How To Get 180 Guest Blogging Opportunities for $9

Cheap Guest Blog LeadsAn integral part of a SEO’s job is to build high quality backlinks for their clients.  A lot of high quality backlinks come from guest blogging opportunities, which are great ways to gain not only backlinks, but quality traffic as well.

The Problem: It’s really, really tedious to go through a list of blogs and get the names, emails, and Twitter handles of these blog owners when you’ve got a large list.

The Solution: Outsource it and get it done quickly and inexpensively!

With the help of some creative Googling, I was able to outsource this aspect of the link prospecting phase of a SEO campaign.

The result?  The name, Twitter, and email of over 180 blog owners in my target niche.  The cost?  Nine bucks.

*Note: There seems to be a little confusion about this strategy.  I am NOT suggesting you outsource collecting the list of blogs, but I AM suggesting that you outsource collecting contact information from all of these blogs.

What You Need to Get Started

To do this you will need the following:

Pretty simple.  If you’re having a tough time with the list of blogs, you can always take a look at Technorati or Google for “best blogs in ___.”  Coming up with the list is the only work you have to do to get this strategy rolling, so make sure you do it right!

Amazon Mechanical Turk

If you’ve never worked with Mechanical Turk before, here’s how it works:

Mechanical Turk is structured around the idea of a HIT, or Human Intelligence Task.  In this situation, our HIT  is going to ask the “Turkers” to navigate to a URL and collect three pieces of information:

  • Blog author’s name
  • Twitter
  • Email (or contact form link)

Create Your HIT

After you’ve created your Mechanical Turk Requester account, go ahead and click Create->New Project.  You’ll see a screen like the one below.  Select the Data Collection template and click OK.

HIT Creation

Settings, Description and Pricing

Now you need to enter all of the information related to the HIT.  This is pretty simple – a good description and proper pricing will go a long way towards making this job go by quickly and inexpensively.

I reduced the time per assignment to 30 minutes, the pay to 5 cents per HIT, and the amount of assignments per HIT to 1.  This means that only one worker will be retrieving the information for any one URL, which keeps costs lower.

Blog Outreach HIT Information

Blog Outreach HIT Pricing

Create the HIT Template

The last thing you need to do is create the actual template that your workers will see when they view an individual HIT.  If you want to copy the template that I created, here it is:

[cc escaped=”true” lang=”html”]

<h3>Collect the following information for the URL linked below:</h3>
<div class=”highlight-box”>
<ul>
<li>Blog Author’s Name</li>
<li>Blog Author’s Email (if you cannot find this, link to the contact page)</li>
<li>Blog Author’s Twitter Account</li>
</ul>
</div>
<p>URL to Search:&nbsp;<b><a href=”${url}”>${url}</a></b></p>
<p><strong>NOTE: If you do not provide accurate information for these three fields, you WILL NOT have your HIT approved. Please pay attention to details so we can pay you…thanks!</strong></p>
<p>Blog Author Name:</p>
<p><input type=”text” size=”100″ id=”name” name=”name” /></p>
<p>Blog Author Email:</p>
<p><input type=”text” size=”100″ id=”email” name=”email” /></p>
<p>Blog Author Twitter:</p>
<p><input type=”text” size=”100″ id=”twitter” name=”twitter” /></p>
<p><style type=”text/css”>
<!–
.highlight-box { border:solid 0px #98BE10; background:#FCF9CE; color:#222222; padding:4px; text-align:left; font-size: smaller;}
–>
</style></p>

[/cc]

Just copy and paste that into the HTML source of the template window, adjust to your needs, and you’re set!  You’ll want to preview everything to make sure that you didn’t miss any settings.

Upload Blog List

The last step is to upload a .csv of the URLs that you need information from.  You can use this template.  All you need to do is copy/paste the URLs into that .csv and upload it back to Mechanical Turk.  You’re then taken to a preview screen.  I would highly recommend checking and making sure that the URLs are displaying correctly, because if they’re not you are going to be paying for a lot of worthless HITs!

Let the Guest Blogging Opportunities Roll In

After paying, you’re immediately taken to the management screen where you can watch your HITs come flying in.  It’s best to just close the window and come back in a couple hours.  You can download a gigantic CSV of the information and use it for high quality blog outreach right away!

This method is extremely powerful because it makes it a LOT easier for you to get in touch with bloggers.  I think that a big barrier to high quality guest blogging, link building, and outreach is simply the tedium of doing all of this work yourself and eating up a lot of your time.  Hopefully this post has shed some light on a creative way to solve this problem for you!

EDIT: I recorded a video if you prefer that 😉

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  • Excellent post, love the idea. Out of interest why would you not suggest using this method to actually source the blogs too? Purely down to quality?

    • Kevin Espiritu

      Thanks for the kind words! To answer your question, yes it’s purely down to quality. I knew WHERE I wanted to post, but I didn’t know who the owners were or how to contact them.

  • Hi Kevin,
    Thanks for a great post, I set everything up like you showed in the video, but no one is taking the HITS. When I do a preview and test the form field, and hit “submit” i get the following error:

    “There was a problem submitting your results for this HIT.

    This HIT is still assigned to you. To try this HIT again, click “HITs Assigned To You” in the navigation bar, then click “Continue work on this HIT” for the HIT. If this problem persists, you can contact the Requester for this HIT using the “Contact” link above.

    To return this HIT and continue working on other HITs, click the “Return HIT” button.There was a problem submitting your results for this HIT.

    This HIT is still assigned to you. To try this HIT again, click “HITs Assigned To You” in the navigation bar, then click “Continue work on this HIT” for the HIT. If this problem persists, you can contact the Requester for this HIT using the “Contact” link above.

    To return this HIT and continue working on other HITs, click the “Return HIT” button.”

    Hope you can help..

    /Jonas

    • Kevin Espiritu

      Hi Jonas,

      I’d need to look more at your actual form field. Maybe people aren’t taking your HITs because you set the price too low, though?

      Kevin

  • Awesome post. I followed your instructions and utilized the exact process to help me with data gathering today. The results are nearly perfect – and less than a quarter of the price I was paying to have it done by one person.

    I had to raise the price up to 10c per HIT to get good results, but the parameters of what I needed where a little different and I’m still getting a ton of great data for under $10.

    God I love the Internets! Thanks for putting up such a great resource Kevin.

    • No worries Jules! There are better ways to do this these days, but this still works and doesn’t require you to sign up for any software!

  • What’s the software that works better?

    • http://www.buzzstream.com works well, and if you want to get really gnarly you can use ScrapeBox (paid desktop app) to grab tons and tons of potentials, plus its other functionalities to get contact information, etc. Just have to use SB ethically or else you could get yourself into some trouble!

  • Thanks!

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  • Supreme Strategies | San Diego Inbound Marketing How to Get 180 Guest Blogging Opportunities for $9

  • Everything is very open with a really clear explanation of the issues.
    It was really informative. Your site is useful.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • If the Turker is gathering this information anyway couldn’t you just intruct the Turker to write a standard e-mail to the blog owner?

    • You could, but I prefer to customize those myself. I actually don’t use this method anymore, I use BuzzStream – but even then I like to customize emails to be as personal as possible!

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