How To Find the Best Websites for Guest Blogging [A Technical Guide]

March 7th 2020
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@kntoukakisKonstantinos Ntoukakis

SEO Consultant to Internet Entrepreneurs and Remote Teams

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Guest blogging is one of the best ways to get your name out there, build relationships with like-minded people and grow your traffic. I love it and find the aspect of contributing to a publication fascinating.

Moreover, when it comes to search engine optimization guest blogging is one of the best ways to get quality (contextual) links to your site. But there's a caveat, it's often not so easy to identify good publications to contribute your content to.
And after spending some time building a workflow for doing exactly that, I decided to share it and help people who might have the same problem.

What to consider when picking publications for guest blogging

1. The publication's overall reputation and affinity to your audience
This heavily reflects on the quality of their content, and the overall online reputation of a publisher. You wouldn't like to associate your name with a website that you consider to be sub-par in terms of quality or doesn't share your values.
2. Domain metrics
After reputation, domain metrics are the most important factor. Generally, we're looking for publications that search engines recognize as authoritative and not spam.
An example of such metrics is Moz's Domain Authority (DA), a search engine ranking score that predicts how well a website will rank on the search engine result pages (SERPs). In general, when 2 websites rank for the same keywords/searches, the website with the higher domain authority will rank higher in the search results. 
Each SEO tool has its proprietary metrics for this, for example, Ahrefs' Domain Rating reflects the backlink profile of a website rather than their "ranking potential", yet there's a strong correlation between links and rankings, and ultimately these metrics.
You can check the Domain Authority of any website using MozBar (Moz's free Chrome Extension), and the Domain Rating score of a website using Ahrefs'  website authority checker
Another category of domain metrics is related to spam, for example, Moz's spam score that represents the percentage of sites with similar features we've found to be penalized or banned by Google. 
Ideally, we want the publications that we pick to have a high domain authority, low spam score, and to make use of "dofollow" links in their text body.

How can we find publications for guest blogging that fit the above criteria?

Step 1: Start with a Google search
The first step entails using advanced Google search operators to look for websites with a contributor page that contains our industry keywords.
For example, Google:
SEO  (intitle:"write for us" | intitle:"write for me" | intitle:"guest post guidelines")
and you will find pages about SEO that contain either the "write for us/me" and "guest post guidelines" phrases.
Step 2: Get non-personalized search results
In this step, we will copy the first 100 non-personalized Google Search results and paste them in a spreadsheet.
I would recommend using the free Chrome extension "SEO Ruler" for this step. 
In the "Google Options" menu, just hit "Show top 100 results" and "don't show personalized results".
Then in the "Google SERP" menu click "copy organic results (URLs)" and paste the results in your spreadsheet.
Step 3: Clean up the list of potential publications by evaluating their domain metrics.
In the last step, we will retrieve the domain authority for our URLs. We can do this using the Mozscape API and some Python, or by visiting the pages and checking their metrics on Mozbar.
A good rule for filtering websites is to exclude those with low domain authority and high spam score.
Step 4: Final considerations
While the above process is great for informed guest blogging, we can take it to the next level by visiting our favorite publications and conducting a last manual review of:
  1. The overall quality of their guest posts
  2. The link types found within the contributors' posts
Specifically when it comes to links and SEO, what we are looking for is highly contextual followed links from within the blog text.
Although Google recently announced that moving forward they will treat "nofollow" links as hints rather than a strict guideline, it's generally considered good practice to look for followed contextual links inside the text.
I've used this method dozens of times and it helped me find publications in virtually any niche. You can find below some of the lists I've compiled, such as health blogs and tech blogs that accept contributors.
Last but not least, you can easily automate it with some Python and SEO APIs to create an even more efficient workflow; I plan to cover this on a separate post.
What great publications did you discover? Let me know in the comments!

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