The Ultimate Guide to Guest Posting (2024)

The Ultimate Guide to Guest Posting (2024)

How do I know if a site is worth writing a guest post for?

There's a few things to consider.

The most important question you should ask is, would your target audience even be reading this? You need to get in the head of your target audience and really understand them and their content consumption habits.

A great way to do this is by creating a user persona. That's pretty much what we offer at InstantPersonas but you can also check out our blog post about how to make a really strong user persona.

Secondly, does the site accept everything that gets submitted to it? Check them out and see how many poorly written articles they've published. Given two sites with similar metrics, the higher their editorial standards, the better the backlink. That also means you need to make sure your content passes their editorial standards.

Should I write a guest post with AI?

The internet is being flooded with AI generated content. We can assume Google would rather surface human written content if it can identify it. Understand as well, that people prompting similar things will lead to hundreds of similar blog posts.

Some people say to avoid AI generated content completely. Others say it's completely fine. After doing a deep dive into this, it seems like the answer is we still don't really know.

What I think is likely better is to have AI assist you without taking over from you. That means letting it help you come up with outlines, ideas, and iterations when you get stuck, but trying to write it out yourself and ensuring your human-ness shines through. Talk about specific stories/experience that demonstrate your expertise on a topic.

I'd also recommend feeding your blogs into a tool like GPT Zero to see how likely your content is to be perceived as AI-written.

As far as it relates to guest posting, poorly-written AI-generated content will likely not get accepted. If it does, that's an indication that the site likely accepts pretty much anything and is therefore not likely to be a strong backlink.

As more information comes out about AI and SEO, I'll come back and update this article.

Does guest posting boost your topical authority?

Yes, it can. Getting high quality backlinks in your niche signals to search engines that your content is authoritative.

When you're starting out however, it's much better to focus on content first. Samantha North mentions being on page one and outranking sites with high domain authority with a site that had a domain authority of 16. Why? Topical authority. To learn what topical authority is, how to get it and how to measure it, check out our blog post here.

How do I find relevant blogs or websites to submit guest posts to?

We built you a free tool to find tons of great guest posting opportunities. No signup needed - check it out here.

How do I craft a compelling guest post pitch that is likely to be accepted?

How to Pitch a Guest Post

Here's one strategy. Use an SEO tool like Ahrefs and identify a topic where their competitor outranks them, effectively a gap in their topical authority. Send them a message making them aware of this, and offer to write them an article covering this deeply for free. This is a great way to convey the value proposition of your post.

Another useful tip - you want to demonstrate that you are an authority on a topic. If you have any way to demonstrate this, make sure to let them know.

Provide them with writing samples as well so they know your post will be high quality.

Ensure your subject line is clear. MailChimp suggests the following subject line formula:
Pitch for: Name of publication, name of the column and/or short headline.

What are the best practices for including links in my guest posts without appearing spammy?

1. Add Value - Ensure that every link you include adds real value to the reader.

2. Links should make sense - The linked content should be directly relevant to the topic being discussed in the paragraph or section where the link is inserted.

3. Limit the number of links

4. Disclose relationships and affiliations - If your link is to a site with which you have a commercial relationship or any other form of affiliation, it's good practice to disclose this transparently in your post.

Should I accept guest posts on my own blog?

Sure! So long as they're high quality and from an authoritative source, it can increase your own blog's output and topical authority without you needing to do a ton of work.

How do I evaluate guest posts people send me?

1. Check for plagiarism to ensure the content is unique. Copyscape is one software that lets you do this. Make sure it's not just rephrasing another article.

2. Make sure it relates to the content your blog publishes.

3. Check if it's AI generated by feeding it into GPT Zero.

4. Actually read it.

5. Ensure the content linked from the guest posts is high-quality too.

What's the difference between guest posting vs niche edits?

Niche edits are a lot less effort than guest posting. Instead of pitching a completely new piece of content, you offer to update older content for them and add a link inside it. So why would another site owner do this, knowing the value of a link? The answer is that this is commonly a paid tactic. This goes directly against Google's guidelines - if caught, you can get penalties.

Additionally, because you're offering far less value than a guest post, your conversion rate is much lower.

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