How to Find Guest Blogging Opportunities and Present an Outreach Plan To Clients
It can be challenging to present guest blogging opportunities to a client who isn’t sure about the value of digital outreach. Without seeing how or why the process works, clients have a hard time wrapping their heads around the value your agency can provide with your guest posting service.
So, you have to show them.
By using this outline, you can create a template for guest blogging services that clearly explains the process and benefits of outreach, while helping your clients see how guest posting will boost their brand, SEO authority, and overall digital marketing strategy.
Step #1: Introduce Guest Blogging Benefits
For the first section of the proposal, tell clients how guest blogging will benefit them. Offer insight into the results that come from guest posting, such as:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Highlighting problems that the client’s product or service solves
- Improving visibility on social media
- Improving SEO authority
- Building industry authority
- Increasing traffic
- Increasing leads
Define the benefits of guest blogging, and more importantly, make sure your clients know that guest posting will bring different benefits depending on the strategy used.
Work with clients to identify one or two results that will be the primary goals of your campaign. Let them know that secondary benefits will likely occur, but be clear about which goals will be your primary focus.
Regardless of their goals, remind clients that guest blogging services will significantly reduce the time their team spends generating content. Orbit Media reports that the average time bloggers spend creating a single post is 3 hours and 16 minutes. This is a 26% increase from 2015.
Time is valuable, and being able to give that back to your clients is a big win.
Step #2: Define Site Qualifications
Next, educate clients even more. List the site qualifications or metrics you will use to rate potential guest post opportunities. Explain what each qualifier is and why it is important.
Alexa Rank measures a website’s authority online. The metric is an estimate of how popular a website is relative to other sites. It uses metrics such as the average daily visitors and pageviews to create the rankings. Alexa rankings are not measured on a set scale (like 1 to 100). Instead, it assigns an ordered number to every website, with the best website receiving an Alexa Rank of 1. When seeking guest blogging opportunities, you want posts to appear on sites with a prominent Alexa Rank.
Number of Pageviews is the total visits to pages on a website per month. This number offers a look at audience engagement as you can see how popular the site is and how high its traffic is.
Number of Unique Visitors is the total number of users that visit a website each month. Because this is a measurement of unique visitors, it counts each visitor once even if a person visits the website multiple times. This number helps identify how many people typically visit a website.
Audience Overlap Score is the level of audience similarity between a target site and another site. A high score indicates that two sites share a similar audience. This is an important metric when looking for opportunities to guest post on a site that shares the audience you want to reach.
Publisher Quality isn’t a metric that you can put an exact number on. You will need to use judgment to assign this qualifier to a website. Use at least three tiers to rate content:
- High: Websites that are among the largest publications on the web (such as The Huffington Post and the Daily Mail)
- Med: Industry-specific websites with strong followings (such as Copyblogger and Elephant Journal)
- Low: Basic-level blogs from independent publishers
Social Following is the total number of followers that a publication has on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn. Websites typically share their content through their social media networks, so this number gives you an idea of how much social visibility a guest post may receive. In fact, social media is the #1 way bloggers promote their content. For this data, you may look at the number of followers for each social network or add them up to create an overall social following metric for sites on your list.
A Syndication Network is a group of websites that regularly republish each other’s content with permission. This increases the visibility and reach of their content, so sites that are part of a syndication network are more valuable than those that aren’t. You can’t always tell if a site is a part of a syndication network; you will learn this over time if you continue to monitor certain sites.
Related reading: The Right Way to Launch a Blog Syndication Strategy
Use these metrics to create a spreadsheet you can present to clients in your proposal for guest blogging services. Later in this process, you will set metrics for each qualifier that will help you determine if a site is the right fit for your guest posting campaign.
Step #3: Review and Audit Existing Client Information
Once you help clients understand the potential value of guest posting, offer insight into their website’s gaps and explain how this process will fill them.
Provide data on clients’ current number of inbound links. Explain to them that by securing guest blogging opportunities, this number will rise with the goal of bringing about the benefits listed above.
To find the number of backlinks for a client site, use Alexa’s Site Overview, which is part of our Competitive Analysis Tools. It lists the total number, name, and URL of the sites linking to the client’s website. Export the data to an Excel sheet and add it to your proposal for guest blogging to give clients a complete look at their current linking status.
Define a client’s target audience. To effectively reach a client’s target audience through guest posting, you need to know who the target audience is. Provide a section in the client proposal that defines who the client’s current audience is and who they want to reach.
Talk to clients about their ideal and current customers to get information about their target audience, then use Alexa’s Site Overview to gather additional demographic details. This is one of the most useful guest post tools, as it provides detailed data about a client’s current website users, giving you insight into whether they are successfully reaching who they want to reach.
Outline client site metrics. Give clients a deeper look at the current state of their website by filling in their metrics for site qualifiers.
On the spreadsheet of guest post qualifiers, add information that relates to the client site. This puts the metrics in perspective and helps clients see how their site matches up to potential guest blogging sites.
Step #4: Set Guest Blogging Site Qualifications
Once you have information about the client site, set qualification metrics for potential guest blogging sites. Place a range on each metric that qualifies or disqualifies the site.
Consider metrics for the client’s site as you set qualifications. For example, if the client site has high-authority metrics, focus on getting posts on sites that share the same level of metrics. If the client site has low-authority metrics, you can start with lower authority (but still topically relevant) sites because you are just beginning to build a foundation of links back to the client site.
Also, consider your marketing objectives as you set qualifications. For example, if your main goal is to increase social media visibility, set a high qualifier for social following. If your main goal is to build authority in your industry, place a high value on audience overlap score so you can reach more of your target readers.
Add a row to your spreadsheet that includes your set of site qualifiers. Later, when you find potential sites, you can use these metrics as a checklist to determine which sites you will use for your guest posting strategy.
Step #5: Find Sites With a Similar Audience
Once you know what type of guest blogging opportunities you’re looking for, start your search. Look for guest blogging sites that share a similar audience to either your client’s site, one of their competitors, or a site that you already know is popular with your target demographic.
One of the easiest ways to perform this research and find guest post opportunities is by using Alexa’s Audience Overlap Tool. Enter a target site, and the Audience Overlap Tool uses demographic information to produce a list of sites that have a similar audience.
The report also includes the overlap score for each site, which indicates the level of audience similarity. Use the scores to find similar sites that share the most in-common audience. Also, use this tool to quickly qualify sites based on traffic by using the filter to “Show only sites with similar traffic levels.” This removes sites that have a level of traffic far below or higher than the target you’d set.
Step #6: Find Site Metrics
Once you have a list of potential guest posting sites, find their site metrics so you can begin to qualify sites to see which ones will produce the best opportunities for your campaign. Go back to your spreadsheet and enter in each metric for the sites on your list.
Alexa’s SEO tools enable you to gather this information and quickly fill in your site metrics. From the report you created in the Audience Overlap Tool, select the sites you want to review and click to run the Site Comparison.
You can then find website traffic and statistics for the sites, such as Alexa Rank, demographic information, and number of unique visitors and pageviews.
If you want even more data on each site, use Alexa’s Site Overview tool to collect additional information, like bounce rate and time on site.
Step #7: Qualify Sites That Match Metrics
Alexa’s Marketing Stack allows you to fill your guest blogging opportunity template with a list of sites that match both the target audience and the metric qualifications for your guest posting plan.
Once you have this site data, you can qualify sites that match your metric standards and disqualify sites that don’t have metrics that will help you reach your goals.
Step #8: Identify Guest Blogging Opportunities
When you have a list of sites that match both the demographic and qualifier metrics, you can start to create potential ideas for each site. You can develop these ideas using our Competitor Keyword Matrix. Enter sites from your qualified list into the Keyword Matrix.
On the next screen, use a filter to “Show Keyword Gaps” for one of your sites.
The results will show you a list of SEO keywords that rank for all of the sites in your list, except for the site in your filter. This identifies topics that are popular for similar blogs, but are not covered on that particular site. With this information, you can make a list of keywords to create your guest post topics around.
From the Competitor Keyword Matrix, you can also use the Keyword Cluster option to group keywords by topic. This produces an even longer list of potential topic ideas to use for your guest posts.
Step #9: Present It All to Your Clients
As you go through this process, you’re collecting all of the information you will need to present guest blogging services to clients. With that info, you can prepare a template that includes:
- Education on guest blogging benefits
- Specific campaign goals
- Definitions of site qualifications
- Metrics for campaign-specific site qualifications
- Client site metrics and demographic info
- A list of guest blogging opportunities that target the ideal audience, meet the desired qualifier metrics, and have keyword gaps perfect for pitching sites
When you compile this information into a proposal, clients will have no problem seeing the value of digital PR and beginning their guest blogging campaign with you.