Are there any good guest blogging opportunities available these days, or are they all low-quality, spam? I think they still exist- let me tell you where I found them.
The Death of “Guest Blogging”
A couple of years ago, in yet another infamous announcement, Matt Cutts told people to stop posting guest articles to gain links. After a later modification of his statement, it was clear that he was referring to those one-and-done, low-bar-of-acceptance blogging opportunities. He admitted that there’s still a place for productive guest contributions in a Google-compliant marketing strategy.
Great but where can we find those opportunities?
The Search for Real Guest Blog Opportunities
From the way I read Cutt’s announcement and modification, I think one criteria we could use to determine what is a “real” guest blog opportunity that is acceptable to Google and what is not is by traffic. Are real people reading the blog, finding it helpful and useful, and it is relevant to the webpage to which it’s linking?
The latter two of these criteria are easy to come by: produce good content. But how can we tell if a website, to which we are thinking of pitching, has any traffic- without them giving us access to their website analytics?
I have to admit that my eyes have nearly rolled out of my head for the number of times I’ve heard someone advocate for Alexa Rank. It always seemed to me that it was a metric that offline marketers would bring with them to the digital world because they don’t really understand the power of internet marketing. Today, however, I think it’s finally found it’s place.
How Alexa Rank Works
It’s a lot like the old Nielsen TV ratings used to work. Alexa is measuring a sample of people as they view the web and projecting that number to rank websites by traffic. How are they doing this? People who have the “Alexa Toolbar” installed on their web browser? You know- your grandmother, who has every toolbar known installed so that she can only view the web through a letterbox-sized browser.
“But I don’t want to know what websites my grandma is visiting!”
Maybe not, but it’s more than that. Alexa has all sorts of data partners out there sharing this information with them. It, at first glance, might seem like a silly sample but we have to remember that as marketers, we’re more attuned to how we’re being tracked than the average internet user. Most people have no idea that they’re helping Alexa collect this data.
Thus I think that Alexa Rank is a good way to know which websites are most popular. From there we can tell which websites we’d want to pitch for guest blogging opportunities.
First I collected a list of 113 different search queries that you might use to find a guest blog post. I then broke these into two different categories: pitched content and submitted content. “Pitched content” are posts that were likely written exclusively for a particular website. These have a higher-bar for acceptance because you need to suggest a topic before you can even have the opportunity. “Submitted content” are website to which you can submit something that might already be written. These could include some low quality sites (because they will take anything written by anyone) but there are still some quality sites that are looking for contributors in this way.
Next I pulled the list of top 1,000,000 websites, as ranked by Alexa. I thinned this list a little, removing adult sites, tracking websites, and non-english websites (just because that’s my focus). I then pared this list down to the top 200 or so.
That’s when the real work began. I started looking for how many results existed in the search engine for every one of these websites and each of the search queries. That came to nearly 23,000 different combinations. Yes, this took a couple of months of work.
There are still a lot of websites that are willing to accept your content.
Just take a look and you’ll see thousands of the top websites in the world, who are looking for you to pitch them some content.
There are several ways to use these websites to find opportunities.
Some of these websites do not have opportunities for you to pitch them content. They do, however, provide ways to find other, credible websites that are looking for content.
There are always going to be ways to abuse productive marketing initiatives.
I know that someone will read this post and come up with a whole new method for spamming the web. That disappoints me. When done productively, guest blogging is still a viable and effective way to market a website. I hope the tips in this article help you improve your game, deliver effective results for your website (or your clients’) and help produce good, quality content for the rest of us to read on the web.
How would you have changed my methodology, if I do this again? Are there any search queries that you would like me to test? Do you think this helps marketers produce Google-friendly guest articles, or not? Leave your comments, below.