From sources of inspiration to creating high-quality social images to accompany your post, there is a multitude of free and paid tools that can be used to improve your guest blogging campaign. While we certainly don’t advocate the automation of guest blogging, because this quickly crosses the line into a spammy and unethical territory, there is nothing wrong with using some of the tools available to you. By reducing the time it takes to manage multiple spreadsheets, install Outlook add-ons, and unaccepted recirculating pitches, you can concentrate more of your personal resources on creating high-quality guest posting content.
So, below we have put together a list of 10 of the most useful tools;
Tools that we use, every day, as part of our guest blogging campaigns.
Finding inspiration for new posts can be difficult. You don’t want to send rehashed versions of the same articles to multiple sites, but after you’ve pitched a few blogs, you quickly run out of ideas.
Of all the content inspiration tools out there, AnswerThePublic is the one that we return to most often. We use it for writing our blog posts, for finding buyer keywords, and we use it to ensure that we’ve covered every single base with web page content. We also use it for guest blogging.
Only add your keyword, and hit search. AnswerThePublic will then provide you with a list of relevant questions about that topic. We don’t tend to use the visualization tab, which is selected by default. Instead, we click Data so that we are presented with a list of questions. Choose one question, create an FAQ style post, or just use the results to spark some content ideas.
Want to know what readers are sharing on social media about your niche? BuzzSumo is a great tool for exactly that purpose. Although many, many tools are part of the BuzzSumo suite, we primarily use it to determine popular topics and even to help us come up with blog post titles.
Enter your keyword, with quotation marks, and then hit search. You will be given an extensive list of posts that include the number of shares they have experienced on different social media accounts.
Ahrefs is probably the most widely used SEO tool that we have, and while it isn’t free, if you are conducting any ongoing SEO campaign, it is worth the investment. We use it to measure the quality of a guest blog site to determine whether it is worth pitching.
You can see whether a blog has any traffic, whether it has suffered any penalties that might be passed on to you, and you can also use it to determine the most popular posts that have appeared on a blog. This gives you great information to share with the blog owner – right; they probably know which there most favorite posts are, but by showing that you do too, you also show that you’ve put some time and effort into contacting them.
One of the biggest challenges in guest blogging is finding a steady stream of high-quality blogs that we want to publish content on. SEMRush may not be the first tool you think of for this, but they have a new SEO Content Tool. The tool is still in Beta, but enter a keyword, and SEMRush will display a mass of information, including a list of sites where you should try and get a link from. This will often include blogs that accept guest posts, reducing the time you have to spend mastering Google search queries.
We aren’t usually fans of scrapers and scraping tools. In the case of website scrapers, they tend to end in a list of relatively low-quality sites, but if you use it correctly, then the Guest Post Site Scraper will provide you with an extensive list of websites that use your keywords or are based on your topics, and that actively encourage guest post submissions. If you do use this tool, be sure to check the quality of the sites before you go submitting work to them.
When it comes to pitching websites, you will find that some site owners answer straight away. Some take days or even weeks to respond, and many will never respond at all. You can significantly improve your acceptance rates simply by following up on the pitches that you send. A spreadsheet will do the job, but BuzzStream arguably does a better job, and it does it in less time. You can even use it to find sites. It displays the email or contact address of any site that you find, and you can set reminders so that you email the site owner again in a few days.
Writing a guest post should take time. The more effort you put into it, the greater the results you will reap. However, because it can take hours to create a high-quality post, find a list of sites, and then pitch your idea, you should ensure that you are getting the most from every post that is published. For this reason, you should measure the quality of a site before you try pitching them an idea. Moz offers a Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) of every website and web page online, and these metrics are considered the industry standard for this kind of purpose. We are asked for sites with a minimum DA of 20.
It is important not to overlook the power of social shares as well, and the past social performance of a blog’s posts is a reasonable indication of how well future posts will perform. SharesCount is a straightforward and useful tool that tells you how often a post has been shared on the major networks and is a simpler alternative to BuzzSumo and other tools. Paste the URL and click Enter.
Some blog owners receive hundreds of pitches every week and must spend more time trawling through submissions than they would spend writing the posts. It stands to reason, then, that the more work you do for the site owner, the greater the chance that they will publish your piece. Add images to your post. Use screenshots where applicable, or use royalty free, stock photos and illustrations. Many websites offer this kind of content, including Pixabay.
If you want to go the extra mile with your submission, then you can create better quality images. Use the photos and illustrations you gather from Pixabay and other sources, edit them, and add text and other items using Canvas. Canvas can be used to create stunning infographics and hero images, as well, but it is a quick and simple solution to creating social sharing images.
Using the tools above you can increase your guest blogging performance. You will be able to find content ideas more easily, judge the quality of sites that you publish to, and even incorporate images. You can track your results, and you can use the information that you gather to make further improvements in the future too.
Matt Jackson is a freelance content writer and guest blogger. He manages dozens of campaigns, crafting high-quality content, and submitting to beneficial blogs to gain exposure for websites around the world. Visit brandingmedia.co.uk for more information on Matt’s services.