It’s no secret that backlinks are 1/3 of the success factor of an SEO campaign.
So how can you find people and other sites to reach out to so that you can get them to link to you either by guest writing for them or pitch a press release?
How to Generate Linking Ideas and People to Outreach to?
The basic way to get linking ideas is to use the open site explorer to analyze links that your competitor has (or just any other SERP result that you’re creating content about).
The open site explorer is a free SEO tool by MOZ. This will give you some linking ideas you can reach out to guest blog, or content outreach and gain links from.
- Reverse Engineer Competitor’s Sites that are Ranked on Google
By popping your competitor site’s into Open Site Explorer, you can figure out their backlink strategies (if it’s white or black hat).
You can reach out to these sites to get links through some of the SEO strategies such as: guest blogging, doing an expert round up, resource page building/ broken link building.
Through Googling your targeted keywords, you reverse engineer the links they are getting from sites and sources that may be added to your potential outreach. Hint: I find bloggers much more responsive than huge corporate websites.
- Business Directories
Business directories are a no brainer. They have been devalued by Google in recent years. However, it’s recommended to have a couple of links from them.
- Big ‘How to’ Sites
Huge how to sites are always looking for writers to contribute articles to their websites. This includes Thought Catalogue, Elite Daily and major publications. Getting backlinks and published on these sites can go a long way to building authority on your site.
- Sites That are Actively Looking for Guest Writers
Here are some search queries you can pop into Google to look for sites that are actively looking for guest writers:
keyword intitle:”write for us”
keyword intitle:”write for me”
Keyword intitle:”contribute to”
Keyword intitle:”submit” + inurl:blog
Keyword “submit a guest post”
Keyword “guest post”
Keyword “guest post by”
Keyword “accepting guest posts”
Keyword “guest post guidelines”
Keyword “guest author”
Keyword “guest article”
Keyword “guest column”
Keyword “become a contributor”
inpostauthor:”guest blog” keyword
inpostauthor:”guest post” keyword
- Influencers Parallel to Your Niche
You can also reach out to influencers with a website presence that are parallel to your niche. For Eg. If you’re marketing running coaching on your website. You can reach out the health and fitness bloggers and influencers and pitch them a guest post.
- Major Publications for a Press Release
If your business is newsworthy and has a good story behind it, why not aim for the stars and go straight to the press, and pitch a press release?
Getting a publication on the press can help you build authority, increase visibility, and because most press outlets have gone digital, you’ll earn a reputation backlink that is sure to increase your site’s authority.
How to Filter the Sites to Reach Out To?
Now, after you’ve made a list of up to a hundred people and sites you can potentially reach out to. You should filter the quality of these sites.
Here are some important questions to ask yourself before reaching out:
1. Is It Relevant? Is There Editorial Value?
When I started guest blogging, I randomly sent out messages to websites that wasn’t really relevant to my niche. I was obsessed over getting that one or two backlink from any site that’ll take my article in.
Needless to say, I was rejected, and waste a lot of time and effort.
2. Quality of the Content of The Site
Simple question to ask yourself: is this site well managed? Can I see myself writing for this site? Is the content they publish high quality and relevant?
3. Domain and Page Authority
SEO metrics such as domain and page authority can be used as metric. However, aren’t really accurate at times as they are metrics made up by a third party tool.
The more important metric is the quality of the site that you want to look at: Is their content updated? Is their design of the site desirable? Is it an active site?
4. Engagement on the Site
One other factor I look out for is if there’s engagement on the website. Here are some simple questions: Is there people commenting? Is there genuine engagement? They can have a hundred thousand Facebook likes, however, what if those paid likes?
5. Guest Post Guidelines
Some sites do not accept guest post at all. You’ll be wasting your time reaching out to these people. They often state clearly on their guidelines. Well, if they say they aren’t accepting guest bloggers, then they probably aren’t, and you’re wasting your time with reaching out to them.
The Audience Mind set
When I started off as an SEO consultant, I used to obsess over guest blogging. I’ll reach out to random sites and when they rejected me, I’ll get all butt hurt over it and pissed off.
Well, if you come from an audience perspective as opposed from a backlinks perspective, you’ll take away some pressure of getting rejected by sites whose audience doesn’t match yours.
When you’re reaching out to another site, simply ask yourself: will the readers and visitors of that site care about my product or service? If not, why should I be reaching out to guest write or earn a link from that site?
This way, you won’t be wasting efforts attempting to pitch to sites that aren’t looking for content like yours, you won’t run to risk of being penalized by Google and when you do get accepted to write for a guest site, you’re going to general real business results as you’re writing to audience that as a higher possibility to care about your offering instead of just aiming to earn a backlink.