Any research you do into strategy for building links to your websites reveals that guest posting is one of the most effective methods.
Unfortunately it is very rare that anyone shares exactly how they were able to get specific links to their sites so I wanted to buck the trend and explain how I recently scored a nice backlink from Flippa.
I’m not going to actually link to the article with that links back to this site because I don’t want to turn it into a less valuable “reciprocal” link. But you can easily find it by searching on “Flippa – How Much is a Website Actually Worth”.
When you visit the article you will see my name as the author at the top of the article because Flippa must have set me up as an author in their system. You will also see two links at the end of the article, one to Own Optimize and another to http://www.heckyeah.org which is my personally branded website.
How Did I Get the Guest Post Opportunity?
The short answer to how I got the opportunity to write the post and get the two backlinks is “I met a guy”.
I was attending the annual Rhodium event, which is a gathering of people interested in buying and operating web businesses.
I ran into a guy with a name tag that said “Joseph – Flippa” and it turns out he is their Director of Websites.
I told him I’ve been using the Flippa platform for a long time and that I was impressed how they’ve improved the integrity of the system over the years. I offered some suggestions from a user perspective and also told him I would be happy to provide some content for their blog.
He said they are always looking for solid blog articles. We exchanged contact info.
That same evening I sent a quick email and asked if he thought an article about finding “passive income websites” would be of interest to their readers. He quickly responded that it would be.
On the way home from the conference on the airplane, I banged out a 2,000 word article and fired it off to Joseph.
They published that article and a few months later I floated the idea for the article on website valuation that you saw above and they published it too.
You probably have some questions and objections already forming in your mind and I will address those later in this article, but first let’s look at what those backlinks are worth.
How Much are Backlinks Worth?
There are subjective and objective answers to the question of the value of a backlink.
MOZ shows these authority ratings for my first guest post URL on Flippa:
The Flippa Domain Authority is 76 which is very healthy. The Flippa Alexa rank is 6,600 globally at the time of this writing.
The Page Authority of my article is 58 which is also very strong.
When I lookup HeckYeah.org MOZ is showing the Flippa link as the first entry, and most important backlink to the site it has uncovered. Google webmaster tools also lists the link.
Ahrefs also detected the Flippa links and seems to consider them important in Heck Yeah’s rankings:
Any time you get backlinks from leading websites with high domain authority or domain rank numbers, it is a good thing. You will definitely see noticeable improvements in search engine rankings for the pages that are linked to on your site.
Relevance: Also extremely important in the value of the link is the relevance of the incoming link. Both Heck Yeah and Own Optimize are concerned with website buying and investing. A link from the largest marketplace for websites is highly relevant and therefore more valuable in Google’s eyes.
What is the Dollar Value or Cost of a Backlink?
Ahrefs published some research looking at the cost of purchased links last year.
Purchasing links is a violation of Google’s terms and conditions so no one including Ahrefs endorses the practice. However, many, many bloggers and companies buy links.
In their brief study Ahrefs found the average annual cost of a backlink to be around $350.
The cost of a relevant link from a DR 68 i.e. Flippa, would likely be a lot more. Most authority websites of that size are not in the business of selling links (at least not publicly) so that is a hypothetical.
This is a theoretical discussion of the value of a backlink.
The actual value of a backlink is a function of the increased profit generated by a boost in traffic from increased search engine rankings.
Back to the question of how to get the link in the first place…
How Do You Get a Guest Post Backlink?
There is lots of material on the web about strategies for reaching out to people electronically to build a relationship and ultimately get the opportunity to post an article with a nice backlink.
Everyone agrees you need:
- a relationship with someone who has the authority to post your article
- some amount of experience or credibility in the topic area
The challenge is that it can be difficult to form electronic, virtual relationships with blog owners. It is possible, don’t get me wrong, but difficult.
This might be scary and turn you off, but bear with me on this. Face to face contact is a much faster and reliable method for getting backlinks.
Step 1 – Meet website owners or influencers
- Do some searches to find out which companies or bloggers live nearby
- Check them out on websites, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc to find out which Meetups and Conferences they attend
- Reach out directly to them to offer to meet and buy lunch or coffee
- Attend local and non-local conferences in your industry
It is a lot easier to meet people connected to your niche or industry than you may think. Start local and travel if you need or want to.
When you meet face to face and express enthusiasm for offering free content for someone’s blog, you don’t have to have nearly as comprehensive resume as if you were introducing yourself online. For whatever reason, if you say “I’m an XYZ enthusiast” face to face, people are a lot more likely to take your word for it and take action with you than if you write the same thing in an introductory email.
If you have any value you can give them other than offering free content, do that too!
Here are some things I’ve done that increase my credibility with potential partners:
- Bought their products
- Bought their courses
- Signed up for their coaching programs
- Linked to them from my own websites
- Expressed genuine appreciation to them for their advice, book, blog, courses, etc.
- Offered to promote their products to my crowd (after I developed a following)
Step 2 – Act Fast and Give Them Something to Work With
People aren’t used to seeing fast, decisive action. When they see it they wake up and buy-in.
That’s why I sent Joseph a long, solid article he could immediately post on his blog within 2 days of meeting him.
I think it was Neil Patel who said that you should publish your best work on other people’s blogs.
Why pour your heart into an article that isn’t even going to show up on your own website?
Simple if you think about it:
- giving away your highest quality work build huge credibility with industry influencers who can become your biggest advocates
- your guest post is going to appear on websites with far more eyeballs than your own site gets
Very Important – Aim High
If you are going to bother to invest time to meet website owners and expend the effort to create a high quality guest post, get the biggest possible payback for your time.
It isn’t going to take a lot more effort to get a post on a DR 50 blog than a DR 30 blog. But because domain ranking works on an exponential scale, a DR 50 link is worth way more than DR 30 link.
So go big and if it doesn’t work out at first, it may later. In the mean time, links from lower ranking sites still have important value.
What if You Don’t Actually Know Much About Your Niche or Website Subject?
This is one of the biggest problems website owners encounter. They need links but they aren’t really an authority in the subject area of their website.
I have this problem right now with several sites I have purchased. I don’t know squat about the topics.
Fortunately for less than $100 bucks I can get a substantial article written by a writer who really knows their stuff.
I will have the choice to make of either treating it like “ghost writing” and using my own name, using the writer’s name because all I want is the link anyway, or using the “pen name” that is the voice of the blog.
All of those strategies have pros and cons but the bottom line is that you are not dead in the water just because you don’t have enough knowledge or credibility to convince someone to let you submit a guest post.
You Can Do This
This is just one approach and one story about how a real guest post came about. There are a thousand other ways it can happen.
It is worth it.
You can do it. It may not work they same way for you but if you’ve read this far, chances are your mental juices are flowing.
Unfortunately in the world of websites, back links are still a very necessary evil. Good content, good on-site SEO and good keyword research will get you a long way. But ultimately you will only get so far without good backlinks.
Conversely, with good links even medium quality content in competitive niches can still float to the top of search engine rankings and bring tons of traffic with it.