When was the last time you got your guest posting opportunity for FREE?
Back in the day when it used to be a respectable thing? Probably around the 1970s?
Or just never?
If that’s the case then...
I won’t be surprised at all when right now, you’re already “happy” paying fees for as long as you get the backlink you want.
But what if...
What will you do?
Read this case study until the end and see exactly how this affiliate marketer…
Authority Site #1:
Authority Site #2:
Note: He had to stop his email outreach campaign because he had more than enough content queues to work on.
And not just that...
At the end of this blog post, you’ll be getting actionable tips like...
Now let’s dive straight into the details.
Before we start…
I want you to define what is guest posting for you.
A link building strategy for SEO? One way to gain brand exposure and to establish authority? Or a great opportunity to build relationships with the webmasters? (perhaps long-lasting friendships?)
What do you think?
Definitely, guest posting is a nice strategy to build links for SEO purposes.
And that’s exactly the main reason why guest posting has been abused abruptly.
It becomes more of a spammy link building practice for SEO rather than what it used to be before.
Let’s take what Matt Cutts (then Head of Webspam at Google) said about guest posting, The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO:
(Note: You might want to check what spam email looks like to see if it’s something you’re doing all wrong)
Have you noticed?
Despite this announcement in 2014, guest posting up to now is still one of the best methods to build links for SEO.
It’s just that this time, it becomes harder than ever to make the webmasters say yes for your guest posts.
In a little while, I’ll be showing you the ethical way to do guest posting outreach that gets higher response rates...
But first, I want to redefine guest posting for you.
If you want to succeed in getting a free guest post on high authority websites, make sure to read this carefully.
Guest Posting is the practice of contributing an article to another blog to help the owner write good quality content and deliver pure value to their audience.
In exchange, the writer could gain exposure which is a great head start (even a milestone) to get moving ahead to the next level of success.
That in itself is the real reason why we have guest posting today.
It’s more than just links you’ll get for SEO.
So stick with it!
Don’t be that kind of spammers who only think of themselves.
Always come from a place of help and consider building lasting relationships more than just a one-time transaction.
Just this time, forget about the links. Focus on the webmasters and their audience!
Remember it’s not about what you’ll get but more on what they’ll gain when you do a guest post.
You’re the one asking for it after all.
And you’ll be surprised how powerful this strategy gets when you already gain their trust.
Because it will be a lot easier this time to gain backlinks, generate traffic, and engage with their target audience in the long run.
So how will you do it the right way?
Are these some of the terms that back you off every time you hear them out?
As you know it’s really time-consuming. Maybe you’ve tried it once but never worked out or it doesn’t just come naturally when you do it yourself.
Now let me show you this surefire approach when it comes to building lasting relationships with authority webmasters.
The ones who will actually give you all out support because you already broke the wall and established rapport with them.
Finding the right influential people around your niche is a must to make sure you’re both targeting the same audience.
And here’s how you can spot authorities in your niche:
Step#1: Signup or login to Buzzsumo (a free account is enough for now).
Step #2: Click the “Influencers” tab, type in the niche you’re interested at into the search bar and click the “Search” button.
Step #3: Start the prospecting process. Make a copy of this tracker to record all the details and feel free to add more details you think are necessary.
You can sort it by page authority, domain authority, # of followers, Retweet Ratio, Reply Ratio, Average Retweets, and Instagram Authority.
Note: You might want to consider the reply ratio as it will be a necessary factor that will determine how engaged they are with their followers.
Step #4: After qualifying whom you will connect with, follow them on social media.
Now prospecting done, what’s next?
2. Value Giving
To make the 3rd step a lot more effective…
Don’t skip this part!
This is where the stalking, visibility, and rapport building stage come in.
Imagine you received an “unsolicited” email from a stranger, will you care enough to read it?
I’m sure you won’t!
And for you not to be a total stranger from their end, here are some of the ways you could give value and stand out from the rest:
Now tell me, do you think after doing all of these will you still be labeled as some random spammer who only thinks of his own gain?
I guess not!
Then here comes the challenging part...
3. Email Outreaching
How do you actually write an outreach email that gets opened by the powerful people in your niche?
As I’ve told you earlier, Value-Giving Stage will make this process easier to do for as long as you built rapport already.
Now I will show you the right email structure that gets high success rates even when you’re a nobody.
Step #1: Initiate the first move
The golden rule when it comes to sending an email outreach: Don’t ever start it with an ask!
Instead, introduce yourself and talk something about the webmasters’ post that you really love. Compliment and appreciate their effort with gratitude.
(This way, he would think of you as a genuine reader)
And always end it with an interesting question because your goal is to make him engaged and reply back with an answer.
Step #2: Build rapport
When the webmasters reply to you that means you accomplished your previous goal.
On this step, your goal is to make them trust you.
Be as genuine as possible when you do this. Connect with them and provide value.
Say you can suggest challenging topics he could write for their audience and discuss why it will be helpful for them.
Remember to always make their workload easier by coming from a place of help as one of his valued audience.
Again ask open-ended questions.
Step #3: Wait for the perfect timing
Don’t ever ask for the guest post when you feel like it’s not yet the right time to do it.
So when do you know if it’s the best time?
It’s when you finally make him open up for a collaboration or it seems like asking them for a guest post does feel very natural for you.
Your goal on this step is to make them open up for a chance to work together.
You’ll get a higher chance of achieving your goal here when you focus on giving value to their audience.
Next is how to react when they politely declined...
When the webmasters don’t respond at all or just decline your offer, the rule of thumb is…
Respect their decision and don’t take it against them personally.
Rather, keep in touch with them and look forward to a great long-term relationship because...
The best relationships are still those built over years, remember?
So these are the 4-step process to an effective networking approach.
While this might seem a tedious and long-term strategy, this is definitely the right way to build a lasting relationship with authority webmasters.
Links, mentions, and other SEO related strategies will come next when you’re successful with this process.
Now if you want to master your networking skill ( which is definitely must-have expertise for marketers) you might want to consider NicheHacks Insider where Stuart teaches how to easily network, outreach and build relationships even if you’re introverted, anti-social or shy.
You’ll learn all of this by simply being a tribe member of his NicheHacks Insider 😉
(Definitely all worth your time to check it out. You’ll be surprised at what more Stuart could share for your marketing success)
Now that we’re done discussing the full extremes of the guest posting strategy...
Coming up next is the case study where I’ll be showing you the middle ground of the process.
Yes, the easier way to ask for a guest post that includes a creative and clever approach to rapport building.
For you to be successful when you do this strategy I’ll share next, here are some of the things you need to remember:
Quality as always is far greater than the quantity.
Tell me, will you ever choose large numbers of emails sent for “higher chance” of getting a guest post?
Or will you prefer taking some time crafting a well-thought-out email for small numbers of webmasters and get more positive replies?
Choosing the latter will give you higher success rates rather than pissing off all the webmasters until you run out of emails to reach out to.
And guess what?
You won’t even receive a single positive response or heck no one will even care to reply to your email.
Rule of thumb: Never ever send thousands of emails without crafting a well-written email with a personal touch and without testing the water first.
Make sure you’re reaching out to webmasters because you want to showcase your expertise in that field.
Meaning, you have to be really good in that industry.
And that’s your competitive advantage over the other marketers out there wanting to guest post only for links.
Think of it this way…
Always ask yourself why should they trust you to guest post on their sites and what’s the deal if they let you in.
But what if you’re just outsourcing it to a writer?
How do you actually convince the webmasters of your expertise when in reality you’re just delegating the writing task to your writer?
Simple! Make sure you have a quality writer who is an expert on that field or might as well a content copywriter who knows how to write value-based content for their readers.
Just stick with quality!
Rule of thumb: Always put yourself into the webmasters’ shoes. This is your one-time shot so give it all in. It’s time to show what you’ve got for them.
You’re not guest posting because you only want the links. You’re doing it to nurture their audience.
You want to show your authority, share your knowledge, and help their audience in any case possible.
Don’t waste the opportunity by sending out a bunch of low-quality blog post (not even writing unique value-based content) and submitting articles you wrote for dozens of sites already.
Imagine if you’re the one to receive that kind of article, will you be happy?
Rule of thumb: Write high-quality articles that audience will actually appreciate reading and sharing.
Now it’s time to discuss the details of the case study.
Actually, this strategy came from Chet James, SEO specialist and an affiliate marketer with niche around outdoor sports.
And this outreach campaign he shared is something new and just recently launched.
What made him shared this to us? I bet you’re curious like me!
When I asked Chet about this he says...
“Sumit has just helped me a lot. He’s given me a lot of advice so anything I could do to pay back I’m willing to do”
See how powerful giving value is? I hope you do!
Doing things out of pure generosity will take you so far. Don’t ever underestimate its power!
First things first...
What he did on this part is a bit simple.
He just asked his VA to search on Google for all the relevant sites under similar industry in general (the outdoor sports) and didn’t limit it to a super niche related websites.
He asked his VA to record as many as possible he could get.
(You can do it yourself if you don’t have your VA to help you and you could try different search attempts to get more site prospects)
Also, the tool he recommends when it comes to email extraction is no other than Hunter.io for easier and faster scraping.
After the research part, his VA collected around 150 website prospects.
Have you ever asked these questions...
I asked Chet about it and here’s how he qualified those 150 website details they collected:
Chet mentioned that out of 150 websites he filtered them out to 31 sites for the 1st batch of this email campaign.
When it comes to the email part, Chet’s strategy is a bit clever.
Why? That’s because he aimed to get the webmasters’ trust by showing his expertise and at the same time touching their soft spot.
How? Read on!
His goal on this stage is to stand out from the pile of outreach email, webmasters are regularly receiving.
And since the industry he’s in is a bit casual, he personalized the process and added some humor into it.
Of course, depending on the industry you’re in, you could take your time crafting a well-thought-out email (hint: put your heart into it).
And don’t forget the 3 Q’s (Quality Outreach, Quality Guest Blogger, and Quality Guest Post).
Since I can’t disclose the actual email template he used as I have to keep the niche private...
What I did is I dissected his email outreach structure and here’s how he wrote it:
Sometimes, webmasters will appreciate it even more when you’re honest about the reason why you reached out to them out of the blue.
So state that directly.
List down at least 3 best reasons what makes you so special and why they can trust you.
You could be as creative as you can to get their attention.
Chet added a little bit of humor on this that makes it an interesting read from the webmasters’ end.
At the same time, he’s showing what he got.
Also, don’t forget to include your researching and writing skill in a way that you’re assuring them you’re not their usual guest post spammer who will send a crappy article.
Regarding the tool he used for sending out the email, he prefers using Gmass a chrome extension used for bulk sending of emails.
As I told you earlier, don’t be that kind of spammer who only thinks of what he’ll get from this guest posting opportunity.
Always come from a place of help mindset.
Take Chet’s value-based offering:
Do you think it’s something webmasters will just ignore right away?
Think about it!
The little secret lies to how you could give value to the webmasters and their audience.
This is where Chet targeted the webmasters’ soft spot.
He not only laid out the reasons to be qualified as a guest blogger but also he humanized the process.
See this for example...
It’s in our nature to respond to this kind of message genuinely.
It sends out a signal that you’re a trustworthy person and you’re not there to build a massive amount of links but to actually build evergreen relationships.
Then the last part...
Here’s how Chet ended the email...
See how he ended it with an impact?
That’s how you should be doing it.
You could also add a P.S. section if you want.
There you go...You can start writing your own email outreach this time with this guide.
Just put in your heart into this and you’ll see how far it can go.
Of course, a well-thought-out email is still your best weapon (the one you sweat over) rather than the premade email template you just copy somewhere on the internet.
At least for now, you have this working guide that will help you 😉
One email follow-up is enough to see if they’re really interested.
According to Chet he only followed up once to those who didn’t respond to his 1st email outreach.
If you come to think of it, why waste your time and energy for someone not interested yet.
What you can do is keep the loop open and keep building relationships with them.
But when it comes to the one who said yes already...
Follow up is necessary.
Everyone’s busy and you can’t blame them if they can’t respond back to you immediately.
Don’t overthink, just make a nice creative follow up like this and you’ll see the magic...
I hope you’re getting the point of taking an extra time personalizing your email because it does matter these days…
So the overall result with this outreach campaign is a total of 9 FREE guest posting opportunities and a lifetime connection with that initial launch.
You see, out of 31 emails sent, he got 9 positive replies, 4 asking for a fee, and 1 said no.
Better than sending thousands of premade emails with barely any response at all.
That’s what I’m talking about testing the water first.
Anyway, I asked Chet about the #1 advice he could give to affiliate marketers wanting to get higher success rate on guest posting…
"There’s only one reason you’re not having success and that’s because you’re not doing it enough.
Everybody has problems and struggles but I can guarantee that you will learn a ton if you have sent a few thousand emails already.
Don’t jump out into conclusion that it’s too difficult nor this isn’t for you when you just only tried a few hundreds of emails sent because in reality you just didn’t fail enough.
I failed so much all the time but I still do it. It’s just about finding the middle ground that works for you."
Bonus Step #1: How to make webmasters say YES even if they’re not accepting guest posts at this moment?
Have you ever tried offering money and articles for high authority webmasters but gotten no replies yet?
Now you’re a little lost on what are some creative and clever ways to get them say yes for a guest post.
Always bear this in mind...
Your money can’t go so far as everyone can just offer money that quick for a sponsored content.
This is especially true if you personally experience reaching out to high authority site that doesn’t accept payment at all.
What you can do here is to stick with how you build genuine relationships in real life like you’re courting them to say yes.
Let’s take what Yashar Ghaffarloo and his team did to get links on sites that nobody else can by doing the extra effort of knowing their soft spots.
Here’s what he answered inside The Proper PBN Group...
Pretty interesting, right?
Now I want to show you how it becomes even more engaging…
That’s how you actually build lasting relationships.
Bonus Step #2: How to make your own site appealing to attract guest posting opportunities from higher authority sites
Remember the real essence of guest posting?
It’s about webmasters and their audience. Period!
You have to always think of what you could provide for them and for their audience.
What I’ve told you so far is the outbound process of marketing where you’re the one reaching out.
Now I want you to know how to prepare your site for the inbound marketing where the webmasters are the one reaching out to you.
Isn’t that great when even if you’re just beginning, you will be noticed by a higher authority webmaster who will ask if you’re interested in a guest post?
That’s exactly what happened recently when Sumit received a message from a current client who just acquired Rank XL.
If you’re curious about Rank XL data, here’s the current screenshot as of this writing:
Who are we to ignore this kind of opportunity, right?
And if you wanted to know why he reached out to us, here’s what he replied to me:
See? I told you!
Webmasters never care about the links you’ll get but more on what you can share for their audience.
But how do you do it?
Make sure your site, even if it’s just starting out, is working towards giving massive value to make the webmasters see you as an expert in this field.
This way, you’ll be their solid resource when it comes to your niche.
After all you’re not a competition at all but someone they can work with and at the same time you can both benefit.
Note: You might want to invest in a content copywriter who can give justice to what your site is all about.
At least content copywriter knows how human psychology works and how they can turn your site as an authority in your chosen niche.
After discussing all the details about guest posting, I want you to see the two greatest myths about it.
#1 - The only people entitled to do guest posts on authority sites are those contributors, no one else!
This is obviously a myth!
And Chet already showed you why by getting his free spot even if he’s not a contributor to those big brands.
The key is to always put your heart into it and just build a genuine relationship that will last a lifetime.
#2 - You can only do guest posts on authority sites when you pay them money
This isn’t true at all.
Hear me out…
The best quality link comes from sites which are providing valuable content to readers as this is what Google wants.
And most often than not you can't buy it with money.
Webmasters who deeply care about their audience would never ever choose low-quality articles in exchange for money.
If the webmaster is accepting money and you are getting the backlink you want then most probably everyone would be doing the same...
Now tell me, is it still the best link for you?
The best link is still the genuine relationship you sweat over!
So that’s it.
You’ve just gained the most practical and ethical way of doing guest posting.
But I’d like to remind you though...
Guest posting is a strategy that you only do in moderation and not a full-time job!
That means, don’t rely on this solely.
There are other ways you could do to supplement your other link building strategy.
You might want to check Gotch SEO’s Legit Link Building Strategy where Alan Silvestri discussed the power of using creative ideas versus tactics.
And definitely, a must-read article if you want to know the difference between strategic link building and tactical link building.
Let’s say, Chet. He exactly does strategic link building for his affiliate site by not just focusing entirely on guest posting link acquisition.
But he’s also trying different variations of expert roundups, niche edits, and outreach to Youtube channel.
So it just goes back to doing different things that work out the safer way.
That’s it. I hope you learned a thing about this post and if you could share what works out for you when it comes to successful guest posting opportunities, we love to know 🙂
Hey there, I’m Leslie, the content marketer at SerpNames. Also, an aspiring affiliate marketer who is on the process of learning it all by writing SEO-related articles. I’m not a Native English Speaker but I write value-based contents that resonate well with my readers. Most of my days are spent writing and being a full-time mom to my 3-month old Shih Tzu fur baby.