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Guest Blogging Secrets and Must Use Strategies

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You can tell people how to start a blog, create an ad campaign or even provide them with a step by step business plan… but in the end, how many people will actually follow through? The answer is, NOT MANY. The majority of people are just too lazy or give up way too fast. Yes, blogging is one of the easiest ways to start a web site… but there is a reason why most blogs fail and fizzle out to nothing and never make money. Setting up a blog is nothing compared to what it takes to grow a blog and make it into something special.

You’ve created a blog, produced great content and have a few hundred readers and some people are actually leaving comments on your blog… but your revenue and goals for the blog are still nothing. It will usually take at least a year or two to build yourself as an authority in any niche, and that’s a low estimate. Another problem that many bloggers just starting out have, is that they don’t have money to invest in advertising and getting people to their site.

So what’s the solution… Guest Blogging! Sure, you’ve heard of guest blogging before, but how many of you have actually spent the time to create a quality guest post and search out a quality blog for you to possibly get featured on? Most likely very few of you.

The truth is, guest blogging is free and for anyone who isn’t taking this opportunity seriously, it’s a big business mistake.

In this post we are going to highlight some important questions and answers about guest blogging, while also covering some guest blogging secrets and killer resources that are around the web.

If you’ve been struggling to grow your blog, make money online and become a niche within your market, this is the perfect guide for you.

Guest Blogging Guide and Questions

Before you start guest posting on your own, you need to make sure you have a good idea how guest blogging works, along with the proper etiquette and expectations from blogs that allow guest posts on their sites. Guest blogging isn’t just about getting inbound links, it’s a complex process that can grow your blog and brand by leaps and bounds… but if you go about it the wrong way, it can also come back to haunt you. Instead of just looking at it as link building, it’s really all about providing value and knowing how to outreach to the right bloggers.

The follow questions are some of the key points and discussions that you will need to know to become a successful guest blogger. Also be sure to check the killer resources at the bottom of the page, as this full post and resources are really the only thing you need to become a successful guest blogger.

– What is guest blogging?

Guest blogging is the process of writing original content for blogs on the internet. The majority of blogs that are looking for guest post writers, will want at least 400 words of original content, a topic that is targeted towards their audience and provides value to their site. In exchange for providing a guest post on another blog, the guest writer will usually receive an author section at the bottom of the blog post, along with one or two links to their web sites or blogs.

– What are the top blogs for guest blogging?

Depending on your niche, the top blogs in your market will be much different from other niches. Some of the most popular blogs on the internet such as TechCrunch and Mashable accept guest blog posts, but they need to be extremely high in quality and it also helps if you have a great list of references or an already established brand. An updated list of over 100 blogs accepting guest blog post was recently released. The majority of these blogs are internet marketing and tech related. No matter what niche you are in, there are plenty of high level blogs and many of them are likely accepting guest posts. Take the time to write to each of the top blogs in your niche and see if they are accepting guest posts.

– What is the best way to approach a site that accepts guest blog posts?

The way blogs accept guest bloggers can vary. On my sites I use a simple contact form, where I will talk with the guest writer before accepting their posts. Other blogs will allow you to sign up for a WordPress author account on their site, which you can then write up posts through the WordPress area. If the content is approved, the blog owner will publish your content and you will be able to add future posts simply by logging into your account and writing new content.

If you are going to be sending an email to a blog owner about posting your blog content, you should make the email personal, short and sweet. The majority of large blog owners out there get a lot of email and they don’t have time to go back and forth on every email they get. Write something personable about how you like their blog, read it often and would like to contribute a guest post. If they don’t have an author registration on their site, it’s best to include your full blog post within the email. You do not want to send an email that says “Can I guest post on your site?”, then follow up again asking what to write about etc… this is wasting the blog owners time and just making you look like an annoyance. You can see a sample of this writing practice on our “7 Major Tips to Be a Better Guest Blogger” post.

– What are the benefits of guest blogging?

The benefits of guest blogging are huge. As mentioned earlier, as a guest blogger you will gain back links in your author section at the bottom of most guest posts. Not only can these links help with seo and rankings in the search engines, but it will also help drive people back to your site. It’s one thing to write a guest post that gets accepted, but writing a killer post that people really enjoy and comment on, will make them that much more likely to click on your author links and visit your site.

Another benefit of guest blogging is simply getting your name out there. There really is no better and more cost effective way to get your name, content and picture out to thousands of readers just for taking some time to write up a quality article. One people start seeing your name and content on various other blogs, you will find that your branding and credibility continues to increase with time… as does your own blog’s traffic and branding.

– How can I become an authority through guest blogging?

Becoming an authority in any niche take a lot of time. Don’t expect to throw up a blog and become an instant success over night… or even within a few months for that matter. Many bloggers will need to write killer content and be at the top of their game for years before they become established and an authority. The keys to becoming an authority in any space, is knowing everything about your market, while also providing your readers will content they are just waiting to read. Tutorials, guides, news and interaction are all key factors to becoming an authority, and it also helps to grow a mailing list and start your branding efforts from day one.

– How can I make the most out of my guest blogging efforts?

When writing guest posts, it’s not simply about writing a post, sending it out to a blog and getting a link back. If that is your end goal, you are missing the point. First off, you want to make sure that you are writing something really great that people are going to want to read, benefit from and SHARE. The next important thing is that you interact with the people that are reading your content. If people are leaving comments, make sure you take the time to respond to all of them. It’s also a good idea and courteous for you to share your guest blog posts with your own social networking audiences. This is a great way to spread your content around while also helping out the blogs that are publishing your content.

Can I outsource guest blogging?

There are plenty of guest blog services out there, and they are also many reason why you may or may not want to use them. A few reasons why you WILL want to use them is simply because they will save you a ton of time and do all of the dirty work for you, such as contacting blogs, writing articles and getting them approved and live. Some reasons why you may NOT want to use outsourcing for guest blogging is that it will cost you money, and if you are using your personal name or branding, you probably don’t want articles and content being spread around that says it was written by you when it really wasn’t.

If you are looking to have guest blogging done to bring attention to a blog or web site simply for link building, guest blog services range anywhere from $15 to $200 per guest post published. The huge price difference is based on article quality, the authority and ranking of the sites that are posting articles, and within what niche.

Great Free Guest Blogging Resources

As you can tell, guest blogging is quite powerful and when focused on enough, it can really propel your business and brand to new levels. With that said, it’s important to spread around some of the best guest blogging resources around the web, along with interesting posts and articles on the topic.

  • My Personal Guest Posts on Other Blogs – I’ve written a couple thousand blog posts across my own personal blogs, but I’ve also been doing some guest blog posting as well. Not only is it fun, but it’s also spreading my blog and brand to other blogs and audiences that might not have heard of me year. This page features some 30+ articles I’ve written for various blogs across the internet.

  • YoungPrePro.com – What if I told you the God Father of guest blogging was actually a young kid? Well, he might not be the God Father, but he is freaking awesome at guest blogging. I first talked with Bamidele Onibalusi a couple years ago and he has written for many of my blogs. Onibalusi is a 20 year old kid from Nigeria, who just started his blog back in April of 2010 and is already making a few thousand dollars a month through his blog, guest blogging and writing services. I’d like to think my 30 guest blog posts are impression, but Onibalusi has well over 300 guest blogs posted in the past couple of years!
  • 100 Blogs Accepting Guest Posts – The best way to get started with guest blogging is to simply get started right now. BloggersPassion.com released a great list of 100+ blogs that are currently accepting blog posts. The list also include the Alexa and Google PageRank for each blog. The list is made up of most social media, internet marketing, design and finance related blogs.
  • My Guest Blog – I haven’t used this service yet, but I’ve seen a lot of people talking about it. You can join My Guest Blog and start networking and setting up guest posts with other blogs in their network. They also have a few guest blogging learning courses that you can download.
  • ViperChill Guest Blogging – ViperChill has a great blog post full of information and case studies about his guest blogging experiences, along with a break down of all the benefits and link building power behind guest blogging. This is a quality post full of referral traffic stats, example blog emails and much more.
  • Guest Blogging Guide 101 – Michael Chibuzor is another well known guest blogger, with over 500 guest posts under his name. In his guest blogging guide you will walk through the same steps Michael takes when writing and looking for quality blogs to guest write for.
  • How to Build Links Through Guest Blogging – Niel Patel has put together an excellent step by step walk through of the process behind guest blogging, along with providing some useful resources and tools for tracking an writing great blog content.

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Cyber Monday and Black Friday Deals Going on Right Now!

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Black Friday is always a great time to take advantage of the huge holiday sales rush. Not only is this true with retail locations, it’s also MASSIVE for online businesses and shopping as well.

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In these video sessions, industry expert Zac Johnson, will walk students through everything they need to know to create a successful and profitable blog online. Such topics include finding that perfect niche market, creating a site from scratch, how to make money with affiliate marketing, and much more!

And of course, all students get lifetime access to all course content, videos, and updates.

Online Coaching with Industry Expert Zac Johnson

Zac Johnson is the Founder of Blogging.org, and has been making money online with content and affiliate marketing for over 20 years now. Having first started making money online back in the mid-to-late 90s, Zac first found affiliate marketing success with Amazon.com, then started building out his own sites and ad campaigns.

Over the past two decade, Zac Johnson has lunched hundreds of websites, thousands of ad campaigns and has also taught his students how to make millions of dollars in the process.

The Complete Guide to Affiliate Marketing & Blogging” is simply one of the best courses for learning how to create a legitimate and profitable business on the internet, while also being 100% taught through lessons created by Zac Johnson himself.

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Quick and Effective Tips to Maximize Speed of your Website or Blog

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Few things are worse than when you click over to a new website or blog, and then it’s loading slow as anything. With everyone having an extremely short attention span, and so many options for other websites and entertainment online, a fast loading website is a must for every blogger, brand, or business on the internet.

There are also many benefits associated with a fast loading site, beyond just user experience. Google is now penalizing sites that take too long to load, and boosting up other sites that a mobile-optimized and running super fast.

Depending on how technical your design or WordPress skills might be, the process of speeding up your site and maximizing it’s optimization might vary. To help with this process, I’ve listed a few of the best working methods below.

Optimize your Homepage to Load Quickly

With the homepage being one of the most vital parts of your website or blog, you should be doing everything possible to make sure it loads quickly. Different things can be done to speed up your homepage such as lowering the number of posts on the main page, minimizing applications and widgets from third-party sites, and also optimizing your images so they are either loading as a smaller sized file or through a CDN service. It’s also a good idea to use an SEO friendly theme or template, as these are more often cleaner with their coding and already optimized right out of the box.

Use an Effective Caching Plugin

If you are using a CMS like WordPress or blogger, then using an effective cashing plugin can contribute nicely in the process of making sure your site is loading as fast as possible. Since caching is an apparatus for a temporary storage of web pages to diminish bandwidth and to improve page loading performance as well, it saves the server’s time to make web pages load faster. Caching plugins are easy to install and use. All you need to do is perform some research online to see which plugin is best for your site, then click a few buttons to have it installed right within WordPress. Once this is done, it’s usually just a matter of copying the account number of your CDN and letting the hosting provider and WordPress plugin do its work.

Use CDN (content delivery network)

We’ve already referenced content delivery networks or CDNs, a few times now. The way these solutions work is that they host a version of your site on their server, and then loads the content from another server that is closest to that individual’s location. More and more site owners and bloggers are using CDNs not only to improve page load speed but to provide users with a great experience to make them stay longer on the website. Also mentioned earlier, this can help with how well a site ranks in Google, while also moving your site above the competition. Moreover, if one of your server locations is overloaded due to huge traffic and visitors, then users can automatically be switched to a new server location to enjoy fast loading website experience.

Improve Your Hosting Plan

If you have a slow loading website or blog, it’s likely due to your hosting plan. If you are pushing a lot of traffic through your site and making money in the process, you should definitely upgrade from a shared server. Shared hosting is often fine for new site owners and bloggers, but as your site gains more attention, backlinks, and traffic, it will also likely be using more server resource. On a shared server, your site is also sharing the server resources with many other sites — sometimes hundreds, or even thousands! Upgrading your hosting plan to a VPS or dedicated hosting package can greatly improve the performance of your site as well. So, if you are still using a cheap web hosting plan with an average price below $5/mo and receiving massive traffic from search engines, then it would be the right time for you to upgrade your hosting plan with a better one to speed up your website loading speed.

Use Optimized Images

Big images take up a lot of space and resources when it comes to loading data from your site. This is especially true with very high-quality images. While these images are going to play a big role in the beauty and engagement on your site, there are still ways to optimize such large images so they load faster and put less stress on your server. There are many plugins are available that can drastically reduce the file size of an image without reducing the quality. Image optimization will not only help you boost website load time but will also save disk space for more files and media. If you really don’t want to overload your website with plugins, then you can also use online image reducer apps and software to optimize image before uploading to the media library of the site.

Minimize HTTP Redirects Requests

How and where content is being loaded on your site can also affect its overall performance. You may need to use redirect requests to redirect the web browser from one URL to another. There are a variety of reasons as to why you might want to do this, such as to specify a new URL location, to track visits and clicks on the site or to connect different elements of the website with each other. Since redirects might be necessary to enhance overall UX of the website, you should only be using the redirect requests that are most important because excessive redirect requests can have an ultimate impact on the loading speed of your website/blog.

Don’t Leave Your Audience Hanging

When browsing the internet, few things are more annoying than accessing a slow loading website. It’s hard enough to get someone to visit your site, let alone stay for a few seconds. Don’t give them a reason to leave right away because your site isn’t loading as fast as it should be.

Follow each of the simple and effective site speed optimization tips above to make sure your site loads as fast as possible, ranks higher than the competition and also doesn’t disappoint your audience when they hit your site.

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7 Examples of How to Rank Higher in Google for Your Name

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Your name is important and when someone searches for it online, you want to make sure they find your correct information. This isn’t just about reputation management, it’s also about looking your best and delivering a great first impression.

The key thing to remember here is no matter what someone is searching for online, they are likely going to start with a simple Google search. Since most people share their name with hundreds or even thousands of people in the world, having your content rank for your name might be quite a challenge. This is especially the case if you share a name with a popular celebrity, politician or well-known personality.

The good news is that when it comes to ranking for your name in Google, anything is possible. Implement each of the seven methods below into your content creation and marketing efforts to see your own site and content start ranking higher for your personal name.

Create a Website or Blog with YourName.com

The most effective way to rank in Google for your name is to simply create a website or blog and have the domain as your personal name. ZacJohnson.com is a perfect example of this.

It’s not just about creating a site and putting it out there, it’s also about making sure the site acts as your main hub for everything you do online. This means you should be creating original content for the site, linking to your social media profiles and also referencing back to your site when contributing to other sites or getting quoted/referenced.

zac_johnson_-_Google_Search

Once you have a platform in place, it’s something that will continue grow and develop with your personal brand over time — while also gaining in authority and SEO power as well.

Promote Your Social Profiles

Speaking of social profiles, Google loves to rank sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter right at the top of their search results. Depending on the competition around your name, your social profiles might already be ranking at the top of Google, even above your own websites.

You can see an example of what currently ranks in Google should you search for “Taylor Swift” below.

 taylor_swift_-_Google_Search

With millions of sites and new content pieces covering Taylor Swift every single day, it’s her social profiles (Twitter, Instagram and YouTube) that continue to dominate the search rankings.

This same method works for all names and not just celebrities. If you want your social profiles to rank higher, just keep sending more links to them using a variation of your name as the anchor text.

Boost Profiles and Authority Sites

As mentioned in the beginning of the article, ranking at the top of Google for your name is important if you want to deliver the best and most accurate information. If you are having trouble ranking your own site or want to focus on ranking other high authority content in addition to your own, this is a perfect option to explore.

For example, let’s take a look at Warren Stephens, who is an entrepreneur and has multiple bios and articles written about him online. His Wikipedia profile ranks first, then a bio on Forbes and another based around “Warren Stephens net-worth” on TheRichest. While Wikipedia and Forbes are both mega-huge outlets, TheRichest is still quite powerful to be ranking number three for his name.

Warren_Stephens_-_Google_Search

Celebrity networth sites have quickly been gaining more and more attention lately as they continue to ramp up the number of celebrities, entrepreneurs, and well-known personalities they continue to cover. Even if you don’t think your one of the most famous people in the world, your profile could soon quickly be picked up by their platforms and covered in the media.

Just while doing a quick search through their Google listings I was able to easily find thousands of entrepreneurs including Kevin Harrington and Gary Vaynerchuck.

Celebritynetworth_-_Google_Search

How long before we see these “networth” sites ranking on the first page for many average individuals, YouTube stars and entrepreneurs?

Guest Blogging and Author Profiles on Other Sites

While you might already have a site of your own that is ranking well for your name, it’s always a good idea to try and rank for multiple positions with other relevant content. If you are an expert in your industry, a great way to secure even more page one rankings for your name is to contribute content to other high-authority sites.

We can see this working extremely well for Neil Patel, who is a well-known entrepreneur and marketer through his blogs at QuickSprout.com and NeilPatel.com.

Not only does Neil have his own sites, he is also a contributor to many big media outlets like Entrepreneur.com and HubSpot.com. Doing a quick search for his name in Google will result in not only his main sites and social profiles ranking for his name, but also each of these contributing bios on other sites as well.

neil_patel_-_Google_Search

Once again, a perfect example of how you can deliver a great first impression (and your best content) when someone searches for your name on Google.

Rank with Other Content Sharing Sites

As covered in a few of the examples above, a great way to quickly rank at the top of Google for your name is to do so with other well-established sites. In this example, we are going to look at Jeff Bullas, who is one of the most well-known bloggers and social media influencers in the world today.

His site at JeffBullas.com already ranks number one for his name, then his social profiles follow afterward. However, when you move further down the list you will see his profiles with SlideShare.net and WordPress.com also make it on the first page of Google.

jeff_bullas_-_Google_Search

Even though Slideshare and WordPress.com are two extremely popular sites, not many people consider them when trying to rank for multiple positions for their name. These are definitely two free options everyone should consider when trying to dominate the whole first page of Google for their name.

Do Interviews and Media Outreach

A common theme in this article has been the power of using authority sites and media outlets to quickly rank at the top of Google. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through interviews and getting mentioned or covered by relevant industry sites that rank well.

A quick example of this can be seen if you search for my name in Google. A few years ago I was interviewed for IncomeDiary.com, and that post still ranks extremely well for my name today.

zac_johnson_interview_-_Google_Search

The same holds true for even big name celebrities or entrepreneurs who do interviews or get covered for stories based around their success and fame. If you do a search for “Lori Greiner” of Shark Tank, you will see interview-based stories from BusinessInsider.com, Inc. and Entrepreneur.com all ranking on the first page for her name.

Lori_Greiner_-_Google_Search

Not sure how to get media coverage on sites like Entrepreneur or Inc? Simple… just look for the author bio section in each article. Share their content, build up a relationship and maybe your story is a perfect fit for their next article.

Don’t Forget About the Power of Video

Video is a fascinating beast in itself, yet one that is often overlooked by content creators that mainly focus on “text” based articles.

Here’s two quick things you need to know about video.

  1. People love to share and reference videos
  2. Google loves to rank video since they own YouTube

Now that you know that, you should definitely be using video in your content outreach and SEO practices.

It’s also not just YouTube video that ranks well either. Sites like Vimeo and DailyMotion rank very nicely as well.

Still not sure how effective video ranking can be? Richard Branson is one of the most well-known and successful entrepreneurs in the world, with billions of searches for his name annually. With all of that competition in play, do you think a video would rank for his name on Google? — The answer is yes, and even more surprising… it’s not even a YouTube video!

richard_branson_-_Google_Search

Don’t Just Rank #1 — Rank for All Ten!

The ultimate goal for everyone trying to rank in Google for their name shouldn’t be to just grab that elusive number one position, but instead to rank for multiple (if not all) page one locations.

Run through the above seven working methods again and see what type of content you may already have ranking in Google. It’s much easier to improve your rankings with any existing content that you already have ranking on page 2 or 3 pushed to page 1, versus trying to come up with new and original content of your own.

In the world of SEO and ranking at the top of Google, it’s all about getting your content in the right places and building authority links and references around them

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