For anyone who does outreach, you know searching for “sites that accept guest posts” can get monotonous. Dare I say, it’s probably the least exciting part of the job.
To break up this more tedious aspect of outreach, I find a lot of ways to do the same thing. For example, I use about five completely different methods for finding sites to place content. This not only helps cover all my bases, but also keeps me from going insane after plugging search queries into Google all day. Enter Twitter.
Here’s a look at my workflow for using Twitter to scout guest post opportunities, create Twitter lists of these opportunities, and automate my searches using RSS feeds.
1. Search for Tweets About Guest Posts
A basic search for “guest post” or “guest author” will return any text containing those terms in the tweet, including any URLs tweeted that contain those terms. You’ll notice your search results will be a mix of people who have written a guest post, people sharing links to guest posts, and people talking about guest posts. In other words, it can be quite a lot of tweets to weed through, most of which will be irrelevant to you.
I like to drill it down even further, and add in a keyword related to the niche I’m trying to place content in by searching for “guest post” [niche keyword]. Here’s an example of the results from searching for “guest post” travel.
2. Build Private Twitter Lists
Now you can go ahead and start your outreach with some of the results you’ve found, or you can take it slow and start building relationships with the bloggers and sites you’ve found that publish guest posts. A great way to keep track of the opportunities you’ve found through Twitter is by using the lists feature. Just go to the user’s profile, and select “add or remove from lists” from the drop-down menu.
From there, a dialogue box will pop up with your already existing lists, or you can choose to create a new list. Check the private option when creating a new list (unless you want people to know you’re courting them for guest post opportunities).
Private lists are awesome because no one but you can see them, and the people you add to them are none the wiser. Plus, you don’t have to be following someone to add them to a list, which allows you to remain in stealth mode.
If you have segmented your searched by niche, you can segment your guest post opportunities lists by niche, too. Now you can easily check in on your list streams and initiate conversations.
3. Create RSS Feeds
Instead of performing the same searches over and over again through Twitter, you can create RSS feeds for search queries and add them to your RSS reader. To create an RSS feed of a particular search query, add your search query to the end of this URL:
When searching for multiple terms, add a plus sign between keywords. For example, to create a feed for the “guest post” travel search I did earlier, I would use:
You then can plug each of these URLs for your search queries into your reader to subscribe to the feeds.
Now you can just check your reader for new tweets.
If you really want to get fancy, you can use this sweet tool over on the SEOmoz blog that will do Steps 1 & 3 above without you lifting a finger (magic!).
Do you find Twitter useful for finding guest post opportunities? What are some of your favorite tactics? Let me know in the comments below.
Note: The Twitter giveth, and the Twitter taketh away. Twitter will end RSS support in March 2013, so get it while the gettin’s good!