Guest Posting: Is It Worth It? (And How to Get Started)

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By Jess Dixon

Guest posting – writing content for other websites which include a link back to yours – is well known as a strategy for boosting your business profile. But is it still worth it? And if so, how do you even do it? 

The benefits of guest posting

Writing guest posts for other sites has two main benefits. 

First, it gives you a backlink to your own website. The number and quality of backlinks you have is a well-known and important Google ranking metric. So if you want your site to show up in search results, you need to build those backlinks. Guest posting is a great way to do that and has a place in any robust SEO strategy

The other benefit of guest posting is that it builds your credibility. In other words, it gives you the opportunity to show that you know what you’re talking about. Having published articles to your name on authoritative websites proves to your customers and prospects that you know your stuff and can be trusted with their project. 

So is it worth it?

The short answer is yes… if you’re patient and put the work in. Guest posting absolutely does work, but it isn’t a quick fix strategy and it won’t get your site on the first page of Google overnight.

But if you’re happy to play the long SEO game and acquire some meaningful, sustainable growth? Read on! 

What sort of sites can I guest post for?

Loads of sites accept guest writers, and they may or may not advertise that fact. You can always start by Googling your industry or niche and phrases like “write for us” or “guest post.” This will give you a few contenders to start with:

Screenshot of a Google search - for article on guest posting

Choosing sites that are ranking highly in Google results will give you an edge. Backlinks from well-known and well-respected sites are worth more than those from smaller and more obscure sites. As a good rule of thumb, use the Ahrefs authority checker and target sites that have a domain rating (DR) of 50 or higher. The closer that number is to 100, the more valuable the link will be.  

You can also start out by simply thinking of the sites and blogs that you read often, and reaching out to them with a polite email to ask if they’d be open to a guest post. Some will, even if they don’t have a “write for us” page. 

Once they come back with a positive response, you can suggest a few topics, agree on a headline, and get writing. 

What sort of things should I write about?

The trick is to write something that you know plenty about, and which aligns with the niche and audience of the site you’re pitching. It can be a good idea to pitch two or three potential topics so the site owner or editor has some options to choose from. 

You must make sure that your chosen topic hasn’t already been covered on your target site. An easy way to check is to use the search string Site:websiteaddress.com “topic idea”. Like this:

If you see no relevant results, or none that directly align with the topic you’d like to pitch, you’re good to go. Don’t forget you can always approach a topic from a new angle. For example, if the site has covered a certain marketing tactic from a B2B perspective, you might wish to approach a similar tactic from a B2C perspective. 

I pitched a site and they asked me to pay!

Yes, some do that. It’s because they get tonnes of requests and they know their links are valuable, so they ask people to pay for them. It’s up to you to decide if you’re prepared to pay or not. 

Speaking as a writer, the idea of paying to write content for someone else’s site has always seemed really “off” to me. The standard guest post deal is “free content in exchange for a free backlink.” But from the perspective of a marketer, you must decide if it’s worth it. 

You might occasionally decide that a site can do enough for your traffic or reputation that it’s worth paying for the opportunity. If you decide it’s not, you can politely decline and move on to the next target. 

What if I’m not a good writer or don’t have time? 

You can hire someone to do it for you! Many agencies and independent copywriters will be happy to work with you on a guest posting campaign. You can either hire someone to handle the whole project, or you can do the outreach and pitching yourself and then hire them to write the articles for you. 

Don’t worry – your name will still be on the article. This is called ghostwriting. Remember: outsourcing is your friend. 

This is an ongoing strategy

A single guest post won’t do much for your traffic or ranking by itself. Guest posting is an ongoing strategy and you’ll need to commit to it and keep it up for a while if you want to see results. You can either scale things up yourself as time permits, or hire someone to handle it for you if you want to get those results more quickly. 

Have you done any guest posting to build your business? Let us know if it worked out for you! 

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