guest blogging 101Here are DigitalSherpa, we love to showcase other talented writers through guest blogs. This is the first of a series on Guest Blogging brought to you by James McAllister, an Online Content Creator at Make it Cheaper. Enjoy! 

How to identify a good quality blog for guest posting

There are many uncertainties surrounding Google’s stance on guest posting as part of an online marketing strategy. On one hand, many marketers have found it to be an efficient way to improve page rank and develop site authority. However Matt Cutts, head of Google’s web spam team, seems to be forever warning site owners against the perils of a link profile featuring too many unnatural links – such as those that come with certain types of guest posting.

Despite these warnings, guest posting has proven itself to be effective, and as a result it has been widely embraced by marketers. But, as with many things in life, when guest posting you need to proceed with caution.

Success in guest posting fundamentally relies on your ability to distinguish good quality blogs that will help support your site, from those blogs that could result in your site being penalised by Google. To help you understand this distinction, we have put together a list of questions that you should be asking yourself when performing your guest post outreach.

Is the site influential?

In the crowded and noisy world of social media, influencers are often a shortcut to getting noticed. Targeting an industry relevant influencer and collaborating with them on their blog is a great way to apply traction and authority to your content, in order raise it above the general social marketing din. In effect, this allows you to open your brand, product or service to a wider customer base, and even introduce your brand to new markets.

There are a number of useful tools available that can analyze a potential target’s social activity in order to help you determine whether or not they are an influencer in your market sector, such as:

Klout – Klout’s algorithm takes into account an individual’s activity across the social web, and assigns them a score based on the authority that they wield on social networks.

Followerwonk – This service focuses solely on Twitter, but it offers a useful search function that allows you to identify the influencers within your market sector. It also has the ability to compare multiple influencers, once they have been identified.

Buzzsumo – Buzzsumo is a free tool that is still in development. It allows you to identify which content is the most popular based on numbers of shares, and it even has the function to indicate which influencers are sharing which pieces of content.

Traackr – This influencer analysis platform allows the user to not only discover the best influencers within a market sector, but it can also find the best way to connect with them.

When done properly, identifying, contacting and collaborating with influencers can be a lengthy task, but using these tools can help make the process not only more straight forward, but also more efficient.

If you take the time to work with good quality influencers, you will find that your outreach response rate may decrease, but the effect of having just one of these links to your site may be more valuable than 100 lower quality links, so it is certainly a method worth investing time in.

Join us next week for Part 2 of McAllister’s Guest Blogging Series, where we discuss domain authority and guest blogging guidelines. See you then! 

Author bio: This article was written by James McAllister an online marketer and small business specialist for Make It Cheaper. If you’re looking for more online marketing or small business tips, make sure you follow James on Twitter or Google+.

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About Sarah Mincher

Sarah Mincher is the Content Marketing Manager and (more importantly) the resident Grumpy Cat authority at DigitalSherpa. Sarah graduated from Kennesaw State University with a degree in Political Science and International Affairs in 2011. In her free time, Sarah enjoys riding her horse, reading and googling Ryan Gosling.