How to Scale Your Guest Post Outreach and Dominate Google
With so much content being published online, how do you scale your guest post outreach to ensure your content makes it to the top of Google search?
More than 4.4 million blog posts are published daily on the internet. This poses an obvious problem for any website owner. With so much content being produced, how do you make it to the top of the SERPs?
After all, you don’t get rewarded for being on the second page.
Source: Smart Insights
While SEO is a complex topic, the fundamentals of how Google works is pretty simple. The more of the right kind of links you can get to your content, the higher the chance of it ranking on Google.
One of the best ways to acquire those backlinks is through guest posts. In this guide, I’ll walk you through how to undertake a guest post campaign at scale, so you can get links to the content you want to rank. Let’s get started.
How to assess backlink quality
The first stage of a guest post strategy involves identifying relevant websites to contact. To create a shortlist of sites, you need to know what makes a good backlink.
SEO experts and SEO tools use a variety of metrics to rate the quality of a backlink. Below are some of the most commonly used metrics:
- Domain Authority / Domain Rating: a score from 0-100 used to assess the power of a backlink. The higher the score, the more powerful the link
- Trust Flow: a score from 0-100 rating a website based on how many good backlinks it has in proportion to spammy links
- Website Traffic: the more traffic a site has, the more likely people are going to click on a link to your site. Rather obviously, this makes it a good rating factor
- Relevance: the best kind of backlinks are those which are relevant to your niche. Too many links from sites outside of your niche is a warning sign to Google
Using a combination of these metrics, you can create parameters to qualify a good backlink. Here are the metrics that I look for from a good link:
- Niche relevant
- DR/ DA: 40+
- Trust Flow: 20+
- Website Traffic: 5,000 per month
Ideally, the websites you shortlist will tick every box, but that doesn’t always happen. That’s not an issue. Consider these guidelines to a good backlink. Try to guest post on websites that fit this profile.
So now that you know what a good backlink looks like, let’s cover how to find these links, and create guest post opportunities for your site.
How to find high quality backlinks
Before you undertake any outreach, you need to create a list of sites to target. The quickest way to find lots of relevant websites in your niche is to review the backlink profile of your biggest competitor or a leading publication. Let me give you an example of how to do this.
I’m operating in the marketing niche. One of the biggest sites in this niche by traffic volume is Hubspot. When I enter their details in Ahrefs, I can see key stats about the site.
I can then export a list of every site that links to Hubspot. Most SEO tools offer this functionality.
When you export the backlink profile for a popular site, you’ll end up with a list of tens of thousands of websites. To make a list manageable, I remove all of the sites with a DA of lower than 40. I also remove websites with a DA of 80+.
The reason I remove sites with a DA/DR 80+ is they usually have a stringent editorial process. Mass outreach is less effective with these sites.
You now have a list of a couple of thousand of relevant websites for your outreach.
How to find relevant contact details
With your shortlist of sites, you’re almost ready to start your outreach. First, though, you need to get their contact details.
You’ll find a lot of great email finders on the internet. Most of them work the same way. You insert the name of the website, and they search for relevant email addresses associated with the domain.
Use an email finder to collect the email addresses of the first 100 sites on your list. You’re now ready to start your cold outreach.
How to conduct your outreach?
The key to a successful outreach campaign is a good email template.
If you are doing guest post outreach at scale, you don’t want to pitch your guest post idea straight away. Instead, you should send an engaging, friendly, but generic message. The template should be short and to the point. In no more than five sentences you want to:
- Explain who you are
- What you want
- Why they should care
Below is an example of a template you could use:
Hope you’re having a great day. I’m interested in writing a guest post for [WEBSITE NAME]. I have a couple of ideas that I think would be great for your site. What would be the best way to pitch these ideas to you?
All the best,
P.S. I’ve written for sites like [BIG NAME 1] and [BIG NAME 2] so I feel confident I can hit your editorial standards.
That’s it. Simple and to the point.
Aim to send between 30-60 emails on the first day. By the second day, you will generally have the first couple of responses from editors. A couple of people will tell you they are not interested in guest posts. Others will try and charge you for content, but there will be a few who are willing to give you a chance.
This is the tough part. You have to come up with some great guest post ideas.
How to come up with guest post ideas?
Every time I pitch a guest post to an editor, I send three different article ideas.
Consistently coming up with great post ideas is difficult. There are a few hacks, which I’ve learned, that help you come up with good ideas fast. One reliable strategy that works across most niches is as follows…
First, create a shortlist of 10 sites in your niche that consistently come up with great content ideas. Once you have this list, head over to Buzzsumo.
If you enter the site URL on the free version of Buzzsumo, you’ll get a shortlist of the top 5 articles on the site by social shares. For example, here is what you’d get if you searched for pixelproductionsinc.com.
List the name of the article and the URL for the site in a Google sheet. Then repeat the process for the other nine sites on your list. When you have finished, you’ll have a list of 50 articles that people in your niche found interesting.
You can use this list for inspiration to come up with guest post ideas. When you have your first good guest post idea, head over to Google and enter the following:
Site:website.com your keyword
When you do this, Google will show you all the content on that site that has content associated with the phrase you entered. You can see what I mean in this screenshot below.
If your guest post topic doesn’t turn up in the search results, you have a good idea to pitch to the editor. Aim to come up with at least three guest post ideas.
Here is a template you could send to editors who showed interest in your initial pitch.
Thanks for getting back to me. I’m excited about the opportunity to write for [WEBSITE NAME]. Below are the three ideas I was thinking of.
- Article idea 1
- Article idea 2
- Article idea 3
Let me know which one you prefer. Happy to get started on the article once I hear back from you.
All the best,
And there you have it. A step-by-step system you can apply to your website to scale guest post outreach so you can increase the search rankings of your content.
Some Final Tips
This article provided you with a framework for scaling your guest post outreach. Like any effective business development strategy it relies on a clear system.
The strategy that I shared shows you how to do this quickly by targeting a large number of sites. However, just because you are undertaking mass outreach does not mean you should take the opportunities you get for granted.
Managing a successful website takes a lot of hard work. Make sure every guest post you write is as good as it can be. Don’t write something up in half an hour that you wouldn’t be proud to publish on your site.
There are two reasons this is important. First and most importantly, it’s just good manners. Secondly, if you want your content to rank you want the backlinks you are getting to come from quality content. With guest posting, you are in control of this.
Content marketing is a competitive niche. To rank on Google, you need to create great content and then build relevant, high-quality backlinks to it. In this step-by-step guide to content marketing, I showed you how to guest post at scale.
The first part of this guide explained why backlinks are important and how to measure a good backlink. I then showed you how to find thousands of relevant backlinks, filter them, and get the contact details of editors. Finally, I showed you how to pitch to editors and come up with interesting guest post ideas.
Now it’s over to you. If you have any questions regarding the steps I covered, let me know in the comments below.