Guest blogging is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways for a company to get started with SEO. This means that individuals are being hired to contribute articles, in some cases full-time (like mine), and companies have to manage a few different writers that work in this SEO department. What many don’t realize, however, is that contributing guest articles can be confusing. There are a lot of different things going on with this process that require strict organization and some serious focus. This then begs the question: If you’re a new company or a new writer working with guest posting, what’s the best way to stay organized?
Different Components of Guest Posting
For those who are unfamiliar, guest posting is a way for a company to gain backlinks across the web; thus helping their website improve its ranking on a search engine results page (SERP). You can learn more about how guest blogging works with SEO here.
What many companies don’t realize, however, are all of the different things that writers and companies should be tracking during the entire process. A few of these include:
- Articles written. This one is a bit obvious. A company and a writer should always know what articles have been written, when they were written, and who wrote them. This is often how SEO writers are paid, so writers should log their articles on a shared document, which I’ll discuss later.
- Where articles are sent. This is where most of the confusion happens with guest posting. A writer needs to make sure he/she is organizing the articles written and where they are sent. The reason this gets confusing is because many times an editor will ignore you and not post your article, and then you have to make a note and send the article somewhere else where it fits. It’s usually best to try and talk with an editor first and write an article second, but this isn’t always possible. Therefore, it’s important to always know where each article was sent.
- When articles are live. It’s not always necessary for a boss to see every single article that is written by writers because he/she will see it when it goes live. This makes it extremely important for a writer to log the URL of the live article.
- Pitches. When you pitch a blog to become a contributor, you’ll want to keep track. This will help ensure that multiple writers aren’t pitching the same site (or even the same writer pitching the same site). Sometimes an editor will tell a writer that he/she is not accepting guest articles, and because the writer is pitching so many sites, will then re-pitch this editor two months later and forget all about that email. This is why keeping track of where you’ve pitched is important.
- Link tracking. Google recommends that you have a document of all of the links that are pointing back to your site. Because writers will be getting a lot of links on different websites, it’s easiest if you have the writers log these links.
Once you know the “what” of guest posting, you have to understand the “how.” Keeping all of these different aspects organized isn’t easy, and the responsibility usually falls in the hands of the writer. Although a boss might look at the information, it is the writers who are doing the recording.
Different Ways to Stay Organized
It helps to track all of the information above in one document. I like Google docs because they make it easy for different writers as well as bosses to work in the same document and it allows others to see changes made. Below is an example of how I, as well as my company, stay organized when it comes to guest publishing (click on the image to enlarge):
This document goes on much longer, but this snippet shows the bulk of how I stay organized with my writing. As you can see, I am in the “guest posts” tab of the document. I have recorded, in order:
- The PR of the site
- Notes about the article (if I sent a follow-up, if I need to revise the article, etc.)
- The topic of the article
- The website where I sent the article
- When I sent the article
- The status of the article
- The date the article was published
- The URL of the published article
If you were to click the next tabs on my document, you would see a list of all of the blog posts I have written and published on my company’s website, and the tab “link tracking” just has a list of all the links I earned by publishing the articles. The last tab “potential sites” is where I record when I pitched a company and whether or not I was denied or ignored. For privacy purposes I’m not going to reveal that tab, but it’s easy to record! Just create headings such as A. Site pitched, B. PR of the site, and C. Status of the pitch.
If you were to have multiple writers, just create a tab for each writer. This is where the writers can go to stay organized just as I have done in this document.
How do you keep your guest post publishing organized? Let us know what works for you in the comments below.
Image: Collaboration by Shutterstock