Guest blogging for links has gotten a bad reputation for low quality content and irrelevant links. This happens because most people approach this tactic without fully thinking about the best way to execute.
The highest quality links are found inside high quality content and the link itself provides value to the user and inspires them to click. Because of this, links included in guest posts should provide value to the user and inspire them to click.
You can effectively build links with guest blogging by utilizing the following steps that will ensure high quality content with high-quality links going back to your website.
1. Find the right sites to guest blog at.
It’s really important that the website that you get a guest blog opportunity at is one that you can trust and that you have a good relationship with the owners or editors at the site. Creating a good relationship based on trust will allow for you to publish content there more than once and have the ability to link to whatever you like within your content. Publishing on websites that you don’t know very well or approach without understanding them at all can come across as extremely untrustworthy and will not reflect well for your brand. The best way to find high-quality sites that you can provide guest blogging for is to make a list of people you know personally with their own websites that are related to the type of business that you are building links to. So for example if you own a bakery you might know of other website owners that talk about food, or recipes on their personal websites. These are the perfect types of websites to approach.
2. Plan and write your content.
After you’ve developed your list of possible guest blogging partners, you should plan out what types of content you’ll write for them before you approach them about guest blogging. Having a good understanding of the types of content that you want to publish at their site will help them understand what to expect and also will help you plan the types of links that you will build.
During this planning process you need to plan 2 specific types of content. The first type of content that you need to plan is the target content on your site. The target content will be the content that is strategically linked to from within the guest post in your guest post. Your target content should be something that can be linked to from many different guest posts and provides immediate value to the type of content that it’s linking to. For example if you own a bakery then you might write a piece of content on your own blog titled “How to Knead Bread Dough”. This content can be as generic or specific as you like however it would be easier to link to if it is generic. You’ll see why in a moment.
The next type of content you need to create will be the content that you use on your guest blogging partner’s website. Continuing with this example, you might submit recipes for different types of bread to recipe websites. So for example if you have a specific recipe for pumpernickel then within that recipe you can easily link back to your target content “How to Knead Bread Dough”, because kneading the dough will be a required step in your recipe. As you can see this process can be replicated for many different types of bread or many different bread recipes. Because each one will require the process of kneading bread and thus each one gives you a new opportunity to link back to your target content. In this example we have planned to link back to a piece of content that provides useful information for all of the readers of our guest blog content.
3. Publish the content.
The next step in our process is to publish the content you created in the previous step. Theoretically you could publish both pieces of content at the same time however it might be best to publish your target content first, let it get indexed, and then publish your guest post later. When publishing the guest post make sure the link points directly to a target content URL. If your editor or guest posting partner has any questions about the target link, you can easily explain that it helps the reader understand what the content is about. As you can see it is critical that the relationship between the guest post content and your target content be related and have an appropriate reason for the link to exist.
After you’ve gone through your list of guest blogging partners, you will have created lots of new high-quality links! Using this process you can start the entire process over to build more links. You can approach websites that you have successfully contributed guest post to in the past or find new websites to get fresh links from. You can even continue to use the same target content developed in step 2 or develop a new piece of target content that is related to the types of guest posts you’ll be submitting in your second iteration. Either way you can utilize the same steps above to continually repeat this process over and over again with different types of content each time to build relevant high quality links to provide value to the reader and yourself.
Photo by Andrew Neel