We greatly value the work of guest bloggers on this blog as they have contributed some of the blog’s best content; however, it is important to manage the guest writers correctly for the benefit of both us and them. Below are the top fifteen points to help you get the most out of guest blogging.
A guest blogger can be a highly useful asset, particularly since we have a small editorial team and need to produce large amounts of content. The majority of the articles on this blog are written by the editorial team, but other content contributions come from elsewhere in the company and from guest bloggers.
Using guest bloggers we are able to obtain various perspectives on digital issues from others who are ‘in the field’ from clients and agencies. Furthermore, the guest blogger can become a ‘cheerleader’ for the blog promoting the content to their own networks. In short, the guest blogger can be valuable and significant for different blogs.
How Can I Get The Most From A Guest Blogger?
For a blog’s editor, the trick to getting the most from a guest blogger is to make the correct choices. This is not always simple, but here is how I try to achieve this task:
1 – Ask For Ideas
If the blogger has a track record of blogging, this can be helpful because you can review the quality of his or her writing. If not, then it is recommended that you request that the potential guest blogger submit ideas for articles they wish to write for your site. This will also allow you to offer early feedback for the individual.
2 – Agree On Different Topics And Themes In Advance
One problem facing several bloggers working on a single site is that, while all people want to write about social media and content marketing, there are often gaps in the less ‘glamorous’ areas including affiliate marketing. By agreeing on topics in advance, you will help the guest blogger locate their niche on your blog and assist in avoiding any duplicate content.
3 – Be Selective
Given the vast amount of guest blogging offers we receive, it is essential that we are selective. In fact, the volume of submissions makes it more challenging to respond to all the requests and sort the proverbial wheat from the chaff.
I can now understand Bas van den Beld’s frustration regarding guest blogging and his decision deny future submissions for guest blogging positions. While we do not want to stop accepting applicants, the number of low-quality requests for guest blogging is becoming annoying.
So, my advice in this situation is to only accept the guest posts that you know will be good and of interest to your target audience. While you cannot tell if the content is good until the individual submits a post, do not be afraid to reject the post or request rewrites.
4 – Setting Standards
We are sent numerous articles regularly which are obviously written as a means of ticking the guest post box and not to submit an article of substance. I have seen various posts that are 400 or 500 words, but only words of waffle with very little true content. This does not work and will portray the blogger in a poor light.
When discussing guest blogging it is important that you make it clear what the quality level is regarding content for the site.
5 – Setting Expectations
I have been referring writers to lists similar to this whereby we explain our guest blogging criteria; however, I am creating a new checklist as it is clear that certain people are not reading the original list.
It is important that you make your blogging expectations clear from the beginning because this will allow people to make informed decisions as to whether they want to write for your site. If you do have expectations marked out, it should include the type of content you want, the frequency of posting, etc. In our situation, we require insight and best practice tips from our guest bloggers, not infographics, interviews or news articles.
6 – Promoting The Use Of Pictures
Believe it or not, posts do look more appealing with screenshots and charts to demonstrate the points being made by guest bloggers. The images break up the text and evidence shows that it is more likely that people will read on. Getting guest bloggers to use pictures in these ways reduces the workload of the editor.
7 – Ensure They Know About Your Blog
While I do not expect all guest bloggers to be avid readers of our website when they begin contributing, it does help if they are familiar with the site’s content. In fact, I would agree that the majority of our best guest bloggers have success because they understand the blog’s audience, the content, what works, and the gaps that need to be filled. If a person arrives at your website by randomly searching for guest blogging opportunities, then it is likely that the content will be low-quality.
8 – Provide A Clear Style Guide
According to matthewwoodward.co.uk, style and formatting are highly significant to our blog and posts need to be informative, but also simple to read. Taking these points into account, we have formed a blog style guide providing guest bloggers with content writing expectations, an example of how the posts should look, and which hateful marketing jargon they should avoid. In fact, if I happen to see the terms ‘leverage’ or ‘paradigm’ in a guest post I can be certain that they have not read our style guide.
9 – Speaking Directly With The Guest Blogger
I do not want to dismiss all the guest blogger submissions we receive via PR agencies, but I find it helps to have a direct conversation with the blogger before accepting their content. Using this conversation, you can be sure that your points have been put across and feedback can be passed on quickly. It also ensures that the guest posts are not written by a third-party. To learn more about other blogs that accept guest posts and how to get in touch with the owner of such sites, be sure to check out this list of sites.
10 – Avoiding Any Self-Promotion
While I indicate that there will not be self-promotion with guest blogging on our website, I still receive articles containing phrases such as ‘using our industry-leading solutions’. These are similar to press releases and, while I understand it can be difficult to pass up opportunities to talk about your own work, blatant self-promotion should be avoided entirely.
11 – Do Not Spend Too Much Time On Bloggers
While you can provide expectations for content and offer feedback on the guest posts, if the blogger does not ‘get it’ you must not be afraid to cast him or her aside. Why waste time working with these bloggers when you could be writing your own original content.
12 – Creating An Author Biography
The standard author biography can be used for guest bloggers and this ensures that no person can require ‘juicy’ anchor text or leading SEO phrases to describe themselves as content gurus. Our standard biography allows a guest blogger to describe their job title, the company, and offer the readers some options on how to contact them once they finish reading the article.
13 – Ensure The Articles Are Exclusive
There are several reasons why the articles must be exclusive. Firstly, you do not want to risk the chance of producing duplicate content and facing these issues with Google. Secondly, you do not want to use the same post that has been placed on another person’s blog.
14 – Providing Constructive Feedback
You cannot expect a guest blogger to submit perfect posts the first time, and if they wish to improve they will appreciate your feedback. Tell them why you have changed certain items in the post and what types of things can be done to improve the next post. It can take guest bloggers several posts to gain their stride, but once they have momentum it means consistent content and less work for the editor.
If you currently have a website, blog, or online brand, be sure to start implementing these simple steps into your guest posting efforts, and you will definitely start seeing better response rates, approvals, and SEO across the board.