The object of guest blogging is to reach the broadest possible audience. So you don’t want to post guest blogs on just any random blog. What you are looking for are the biggest, most popular and most influential blogs in your niche.
If you have been blogging for a while or are a regular reader of blogs, you may already have an idea of which blogs fall into this category. What you are looking for are blogs that are “household words” in your niche subject.
For example, in the field of US politics, Talking Points Memo is one of the most widely-read blogs in Washington, D.C. So if you are seeking to target politics junkies, publishing a guest post on that blog would put your in front of an enormous audience.
If your niche is fashion, getting a guest blog on The Sartorialist would be highly desirable. In film criticism, convincing a noted film critic to let you submit a guest blog on his web page would be a major victory.
Tapping into the Blogging Community
Regardless of which niches you choose, in all likelihood there already is a thriving blogging community. Given the immense popularity of blogging, there are already established, veteran bloggers writing about nearly every subject imaginable.
Interacting with members of your niche’s blogging community has a number of benefits. First, nobody knows better which blogs in your niche are the most influential than the rabid fans of your niche. Ask them. Leave comments on their blog pages or look at their About page to find their email address and send them a personal message.
Another benefit of interacting with other bloggers – and readers of blogs – within you niche is building your reputation, especially if you have expertise you can bring to the blogging community.
While there are millions of blogs worldwide, within your niche subject matter is probably is a very small world after all. When you nurture relationships with key people within your blogging community, you can call on them for referrals and recommendations, ask them to provide testimonials for you, and encourage them to promote your reputation to other influential bloggers.
Using Search Engines
In the Internet Age, the critical information you need is always just a mouse click away. Run a Google search for “Most influential [Your blog niche] blogs” or “Most popular [Your blog niche] blogs” and you are bound to get hundreds of leads you can pursue.
You also can search for “search operators”, which are terms that are used to narrow or broaden a search. These include such words as “and”, “or” or “not”. For example, when searching for guest blogging opportunities within your niche keyword, your search could include:
Keyword + “Submit a guest post”
Keyword + “write for us”
Keyword + “Become a guest writer”
Keyword “guest blogger”
Keyword “guest post”
Keyword “guest article”
Keyword “guest column”
Keyword “become a contributor”
Keyword “contribute to this site”
Keyword “write for us”
Keyword “write for me”
Keyword inurl: guest
Another option is to use a link prospecting tool such as BuzzStream. This is a website that makes it easy to find other bloggers within your niche, build relationships with them, and keep track of your interactions with them.
Within Buzzstream, you can set up prospecting profiles you can use to organize your blog contacts any way you like, such as by topic, home country or keyword. The site also will provide you with URLs you can follow to check out the blogs further.
Best Places to Find High Value Blogs
Another option is to go blogs within your niche that you enjoy or find useful and see if they list a “blogroll” in the margin. Many bloggers include a list of other blogs that they like on their own blog so that their fans can link to them.
If you know a blog is authoritative, has a lot of regular readers and frequently gets a lot of social approval signals, it’s a good bet that the blogs they recommend have a similar status.
Another great way to find high value blogs is Technorati. This is a blog directory that keeps track of the biggest blogs in nearly every niche. It categorizes blogs by niche, topic and keywords and includes a simple search tool that makes it easy to quickly identify the biggest and most influential blogs within your niche.
Most people use Twitter to keep in touch with friends and acquaintances, follow their favorite celebrities or sports stars, or simply be entertained and informed by the most up to the minute links to interesting articles and blogs.
But there are actually many ways to make money using your Twitter account and other social media you have. One of the most effective ways is to drive traffic from your Twitter posts to free Cost-Per-Action (CPA) or opt-in pages. There also are paid offers you can promote, but why spend money when you don’t have to?
The Value of Twitter
Twitter is one of the best social media platforms to use for CPA promotion because it doesn’t have any advertising on it, unlike Facebook or Google+. That means that Twitter isn’t getting spammed incessantly, so people are more trusting when it comes to Tweets than they are with Facebook status updates and other types of social media posts.
So you usually can get a massive amount of clicks and conversions from your Twitter pages in ways that you couldn’t with your other social media accounts.
This system is unique from other social media-based programs you may have heard about. That’s because Twitter is free to use. So you usually can afford to make a small investment to get traffic so you don’t have to passively wait for people to come to you.
The most important thing is to get your program up and running as quickly as possible.
Where to Send Your Traffic
The first thing you want to do is to figure out where you are going to send the traffic you will be getting from Twitter.
What you want are CPA offers or opt-in pages that are going to cost the end user nothing. You also can send them to your squeeze page in which you promote products in popular “evergreen” niches so that you can capture their email address and use it to promote future offers later.
The reality is that you can use this system to send this inexpensive traffic anywhere you want, but your best plan is to send people either to a freebie email/zip code submit CPA offer or to a squeeze page – either your own or somebody else’s.
Best CPA Providers
If you don’t have a CPA account yet, check out these places where you can look for offers:
While you may have one CPA network that you use more frequently than others, it’s usually a good idea to have multiple CPA networks. That’s because using multiple CPA networks lets you have a bigger variety of offers to choose from.
You don’t want to always deal in one type of offer – such as a credit card application or real estate leads – because then your Twitter followers will always expect that from you. Instead, use different CPA networks to have a variety of different offers. This not only keeps your Twitter followers on their toes, but it gives you a broader opportunity to make money using Twitter.
Building Your Reputation
When you sign up with a network, you want to make sure you give the impression that you are a professional media buyer who buys traffic from Google and other big advertising networks, otherwise your application may be rejected.
It’s very common for people to pad their resumes a little and tell CPA networks what they want to hear so they will let you in their network. Just don’t go overboard and tell obvious whoppers because your reputation is all you have. And in the CPA business, it really is a small world after all. Word spreads quickly.
If you are considered to be an expert in your niche or have an identifiable brand, it’s relatively easy to convince bloggers to allow you to submit guest blogs. If Donald Trump or Brad Pitt asked if they could write on your blog, you probably would let them, wouldn’t you?
But what about the rest of us? How can you influence bloggers to post your guest blogs on their pages? The answer is to provide them with two things they desperately need and can actually use: Time and content.
If you have or had your own blog, you know what a struggle it can be to find original, entertaining content to satisfy your regular readers. This is especially true if you are publishing your blog daily or a few times per week.
After the initial glow of blogging wears off and the day-to-day grind of generating fresh content takes over, any opportunity to let somebody else fill your blog with high-quality content will be welcome.
Ready to Use Content
When you approach an established blogger within your niche with the proposal that they allow you to submit a guest blog to their readers, you want to be prepared. If you have just a vague idea of what you want to write about in your guest blog, you are less likely to convince them than if you were to approach them with ready to use content that you have already created.
Because they have such a huge platform, bloggers with a lot of regular followers get approached frequently by people wanting to submit guest blogs. But most of these requests get turned down – especially if the blogger doesn’t personally know the person – because they aren’t sure what they are going to contribute and don’t want to lose the loyalty with their readers they have so carefully created.
When you have a high-quality guest blog that is ready for publication, you can submit it to the most popular bloggers so that they fully understand what they are getting.
Cover Extra Topics/Content
Another great way to convince popular bloggers to allow you to write for their audience is to offer content that they haven’t covered in the past or write about an area of expertise that you have that they don’t. This gives them the benefit of providing their readers with extra high-value content, strengthening the loyalty bonds they have with their readers.
Before you submit your guest blogging proposal, research your target blog and determine what areas within your niche they excel at and which ones they are weaker. That way, when you approach them with your guest blogging offer, you can bring genuine value to their blog by presenting content that their readers can actually use and will find helpful in their everyday lives.
You Can Save ThemTime
When you have a successful blog with a lot of loyal readers, time is the one thing you don’t have. You have a huge content hole that needs to be filled, especially if you are publishing frequently.
But it takes time to come up with original ideas, research them and build them into high-quality blog posts. And the longer you have been blogging, the fewer the topics you already haven’t written about.
So when somebody with some expertise in your niche approaches you with a great blog post about a topic of interest to your readers, you very likely will jump at the chance to let them take over your blog for a day as a guest blogger.
When you portray your guest blog as a win/win situation to your blog targets, you have will experience a higher acceptance rate.
Click-Per-Action networks are places where you can go to sign up to promote various offers. Every time you find somebody who clicks through to the offer, you get paid. It’s a fast and easy way to make money with online marketing.
One of the easiest ways to promote CPA offers is through social media, such as Twitter. You don’t even need to use your own Twitter account or promote these offers to your own followers. It’s far easier simply to buy sponsored Tweets from established Twitter account owners who already have thousands of followers.
Which CPA Offers to Promote
After you buy your sponsored Tweet – let’s assume it costs you $25, which is pretty much the going rate — your next step is to find a good CPA offer. Here’s an example of how to do this effectively for maximum profits.
Let’s say you find an offer from a CPA network that has an Estimated Payout per Click (EPC) of $.103, or 10 cents. Plus, the CPA network pays you $1.30 per email address you send them. Based on experience, this type of offer will give you an average conversion rate of 10% to 15% Click-Through Rate (CTR).
In this instance, for the $25 investment you made in your sponsored Tweet, you got 100 clicks and converted 10 of them. So you made $13, which means you lost $12 – which is obviously not a desirable outcome.
But if you got 200 clicks from your sponsored Tweet, you made $26, or a profit of $1. With 300, make $39, or a profit of $14. So you can see the value of scaling up your offer.
Depending on how many followers the person you buy the sponsored Tweet from, you can easily get 1,000 clicks as long as the offer matches the demographic of the Twitter account.
A Real World Example
To see how this works in the real world, let’s consider a popular niche such as online gaming. A quick search on Twitter will find you somebody with a popular Twitter account who caters to this niche.
Assume this person has more than 31,000 followers and is only asking $25 for a sponsored Tweet – again, not outside the realm of possibility. Even if your CTR is 1%, that’s still 320 clicks, which is pretty great.
Now all you have to do is to write a Tweet that is going to capture the imagination of the people who follow this account. Here’s a good one to use:
“Play the latest games on your new iPad3: USA iPad3 testers wanted!”
This Tweet has the dual benefit of appealing to the online gamers who follow this account and weeding out those people who don’t live in the US, as many CPA offers will only pay for US email addresses.
If you are using this system to promote affiliate products, ask your affiliate manager if they have a list of the best converting email/zip submit offers. A lot of times, they already have the copy for you. All you need to do is forward it to the person selling the sponsored Tweet!
For example, this same online gaming Twitter account could be used to promote gambling site affiliate products. Find one, get the swipe copy, send it to the Twitter account owner and start making money!
How to Buy the Tweet
The first step is to shorten the URL you are directing prospect to. Otherwise, it won’t fit in the Tweet because Twitter limits you to 140 characters for each. You can easily do this by going to http://www.bit.ly.
You Tweets have to be short and social. And it’s critical that you make sure people know that some action is required from them:
“This sick website trades your email for a test iPad3 … OMG!”
In this example, the reader knows they have to give their email address if they want a chance to get the free iPad.
Then you simply send your Tweet to the Twitter account owner, click on the “Purchase” button and your Tweet will be reviewed. In some cases, they may reject it if it is super spammy, but if you keep it ethical, keep it social and really direct it at your intended target audience, you shouldn’t have any problems.
CPA networks are places you can go to sign up for offers that you can promote on your social media accounts, such as on Twitter.
Once you know where you want to send your traffic, the next step is to actually get onto Twitter and start diverting some traffic to these places.
Most marketers will spend endless hours researching niche-related content, distributing it to prospects and trying to nurture long-term relationships. But that takes a long time and there’s no guarantee of success.
A better plan is to invest a little money in sponsored Tweets in order to make a bigger profit with your CPA campaigns.
How Much Sponsored Tweets Cost
With sponsored Tweets, it’s possible to make more than $300/day while spending only $25/day.
When you have the right CPA offers, it’s relatively simple to make $100/day or more on a regular basis. And you don’t even have to use your own Twitter account or waste your time trying to attract thousands of followers.
Instead, go onto Twitter and look for people who have already done all that and just buy sponsored Tweets from them!
How Sponsored Tweets Work
For example, assume somebody has a Twitter account that is related to online gaming – which is huge right now, by the way – and they have more than 30,000 followers.
All you need to do is find a free offer from a CPA network that pays $1.50 for each email address you send their way. All the end user has to do is to register for a chance to win a free iPad or some other shiny new gadget most people will want.
So you pay the person who owns the online gaming-related Twitter account $25 and they send out a Tweet to their 30,000 followers promoting your CPA offer. If only 500 people respond and 10% of whom convert, you triple your money:
50 X $1.50 = $75
So for a $25 investment, you earn $75, or a profit of 200%. And you don’t even have to do anything except make a deal with the owner of the online gaming-related Twitter account.
Going Big Time
This is a great way to make short-term cash, but if you want to turn it into a long-term business you need to use the same system to build a list rather than making money off CPA offers. As always, the money is in the list!
When you specialize in an evergreen niche, you can build lists in these categories and then promote affiliate offers whenever you want. Some of the best evergreen niches are:
Get Six-Pack Abs
Lose Weight Fast
Make Money on Twitter
Make Money on Facebook
In the above example, instead of sending the Twitter traffic you get from your sponsored Tweet to the CPA offer, you can divert it to an opt-in page where you give away a free guide on how to win at blackjack.
Then all you need to do is buy an eBook as a Private Label Rights product for less than $10 so that you can use it any way you want indefinitely.
Building a Money-Making Machine
People who are into online gaming are often interested in this type of guide, so they gladly will exchange their email address for it. So you paid $25 for the Tweet, got 500 clicks with a 10% conversion rate. At the end of the day, you have 50 high-converting leads.
Then you simply plug those leads into your affiliate marketing program, where you can sell them an average of 2 to 5 sales. So that means that those 50 leads can be worth up to $100/month or more to you! Plus, you can keep selling niche-related affiliate products to these prospects forever, theoretically.
People also will put more trust in what you have to say if you are well known in your field. The real skill that well-known authorities have is self-promotion, and it’s a skill you should develop as well.
The more celebrated you are in your niche, the easier it will be to both get bloggers to allow you to submit guest blogs and convince readers to act on your product recommendations.
Think about the accomplishments you can point to in your past that will reinforce your image as an expert. Keep track of any awards or recognition that you have received so that you can use them to promote yourself. And don’t be bashful about promoting yourself as an expert at every opportunity.
Building Your Brand
As you start guest blogging, you will want to stop thinking of yourself as just an individual and begin considering yourself as a brand that can be marketed in the same way as Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese, Ford automobiles or Kentucky Fried Chicken.
When people read your guest blogs, you don’t want them to be thinking about you as the person who went to a particular high school or who wears a certain size shoe. The best way to convince people to do what you ask is to be a brand, not a person.
Giorgio Armani is a brand. So is Madonna. And Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. Oprah is one of the biggest brands in the world.
The Influence of Authority
While these are all real people with personal histories and real lives, if they were to recommend that you buy a particular type of potato chip you wouldn’t think about all that. You would consider them as a brand that they have created through their body of work.
As a guest blogger, your goal is to create that same kind of brand for yourself. So that when you make product recommendations or approach bloggers with a request to write a guest blog, you will be perceived in the same way as these people.
Build Your List and Followers
If you already have a blog, a Facebook page, a Twitter account or even a website, you probably already have people who pay attention to what you post. As a guest blogger, your goal is to build a fan base so that you can influence the largest amount of people possible.
So anytime you create a guest blog, you are going to want to have somewhere to direct readers who enjoyed your content and who want to learn more about you. This can be your own blog, but the best place is your own personal website because it gives you the most versatility.
When you have a website devoted to you, it can be used to promote your brand, collect email addresses for your sales funnels, promote products and services, direct visitors to your social media accounts, provide you the opportunity to build loyalty bonds with your fans, and many other benefits.
Provide links back to your web page with every guest blog you publish so that you can constantly grow your pool of prospective customers.
SEO and Guest Blogging
You may write the greatest, most convincing guest blogs in history, but it’s not going to mean anything if nobody can find them easily. In order to get the broadest possible audience for your guest blogs, in each of them you need to include Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques so that they are ranked at or near the top of the Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) for your niche subject.
One of the most effective SEO methods is to include your niche’s optimal keywords in your guest blogs. Search engines look for use these keywords when they index web pages so that they can tell what the content is about.
In order for Google and other search engines to rank your guest blogs high, include the keywords for your niche subject in each post’s headline, sub heads, photo caption and image descriptions.
Also, include the keywords within the body of the text so that they make up about 2 to 3% of the total keywords. This technique, called keyword saturation, helps vault your blogs to the top of the SERPs for your niche.
Like any other moneymaking platform, with guest blogging you need to start with a plan.
Mapping out how you are going to build your guest blogging business – and make no mistake, using guest blogging to make money is a business – will help you maximize your revenues, minimize your labor, and help keep you on track to long-term success.
Developing an Area of Expertise
The first thing to consider is what niches you should focus on. If you have written a blog in the past, your blog’s niche probably is a good starting point.
That’s because you already have some knowledge about your subject matter and probably some passion as well, or at least you did at one time. This will help make your guest blogs more entertaining and allow readers to connect with your material more easily.
In order to be able to write as many guest blogs as possible, you should have several niches that you regularly write about. These should be topics that you are familiar with and can write enthusiastically about. Think about hobbies you have or had in the past, or subjects that you are passionately interested in.
Multiple Specialties Offers Greater Flexibility
Having a few areas of expertise will make it easier later when it’s time to approach bloggers with your guest blogging offer.
It will also make it simpler to research and identify successful blogs related to your niche subjects that you can focus on.
Driving Traffic to Your Sales Funnel
The ultimate purpose of guest blogging is to drive prospective customers to sales funnels you set up so that you can promote your products or services. But when you approach established bloggers with your offer to submit a guest blog, you have to walk a fine line between entertaining and promoting.
If somebody allows you to write a guest blog on their blog and you submit content that blatantly promotes products, they probably won’t publish it or, if they do, they won’t allow you to write any more guest blogs in the future.
Don’t Obviously Promote
Instead, you need to use subtlety and even a little guile when you write your guest blogs. If you are going to promote a product, it should come in the form of a product review or a recommendation rather than a blatant advertisement or promotional blog.
A more effective plan is to simply have the objective of getting your target audience to want more from you. Provide them with high-value information related to your niche that they can use in their everyday lives but always leave them wanting more.
Make it clear that the way to get more of this high value content is by following you back to your own web page, whether it is your own blog, a sales page, or some other website.
While the ultimate objective remains the same – to get people to click through to your sales pages – because you are a guest blogger who is posting on somebody else’s blog, you have to treat their readers with tact and grace.
Establishing Your Expertise
When you post a guest blog on somebody else’s blog page, odds are their readers are not going to know who you are. That’s why it’s important that you establish yourself as an expert on your niche topic.
Portraying yourself as a trustworthy expert on your niche subjects has two main benefits:
- Bloggers will be more likely to allow you to contribute guests posts on their blog
- Readers will put more faith in what you have to say and will be more willing to follow your recommendations, believe your reviews and click through to your sales pages
Pointing to Your Accomplishments
One great way to establish yourself as an expert is by emphasizing your education. If you have an advanced degree in a particular area, most people would be willing to acknowledge your expertise in that field.
While you don’t want to fabricate phony academic degrees, you should certainly emphasize your academic credentials in order to reinforce your readers’ perception of you as an expert.