Guest blogging is an effective way to build quality backlinks, build relationships, build credibility, increase brand exposure and drive traffic to your site. However, you need to be a little careful when you start guest blogging as all the opportunities are not the same. Here are 10 criteria you need to follow while evaluating guest blogging opportunities.
Before that, let’s just get the basics in place for those of you who are new to the world of guest posting. It’s nothing but contributing content to another blog and in return, you will be allowed to mention about you, your business, usually in the author bio. Check this post on the benefits of guest blogging to know more. For the purpose of this post, I assume you are aware of the basics of SEO and link building. If you are new to SEO and internet marketing, don’t worry, use this excellent resource from SEOmoz to get the basics in place. Trust me; it’s not as difficult as you’d think.
Is the blog relevant to you? Do they write about the same industry or topic to which your site belongs to? The backlinks are more valuable if they come from sites within the same industry because it’s like an endorsement from others in the industry and search engines give more importance to such links. Moreover, if it is in the same industry, the readers will be an ideal target for you to reach out to too.
2. Do they allow guest blogging?
Obviously, you need to check is if they allow guest blogging. Look for tabs or links which says ‘write for us’ ‘guest posting’ ‘contribute content’ etc on the site and make sure to read their guest post submission guidelines carefully and follow them when you write the post and submit.
Read through a few articles to evaluate the quality of content. Interesting headlines, in-depth coverage, clarity in presentation, supporting statements with facts, usage of examples, correct usage of language and grammar, visuals, etc. shows how good the content is.
4. Do they allow backlinks in the post?
When you go through the guest post guidelines, it is important to know if they allow you to put links to your site or blog post. Also check how many links are allowed, if they are allowed within the body copy or only in the author bio, are they no-follow links etc. Ideally, you should get two links either in the body copy or in the author bio and they have to be do-follow links. But you can compromise on this based on the quality of the blog.
5. Ranking for keywords
Is the host blog ranking for any keywords it is targeting? If they are ranking for some of their target terms, it is a good blog to associate your brand with.
6. Active blog
How often do they update their blog with new content? Most popular blogs update their content very frequently with more than three to four posts daily. Even if they have a new post every three to four days, it’s worth considering, if it has authority.
7. Blog comments
The number and the quality of comments for each post show how readers respond to each post. If you see good number of meaningful comments adding value to the topic, it’s a good sign of reader engagement.
8. Social media stats and engagement
Are they present on leading social media channels (at least Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin) and how often they update their profiles? A high number of followers and good social sharing shows the popularity of the blog.
9. Google PageRank , Alexa Rank, Compete Rank, Domain authority
These are few important matrices you need to check to get a fair idea about the quality of the site, traffic received, average unique visitors to the site etc.
10. Number links and link profile
Use a free tool like Open Site Explorer to check the total number of links, inbound links, outbound links, anchor text profile etc. to know if the site links to other sites and what kind of sites are they linking to. Also see who is linking to their site and what anchor texts are used for linking.
11. Real people
Are there real people behind the blog or it’s an automated robot that does the content filling job? Check who the writers are and their social media profiles to get a better idea.
If you look at these parameters closely and select the blog, you can be sure of the time and effort you are going to invest in the guest post.