How to Identify High Quality Guest Blogging Opportunities

Although the former distinguished engineer of Google Matt Cutts declared “dead” from guest blogging in 2014, it is honestly more alive than ever today.

Modern marketers understand the benefits of using guest blogging to achieve business goals. These benefits include things like:

  • Reach a new audience (usually very targeted).
  • Build authority in your field.
  • Increase your domain authority with relevant, high quality backlinks.
  • Create inbound sales and / or business opportunities.

There are also many benefits for posts that accept guest posts, such as:

  • New, high-quality content when you run out of topics.
  • New perspectives and / or new topics.
  • New audience (this is mutually beneficial).
  • Possibility of backlinks to your website from the guest blogger.

Note that there is also SEO benefits of guest blogging, but be careful not to overdo it, unless you want to risk Google’s wrath.

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These benefits assume both high-quality guest posting opportunities, as well as high-quality guest posters. The same benefits are not true if either end cannot claim to be of high quality.

Quality vs. quantity

Guest blogs are all about producing quality content while implementing good SEO practices. In the past, guest blogging focused more on amount, as was primarily used as an SEO tactic to get links, spam comments, or keywords.

We know that content and links make up two-thirds of Google’s top three ranking signals. While it’s good to have quality content on your own website that can help your visitors in addition to improving your SEO, it’s just as important to do the necessary work to get links.

Many people understand the benefits of guest blogging, and as a result, many of them are turning to different websites and publications in the hopes of creating content for these audiences.

While guest blogging usually doesn’t mean trading money for content, you still need to take it as seriously as a paid assignment. Think about it in terms of the marketing opportunity you want to maximize. As such, you want to make sure that you are trying to write guest posts for outlets that will help you get a great return on your investment of your efforts.

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Here’s how to find high quality guest blogging opportunities.

Identify your niche

You want your content to attract the right audience.

Defining your niche will make it easier for you to focus your presentation (and writing) efforts for your guest blogs.

Google also pays attention to the type of websites that link to your website.

The more closely a guest blog opportunity relates to your niche, the better the backlink will be for your SEO efforts.

How to identify high quality sites

When it comes to high quality guest blogging opportunities, look specifically for:

  • Websites that operate in the same (or similar) industry or niche.
  • An audience that in many ways (or all) matches your target customers.
  • Signs of high engagement (for example, a lot of comments on posts or a high number of shares of articles on social media).
  • A solid content distribution strategy that guarantees multiple views on content.

Metrics for Identifying a High Quality Guest Blogging Opportunity

There are a number of relevant metrics to consider when identifying a high-quality guest blogging opportunity, including:

SEO indicators for guest blogs

  • Ranking of relevant sector keywords. SEMRush is a great tool for determining SERP positions for keywords on competing websites.
  • Backlinks portfolio. Monitor Backlinks offers a free solution to check a website’s backlink portfolio.
  • Domain Authority (DA). Moz uses this metric to predict a site’s ranking.

DA is a metric that many guest bloggers use to gauge the value of a potential website. In theory, the closer a website’s DA score is to 100, the more traffic and better rankings it should expect.

Consider researching guest posting opportunities on blogs with a domain authority over 30 to help your website rank quickly. You can use Moz’s Open Site Explorer tool to check a site’s DA – the higher the better, especially if you’re posting a full guest post without compensation.

Social and audience factors

  • Like and share on Facebook
  • Tweets
  • LinkedIn shares
  • Alexa rank
  • Comments per item (although quality may be more important than quantity)

While social media doesn’t have a direct effect on SEO, it can still help with content promotion efforts. As such, it’s important to consider social and audience factors when it comes to qualifying a potential guest posting opportunity. Likes, comments, and shares are all important actions in giving content extra reach.

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Bad Guest post factors

While the aforementioned metrics focus more on quantitative factors, there are a number of quantitative factors to consider when identifying high quality guest blogging opportunities, such as:

  • Too many ads above the waterline
  • An outdated / bad website design
  • Bad information architecture
  • Lack of review / editing process
  • No published writer requirements
  • DA under 25
  • Payment required to post

Additional Considerations

Here are two other important factors to consider when trying to identify high quality guest blogging opportunities:

  • Exclusivity: Does the website accept everyone or only those with good ideas and a good reputation? You can verify this by searching the website you are visiting and “tracking” their contributors.
  • Linking: Doesn’t the website follow links from guest writers? Today, it’s much more difficult to get a link followed, especially from larger posts or any website or blog that maintains high editorial standards. While a nofollow link shouldn’t be your primary motivation for guest blogging, for some people it is still extremely important. If that’s you, you can prioritize blogs that give followed links. Just be aware that these sites can be smaller and have less authority, so it is questionable how much this will help your SEO efforts.

Engage in high quality guest blogging opportunities

Once you’ve created a list of high-quality guest blogging opportunities, it’s time to start thinking about what arguments you’ll be sending out.

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A few things to keep in mind:

  • Do not send a generic pitch letter, it will be ignored.
  • Personalize each cover letter with something you love or admire about the post you are featuring.
  • Introduce yourself and tell them why you want to start a guest blog and what you can do for them (not how you expect the opportunity to benefit you). Include examples of links to posts you’ve posted, especially ones that can demonstrate good numbers and engagement.

When pitching an idea for a guest post, remember that it’s not about your product, service, or business. Instead, it’s about establishing yourself as a thought leader.

To increase your chances of getting approved, avoid bad pitches and guest blogging practices. Note that some companies prioritize poster submissions from prolific guests, so if you can, try moving up the ranks by starting to feature “smaller” sites.

To show an example, let’s say that I propose to the Search Engine Journal to publish my article, this one, on How to identify high quality guest posting opportunities. Here’s an example of an email I could send to the publisher:

Hello [editor’s name],

My name is Maddy Osman and I write for [a few relevant publications in the digital marketing industry]. I am an active reader of [name the publication] and appreciated your recent story on [recent story topic]. In order to get more actively involved in your post, I would like to introduce a topic that I think might be of interest to your readers. Here are the details:

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[topic/title]

[A few sentences summarizing the topic and why it’s relevant to this audience] (bonus points if you provide a few subtitles and bullet points to flesh it out a bit more)

What do you think, [editor name]? Would that be interesting?

Thank you for your time,

[Your name]

The more you can show your interest in the post and how you can benefit from it, the more likely your pitch is to be accepted.

Think about it from the point of view of the editor whose thinking, “What is it for me?” If you just focus on the benefits you get from posting to a certain blog, the publisher won’t even care about you.

How to Identify High Quality Guest Blogging Opportunities

Although guest blogs have come under attack from many including googleit still manages to thrive as a smart digital marketing business because of the many (mutual) benefits it can bring to the poster and guest blog they post to.

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Although this tactic has been abused in the past, you can still use it now to to improve your SEO strategy – as long as you focus on creating high quality posts.

More guest blogging resources here:


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