The Easiest Way to Bait Links – Get Guest Authors

by Jason Acidre on January 18, 2013 · 36 comments · Content, Search


Link baiting is an online marketing method that’s considerably regarded as both art and science. Given that the process of naturally gaining positive reception to any form of content is replicable and can be mastered through experience, data and constant practice.

That’s why several online viral marketing techniques exist.  Getting back to the topic, there are many approaches to acquiring natural editorial links, but not everything in any viral marketing playbook comes easy, even the one that I’m about to share, I presume.

I’ve already shared this strategy/process on a group interview by Jon Cooper about creative link building strategies, which actually got me few client inquiries this past month.

Anyway, the strategy is about inviting/hiring authority guest bloggers in your industry to contribute content to your site to attract and build more naturally earned links.

I decided to write about it, as there are so many facets and details worth expounding that can make the strategy a process of its own.

The tactic is so powerful, since inviting guest authors to publish content to your site can benefit you in so many ways, such as:

  • Absorbing readership and followers from their blogs.
  • Improving your site’s trust signals, as you improve its author portfolio (getting value from their AuthorRank).
  • Building authority and strong online brand presence through associating with known authors in your industry.
  • Getting continual traffic through referring links and also when their content contribution started to get ranked on search results (possibly for long-tail search terms).
  • Expanding your connections/network through the comments and social mentions that their guest entries are receiving.

But best of all, the strategy can help attract and generate links to your site naturally, since:

  • The contributed content will have better social spread, as both ends will promote it (you and the guest author). This means higher content visibility and more opportunities for linking.
  • Most active bloggers (who do guest blogging) link back and reference their own works – whether it’s published on their blog or on other websites. So the probability of getting a link to their guest entries is very high.

Basically, in this process, your guest authors will build links for you (they’ll do it eventually. I did).

Factors to increase the chances of getting authority guest bloggers

There are some things that you also have to consider before inviting authority bloggers to write for you. To make your guest blog invitations more efficient, it’s important to ensure that your target guest bloggers will also benefit from this type of content partnership.

Reciprocation and value proposition are very important parts of this strategy for it to be effective and scalable. It’s best to start assessing your brand’s assets first, to determine if you can really offer value to your prospected bloggers.

Factors that will make it easier for you to invite and get authority contributors:

  • Your blog’s target audience, readership, number of traffic, subscribers and/or social followers.
  • High SEO value – like domain authority and/or PageRank.
  • Relationships – if you’re well connected with bloggers in your industry and if you’re really good at social networking, the probability of getting approval from them will be higher.
  • Budget – if you don’t have the first 3 factors I’ve mentioned above, then hiring them (to write a single content) is a plausible way to get a post from them.

There are also other approaches (or angles for outreach) that you can utilize to increase the response and approval rates when inviting guest bloggers to your site – which I’ll be sharing more below.

Prospecting

Targeting high-profile bloggers to contribute content to your site is one of the main objectives of this strategy. But that’s going to be really tough if you don’t have enough value to offer.

So instead of targeting popular authors in your niche immediately, you can first start your campaign with bloggers who’re looking to promote themselves as well. Then use their needs as an angle when pitching to them to have an effective outreach campaign.

Industry Peers

Start with your friends in your industry. It’ll be easier to request and get guest contributions from them since they already know who you are.

Bloggers who have products or are about to launch their own product(s)

Find bloggers who have recently launched their own products or are already scheduled to launch a new product. Inviting them to do a guest post to your site will be more feasible for them, especially if you’ll allow them to promote their upcoming product within their guest posts.

You can use Google search to find blogs/sites in your industry that have recently launched a product. Use the “search tools” feature, and sort the results by time of publication (to display fresher results).

Bloggers in your space who are already active in guest blogging

Guest blogging has been the go-to-strategy by most online marketers and bloggers these past couple of years. So it’s kind of easier to spot people in any industry who are actively promoting their sites through this method.

The best thing about this type of prospect is that they are the ones that will really build links to their guest entries, since they do guest blogging a lot. Using their entry on your site as a resource on their future guest posts is more likely to happen.

Pitching

Using angles in your pitches – when inviting guest bloggers – is critical. Determine what you can really offer something of high value to them, and use it as the core of your pitches.

Here are few samples of my own email requests for this type of outreach:

 If you’ll notice, most of the messages contain the following:

  • Personalized introduction.
  • The value that they’ll get from contributing.
  • Targeting their needs (by enabling them to promote their products, services and/or clients).

So far, I have 100% positive response rate from this approach. Perhaps the biggest reasons and factors are the relationship that I’ve already established with the people I’ve contacted and the value proposition as well as the angle used in the request.

Hiring Freelance Bloggers

Another option for this kind of link and brand building strategy is to hire already established bloggers in your industry (who of course do freelance work).

There are 2 ways to find freelance bloggers in any niche. The first one is to use Google search.

While the second one is using Followerwonk to find freelance bloggers who have strong social following base.

It’s also important to evaluate your target freelance bloggers, before actually hiring them. Ensure the quality of the content they produce, if they already have author display on their works’ search result snippets, and if they’re also getting natural links and social shares.

Most freelance bloggers charge $35 – $100 per post, so it’s important to ensure that you’ll be making most out of this investment.

Getting the Links

These content contributions will always result to links, particularly if they’re created by active authors/bloggers. As I’ve mentioned above, links to their guest posts could be voluntarily given by their readers/followers and also by them through the succeeding content that they’ll produce.

Here are some examples of how effective this strategy is when used as a link baiting technique.

Nick Eubanks’ guest post here a few months ago about advancing from SEO to CRO, which has 52 linking root domains (including links from Search Engine Watch, SEOmoz and from his own blog).

Neil Patel’s guest post here about conversion killers, which has 12 linking root domains (including links from his latter posts on Search Engine Journal and Quicksprout).

Kristi Hines’ post on Social Media Examiner about Pinterest Business Accounts, which has 120 linking root domains.

And my guest post on Kikolani about how I built a blog that earned $10,000 in 5 months, which has 9 linking root domains (not much, but it did get natural links from SEOmoz, Blogpreneurs and Webimax – and now here).

Ok, so I gave Kristi some good links there, right? And I also got some really hard-to-replicate links from authority link sources through Nick and Neil’s guest posts as well. I guess that’s enough proof to say how effective this marketing and link development tactic is.

If you liked this post, you can subscribe to my feed and follow me on Twitter @jasonacidre.

Jason Acidre

Jason Acidre is Co-Founder and CEO of Xight Interactive, marketing consultant for Affilorama and Traffic Travis, and also the sole author of this SEO blog. You can follow him on Twitter @jasonacidre and on Google+.

More Posts - Twitter - Facebook - Google Plus

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Oleg January 18, 2013 at 10:55 am

Totally agree. This is the best way to generate high quality content that you know will be read (based on author’s current followers) and its the most fun to write! Well, given that you are interested in the subject at hand (as writer’s should be).

I’ll be starting up my own blog/site soon and I’ll be sure to incorporate these strategies. I’ll be sure to hit you up when the time is right ;-)

Cheers,
Oleg

Reply

Leena Dasot January 18, 2013 at 11:16 pm

Yes, Nice way to make article’s content unique. It is in reality that high quality content boost your blog, thanks for showing nice ways to make a high quality content.

Reply

Andrei January 19, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Perfect timing, as I was looking for tips on attracting guest bloggers and links. I usually don’t like leaving comments without contributing something to the topic, however, I do want to acknowledge that your posts are very helpful. Keep ‘em coming.

Reply

Sahil January 19, 2013 at 10:48 pm

Great post Jason. Getting an authoritative blogger to blog or guest post on sites which already have decent content to impress the blogger, will surely help make the brand presence felt online as the blogger is authoritative, many authoritative sites will link back to the content naturally this improves domain authority, number of social shares will increase which helps the blog rank higher in serps, more importantly will build the trust in the mind’s users who will definitely come back to the blog often for more exciting content and will eventually turn into a potential customers.

Reply

Kris January 20, 2013 at 4:30 am

Get.. GOOD Guest Authors..

I guess this is now going to be hard since you posted this.. Sooo Jason.. Need anyone to post on CRO?

Reply

Kaiserthesage January 20, 2013 at 10:07 am

Haha, thanks for the comment Kris.

Yeah, sure! Feel free to drop me a line :)

Reply

Kris January 20, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Ok sure. Let me lift your emails from the screenshots lol! (You’ve posted both in there)

Reply

Andrew Gloyns January 20, 2013 at 3:26 pm

*Applause* :) Yes yes yes!

As Kris hinted – there’s a good and a bad way to go about this. Manual selection, outreach and collaboration is vastly more effective than opening your site up to all and sundry on myBlogGuest et al.

Thanks for sharing your process here Jason – can I ask whether you track your outreach using a spreadsheet or app?

Cheers

Andrew

Reply

Kaiserthesage January 22, 2013 at 5:22 am

I use trello and Gdoc spreadsheets to track outreach :)

Thanks for dropping by Andrew.

Reply

Tushar January 21, 2013 at 10:02 am

Yes I do agree Guest posting is the best way to get good quality links. There are many tech blogs that invites guest authors like HellBoundBloggers, ShoutMeloud.

Reply

Gareth January 22, 2013 at 4:10 am

Most decent bloggers with some influence will want something in return, but its still worth paying them. How much is 120 linking domains + social shares worth?

Reply

Chris Green January 22, 2013 at 5:47 am

Awesome piece Jason, I’ve been considering this tactic on and off for a while now, although seeing it here with some extra info you’ve given I can really see the potential now.

One thing I’ll add, is if you’re looking for guest bloggers, try to avoid pages with open calls for guest bloggers unless you wanted to be inundated with spam.

Good job!

Reply

Sekhar Reddy January 22, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Hi,

Thanks for sharing great article about easy ways to work on link baiting. This is very useful article for online marketing managers. Keep it up such a nice posting like this.

Regards,
Sekhar Reddy.

Reply

Puneet January 22, 2013 at 11:49 pm

I guess nowadays this is the only best way to generate quality links to your site from high quality sites without doing any spam. Contextual link is always preferred and also by doing guest blogging there are more chances of generating more visitors and new subscribers

Reply

orjiakor January 23, 2013 at 5:23 pm

This is a good idea to drive traffic and also it helps to promote a website or blog.

Reply

Joseph Chua January 24, 2013 at 1:58 am

This is really an informative article. Yes, getting authoritative bloggers to blog on sites will certainly helps to improve the authority of the website as well as improving the content which the website provides. However just one question, for a new starter like me, how should i get authoritative bloggers to blog on my sites? My site is still very young with low traffic.

Reply

Kaiserthesage January 24, 2013 at 4:11 am

There’s a lot of options (as I’ve mentioned above):

- build relationships and network with other bloggers (even those who’re starting their own blog, as they are also trying to promote their blogs/sites, you’ll have better chances and it’s also a good investment, especially when they get more popular/authoritative).
- hiring freelancers (that produce high quality content and known experts in your niche).

Reply

Jules Zimmerman January 24, 2013 at 8:15 pm

With that however, these guest bloggers run the risk of being “absorbed” by the bigger blogs. Without moving beyond their comfort network, the readers that come back to their site subconsciously view this blogger as an offshoot of the larger blog. When a readership is only a smaller percentage of a larger blog, there is little room for cross pollination, introduction of new ideas or healthy debate among readers.

Reply

Ally January 26, 2013 at 1:25 am

Great tips here. I’ve just had my guest poster on one of my sites, so we’ll see how it goes

Reply

Arwin January 27, 2013 at 12:45 am

Totally another amazing way of not just link baiting but as well generating quality traffic. Request guest blogger is a bright idea and what I like most of the idea is that you actually create quality blog post without the much need of thinking on what to write on the first place. Well what can I say, you are truly brilliant Jason! Keep it up.

Reply

Sharanyan Sharma January 27, 2013 at 9:47 am

Getting backlinks from Guest post is something golden links for your website! it’s really nice tip with Screenshot informations, Keep going Jason :)

Reply

Joshua January 27, 2013 at 6:51 pm

I also noticed this. When a respected expert posts quality article on my blog, many authority websites in my niche start linking to my blog for that article.

Another added benefit of guest posts i that it makes your website fresh by giving Google its food – new content.

Reply

Sizwe@wonkie January 28, 2013 at 1:44 am

Jason thanks for the article – I’ve been looking for a way to boost our readership and didn’t really think about guest authorship as an option on *our* blog! I guess the challenge we will face is that the kind of people that write satire for newspapers etc in South Africa at least don’t have much of a web presence at all!

Reply

joe January 28, 2013 at 5:19 am

I don’t know how should I give you thanks! I am totally stunned by your article. You saved my time. Thanks a million for sharing this article.

Reply

De Linkbuilder January 29, 2013 at 4:33 am

Thank you Jason, I really had a lot of this article. I used this techniques and found 3 freelance bloggers who will contribute on my blog now. Thank you for that.

Reply

Tom January 29, 2013 at 9:06 am

Hi Jason, thanks for the great article – has many points that I find helpful. Guest posts are an interesting way to boost readership. Everyone wins.

Reply

Kent Morris February 2, 2013 at 7:09 pm

Hello,
Great post Jason. Getting an authoritative blogger to blog or guest post on sites which already have decent content to impress the blogger, will surely help make the brand presence felt online as the blogger is authoritative, many authoritative sites will link back to the content naturally this improves domain authority, number of social shares will increase which helps the blog rank higher in serps, ..

Thank you

Reply

KevinF@WebCopyWriter February 6, 2013 at 11:43 pm

Hey Jason,

Good one. Yeah guest authors will get the links for us thereby by themselves or by their readers and in both the sense we are going to get backlinks. Thanks for the post.

Reply

Thomas @ Arizona SEO Services February 13, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Another amazing article, thank you Jason!

Reply

Agrodut Mandal February 23, 2013 at 5:22 am

Link baiting is a way of indirectly Quality link building, or links to your website from other websites. Instead of distributing links yourself through link baiting you work to encourage others to link to your website by providing unique and popular website content.

Reply

Walker@Revealing Systems For pizza stone March 25, 2013 at 1:15 am

” Pizza was called (and is still called) tomato pie and pizza pie in certain parts of the States. Never try to remove a pizza stone from the oven until it is completely cooled. You have to shake over the paddle of the openhandedly by taking use of the corn meal & then you have to put bread on the paddle ahead of mixing toppings within it.

Reply

Cor September 29, 2013 at 10:00 am

Hi, thanks for this good article.
May be you have some specific advice for our website about movies (in Holland): http://www.indebioscoop.com.
What kind of approach would you advice concerning linkbaiting for a website about movies (knowing every day we bring news and weekly we publish and forward reviews)?
Thanks in advance.

Reply

Jordan Dove February 18, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Kais –

What’s worked extremely well is having my army of guest bloggers, and them promoting their articles based on the particular niche.

The issue I’ve ran into is when I have an Indian guest blogger and posts links on Forums that are penalized, it will hurt – so ensure you are checking your backlinks on the regular.

- Jordan

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 3 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: