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How I Get Free Relevant Guest Posts in Exchange for Sweat Equity

Written By Josh MacDonald on April 28, 2016
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There’s nothing like starting your week off with a fresh DA57 guest post now, is there? While guest posts are great for SEO, branding and traffic-generation purposes, they are not easy to obtain and because of that, I have had customers pay me up to $2000 to get into a single magazine!

First, you need to identify your target, and by that, I mean you need to find sites that are both worthwhile for the amount of time you’re going to allocate to it, and also a reasonable and achievable goal. If you’re a brand new entrepreneur and you’re trying to get into Forbes, there are unfortunately no free options available to you. However, you could pay your way in, assuming you have the high quality content that Forbes links to.

Secondly, you need to find out what the best method of approach is, well before reaching out. Some sites have a spot where you can submit guest posts, but those inboxes are not always monitored. If it’s a tougher site, usually a very carefully crafted 2-sentence email can start things off. If it’s a big site, talk to other contributors and ask how they got in. Build a reputation with other contributors on Twitter. If you check my Twitter account, it has thousands of followers and has generated a number of healthy connections with other contributors. For example, Huffington Post usually only brings in new contributors by invite. You don’t have to be famous, but rather you just have to write good content. If you write one article on your quiet blog about parenting, and it gets a bunch of shares, you have a fair shot at receiving an invitation email from Huffington Post.

Building a connection on Twitter can be automated. A number of entrepreneurs follow and unfollow people regularly using software. If you tweet about business, you’ll occasionally get followed by someone with 200k followers and follows another 150k. The Twitter API has excellent abilities to building something like, and for a developer like myself, it wouldn’t be difficult to automate outreach with spun tweets, for example.

Thirdly, you need to work out a fair topic and title. Sometimes if I’m sending a 2-sentence email, I briefly state why I’m better than the next guest contributor and then I say how my experience and knowledge can benefit the blog owner’s readers. I’ve sold a ton of software in the past, so that would be a topic that blogs would love to have me contribute on. This however doesn’t mean you need to be an expert on your topic. I have clients in the health industry for example that I’ve helped get into health blogs and magazines. Generally with industries I’m new to, I start with small, achievable blogs and work my way up to bigger sites.

Fourthly, it’s time to start making your initial contact with the target. Now that you’ve identified a perfect target, simply start executing the plan you’ve crafted. Keep all communications short. If you plan to reach out by Twitter, go ahead and retweet a few tweets and reply to a couple too, before sending your initial request.

If you’re trying to get someone’s attention, do them a favour. For example, I decided that this year, I want to write a book. So I wrote a blog post about “20 business books you need to read in 2016” and that did a number of things for me. First, it helped my reputation with that blog to explode because that article got over 1000 shares and they loved it. The book publishers loved me because I mentioned their book, and then after that, I earned an introduction to one of their publishers, which helped me get to my end goal. I now have 20 contacts of people who are willing to give me advice on writing books, and the blog platform I wrote it on, is welcoming me to submit more. It’s just a win-win situation. Help people first, and they’ll return the favour!

Fifth, if you haven’t heard back within a few days, follow up. I get over 100 emails a day. That doesn’t include the private messages on forums or the Skype messages. People are constantly trying to get ahold of me to hire me with their SEO work, and so I miss a ton of emails. Blogs and other publications are no different. They get busy and if they don’t read your email in the first 24 hours, there’s a very large chance that they’ll never read it.

Sixth, once you get a spot, hire a ghost writer. Depending on the quality of your targeted blog, you can expect to pay anywhere from $3 to $10 per 100 words. When applying to a site like VentureBeat, you’ll be looking at a rate of $7 per 100 words. Most niche sites, you can get by with $5 per 100 words. Anything DA30 or under, assuming it’s not hyper-targeted like a local SEO agency’s blog, you can try $3 per 100 words.

Lastly, maintain a relationship with the blogs. You get credit for every post you do, so take advantage of that. Show the readers how much you know about that topic. It’s not always about the backlink. Sometimes it’s just good branding to have yourself appear on many popular sites. There are a number of sites I write for that are not for SEO purposes and having profiles there really separates me from the competition, regardless if I’m closing a deal with a new SEO client or if I’m applying to a special computer science program at school.

If you need any help with guest posting, feel free to reach out. There’s an email contact form at the top and I answer every tweet that comes to me on Twitter!

Josh MacDonald
Josh is an internet marketer and entrepreneur best known for his SEO knowledge and software such as SerpClix and Keyword Scout.

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4 comments

  1. Do you ever write the content first and then spam it out to blogs?

    1. I’m not one to shop around articles. I find it’s more worthwhile to cater to each site individually. For example, if a site is based on social media, there is likely a specific type of social media that they like to post about. Perhaps, if you’re look at sites that are more desperate for guest posts, you could send out a single generic article to all of them. However, I don’t do that. Quality over quantity.

  2. Do you ever take on clients for guest posting services? My company sure could use your expertise.

    1. Yes Mike. Shoot me an email via the contact form at the top.

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