6 Quality Criteria for Selecting Blogs for Guest Posting
Yes, I know probably guest blogging has been abused already, and won’t carry that much rankings improvements weight in the near future, but if you’re after rankings and links only, you’re doing it wrong.
Guest blogging has been going on for years now. There are plenty of blogging communities according to niche, and it has become a custom for bloggers to become an occasional guest in their friends’ blogs. They do this in order to show support to the host blog, and also for exposure. Guest posting introduces their blog to other readers who haven’t an inkling about them yet. If all goes well and the guest posting impresses new readers, the guest bloggers may just earn new subscribers.
The same goals apply to commercial and business websites, only for them there’s also the added goal of getting higher conversions. Of course, there’s a bigger chance of that happening if there are expert online marketers on board. That’s one of the reasons why business blogs hire an effective SEO company or freelance SEOs and content writers. They know just what to add to make each guest post as highly optimized as possible (as permitted by the host blog).
Given that exposure to a wider audience and getting higher conversions are two of the main goals of guest blogging, it is very important to select host blogs that will be able to help you achieve them. The blogs must be able to meet some requirements such as:
1. A decent PageRank.
Anything PageRank 3 and above is decent, but all blogs start out with PR0. As time passes and the blog starts to accumulate content and traffic, its rank will start to increase. It’s not that easy to rise from PR0 though. It usually takes months for it to be raised to PR1, and reaching PR2 already makes amateur bloggers very happy. They probably don’t realize that PR2 translates to “poor.” Facebook is PR9, while Twitter is PR10, the highest PageRank value. Clearly, the higher the PR value the better the quality of the website.
Websites with higher PageRank are believed to have higher link juice. Remember that a link is considered as a vote of support or confidence from another website. If the inbound links come from other websites with higher PR values, the PR of the receiving site may increase as well. Look for blogs whose PRs are higher than yours. Ideally, choose blogs that are at least PR4. If you can be a guest blogger for higher PR blogs, the better!
2. Related to your niche.
Guest posting at a blog that belongs to a completely different niche defeats the purpose of guest blogging and content marketing in general. You want to attract an audience that has the potential to become your own avid followers, subscribers, and eventually customers. So, naturally, you have to go where they can be found.
Read forums and join social media groups centered around your niche. Surely, names of the most-visited blogs will come up and you can check them out for the possibility of a guest posting. The fact that they are so popular will at least ensure that many of your target audience and market will hear about your guest posting, if it pushes through.
3. Posts quality content regularly and screens comments for spam.
If you take pride in your own blog’s content quality, you’d want to make sure that it will also be at par with the quality standards of the blog where you will be guest posting.
Also be careful about spam; you should know by now that it’s not a welcome presence in any site because it’s a red flag for Google penalties. The danger is if the host blog gets penalized for spam, the existing links to your own blog will certainly affect your link profile. Having them screen comments will also alert you to any negative feedback.
4. Mind the readership but don’t discount the less impressive once.
There are blogs that show who and how many their subscribers are (like in Blogspot). Others have daily visitor counter proudly displayed at the home page. What if there are no visible indicators of the blog’s traffic volume and subscribers?
You can browse through the previous posts of the blog and see if there are many people leaving comments, and making thread discussions out of the comments section. You can gauge the level of commitment readers have to a blog and its owners by reading their comments. It’s also possible to see how many are subscribed to a blog. Create a Google Reader account and view the blog’s RSS subscription stats from there.
You can also use Feedburner (which is now connected with Google), TECHmynd (unfortunately you can only view results for blogs with Feedburner accounts), and Clicky.com (previously known as GetClicky).
5. Has accounts in Facebook and Twitter (at least) and uses them.
This is for added promotion for your blog post. Both parties will be responsible for generating buzz for the guest post, and there’s no doubt that you can reach a lot of people (especially those who aren’t subscribers of both blogs, but are nevertheless fans/friends/contacts on social media sites) through social media.
6. Implements “dofollow.”
This should be non-negotiable for you. The dofollow script will allow links to your website to become live, bringing over readers to your side in just one click. This will benefit your link profile and help bring you traffic, provided that the host blog has a high PR. If the guest blog will not be budged in changing their no-follow rule, you might be better off calling off the deal.
These criteria may sound pretty ambitious, but they are very important if you want to utilize each guest blogging stint for the benefit of your own blog.
Of course, you also have to check first if the blog is even accepting guest posts. Sending an email is one way to do that, but it saves more time to just do it via exclusive site search. Type in:
site:(insert the domain of the blog you’re interested in) “guest post”
The “guest post” phrase is used in the assumption that guest postings are announced as such by the blog. You can also use “guest blogging” instead. If you come up with nothing, then the blog probably doesn’t entertain guest postings. If you still want to pursue it though, there’s nothing wrong with doing a bit of blogger outreach. Even if you don’t get that coveted guest posting, establishing the connection may still do you a lot of good in the future.