You can spend a lot of time and energy looking for guest blogging sites.
Searching for blogs, researching their metrics, and gauging audience interest can be time-consuming, tedious, and sometimes unpredictable. You find sites you think will be great guest-posting opportunities, but you don’t have the data to prove it. Choosing a site can feel like a guess.
But it’s easy to both find and qualify guest blogging sites when you know what to look for, have the right tools, and follow these steps.
Step 1: Know the Qualities of Valuable Guest Blogging Sites
Guest-posting opportunities vary in value, and a few factors determine whether or not a site is a good option for posting. Before you start looking for opportunities, know the qualities of valuable guest blogging sites.
The best guest blogging sites that will bring in the highest return on investment have:
- The target audience demographics you are trying to reach
- A large, engaged audience
- Online authority that indicates the site is likely to show up in organic search
- Content with topics that relate to your industry or business
Once you know these factors and what you are looking for, you can begin searching for sites.
Step 2: Start Your Search With an Ideal Website
Begin your search by identifying one website you can use as an ideal guest blogging site. This could be a site that:
- You know your audience regularity visits
- You previously wrote a guest post, which produced a valuable ROI
- Is a competitor of your website
If you have a popular website with a large, existing readership, the ideal website could even be your site.
Step 3: Look for Other Sites That Share the Same Audience
Once you identify the ideal website, start looking for sites that share a similar audience. You can do a manual search that leads you to blogs and websites that match your ideal site.
Or you can use a tool like Alexa’s Audience Overlap Tool to find similar sites. This tool does the heavy lifting for you during your search. You enter your ideal site, and the tool generates a report of other sites that have a similar audience.
Each site in the report includes an “Overlap Score” that indicates the level of visitor overlap with the ideal site. A site with a higher score has a higher audience overlap than a site with a lower score.
With this list, you have potential guest blogging sites that have the audience you are trying to reach.
Step 4: Qualify Sites Using Broad Traffic Metrics
Now you want to drill down into your list to find websites that have a good flow of traffic.
The best guest blogging sites share your target audience and have a large amount of traffic. When you guest post on a site with a high volume of traffic, you increase your chances of reaching a large group of ideal readers.
To identify sites with a large amount of traffic, use the Audience Overlap traffic filter to eliminate sites from your list that have a limited amount of traffic.
Step 5: Further Qualify Sites Using Overlap Score and Alexa Rank
From here, you want to filter down your list even further. Assemble a list of the best five to ten sites, and use the checkboxes in the tool to add the sites to your list.
As you consider which sites to choose:
- Sort your list by overlap score. Select sites that have a high overall overlap score, as this indicates that their audience is closely related to the audience you are trying to reach.
- Sort your list by Alexa ranking. Select sites that have a high Alexa Rank, as this indicates that the site is popular and has a high online authority (and will be likely to show up in organic search results).
Choose sites that have a good balance of overlap score and Alexa ranking. Once you select a few sites, you can use additional tools to look deeper into the site’s traffic statistics and keywords to help you identify the best fit.
Step 6: Compare Your Sites to Identify the Best Opportunities
With your smaller list, you can run two Alexa reports to further qualify which guest blogging sites will be the most useful. Run the Alexa site comparison report so you can see how the sites match up against each other.
The site comparison provides a detailed report of information about the sites you selected. Each of these metrics offers insight into your list of websites. Some metrics will be more important than others depending on the purpose of your campaign, but for now, let’s look at the metrics that are best for generally qualifying sites as guest blogging opportunities.
Traffic Metrics allow you to look closely at the authority of the websites. Consider both the rankings as well as the trends. Sites with rising global ranks and page views have a growing audience and are gaining influence.
Engagement Metrics offer insight into how users interact with the sites. Sites with a low bounce rate, high amount of time on sites, and a high number of page views per user will be ideal options for guest blogging because it shows high audience engagement. This means that when readers get to the site, they browse multiple pages and stay for a while, hopefully increasing the chances they’ll spend time on your content when it’s posted there.
Traffic Source Metrics show how each site drives traffic to their website. This helps to identify sites that perform well in search, as you can see what percentage of their traffic comes from search engines.
There are metrics in this report to help identify useful sites for general guest blogging campaigns, as well as sites that match specific campaign goals. For example, while researching a campaign that is intended to reach high-level executives, you may want to look at audience demographics and choose sites with audiences that have high-income levels.
Step 7: Confirm Topic Relevance
Once you identify sites that match your target audience, traffic, and engagement qualifiers, ensure that the sites also match in topic relevance. Using your original list of potential sites, run the Competitor Keyword Matrix in the Audience Overlap Tool.
This tool creates a list of keywords that each site uses to get traffic from search engines. The matrix lists the keywords and provides a relative traffic score (from 0–100) that rates the keyword’s strength.
This allows you to see which top keywords and topics perform the best on each site. You can use this information to get a sense of what each blog covers and what readers like to see.
To gather more insight, you can sort keywords by number of sites. This metric shows the number of sites on your list that rank for the keywords, which is useful for gauging the significance of each term in that audience niche.
You can also use filter options to exclude terms that are irrelevant and terms that have few sites in common. This helps you see the topics that most of the sites have in common.
Step 8: Identify Potential Topic Ideas (Bonus Step)
At this point, you should have a list of guest blogging sites with metric and keyword data that helps determine which sites are your best opportunities.
We have one more bonus step for you that helps you take it one step further.
Using the Keyword Matrix, you can identify potential guest-post topics for your list of sites. Once you decide on a site to pitch, plug the domain into the Keyword Gap filter in the Competitor Keyword Matrix (along with the same data you used in the previous Keyword Matrix report).
This produces a report of keywords that appear on the other sites but not on the site you entered into the Keyword Gap field. From this information, you can identify areas that aren’t covered on the target blog and would, therefore, be good ideas to pitch as a guest post.
Looking for guest blogging opportunities that will help you reach your target audience, gain authority online, and build relevant connections isn’t always easy, but it is extremely important. Identifying the best sites for your guest posts is how you get the most out of your outreach efforts.
So use this process to easily find and qualify sites that will help you create a powerful list of guest blogging sites.
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