My last blog post, about a search query I often use and guest blogging in general, ended with sentence; “Of course, finding blogs is the easy bit, it’s obtaining the links that’s the challenge. More about that coming soon.”

So, as promised, here is my brief guide to getting some links out of the hordes of bloggers out there.

My “Ultimate Search Query” is an excellent method for finding opportunities with minimum time and effort. I showed the query to a friend of mine who wanted to write articles and review computer games for a living. Within days he was accepted as a staff writer on a major games review site, and is in the pool of writers for a new Brighton-based arts and culture magazine.

But in many ways, it’s easier to find sites to guest post on if you have a genuine interest in the subject, with no ulterior motive. For SEO purposes, you’re not writing solely for the love of writing. You want links. So how do you go about getting them?

Look at the website & make a judgement

There’s a huge variety of blogs on the internet. Some are sleek, features websites, designed to appeal to a professional audience. Others are simple WordPress themes, made by individuals purely for their a love of a subject.

Some content will be written in a formal manner, and others will write with more freedom and personality.

Each site should be approached differently when requesting a guest post, the rule of thumb being, the more formal the site, the more formal the initial contact should be. Whereas a corporate business blog may require a very formal email, an arty design blogger, for example, probably won’t respond well to an overly officious request.

It may be that another platform is better suited when making initial contact, such as Twitter or LinkedIn, for example.

Be honest & build relationships

Let the blog owner know if you require any links in the first few emails, if not in the initial contact. Any attempt to conceal your intentions will be perceived as underhanded in the long run, and could prevent from building what could be a valuable relationship in the long-term.

Once a relationship is established with a blogger, there may be an opportunity for links to be garnered in the future. Also, niche bloggers tend to have their own communities and often they will have contact with other active members within their unique corner of the blogosphere. If one blogger puts in a good word for you, a new raft of potential link opportunities could present themselves.

Create great content

This step in easier said then done. Really interesting content creates links all by itself, which is the ultimate goal of the content marketer. It’s better to spend the time coming up with a unique concept that will draw the attentions of a blogging community than to churn out hackneyed content on generic topics.

If the content reads well and is truly original, vital social signals and other link opportunities will present themselves.

Building a network of bloggers to contact is a great practice for any SEO, and any trust gained within a community can only give a boost to current and future link building campaigns. So get out there, get writing and get published.