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Streamlining Research for a Better Guest Blogging Experience

Barbara Harris
Barbara Harris
40
August 08, 2019

Finding the actual sites is only part of the research. Once you’ve got a good list of potential sites that you’ve sourced using any sort of method, you then need to sift through them and qualify which ones are suitable for you to reach out to.

This portion of the research typically can be somewhat arbitrary depending on certain requirements, but there are definitely some hard and fast things you should look for in each site.

Research is a word that not everyone loves to hear. It often conjures up images of massive stacks of books in the corner of university libraries. While some people may be big fans of research, many people simply can’t wait to get it over.

As boring and labor intensive as it might be, research is an absolutely critical step to a successful guest blogging campaign. If pitching is the gas that fills the proverbial guest blogging car, then research is the gas station. Without it, you have nothing.

For those interested in learning better and more efficient ways to conduct research, look no further. Those topics will be discussed in this article.

Search Commands

Good old fashioned search commands can be one of the best and most proven ways to go about starting your research. There are hundreds (and in fact, maybe even more) of search commands that you can use in order to find sites that are actively accepting guest blogs. Plugging those search commands into Google, combined with a keyword related to the niche you’re working in, will get you a reliable list of sites you can start reaching out to.

There are so many different search commands, but some work better than others. Here are some search commands that will get you the best results.

  1. “Submit guest post” + Keyword
  2. “Become a contributor” + Keyword
  3. “Write for us” + Keyword
  4. “Submit an article” + Keyword

The four commands above are a fantastic place to begin your research. Fiddle around with the commands a bit to get even more results. The more variation you have when it comes to search commands, the better your chances are of being able to find more sites to post on.

There are more advanced search commands, too. One example is finding sites by searching the URL. This can be accomplished by using the Google search command keyword inurl:insert-url-here. An example of this search could be something such as “health inurl:write-for-us.” This will get you results of health pages that have “write for us” in the title, thus essentially guaranteeing they accept guest blogs.

One final great search command you can use essentially combines a ton of smaller search commands into one colossal command. Type this into Google, and you’ll be amazed at what you find:

“write OR blog OR guest * for us” OR “~submit OR add OR~suggest OR~contribute a guest post OR blog” KEYWORD

Tools

In addition to the strategies outlined above when it comes to search queries, there are also a ton of great tools developed to assist in the guest blogging research process. These tools can help you generate ideas, find sites, and more.

Try this “Guest Post Opportunities tool”. When you first open it, make a copy of it and save it to your own Google drive. Navigate to the “Copy of Guest post” tab at the bottom, which is the useful part of the tool. In cell A2, type a keyword related to your niche. Then hit enter. The tool will then search Google using a number of search commands, and display them in the doc. This can save you a considerable amount of time, as you won’t need to use many different commands one by one, and instead can do it all in one Google doc.

Lists

Over the years, many bloggers have compiled lists with sites that accept guest posts. These lists are available in all corners of the web, from popular marketing blogs to rarely viewed individual blogs. Lists can be hit or miss, and tend to only be valuable if you’re writing for a somewhat popular niche.

Lists can definitely shorten the research process, but only if you’re able to find a good list. Look for lists that have been compiled recently, as older lists tend to be filled with sites that have stopped accepting guest posts. Lists can take a lot of the busy work out of research as the sites that you’re looking at likely are guaranteed to accept guest posts, but your chances at actually being published on one of these sites are smaller since they likely are inundated with guest post pitches.

Qualifying Sites

Finding the actual sites is only part of the research. Once you’ve got a good list of potential sites that you’ve sourced using any sort of method, you then need to sift through them and qualify which ones are suitable for you to reach out to. This portion of the research typically can be somewhat arbitrary depending on certain requirements, but there are definitely some hard and fast things you should look for in each site.

Does the site accept guest posts?

There’s definitely a chance that sites on your initial list might not even accept guest posts, so you’ll definitely want to check before you move on from research to pitching. This can be accomplished by searching for a guest post guidelines page or simply by looking through recent posts to see if any are by guest authors.

How’s the quality of the site?

Give the site a sniff test. When was the last article posted? Does the site get good engagement from readers? Does it have more than just the default WordPress theme? All of these and more are things that should be taken into account when qualifying sites. You also might want to take into account site metrics, like PageRank and Domain Authority.

What are the other guest posts like?

Checking out the other guest posts on a potential site is another critical part of the research process. Check them for quality, links, and more. If there are a bunch of spammy looking guest posts on a site, it’s best to move on to the next. Check to see whether or not the guest posts have author bios or not, as this is another good indication

Failing to spend the time to qualify sites might mean you either get posts on spammy looking sites or that you’re wasting a ton of time by reaching out to sites that don’t even accept guest posts at all.

The Next Step

Research is only a small step in the entire guest posting process. But since it’s the foundation, it sets the table for the rest of the process. Failure to create a streamlined, effective research process will mean lower success rates and more headaches in the long run.

Sell yourself short on research, and the outreach step becomes a nightmare. Give research that extra effort, and it will be quite clear as to how your outreach stage can benefit.

Image credits:
keralpatel.com (blog key)

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