20 Experts Share Their Strategy on Guest Blogging

In this expert roundup, 22 experts from around the world share their tips and strategy on guest blogging.

Rishabh Ravindran
Updated on

Quality backlinks were really hard to get in 2020, and it will be no different in 2021. Guest blogging is still considered to be one of the best ways to get acquired quality backlinks from top authority websites as well as to bring a targeted set of audience to your blog.

So how to pitch a great article to these sites? Let’s see. To write this article, we reached out to 32 experts from around the world and asked them how did they grow their blogs with the help of guest blocking.

So what are the best tips and strategies for guest blogging in 2021? Let’s see.

Expert Roundup: Tips and Strategies for Guest Blogging

Ramit Sethi

Guest posting is a strategy that you can use repeatedly to quickly build a large and engaged audience for your content. Read more about my system for guest posting.

Ramit Sethi

Guest posting has been, by far, the most effective way I’ve grown my site. And I’ve become much more sophisticated at this over time. Here are three tips for implementing a successful guest post strategy:

  1. Target the right audience. People love to talk about frugality. “How to save 35 cents per year by making your own laundry detergent”. I’d rather talk about the bigs wins, like negotiating a $5,000 raise or earning your first $1,000 with a side business. I could write guest posts on those other sites, but there’s no point in writing for an audience of even a million people that just aren’t like you.
  2. Focus on providing value to the host site. With your first guest post, make self promotion secondary to providing extraordinary value. In many cases I spend 12 to 18 hours writing a single post. Make it more comprehensive than even the other articles on the host site, and they will welcome you back any time.
  3. Use a Catcher’s Mitt. When you link to your own site in the post, you can actually do a lot better than just a generic landing page. For example, when I write a guest post on LifeHacker, I create a page specifically for that post that says, “Hello LifeHacker readers” and include a giveaway that is relevant to that audience.

Guest posting is a strategy that you can use repeatedly to quickly build a large and engaged audience for your content. Read more about my system for guest posting.

Ramit Sethi is the author of the 2009 New York Times Best Seller, I Will Teach You to Be Rich and founder of GrowthLab.com.

Jill Stanton

We have used our process to write for over 200 websites which has allowed us to rank for our most profitable keywords.

Jill Stanton ​

Guest blogging is one of the most powerful strategies you can incorporate into your overall marketing plan, not just because it allows you to mine another person’s audience, but because of the sheer SEO punch it packs.

However, in order to take advantage of this you need to know how to find the sites who will be of the biggest benefit to you.  And no, it’s not just the sites you would like to write for. You need to run yourself a Smart Search.

All you have to do is:

  • Create a list of synonyms for your particular niche – so if you have a weight loss site you could use terms such as: losing weight, weight loss, weight loss tips, workout tips, healthy eating, natural weight loss, working out, fitness, bodyweight workouts, healthy recipes, organic living, how to lose weight etc..
  • Once you have your list of synonyms, create a list of search phrases such as: write for us, submit a post, guest post, contribute etc..
  • From there run your search by combining one of your synonyms with one of your search phrases so that your search looks like this: weight loss tips “write for us”
  • It’s essential that your synonym is not in quotes, whereas your search phrase is in quotes

This will then bring up only websites that have to do with your synonym AND have the words “write for us” (or whichever phrase you use) written on that page, usually in the form of a link.

The beauty of this system is you will uncover more sites than you ever knew existed in your niche, and best of all, they accept guest posts!

We have used this exact process to write for over 200 websites which has allowed us to rank for our most profitable keywords.

Jill Stanton is the co-founder and blogger over at Screw The Nine To Five.

Michael Alexis

Don’t be just another selfish guest-poster, instead create Multiple Win Scenarios.

Michael Alexis​

So many people are selfish about their guest posts. It’s all about them and how they can get traffic/links/authority/etc. But guest posts are actually really easy to turn into Multiple Win Scenarios. The “win-win-win” kinda thing where EVERYONE comes out ahead.

Here’s an example.

Some years back I interviewed experts like Ramit Sethi, Ana Hoffman, and Pamela Wilson.

I recorded these interviews, noted them up, and turned the ideas into guest posts on popular sites.

There were wins all over the place.

Win #1: the host site got unique (and good) content for their readers.
Win #2: the interviewee was featured both on my site and the host site — traffic, links, authority, etc.
Win #3: I got those same benefits.
Win #4: I built relationships with both the experts and the host sites.
Win #5: one post led to $30,000+ in profit for my business.

You can do this too.

First, reach out to a popular site in your niche. “If I interview EXPERT and write an article about it, will you post it on your site?”

When you have confirmation, reach out to that expert with this email:

Hi ##,

Can I interview you on January 3, 2014 at 1 p.m EST via Skype video?

You are great at ##, and I’d like to ask about ##.

I’ll feature the interview on ## (WHERE THE GUEST POST WILL GO) and ## (YOUR SITE).


Michael

Key takeaway: don’t be just another selfish guest-poster, instead create Multiple Win Scenarios.

Michael Alexis is a very successful writer and lawyer from Canada. 

John Lee Dumas

1 “A” a month beats 10 “Bs” EVERY time.

John Lee Dumas

Dive DEEP into one topic, and really focus on an epic post. Tim Urban over at waitbutwhy.com has really inspired me on the power of 1 killer post as opposed 7 ok ones.

He spends 30+ hours on each weekly post, it shows, and now he has been featured on the Huffington Post. The days, unless the content is mind-blowing, you are not going to get any credibility or traction as there is way to much B grade content flying around. 1 “A” a month beats 10 “Bs” EVERY time.

John Lee Dumas (JLD) is the host of Entrepreneurs on Fire, an award-winning podcast where he interviews the world’s most successful entrepreneurs.

Jon Haver

If you want to outsource the time-consuming guest posting outreach process it is not easy but it is possible if you are willing to pay for the right person to help!

Jon Haver

Guest blogging doesn’t have to be time consuming and it is possible to outsource. However, 99% of the emails we all get asking for guest posts are doing it all wrong. If you want to outsource guest posting there are a few musts! The person doing the outreach on your behalf has to speak perfect English – that means overseas VA’s are out! The person doing the outreach must understand the fellow bloggers by blog commenting/interacting first. Finally, the outreach has to be short, to the point and natural.

If you want to outsource the time-consuming guest posting outreach process it is not easy but it is possible if you are willing to pay for the right person to help!

Jon Haver is the founder of the site Authority Website Income.

Selena Soo

Sharing your struggles humanizes you and allows people to relate to you on a deeper level.

Selena Soo

What’s the fastest way to get your guest post to stand out? Providing useful content is not enough (anyone can do that) — it’s about connecting with people on a deeply emotional level.

Write something that gets people to stop, think about things differently, and even alters the course of their day. One way you can do that is by being vulnerable. Two of my most popular articles were the ones I was most afraid to publish. 

“Confessions of a Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur” talked about my struggles in the workplace and feeling like I was different from everyone else. “Why I’m Not Afraid to Cry at Work” was about how I broke down in tears in front of my interns when I was rejected by a big client I really wanted to work for.

Sharing your struggles humanizes you and allows people to relate to you on a deeper level.

Selena Soo is a publicity and marketing strategist who helps experts, authors, and coaches.

Henri Junttila

When you get your attitude and mindset straight, the rest falls into place. At least that is how it has been for me.

Henri Junttila

My best guest blogging tip is to just do it. Start before you’re ready. When I wrote my first guest post, I was terrified. But the more I did it, the better I got, and the more my blog grew.

There’s no magic formula. Yes, there are guidelines, but ultimately, you have to find your own way. You have to find what works for you, and in order to do that, you have to start. Do your best and see where it takes you, because that’s all you can do. If you dwell on what could go wrong, you waste energy that you could use in the present moment to take action.

When you get your attitude and mindset straight, the rest falls into place. At least that is how it has been for me.

Henri Junttila is  an author and the founder blog Wake Up Cloud.

Dan Schawbel

Instead of emailing the blog author initially, you should actively read their blog and comment on posts. This way, the blog author will be familiar with your name, face and contributions.

Dan Schawbel​

If you want to guest blog, then you have to find blogs that relate to your expertise so that you have something to say and you can add to the discussion that’s already taking place there.

Instead of emailing the blog author initially, you should actively read their blog and comment on posts. This way, the blog author will be familiar with your name, face and contributions.

After a few weeks, reach out to them directly with a summary of the guest blog entry you would like to write.

Repeat this process until you get opportunities to write posts and for every published post, use that to secure future opportunities by including writing samples like any journalist would.

Dan Schawbel is a New York Times best-selling author of Future of Work Expert, and Keynote Speaker.

Elisa Doucette

Write a thought-filled and thoughtful email to the owner explaining why you chose them, what you’d like to write (include a sample if you have it), and why this piece is a great fit for their site and their audience.

Elisa Doucette

Don’t pitch a guest post that only serves your needs.– Often, when we are launching something or trying to build reputation, we try to get our work on as many sites (especially high-profile sites) as possible.

We write a lot of canned pitches and cookie cutter guest posts, and then wonder why they don’t get picked up or the converting traffic from the sites is minimal.

The answer is simple: You served your own needs; you didn’t serve the needs of others.

Take time to carefully select the places you want to guest post. Write a thought-filled and thoughtful email to the owner explaining why you chose them, what you’d like to write (include a sample if you have it), and why this piece is a great fit for their site and their audience. Sure, it’s a bit more work.

But so is cooking an entire pot of spaghetti and throwing it at the wall, hoping something will stick.

Elisa Doucette is a writer, editor, and entrepreneur who currently travels the world looking for great stories to live and interesting tales to share.

Sean Ogle

However, if one comes from someone, they are friends with, or someone who has provided value to them in the past, they’ll be much more open to hosting you.

Sean Ogle​

Build a relationship before you pitch.  

Big bloggers can get dozens of pitches a month, most of which they’ll never look at.

However, if one comes from someone, they are friends with, or someone who has provided value to them in the past, they’ll be much more open to hosting you.

Sean Ogle is the founder of the blog, Location Rebel

Lewis Howes

Create unique content that other blogs don’t have.

Lewis Howes

1.Create unique content that other blogs don’t have.

2.Add inspiring or creative images to capture the attention of your readers, and focus on the feeling you want people to have when they read your posts.

3.Also, write a headline that you’d want to read if you saw it on Twitter or Facebook in your feed.

Lewis Howes, a former professional football player, two sport All-American, and world record holding athlete.

John Corcoran

Over time, after you’ve submitted 2 or 3 or 4 guest submissions to a site, then it gets easier.

John Corcoran

The first time you send in a guest blog submission to a new site, make sure you knock their socks off. Really produce something that is polished and top quality.

Read over their guidelines if they have them. Read over other guest blog posts and do your best to mimmic their style.

Over time, after you’ve submitted 2 or 3 or 4 guest submissions to a site, then it gets easier. But the first new submission to a new site is the hardest because generally, they don’t know you.  

Over time, you get to know their style so the writing gets easier, and they are more likely to accept your posts because they get to know you and you have a track record.

John Corcoran is the founder of the blog Smart Business Revolution .

Kate Erickson

You must be absolutely certain that the content you’re providing is going to be of true value to their readers.

Kate Erickson​

I believe there are 4 major requirements that have to be met before you can hit “send” on a request to guest post on someone else’s blog. They are:

1) Be familiar with the blog you’re requesting to guest post on. That includes knowing the type of content they provide, the format in which they provide it, who their readers are, and what their readers are looking for.

2) Include in your request who you are and why you want to guest post on their blog.

3) You should have at least 2 or 3 sample titles with short summaries or bullet points of what you are proposing to write about.

4) You must be absolutely certain that the content you’re providing is going to be of true value to their readers.

A bonus would be that you’ve already started building a relationship with this blogger by way of genuinely interacting and engaging on their blog prior to reaching out with your request. Being a familiar name/face will put you a step ahead when you hit that send button!

Kate Erickson is the Content Creator and Community Manager for EntrepreneurOnFire.

Natalie Sisson

 Hang out in their community for some time before you approach them.

Natalie Sisson

Step 1: Remember to do your research first and establish 5-10 sites you would love to see your article published on. Sites that have a decent readership and an audience that you want to get in front of that makes good business sense.

Step 2: Hang out in their community for some time before you approach them. Share their articles, commenting and getting to know how they write, what guest posts they accept and what resonates most with their readers.

Step 3: Contact them with your request to post and make it impossible for them to refuse by looking at all the elements you need in a great pitch email.

Step 4: Thank them once the article has gone live, share it far and wide and continue to keep in touch with them and be part of their community. You never know when you may get another opportunity to post for them, or return the favour.

Natalie Sisson is a New Zealand entrepreneur, author, speaker, lover of handstands and triathlete.

 

Jaime Tardy

I would get one or two small ones under your belt, and then shoot for big ones.

Jaime Tardy

My best guest blogging tip: Make friends! It’s easy to ask for guest posts when you have made friends in person at a conference. Also make sure to start small, then go BIG.

I would get one or two small ones under your belt, and then shoot for big ones. Usually, the time is worth WAY more for the bigger sites. It’s the same process, but bigger results.

Jaime Tardy is a business coach and speaker who helps entrepreneurs to achieve their goals. 

Omar Zenhom

A great way to build relationships with other blog founders that share your audience is to ask to interview them first.

Omar Zenhom​

Guest blogging is a great way to expand your audience and have a bit more presence on different platforms on this internet thing. Having a long-term view is important.  Approaching a popular blog with a cold email may not always be the smartest thing.

A great way to build relationships with other blog founders that share your audience is to ask to interview them first. Get to know them a bit, learn about their story and their blog and share it with your audience on your blog.

With an interview under your belt, you not only have some great content to share but you have now started a relationship with the blog founder.

Later down the road you can approach them to guest post on their blog. They’ll know who you are, what you do and what you’re capable of.

They can trust that your guest post will add value to their blog and not just be a self-promting rant.

Omar Zenhom is the co-founder and CEO of WebinarNinja.

Brendan Baker

It’s better to take it a step further and engage with the blog owner and get to know them prior to your guest post submission.

Brendan Baker​

My biggest tip for guest blogging is to actually get to know the blog owner as much as possible. If you’re looking to guest post for a site, you should already be familiar with their content, their audience and the normal writing style required.

It’s better to take it a step further and engage with the blog owner and get to know them prior to your guest post submission.

What this does is it enables you to start developing a genuine, lasting relationship and then getting your submission accepted will be much more of a walk in the park.

It also enables you to more easily discuss the kind of content that would be suitable for a guest post.

The other massive advantage of actually getting to know the blog owner is that it can lead to further partnerships down the track, such as affiliate partnerships or other business building partnerships.

Brendan Baker is the founder of personal development blog, Start of Happiness. 

Jun Loayza

Great bloggers care about their audience.  Show that you can bring the audience value and you’ll get the opportunity to guest blog.

Jun Loayza​

Guest blogging is about two things:

1. Relationships: build a trusted relationship with a blogger and he or she will let you guest blog.  It’s not just about being friends though; it’s about demonstrating value and the ability to share this value with an audience.  Great bloggers care about their audience.  Show that you can bring the audience value and you’ll get the opportunity to guest blog.

2.Persistence: bloggers are busy. Often, you’ll send an email and never hear back; it’s not that the blogger doesn’t think you’re value; instead, it may be that the blogger just forgot to email you back.  Send one email per week until you get a response.  Utilize Yesware or Boomerang to get automatically notified in a week if the blogger doesn’t respond to you

Jun Loayza is a Product Manager at YouTube.

Steve Kamb

I spent two months on my first guest post for the right site that and it added nearly 1000 subscribers in three days

Steve Kamb

Go for quality over quantity, but don’t expect miracles!  

Your time is better spent writing one perfect guest post for a big site with a following that lines up with your message than writing 20 guest posts for sites that don’t have the right audience.  

I spent two months on my first guest post for the right site that and it added nearly 1000 subscribers in three days…and then a few weeks later ended up on a number of GIANT blogs that barely sent any traffic.  

Be selective, spend time researching which audiences are really active and engaged and want to find new sites to read (hint: it’s probably not the giant “how to blog” websites), and then build relationships with those bloggers.

Steve Kamb is the founder of the blog and community, Nerd Fitness.

Penelope Trunk

If you don’t address me by my name then I assume you will not have a pitch tailored to my blog, so I don’t read any further.

Penelope Trunk

I get 25 guest blog pitches a day. So you have to stand out. If you don’t address me by my name then I assume you will not have a pitch tailored to my blog, so I don’t read any further. Most guest posts on my blog get at least 100 comments.

The reason for this is that I only publish posts that have a fresh opinion, a personal angle, a way for people to improve their lives, and a clear relationship to my blog topic. It’s really hard to do all that in a post, but the guest posts on my site are always great.

Penelope Trunk is a businesswoman, author and a blogger. 

Conclusion

I hope these tips and strategies have provided some really great insights and do make sure that you use these strategies on your next pitch!

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