Done right, guest blogging can be an important growth tactic for your blog. In today’s article, I run down how you can find guest blogger opportunities and benefit from being a guest blogger.
We’ve previously discussed how beneficial guest blogging can be for your blog and a complete guide of how to do it (here’s that article if you’re interested).
But before you even create your first guest post, you’ll need to look for blogs to write for that will help you achieve your goals and that will appreciate the value you can provide them and their audience.
Looking for blogs to write for is quite a simple process, but if you don’t have a system in place, you might as well be looking for a needle in a haystack.
In today’s article, I’ll give you reasons why guest blogging is worth it, then we focus the spotlight on the first step to guest blogging: finding guest blogger opportunities and host blogs to write for.
We’ve discussed guest blogging before, but here are the main reasons to pursue guest blogging.
Guest blogging can give you high-quality backlinks. Google gives more search mojo to backlinks to your site that come from reputable websites, so these are the backlinks that you want to get more of. Doing guest blog posts for such authoritative websites lets you get such backlinks for your blog.
Guest blogging guides targeted traffic back to your blog. When you write guest posts for blogs that have the same target audience as yours, you’re likely to pique their readers’ interest. Therefore, they’re likely to check out your blog, generating traffic.
And it’s not just any random traffic; it’s traffic from users who are truly interested in what you have to say. More interested readers mean a higher likelihood of getting them to follow you on social media, engage with you, and even subscribe to updates.
Guest blogging allows you to build relationships with other bloggers as well as new audiences. Establishing contact with other bloggers in your niche benefits both you and your host blogger in that you expand each other’s networks.
Building a network of bloggers that you’re on good terms with as early as you possibly can, shall give you an edge when you want to grow your blog to prepare for monetizing it.
Also, be aware that this relationship goes both ways. A one-sided relationship never lasts very long, so make sure you’re willing to give as much (or more) as the value that you get from other bloggers.
You’d think the huge blogs in a niche would have armies of content creators at their disposal, ready to pound out content on demand.
Guest bloggers give host bloggers a break from creating content. For a variety of reasons, host bloggers may need some time off from writing blog posts every once in a while. Sure, they’ll still have to check the quality of guest posts, proofread and edit them, but that’s a much easier task than actually doing the research and writing the article.
Guest bloggers spices up the host blog’s usual content. Different bloggers have different styles and views, even if they write under the same niche. Your host blog’s audience could gain a lot from a fresh take from another writer.
Be careful not to step on any toes, though. Having a differing perspective doesn’t give you the right to be disrespectful of anyone, least of all your host blogger.
Guest bloggers allow them to reach new audiences. As a guest blogger, you do expose your blog to your host blog’s readers, but don’t forget that your readers also become aware of your host blog.
Hopefully, you’re convinced that guest blogging is a worthy addition to your blog’s growth and traffic strategy, and that guest bloggers will remain in demand because host blogs stand to gain from opening up their blogs to guest bloggers.
The first thing on your way to guest blogging is to find blogs to write guest posts for. Here are ways to discover guest blogger opportunities.
Before you find blogs to write for, do some housekeeping to ensure your blog looks presentable.
Whoever you end up writing a guest blog post for will want to see your blog for themselves to read your articles, even if you include a sample of your writing in your outreach letter. Thus, you’ll want to make an excellent first impression.
Here are some things you’ll want to focus on.
Your homepage. As this is likely the first thing your candidate host bloggers will check out, your homepage should load quickly, as well as appear polished and professional.
A good question to ask yourself is if your homepage was all they had the time to read, would it be enough for them to be interested in getting you as a guest blogger?
Your content. The quality of your blog posts should already be outstanding, but a bit of housekeeping is a good idea before you do your outreach efforts. Make sure your blog posts have no typographical or grammatical errors, the formatting and organization are flawless, and the actual content is substantial.
Your About page. You can probably assume that you’re not the only one applying to be a guest blogger on a certain blog. Therefore, you want to be sure to stand out above the rest. Sprucing up your About page and highlighting your most valuable skills and abilities.
Searching with Google seems like a common sense task, but using particular search terms can give you more results and thus more to choose from.
Here are some search terms you can use to come up with specific blogs in your niche that accept guest posts. Replace [keyword] with your niche or the keyword you want to write about.
It’s good practice to publish a list of blogs that have posted your guest articles as social proof and an affirmation that your content is high-quality and in-demand.
As plenty of bloggers do this (and you should, too, though that’s a topic for another article), you can try to search for blogs that your peers have written for.
Using these specific search terms can help you find pages where your peers have listed down these blogs:
If you already have a peer in mind that you’re stalking researching, you can do a Google search for the following search term:
"[blogger name]" link:[domain name of blog] -site:[domain name of blog]
For example, if you wanted to find guest posts written by me, here’s how it will look like:
"JoAnne D" link:stoppingscams.com -site:stoppingscams.com
What this search term does is find posts by a certain blogger that links back to their blog (
link:[domain name of blog]) but excludes articles from their own blog (
-site:[domain name of blog]).
What you’re going to be left with are their guest posts on other websites with a link back to their blog (through an author bio or a link within their article).
An advantage of using this search method is that it’s possible to find websites that accept guest posts but don’t have a dedicated page for it or don’t advertise it.
Both host and guest bloggers should promote the guest post everywhere they possibly can, and this includes social media promotion (again, something you should do too, but is the topic of a whole other article).
You can take advantage of the search functions of these social media platforms to find both guest bloggers and blogs that offer guest blogger opportunities. Use the search terms I enumerated above in the search functions of platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
When you’re following a peer to try to find out the blogs they’ve written for, their social media accounts are a potential goldmine. Here are some search terms you can use to be able to find promotional status updates from them:
The social media handle can be their Twitter username, Pinterest username, the name on their Facebook page, or whatever identifier is used by that particular social media platform that you’re searching.
Web directories are websites that list down the best websites in various categories and niches. Blog directories are a subset of web directories that specifically list down the best blogs.
How they determine which websites and blogs are the best in each category varies and is sometimes vague and questionable, but blog directories are great places to look for guest blogging opportunities.
Here are some blog directories to start exploring.
Other bloggers have painstakingly researched blogs that accept guest posts, and these lists are certainly useful for us.
Bear in mind, though, that these lists may not be updated, so you still need to do your due diligence. Also note that although plenty of niches and industries are included here, your niche might not be included. Lastly, don’t ignore the comments. Lists like these attract bloggers who want to advertise that they’re accepting guest posts as well.
At this point in your blogging journey, you should already have an idea of the big names and influencers in your niche. Seeing that your purpose is to expand your network, those top-tier blogs are where you ideally want to submit your guest posts.
But after all your stalking research, it doesn’t look like they’re accepting guest blogs.
No opportunity? Create it yourself.
Reach out to these influencers (our article on how to do an outreach with influencers in your niche could help you immensely in this regard) and open up a discussion on possibly having you as a guest in their blogs.
This strategy, however, takes a while to complete. Meanwhile, if you can gather enough experience guest blogging for other blogs and expanding your portfolio, those could strengthen your chances of landing that guest blogger gig.
Even if you don’t succeed in getting that guest post, the second-best scenario is that you still would have formed a relationship with influencers. The worst-case scenario is that they ignore your efforts but you still would have had practiced your outreach strategy.
In other words, shoot your shot!
Guest blogging is a good tactic to incorporate in your overall blog growth strategy. However, as with a lot of things in internet marketing and blogging, the hardest step is often the first step; in this case, the first step is looking for blogs to write guest posts for.
Here’s a recap of how to find guest blogger opportunities to help you grow your network and your blog.
A few more tips before you start looking for blogs.
List down all the blogs you find, preferably in a spreadsheet, whether you end up writing for them or not. Also list down other important notes, such as the name and contact details of the blogger or owner of the website, whether they pay for the article and how much, if they allow you to link back to your blog or not, and whether you ended up writing for their blog as well as why or why not.
It will seem tedious at first, but the next time you want to look for blogs to write for, you’ll thank yourself for making this database.
You don’t want your blog to be associated with blogs that have low engagement, low traffic, and low-quality posts, and these are quite obvious red flags that you can easily catch during a cursory examination of the blog after your initial search.
What is less subtle is how your writing style and tone matches up to your host blogger. You don’t need to match that exactly; you’re a guest, you’re not trying to be them.
But a huge difference in writing styles can be jarring to your host blog’s audience. For instance, if their writing style is light and humorous and yours is serious and straightforward, or vice versa, their audience will feel the distinction. It can go two ways: they’ll either love it or hate it. Gauge carefully which extreme it will be.
Have you had difficulty finding blogs that accept guest bloggers? Or you’ve never struggled with it before? Did you find any of my advice helpful? What has helped you before that you’d like to add here? Share it in the comments!
JoAnne is your average, everyday, sane stay-at-home mom who believes in the power of the internet to make dreams come true. She has an insatiable appetite for chocolate, as well as all things internet marketing. She keeps up with the latest trends in blogging, affiliate marketing, e-commerce, and more.