to source new opportunities. In my experience, people who write guest articles are familiar with the concept and more open to accepting guests posts for their own company’s website.
- Tip on getting responses: I recommend including examples of past articles you have written on your company blog or previous guest posts published in your name. This helps editors and bloggers quickly research your work so they can decide if you are a strong writer and if your content would be a good fit.
Eric Jackson from caplinked.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: I try to network with journalists and editors at different trade shows and business events I attend. I think in-person networking can be one of the best ways to get your foot in the door or develop a real relationship that can lead to an introduction to the right person.
- Tip on getting responses: Include your credentials. I’ve written contributor articles for the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, and many other established media outlets. I believe I was able to generate responses from journalists and editors because I highlighted my entrepreneurial background and credibility in my initial pitch. They want to know that you have something valuable to say and can say it well.
Gregory Golinski from yourparkingspace.co.uk
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Don’t speak like a salesperson when sourcing guest post prospects. You must establish a relationship with them and explain how your guest post will offer added value to their website. You must never sound like you’re just trying to get a backlink from them. It has to be a give-give relationship where you’re offering an interesting piece of content in exchange for a link.
- Tip on getting responses: Take the time to draft a polite, well-written email. Every month, I receive so many outreach emails from people who won’t even bother greeting me or saying thank you. Don’t be like that: show that you respect the blogger or webmaster you’re writing to.
Tip 8: Provide a little personalization
After you do your research on where to guest post, you need to personalize your pitch. Do a little digging on the person you’re pitching to – chances are they’ve probably written something that you can mention!
Rob Sloan from thecontemporary.agency
Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: In addition to crawling the various websites in a category that support guest posting, I have my prospectors identify certain “personalized information” about the site that can be incorporated into a spreadsheet. Items such as author names, other article titles and their links, publishing rotation, etc. This helps when we send the outreach emails because we use a standard form email that’s filled in by those “personalized information” details. Sending out outreach emails in mass, but also personalized to the sites themselves, increases the efficiency that we’ll get a Yes, or at the very least a request for further discussion.
Tip on getting responses: In addition to the mass email outreach, we have automated follow-up responses at reasonable intervals (5 business days, 4 business days, 3 business days) in the event we haven’t heard back. Each email maintains the guest post request, information about the client’s topic category, and personalization components akin to the original. Each email adds an additional layer of conversation. If there’s no response after the 3rd follow-up, we mark the guest post lead and non-responsive and move on.
McCall Robison from bestcompany.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: If your main job is to guest post on other sites, you most likely want to pitch to a large number of websites at once. Even though it takes much more time. Take the time to do some quick research on every website you pitch to. Don’t just send hundreds of emails to random sites you haven’t taken the time to look at. You need to decide if a website is a good fit before you commit to writing for them, especially if you want to keep your writing close to your niche. The first thing I do is check out a website’s “About Us” page. This way, you know exactly who runs the website and what they want to accomplish with their blog. If it doesn’t seem like a good match, move on.
- Tip on getting responses: Focus your pitch on what you have to offer before you focus on what you will gain from it. Personalize your outreach and tailor each email to specific recipients, explaining what you like about their site and what you think you can bring to the table if you write a guest post for them. You don’t want them to think they are reading a generic email template you have sent to hundreds of websites. Also, don’t overdo your pitch. You want to compliment and appreciate their site, but you don’t want to sound ingenuine and sales-y.
Anthony Capetola from salesandorders.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Find people from the same or similar vertical who guest post. Do a Google search to find all the places they’ve posted on. You can either do a search on Google with their name + a piece of their bio string or reverse image search.
- Tip on getting responses: Personalize your email and show you’ve actually done some research on the site you’re guest pitching for. As someone who has been on the other end (in terms of receiving guest post pitches), it’s easy to spot a generic guest pitch email that’s just hoping for a link back. And guess what – those emails end up being deleted.
Meenal Upadhyay from fitsmallbusiness.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Take the time to do the research. The more relevant your prospects are to your subject matter, the better the success rates will be. So know their target audience. If you put in the time and effort at the beginning of the process, the rest of the guest posting process will become seamless.
- Tip on getting responses: Personalize your outreach and make sure your initial email stands out with past examples and unique guest post article ideas. The best way to get a response is by proving that you can offer content on an interesting and relevant topic, and have done so before on reputable sites.
Steffen Ploeger from 9thco.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Leverage LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter. Do a Google search with keywords in your niche market and include “guest post”, “accept guest post” and other variations.
- Tip on getting responses: Do your research about a website owner and be very personal in your email, include something you know about the person. The headline should express what you are looking for as you are risking that your email will be deleted right away. Always follow up.
Tegan Groombridge from myfavouritevouchercodes.co.uk
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Use free online tools to connect with people who are actively looking. I spend the first hour of my day running through the emails that come straight to me. Lots of these just need a comment that can take minutes to write. Talk to digital agencies and see if they are looking for opportunities whilst having opportunities. Anybody that is also doing outreach or guest posting will be interested in what you are offering as well.
- Tip on getting responses: Do your best to find the written contact and use their name. Ensure your email includes something that proves you have seen their website and have actually thought a bespoke idea for you. Double check your idea has not been done before Be nice, be friendly and try and make your email unique. I always try to put something funny or different that is bespoke to that email to show I am not a machine. Do not mass email.
Tip 9: Pitch an out-of-the-box blog idea
Feel free to get a bit creative. Most people receive the same type of pitch, so if yours stands out you may have a better chance.
Charu Babbar from ergonomicspot.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: The simplest way is to have a “write for us” page. This was prospects know your site is open to accepting posts. The other way I would recommend is to connect with writers on social media, Twitter preferably and check if they want to write a post. One can identify these writers through their existing posts on site similar to yours.
- Tip on getting responses: Each guest post pitch should be unique and custom made for the site. Always spend some time on the site to understand their nature and the kind of content they produce. This helps in assessing if your post or tone will suit them. I always quote my favorite article from the site or my key takeaway from any of the posts, this way editors know that I m a regular follower, hence a part of their community.
Jon Hayes from authorityhacker.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: For me, I’ll always look at the bigger picture. While it may be easy to target everyone directly related to your niche, you’ll find it won’t take long before your list of potential prospect dries up after you’ve swiped all the low hanging fruit available. In order to bring longevity to your guest posting campaigns, it’s important to consider potential prospects from all neighboring niche and how exactly you can both benefit from them. Sometimes, this requires thinking outside of the box. For example, If I’m running a campaign for a health site, I might look at pet related sites and see if they’d be interested in a guest post on exercises you can do with your dog. In doing this, I open up myself to a much wider world of prospects rather than just boxing myself into a corner.
- Tip on getting responses: It may seem obvious, but personalization is key. I’m not necessarily talking about including their name, business, and favorite lunch item though. I’m talking about reacting to their messages as a real human being who genuinely wants to work with them. I’ll always engage in their thoughts and opinions even if not immediately relevant to me and be sure to try and match the tone of the conversation. If they’re lighthearted and making jokes, I’ll always partake. If they want to get straight down to business, I’ll cut through the fluff.
Simon Slade from salehoo.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Rather than coming up with a topic and pitching it to several outlets, I recommend deciding on an outlet where you’d like to be featured and coming up with a guest post topic that fits their style and readership. Pitching an inappropriate idea will quickly make you an annoyance. When you’ve found a worthy publication where you’d like to contribute, read several articles on their site and get a feel for how their content fits into your industry. Then brainstorm an idea and pitch it to them, being sure to explain exactly how your post will benefit their readership.
- Tip on getting responses: Follow up. This is the most important part of communicating with anyone. Always follow up. First contacts tend to get lost. A second outreach proves that you’re serious and engaged, making it more likely you’ll get a response.
Bob Ellis from bavarianclockworks.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Expand your outreach efforts outside of your industry. For example, I manage an online store that sells cuckoo clocks. The cuckoo clock industry is a small niche and the other sites that publish content about cuckoo clocks are usually competitors. I’ve been able to land guest post opportunities on top-tier sites such as Entrepreneur, by writing about business topics such as sales and marketing advice for e-commerce companies.
- Tip on getting responses: Don’t pitch your guest post ideas using the email or contact form on a company’s contact page. Your message will likely go overlooked or unread. Instead, you want to email a person who works at the company. Try to find the email address of a relevant person who works in the marketing department, and reach out to him or her directly with your proposal.
Boris Goncearenco from nyfurnitureoutlets.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Check your target audience, who is your client. Find resources with a relevant target audience. Write interesting content.
- Tip on getting responses: Firstly, be honest with them. Don’t use spun content in writing guest posts. Stick to the easy rule – high-quality content. This will generate you direct traffic and will have a positive influence on SEO.
Earl Choate from concretecamouflage.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Look for sites that do not advertise that they accept guest posts. If you are searching on Google queries such as “write for us” or “sites that accept guest posts”, then you are doing what most everyone else is doing. The competition is going to be stiffer and it will be harder for you to stand out. My recommendation is to reach out to bloggers and editors that do not actively promote guest posting on their site.
- Tip on getting responses: Understand that you are writing for their readers, not to promote your products or services. Avoid topics that include self-promotion.
Hayden Grooms from isaless.com
- Tip on sourcing guest post prospects: Our whole outreach strategy at Inside Sales Solutions revolves around being a resource for people in B2B sales. Through subscriptions like HARO (Help a Reporter Out), we are able to segment prospects for guest posting to companies we can see not only writing for but even partnering with. In addition, I scan Medium’s website every day to seek out new B2B sales and marketing companies who have a large Medium following; Medium’s “Publications” feature is essentially setup exactly for guest posting, although usually, you have to apply in order to be a writer, yet we generated leads simply from guest posting on Medium.
- Tip on getting responses: I never simply email and ask a staffer at a company if “would you be interested in sharing my content.” Instead, I establish a relationship with them first. Typically sending them a sample of Inside Sales Solutions’ content that either I or one of my co-workers created. Additionally, I seek out the company on popular social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook and will even message them on there (on top of emailing them), as this shows how interested I am in guest posting with them, and that I am actually taking the extra step to learn about their company instead of just “here’s my content, post it for me please, thanks.”
Get started guest posting
If there is anything we learned, it’s that guest posting takes effort. As you can see, different strategies work for different guest bloggers. You may have to test out a few of these best practices to see what works for you.
To join in on the fun, here’s our advice:
- Hone in on specific types of blogs that compliment your own niche.
- Try not to be sales-y while pitching either. Your pitch shouldn’t sound too self-serving. After all, you’re writing for their audience.
- While writing, try to find some of their own links to use, trust us this makes them happy!
Thanks again to all those who have contributed! If you’d like to contribute to upcoming roundups please visit our content partnership page. Want more advice, here are is an advanced guest blogging guide.