Guest Posts: How to build an effective guest posting strategy

By Ian Cleary

Opensite Explorer

Are you investing time in guest posting on other websites?

How valuable is this to you and your business? Do you know how to evaluate which websites to guest post on and how to maximize the potential benefit of guest posting?

Well, we’re here to help. We like helping!!!

This post came out of a question from a member of the RazorSocial community – Kate Lee from Fronetics.

In this article we outline ways of building an effective guest posting strategy.

Assessing a website

If someone approaches you to guest post on their site you’ll need to consider if this is worthwhile.

What is the domain authority of the site and what is the page authority of typical blog posts?

Check out your domain authority!

The domain and page authority is based on a proprietary ranking system implemented by Moz. It will give you a ranking of the domain and page out of 100. The higher the number the better. Opensite Explorer can we used to assess website/page authority.

If you guest post on other sites ideally you want them to have a much higher domain authority so the link you get will be more valuable. You also want to look at what the page authority is for typical posts they have on the site. If they have a strong community each post will probably get some links and this will help increase the page authority.

What traffic do they get to their site?

The most accurate measurement of the traffic on the site is got by asking the owner who looks up their analytics programme! There are some tools that will give you estimates but they are not that accurate. For example, for the bigger sites you can enter the website into Quantcast.

How often is content shared and commented?

You could do an analysis of all content on their website to find out how often each blog post is shared. Doing this analysis will also help you understand what is the most popular type of content on their website. Check out Social Crawlytics which can do this analysis automatically.

For commenting the best way is just to look at their recent posts to see if there is good interaction. You ideally want an engaged community.

Do they optimize their content?

If they don’t optimize their content for SEO you may not end up ranking for the key terms you want to rank on. The easiest way to figure out is to have a look at their blog posts and search in Google for keywords highly relevant to their content. Are they appearing in the search results?

How to find guest posting opportunities?

You need to do some research and find out what are the top blogs in the industry you are involved in. These top blogs will be the ones that keep appearing on search results when you type in keywords relevant to your industry. These are the ones you should focus on.

The best way to approach them is to get to know the people behind the blogs personally. Try to meet them and get to know them. If that’s not possible then interact with them on social media before approaching them. Exchange tweets, comment on their blog posts, share their content.

When you approach them spend a couple of hours working on that e-mail. It needs to demonstrate that you understand their audience and that you have some content that will be very popular.

Writing the Post

When you write a guest post you should also make sure that you write a really high quality guest post. The better the post the more attention, traffic, shares and comments you will get. When you’re starting off I’d even argue that your best posts should be your guest posts! You may not have a huge traffic on your site so it’s harder to get attention. But when you are in the spotlight on a bigger site you really need to make sure you create a great impression.

Here are some other considerations when guest posting:

Links within the post – A link back to your website within the post is typically more valuable than a link in the author bio at the bottom of the post. So if at all possible you should try and get at least one link back to your website within the post. Make sure that it is relevant to the article so that the blog owner will not remove the link.

Keywords you are targeting – Sometimes you might want to guest post on a site because you have no chance of ranking for certain keywords on your site so you guest post on a site that will rank. So you should consider if you want to write content to rank on someone else’s site. This is still valuable to you because you will have a link back to your site.

When submitting the post you should make suggestions related to SEO title, description, title of the post etc. They may not have the level of knowledge in SEO so you might want to help them!

Post you want to promote – Sometimes you may guest post just to promote an article on your site. You write articles around the topic and that’s a good excuse to link back to the article and this helps promote the article.

Author Bio – You will generally be allowed to have an author bio on the post and within this you will typically be allowed to have one or two links. Don’t over do the anchor text (e.g. have very keyword focussed links back to your site). Also try to link back to pages other than the home page. The home page will naturally get more links than other pages and you’re better off having your links spread out on …read more

Source: Razor Social


The New Year’s Writing Resolution You Can Actually Keep

By Sonia Simone

It’s that time of year again. Time for resolutions, and for all of the skeptics and killjoys who say that resolutions never work.

They certainly can work, but you need to approach them the right way.

Most people fail at resolutions (at any time of year) for two reasons. The first is that they focus on outcomes (“lose 50 pounds”) rather than behaviors. The second is that they try to put massive changes into place all at once. (“I will work out three hours a day,” even though today I work out 0 minutes a day.)

And if you want to become a better writer, so you can reap all those awesome benefits of being a strategic, authoritative content creator, you’re not going to get there by resolving to “be a better writer” this year. Or by promising yourself you’re going to write for six hours a day, every day.

Here’s a more realistic habit you can develop instead — one that will actually get you where you want to go.

Every day in January, write for 20 minutes.

By every day, I mean every day. Including weekends. Including the Martin Luther King holiday. Including the days that get crazy.

If you’re not in the hospital with two broken arms, write every day. For 20 minutes.

During your 20 minutes, turn off all distractions. Set your phone to Do Not Disturb, or shut off the ringer. Quit your email service. And for heaven’s sake, get rid of all social media. Use a service like Freedom or OmmWriter if you need to.

Some days you might write someplace weird, like in a notebook while you’re waiting for the bus. That’s fine.

Some days you will definitely write embarrassingly awful crap. That’s also fine.

Set a timer for 20 minutes. I like using a meditation timer on my phone (there’s a good free one here) — it’s much less jarring than the usual nasty buzz.

Don’t edit during your writing time. This is for first drafts only.

Only write. Every day. For 31 days in a row.

It doesn’t have to be relevant to your topic. It doesn’t have to be on your “big project,” whatever that may be. It certainly doesn’t have to be good. Just write something.

You might want to deploy the Seinfeld method and find yourself a big paper calendar. (You can download a calendar page from the web, if you like.)

Every day you write, mark a gigantic X on that day with the colored marker of your preference. Make it satisfying. Use a fat red sharpie or a glitter pen or rainbow colored pencils, whatever turns you on.

Or use whatever’s on your desk right this minute, because procrastinating until you find the perfect pen is against the rules.

What to do if you just aren’t doing it

Assuming you’ve tried the Seinfeld method and that isn’t doing it for you, cut the amount of time down to 15 minutes.

If that doesn’t work, make it 10 minutes. Or two minutes.

If you can’t write for two minutes a day, write one word a day. One word. Sit down and make it happen. Then after a few days of that, try writing one sentence.

Write your one sentence every day for 31 days in a row. If you don’t get started until January 17, that’s fine. Just start.

“But I can’t get my (book, report, manifesto) written in one sentence a day”

If you’re writing zero sentences a day, one sentence is a big improvement.

And daily habits are a funny thing. When you get into the habit of sitting at your writing technology of choice (laptop, iPad, Moleskine and fountain pen, etc.), and clearing away distractions, you’ll start writing.

Once you develop the habit of writing every day, you can bump the time up just a little bit — maybe two sessions of 20 minutes, with a 10-minute break in between. Then two sessions of 25 minutes.

You get the idea. Use your timer. Nudge yourself forward.

If the habit starts to slip, go back to what you can do reliably every single day.

If it is important, do it every day, if it isn’t, don’t do it at all. ~ Olympic wrestling gold medalist Dan Gable, and frequently quoted by master strength coach Dan John

To become a better writer (whether it’s for text, podcast scripts, video scripts, or anything else that needs words to be strung together effectively), you need to write.

And the best way to write more is to build the habit of writing every day.

Give it a try for 31 days, and let us know how it’s going! And if you’ve ever tried a daily writing practice, we’d love to hear about it in the comments.

About the author

Sonia Simone

Sonia Simone is co-founder and Chief Content Officer of Copyblogger Media. Get more from Sonia on Twitter and .

The post The New Year’s Writing Resolution You Can Actually Keep appeared first on Copyblogger.

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Source: Copy Blogger


My Must Have Tools of 2014

By Eric Covino

There are a lot of tools in the SEO space (sorry, couldn’t resist :D) and over the years we’ve seen tools fall into 2 broad categories. Tools that aim to do just about everything and tools that focus on one discipline of online marketing.

As we continue to lose more and more data (not provided) and the data we have access to becomes a bit more unreliable (rankings, competitive research data, data given to us by search engines, etc) one has to wonder at what point does access to a variety of tools start producing diminishing returns?

In other words, if you are starting with unreliable or very, very inexact data does layering more and more extrapolations on top make you worse off than you were before? Probably.

I do think that a fair amount of tool usage scenarios have become less effective (or less necessary) at this point. Consider what were once the cornerstones of industry research and data:

  • Rankings
  • SERP difficulty analysis
  • Link prospecting
  • Competitive link research
  • Analytics

Each one of these areas of data has really taken a beating over the last 2-3 years thanks to collateral damage from broad-reaching, unforgiving Google updates, the loss of actual keyword data, the less obvious relationship between links and rankings, personalized search, various SERP layout changes, and on and on.

I believe the best way forward for evaluating what tools you should be using is to determine what does X best to the point where supplementing it with data from a similar provider is overkill and not worth the extra monthly subscription cost nor the cognitive overhead.

Which Ones to Choose?

Well, this certainly depends on what you do. I’m going to focus on the small to mid-size agency market (which also includes freelancers and folks who just operate their own properties) but for those tetering on mid-large size I’ll make 2 recommendations based on personal experience:

If I were operating a bigger agency I’d strongly consider both of those. They both do a really solid job of providing customized reporting and research modules.

For the rest of us, I’ll share what I’m using as a basis for my recommendations with reasons why I selected them.

These tools are focused on what I do on a daily basis and are the ones I simply cannot live without. They cover:

  • Reporting
  • Competitive Link & Keyword Research
  • Keyword Research
  • PR and Outreach
  • Advanced Web Ranking

    This is the tool I rely on the most. It does just about everything with the only drawbacks being the learning curve and that it is desktop software. The learning curve payoff is very much worth it though. This tool does the following for me:

    • Reporting for pretty much every aspect of a campaign
    • Interfaces with Majestic SEO for link data as well as data from Moz for link research and tracking
    • Connects to social accounts for reporting
    • Site audit crawls
    • Interfaces with Google Analytics
    • Keyword research
    • Competitor analysis
    • Rankings
    • On-page analysis

    They have a cloud version for reporting and I believe that in the near future a good amount of this functionality will go to its cloud service. This tool is highly recommended.

    Advanced Web Ranking – here’s a basic overview of the software from a few years ago, though it has been updated a number of times since then


    I remember when this was for sale on Flippa! I find Ahrefs to be very reliable and easy to use. They have added quite a few features over the past year and, in my opinion, they are right up there with Majestic SEO when it comes to relevant, deep link data.

    Their interface has improved dramatically over time and the constant addition of helpful, new features has left other tools playing catchup. I’m hoping to see more integration with them in 2014 via services like Raven and Advanced Web Ranking. – here’s a review from last year (though they no longer offer the SERP tracking feature they offered back then)

    Authority Labs

    The most accurate and stable online rankings provider I’ve used thus far. The interface has improved recently as has the speed of exports. I would still like to see a bulk PDF export of each individual site in the near future but overall my experience with Authority Labs has been great.

    I use it as a stable, online, automated rank checker to supplement my data from Advanced Web Ranking. It also has some nice features like being able to track rankings from a zip code and showing what else is in the SERP it encounters (videos, snippets, etc).

    Authority Labs – here’s a review from 5 months ago


    Buzzstream is an absolute must have for anyone doing PR-based and social outreach. The email integration is fantastic and the folks that help me with outreach routinely rave about using Buzzstream.

    The UI has really been turned up recently and the customer support has been excellent for us. I’m positive that our outreach would not be nearly has effective without Buzzstream and there really isn’t a competing product out there that I’ve seen.

    This is a good example of a really niche product that excels at its intended purpose.

    Buzzstream – here’s a review from a couple years ago

    Citation Labs Suite

    We use the Contact Finder, Link Prospector, and Broken Link Building tool inside our prospecting process. Much like Buzzstream this is a suite of tools that focuses on a core area and does it very well.

    You have to spend some time with the prospector to get the best queries possible for your searches but the payoff is really relevant, quality link prospects.

    Citation Labs – here’s a review from a couple years ago

    Link Research Tools

    While LRT is primarily known for its Link Detox tool, this set of tools covers quite a bit of the SEO landscape. I do not use all the tools in the suite but the areas that I utilize LRT for are:

    • Link cleanup
    • Link prospecting
    • SERP competition analysis
    • Competitive domain comparisons

    It’s missing a few pieces but it is similar to Advanced Web Ranking in terms of power and data. LRT hooks into many third party tools (Majestic, SemRush, Moz, etc) so you …read more

    Source: SEO Book


    The Big Brand Theory: Capital One’s Big Ka-ching

    By RicDragon In October, 2012, Capital One re-launched and rebranded their cash card. The new name, Quicksilver, required both a push around awareness, as well as a strong association with the value proposition. Capital One had already enjoyed some success tying a hashtag in with advertising, but in this case, the hashtag would play an even more central role.

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    …read more

    Source: Social Media Today