Guest blogging is considered one of the best ways to get leads, build links and establish your company as a trusted authority. This post is not going to teach you how to guest blog. There are a ton of posts out there that do an amazing job already. Instead, this post is going to focus on writing guest blog posts for link building.


Should Everyone Be A Blogger?


Students in computer room, c1990sCreating content is grossly oversimplified by many in the SEO sphere. There are plenty of posts out there recommending that every employee at your company should be writing blog posts. It’s not that simple though. Sure, you’ll end up with some new long-tail traffic, but you’ll also end up with a non-engaging blog full of thin content.

Simply put, everyone you work with should not be a blogger. At least not on your site. That doesn’t mean they aren’t qualified to work on some guest blog posts.


Where Can I Guest Blog?


Finding a good site to contribute a post to can be fairly easy in many industries. Eventually you run out of good leads. Perhaps you’ve already hit the top blogs and the other ones out there don’t accept guest posts or are simply too spammy to contribute to. Maybe you work in a boring niche, where there aren’t many active blogs to contribute to.

You can get out of your guest blogging rut. There are hundreds of additional blogs out there that you can immediately start contributing to. Not only that, you can provide them with great content that you would never consider posting on your own website.


Guest Blog Ideas That Work for EVERYONE


Election night crowd, Wellington, 1931I’m going to give you some ideas that will allow you to build links through writing posts that are outside of your particular niche. These tactics may not deliver new leads, but a well-written post will result in some referral traffic. These posts will also help you build up your link equity and send quality signals to the search engines.

For all of the ideas listed below, be sure to target solid websites. Look for strong social signals, comments and frequent high-quality posts. Links from relevant content are the best, but you shouldn’t dismiss a nice link from a non-relevant site if the site is strong and authoritative in its own corner of the web.

DIY Blogs

Doe-het-zelf vrouw /Do-it-yourself-woman

The Do It Yourself blogs have really exploded onto the scene. HGTV got really popular a few years ago and helped start the DIY movement. In the last year, Pinterest has helped bring these previously niche blogs into the mainstream. DIY is such a broad topic that there are a ton of things that you and your coworkers do on a weekly basis that could be the foundation of creating a great piece of content for someone’s blog.

  • Are you remodeling your bathroom?
  • Are you making a scrapbook?
  • Do you like to sew, knit or quilt?
  • Are you planting new shrubs in your yard?
  • Planning on building a sandbox?
  • Refinishing an old piece of furniture?
  • Creating your own piece of artwork?
  • Gardening tips?

Travel Blogs

Campers in Ocala National Forest

There are a ton of great travel blogs out there. Unfortunately, they all suffer from the same problem. They can’t visit every travel destination out there. That is where you can come in. You can supply top travel sites with the content that fills the gaps. Write about the city where you currently (or have previously) live. It’s not travel for you, but it will be great content for anyone who plans on visiting. I bet there are plenty of travel blogs out there that don’t have any content about Fargo, ND and would be thrilled to post something.

  • Top 5 Places to Stay
  • Top 10 Restaurants
  • Top Tourist Sites or Attractions
  • City History or Anecdotes
  • Famous People from Your City
Now, we can get to actual travel. Between you and your clients, I’m sure there is plenty of traveling going on. This year, I’ve been to California a couple of times, New York, Orlando and Minneapolis. Plenty of opportunities to pick an aspect from a trip and write about it.
  • Review restaurants in each city
  • Review hotel or resort
  • Share your overrated/underrated site seeing experiences

Food Blogs

Von Walker and Howe Sadler cooking at their camp site

Alright SEOs. I know how much you all love to eat. I’ve seen your tweets. I’m getting kind of sick of it. Time to put those meals to work and write a little blog post about them. The post topics are unlimited. The sites that post daily about food are limitless. Next time you want to tweet a picture of your breakfast, take two more photos of the preparation and write 500 words to go along with it. That omelet just became a link.

  • The best meal that you cook
  • Your family favorite/tradition
  • The strangest thing you regularly eat
  • Favorite appetizer
  • Vegetarian/Vegan/Gluten-Free Meal
  • Favorite dessert
  • Restaurant knockoff
  • Chocolate recipe

Hobbies and Passions

At mouth of a drainage canal

We all have our hobbies or passions. I like to paddle in my canoe. I love to buy cheap, musty-smelling vinyl records. I was a film major in college and watch loads of movies. I have a slight obsession with sports, especially all of the Minnesota teams. I would have no problem kicking out a blog post on any one of these topics in minutes with no preparation.

Take your offline interests and put them online.


So Is Everyone A Blogger?


Juichende jongens bij VSV-DFC / Boys cheering when their  favorite team scoresMaybe. The beauty of this is that these are all topics that nearly everyone is qualified to write about. By now, you should easily have a few new ideas for the types of websites that you can contribute to. The best part is, you don’t have to be an expert to write about any one of these. People enjoy reading about failures as well as successes.

If you create a nice piece of content, you shouldn’t have problems finding a nice blog to accept it. In any industry, the top blogs might be unwilling to accept a guest post, but you can definitely find an up-and-coming site that will accept your work.

Pro Tip: Take as many great photos as you can along the way for each of these projects. Often times, the photos are more valuable than the words you submit.


What about Penguin?


King Penguin with youngDon’t get greedy in your post. Put one link in the body ONLY if it fits naturally. If not, just put one in the author bio. Don’t worry about anchor text. On a non-relevant blog, using the brand name is more important than ever (i.e. I’d use “Northside SEO” as my link in my bio for a travel blog instead of “SEO consultant”). Forcing anchor text is soooo March of 2012.

Let me know what you think. Did this thing spark any ideas?


14 Responses to Guest Blog Where You Don’t Belong: Find Links From Outside Your Niche

  1. Chris says:

    Nice one Anthony.

    Some of my “big” link wins have been on sites outside my niche. I’ve had guest articles published on Huff Po simply due to my ridiculous movie & TV knowledge, which has given me a knack of linking my “boring” clients niche with popular culture themes.

  2. Anthony Pensabene says:

    Another great one, Anthony. You know what my inner ‘rotten’ thinks about “is everyone a blogger?” haha – but, blogging doesn’t have to refer to writing – do a podcast, video, etc.

    Additionally, if a particular venue warrants writing and you have great info, but not great writing skills, hire a writer to aid you, but not necessarily ghost it for you..

  3. Alessio says:

    Great one Anthony!
    I started to write since few months, always thought writing was not for me.
    I’m still improving, but I have to say it’s fun and you can do a lot of things, depending on what you know to write better. For me, for example, it’s simpler to write of SEO and music together :)
    And after few attempts, people started to at least give me some feedback on my work, and that’s important because it means at least they read it.

    • Anthony Pensabene says:

      I think Alessio’s blog is a great example of using alternatives to ‘writing’ your posts all the time – he gets input from groups, uses powerful images, and hosts interviews..

  4. Haha I loved this man “Forcing anchor text is soooo March of 2012.”

  5. Steve says:

    Great post. With many people’s obsession over relevancy, I think there’s a misbelief that all guest blog posts for a widgets company have to be about widgets, but it’s not strictly true.

    I helped a client of mine (finance industry) with some guest blog posts on management and leadership, as a) the CEO of the company was writing them, b) his company was doing really well, and c) he loved to giving free management/leadership advice. Although not strictly 100% relevant to the industry, we took advantage of a strength and an opportunity that we had.

    Where I think people take it too far is when they do things completely off-topic, with no relation to the company whatsoever. A former employer of mine (again, finance industry) recently wrote a guest blog post giving social media advice, and released infographics on UK soccer hooliganism and last year’s UK Royal Wedding, with little to no relation to finance (except for maybe some costs for both). For me personally, that’s one step too far.

  6. First off, already tweeted this to you, but I will say it again… Exquisite post. Loved it. Great ideas here and very encouraging to those who struggle with finding content for boring niches.

    If I may add some of my thoughts to your conclusion though…

    Don’t get greedy in your post. Put one link in the body ONLY if it fits naturally.

    Totally agree there, but to add to a users experience when reading this material, add relevant links as well. Don’t just write to get the links, add to the web experience in general and add some more value.

    Writing about your top 5 favorite foods? Why not do some research and add to it with some relevant links to other blogs or articles?

  7. What a great article. With some dry niches this is the only option. For example I work with a site promoting industrial solutions, and getting links within that niche is almost impossible as no one accepts guest blogs. So we looked at the web map and went one category level up which opened us up to technology topics and we’ve had great success getting links up on these blogs. Again after Penguin the key is being “natural” and creating a real persona, and if you look at it that way, since we are all people and we have our jobs and our hobbies and interests, it makes perfect sense for someone to write about both finance and travel!

  8. Long Island Boy says:

    Yes, guest posts are definitely the current trend as far as ranking goes and provided you do it right it’s very effective. Can be a bit costly if you don’t write your own content though.

    Here’s a site that’s got an extensive list of websites that allow guest posts and there’s something for most niches. Saves some time when looking for likely blogs to submit your post to –

  9. […] Guest Blog Where You Don’t Belong: Find Links From Outside Your Niche  Anthony D Nelson […]

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