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The Best White Hat Source for Links

Brad Smith
October 17, 2011

Link building is an essential SEO tactic.

It accounts for a huge percentage of your website’s SEO factors.

There are some good ways, and some very bad ways to build links.

This specific tactic is one of the best sources for getting links. Besides providing initial SEO value, it also helps you build traffic, and establish relationships with other influential people.

You can leverage their audience to help build your own.
You need to build high value, white hat links.

And buying links isn’t good enough.

Guest blogging is one of the best sources for several reasons.

You’re able to get the attention of your ideal target market.

You’re also able to establish a relationship with the blog owners and other people who have influence in your niche.

This is an extremely powerful marketing asset and could give you repeated access to their communities.

This is one of the best ways to build your own community in the very beginning. You can leverage other people’s attention while providing value (high quality content) to both the blog owner and their audience.

Here are some tips to find the best guestblogging opportunities.

1. Search for the best blogs in your niche

You need to start off by searching for top blogs with your target audience.

Ideally, you want to reach established communities that are active and lead by people you can partner with one day.

Start off with simple Google queries like “keyword industry guest blogging”, or “best keyphrase blogs”.

So your search may look like “pug breeder guest blogging” or “best pug breeder blogs”

Another good source is by looking for association or industry type awards. So you may find a list or ranking of the top blogs in that industry.

Finally, use the Technorati blog search. They will display the top blogs for your keyphrases, and you can go down the list of investigating each one.

2. Identify a few, major quality sites

Quality is always better than quantity.

And your time is limited, so you need to make sure these guest posts count.

That sounds great… but how can you tell which blogs are the best opportunity?

You can usually tell right of the bat based on their recent post frequency and the quality of those posts.

Their number of comments is also sometimes an indicator. A lack of comments may not be a bad thing, but an active comments section does indicate a passionate community.

You should also check their Twitter account and Klout score. They don’t have to be huge, but they do need to be active.

Finally, you need to know their subscriber count. This is one of the most important things to know before pitching a blog. These are the passionate people who will actually read your post and will be your advocates.

Sometimes, people will display how many they have. When they don’t, you can sometimes use this little handy trick.

Copy and paste the following URL and replace the “feedID” with the sitename.

https://feeds.feedburner.com/~fc/feedID

3. Read and follow their guidelines closely

All good blogs will have guest post guidelines.

These rules enforce the blog’s standards and make sure you’re not taking advantage of their community.

Basically, you don’t want to piss people off. This is so simple, but it will really damage your credibility. If people loss trust in you, then whey won’t want to help you in the future.

So you need to make sure you follow these exact guidelines.

Commonly these may include,

  • Limited number of links
  • No affiliate links
  • Minimum word count
  • Specific post topics
  • Must be original and unique

Some blogs will let you repost your work, but it’s very common that they require unique content only.

This prevents any duplicate content issues, and makes sure that you can’t repost the article on other competing blogs, article directories, etc.

4. Have the post ready before you pitch

Make sure you already have a post written before pitching them.

You want to strike while the iron is hot if you get a YES.

Also make sure that your post is formatted correctly.

That includes putting it in HTML format, full editing, and spell checked.

Again this may sound obvious, but overlooking the basics will seriously detract from your credibility.

Ideally, the blog owner should just be able to publish your post without even looking at it.

5. Follow Up

Now it’s time to finish your effort and establish a relationship.

You should help promote your post, and be active in the comments section.

Some people may be negative… and that’s OK. People are entitled to their own viewpoint.

You will be measured by how well you deal with people and your level of follow up after the post is published.

Remember that your secondary goal is to establish a relationship with other influential people in your niche. So doing a good job on your first post opens the door to repeated efforts.

When you’re just starting out, you need to do a lot of this manual link building yourself. And guest blogging is one of the best ways to do that.

But once you establish yourself, have your own audience, and great connections with other influential partners, then the link building will largely take care of itself.

4 Common SEO Mistakes that Will Hurt Your Rankings this Year

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  • Mistake #1: Relying on a “Head” Keyword Strategy
  • Mistake #2: Over-Optimizing Your Pages and Posts
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  • Mistake #4: Not Using a Combination of Tactics to Boost SEO