How to Guest Post on Blogs (and Why It's a Good Idea)

How to Guest Post on Blogs (and Why It's a Good Idea)

Jessica Michael
Published on
Learn how to guest post on popular blogs, from finding a blog to pitching an article.

You may have heard of guest posting and that it's a great marketing technique, but you're not sure how to get started. We'll take the mystery out of guest posting and teach you how to do it and how to leverage it to grow your brand and your business.

The purpose of blogging

Blogging is an excellent way to build your profile and fill out your writing portfolio. Blogging is also a great way to inform and entertain your audience, create brand identity, increase followers, and showcase your expertise and writing skills.

Blogging gives you a chance to show off your content writing skills, which is important if you are a content writer, copywriter, or digital marketer. If you are a creative writer, it can be a chance to grow an audience for your work by allowing you to write in  the style you want without having to worry about publishing guidelines.

For other creatives, such as photographers, artists, models, architects and so on, blog posts let you write about important topics for your industry. They showcase your expertise and can help educate visitors to your site.

What is guest posting?

Guest posting is when you write a blog article for someone else's website.

People guest post in order to raise their online profile and to present themselves as experts in their field. It's a way to get your name out there much more widely than if you simply stuck to writing articles for your own blog.

It can be used to support brand messaging and identity when guest posting for high-quality blogs in your industry. Overall, it's a great marketing strategy that many entrepreneurs and businesses employ to increase positive exposure.

In addition, guest posting includes the chance to link your website in the article (usually in your author bio). These backlinks are a great way to boost traffic to your site.

Benefits of guest blogging (even if you have your own blog)

Guest blogging is primarily used to increase your brand's exposure. If you are able to get your name onto multiple, high-trafficked blogs, you can potentially boost the number of visitors to your own site through backlinking. Guest posting for blogs that are directly related to your work can also bring traffic that's likely to be your target audience.

In addition, if you guest post for high-quality blog sites that are in your industry, you can showcase your expertise and increase your credibility in your field. This can help to establish you as the go-to person to hire.

It can also help you to build a social media following. By including your social media accounts in your guest bio and linking social media buttons on your digital portfolio site, you can help convert blog readers into followers.

If you are a writer who wants to increase writing samples for your writing portfolio, guest blogging can be a great option. Every blog post is a writing sample that highlights your content writing abilities. This makes it a great option for people just starting out as copywriters or content writers, or for those who want to showcase a writing sample about a particular topic that they haven't been published in before.

Backlinks and SEO - The True Story

Many marketers recommend guest posting in order to build backlinks to your site. A "backlink" is a link that leads to your site that appears on other websites. Backlinks are one of the ways Google ranks your site--the more backlinks you have leading to your site, the more Google assumes authenticity and ranks you higher on search pages.

However, with guest posting, there is a catch. Google tends to penalize sites that have too many backlinks from numerous guest posts. This is especially true if the guest posts in question are of poor quality or have very similar content on all of the guest sites they're posted on. In addition, if a company owns all of the sites where the posts appear, and the backlinks all lead to a site that company also owns, that company's site may drop in Google rankings.

Marketers and SEO specialists have varying opinions on how to handle this. Some suggest that as long as your guest posts are high quality, and you aren't doing too many, the backlinks will help your ratings. Others maintain that Google ignores backlinks on guest blogs, so they will neither harm nor help your rankings.

One way to get around this issue and avoid being penalized by Google is to make sure you use the rel="nofollow" attribute in the link's code, or the rel="sponsored" attribute if you've paid for a guest post. Your link will still work so readers can click through to your site, but it signals Google to ignore the link for SEO purposes. This is a great thing to do if you are writing for exposure and not worried about SEO.

You can use the following examples by plugging in the relevant information for your particular site when you create a hyperlink in a document.

<a target="_blank" rel="noopener" href="" rel="nofollow">Anchor text</a>

<a target="_blank" rel="noopener" href="" rel="sponsored">Anchor text</a>

How to find a blog to guest post for

Here's a step-by-step guide to finding the perfect blog for your guest post.

Step 1: Choose your industry

Are you a wedding photographer? A graphic designer for tech companies? A content writer for small businesses? Figure out where your expertise lies.

Step 2: Define your target audience

Who do you want to attract as a client? For example, if you're a fashion photographer, you can write for photography outlets or modeling blogs, depending on who you want to hire you.

Step 3: Brainstorm topics

Once you know the industry you want to write for and the target audience you want to reach, start coming up with a few relevant topics you could write about. Plug each topic into Google.

If it's already been written about extensively or if it's so obscure no one has written about it all, it may not be a great choice.

Ideally, it's a topic that garners interest but that you can contribute a unique take on.

Step 4: Do some Google searching

Take your topic and plug it into the search bar along with the terms "guest post" or "guest blog" in quotes. You can also try the reference terms (always in quotes) "submit to us" and "write for us". This will give you search results for blogs related to your topic that accept guest submissions.

It can also be useful to research popular blogs for that topic and see if they have a guest post option listed on their website, or search "how to write for __" and fill in the name of the outlet you'd like to post for.

Step 5: Research the blog site

Make sure it's not spammy. You want a blog site that's authoritative and well-regarded.

Step 6: Find their submission guidelines

These are usually listed on their website. You can also send a short email or contact form asking if they accept guest posting.

Step 7: Pitch your idea

See below. The more well-thought-out your idea, the easier it will be to pitch.

A note on paid guest posting

Some sites allow paid guest posting. This can be a valid marketing technique and can help get you on some high-traffic sites. However, all paid guest posts are legally required to be designated as paid content, so make sure the site you are contributing to is appropriately labeling their guest content as sponsored or as having affiliate links.

How to reach out to guest post for a blog

Once you've found a blog that you'd like to write for, now you need to reach out to the right people to land an article.

Many blog sites have their own specific submission requirements that they list on their site. Some want you to send an email query first that tells them your idea. Others will want you to submit a completed article through a submissions manager like Submittable. Do your research to find out specific guidelines,  but in general, you'll need the following to create an effective pitch:

1. Name of editor or content manager

Know who you're addressing! Sometimes, this is listed in their submission requirements. Other times you will need to look at the masthead. If it's a small blog, you may be pitching the owner(s) of the blog themselves.

2. Cover letter

This includes a brief, friendly introduction and a very short summary of your article (think 1 to 3 sentences) and why it's of interest to their audience. You'll also want to include a bio that explains your qualifications to write the article and a few links to other relevant articles you've written if you have them. Keep this under 250 words.

3. Contact information

Make sure to include your email, website, and phone number under your signature. If submitting through a submissions manager, that information may be collected separately.

Keep the tone professional and approachable, and remember to include the full article only if they ask for it or it is required in their submission guidelines.

Leveraging your guest post

As mentioned above, one of the biggest benefits to guest posting is getting your name out to a new audience. Once you've succeeded at landing a guest post, you'll want to make sure you are taking full advantage of the opportunity.


Whether or not you decide to use backlinks to increase SEO, you'll still want to make sure that any guest post you write links back to your digital portfolio site. That way, anyone who reads your post will be able to find you and hire you.

Social media handles

It's a great idea to include at least one of your social media accounts in your bio, if possible. Not everyone will be ready to take advantage of your services right away, but they may want to keep up with you on social media. 

Social media post

Make sure you post the new guest blog article to social media. Not only does it provide great content that strengthens your reputation as an expert, but a post can also drive traffic to the guest post as well.

Email newsletter

Similarly, if you have a newsletter, make sure you send out an email that includes a blurb and a link to your latest guest blog post. This is an easy way to use it to market to your pre-existing client list.

Work samples

Include prestigious and well-written guest posts on your portfolio page to build out your work samples.

Leverage for more guest posts

Once you've been published on a few well-thought-of blog sites, it will be much easier to land guest posts in the future. When you pitch to a blog, make sure to mention and link your top 2 or 3 guest posts, especially if they are on topic.

Make sure your online portfolio is up to the job

You've increased visibility and directed traffic to your portfolio site with guest posting. Now, you need to make sure your portfolio is optimized for visitors.

Email sign-up

Have an easy-to-find email sign-up or pop-up on your site. That way, you can increase your newsletter numbers and build your audience.


If someone likes your writing in a guest post, they may also want to read more on your own blog. Use the opportunity on your blog to highlight your skills and expertise.

Work samples

Every guest blog can serve as a writing sample on your site. And whether or not you're a  writer, you'll want to make sure potential clients that found you through a guest post have high-quality work samples to look through on your portfolio site.

With a little effort, guest posting is a great way to market organically and increase clientele.

Check out the Journo Portfolio features that can optimize your portfolio site, such as automatic weekly emails and blog pages included with every theme.