Guest posting can be a good way to grow your own audience. It can help you build name recognition and authority status in your niche or industry. It can help you maintain an active network of fellow bloggers in your specialty area. And it can drive traffic to your business website or blog.
When planning a guest posting schedule, how do you choose which sites to target? Where exactly should your guest posts go? Here are three things to consider when deciding which sites to submit guest posts to.
1. Target Niche and Audience
The most important thing in choosing a guest post destination is the audience of that site. You should have your own target audience (or market) in mind. Contact those that target a similar audience. But don’t take a narrow-minded approach either.
For example, I write about freelance writing. If I wanted to set up a new virtual blog tour, I could obviously target other freelance writing blogs. But it’s smart to look beyond the obvious. I could also submit guest posts to more general freelance sites if the posts focused on the business side of freelancing. I could also target sites for work at home moms (WAHMs) because that audience has an interest in work at home opportunities like freelance writing. I could even target small business sites, reaching out to others who are self-employed.
2. Reader Engagement
One of the best signs that a website is a good stop on a blog tour is reader engagement. Remember, you don’t just want link juice. You want direct traffic and an ability to connect with people who could become your future customers or regular readers. The more comments a blog tends to get, the more likely it is those readers will engage with you as well.
Of course you should look at comment quality too — several “great post!” comments don’t have much value, whereas a few comments that really add to the conversation are much better.
That said, don’t rule a site out completely just because it doesn’t have comments. Many guest posters limit themselves to blogs. But guest posting is really just an old PR tactic (previously done in print media by submitting authoritative free content to trade magazines). It’s not blog-specific.
Consider non-blog sites in your niche as well, even if they don’t have comments enabled. Look for other signs of reader engagement. For example, if they have social media sharing buttons you might be able to see how many people “like” or “tweet” average content there.
3. Size, Traffic and Post Frequency
How old or big a site is, how often new posts are published, and how much traffic a site gets are also worth considering (although far less important). Yes, it would be great if all of your guest posts went to busy blogs with huge visitor counts.
Don’t ignore the little guys though. They sometimes offer more value to guest posters. Why? Because their audiences can be more targeted, your post won’t get buried as quickly in their new updates, and owners of smaller sites can be more likely to aggressively promote your content. Plus, you never know when a “small” site is going to become a major player in your niche.
I submitted one guest post to a site like this a couple of years ago, and not only has the blog’s audience grown enormously but the owner still very actively promotes my article via social media.
Hopefully this gives you a few things to think about when comparing sites for guest post submissions. Guest posts should be strategic; you can’t give free content to everyone, so choose wisely. Oh, and as a site owner myself I’d like to add one more thing: please make sure a site actually accepts guest posts before submitting one. You’ll save everyone time in the process.
How do you choose sites to submit guest posts to? Do you only guest post on blogs, or do you take an expanded approach? Have you ever taken guest contributions offline to traditional media? Share your thoughts, tips, and stories in the comments below.