Stop Believing Guest Post Links Are as Easy as Handing Over Your Credit Card Number
I cringe when I see people offering guest post links for a few dollars. 99% of any guest post link you find being sold online is a post on a blog that receives ZERO visitors per month and has about 200 outbound links (OBLs) per page. Those links are useless and put your website in danger.
Getting valuable guest post links takes a lot of work. This is why almost nobody offers them. The time, effort, and connections required to get them is extensive. They aren’t cheap, but they are very powerful. While anyone could try this, most website owners don’t have the time or patience to go after the big links.
Why isn’t guest blogging outreach a walk in the park? This is why…
You Need to Research & Identify Possible Opportunities
When people think of guest post links they will automatically think of the huge mega websites link Huffington Post and Tech Crunch. These aren’t always the best option, for several reasons:
Your website has no business being featured on those sites: Those huge websites have very strict editorial policies (most of the time) so it’s not always possible to get every website linked on them. The time and effort it would require to try to get one of those links could be spent reaching out to more niche specific websites. Would you rather try to get a Huffington Post link or secure a half dozen niche related high quality links? I’ve seen plenty of shady links posted on the big sites, only to have them deleted when an editor or author gets caught selling links. You have to be realistic as to whether or not your website stands a chance at getting top tier links.
It won’t give you extra benefits: A lot of people believe the hype and think that a single Huffington Post link will shoot their website to the top. One link isn’t going to do a whole heck of a lot. The referral and branding power of these links needs to be considered also. If your website doesn’t belong on a mega site then don’t expect much referral traffic, if any. Always target guest posts that will give you these additional benefits beyond just the SEO link juice.
Not cost effective: Getting links on the huge websites cost money. It doesn’t matter if you are buying them or working to get your foot in the door. It takes money. There are so many situations where a client will come to me and have their mind made that they want a Huffington Post link. Let’s just say that cost was $1,200. For the same money, I could get them a half dozen links that are on niche related sites that will benefit them so much more. Part of a good guest post strategy includes getting the most out of your money.
You Have to Build Relationships BEFORE You Even Mention a Guest Post
This is the step that most people mess up. You can’t tweet and email someone for a week and then drop the bomb and ask for a guest post. These people get pitched every single day over and over. They are so good at what they do they can spot a link pitch a mile away. The trick is to actually build a real relationship first. This takes time. Think of it like a marriage. You aren’t going to meet someone and 10 minutes later ask them to marry you. Relationships have ups and downs and take time.
This is one of the reasons that real guest posts cost money. Time equals money, and these relationships take time to build the right way. So, if you are going to go after guest posts make sure you put in the time and effort and have realistic timeframe expectations.
Websites Only Want Extraordinary Content
This is what most writers and editors receive for a pitch: “I would like to contribute an article for your website. It will be 750 words of high quality unique content. All I would ask for in return is a do-follow link back to my website.”
That type of pitch will get deleted every single time. I’ve seen some of the emails these people receive and it’s no wonder they can’t get any good links. You should never even mention a link. If your guest post of piece of content is good you’re going to get a link. But you have to also look at each website and see if a standard article will even get your foot in the door. Regular articles are a dime a dozen, so try infographics or even custom animated videos if you want to stand out and get the attention of some websites. Great content costs money to produce, yet another reason why real guest post links aren’t cheap.
You Are Going to Need to Have Something of Value to Offer
Sure, there are some bloggers and editors that can be bought, but it’s not as common as you might think. The big websites are getting very strict about outbound links and they are firing people that are caught selling links. Each big website has internal teams that try to bait their writers and editors. I know of a few big names that have mysteriously disappeared over night, along with all of their previous posts, because they were trapped and caught red handed.
This is why the points mentioned previously are so important. You have to take the time to identify the right contacts to target and then you need to invest time in building a relationship. That doesn’t happen overnight. Throughout the tweets, emails, and conversations you always need to be looking for the answer to this: What do I have to offer of value? Why would this person want to help me get a particular company featured on their website?
A lot of times the answer is easier than you think. I’ve built relationships with editors that I later found out were wine collectors. It’s amazing what kind of access a single $200 bottle of wine got we with one website. Another writer was a huge fan of a specific sports team so I bought tickets online to a game for him. You need to know that this might not work right away. These people didn’t just instantly offer me links, but it did make our relationship stronger, and it eventually got me in the door. Sometimes the value you offer doesn’t have to be a gift; it could be an introduction or even just advice. Spend some time to really figure out the most value you can offer someone and build on that before you ever expect to get anything in return.
Every Relationship Requires Continued Nurturing
Once you go finally get a guest post link live it isn’t over. You need to constantly nurture every single relationship you have made. This includes constant communication on Twitter, by email and even on the phone. If the editor or writer notices that you disappear then they know everything was just to get the link and you can kiss that source goodbye forever. As the relationship grows the access to sites becomes easier.
I’ll give you an example. I have a solid relationship with a writer at one of the largest and most popular tech websites. I’ve been in touch with them for nearly two years and at first it was a struggle to even get him to take a look at content. It took 8 months before I ever scored my first link from him. Now, I can take a client, create an infographic with a hot topic that is related to both that website and the client, and get it posted almost every time because we have such a solid relationship built.
One Guest Post Link Won’t Cut It
Guest posting is not something you do once. It’s something that should always be done and that’s why custom SEO plans can get pricey. This type of work isn’t cheap. With that being said, if you just have a $1,000 budget, guest posting isn’t a good option. A link or two is great to add to your link profile, but just a handful of links aren’t going to do anything outstanding.
Some of our bigger clients are securing a dozen high quality guest post links per month. There are some that are getting much more than that. When you are pulling in that many quality links every week it makes a noticeable difference. So, it’s important to have a guest post strategy that matches your budget.
As you can see, outreach takes time and it requires experience. If you would like to learn more about our outreach programs, click here and see what we offer. We can get your website links from any website under the sun, because of our relationships and strategic partnerships, along with our experienced team of guest blogging specialists.