Guest blogging: 7 steps to get more traffic & links in 2024

Guest blogging: 7 steps to get more traffic & links in 2024

SEO experts used to preach the path to successful blogs was about:

  • creating website content and
  • building a ton of backlinks.

But is that still the case? Or is “that old way” only leading to you wasting time, money and resources?

With Google’s recent updates having a huge impact on SEO traffic, guest blogging can still be very useful for blogging – if done right.

In this detailed blog post, I give you my honest thoughts on how guest blogging has changed and what’s working in 2024 (and beyond).

I then go over a detailed strategy to follow if you want to find guest blogging success.

Keep reading to find out more.

Is guest blogging still relevant today?

It depends… It used to be that the more guest posts you published, the better the results.

There is still some validity to that publishing more guest posts.

But at the same time, things have changed.

Winning with guest blogging isn’t about posting on any site that will take your content.

Google has launched several core updates in the last few months to really help its users (i.e., the people searching for content) find valuable answers.

Anyone producing unhelpful content quickly finds their traffic drying out faster than they ever thought possible.

Whether creating content for your site or posting on other websites (in the form of guest posts), the focus must be quality content.

What does that look like in practice?

All guest posts must be written with a human-first approach. If the guest post doesn’t answer the reader’s search intent, it probably won’t be good enough for search engines. This also means that over-optimizing your post for SEO isn’t as effective as it used to be.

Google has gotten really good at differentiating what’s helpful. Surviving the Google algorithm requires a whole different set of rules.

While (short-term) these changes are tough, I think it’s a great long-term move.

It eliminates any content posted online in an attempt to game the system and get quick rankings. It also forces businesses to think long-term and put customers first.

Do not fall victim to these “malicious sites”

When speaking about modern guest posting, you must understand parasite SEO. This refers to content you post as a guest post on high-authority sites. Because of the site’s standing in Google, you end up getting the ‘authority effect’ passed on to your site.

In theory, this is all good.

The problem happens when high-authority sites start selling postings on their site to the highest bidder without doing any quality checking. The quality drops as guest posts start containing more affiliate links and less valuable content.

You can see examples of such practices in various industries. When sites featuring low-quality content rank as high (or even higher) than authority ones, chances are the rankings sites are participating in parasite SEO.

In the above health industry example, Healthline and Amazon are the only two “well-known” websites ranking for “best appetite suppressant”.

The others are parasite SEO results taking advantage of established sites in different industries, flooding the SERP with their content.

If you come across this during your research, I’d advise you to avoid guest posting on such sites.

Another potential giveaway that a site participates in parasite SEO is that guest posts are marked with the sponsored tag. There are different types of attributes webmasters can use on their sites. The sponsored one tends to indicate that some exchange of money was involved.

This isn’t bad in and of itself. It’s more about having all the details in front of you so you can make a well-informed decision.

When to pay for guest blogging (and when to run)

While on the topic of paying for guest posts, consider whether this is something you’re open to.

While everyone would like to think their content is super valuable (and should be published on other sites for free), there’s lots of competition in all industries.

In some instances, it might make sense to pay for such guest posts.

There are instances where a site’s:

  • target audience
  • relevance
  • backlink profile
  • and various other factors

…will lead to a positive return on your guest posting investment.

It might make sense to pay in such cases (and if you have the budget required).

In other instances, ill-intentioned site owners want to make a quick buck. Researching and defining your goals (more on this in the next section) should always come first.

Then, deciding whether it makes sense to pay becomes a logical decision with a clear outcome.

Is a guest post site worth your time? Here’s what to consider.

Let’s now discuss how to know if a website is right for your guest blogging needs.

This section will affect the success (or failure) of your guest posting.

While you can follow a picture-perfect process and land many guest posts, you might still not get the desired results. If the sites you guest post on aren’t the right ones for your specific needs, you’re betting your blogging success on something that might not exist tomorrow.

And that is not a good foundation to build on.

Here are the factors to consider when vetting a guest post site.

Will their audience care about your content?

Whether you’re creating the guest posts yourself (or outsourcing them to a ghostwriter or even using an AI tool), value is a concept that keeps coming up.

Let’s say you find a site (based on the strategy discussed below) that accepts guest posts. Before reaching out to the site owner, consider this question:

Can any future content you create help solve problems this site’s readers have?

In other words, consider you’ve taken the time to create a detailed blog post. In this case:

  • will this final be able to resonate with the site’s readers?
  • will the reader finish reading your guest post and want to know more about you and your business?
  • will they want to click back to your site and discover more of what you offer?

If the answer is no to any of the above, you might reconsider guest posting on that specific site.

Does the site produce quality content?

Next up, review the site’s content. The question should be: does the current content provide value to its readers?

Here are some further questions:

  • Does the content in their posts get to the point quickly or is there a lot of fluff in it?
  • Does it deliver on the promises made?
  • Is the content well-written and free of spelling and grammar mistakes?
  • Does it contain enough relevant images, videos, or other visual elements to make it more appealing?
  • Are the headlines catchy and informative at the same time?
content quality

The concept of valuable content might differ from industry to industry but the foundations are the same.

Also, think about thin content. In traditional SEO, this is defined as content that offers little to no value for the reader.

Confession time: I must admit I had the definition wrong for many years regarding this concept. I used to think that having little content on a page = thin content.

That’s not true.

You can have “little content” and STILL answer a query much better than you would have if you had tons and tons of content. As more time passes, more people seem to value short, succinct, ‘get to the point quickly’ content that doesn’t waste their time.

Keep this in mind as you evaluate a potential guest post site.

link attribution

Here’s a quick lesson on the different types of backlink attribution:

  • Do follow links – These are the most valuable as they pass on ‘link juice’ to the target site.
  • No follow links – These don’t pass any link juice but still allow visitors to click through to your page. This type of link is generally used when linking to other sites or articles with little value in terms of SEO.
  • Sponsored links – A sponsored link has been paid for, usually by someone other than the website owner. They are mainly used for advertising purposes.

Ideally, you’d want do-follow links back to your site when your guest post article goes live. However, there’s still validity in getting no-follow or sponsored links from authoritative sites.

If it’s the right type of site (based on the factors discussed in this section), building links on such sites will still drive traffic back to your site and help your SEO.

Do people engage with the site content?

While engagement won’t pay any bills, it’s an important metric when vetting a potential guest post site.

Especially with more established sites (that have been around for years), you want to see people leaving comments under blog posts. You also want to see that people are sharing the content on social media. It would also help if people are actively discussing their points of view based on the specific site’s content.

Having an “established site” with no engagement should throw up various red flags in your mind.


Here’s an example of such a blog post on Based on the hundreds of comments, one can safely say that people find the content valuable and naturally comment on it.

comments 2

Moreover, when people comment on the post, the author should (ideally) respond and answer any queries:

comments reply

Ideally, you’d want your guest post site to have lots of these types of posts.

How consistent has the site’s posting schedule been?

Having a garden and not watering the plants is a recipe for disaster. Having a website and not posting relevant, topical content is the same.

While only some sites have the capability to post multiple times a week, a consistent posting schedule (of quality content) is important.

A site not posting relevant stuff will quickly fall behind both in terms of people organically visiting and SEO results.

Use the right SEO data to cut through the noise

While the above factors might be somewhat subjective, looking at hard data makes decisions easier. It objectively shows whether a site is worth pursuing regarding guest posts.

I use Ahrefs for this exercise. There are plenty of stats to look for, but the best ones are:

  • The site’s domain rating
  • Keywords the site is ranking for
  • Traffic stats
  • Backlink stats
  • (optional) Similar guest posts’ page ratings

Here’s why the above are essential for your guest post ambitions:

The site’s domain rating

domain rating

A site’s domain rating shows its authority. The higher the score, the better. You don’t want to be publishing content on a site with a low domain rating – chances are this won’t do anything for your SEO efforts.

Keywords the site is ranking for

You want to ensure the website you are considering is actively ranking for relevant keywords in your industry.

Here are a few organic keywords is ranking for.

organic keywords

Maybe even more importantly, you want to steer clear of sites that are ranking for dubious keywords.

Keywords in the adult, drug, and gambling industries are all red flags. These might indicate questionable practices with the site’s link-building practices over the years.

Traffic stats

Ideally, you want traffic on the site to be increasing. This shows a site’s growing popularity and would help you reach more people if you publish your content.

If the traffic is decreasing, it could mean black hat SEO tactics were employed in the past. It could also mean that Google penalties might have hit the site. Not a good site to publish on.

By checking the site’s backlink profile, you can tell if it has spammy or suspicious links pointing to it.

backlinks stats

Links from questionable sources could hurt your SEO efforts and should be avoided.

Moreover, a long-established site should have an ever-increasing number of backlinks. If the number is decreasing, it could indicate that the site is moving backward rather than forward.

Similar guest posts’ page authority

You can also look at other guest posts’ page authority rankings to see how other content performs on that website. This can show you the type of traction your post might receive.

All these metrics combined can help you make better-informed decisions when looking for potential sites to publish your guest post.

Make a final decision

Vetting a site for guest posting is part art, part science. The above factors can all help paint a picture of whether it’s worth your time and effort to pursue a particular site.

However, it will come down to your own judgment. Use the above information to decide and then decide whether to move forward with the site or explore other options.

7 steps to a (proven) guest blogging strategy

Let me add a quick note before I get to the actual strategy you can implement today.

Here’s what you should not do when guest posting (if you want to see long-term success):

Do NOT use a “hope and pray” strategy when securing guest posts. Do not message X number of random sites daily while sending them a generic, boring message and hoping for the best.

This “hope, spray, and pray” strategy does not work.

Also, do not give up when you get negative responses (or no answer at all). If you get negative responses, consider the reason behind such responses.

Did it happen because:

  • the site owner didn’t find your potential content useful?
  • you targeted the wrong site?
  • the site doesn’t accept guest posts?

Getting a negative answer will allow you to use the response as feedback and get better with the next message you send.

It can also happen that you don’t get any answers. Most often, it’s not about you. Business owners are busy people. They might not have noticed your email. It might have gone to spam. It might be the case they were about to reply, but their phone rang (and then they completely forgot to get back to you).

That’s why having a solid followup strategy is important. I’ll discuss this in a later section.

Ultimately, being consistent is key. Keep going and stick to a proven strategy (like the one below) to increase the number of guest posts you write and publish.

Step 1: Define your goals – what do you want from guest blogging?

Knowing what you want to get out of your guest post helps you understand which sites are worth contacting or not.

defining your goals

Here are some examples of potential guest blogging goals.

Many bloggers want to increase the number of backlinks to their sites.

Knowing how many backlinks (and by when you want them published) will help you crunch the numbers and understand the number of websites to contact based on averages.

Also, consider the backlink quality. The higher the domain rating a site has, the more weight a backlink carries. In such cases, you should have goals related to quality rather than quantity.

In other situations (such as when starting out and finding it tough to get backlinks on high authority sites), focusing on quantity might be a more attainable goal.

More keyword rankings and traffic

You can rank for tens or hundreds of keywords in search engines.

However, if no one searches for those keywords, it’s futile. Similarly, if you’re looking to get people with “buying intentions” to your site and only attract those seeking information, you’ll end up with the wrong target audience.

Both of these situations are better than not getting visitors. After all, you can educate your audience and move them closer to a buying decision.

However, a better way of doing things would be to attract people who are as close to your ideal target client as possible.

Consider this example: If you write a guest post on ‘best blogging courses’, the people interested in this post are likely close to making a buying decision.

On the other hand, someone reading a post about ‘making money online’ is much less likely to buy there and then. They’re light years behind the person who has decided that blogging is the way to go – and just wants to find the right product to buy.

All this to say that more traffic is good. But the right kind of traffic is even better.

Here’s more information on ideas related to increasing website traffic:

More leads

Getting people to your site and providing you with their contact information (such as name, email and/or phone number) is always a good idea. Generally, you would give people valuable content in exchange for their contact details.

If you’re writing guest posts with this intention, ensure you have something to email people immediately after they give you their contact information.

It’s bad when people forget who you are (and why you’re contacting them) because you failed to reach out (for example, through email marketing software) as soon as they opted in.

This time delay can cause people to (at best) ignore your emails or (at worst) mark them as spam. Over time, you’ll either have an unresponsive list of people or a bad sender reputation score.

Both of these are highly undesirable situations.

Brand exposure

It’s nice for your brand to be at the top of people’s minds.

However, it’s also somewhat of a vanity metric. If people aren’t aware of the solutions your products can bring them, there’s not much point in ranking for solution-based terms – other than an ego boost.

It’s also tough to measure this goal.

How can you attribute a guest post to increasing brand exposure? It’s almost impossible to do unless you dive deep into attribution (which is a whole other discussion topic).

More social media growth

This is another one of those that are tough to measure.

Social media lets you ask people how they came across your business. However, it’s tough to do this at scale – unless you use automation.

That said, doing guest blogging to increase your social media following might be a secondary goal.

To recap, no matter your goal (or goals), being clear on what they are AND how you will track them is key.

You can’t know where you’re going if you haven’t set a clear goal. You also can’t know if you’re hitting your goals unless you measure the results of your actions.

Step 2: Identify sites to post on

With your goals in mind, here are the different ways you can find guest posts sites to contact.

Google searches for [your industry + “guest blogging”]

You can find blogs already in your niche allowing guest blogging by searching for “your industry + guest blogging.”

Searching for phrases like:

  • guest blog
  • guest blogger
  • guest column
  • guest article
  • guest post
  • guest author

…can all help. Moreover, using quotes ensures that Google looks for instances on websites that use the phrase in that exact order. This generally enables you to get better search results.

Here are a few examples in various industries:

Finding coffee blogging sites:

coffee + guest blogging

Finding traveling blogging sites:

travelling + guest blogging

Other search terms you can use include:

● “become a contributor” or “contribute to our site”

● “write for us”

● “submit blog post”

Here’s an example from the furniture industry:

write for us

If you owned a jewelry company, you could search “jewelry guest blogging.” This would bring up several potential blogs you could contact for guest posting opportunities.

As another example, if you work in the tech space, you could search “tech guest author” and see which websites offer such opportunities.

Why start from scratch when you can see where your competitors build their backlinks?

Using Ahrefs (or any other high-quality SEO tool), you can plug in your competitor’s website and see which sites link back to them.

You can also filter based on specific criteria. This can include the domain rating of such websites as well as the number of backlinks themselves. Once you find these sites, it’s then much easier to contact them than starting from scratch.

If you can add to the value other guest posts provide (and add your own twist), you stand a good chance of having your guest blogging submissions accepted.

Reddit / industry forums

The latest Google hidden gem update is quite different from anything before.

goolge hidden gem

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This update mentions Google will now consider ‘hidden gems’ that might provide users with valuable content to their query. These hidden gems include niche-specific forums as well as with Reddit.

With subreddits (i.e., communities within Reddit) available for pretty much any topic, industry, and niche, it’s easy to find people who provide value in their respective fields.

Once you find such people, do some research to see whether:

  • They have a website you can contribute on
  • They have themselves contributed on other sites as guest experts

In the former case, contact them. Whether you do it through their site or directly on the forum, try and build a relationship with them first. Do not pitch them directly. Give the conversation some time (a few back and forths) to develop.

If they have contributed to other sites (which you can generally find through a simple Google search), that’s generally a sign you can do the same yourself.

Social media searches for creators in your niche

Like forums, social media groups can be a goldmine for finding guest blogging opportunities.

If you’re on Facebook, look for groups related to your niche on this platform. See who the people providing value in these groups are. Also, consider those starting conversations.

As mentioned, do not just message people directly and ‘sell’ them a guest post. Taking the time to build relationships is worth it.

Also, consider that not all niche experts are necessarily making money from their knowledge. In this case, you can use social media to build relationships with future business partners.

If you understand sales and marketing and find someone who’s already creating content (but not monetizing it correctly), it could be the start of a mutually beneficial relationship.

YouTube searches for creators

If you find content creators actively creating content on YouTube, they might also have a website you can contribute to. You can find out more about the creator by clicking the “About” button under any of their videos.

about section

You need to understand the type of content they create and how you can help add value before reaching out to them.

Using others to secure introductions

If you’re bold, you could even go directly to those who have already succeeded with the site you want to guest post on. After all, who better to help you reach your goals than those who’ve done what you want to do?

If you can secure an introduction from a person already trusted by the site owner you want to reach, you stand a great chance of being successful. The key here is to help the successful guest blogger get what they want so they can do the same for you.

Using database directories

Some industries make it easy to find websites you can contact directly.

If that’s the case with your industry, consider that the lists may not have been updated recently. As a result, some sites might no longer be active, while newer ones might not be included.

However, this could still be an excellent way to get the ball rolling. You can see which sites make the cut, explore their content (and any available guest posts), and start building a network of similar sites.

Here’s an example of a personal trainer directory you could use to find guest posting opportunities:

using directories

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Step 3: Research and pitch ideas that get the ‘yes’

This is where the real work (or fun) begins. Researching the target website, content, and audience is key.

When pitching the business owner, focusing on these elements helps you lead with value.

Consider the following:

  • What opportunities are such business owners missing out on with current content?
  • What on-site content isn’t relevant anymore?
  • What personal experiences or knowledge can you bring to the table?

Showing the site owner what they are missing out on (through a lack of content or even the wrong content) makes pitching your guest post an easy sell.

Combining this with your unique experiences (i.e., what makes you you) boosts your chances of success.

As you research the website, consider how best to pitch your guest post.

From the potential SEO title (which should be catchy and entice readers to click) to the reason why someone should read your content, the details matter.

So, how should you write your pitch email? I’ll go into more detail in the sample resources below, but for now, consider this outline:

  • Compliment them (be genuine OR don’t compliment at all): Most people suggest starting with a compliment in your pitch email. This is a great idea – if you can come up with a genuine one. If not, do not attempt a compliment just for having one. Nothing turns people off more than you saying something generic like, “I loved your last blog post and got lots of value out of it. Anyway, I want to write a…”
  • Adding credibility (if available): If you have credibility points, add them. These can help show the person you’re contacting why they should consider your proposal over others they receive. Credibility can come from other published guest posts on high-quality websites, press mentions, awards, and more. As with compliments, make sure your credibility holds weight – or else don’t do it.
  • Pitch with Value: This is where you make your ask. Mention what type of content you would like to create, why they will benefit from it, and why their readership will love this content. The more you can tie your guest post to a result they’ll be able to get (whether it’s people staying longer on the site, people seeing their content as more valuable, people buying their products/services, etc), the better your chances of getting a yes.
  • Call To Action: Always tell them the next step you’d like them to take. Is it a positive reply to your email? Is it to share their content guidelines to help get the ball rolling(more on this later)? Even if it seems obvious, ensure you’re both on the same page and tell them what you’d like them to do.
  • P.S. (with benefits): Summarizing what’s in it for them (if they accept your proposal) is a great way to end the email. Make it brief and to the point.

Step 4. Follow up (this is crucial)

You’ve sent your initial email. Now you’re waiting for a response. Hours pass, then days. There’s no answer. What do you do?

Here are some dos and don’ts to consider:


  • Do follow up in a timely manner. A lot of times, people forget to reply. Other times, they just need time to process your request. You can (i.e., should) give them a gentle reminder after the first few days (check out the follow-up resources below)
  • Do be polite but firm when following up. Make sure that your messages come off as friendly and professional. At the same time, don’t be afraid to use (genuine) urgency and scarcity in your messages (again, check out the resources section for this).


  • Don’t take any answers personally. Always remain empathetic of the other person’s situation. Even if it doesn’t work out (i.e., you get no answer or a negative one) there are always more people to contact. If you get a negative response, always thank them for their time. Never burn bridges because you’ll never know when a relationship will become fruitful.
  • Don’t send too many reminders. This will make you look pushy and desperate which may lead potential site owners to think twice about saying yes. The key here is patience while moving on to the next possible guest post. Don’t waste time hanging onto one potential answer. Build momentum and contact more people.
  • Don’t follow up with no value. Adding value is the key to success. Always follow up with something that will help your chances of getting a response from site owners.

Here’s a bad example of following up:

followup example

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How quickly/often should you follow up? It depends.

Generally, I would follow up quicker at the beginning of the process and then allow an incremental number of days to pass before sending the next follow-up.

You might consider something along these lines when following up:

  • Day 1: Initial Message
  • Day 2: Follow-up 1
  • Day 4: Follow-up 2
  • Day 8: Follow-up 3
  • Day: 21: Follow-up 4/final message

There’s no hard and fast rule regarding the exact day and time to follow up. Test what works out best for you and learn from the feedback you get.

Step 5: Create and edit the content (why I don’t look at my work for a few days)

You’ve gotten the go-ahead. You know what the guest post you will write will be about.

The next step is writing it.

It’s time to create the best (i.e., most valuable) work you can to ensure you deliver on the promises set in your outreach email. Doing so also starts building a long-term relationship with the site owner.

If you don’t do this as part of creating content, I would seriously recommend you create a detailed outline for your guest post. Personally speaking, when I started spending more time creating a detailed outline, my writing became better, and I did it faster.

Win-win on both ends.

As you create your guest post, consider any guidelines the site owner might have given you.

Specifically, think about factors like:

  • Length
  • Originality requirements
  • Rules

Here’s an example from

content guidelines

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Depending on the site, there might be multiple guidelines. Also, keep in mind the site’s audience. Imagine speaking directly to one person as you have a casual conversation over a coffee.

Unless otherwise stated in the guest post guidelines, you want to keep your language conversational and easy to understand.

After you’ve written your piece, ensure you include relevant links back to your site and any additional external/internal site links discussed with the site owner. You might also want to include multimedia (including images and videos) if they help add to the post’s value.

Next (if the publishing timeframe discussed permits this and you’re a one-person show), I would let the post be for a few days. Go about doing something else. (Almost) forget about it. Then, get back to it with fresh eyes.

At this stage, the aim is to remove anything that doesn’t add to the post. Also, simplify the stuff that does. The simpler you can explain the concepts you’re discussing, the better the final product.

I would also use a tool like Grammarly to polish things up. This ensures no grammatical and spelling errors remain. It also ensures the post has a consistent voice and tone.

Step 6: Get your guest post published (it’s show time)

After your guest post is polished, it’s time to submit it. Most site owners tend to ask for a Google Doc link; others prefer various formats. Whatever that is, ensure you follow their guidelines.

After you’ve submitted your guest post (and depending on the site’s popularity), there’s usually a waiting period until the post goes live. Sometimes, the site owner will also get back to you with edits that you need to make.

It’s perfectly normal and nothing to worry about if you’ve communicated transparently with the site owner and followed their guest post guidelines.

Then, when the publishing day comes… congratulations!

Your guest post is now live and you’re on your way to building new backlinks to your site.

Step 7: Track success (& learn from my bad experience)

Now that your guest post is live, it’s time to track the results.

If you were promised a do-follow link, ensure that this is the attribution the site owner gives. To check this, go to the published article, right-click on the page and view the source code. Scroll to your backlink and look at the HTML code.

A do-follow link doesn’t have a rel attribute. In a way, it’s like no news is good news. Conversely, if you look at a no-follow link, this is what it looks like:


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The same concept applies to sponsored links. Here there’s a rel=”sponsored” listed for the link.


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Contact the site owner if you notice something different happening to what was discussed. Mistakes happen, so it’s best to sort them out immediately.

Also, note that the process of guest posting relies on you (the content creator) trusting the site owner to follow through on their promises. If you create guest posts at scale, chances are you will come across those who will go back on promises they made.

Personal story: There was an instance (at a time when I was ghostwriting guest posts) when the site owner simply removed all the backlinks I had included back to my client’s site. Then, he uploaded the content as his own. Out of hundreds of guest post articles, there was only one instance I can remember this happening.

The sad part? I only found out about this after weeks of the post being live. While I wasn’t responsible for tracking the post, it was frustrating to see my work (even if ghostwritten) not get the right credit.

All this to say that there are ill-intentioned people out there. However, it’s just a very small minority of those you’ll end up dealing with.

As you check the attribution, also check the anchor text of your links. If you include specific keywords as your anchor text in your draft, ensure these are displayed correctly.

For example, if you included a naked anchor link (i.e., a link without anchor text, such as, make sure that this is showing as it should. The same applies to using specific keywords as anchor text.

Also, double-check the link(s) are pointing to the correct page on your website. Manually click the links in the guest post article and test them out.

Once you’re satisfied the post is published to your liking, monitor the post over time.

Ahrefs has a report allowing you to see the backlinks gained over time. This won’t update in real-time but it’s good to run this report occasionally.

As you build more guest posts for specific keywords, you can also see where you rank on Google for these terms.

Ahrefs also has a lost backlinks report. This report will become useful as you scale your guest blogging efforts. Staying on top of links that go offline (for whatever reason) allows you to ensure your efforts give you long-term results.

Finally, consider the goals you set during step one of this process. If you wanted to get traffic over a month, did you hit that goal? If you wanted to get better rankings, did that happen? Whatever that goal was, track it and see if you managed to hit it.

If you do, great.

If not, ask yourself what went wrong and what could have been improved. This ensures you get better with every guest post you release.

Here’s a quick recap of all the steps involved.

guest post strategy

A Live Walkthrough To Finding Guest Post Sites

For this section, I followed the first few steps in the above strategy to show you how I would find sites to publish guest posts on.

Starting off

I started the process by researching sites that might interest my target audience.

In this case, I decided to use as the starting point. Looking at the site’s overview in Ahrefs, all the critical data points look good.

ahrefs results

This data includes:

  • High DR
  • Increasing backlinks and referring domains
  • Increasing organic keywords and traffic
  • Majority of traffic comes from the US.
  • Majority of Do-follow links

Exploring organic competitors

Next, I explored their organic competitors. Here, I scrolled through the list to see if anything stood out as a potential guest posting site. As I went through the list, I noticed As a customer platform, Hubspot might be a good site for to guest post on.

I then did a Google search for “ guest posting” and these were the first few results:

guest posting

Great! It’s clear the site accepts guest posts.

Clicking the first link and reviewing the guest post guidelines, I got all the information I needed. They discuss the type of accepted content, the submission process, and the formatting for guest posts.

Another site that stood out was Harvard University‘s website. Being a .edu site, this would require a different post type than Hubspot’s.

Their guidelines also confirmed this. The posts’ focus should be on research, education, and action to create change, targeting an audience that includes educators, students, parents, teachers, school leaders, policymakers, and researchers.

I only mention this to point out that keeping the site’s audience in mind is key.

Coming up with potential content

Let’s go deeper down the content rabbit hole for the imaginary blog post. Let’s now say I want to contact Hubspot for a guest post.

Following step 3 above, I’ll want to research the site to see what content I can pitch.

Firstly, I visited the HubSpot blog to understand the type of content they publish. I identified topics like AI, sales, marketing, and customer journeys there. I’m simply creating a list of potential content ideas at this stage.

hubspot blog

The main topics seemed to revolve around:

  • AI content
  • Marketing
  • Sales

While I might have already had ideas on potential blog post topics I could pitch, I wanted to utilize Ahrefs for further research.

Identifying content gaps

To do this, I used the Content Explorer tool. I searched for HubSpot’s organic competitors to see what they were writing about and identify content gaps.

I couldn’t think of Hubspot’s direct competitors from the get-go, so I referred to the organic competitors report on Ahrefs.

identifying content gaps

I went with and as two of the suggested competitors. I then ran an Ahrefs competitive analysis report to see missing content gaps on Hubspot. This report shows keywords the two competing sites are ranking for that the target site isn’t.

competitive analysis

However, the results weren’t that good. I ended up getting a lot of finance-based keywords. These keywords didn’t necessarily apply to what Hubspot writes about.

unrelated keywords

Therefore, I decided to change the competing sites. Since I was somewhat inclined to create AI-based content, I decided to run the report comparing Hubspot against two AI-based companies: and

competitive analysis

After running this report, the term “copywriting software” stood out.

keywords that stood out

Analyzing SEO value

Clicking on it gave me some interesting data. This included a relatively low keyword difficulty and a relatively good global volume potential:

keyword analysis

Upon exploring the Hubspot blog for this term, I noticed they mention “copywriting software” in some of their posts – but it isn’t the main focus. They seem to be writing more about “content writing tools” instead.

exploring hubspot's site for specific keywords

Pitching the site

Now, I can message them using the “copywriting tools” angle and pitch them a guest post. By doing so, I can show them how my content would add to what they’re already doing.

Potential angles to use in my outreach (and follow-up emails) might include:

  • Using copywriting tools to create content that speaks to your target market
  • Creating copy that helps you stand out from the competition
  • Showing how AI and copywriting can work together to streamline content creation
  • Leveraging the latest copywriting trends (using tools) to capture readers’ attention

Resources: the 3 key templates you can model

Let’s now look at templates and examples you can use to start guest blogging.

I’ll focus on three main items you’ll need:

  • Outreach emails
  • Followup emails
  • Article structures for different content

For each of these, I’ll give you templates you can follow. Then, I’ll provide examples from various niches you can model.

1. Outreach Emails

A good outreach email should be short and to the point, help show your value, and make it easy for the recipient to know how to proceed.

Template 1: The Value-Driven Approach

  • Subject: Collaborative Opportunity: Sharing Expert Insights on [Your Blog’s Topic]
  • Introduction: Briefly introduce yourself and mention a specific article or aspect of their website you genuinely appreciate.
  • Value Proposition: Explain the unique insights or value you can provide to their audience.
  • Call to Action: Explain what to do next

Template 2: The Relationship-Building Approach

  • Subject: Connecting Over Shared Passions in [Industry/Niche]
  • Introduction: Establish a personal connection based on a shared interest or mutual contact.
  • Personal Touch: Add a comment that shows you’ve engaged with their content.
  • Offer of Collaboration: Suggest a guest post exchange or collaboration that benefits both parties.
  • Call to Action: Explain what to do next

Template 3: The Expertise Highlight

  • Subject: Leveraging Expertise for [Website’s Name]: Guest Post Proposal
  • Introduction: Brief introduction and credentials that establish your expertise.
  • Specific Proposal: Offer a well-defined article idea that aligns with their content strategy.
  • Closing: Express willingness to adhere to their guidelines and openness for feedback.
  • Call to Action: Explain what to do next

Example 1: Technology Blog Outreach Email

Subject: Innovative Insights on AI Trends for TechTrendy Readers

Hey Sarah,

I’m John Doe, a tech enthusiast focusing on artificial intelligence. I’ve been an avid follower of TechTrendy. Your recent article on machine learning advancements not only provided deep insights but also inspired me to apply some of the discussed techniques in my own work.

Specifically, I took what you mentioned about the recent advancements in natural language processing and put them to use in a basic text summarization project.

I’d love to contribute a guest post titled “Emerging AI Technologies in 2024: A Comprehensive Guide.” This piece will delve into the latest trends in AI and their real-world applications, offering something valuable for your audience.

I’m looking forward to collaborating with you and your team at TechTrendy. Kindly let me know what you think.


PS: Accepting my guest post will provide TechTrendy readers with cutting-edge AI insights and enhance the blog’s reputation as a leading source in tech trends.

Example 2: Health & Wellness Blog Outreach Email

Subject: Enhancing Your Content with Expert Nutrition Tips

Hi Emily,

I’m Alex Smith, a certified nutritionist and a regular reader of HealthHive. Your article on holistic health strategies was informative and helped me refine my approach to wellness, integrating some of your suggested methods. Specifically, I used the meditation strategies to reduce my stress levels as lately I’ve been having difficulty getting to bed on time and even sleeping well.

I would like to propose a guest post titled “5 Nutritional Myths Debunked: What 2024 Needs to Know.” It’s designed to educate your readers on common misconceptions in nutrition and provide scientifically-backed advice. I’d be thrilled to share my expertise with the HealthHive community.

What do you think?


PS: My guest post will offer your readers expert nutrition advice and debunk common myths, enhancing the credibility and educational value of HealthHive.

Example 3: Fashion & Lifestyle Blog Outreach Email

Subject: Exclusive Fashion Forecast: A Guest Post Proposal

Hello Jordan,

I’m Taylor Reed, a fashion designer and blogger, and a great admirer of StyleSphere. I particularly enjoyed your article on seasonal fashion trends; it inspired me to experiment with bold color combinations in my recent designs. You can see the results of this experiment on my blog’s latest article [LINK].

I’d like to offer a guest post titled “2024 Fashion Trends: What’s In and What’s Out,” which will provide insights into upcoming fashion trends and styling tips for the upcoming year. I believe this piece would be a perfect fit for StyleSphere’s fashion-forward audience.

Can you let me know your thoughts on this?


PS: Featuring my guest post will give StyleSphere an edge in fashion trends for 2024, attracting a style-savvy audience eager for the latest fashion insights.

2. Follow-up Emails

You won’t always get a reply after your initial email. The right followup email will make it easier to close the deal and get a response from your future guest post partner. Here are a few templates to consider.

Template 1: The Gentle Reminder

Subject: Following Up: Guest Post Proposal for [Website’s Name]

  • Polite Reminder: Mention your previous email and express understanding of their busy schedule.
  • Inquiry: Politely ask if they had a chance to consider your proposal.
  • Reiteration of Value: Quickly restate the value your guest post could bring.

Template 2: Added Value Follow-up

  • Subject: Additional Ideas for Guest Post on [Website’s Name]
  • Reference Previous Email: Briefly mention your previous communication.
  • Additional Ideas: Provide one or two more guest post ideas to show versatility.
  • Soft Close: End with a non-pushy, friendly sign-off.

Template 3: The Last Attempt

  • Subject: Last Follow-up: Guest Post Opportunity for [Website’s Name]
  • Respectful Acknowledgment: Acknowledge that they are likely busy and may not have had time to respond.
  • Final Offer: Reiterate your offer and mention that this is your final follow-up for now.

Example 1: Digital Marketing Blog Follow-up Email

Subject: Revisiting My Guest Post Proposal for MarketMovers

Hi Chris,

Just following up on my previous message regarding a guest post titled “Innovative Digital Marketing Strategies for 2024.”

I am confident this article could significantly benefit MarketMovers by offering fresh, actionable marketing tips. Could I kindly ask if you’ve had a chance to consider it?

What’s in it for you?

This article will bring fresh perspectives to your readers and position MarketMovers as a go-to resource for innovative digital marketing strategies.

Any thoughts?

Example 2: Travel Blog Follow-up Email

Subject: Further Ideas for My Guest Post on GlobeTrotters

Hey Lisa,

Following up on my previous email regarding a guest post. Besides the initial idea, I also have a concept for “Top 10 Hidden Gems in Europe for 2024.”

These additional insights could offer your GlobeTrotters readers unique travel inspiration. I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this.

PS: Incorporating my post could provide GlobeTrotters with exclusive and engaging content, attracting readers interested in unique travel destinations.

Example 3: Educational Blog Follow-up Email

Subject: Last Touch Base: Educational Content Collaboration

Hi Mark,

I see you haven’t gotten back to me about a potential guest post on your site – and that’s totally fine! However, I wanted to follow up on this. I’d like to write a detailed post on your site about “Revolutionizing Education in 2024: New Learning Paradigms.”

What do you think? If you’re interested, I’d be excited to collaborate.

My post will offer innovative educational insights, potentially enhancing EduInsights’ reputation as a forward-thinking educational resource.

Looking forward to your response.

3. Article Structures

Here are three common types of article structures:

  • List articles
  • Best x articles
  • Comparative articles

While there are plenty of other article structures, these three are very common and will help you get started with guest blogging.

Template 1: Lists (e.g., “Top 10 Tools for…”)

  • Introduction: Briefly introduce the topic and the criteria for selection.
  • List Items: Numbered or bulleted list with a succinct description for each item.
  • Conclusion: Summarize the list and encourage readers to try or explore these tools.

Template 2: Best X (e.g., “Best 3 Tools for…”)

  • Introduction: Introduce the topic and provide a reason why someone would want to use these tools.
  • Sections: Describe how each tool addresses a certain need, outlining features, benefits, costs etc.
  • Conclusion: Summarize the advantages of using these tools and suggest which one would work best according to specific needs.

Template 3: Comparative Analysis (e.g., “X vs. Y: Which is Better for…”)

  • Introduction: Introduce the two subjects being compared and the basis for comparison.
  • Comparative Points: Discuss each point, contrasting each subject.
  • Conclusion: Offer a balanced view or a recommendation based on the analysis.

Example 1: Lists for a Business Blog

Title: Top 5 Business Strategies for Small Enterprises in 2024


  • Discuss the importance of strategic planning for small businesses.
  • Set the context for the dynamic business landscape of 2024.


  • Detail each of the five business strategies.
  • Include practical examples and applications for each strategy.


  • Encourage small business owners to adopt these strategies.
  • Highlight the potential for growth and resilience.

Example 2: Best 3 Tools For a Creative Project

Title: The Best 3 Tools To Help You Complete Your Creative Project


  • Explain the difficulty of completing creative projects.
  • Outline the benefits of using tools to help complete your project faster and with greater success.


  • Detail each of the three chosen tools, highlighting their unique features.
  • Give practical examples for how they can be used in everyday scenarios.


  • Summarize why these are some of the best tools available for creative projects.
  • Encourage readers to try them out and explore their potential.

Example 3: Comparative Analysis for a Tech Blog

Title: Android vs. iOS in 2024: Which Offers Better User Experience?


  • Introduce the debate between Android and iOS platforms.
  • Set the stage for a detailed comparison of both.


  • Compare features, user interface, app availability, and security of each platform.
  • Provide insights into each platform’s strengths and weaknesses.


  • Offer a balanced viewpoint on which platform might suit different user needs.
  • Assist readers in making an informed decision for 2024.

Final advice I wish someone had given me

Here are a few final points to consider regarding guest blogging.

Dealing with rejection

Having a solid mental frame is essential in guest blogging. You won’t always get an answer when contacting site owners who don’t know you. Then, when you do, it will not always be positive.

Dealing with such rejection positively (and learning from it) is important. Ask for feedback, especially when you don’t get approved. You’re moving in the right direction as long as you optimize your guest blogging process after every iteration.

Remember, it’s a numbers game as well. Getting a no means you’re one step closer to getting a yes.

Followup is key

Don’t bring rejection upon yourself by not following up enough.

While there is a case for too many follow ups, most people are nowhere close to this. In fact, I think most should do more follow-ups, hitting different angles business owners might find interesting.

Always remember to lead with value in your communication – when doing initial email outreach and when following up.

Quality > quantity

Setting aside time to reach out for new guest blogging opportunities isn’t easy. Being selective about whom to contact during this time is crucial. Focus on high-quality blogs that can give you the best return on your time.

Refer to the ‘vetting a potential guest blog site’ section above for more information on this.

Consider the barter system

In the old days, people would trade one cow for five chickens. Or maybe it was two goats?

Whatever it was, could you do something similar with guest posts? What happens if a site owner requests money for a guest post and you offer something valuable that’s non-monetary?

No one knows the answer to that but it wouldn’t hurt to ask.

Consider the following questions:

  • Do you have a big following on social media?
  • An email list of engaged subscribers?
  • A YouTube channel where you feature your current work?

You can use these assets in return for a site owner allowing you to write a guest post. Also, even if you don’t have thousands of people on the above channels, you might have more than the site owner, which in itself might be valuable.

Networking is key in this process as building relationships with others will help you immensely.

And I’m not just talking about your blog but rather your business as a whole. Having a long-term view can mean that an initial guest blog turns into a partnership that’s beneficial for all parties.

Focusing on long-term relationship

Here’s a bit of an expansion on the last point.

As you build relationships with other bloggers, you’ll eventually be able to sell links in the articles you’ll start publishing on third-party sites.

How would this work?

You could become the middle person between blogs that accept guest posts and those wanting to build backlinks to their sites – without wanting to develop the relationships first.

Here, you can be the one who helps bridge the gap between these two worlds.

When creating and developing relationships with other bloggers, look for people that:

  • have similar content/industries
  • are actively looking to grow their audience
  • have an established following.

A long-term view forces you to do things differently than if you’re in it for just the short-term.

You start focusing on building trust, establishing brand recognition, and developing a better reputation.


Taking guest blogging seriously and putting it in the work to build relationships with other bloggers will help you develop a strong business.

Whether you want more leads, sales, or broader recognition for your brand, guest blogging can bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be.

By following the above guest blogging strategy and being consistent with it, you will become an established and authoritative figure in your industry. You’ll also be able to tap into other people’s audience and extend your current reach.

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