How Do You Decide What Your Blog Is Worth - which talked about accepting paid commercial content on your blog it's great to hear from Sam Sparrow of The High Tea Cast talk about guest posting from a different point of view - new audiences and renewed traffic.
The Benefits Of Guest PostingWhether you blog alone, with friends or as part of a collective, you may have accepted, or been approached about guest posting. You may have even submitted guest posts yourself just as I have here on Geekalicious. Guest posting is great - it allows you to write for other blogs and introduce yourself to a whole new audience (and hopefully new traffic for your own website), and on the flip side, it can score you some great new content in areas that you perhaps don't have expertise. If you want to take your blog to the next level and don't have the time and resources to write fantastic posts all by yourself, opening up your blog for guest posts like we did on The High Tea Cast can be a great way to find new blogging friends, writing partners and increased traffic. It isn't always easy though, so here is how we manage it.
Source new guest posts
A great way of starting off with a guest post on your blog is to approach bloggers directly with a post idea you'd like them to write. Perhaps you run a fashion blog, but there is a particular post on beauty you'd like to include. Or you have read a post from a blogger you've really enjoyed and you think a follow up with them would work really well on your own site. Most bloggers would be really happy to write a post for you, particularly if you include promotion of their post via social media and a link back to their own site or original post. You can also make it known that you are looking for guest posters for more generally. We've put a note on our Contact Us page, and we use social media to advertise for new guest posts. Sometimes we even ask around people we know to help get the word out. This is a great way to find new bloggers that perhaps you don't know yet, but that may be a perfect fit for your audience.
Make your expectations clear
Even if you have openly advertised for guest posters, it is important to make your expectations clear at the outset with what you want. Here are some things you may want to communicate with the guest blogger right from that first agreement to provide a post -
- Set a deadline - this is really important! As a blogger yourself, you'll know how busy you are and how it is easy to forget things. Set a deadline a little before you'd like the post to go live so you have time to edit, and negotiate this deadline with the blogger so that it works for both of you.
- Be upfront with your style guidelines. If you have a word count minimum or maximum, or image sizes that you use, make sure you tell them - they aren't psychic! Any formatting rules you use for your blog will help the guest blogger, and of course help you when you come to schedule and edit.
- Make the topic area distinct - or you could end up with something that doesn't work for you. This is especially true if you are approaching someone directly, so again, help the guest poster by giving clear guidance on what you'd like to write.
- Let them know you may edit. It is common courtesy to let any guest poster that you reserve the right to edit their posts to make sure it fits with your blog style and format.
Edit and schedule
Once you have received the guest post from your new blogger, you'll want to edit the post in your own blogging platform, and the schedule it. You may have agreed a time to schedule the post in advance, but if not choose a time to post it and set it up. If it this stage you think the post isn't working and can't be fixed by small edits from yourself, contact the blogger as soon as possible - don't ignore it! You know how much time it takes to compose a new post, and you do not want to waste anyone's time. Be honest and open, and try and give some clear guidance on what might need to change. This shouldn't happen if you set the expectations properly, but it still does - and it is best to deal with it head on. If you are sent a finished post out of the blue from someone and it really won't work, contact the blogger and thank them. Explain why it isn't right for your blog, but suggest some others they may like to submit to!
Promote and thank
When your blog is set to be published, thank the blogger - alot! Let them know when the blog will go live, and give them the appropriate link (short link or otherwise) to use so they can shout about it from the rooftops. Check their own social media profiles and give your own to them, and then explain where and when you will promote them and the post. If the guest post gets a lot of comments or sparks discussion, you may want to let the guest poster know so that they can join in! When the whole process is over, make sure you keep in touch. You now have a great new relationship with a blogger - you could offer to guest post for them, or let them know you'd be happy for the to write more if that is the case. Guest posting is great fun - but like anything in both online and offline worlds it requires good communication and a dash of etiquette. Will you be more inclined to accept guest posts now?