Guest blogging is one of the best methods to obtain relevant, high value links, and can be an invaluable resource from an SEO perspective. Here is my brief guide to finding guest blog opportunities, based on my own link building experiences.
First things first, relevancy is key. When our dear old friend Mr Googlebot trawls through your backlinks, he takes note of the title and <h1> tags of the site linking to yours, as well as a huge variety of other factors. So, if you sell home insurance and have a backlink from a site with the words ‘home insurance’, in both the title and <h1> tags, Mr Googlebot is pleased. He thinks to himself, “Gosh darn, that’s a relevant link”, and applies rankings accordingly.
But if the link comes from an irrelevant source, i.e. biebers-shame.info, he feels sad and confused, because it’s likely that this link could have been garnered in way that falls outside of Google’s stringent guidelines.
So make Google’s and your life easier by obtaining links from relevant sites and he will reward you with the rankings and love that you deserve. At least that’s the theory.
Finding Relevant Blogs
The best way to find relevant blogs to target is through advanced search queries. For instance, when searching for guest blogging opportunities, I personally work from a document I’ve created called ‘The Ultimate Search Query’. It is an amalgamation of advanced search queries I’ve used in the past and is extremely effective.
So now, out of the last fragments of goodness remaining in my cold, black heart, I will share my uber-query with my fellow peers. It is split into three parts, so it complies with Google’s 32 word search query limit. Instructions and explanations to follow;
Ultimate Search Query
~<Keyword> + intitle:”Submit blog post” OR intitle:”write for us” OR intitle:”Submit an article” OR intitle:“Suggest a guest post” OR intitle:“Send a guest post” OR intitle:“Write for us”
~<Keyword> + intitle:“Become an author” OR intitle:“Guest bloggers wanted” OR intitle:“Contribute to our site” OR intitle:“Become a contributor”
~<Keyword> + intitle:“Become guest writer” OR intitle:“Write for our guest column” OR intitle:“Guest * post”
Basically, replace the <Keyword> with the name of the niche you wish to target. For instance, “~<Insurance>”. Then cut and paste the altered in text into Google’s search bar and voila! Repeat this process with all three queries for instant guest blog opportunities.
Google Search Operator
These operators are what you can use to broaden, narrow and fine tune your searches to get results. While I have used them for finding guest blogging opportunities, there are many other applications for these operators, and a detailed description of all there functions are available here. Below is a brief run down of the operators used in my query.
- The Tilde – the squiggly horizontal line (~), correctly known as a tilde, allows Google to substitute your chosen keyword with related words. For instance, a search for “~sport”, will throw up results for tennis, football, rugby etc.
- Intitle – The intitle: section means Google will only look for your chosen key word in the <title> of a page.
- Speechmarks – the speechmarks (“”) tell Google to only search for the specific phrase with the speechmarks (exact match).
- OR – The capitalised OR tells Google to look for the phrases on either side of the OR query i.e. a search for “Snoop Dogg OR Barry Chuckle” will throw up results for either Snoop Dogg or Barry Chuckle. This search is actually trending right now.
- The Asterisk – finally, in the third section of the query, you’ll notice an asterisk (*). The asterisk (*) is called a wildcard when used inside a search. Essentially, it allows Google to replace the asterisk with absolutely any word. This can probably be used in more creative ways than I have suggested, but I’ll leave it to someone cleverer than myself to come up with some.
Separately, these operators are powerful. Together, they form an incredibly powerful alliance that will seek out guest blogging opportunities were there were none before. I hope this query helps you find the guest blogging opportunities you need.
Of course, finding blogs is the easy bit, it’s obtaining the links that’s the challenge. More about that coming soon.