Ultimate Guide to Secure a Guest Post Anywhere – Every Time!

Posted : September 21, 2023

Word Count: 10243 

( 34 Min )

Guest post campaigns are an incredibly powerful PR and content marketing tactic. They provide a range of benefits and advantages for people who apply them as part of their growth strategy. There are many reasons to start guest posting. A report from Optinmonster revealed that 60% of blogs write 1-5 guest posts per month, and these drive a significant portion of website traffic.

This guide will dig deep into guest posts and explain precisely what you need to know to secure them and share content across the internet in a reliable and repeatable process.

The Guest Post Basics

A guest post is an article written and submitted to a publication by someone who is not a staff writer or normal contributor to that website.

For example, I have written guest posts for publications like HubSpot, Marketing Blog, MuckRack, PR Daily, BuzzStream, RankWatch, and many other websites.

My only relationship with those websites is that I have provided them with top-quality content they are excited to share with their audience. I do not work for them. I did not get paid to write the article. But I did receive the benefits of guest posting by writing and submitting work to them for free.

What Are the Benefits of Guest Posting?

The exact purpose of a guest post depends on the content marketing strategy, but nearly every guest post will provide a range of benefits to its author.

Your guest post should be crafted based on the priorities of your goals. The quality of your writing and the framework of your content will determine its effectiveness in reaching those goals.

In general, a guest post can provide the following benefits:

  1. Brand development and awareness
  2. Establish expertise within an industry
  3. Credibility from 3rd party publications
  4. Define your thought leadership
  5. Build relationships
  6. Backlink opportunities for SEO
  7. Lead generation
  8. Authority building
  9. Customer Education
  10. Develop your portfolio as an author
  11. Reach a new audience
  12. Enhance content marketing strategies
  13. Drive new traffic to your site

If your goal is getting a backlink to your website at all costs, then your content should be written to naturally host that backlink. You need to create an environment where the backlink is justified and expands on the value of your content. It’s reference should be integral to the explanation and development of the topic theme and ideas.

Otherwise, it is likely to get removed by an editor for being irrelevant or overly self-promotional.

Here is an example of a guest post written to host a backlink:

On the other hand – if your goal is to establish expertise on a subject, then the focus of your content should be entirely value-driven and demonstrate knowledge and insight on a topic.

How to write a guest post will be covered in the heading ” How to Find Potential Guest Post Opportunities” in further detail below, but the point is that in order to withdraw maximum benefit from a guest post – your content needs to be focused on that goal.

Types of Publications that Accept Guest Posts

A guest post can be placed on many different types of websites.

The basic rule is that if a website hosts content, there is potential for a guest post placement on that site.

However, some sites are much more likely to accept a guest post than others.

Here is a basic guideline on the types of sites that you might pitch for a guest post:

a) Niche Blogs

There are literally thousands of blogs on the internet dedicated to every topic or subject.

From Travel to Yoga to Tech to Marketing – these are websites that are usually run by a small team or branded under one person’s name.

Here is an example of a Personal Blog:

Here is an example of a Niche Travel Blog:

Here is an example of a Marketing Blog:

WARNING: One thing to keep in mind with Niche Blogs is that many of them monetize their sites through sponsored posts and advertising. This means that if you pitch to certain sites, they may respond with an advertising package or a placement fee for their website.

b) Company Blogs

Nearly every business website has some type of company blog. They are used in a variety of ways from SEO to customer education to sharing company news.

However, not all company blogs are perfect for guest posts.

In general, you want to avoid company blogs that are in direct competition with your business.

Also, avoid company blogs that only share company-specific news and updates or are inactive, as they will unlikely post your content.

This means you probably want to aim for any ‘shoulder niches’ or blogs that appeal to your customer base as well.

Company blogs that share real content by a variety of writers are ideal for guest posts. It means that they produce value-driven content and are constantly seeking new content to keep their blog active.

Here is an example of a bad company blog for guest posts.

I’m not saying this is a bad blog – I am saying it is a bad blog for your guest post.


  • Every post is from the same person or “the team”
  • Every post is directly related to the company
  • The audience is likely limited to people who are involved with the company in some way
  • An inconsistent posting schedule indicates they probably only post when they have company news

Here is an example of a good company blog for guest posts

Why is this a good blog for a potential guest post?

  • Posts are high-quality, interesting, and cover various topics
  • There are many different types of contributing authors
  • They post on a daily basis
  • The audience is wide and varied beyond just their customer base
  • It is respected as a source of information

b) Industry-Specific Publications

Many industry-specific publications only cover content that is related to a specific industry, such as manufacturing or design.

These publications will accept content that is related directly to their audience, but the content should typically be written by an industry expert or insider.

The content should also not be promotional for a business but instead, focus on actual industry issues or topics. The more vendor-neutral, journalistic, and objective, the more likely you will place on higher-tiered sites.

Here is an example of an Industry-Specific Publication.

D) Mainstream News Publications

Mainstream media publications are usually the most challenging place to get a guest post – but that does not mean it is impossible.

Typically, guest posts on these sites will come in the form of an Op-Ed (Opinion Editorial).

These are usually articles from business leaders who provide insight or perspective into a topic.

Guest posts on sites will usually need to go through a rigorous editorial process before getting approved. They need to be well-written, thoughtful, and/or newsworthy. Here’s a detailed example of what you need to do to write for Forbes.

Here is an example of an Op-Ed piece on Forbes:

E) General Magazines or Multi-topic Blogs

While people often look for niche publications or blogs about a specific topic – many general magazines or blogs cover multiple subjects or themes.

Websites like this are usually organized into categories and may cover many different topics like:

  • Arts and Culture
  • Tech
  • Business
  • Marketing
  • Fitness
  • Health

Sometimes, a magazine will cover one subject with multiple subcategories. For example, an overall health magazine might cover anything from Yoga to healthy recipes.

Here is an example of a multi-topic magazine:

F) Review Sites

There are also many websites that are dedicated to reviewing different types of products or services. Some of these sites will accept reviews from other people, which makes for a great guest post opportunity – particularly when trying to promote a product.

You will probably need to use a 3rd party persona so that it doesn’t appear overly promotional, but this can be a good way of submitting content that is focused on a product.

WARNING: The majority of these sites will accept submission of the product only, and a writer from their team will review it.

Here is an example of a place where you can submit an app for review:

g) Other Sites

In addition, there are many other types of sites like forums, open contributor platforms, crowdfunding publications, and other types of sites that accept content from 3rd party contributors.

Check out

These are great sites to post content because it is easy to get access to, and you have the potential to tap into new audiences.

Remember This About All Guest Posts!

The main thing to keep in mind for guest posting is that there is a constant hunger for content on the internet.

If you create great content, you can find endless opportunities to share it.

However, your focus should always be on quality content over self-promotion.

Quality content often does the following:

  • Provides market analysis backed by stats/data
  • Provides new solutions for the type of audience that they can apply today
  • That the content matches the style/tone of the publication and is free of grammar and spelling mistakes, and without typos
  • References external sources that are considered credible: Forbes, HBR, Inc.com, TechCrunch (usually has a high DA)
  • Is not rehashing existing content on the internet that everyone knows
  • Makes unique insights about an industry, topic, technology, news, or some other relevant information that is on everyone’s mind

If you can stick to that, you produce a triple-win situation!!!

How to Guest Post

Whether it’s building lists of optimal sites for your client, creating pitch templates, or developing a solid bio, there are many steps to a guest post campaign.

We’ll start with building an author profile, but don’t be mistaken, every single step of a campaign requires attention to detail and quality research.

How to Build an Author Profile

The first step to guest posting is to gather all your resources, proving your authority as a guest contributor.

I have pitched guest post campaigns with over a 30% acceptance rate, and I know that the biggest reason for failure is:

  • Boring, generic content ideas
  • Aiming too high without the writing portfolio to back it up
  • An author profile that isn’t targeted

Of course – if you are just starting out with guest posting, you might not have any previous writing samples, or you might not know what makes a great guest post idea.

Everyone needs to start somewhere – And that’s why we’ve created this guide 🙂

So How Do I Start Building an Author Profile?

There are three main steps to creating a strong author profile for guest posting:

  • Choose Your Author
  • Write the Bio
  • Collect Examples of Writing Experience

A) Choose Your Author

Every guest post needs an author.

Exactly who that author is depends on what you are trying to achieve with your guest posting campaign.

For example, you might be trying to:

  • Demonstrate your authority or expertise on a subject
  • Get your company or product/services in front of new audiences
  • Build backlinks to your website
  • Build trust and credibility in your industry

Based on your priority goal – you need to choose an Author Profile that will help you achieve it.

It doesn’t matter who is actually writing the article; choosing your author profile should be based on how you plan to present your content. But whoever you choose, they should have a real web presence on a website, LinkedIn, and ideally elsewhere, as editors will look them up.

There are two main types of Author Profiles that you may choose to use:

  1. 1st Person Persona
  2. 3rd Party Persona

1st Person Persona Author Profile

In most cases, your guest posting Author Profile will be based on someone who represents your business in some way.

This might be the CEO, Founders, or anyone else from your team.

Usually, choosing someone with previous writing examples or industry expertise to back up their qualification as a guest contributor is best.

These types of Author Profiles are best when you are trying to prove your industry expertise, develop your brand and messaging, or build trust and credibility for your company.

3rd Part Persona Author Profile

In some cases, you may want to use a 3rd party persona as your Author Profile.

This means that you might choose someone who is not directly related to your company or business.

This is a bit of a grey hat technique and is usually applied when you are trying to build backlinks to your website, build 3rd party validation for your company, or push positive reviews of your product/service.

In many cases, editors will reject or remove links from articles that seem overly self-promotional or are created just to insert a backlink.

In these cases, sometimes it is possible to get up some content, either containing a backlink or more direct promotion of a business, if that content is submitted by someone who “appears” to have no direct connection to that business or website.

Creating a 3rd party persona is not easy as it takes a lot of work to develop over time and support with examples of writing, social links, etc.

I would never recommend using a fake person – but working with an outside party can sometimes be a way to circumvent tough editorial guidelines.

B) Write the Bio

After you have identified your author, you will need to write a bio for them.

Your author bio should be well-organized and easily shared with potential publications. Keeping a brief document with an uploaded headshot on Google Drive or DropBox is an easy way to keep everything in one place.

Here is an Example of a Great Author Bio:

C) Collect Examples of Writing Experience

A good author profile will be supported by a solid set of previously published articles that demonstrate the author’s ability to write.

Any example should be of the highest quality possible and always attributed or bylined under the author’s name. Ideally – they have also been published on other authoritative sites.

If you haven’t been published anywhere (yet!) – then examples from a company or personal blog, or unpublished written examples can also work.

If you don’t have any writing samples – then you will need to work on building your author’s portfolio with time.

For those without a lot of writing examples, starting at lower-tier publications is the best way to go. With time and more examples, you can start aiming at larger and better publications.

Sites like Medium, LinkedIn, or Steemit are super easy places to start publishing work, as almost anyone can add content to those sites.

It can also be useful to save all of your published work in one place:

  • Use a page on your site dedicated to sharing writing examples
  • Use a 3rd party portfolio site like content.ly
  • Save examples in a Google Drive folder or on Dropbox

Here’s an example of a great writing portfolio:

How to Develop Content Ideas

Now that you have created a solid Author Profile to support your guest post campaign – it’s time to start generating some content ideas to pitch to publications.

Your content does not need to be written before you start pitching – but you do need to have some solid ideas that will appeal to editors and potential publications.

Although some people prefer to write their content first – then find a home for it – this is not 100% necessary.

In fact, most publications have different guidelines, so sometimes – even a completed piece may need to be modified to fit the bill for an interested publication.

That being said – some publications will only accept a completed article for consideration and will turn away pitches, ideas, and outlines without even considering them.

Regardless of when you write the article – you will need to come up with some solid content ideas first.

The Golden Rule of All Guest Posts: Focus on Value First

The biggest mistake that people make when trying to guest post is that they are overly concerned about promoting themselves or their business or trying to pack an article with selfish backlinks.

Don’t do this!
Focus on providing readers with value first!

Self-promotional or backlink-ridden guest posts are spammy, advertorial, and not that interesting to most readers!

Plus – they probably won’t get accepted.

Of course, you want to promote yourself and your business – but let that promotion come by answering important questions, providing insight on a topic, or giving great advice to your readers (and potential customers!).

You want to provide value to your readers upfront.

By demonstrating your expertise and helping others with your knowledge and insights,  your readers will come to you when they have questions or need solutions.

So How Do I Create Incredible Content Ideas?

When you sit down to start writing, there are a few ways to approach it:

Read, Read, Read: The best way to become a great writer is by becoming a great reader. Look for articles that inspire you. Don’t become a
plagiarist or simply rehash tired ideas – but consider content that works well. Why did it work? What was interesting about it? How can you emulate their style?

Review Content on Target Publications: If you want to get featured on a specific publication, then you definitely want to know the type of content they produce. Just like reading, monitoring big publications will give you a better idea of what editors might want to see in a pitch.

Be Creative: Yeah, okay – this might be obvious and probably easier said than done. However, fresh and new perspectives will always catch an editor’s eye. Your “Top 10 List Of Boring Things” isn’t going to make the cut! Try to bring something new to the conversation, or have a great new angle on something old.

The above is about thinking like a writer – but you may still feel like you don’t have any concrete guidance on creating content ideas.

How to Find Potential Guest Post Opportunities

Now that you have your author profile and some great content ideas – it’s time to find some guest post opportunities.

There are essentially four ways to find guest post opportunities:

  1. Through Open Submissions
  2. From Source Requests
  3. Through Cold Outreach
  4. From Relationship Building

Each of these methods requires a slightly different approach to come across them, but the principle is the same – how can you get your content on someone else’s website?

A) Guest Posts through Open Submissions

There are many websites that are actively seeking guest contributions from writers like you.

Usually, this is advertised on their site under a “write for us” or “become a contributor” page.

Sometimes, it is more obvious on some sites than others, but even big publications like Entrepreneur and Inc. have open channels for submitting content.

Check this out to submit to Entrepreneur
Or this for submitting to Inc.

This is probably one of the easiest ways to secure a guest post.

When a website advertises that it accepts guest posts, it means:

  • They have established guidelines and procedures for contributing
  • They are actively seeking new content
  • They are open to receiving pitches and ideas at any time

Here is an example of websites that have open submissions for guest posts:

  1. Hubpot
  2. Benzinga
  3. VentureBeat
So How Do I Find Websites With Open Submissions For Guest Posts?

Really, the best way to find websites that accept guest posts is by looking.

I know – that doesn’t help much!

But here are three other ways that will help!

1. Read the Fine Print

If you are interested in a particular publication, look through the website for any opportunities to contribute.

Sometimes, this is obvious – sometimes, you need to look a little closer…

2. Use a List that Someone Else Made!

Believe me – you are not the first person who has wanted to guest post.

In fact, a lot of people guest post a lot of the time because it is a solid strategy with a ton of benefits.

As with any strategy that works, there are always people who seek out ways to make it an easier process.

Luckily – lots of them share that information for free. It is relatively easy to run a quick online search relative to your industry and pull up premade lists of blogs that accept guest posts.

Here is a great example
Here is another example

3. Do Targeted Search Engine Queries

Another way to find publications that accept guest posts is by using good old-fashioned Google.

Surprise, surprise.

When you are searching for guest posts – use some basic search engine commands and try a variation of keywords until you get what you are looking for.

For example:

The Problem with Open Submissions for Guest Posts…

Wait? There’s a problem with websites that actively seek guest posts?

Well, the short answer to that is yes and no.

Yes – it’s a super easy way to find guest post opportunities and submit content for a site that actually wants it.

The issue is a popularity problem:

  • Top-tier publications that accept guest posts are typically
    overwhelmed by submissions and enforce strict quality
    control to weed out the unwanted. This can also mean crazy
    long wait times (up to 6 months!) before anything gets published.
  • Lower-tier publications that accept guest posts quickly and
    easily are usually full of fluffier content, hold lower traffic
    rates, and have less ‘authority.’

This is not a pervasive problem; there is usually a nice middle ground of decent websites with reasonable editorial schedules.

B) Guest Posts from Source Requests

Believe it or not – some websites actually send out requests for writing contributions.

This is another easy way to find a guest posting opportunity.

All you have to do is sit back and stay tuned for the next opportunity that comes your way.

Here are two super easy ways to monitor potential guest post opportunities from source requests!

1. Use a Tool like The Source Bottle

If you haven’t signed up for the Source Bottle – go to their website and do so now!

The Source Bottle will send you emails every day that are chock-full of tasty press opportunities.

Some of these opportunities include guest posts.

Here is an example of a guest post request:

2. Monitor Social Media Requests

Another way to find requests for guest posts is by monitoring social media.

Twitter is particularly useful for this – but some Facebook and LinkedIn groups can yield guest post opportunities.

To be fair – not all of the results under these hashtags will be exactly what you need, but if you keep a careful eye and filter out the noise, you can find guest post opportunities.

There are two ways to monitor social media requests:

  1. Manual Checks: Whenever you have a hankering for a guest post, hop onto social media and dig around to see what you can find.
  2. Set Up Some Automation: If you want to keep an eye out for activity when you are not at your desk, then you can set up some automation to keep track of activity. This can quickly become a very sophisticated way of monitoring social activity, but here is an easy start:
Easy and Free Way to Setup Automated Twitter Monitoring

Step 1. Create an account on IFTTT

Guest Posts from Cold Outreach

We’ve covered how to find guest posts when there are open opportunities and active requests, but what happens when no one is looking or when you want to publish on a specific site?

This is where outreach comes in – our specialty 🙂

The reality is that many sites accept guest posts but do not actively advertise that they do or only do so in case-by-case.

Really, the only way to find out if a publication accepts guest posts is by asking – and this requires a little bit of cold emailing.

We are going to talk more about:

But for now – I want to cover the basics of cold outreach for guest posting.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when starting cold outreach for guest posting:

  • Select publications related to your niche or industry
  • Always send an email to the best person possible (Editors, Blog Managers, Content Marketing Managers, etc.)
  • Don’t send spammy pitches
  • Create a value exchange with the targeted website
  • Focus on great content ideas and leave out self-promotion

With these points in mind, all you really need to do to get a guest post is:

  1. Find a website that you would like to post on
  2. Check if they have any guest posting guidelines
  3. Find the best person to contact
  4. Send them a friendly and compelling email 🙂
  5. Wait for their response!

We are going to explore some of these strategies a little later, but let’s continue with other methods of finding guest post opportunities.

Guest Posts from Relationship Building

Some of the best guest post opportunities come from new or established relationships.

Heck – if you keep pumping out great content and developing a strong portfolio, people will start coming to you and asking for a guest post straight up!

Building relationships is easy when it comes naturally, but it can be a little more tricky if you are trying to do it with intent.

When you want to get in as a contributor or guest poster on top-tier publications like Forbes or Entrepreneur, sometimes the only way is through a relationship that gets you in the back door.

Sometimes, all it takes is a referral from another contributor or an introduction to an editor to really get it started.

Sometimes your cold outreach should be based on building a relationship with someone before asking them if you can contribute.

The most important thing for starting a relationship with someone is providing value up front!

If you can help someone first – they are much more likely to help you out in return.

How to Build Target Lists

Now that we have covered some of the ways to find guest post opportunities – we are going to explore some strategies that will help you pitch faster, more effectively, and at scale.

The first step to this is building target lists.

This will help you stay organized on the websites you have pitched and help you move through a lot quicker and easier.

The best method to use depends on how you plan on approaching your guest post acquisitions.

Are you going to do it all at once? Or monitor over a period of time?

Typically, I would recommend a combination of both.

A) Defining/Qualifying Guest Post Opportunities

Before you start building your target lists – you need to define what types of opportunities you are looking for and what characteristics qualify them as a potential target.

How you define your targets will depend on your goals with guest posting – but in general, there are a few qualities that most people desire in any website that they publish on:

  1. Niche or Industry Relevance
  2. High Domain Authority (DA or DR)
  3. Follow or No-Follow Links
  4. Good levels of Website Traffic
  5. Social Reach

You probably have a great guest post opportunity if you find a website related to what you do, with high domain authority, healthy website traffic, and social reach.

Of course – you may need to make concessions depending on where you are at in your guest post campaign.

If it is your first guest post – aim lower and build up to the big ones with time.

If you already have a great portfolio – aim for the top!

1. Niche or Industry Relevant

The first step to building your target list is identifying the types of publications that you would like to pursue.

They should be directly related to what you do and what you want to write about.

Depending on the type of content you want to submit, there may be cross-over into multiple websites or publications.

For example, if you are writing an article about “How to Setup Successful SEO for 2023” – then it may be suitable to submit the content to:

  • Marketing Blogs
  • SEO Blogs
  • Small Business Advice Blogs
  • Entrepreneurship Blogs

The main principle here is that you should submit your content to sites that will be interested in what you have to say.

Not only is it more likely to be accepted by the website, you will also be reaching an audience that will be more engaged by your content.

2. High Domain Authority

If you are new to SEO – then you may have never heard of DA or Domain Authority.

It is essentially a method of ranking or valuing a website in relation to search engine rankings.

Here is how Moz describes it.

Generally – the higher the DA of a website, the more valuable it is as a guest post opportunity (and potential source for a backlink!).

If you are guest posting for the purpose of link building, then this is definitely something you want to consider when building your target lists.

Due to changes in Google’s algorithm – there have been some changes to how people approach backlinking for SEO.

In general, there is a much greater emphasis on the quality of backlinks over the quantity of backlinks.

This means 3 or 4 links from High DA and relevant websites are much more valuable than 20 crappy links from spammy, random websites.

We all want our content on the best sites possible, but as a general rule, it is best to pursue websites with a DA equivalent or higher than the DA of your own website.

When you are building your list – the DA shouldn’t be a hard and fast rule but more of a general guideline on the level of sites that you would like to be featured on.

Here Are Two Easy (And Free!) Ways to Check the DA of Any Website!

  1. Use SEOReviewTools.com
    Just plug in the domain URL you want to check; it will give you tons of useful information on that website!
  2. Use the MozBar Extension
    This is an incredibly useful tool for checking the DA of any website that you visit. All you need to do is install and switch to DA mode, and it will automatically show the DA of any website you visit in the corner of your browser.

3. Follow or No-Follow Links

Another SEO element that many people consider when seeking out guest posts is – do they provide follow or no-follow links?

A follow link (sometimes referred to as a ‘do-follow’ link) is a link that allows search engines to follow the link (via the search algorithm) back to the website that it leads to.

This provides you with ‘link juice’ or a ‘backlink’ that people employing SEO are seeking.

Here is an example of a follow link: <a href=”http://www.google.com/”>Google</a>

A no-follow link is a link that does not allow search engine bots to follow the link back to the linked website. The link will still lead to that website – but only a human will be able to click on it and follow it through.

There are still some SEO benefits to a no-follow link – depending on where it is placed on the page – but most people are primarily seeking follow links.

Here is an example of a no-follow link: <a href=”http://www.google.com/” rel=”nofollow”>Google</a>

Depending on the website, your content may have a mix of follow and no-follow links.

Some editors will remove links or make them no-follow if they think they are only used for SEO.

Some editors will allow a certain number of follow links or only allow a follow link in the author’s bio.

Really – the only way to tell if a website provides follow or no-follow links is by checking some of their posted content, reviewing the guidelines, or asking the editor.

Here Is an Easy Way to Check Links on Any Website!

If you have taken my advice on installing the MozBar. Here is another way it can be used to check for follow and no follow links:

  1. Install the MozBar
  2. Click on the extension to open the options
  3. Click on the High Lighter symbol
  4. Turn on the “Followed” or “No-Followed” options
  5. The MozBar will highlight all links and let you know what type they are!

4. Good Levels of Website Traffic

Another characteristic of a website that many people consider when selecting a target for a guest post is the level of traffic or visitors that the website gets.

This can give you an indication of how many people you are going to reach with your guest post.

The more people you can reach with your content – the greater the impact.

Here is an Easy (And Free!) Way to Check the Traffic of Any Website

Step 1. Go to Similar Web
Step 2. Pop in your URL

And presto – you have tons of website metrics!

5. Social Reach

Another aspect to consider when selecting a website for a guest post is its social reach.

This means – what type of value will you get if a website shares your article on their Social Media?

Sometimes, a website’s traffic levels may be low – but they may have a highly engaged social following.

To get a quick idea of how far your content will go – click through to their social profiles and see what kind of following they have.

Some tools can give you an overview of a website’s different social media profiles.

For example – BuzzSumo provides analytics on content and average shares.

B) Using Scraping Tools to Build Lists

Now that you know what type of websites you want to go after – it’s time to start building lists.

Here is an extremely easy and quick way of putting together an extensive list of websites in any niche or industry.

This is a good beginner step to learning how to scrape data from a website.

Step 1. Install the Scraper Chrome Extension
Step 2. Go to a website that contains lists and links to websites that you might want to publish on

For this example – we will use Alltop.com

Within minutes, you now have an extensive list of potential targets.

It may take a little extra time to aggregate multiple scrapes and to pick through the websites – but it’s a really fast and easy way to start building a great list.

You can now start manually checking for contact info on each site and qualifying them based on your parameters – but for the slightly more advanced…

Extract More Data!

BuzzStream isn’t perfect at extracting the right contact info – but don’t worry, we will get into that!

However, it is very useful for getting some more insight into your scraped URLs.

You will still need to go through the websites and figure out if they are right for you or not – but this is a quick way to jump ahead and make informed decisions.

C) Use IFTTT to Monitor RSS Feeds

Another way to build target lists is by monitoring new content that is released across the internet.

This gives you some idea of places that might be looking for more content like yours.

For example – if you find a website that consistently publishes content similar to your upcoming guest post, this may mean that they would like to publish yours!

Here’s a way to set up a little bit of automation to help you stay on top of new content.

Step 1. Install the Get RSS Feed URL Chrome extension

Step 2. Go to a website that aggregates content from many different sites. Here is an example of an aggregate content site that shares RSS feeds:

Step 3. Get the URL for the RSS Feed. *Look for the RSS Symbol or use the Chrome extension!

Step 4. Go to IFTTT.com – Create a New Applet

Step 5. Select RSS Feed as the first Ingredient – and “New Feed Item Matches”

Step 6. Input your Keyword and RSS Feed URL

Step 7. Choose Google Sheets as the Second Ingredient – “Add Row ToSpreadSheet”

Step 8. Fill in the final details for the spreadsheet and launch it!

Step 9. Review the results and see who is sharing content similar to what you want to share.

D) Using Google Alerts To Find Targets

Another way to track potential websites to share your work is by using Google Alerts.

Step 1. Set up a Google Alert to crawl for content that is similar to what you want to share.

Step 2. Adjust the settings to your preference.

Step 3. Review your Google Alert Emails and pay careful attention to the publications sharing work similar to what you are trying to share as a guest post.

Step 4. Track interesting or potential publications that you would like to pitch in a spreadsheet.

Step 5. Check out the website for contact information or guest posting guidelines.

Step 6. Pitch away!

How to Find the Right Contact Information

Now that you have a list of places that you would like to pitch for a guest post – you need to find the right contact information.

There are a few things to consider when attempting to pitch a guest post:

  • A) Who is the best person to contact?
  • B) How to find their email
  • C) Submission forms

A) Who Is the Best Person to Contact?

Whenever you pitch a guest post, it is always better to send your pitch directly to a person who has the authority to approve a contribution.

In general, it is better to avoid a generic email ([email protected]) or a submission form.

Sometimes, this is the only choice, but you will usually get better responses if you send it to a specific person instead. If it happens to be a generic email, you may still find the name of the recipient, the managing editor, or operations editor, or the specific industry editor. Check the website to see who the editors are and address it to the most likely recipient in the body of your email. This way, even if you send it to a generic email, you can still personalize it.

As a guideline, you want to find:

  • Editors
  • Content Managers
  • Owner/Founder of a Blog

One of the easiest ways to figure out who is in charge is by looking at the editorial page, the masthead of a publication, or the ‘About’ page.

Here are some examples of ‘About’ pages.

Usually, these can be found by looking at the top or bottom banners of a website – or by doing a quick Google search:

“Publication + Masthead”

If you are having a hard time finding the right person, sometimes a search on LinkedIn can also yield results.

B) How to Find Their Email

Finding the right email for someone can vary in difficulty depending on the website or the person.

Sometimes emails are listed in plain view – but other times you may need to use some tools or make an educated guess.

Here are 3 of the easiest ways to find someone’s contact information:

  1. Look at their website!
  2. Use an Email Extractor Tool!
  3. Make an educated guess!

1. Look At Their Website!

Yes – this may be obvious, but it should be stated because sometimes when you’re in a rush you might miss it.

Most of the time – you can find the contact information for someone right on their website.

You might want to look at:

  • The Contact Page
  • The Editorial Page or Masthead
  • The About Page
  • Top and Bottom Banners of a website
  • The Team Page

PRO TIP: Pay careful attention when searching, sometimes emails are written like this:

jimbojones at gmail.com
jimbojones {at} gmail {dot} com

2. Use an Email Extractor Tool

Sometimes finding an email can be a little more tricky than just poking around a website.

When this is the case, use an email extractor tool.

There are many tools like this, but a personal favorite is Interseller.

Here is how to use the Chrome extension Interseller to easily grab almost any email:

  • Step 1. Install the Chrome extension from their website.
  • Step 2. Go to any website – Type in the name and associated URL of the target.
  • Step 3. You’ve got their email.


  • Step 4. Go to any LinkedIn Profile.
  • Step 5. Click on the Interseller.io Button.

It’s really that easy

3. Make an Educated Guess

Typically, most websites follow a format for all their emails.

For example – Forbes usually uses the first letter and the full last name @forbes.com

This means: Jimbo Jones = [email protected]

If you can find one email, try a similar format and see if it works!

BONUS TIP: Ask someone for the right person to contact. If you can find the contact information for anyone at the site, send them a quick note and ask who is the best person to contact about your query.

C) Submission Forms

Sometimes, a submission form is the only way to contact a website. And in a few cases, it’s the preferred way for guest post submissions. Remember to read those guidelines, because if you keep emailing the managing editor but they only respond to queries through their submission forms, you might burn a relationship. Once someone has responded through the submission manager and you have a contact, then you can use their email without any concern for future submissions.

This is not the ideal way to pitch a guest post – but it does work!

Someone usually monitors those submissions, but the only drawback is that it takes a little longer to get a response.

You may want to hold off on your entire pitch until someone responds and you have a direct line of communication with someone.

How to Pitch a Guest Post

By now – you should know exactly what you are pitching and where you are pitching it!

But before you start pitching, you must make sure to find the guidelines of any publication. Sometimes these are included in the ‘About’ or ‘Contact’ page, but it is also often a separate link you’ll find in the header/footer. It is key to read this and follow all guideline notes carefully because editors will often toss a piece if it falls outside the guidelines.

This might also be true for editorial calendars. Some publications have calendars for what kinds of topics they are publishing for a given month. If you find an editorial calendar, make sure to compare it with whatever industry and topic you’re pitching. If they match, great! If they don’t look for an opportunity in the calendar for when they will align.

Here’s an example of an editorial calendar:

Phew, okay, now that that’s out of the way, how do you pitch a guest post?

How to Write a Good Pitch

When you are doing any type of cold outreach – you only get one shot at making a first impression.

This means you want to ensure your pitch is as solid as it can be before you send it anywhere.

The Golden Rule of All Pitches: Be Personal

Personalized emails will always do better than a generic out-of-the-box pitch that is used over and over.

Of course – you may want to use some sort of template, but more personal and customized emails will always get better responses.

First – Don’t Do This!!

Here is an example of a real guest post request that I received:

What’s wrong with this pitch?

  • No name of recipient —> Do you know who you are pitching?
  • Forgot to put in the URL of my website —> Clearly, a template was sent out to many people.
  • “Ton of spammy link submissions” —> Yup, like this one!
  • Typos 🙁
  • 3 different headline ideas —> No consideration for what might work best on their site.
  • Clearly, false praise and ‘love’ of my site.

So How Do You Write A Good Pitch?

The truth is – there is no secret formula for the perfect pitch.

I’ve tested many different types of pitches, from elegant emails to short and simple notes.

Both have worked – both have failed.

In reality, sometimes, no response to your pitch doesn’t mean it is terrible. There may be just too many other submissions for your pitch to make it through.

The most important things to keep in mind when crafting a pitch:

  • Be personal and sincere
  • Stay on topic
  • Be succinct (AKA short)
  • Provide clear outlines on proposed writing
  • Submit a draft when possible
  • Pay attention to their guidelines
  • Provide examples of your published work

Here is an example of a particularly simple pitch process that got me a contributor position on a website with a DA of 86!

Here is how it went:

First, I sent this pitch to the editor:

7 days later…

Still no response 🙁

So – I sent a quick follow-up note asking how long it usually takes to get approved… and she responded!

Why I think it worked:

  • I demonstrated value in my content by mentioning an extensive test
  • I shared a sample posted on a website with strong authority
  • I stayed on topic and kept it short

Of course, this kind of pitching will not work for every site.

Some sites only want to see completed articles.

Some sites only accept submissions through a portal or submission form.

Some sites only accept formal pitches with clear outlines of a proposed article.

Don’t give up! Keep trying! Keep learning, and you’ll figure it out!

How to Build Relationships That Lead to Guest Posts

Let’s say you’ve tried pitching your ideas for guest posts but have not received a response.

Or maybe you really, really, really, want to submit something to a highly-competitive, top-tier publication.

Well, sometimes, the only way to get that golden guest post is by receiving an awesome introduction to the right person or having a friend who can get you in the backdoor.

Particularly for websites that don’t normally accept guest posts, or for the supersaturated top-dog, big-boss publications that receive 100+ submissions a day – a relationship may be the only way to get your content up on that site.

But what if you don’t have any solid relationships?

Then it’s time to make contact and start some conversations!

The main thing to keep in mind is that relationships are built on a value exchange. People aren’t going to help you just because you ask.

People will help you because you have helped them first!

There are really many ways to go about building relationships – but the reality is that they need to be earned.

It can’t just be about you. Focus on them first!

Here are a few ideas on how you can start reaching out to people to build a relationship:

  • Comment on their articles
  • Answer Quora questions referencing their work
  • Share their work on Social Media (Don’t forget to tag them!)
  • Share useful resources or other articles with them
  • Give them something for free!
  • Ask someone for an introduction

Relationships start with conversations and shared interests. If you can find a way to connect with someone for a reason – you will find a relationship will form very naturally.

That relationship will thrive if there is a strong value exchange between everyone 🙂

How I Used a Guest Post to Build Relationships with Top Editors

Sometimes being creative can help you build relationships.

Here is an example of how I started some conversations with editors from Fast Company and Inc.

I knew that I wanted to talk to any of the big editors at a top publication.

I also knew that our commonality was pitching. I send ‘em and they receive ‘em!

With this in mind, I thought about how I could provide value to them and start chatting!

I decided that writing an article that featured their advice would be a cool way to connect.

So, I sent emails to a few editors similar to this one:

The best part?

They responded 🙂

I was now chatting with some top editors from big publications about something that wasn’t entirely selfish.

I was interviewing them, demonstrating that their opinion was valued, and establishing them as experts by sharing their advice online!

After a bit of back and forth – this article eventually materialized.

The same article was republished on a few sites like PR Daily and shared across social media!

The idea was a success. I could now email these editors, and they would at least have some idea about my presence in the world.

How to Write a Guest Post

Once someone has given you the opportunity to write a guest post, you want to ensure that you are delivering top-shelf material.

Just because someone has agreed to look at a draft or consider your article for submission, does not mean that it will be published.

When you submit your content to an editor to be approved as a guest post, this is your first (and probably last!) chance to get it published.

Some editors are kind and will let you re-write your work until it is on point.

Some editors will make suggestions on how it can be improved or they might just change it around themselves.

However, many editors will reject any article that is not to their standards and quickly move on to the next submission.

This means you need to write your article with strict adherence to their guidelines. But also with some key targets in mind:

  1. Why is this piece timely, or relevant to the specific website audience?
  2. Does it provide actionable advice that is new or fresh?
  3. Does it tell a story, or is it only reporting details in a clunky way?

Also, don’t forget these items as the very basic level of quality you need to surpass:

When you are sitting down to write your guest post – focus on providing value to the readers.

Yes – you might be doing this for promotional purposes or SEO, but don’t let that take away from the quality of your writing or the value of your message.

Instead, allow the promotional nature to arise through sharing knowledge and value, market insight and actionable information.

Show off your expertise, answer tough questions, and give advice that people actually care about.

This will help people trust you more and ultimately make them more eager to work with you.

Here is an example of a guest post that I did for the HubSpot Marketing Blog

At no point do I try to promote myself or my services.

Yet, this is a very valuable article to many readers, and it is something that is shared over and over.

This article constantly brings in leads and connects me with people interested in talking.

I’ve also used it as a great example to help me get even more guest posts!

Writing is a craft, not a task. This means that when you are ready to start writing your guest post, it may take some effort to get it right.

If you don’t have the time or the skill to do it, don’t let this stop you from guest posting. You can always hire someone to ghostwrite your articles.

Regardless of who is doing the actual writing, make sure that the content provides value to readers, fits with your brand message, and makes the editor happy!

How to Backlink in a Guest Post

I know it, you know it, and editors know it! Lots of people who guest post do it for SEO purposes and backlink building.

Yes – we all want that SEO juice. But there’s a but!

Not every guest post will yield the juicy backlink you might seek!

In fact, some editors will remove links that seem to be promotional or placed for SEO purposes.

Other editors will allow one or two links because they are nice. Some only allow links in the author bio.

It all depends on the publication!

Guest posts will provide linking opportunities in three forms:

  • Follow Links
  • No Follow Links
  • No Links at All!

The majority of publications will mention linking in their guidelines. In general, most websites will accept articles with links that actually expand on the value of your content.

For example, a link that leads to another high-quality article will almost always be permitted.

Good Link – – https://moz.com/blog/case-study-ranking-high-volume-keyword

However, a link that leads to a sales page or any affiliate link will probably get removed depending on the guidelines of the website.

Bad Link – https://www.article-writing.co/seo-thought-leadership/

5 Methods for Backlinking in a Guest Post

Ok, so if you are a savvy SEO person with an inkling for some backlinking and you’ve chosen to use guest posts as part of your strategy, here are a few ways to successfully backlink!

1. Link to Relevant Resources

The best and easiest way to link back to your site is by linking to content on your site that is related to your article and expands on the value of the subject.

For example:

  • Link to Blog Posts or Articles that flesh out in detail something you mentioned in the Guest Post
  • Link to White Papers
  • Link to Data, Research, or Case Studies

Editors will usually let links like this fly because you are providing more value and information to the reader, or it is clearly a source that was used to inform your guest post.

2. Present the Link as a Tool

If you are really trying to push user acquisition or build links to a main page for your product, sometimes presenting the link as a useful tool can work.

This usually works better if it is in some sort of ‘round up’ article that includes other tools as well to show you’re vendor-neutral.

For example – an article like this

This really works if the tool is free in some way!

3. Embed the Link as a Source Attribution from a Quote

Another way to justify a backlink is by placing it as a source attribution for someone who has provided a quote in your article.

For example: “Blah, blah, blah, important things relevant to this article,” Jimbo Jones, founder of [link to website], says.

Or like this:

If you are writing the article, quoting yourself might be a little weird.

This is where you might want to consider a 3rd party persona or quote someone else from your team!

4. Save it for the Author Bio

Many sites recognize that people want a link to their site, and in an attempt to keep the quality of content high, they may provide a backlink in your Author Bio.

If you save your backlink for your bio, you can focus on the quality of your article without worrying about trying to stuff it with backlinks.

Of course, you might want to do both!

Here is an example of a bio with a backlink:

5. Link to a Free Resource

Another method editors usually permit is linking to a free resource that the readers might find useful.

For example, this could be a landing page for a free e-book, a mailing list CTA, or a community page.

After You Figure Out How to Get Guest Posts Published

At this point, you are probably tired, bored, or eager to get started with your next guest post.

If you made it this far, you are ready to start guest posting! Even if you didn’t make it this far, you’re probably still ready 😝

The following sections show how to keep up the momentum and make the most of your posted content.

1. Maintain Relationships with Publications

Once your guest post placement goes live on a site don’t let the relationship end there.

You’ve now created a connection with a publication and an editor, which is something valuable that shouldn’t be forgotten.

Stay in contact with that person. You may want to submit another guest post in the future, or you may want to introduce a friend.

You may even be able to evolve your relationship with a publication to become a consistent contributor.

This will give you more access and more freedom to submit more content!

2. Leverage Your Guest Posts for Greater Impact

After you publish your guest post on a site, you should also do whatever you can to promote it and get any additional benefit possible.

First and foremost, you should add it to your portfolio of writing samples.

This will help you get even more guest posts over time, and as you build out a strong profile. It will become easier and easier.

In addition, you can apply some strategies to help promote your article and grow your business.

Here are 6 Ideas on How to Leverage your Guest Posts for Greater Impact:

1. Collaborate with Others

When you are creating your guest post, you can reach out to other influential people or writers on the subject and ask to collaborate with them in some way.

The more people involved in the creation of your guest post, the more people will have a vested interest in sharing it with their networks.

Not only is this a great way to start new relationships, but you can also ask everyone involved to share it upon publication to help amplify its impact.

2. Run Social Ads to Drive Traffic

If you have a little extra coin and really want to drive traffic to an article – you can run a small ad campaign on social media.

This can really help for posts on sites that rank content based on traffic and will help you push your content to the front page for even more attention.

It can also be useful for building out a snapshot of your audience for a more targeted and direct sales ad campaign.

3. Start an Outreach Campaign Sharing the Content

Another method for getting other people to read your content is by applying some outreach strategies to share it with other people who are interested in the topic.

This kind of outreach works best for highly personalized emails that you target to people who have expressed interest in the content’s subject or something related.

For example, if you created a guest post about backlinking —> You might look up people writing about anchor text, send them a short personal note to share the article and ask them for feedback or collaboration on a future article.

4. Stay Active on Social Media

Most articles these days have a ‘click-to-share’ button that helps people share interesting articles on different social media platforms.

Every person who shares your article is a person whom you want to connect with in some way.

They have expressed interest in something you are talking about and hold enough value to your article to share it.

You can either manually check social on a consistent basis or set up some monitoring to keep track of any mentions.

5. Leverage Mailing Lists

If you have any mailing lists or connections to people with mailing lists, this is a super easy way to share your new guest post with many people.

Just send them a quick and friendly note that you have a new piece of content they might find interesting.

If you don’t have any mailing lists – consider sending a short note to your active and previous customers.

6. Quote Your Own Guest Posts

Another way to keep your guest posts active is by referencing them in any of your other guest or blog posts.

This will help you drive traffic from one post to another, which works particularly well if the articles support each other in some way.

In addition, you will build out backlinks to your posts, which will help them rank higher and receive more organic traffic over time.

Guest Posting Your Way to the Stars

That’s it! You know all the stages and steps and so many of the useful tricks that can make you an expert at securing and creating guest posts. If you’re not able to take on this work yourself, you can always reach out to an outsourcing partner to ghostwrite your content and be the strategy behind how to boost and market your Guest Posts.

Regardless of the path you choose, remember, that it’s going to take some time to build up each one of these steps, experiment, and start to find what works best for you. Don’t give up and you will eventually have your name among the stars on all the great websites!


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