Guest posting is a great strategy for building an audience — no doubt about it.
If you regularly write guest posts for legitimate blogs that feature quality content, your posts can be an amazing source of traffic and inbound links.
Guest blogging just works … when you do it right.
But finding quality guest posting opportunities can be a chore. Everyone who needs guest posting gigs is searching Google for terms like “guest posts.”
That means the bloggers that rise to the top of that search are completely inundated with guest posting requests. Your request will probably get lost in the shuffle.
Your job is to ferret out the guest blogging opportunities that no one else knows about.
Here are three quick ways to do great research that will move you one step closer to those powerful, yet lesser-known opportunities.
I love Topsy.
I use it to come up with new blog post ideas, but you can use it to find guest blogging prospects as well.
Topsy searches the social web (Google+ and Twitter) for popular topics. By doing a search for “guest post” and limiting your search to articles shared within the recent past, you can find new guest post possibilities before your competition does.
If I wrote a cooking blog, I might search Topsy for ["guest post" cooking] and use the left sidebar to narrow down the results. I can ask Topsy to show me the links that were shared on Twitter within the last 13 days, and sort the results by date. At the time of this writing, Topsy showed me 37 results for that particular search parameter, and that means 37 new prospects who might be willing to publish a guest post from me.
Topsy also gives you social sharing information at a glance. By examining how many times each blog post was shared on Twitter, you can ascertain which opportunities might translate into the best exposure for you and your brand.
Although Topsy does search Google+ for shared topics, it does so very poorly. The search that I ran above (for a guest post on cooking) showed me only three links shared on Google+, even using the “all time” filter.
But when I run the same search using the actual Google+ interface, I get a lot more results. That means more guest blogging opportunities for you — and probably in places that no one else is looking.
Once you find some good bloggers to connect with, you can use your Google+ account to comment on the articles, then add those bloggers to your circles. This a great way to connect with your target bloggers in a non-threatening, gentle way.
Then you’re set up well to build your relationship with them via social media interactions. A solid relationship with a blogger means that when you do finally reach out to him or her to ask for a guest posting gig, they’ll recognize your name — and that means you’ll be considerably less likely to go straight into the circular file.
Yes, there is another search engine!
Bing attracts about 165 million searchers every month, and is often listed as the second-largest search engine in the world.
Here’s why you should care about Bing — the Bing engine ranks their search results differently than Google. Why is that important? Because you can use the same search strings in Google and in Bing, and you’ll find vastly different results.
This means you can find some hidden opportunities for guest posting that your competition hasn’t discovered — because they’re not looking in the right place.
Searching the phrase ["guest post" cooking] at Bing brings up over a quarter of a million results, and in most cases, the overlap with Google results is pretty minimal. The top 20 results for that same search on both Google and Bing only show two overlapping results.
Over to you …
So, those are just three quick ways to find unique, out-of-the-echo-chamber guest blogging opportunities.
It’s important to research places like this for many reasons, not the least of which is finding and connecting with the new generations of writers and content producers coming online every day.
How about you? Are you spending time with any lesser-known outreach tools or communities?
Here’s you’re chance to drop them into the comments below, and make them just a little bit less lesser-known.