By Owain Williams

Guest posting is a massively underrated tool in business, often seen as a highly time-consuming, low-benefit tactic that doesn’t produce any significant results. This, of course, is not true.

Writing and publishing quality guest posts on other websites can be incredibly beneficial for your business. This is especially true when it comes to search engine optimization and positioning yourself as a thought leader.

But can small businesses secure themselves guest posts on quality websites without paying huge sums of money to do so?

Yes, but only if they know how.

Benefits of Quality Guest Posts for SEO

When you guest post on high authority websites, this can be very beneficial for the search engine rankings of your site. This works when you can link from the external site to your own website with a dofollow link. Most sites that accept guest posts will allow you to include one or two of these in your author’s bio.

Google sees any backlinks from other sites to your site as a small “vote of confidence.” Or in other words, Google thinks that the site linking to yours trusts the information they are linking to. Ultimately, this will make Google recognize your site as trustworthy and are therefore more likely to rank it highly.

However, when you link from a low authority site, this can have no or a negative impact on your rankings, as Google’s algorithm will not give that link much clout.

Benefits of Guest Posting for Thought Leadership

When it comes down to it, most people guest post because it is good for SEO. However, posting quality content across high-authority websites in your niche is also a great way to help build your and your businesses position as a knowledgeable thought leader.

Posting great content on your site is certainly advisable and beneficial, but of course, anyone can put up their own content on their own site. When you post on other sites, readers will see that the website owner trusts and respects your knowledge enough to effectively recommend your content to their readers.

If you do this across multiple sites, this can have a very powerful effect on your brand, highlighting you as a key player within that industry.  

How to Secure Guest Post Opportunities

So, guest posts are great whether you want to boost your SEO or develop a position of industry authority. But how do small businesses with small marketing budgets go about finding and securing quality guest post opportunities?

1. Start with Lists

By far the quickest and easiest way to find opportunities for guest posting is to simply search for lists. This can be done on Google by typing in a phrase like “guest post websites [insert niche].”

For example, you may type in:

Guest post websites marketing

In most niches, this will return lists of websites that accept guest posts. This can save you a huge amount of time, allowing someone else to do the hard work for you. These lists will also often include key information on each of these sites such as how difficult it can be to secure guest posts and the domain authority score.

The only downside to these lists is that they are open to anyone who searches the term, therefore competition for guest posting opportunities can be competitive.

2. Run a Smart Google Search

To find specific websites that accept guest posts in your niche you can also use Google in another way. Do this by simply searching a term you would expect to see on a write for us page and then your niche area.

For example, you may search:

“Write for us” “Marketing”

This will return results that match both of these terms, providing lots of opportunities to secure guest posts.

3. Leverage SEO Tools

Smart SEO tools like MOZ can be used to spy on your competitors and use them to identify opportunities to secure guest posts. For example, when you run a competitors website through the MOZ Link Explorer tool, it will return results for websites that backlink to that site.

This is a treasure trove of potential guest post opportunities. It is usually easy to identify which links are from guest posts.

4. Use Backlink Marketplaces

We have already discussed how high domain authority websites are the best sites to guest post on. But as a website grows in authority, so too does the likelihood that they will charge a fee for accepting guest post.

These fees are usually described as an “admin fee” associated getting your post live.

When you get to this point, you can save yourself some time and energy by exploring backlink marketplaces. These platforms list websites that accept guest posts and the associated costs, making it quick and easy to secure spots for guest posts.

When using these sites it pays to be vigilant and undertake your own audit of the site you intend to post on. Some sites are built specifically to make money from guest posts and don’t hold any real authority within your niche.

Small businesses can benefit massively from undertaking a guest posting campaign. The positive impact this approach has on SEO can be immediately noticeable. From a thought leadership perspective, the benefits can be a little slower to appear but ultimately can outweigh those achieved in SEO.