The topic of guest posting is all over the interwebs these days. Being a guest blogger is a great way to build your readership at your home site. Hosting guest bloggers is a way to supplement your writing schedule. It’s also a cool way to get to know and feature great writers.
In my book – guest posting is a fun and often exciting way to build your blog, your business and yourself.
Have you been thinking about inviting someone to guest post for you? I have to admit that the first time I thought of it, I was a bit panic-stricken.
What happens if they say no? How do I approach them? Should I have a set of guidelines for them? What’s the best way to get ahold of them?
I didn’t have a manual on the subject (several good ones have been written since then). Somehow I just jumped in and found my way through.
Let me give you a few tricks I have found to be very helpful with securing guest bloggers.
Trick # 1 – Interact
Before you ask someone to guest post for you, get to know them. This sounds like perfect common sense, but I can’t begin to tell you the horror stories I have heard about bloggers getting star struck with some (perceived) A-List blogger and blurting out a guest post invitation before ever getting to know said blogger.
My hard fast rule: If I don’t know you – I shouldn’t be asking you to move into my house (blog).
Interact. Engage them at all points possible.
- Their blog
I have met, engaged and developed a relationship with 99.9% of my guest bloggers on Twitter. I find it to be a place that you can find, learn about, support and promote great bloggers and business people.
I’ve seen guest post opportunities happen on Facebook and Linkedin as well.
My second hard fast rule: If I want you to support my home, I’ll support yours first.
Blog commenting has numerous benefits. You get to see your prospective guest on his turf. You can watch how she connects with her readers and community. You can get a feel for how he writes – with what voice, rhythm and style.
While only polite and in good manners, this technique is the best way to judge for yourself whether or not the blogger would be a good fit for your community.
Don’t be that guy – Interact before asking.
Trick # 2 – Feature them first
One of the best ways to get yourself a guest post (and maybe even a friend) is to feature them in a write up on your blog. People like to have the light shown on them. They (ok, often) like the attention. Many see it as a cheap way of promotion for their work.
Give them what they want.
- Do an interview (audio and video would be cool)
- Study their work and write a blog post relating what you have learned.
- Review their recent ebook or study course.
- Retweet their blog posts
Feature them first. Make a friend.
Trick # 3 – Ask
It all boils down to the fact that if you want someone to guest post – you are going to have to ask them to do so.
Here’s something interesting. I have never done the whole formal email thing to ask someone to guest post. All of my invitations have found their inception on Twitter. Most of them have come through some conversation I was having around a topic of interest.
Do what feels most comfortable for you, but know that the process can be as simple and straightforward as “Hey Joe, I love your stuff. Could I interest you in writing for me?”
Tip: Don’t be a schmuck – invite the newbie blogger and the A-Lister. Help them both.
Yes – even if you are just getting started, be bold and ask the “professional” blogger. I’m willing to bet that they put their pants on the same way you do each morning. If you have spent the time and formed a relationship. this should be no problem.
You have got to ask. It really won’t hurt.
Bonus Trick: Give them some structure.
Post length. Your posting schedule. Your right to edit for spelling and grammar.
Some will ask for a topic or a title or something of the sort.
Provide some structure.
I love guest posting both as a host and as the guest.
What about you? What can you add from your bagof tricks? Share your thoughts and comments below.
Image: Anna Spiro