I’ll be honest: I’ve been blogging for almost seven years, and I have never, not once, accepted an unsolicited guest post on my blog. Most of the guest post pitches I receive are complete garbage, but even if I get a really good, relevant pitch, I’m not going to accept a guest post.
The reason is simple: I want to control every word posted on my blog. I’ve asked blogger friends to guest post, but that’s because I know them and trust them. I don’t want strangers posting on my blog.
And I’m willing to bet that lots of other bloggers and site owners feel the same way. But if your guest post outreach isn’t getting you the results that you want, just turn your strategy upside-down and try reverse guest posting.
Instead of asking these bloggers if they’d accept a guest post on their site, ask them if they’ll write a guest post for you.
The biggest benefit of reverse guest posting
Brand and blogger will have built a strong relationship, with a possibility for future partnerships and strategies.
Another added perk: the guest posters will do a lot of the work for you! They’ll write the content, and they’ll promote it to their readers and social media followers. In return, they’ll gain visibility and authority. It's a great strategy for a brand that doesn't have the resources or bandwidth to create content on a regular basis.
Prospecting for Guest Posters
Prospecting for guest posters isn’t so different from prospecting for blogs that accept guest posts. In fact, the first thing I’d recommend is to search for blogs that have accepted them in the past. The query intitle:“guest post from” TOPIC is an easy way to find bloggers who have written guest posts on other blogs, and would most likely be willing to do so again.
Check out what came up when I did this query for the term “gluten free:”
From these results, you can click through to the blogs and then to the guest posters’ blogs. Easy as (gluten free) pie! And don't forget to play around with the search queries. You'll find a ton of prospects.
Some other queries that can help:
- intitle:“guest post by” TOPIC
- intitle:“guest blog from” TOPIC
- intitle:“guest blog by” TOPIC
A quick Twitter search will also bring up some good results, too:
And don’t forget about Followerwonk to find blog owners and topic experts.
After you've created and vetted your list of prospects, it’s time for outreach.
Keep it simple, but structured
Here at SEER, we like to keep our outreach short and sweet. But when first reaching out to a potential guest blogger, it’s best to present at least a general idea about what you’re looking for. Instead of just asking if they’d like to guest post, ask them if they’d like to contribute a recipe, or some baking tips, or advice on how to avoid gluten cross-contamination. Give them some kind of framework, but don’t be too rigid; they may have a fantastic content idea that you hadn't considered.
Be prepared to have something to offer
Some bloggers may be happy to guest post on your site just for the visibility. But others may charge fees. A rule of thumb is that the more well-known and authoritative the blogger is, the more a guest post will cost. But it may be worth spending the money for the amount of visibility you’ll get. If it’s not within budget to pay a ton of bloggers for guest posts, see if you can offer them something else - maybe a gift card, a coupon code for their readers, or a free item.
Be flexible with busy bloggers
In my experience in managing a reverse guest posting strategy, the most common reason that a blogger has for turning the opportunity down is that they’re just too busy. Lots of bloggers don’t have time to write a post for someone else on top of their regular posting duties.
But if you get a fairly positive response (along the lines of “I’d love to but I don’t have the time”) then try to pivot that into a different opportunity. Ask the busy bloggers if they just have time to contribute one quick snippet or a tip, and when you get enough, you can put together an easy crowd-sourced post. Imagine something like “Ten Gluten Free Bloggers’ Favorite Ingredient Substitutions.” BAM. Done. You’ll still get the content, the promotion, and the start of a good relationship.
A crowd-sourced post is also agreat way to align yourself with a more popular blogger but can't afford the cost for a whole post. Ask them to contribute a quick blurb for your post instead of a full article.
Take advantage of social media and Google authorship
Build goodwill and gain online presence by sharing the post on your brand’s social media profiles, and interact with your guest posters, especially on Twitter. And be sure to add rel=author to the posts to help increase the bloggers’ visibility and to draw the eye to the post in Google’s SERPs, and if the bloggers don't have their Google+ profiles set up correctly, let them know. They'll appreciate it!
And that's it - a guest posting strategy that will build content, links, and relationships!
Have you ever tried reverse guest posting? Do you have any tips or advice?