You published five posts in February, zero in March, three in April. Does it sound like a proper guest blogging strategy? Well, clearly it doesn’t. The main idea of guest blogging is consistency and regularity. Since there are so many other bloggers and services, you risk being forgotten too soon because of such gaps.
If you want to start doing real content marketing, you’ll have to plan up to 10 publications per month. And here is where the biggest problem appears: the lack of quality platforms to guest post on.
In this article, I’m going to describe three ways I use when collecting my contact base for blogger outreach. Also, I’ll share a few interesting tricks at the end of the article, of course, if you promise not to read the ending first
What are guest posting and blogger outreach (just in case)
Before we get started talking about contacts base, I’d like to say a word on guest blogging and its goals. Simply put, guest blogging is an internet marketing technique where a person writes a blog post for the external website to promote your own blog/service/personal brand.
So you’re providing the blogger with valuable content, and blogger, in turn, helps you enhance the reputation and exposure. Some blogs accept links to your blog or service in the body text, some accept links in your author bio. Anyway, bloggers are ok with you adding links to your resources as soon as your article is great and your links are relevant and not overly promotional.
Guest blogging can help you:
- increase brand awareness and gain authority on the market;
- generate leads, engage the audience, drive profitable customer action;
- gain the audience’s trust in your service, product or brand,
- build your personal brand (make a name);
- get a free quality link from the authoritative platform.
There is a line where guest blogging becomes something else. If you’re writing a guest post for the link building alone, pushing the reader to buy/subscribe/download in your article, don’t bring any value to the reader, it can’t be considered as a guest blogging. I can’t even cope up with a suitable name for it, it’s just something that should have died in 2007.
The real guest blogging always means value to the reader. Its algorithm is quite simple:
- find related to your niche blogs that accept guest posting;
- choose high-quality blogs (I’ll tell about it a bit later);
- reach out to them;
- pitch your idea and discuss it with the editor;
- write a perfect post;
- send it over and wait for the publication!
Well, every bullet from this list deserves a separate article. Today I’m going to cover the first one and share my ways to collect quality contracts base for blogger outreach.
Preparation: few things before growing your outreach contact base
STEP #1 Brainstorm keywords. Think and write down all related to your niche keywords that come to mind. For instance, if you’re working in the tourism industry, your keywords could be travel, air ticket, travel agency, vacation, traveling guide, and many more. You know your niche better than anyone, so I guess you’ll be able to come up with a solid list of your main keywords. We’ll use this list a bit later.
As for my niche, I have keywords like competitor analysis, rank tracking,
STEP #2 Organize your base. Create a Google spreadsheet to collect all blogs in one place. I suggest creating the following columns:
- Domain name;
- Number of visits (according to SimilarWeb);
- Contact (email, linkedin profile, twitter, etc)
- Name of person who has made this agreement (if there are more than one content marketer in your team)
- Status of this cooperation: writing an article / editing / published / no response / cancelled. You can come up with your own stages of the process.
- Link to the published post.
This document will help you keep your contacts base organized and not to forget about all your agreements. Also, this document allows working with your team together in one place.
STEP #3 Choose suitable blogs. Not every blog fits our purpose. Mention on low-quality, the irrelevant site isn’t something that enhances authority. I suggest choosing blogs with:
- Social activity (comments, likes, shares);
- SimilarWeb traffic is 10K users per month or higher;
- Suitable geolocation (check it in SimilarWeb too)
- Useful articles, no promotional content;
- Recent publications (at least one publication during last month). Don’t work with blogs that publish articles too rarely, except they still have a lot of comments and shares.
Way #1 Google search
It’s quite obvious that you can simply Google your niche keywords and find suitable blogs to guest post on. Check all keywords we gathered earlier at Google one by one. Choose quality blogs and add them to your spreadsheet. Remember about the requirements I mentioned above.
As you see, the first five sites are great blogs you could add to your list. Go beyond the general queries like “SEO” or “flowers” and try specific ones as well (like “competitor analysis checklist” or “flowers planted in spring”)
Also, there are some tricks that may simplify this process. Here they are:
You can use Google tools to find only new blog publications. Here you can find the latest articles:
Type your keyword, set up this filter and explore 10-15 pages of results. You’ll find a lot of blogs to work with.
Use Google operators
Another way is to use Google operators. I use this simple formula: your query inurl:write-for-us. Here is what it looks like:
Type your keyword with this operator into Google search, and you’ll find a lot of write-for-us pages.
It’s not the only one phrase you can use here. All phrases we usually see on such pages will come in handy. Here they are:
- Editorial guidelines;
- Guest post;
- Become a contributor;
- Guest article;
- Submit guest post;
- Send a tip;
- Many more!
Here are some more for you (found by SEOquake):
All these queries will lead you to blogs that accept guest posts.
Another great idea is to find some valuable blogs in your competitor’s backlink profile. To do that, you need an
Enter your competitor’s domain into the search bar, go to backlink analysis > backlinks, and choose one backlink per domain. After that, you can export all this data to the spreadsheet.
And this is where routine and boring work begins. Check all the links one by one. It could be banner, sidebar, comment or even useless trash. Having said that, there are a lot of using blogs as well. For instance, I analyzed 500 backlinks of my competitor and found about 150 quality blogs to work with. As a bonus, I analyzed my competitor’s strategy and found their strong and weak spots.
I suggest using such a spreadsheet for the analysis:
I have analyzed only 500 of them when the overall number of backlinks is 6 million. So you can analyze 1-2 competitors (1000- 2000 links) per month, and you’ll get almost endless backlink opportunities.
Way #3 Tools for parsing
The last way I’m going to describe is using tools for parsing. Such tools are designed to collect blogs, websites, mentions automatically.
Ninja outreach is a platform designed to collect contacts of opinion leaders, blogs, publications in any niche. All you need to do is to enter your keyword and set up filters. Also, Ninja finds popular tweets and popular content in your field.
To get a list of blogs, enter a keyword in the search bar, set up the domain zone filter and tick off “Blogger” tag.
This is the easiest way to collect contacts, but after the export, be sure to go through the list and select only those resources that meet your requirements.
This tool monitor mentions about your brand, product, niche, competitor, etc throughout the Web. You can enter several tags, choose language, location, sources or even certain pages to monitor
Use your main keyword, brand name or name of your competitors as tags for monitoring, choose “only blogs” filter and relevant location/language. You’ll be getting all new mentions that appear on the Internet every day.
- Find famous author in your niche and google his/her name. Sometimes there are more famous baseball players or singers with the same name, so add “author” to the name just in case. You’ll get a list of blogs this person has been published on. So check them out! Another similar way is to search by author photo. Use search by the image at Google.
- There are a lot of lists with blogs that accept guest posting put together for you. Like this or this.
- Check press pages of blogs you visit. Almost every service has a page or sidebar called “as featured in” or “press page”. There you can find a lot of useful blogs.
- Follow the discussion on LinkedIn. Bloggers always comment on each other’s posts and write recommendations.
Over to you
Here it is. It’s my ways to collect contacts for blogger outreach. All three methods are good for collecting contacts from scratch, and for expanding the base of contacts as well.
Do you have some tricks and unusual ways to do it? Please share in the comments, below.