me writing a similar blog post

How to (Sometimes) Get Free Quality Content and a Link

me writing a similar blog postFor months, I’ve thought about writing a post about a technique I’ve had a little success with. Recently, two posts were written that were extremely close to the topic of my post.

When I saw both post titles, I thought “Shit. He just wrote the post I was procrastinating on for the last few months.”

The two posts are as follows:

ProTip to Myself: quit procrastinating so much

Both of these posts are excellent and are much more thorough than this one. This post simply expands upon the two above in a bit different direction. These two posts will allow me to keep this post a bit shorter.

If you haven’t read them, take a 15 minute break and go read them now. This post will be here waiting when you get back. If you decide to come back. Awesome stuff in those posts that may result in you going right to work.


WritingLetterGetting Free Content and a Link

Allowing established guest bloggers is a great way to bring exposure to your site. We also know that there is a good chance the guest author on your blog might find a way to link to their own post. People like to promote their own content, so they will likely share the post on their preferred social networks and may possibly link to the post on a future post of their own.

This technique is about specifically targeting guest authors who you think have an extremely high chance of linking to you. You do this by finding established writers who have a page on their website dedicated to their work around the web.

You want to look for pages titled like this:

If you have other good examples of a phrase to help find a page like this, please let me know in the comments. I’ll add it to the post and give you a mention. I used some good examples from our own industry. Do not contact these people pitching them to write on your site.

You can find pages similar to these in any industry niche that has active bloggers. Using this technique, you can help the bloggers build their personal brand and help your client start a relationship with an industry influencer. You also may have saved the blogger the time of finding a guest posting spot of their own. When someone asks you to post on their blog, it’s a flattering offer to receive.


an established blog writerWhy Do We Want to Find These Sites


  • You know they publish writing on other websites.
  • Only an established writer would have an ‘Around the Web’ or ‘Press’ page. I don’t have one. I’m not very established and haven’t done any guest posts beyond a single YouMoz submission last year. This (nearly) guarantees that they  produce quality content and they will likely have a social following of their own that will be sent your way after publishing.
  • Their contributions page is usually well linked to on their site (usually a page, not a post). This results in your link target having a nice PA that will always stay visible. Not a blog post that will potentially get buried internally, a few pages deep within time.
  • You know they link to their writing on other websites. You have the perfect chance to follow-up, thank them and politely ask to be listed on their page. Don’t forget to ask, they won’t automatically add you to their page. Bonus points for running your broken link checker on their page to see if any other posts need to be updated.

You have to be realistic with this technique. If someone has a legitimate Press page and only links to magazine or newspaper sites, your blog isn’t going to make the list. Spend most of your time pitching websites that have a relative popularity level as your own site. An A-list blogger probably doesn’t have the time or desire to create a piece for your new blog.


How to Find These Sites

Just do some simple prospecting in Google for phrases similar to the pages listed above. If you use Buzzstream, do your prospecting inside the tool and use the BuzzBar to quickly see if the pages qualify as a good target for this.

Scaling techniques are often an obsession for link builders, but sometimes you just gotta be happy with one good link. Don’t worry about scaling everything. I’ve done this successfully on a handful of sites.


Don’t Forget to Set Them Up With Authorship

nick eubanks on authorship

As Nick Eubanks recently tweeted, it is your job to make this happen. You will also get a link to your site from the author’s Google+ profile. Some extra social exposure and another chance to send a quality signal to Google by having an established author contributing to your site.

Plus, authorship makes your site look classy as fuck in the SERPs.



Sometimes, there are sites we want a link from that might be difficult to get. If they have a page on their site that links to their writing on other websites, it might be easiest to simply ask them to post on your site and go for the link that way. Make a connection, get a good piece of content and get the link.