Website Income

How To Systematize a Successful Guest Posting Campaign

The highest quality of link that is easily obtainable is through guest posting.  By following this straightforward plan I have been able to guest post on some very popular personal finance sites and launch my authority site and earn some website income (shown below).

This post is going to be a step by step tutorial showing exactly how I use outsourced team members to help with my guest posting campaign…

guest-postingUpdate – 2016

What if you want to guest post BUT… don’t have the time and want to just get a service to do all the hard work for you?

  • Fellow geek when it comes to systematizing processes Doug Cunnington from has created a great service!


Step 1 Create a Google Document to Track Your Guest Posting Campaign

Since I am wanting to scale the guest posting process but don’t have time to manage it all myself I will need some help from my VA’s.

The best way to track where we are at as a team is via a Google Document.

What to Track?

Here is the critical information I will track…

  • Basic Details
    • URL
    • Website Title
    • Name of Owner
    • Twitter
    • Email
    • Potential
      • Relevance – Score 1-3 How Aligned is Their Site is With Yours
      • Quality – Score 1-3 on amount of if it’s a small, medium, large website strength
      • Prob of Success – Score 1-3 (1 no guest posts, 2 some guest posts, 3 encourage guest posting)
    • Outreach Plan (direct outreach or establish relationship)
    • Status
      • Blog Comment 1
      • Blog Comment 2
      • Blog Comment 3
      • OutReach #1
      • Response Date?
      • OutReach #2
      • Response
    • STATUS

You can see and copy the Google Document Template I use here…

Step 2 Find Potential Locations for Guest Posting Opportunities


1.       Blog Comments on Related Authority Sites

This is the only method I have been using to date and have barely scratched the surface of my niche.

For me I had my VA go to a list of 10 authority sites I identified to her and in the comments section follow anyone who had a URL in their comment name and record that URL if it was a related site.

By doing this at the 10 sites and then repeating it at the other sites she followed through she was able to quickly generate a list of over 100 related sites with a webmaster who is still active on the site(apparent by the fact they left a recent comment)



Unfortunately that website doesn’t allow guest posting but it is an interesting read and website worth reaching out to.


  1. Find a list of 10 authroity sites in your niche
  2. Have a VA go through the site and identify every URL someone left in the comment section
  3. Have the VA visit those relevant sites and visit the URL someone left in the comment at those sites
  4. Document all relevant URLs on a google document
  5. I go in and rank the URL based on Relevance, Quality and Probability of Successfully getting a guest post published
  6. Determine if website is Blog Style or Content Style site. A Blog Style site requires a longer “sales” process while you can directly contact a content style website
  7. For blog style websites I suggest some variation of 3 blog posts before emailing them
  8. Once you think they will recognize your name from blog comments etc you can move onto the outreach step

IDEA – I haven’t tried this but if you ran Link-Sleuth on the authority website you would be able to identify all the URLs that site is linking to in the comments or other sections.  There could potentially be a way to automatically spider and identify the active websites that provide comments on each others site for a given niche.

2.       Reverse Engineer Backlinks – I Havent Used This Method – Yet

If you find a website that uses guest posts you can reverse engineer the locations that they have guest posted.

I haven’t used this yet for my Authority Website but have used it in the past and it is effective.

You don’t need a lot of instructions on how to find your competitors backlinks, these steps should be enough to get you started…

  1. Go to MajesticSEO (not an aff link)
  2. Create a free account
  3. Enter your competitors URL
  4. Check backlinks (you will only get 10)
  5. Identify if any of those backlinks are guest posts or directory submissions
  6. Get a link from those locations

SEOMoz tool OpenSiteExplorer also works and has additional functionality and information resources

Spencer Haws from Niche Pursuits has a post on how to steal your competitors backlinks – here

 3.       Known Guest Blogging Lists – I Don’t Plan on Using This Method

If you do a Google search for your “niche guest post sites” or “niche webmaster emails” you should be able to find some lists like the one shown below…


This isn’t a method I use.

4.       MyBlogGuest – I Haven’t Used This But May Outsource It To A VA

MyBlogGuest is a guest posting community where you can sign up and provide Guest Posts to other webmasters.

I have created an account but never participated in the community. Based on my discussions with some people it sounds like a community of people with feeder sites that are looking for link diversity.

The appeal of MyBlogGuest for me is that I could outsource the entire process but I have not set that up yet.

5.       Ask People Who Contact You – I Have Used This

Big SEO firms companies in your niche have entire teams dedicated to the guest posting process. They have one part of the team generating lists of potential sites to contact, another team making contact and then finally a team of writers.  This is essentially what I do but on a smaller scale.

STEAL the work these larger teams do and use it to your advantage. When you get contacted by someone you suspect is working for a larger entity and they ask for a guest post opportunity ask them to list all the places they have guest posted on.  Then use that list and go guest post on them as well.

These larger companies will also likely have some “feeder sites” or a “private blog network” that you can publish some of your cheap original articles on. Depending on the quality and link profile of these sites you may not want a link from them. An easy way to check on the quality of the site is to run it through and if the Citation Flow and Trust Flow are both above 15, the site doesn’t look like spam and the total indexed pages is under 500 than its likely a decent website to post on.

Finally plug the URL they want the link to into MajesticSEO or OpenSiteExplorer and try to identify all the websites this bigger site has convinced to allow guest posts on. Add the sites you have found to your blog commenting tracking sheet and make contact with the website owner.


Step 3 Outreach

When looking for guest posting opportunities its best to break them down into 2 types of sites with distinctive motives…

  1. Bloggers – Value community, engagement
  2. Content Website – Value original, quality content and “what you can do for them”

When approaching bloggers its best to think of them as a customer that you are selling on the benefit of your guest post. You have to court them, make contact via blog commenting to establish a relationship and then ask for the guest post once they have some level of trust.

When approaching a “content website” they want to know how your article is going to help them make more money from their website with increased traffic.


Anatomy of Guest Post Email


Subject Line

Basic – “Guest Post on _____”

Identify Problem for Them – “Problem on Your Page ______”

Personal – “(name) can you help me out” (this should only be used if you have established a relationship)


Paragraph #1 – Who are you, why are you writing

I am the person behind “url” and would be very interested in proving you with a guest post your audience would enjoy.


Paragraph #2 – Relate to them

Personlaize this paragraph by truthfully and tastefully complimenting something and link it back to why a guest post from you would be in their interest

Your guest post instructions are really well laid out and after reading through them I am confident my original article can be _____(use wording from guest post section)


Paragraph #3– Add Social Proof

I have guest posted on sites (here) and (here) and they both helped the website rank for keywords they had not before. This is partly due to me promoting the article to my (#) of followers on Twitter.


Paragraph #4 – Suggested Title & Call To Action

I would like to write a post for your site titled either…



Can you let me know which one you think would resonate with your audience more?

CRAZY PSCOLOGY INSIGHT – Give 2 title suggestions but make sure 1 is significantly better. The result is the person reading the email quickly makes a decision that title a is better than title b for their audience and subconsciously has skipped over the lar

Read More about the choice between Yes and Yes – Here


Credit to – for many of the outreach email techniques I use.


Full Example:

Guest Post on _____

Hi ____

I am the person behind (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden) and would be very interested in proving you with a guest post your audience would enjoy.

Your guest post instructions are really well laid out and after reading through them I am confident my original article combined with me promoting it can exceed your 500 view/article goal.

I have guest posted on sites…

Site 1

Site 2

and my articles helped both these websites rank for new keywords.

I would like to write a post for your site titled either…

  • The 2 Easiest To Receive Student Loan Forgiveness Programs


  • Student Loan Help

Can you let me know which one you think would resonate with your audience more?







My Guest Posting Success To Date

In this section

Last Updated

# of sites identified to contact = Over 100

# of sites started interacting with = 25

# of sites I made contact with = 10

# of guest posts published = 5

Of the 5 websites I havent heard back from a couple more will likely come through


Interesting Stat – Emails from females have a 20% higher response rate as shown by SEOMoz. However I have not done this for several reasons but it wouldn’t work considering my name/face is on my authority site. My response rate is currently not hurting either.


Other Guest Posting Resources

About the Author Jon

I am a 33 year old husband, father of 3, engineer and a huge fan of developing systems to build useful and profitable websites. The reason I build online businesses is to provide financial independence for my family and yours AND so I can spend time outside skiing and biking with my family.
Jon Gillham, Online Entrepreneur

Leave a Comment:

Sam says October 26, 2012

Those are really great tips.

What I really appreciate about your style is that you add value first to the conversation before you approach them for a guest post.

Its also nice to see someone that uses VA’s a lot do the interaction themselves.

    Jon says October 26, 2012

    Thanks for visiting Sam,

    Yes I wanted to make sure I was personelly contacting all the blogs and adding value to their site before I requested the privilege of guest posting.

Theodore Nwangene says October 26, 2012

Hey Jon,
Brilliant post you’ve written here. Its no doubt that Guest Posting is the way to go now when it comes to building quality backlinks and getting traffic as well as gaining more exposure, i’ve also started guest posting recently and will equally guest for you soon if you accepts that.

This post is really awesome man.

    Jon says October 26, 2012

    Thanks Theodore, are you using any different tactics when it comes to guest posting? What have you found the best source of guest posting leads are?

Duncan says October 26, 2012

You made $75 in the 7th week since the website has launched!

That is awesome, most of my sites struggle to make that in a month 6months after they are launched.

Typically I would say what are you doing that allowed you to be so successful, but I guess I can go and read every post again to see since you share everything!

    Jon says October 26, 2012

    Duncan, I am very happy with the $75 over the last 7 days!

    Every metric on the site hasn’t been doing great though, my email opt ins are very low!

    If there is anything I can do to help you with your websites just let me know.

Daryl Mander says October 27, 2012

Hi Jon, thanks for posting this. I have been umming and erring about starting up a guest posting campaign for my upcoming authority site. My site is positioned more as a content style site with multiple authors. Seeing as I don’t have one main authority personality on my site, rather I have lots of separate contributors, do you think a guest posting campaign is still a doable idea, or does it only work when you have one personality behind the site that can thus be considered the ‘authority’ on that particular subject?

    Jon says October 28, 2012

    Hi Daryl

    That is an interesting question. The short answer I believe is that it would still be beneficial and here is my reasoning…

    Guest posting has 3 key benefits…
    1. Traffic
    2. SEO – Excellent Links
    3. Authorship/Brand Building

    So regardless of who the author is you will still get the full benefit of 1 & 2 and for 3 as long as each post is positioned as from your websites brand than you will get significant benefits!

    That’s my take on your question.

    Best of luck with your authority site!

Shaun says October 31, 2012

Damn this is a great post, i’ve been doing some guest posting recently but this is really going to help streamline things. Thanks.

Also love your story behind setting up the site, mine is very similar though my daughter is now nearly 1.

    Jon says November 1, 2012

    Thanks for visiting. Glad you still have time to work online with your 1 year old daughter.

Ade says May 28, 2013

Great post….very comprehensive. The way you go about it and guest posting in general weeds out so many spammy websites that I think it will never go out of favor as a traffic/link getting strategy. I’ve even seen some people that specify that they won’t accept emd websites and only want branded websites. It is hard work though but I guess that’s a double edged sword….

joe says June 4, 2013

How do you know if the sites are going to make your link a do follow link? Do you go back and check? Tks

Philip Kleudgen says September 14, 2013

Hi Jon,
I always thought guest posting is a great way to get Links and traffic, but it’s also time consuming to do. I would love to find a way to outsource it as far as possible.

Anyway, thanks for all those great tips!

Danny says September 17, 2013

All good strats. I avoid sites that advertise guest blogging (except mega authorities) and avoid MBG.

Re: outreach emails. Keep them short and sweet. Site owners know it’s a pitch, so don’t waste their time.


Arwin Kim says November 15, 2013

This is technically amazing post! Love it! However, some blogs I found that provided guest post don’t allow keyword targeting link. So, sometimes a guest post I write can match the keyword that I am targeting on.

Jae says November 26, 2013

I have not tried guest posting myself as I am not that great of a writer, but I have allowed a few guest posts on my website. Truthfully I am a little intimidated by the spreadsheet that you have made, but I do see the validity in it. Have you come up with anything similar to use?

Curt says November 27, 2013

Been reading through many of these posts as I get started on my site and just had to comment again on how excellent and actionable pretty much every post here is.

My first foray into non-content VA work is because of this article. Got a couple lists of 100 sites for outreach.

Thanks for the great resource(s) Jon.


    Jon says November 27, 2013

    Great stuff Curt – this is definitely a winning strategy I am using now and plan to continue to use.

Heidi says March 4, 2014

I don’t want to share this post because it has so much value in it and I don’t want my competition to know all this! 🙂 Seriously though, what an awesome site. Subscribed!

George Meszaros says July 18, 2015

A good primer on guest posting. Thank you for sharing.

Marsha says February 25, 2016

I really happy when i found your website. It’s so detail and interested. I am looking for some tips to success with guesting post. I will follow your instruction. Thanks a lot!

marshablog says March 11, 2016

I am searching and I find you, you website. It’s useful and so detail for beginners like me. Thanks a lot!

Mendrika says February 12, 2017

Hey Jon,

great article, thank you for sharing it.

Moz Site Explorer allows you to export competitors dofollow backlinks to a CSV file, you can just have your VAs go through the list to find guest posting opportunities.

Did you those 5 guest posts come from those 10 website owners you’ve reached out to? That’s some really good ratio! On average, I land one guest post for every 30 site I reach out to. To what do you attribute this high acceptance rate you’re achieving?

– Mendrika

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