Many bloggers look to be a guest blogger, due to the opportunities guest blogging can offer.
Increased visibility; an introduction to new readers; and authority back-links to your blog are just some of the benefits of writing a guest post for another blogger. Taking time to be a great guest blogger also helps you get repeat invites which, again, lead to even more exposure and traffic-growing opportunities.
But what about when the shoe’s on the other foot? What if you want to invite someone to be a guest blogger on your blog – do you still need to put in the due diligence the guest needs to?
In a word, yes. In a few more words, yes indeedy. Read on.
A Great Guest Blog Is Only As Good As The Host Makes It
So you want to get another blogger to guest at your place. This is a win-win for you, since you get extra readers from that blogger’s community, and it allows you to “have a day off” too. But it’s not as simple as just asking someone to write for you. No – you need to make it as easy an experience for them as you can.
Not only will this bring the best of your guest out, but it’ll encourage them to write again for you in the future, especially useful if the first guest slot works out.
Additionally, you have a responsibility to your readers to make sure that you’re not just having a guest writer to increase traffic, but to actually increase the quality and learning at your blog. So make sure you follow some basic guidelines to make the guest post the best it can be, while being a gracious host at the same time.
Set House Rules
There’s nothing worse than wanting someone to blog for you, and then you stifle what could be great by not setting your expectations from the off. So make sure you set out some basic house rules before inviting your guest over.
1) Will They Be Allowed to Blog In Their Own Voice? Generally you have a certain style on your blog. Narrative, approach, format, etc. And when you invite someone over to write for you, it’s because you like what they have to say. But does their style fit your audience and, if not, will you let them write in their style anyway? There’s nothing wrong with allowing a guest to be expressive and in the way they write – just be prepared for any backlash.
2) Make It Clear How You Wish the Post to Take Shape. Many guest blogs are less successful because the guest didn’t know what was expected of them. When inviting someone onto your blog, make sure you explain length of blog, how the images will be credited, how the author will have a byline, and how you would like it formatted (on a Word doc or via email; plain text or HTML, etc). Make it easy for your blogger, make it easy for your blog.
3) Make Sure You Promote It Before, During and After. Having a guest blogger is great for helping you get more traffic; but it’s only fair that you help get that blogger more traffic too. Make sure you tweet, share on Facebook, or simply close the post from the previous day with a “Make sure you drop by tomorrow to see Blogger X’s guest post” as a teaser. Continue to promote when the post goes live and afterward, and share the blogger’s own URL when promoting. It’s a nice way of saying thank you.
4) Make Your Comments Expectation Clear. If you have a guest blogger, are they expected to answer the comments, or are they just writing the post? Will you be commenting at all, or leaving them to it? How do they react should they come under fire for their views? Make sure you’re clear and supportive when it comes to your guest and how they interact on the post afterward.
These are just some of the ways you can make your guest blogger at home, and ensure they bring their best game each time. They’re not set in stone, but I guarantee that they’ll help you make your guest feel more comfortable, and that can only benefit you in the long run.
How about you – any tips you use and find success with?
image: Brenda Anderson