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My 3-Step System for Finding Guest Post Opportunities

This guest post is by Jocelyn Ann.

Tired of haphazardly, randomly struggling to find guest blogging opportunities? Or finding yourself stressed to the max because you’re unable to locate your next guest-post goal for the month?

You’re not alone. Most bloggers don’t know where or how to search properly, and if they’re trying to search at all, generally end up with dead-end leads.

Developing a systematic method that you can implement to ensure a never-ending supply of opportunities is your best option. The three techniques I’ve listed below will help eliminate your random searches, cut down on wasted time, and leave you with a renewable contact list for finding the right guest blogging opportunity every time.

1. Know your Google search strings

People

Image used with permission

Google can provide you with the best of results … or the worst of results. It’s only as good as the search terms you feed it. What you get, and what that means, is all tied up in your combination of search terms. Knowing what words with what words provide the results you want is a unique formula you’ll have to figure out for yourself.

Let’s say your blog is about baking, and that’s your keyword to target for a link. Here are some search queries you could start off with:

  • baking AND guest post (will provide you with sites where other people were able to get a guest post who were also promoting baking; you know the site allows guest writers)
  • baker AND guest post (will provide you with posts attributed to authors who are most likely bakers themselves)
  • baking AND guest author (same)
  • baking | bake | dessert | pastry | pie | etc. AND guest author (try every form of dessert and every variation of bake)
  • baking AND write for us (will provide you with cooking sites actively seeking out guest writers; it should be very easy to get these)
  • baking AND submit (should return more baking sites who want guest writers; again, should be easy to land these spots).

2. Start a blogger shadow list

Every time a blogger turns up who’s doing the same thing you are, enter them into a spreadsheet. Enter in their name (Lucille Ball), the keyword anchor text they used (comedy tv) and who they listed as their employer, if any (TBN).

As your list grows, you can start to group the bloggers into various categories that might help you later, depending on what you want to write:

  • related-content writers
  • unrelated-content writers
  • writers on high-PR sites
  • writers on low-PR sites but lots of them
  • writers who are representing a product for sale (these are harder to get; fewer
    sites want to link out to commercial products or sites)
  • writers who are representing their own blog (you can likely find these by the dozen)
  • writers writing about everything (a sure sign they’re marketing for a company; it’s good to follow them, as they’ll lead you to a variety of blogs guaranteed to post pitch bylines)

When you have a list, all you have to do is run a search query for any one of the following keyword combination types:

  • Lucille Ball AND guest post
  • Lucille Ball AND guest author
  • Lucille Ball AND comedy TV
  • Lucille Ball AND TBN (in case she has other anchor text, like “romantic TV” or “red
    hair dye” that you don’t already know about)
  • Lucille Ball AND comedy TV AND TBN.

3. Generic, anything-goes post outlets

When you’re just starting out, it may not matter all that much whether you can get guest spots on baking-specific sites. It will probably just matter that you can start writing for someone, anyone, in order to build up a portfolio.

If that’s you, you can get by with generic writings and searches.

Run a Google search on “write for us” and “submit content” and “contribute.” You’ll get a list of generic sites willing to accept your writing. Who knows what the content will be? You’ll just have to do a little research and make it work for you.

Check out myblogguest.com. Once you create a profile, you can browse the forum boards to find all kinds of people who want content. From here, you just have to email them and submit your posts.

Use Twitter hashtags like #contentavailable, #guestauthor, and so on. Let people know you’re willing to write anything and, chances are, they’ll take you up on it.

Making it work for you

As you go along, you’ll likely discover new searches and new ways of finding guest blogging opportunities. Pick and choose those that work best for you to really make this idea work for your blog.

You may detest writing content about topics you know nothing about, or you may love getting to learn and write about that which you previously knew nothing about. Have some fun with it, and enjoy watching that portfolio grow!

How do you find guest post opportunities? Share your ideas and tips in the comments.

Freelancer Jocelyn is dedicated to helping families live healthier, happier lives. At the moment you’ll find her writing alongside Air & Water, a company that loves to help families find the best heater for the elderly in their lives.

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This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above. If you'd like to guest post for ProBlogger check out our Write for ProBlogger page for details about how YOU can share your tips with our community.

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Comments

  1. Fred Tracy says:

    This article came just in time! I recently changed my marketing strategy to include a lot more guest posting, and I found that it can be difficult to find proper site to post on. This helps a lot.

    I particularly enjoyed the section about using the correct Google search terms.

    Thanks a million. :-)

  2. Guy Hogan says:

    Okay, I can definitely use this advice. I have a blog aimed at aspiring short story writers. I publish my stories and the stories of other writers. Plus I give advice on writing flash fiction and on blogging. So, with some tweeking I can make your advice work for me. Thank you.

  3. Shabayek says:

    Oh well, what do blogs which accept guest posts – like mine – have to do to find guest bloggers?

    • That’s a little bit tougher, if you have enough traffic, you should get requests as long as you make it known.

      If you don’t have a lot of traffic yet, it’s usually not worth it for people to guest post.

    • Check Problogger.net? I suppose you could replicate the steps above. It could work. :)

  4. Bougie Girl says:

    Great article! I am currently searching for guest posting opportunities. I signed up for mybloguest.com and so far I have received some pretty good leads. Now, comes the difficult part of actually writing the guest posts.

  5. barb g says:

    I believe the easiest way for you to get a guest post is to have your own blog & put a blurb somewhere on the home page saying something about I would like to guest post for you with your email. Other sites are
    searching for people who would like to contribute for them too.

  6. Zeus says:

    Awesome post. My site has grown to the point that I can use a few more guest writers even though I’ve had a few great ones in the past.

  7. I began allowing guest posts on my blog last spring and in the beginning I would accept everyone. Now I am more selective in who I accept a post from. It has to have quality and substance to it.

  8. Jocelyn – This post is awesome, i particularly like the shadow list of bloggers, it is completely out of ordinary and never thought of by anyone i know of, thanks for bringing it up.
    If anyone is looking for guest posting opportunities, take a look at the “Write For DMC” page on my site for more details.

  9. Shonda says:

    I have to admit I was a bit hesitant to do guest posting because it was such an unknown territory for me. Recently, I have decided to put myself out there and try to guest post. Right now, the biggest thing I have learned is to balance my monetized articles with non-monetized articles. I have made quite a few missteps in the online journey, but I am learning everyday how to correct them.

  10. Karla Campos says:

    Great advice about the spreadsheet, it is a great way to get organized and to help out fellow bloggers who are also looking for a guest blogging opportunities.

  11. Leo says:

    Finding good guest bloggers for my authority site is my goal this month. This article helps me a lot. Thanks Jocelyn! Now, I will check myblogguest.com.

  12. I like networking with niche-specific folks, Jocelyn Ann. I know that a fair number of these people accept guest posts, and after reading their blog for a bit I figure out if my work would be a solid match.

  13. Daniel says:

    Well written post, Jocelyn.

    You actually went the extra mile as far as outlining strategies for those wishing to dip their feet into Guest posting.

  14. Great advice. I am looking for information regarding guest post and this post come just in time. I would like to ask whether guest posts. An be repost to other blogs as well?

  15. dojo says:

    I am just opening my site for guest posting and getting more interested in having such gigs on other blogs. As you can imagine I have no idea how to find these opportunities, so these tips come at the perfect time. I’ll need to schedule some time to write for other blogs too, so that I can provide ideas and information to another public than mine and also establish myself in my niches.

  16. Thanks for this post Jocelyn Ann; guest blogging is one of the tops ways of gaining traffic and building relationships. It can be really frustrating finding a guest post opportunity that is worth the time and effort. Your tips helped a lot even though I don’t see myself really creating a spreadsheet like you suggested. Then again, who knows.

  17. naijadotcom says:

    GREAT ADVICE,GREAT POST.

  18. Tim Soulo says:

    Awesome tips, Jocelyn! I think those really are the fundamental ones!

    May I expand one of them? :)

    Once you see someones guestpost, you can do a nice search on Google for their guestpost footprints. You can either put a part of their author bio into quotes and search for exact matches (people are mostly using exactly the same author bio everywhere), or simply search for their full name excluding their own blog and social media sites, like this:

    Jocelyn Ann -site:personal-blog.com -site:twitter.com -site:facebook.com -site:linkedin.com

    Recently I’ve used this tactic to find all guestposts done by James Clear from PassivePanda and now I have some very neat data for a post about his guestposting strategy, that helped him to kit 120k visits on his 8th month of blogging!

    Once again thanks for the post, I will refer people here once they ask me how to find blogs to guestpost at :)

    Tim

  19. Great post, really helpful thanks. I worry a little about requesting guest posting opportunities from anything goes type of blogs, but I guess you gotta start somewhere!

  20. Hey there Jocelyn Ann,

    this is just what I was looking for. I have one existing site and a new one being launched soon and as I’m still pretty new to blogging and guest blogging particularly, this structured approach really helps. I love posts that provide succinct, usable advice and yours was just that.

    thanks kindly,

    Matt

  21. ahmadyani says:

    We can place ads on our blogs, we need a guest post and may also be a guest blogger.

  22. I find sometimes contacting websites that don’t mention anything about guest posting can sometimes lead to great opportunities.

  23. Jocelyn Anne says:

    So thrilled to see all the feedback on here guys! and @Tim Soulo: fantastic addition, we can always use extra ways to find opportunities. @Ryan — absolutely. Writing for a blog you already know well or taking the time to really get to know a blog before making any requests is hands-down my preferred way to write. Means that much more for both parties and 99% of the time produces better content.

  24. i really enjoyed reading this article, this is an exact anatomy of guest blogging strategy, also you covered the guest blogging networks and communities, but 1 thing here missing http://www.guest-blogging.org a new promising guest blogging directory and it’s the 1st free based on Google directory structure.

  25. BT Stream says:

    I haven’t done any guest post yet. but willing to do so. thanks for share you experience and knowledge .

  26. Darren says:

    I’ve been considering accepting guest posts on my blog but the average post is of such poor quality, I’m not sure. A lot of guest bloggers appears to be spinning articles and attempting to spam backlinks.

  27. Great post. Google search string suggestions given by Jocelyn can be used at http://www.google.com/blogsearch to get more relevant search results.

  28. TechAdvices says:

    I started allowing guest posts on my blog last year and i always accept accept everyone. Now I am more selective in who I accept a post from. It has to have quality and substance to it. Thanks!

  29. Mike Carroll says:

    I might have to take these tips to mind when I start working on things like this. Thanks for the info!

  30. Michael says:

    Awesome post. Guest posting is huge for most people’s success as a blogger right now, and I for one would like to see alot more content about tips, tricks, and strategies around guest posting here on PB. cheers guys.

  31. Sonal says:

    Thanks for this post Jocelyn! I have a new blog and I’ve been considering guest posting on related blogs. But the way I was searching for guest posting opportunities was to google for keywords alone. Now that I include “guest post” along with a keyword, say “EFT”, the results are so much better! I’m also making a shadow list as you suggested.

  32. darkduck says:

    #guestauthor returns empty search results.
    MyBlogGuest is useful tool. I get a lot from there. But it takes much time to filter out content.

  33. Hey Jocelyn,

    this a great post. I’ve been meaning to get properly in to guest posting and using your advice, I’ve found 15 great sites, amongst others, to put submissions forward to.

    thanks again,

    Matt

  34. Cute Quotes says:

    A guest post about guest posting… I love it! This is a very informative article, but could you give me an estimation of how long these steps would take? I would like to start guest posting but I”m not sure if it would be worth the time investment vs. other forms of internet marketing.

    Thanks!
    Cutie

  35. Joe C says:

    Jocelyn,

    Thanks for the great post. I’m starting to use the Guest Post shadow spreadsheet strategy now.

    What is your primary strategy for your guest posting? Link building or customer acquisition? Which is a better primary motivation? I’ve always thought that writing for new visitors is the primary benefit and link building is secondary.

    • Joe C says:

      Ah, I wanted to add one more thing to this post. I don’t think the AND operator is superfluous. It’s the default operator.

      A better way to do this might be:

      keyword terms “blog authors name”

      The quotes replaced the +operator and means give me the exact phrase. For example, if you are search for Bill Smith if you don’t put it into quotes, Google may return results with Bill Johnson and Frank Smith if the two names are in close proximity to each other on the page.