Everyone in SEO seems to be jumping on the guest blogging band wagon, and for good reason. Guest posts with backlinks to your site build natural, relevant, and long lasting links that will provide your site with tons of juice. However, getting quality links through guest blogging is – in a word – hard. It takes a lot of time to not only write great content, but to establish a relationship with a blog owner. That’s right; I said relationship, but not the of clammy-hands-in-middle-school kind of way. The world of SEO tends to forget that there is an actual human being on the other side of a website, and building a relationship with that person makes guest blogging a much more effective endeavor.
Hang Out in Your Neighborhood
Get to know the big players in your niche by subscribing to their RSS feeds, following them on Twitter, friending or liking them on Facebook, and stay up to date with the happenings in your industry. Before contacting a blog in the hopes of getting a guest post, take time to go through the site and make some comments on posts. These should not be generic comments like “thank you for posting such relevant and good information,” those types of comments are obviously spam mostly done for the gray-hat technique of blog commenting. Take the time to voice your own opinion on the topic. The blog owner will notice the comment and, more importantly, who made it.
Get Them to Look
Establishing a connection through social media and blog comments is a great start, but there is no guarantee that the editor will even open your email or read your piece of well written content. Think about how many times “Guest Post” might show up in SEOmoz’s inbox. The editors there have no idea if that email might contain a legitimate, well written post, or a spun article. Rather than wasting your time and theirs, make sure your subject line gives as much detail as possible. “Guest Post Submission: Building Relationships in SEO” tells the person what your article is about. As long as they open your email, they will be much more likely to respond with a yay or nay. And nays aren’t always bad, you established a connection after all that can be built from. They didn’t like that article? Pitch them some more ideas.
Once They Have Looked
Connect with them! Make a joke about their site, highlight a post of theirs you really enjoyed, just do something to show that you are a real person with real feelings! When I started outreaching to potential blogs I started with canned emails where I could just insert the title of my article and call it good. This might be fine for a low quality site that posts anything, but for a site with authority you need the human element on your side. Being conversational without sounding like a robot really helps to give your email a voice.
New and Engaging Content
At Page One Power, we strive to write for the betterment of mankind (FTBOM, or “Foot-Bomb” as Jon Ball likes to call it). This means that your post shouldn’t be some drivel that a robot could have written, nor should it be an article that’s been written a thousand times over and posted on every blog out there. Instead of re-spinning an old topic and gunking up the Internet, take a new jab at it. Sure, Top Ten articles are great, but they can get boring quickly. Get specific and treat the post like a mini-thesis. It is easy to tell when an author has put effort into the work. So roll up the sleeves, do some research, create some great content, and get some incredible links!
[author] [author_image timthumb='on']http://pageonepower.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/BeFunky_thomas+headshot.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]After discovering his voice and strengths as a writer halfway through his college career, Thomas McMahon graduated with a degree in Creative Writing from The College of Idaho. After moving to Boise, Idaho he quickly found a job as a writer at Page One Power where he has proved himself to be a strong link builder. He loves coming to work knowing that he will be challenged with creating engaging content on a wide variety of subjects.
Thomas was raised in in the mountains of North Idaho and, when he’s not reading or writing a humorous short story, you’ll find him playing tennis, fly-fishing for trout, or diving into any body of water he comes across. Connect with him at Google+.