How to select the right website for your next guest post

How to select a website for your next guest guest post in 2021

It’s 2021, and guest posting is still a very popular method of building backlinks. There are two purposes of a guest post – 

  • To get a stamp of approval from authority websites, so that Google increases one’s website’s authority and ranks you higher.
  • To divert a share of the host website’s traffic to one’s own website.

Before you delve into the steps to select a website for your next guest posts, zero in on your main purpose. If you get both that’s great, but choose one: Traffic or a stamp of approval?

Made the decision? Good. Let’s jump right into the steps.

Check the Domain Authority of the website

Domain Authority (DA) is the measure of how much Google trusts a website.

A website with High DA passes on more credibility to websites they link to, than a website with low DA.

How do you find high DA websites? Enter Mozbar.

Mozbar is a free Chrome extension from Moz that shows the Page Authority (PA) and Domain Authority (DA) of a website right on the SERP page.

In the image below, you can see in the green box, what the mozbar looks like from a SERP perspective:

mozbar example

Choose the right search queries

In the above image, the search query is: is bigfoot real.

That probably won’t be your search query if you are looking for websites that accept guest-posts. What should you search instead?

You can start with simple search queries like – write a guest post or Blogging websites. They will show some results but they wouldn’t be as relevant. You may see a blog that’s a round-up article of high DA websites, which is useful.

But, you can go very specific into the niche and find the blogs directly on SERP that are relevant to your trade. Here are a few of them:

  • {Niche} “guest blogger” OR “guest post” OR “guest article”
  • {Niche} “write for us”
  • Or {Niche} inurl:category/guest OR {Niche} inurl:write-for-us

For example: I search with this query: SEO inurl:write-for-us. I am looking for websites that accept guest-posts on the topic of SEO. And here’s SERP for that:

The text in the orange box is the slug for the write for us page of the seo-trench website. Depending upon the DA of the website, you can choose to write for them.

The backlinks are Do-Follow or No-Follow?

Link Juice

Imagine websites are jugs of orange juice. Greater the DA, more the quantity of juice.

Every backlink provided by this website carries some juice to the recipient, but only if the backlink type is do-follow or simply follow.

If you ignore my poor skills on MS Paint, the below image highlights the flow of juice. A website that provides 3 do-follow backlinks on a blog, splits juice among them. If the backlinks are no-follow, they get no juice.

Do-follow and No-follow link type

How to check the backlink type?

  1. Open any blog on the website you are targeting.
  2. Take a note of website names that are getting a backlink from that blog.
  3. Right click and select View page source
Options screen

You will see a page that looks something like this:

View source screen 1
  1. Search with the website name you took note of in step #2.
  2. If you see a no-follow tag next to it, as in image below, there’s a very good chance you will get a no-follow link only. 
View source screen 2

If it’s a no-follow link, you need to check the monthly traffic of the website. You will get a share of that traffic, the only thing you have to gain in return for your investment in writing the post.

Monthly Traffic

Most webmasters never mention that the links are no-follow. The above step is necessary as it saves you much effort if your primary purpose is to develop domain authority.

But, though no-follow links don’t bring in domain juice, they are important from an SEO perspective as they are a good source of website traffic. Google trusts websites with hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors.

You need to ensure that the website gets huge traffic before you approach them to secure a no-follow backlink.

Here’s a free tool that will help you with that. Ubersuggest allows you 3 searches a day as a non-paying user.

Jump over to the tool and type in the website’s URL, select the language/country of choice and hit on the search button.

You will see the organic traffic for the website as seen in the image below.

How to find monthly traffic of a website

The host website would have much less traffic than Wikipedia. And only a percentage of the traffic would be interested in your guest post among others. Even smaller number of visitors would click on your website URL. The funnel keeps getting narrower.

Number of backlinks per guest post

Let’s jump back to the image from link juice.

Do follow or no follow links for guest posts

The blog juice gets split among the backlinks on a blog post.

You need to check on an average, how many external do-follow links are used by the host website on every blog.

Try to shortlist the blogs that use only 1 do-follow backlink per post. Otherwise, you will put a lot of effort for lesser link juice. And, it would be split with someone who didn’t put the effort in writing the blog.

Frequency of posting

Popular blogs usually have a tight editorial calendar and post multiple times a day.

However, if you’re securing a backlink from a low DA website (20-39), you may want to check the frequency of posting.

Jump over to the blog page of the website and have a quick glance if they have been publishing at least 1 blog every week. If not, you may have to wait for a very long time for your backlink.

A low frequency of publication is an indicator of a low subscriber base with a high churn rate. Blogs lose subscribers if their content is published in a haphazard manner.

Guest-post guidelines

Any blog that accepts guest posts has a write-for-us or guest-post-guidelines page.

Peruse that page. Look for the hidden details.

A few websites don’t state explicitly if they accept only sponsored posts or provide only no-follow links. Try to get the information from the content strategist or the owner of the blog before you start writing for them.

In addition, check the word count requirement. If a blog of DA 20 is looking for a 3000+ word article, you may want to skip it. Keep long form articles for blogs above DA of 40, it’s a decent return for investment in creating the blog.

Also check how long they would take to respond. Often, even if your pitch is solid, you won’t get a response. You need to know when you can pitch the blog to the next website.

In general, stick to the guidelines to the word. Content owners put together the guidelines page after experimenting what works for them and what doesn’t. If you make it easy for them, they may make it easy for you.

Conclusion

If you find a 100 quality website, this list will help you trim it down to 60.

Selecting the website is only half the battle. Reply rate averages out at 10%.

Out of the 60 requests, you may get only 6 responses, and eventually 1-2 blogs will finally accept and publish your blog on their website.

See how narrow the funnel is?

However, those 1-2 blogs will provide a huge boost to your website domain authority, it’s usually a good return for the investment you put into the process.

Plus, your bargaining power increases with time as your authority increases. This means you will convert 5 or maybe even 8 blogs out of 100, and it gets easier.

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