So, how do you attract quality guest bloggers to your site? That’s the question veteran freelance writer and blogger Jennifer Brown Banks (@PENPROSPER1), one of my quality guest bloggers, offers in today’s post.
Ask anyone who has blogged consistently and seriously for more than a year, and they will attest that it’s harder than it looks.
Experts recommend that we post at least one to two posts per week for optimal results. (Nina Amir, author of How to Blog a Book, recommends a minimum of three times per week.)
Multiply two posts per week by four weeks. Then multiply by 12 months. You’re looking easily at about 100 posts a year.
Add to your blogging efforts the time that it takes to conduct research, scout for images, maintain the site, and respond to comments. It’s a tall order.
That explains why accepting quality guest posts is a great way to ease the pressure and maintain momentum. Rather than do it all yourself, find guest bloggers to contribute content to your site.
More Benefits of Accepting Guest Posts
In addition to lessening your blog post load, guest posts also provide:
- Variety to your readership (diversity in styles, tones, topics)
- The opportunity to build supportive relationships with other bloggers in the virtual community
- The potential to attract more readers (via the guest bloggers’ fan base)
- Time away for you to rest, ideate, or work on paying projects
But just like most things in life, there’s a right and wrong way to approach attracting guest bloggers.
Best Practices for Using Guest Bloggers
Based upon my many years of accepting and contributing guest posts, here are a few practices and principles you’ll want to consider:
1. Establish detailed guest post guidelines and post them prominently on your site.
Your guidelines should be as specific as possible and include the following:
- desired word count
- acceptable topics
- expected response time
- preferred method of submission
- amount of pay per post
The clearer you are, the less confusion, frustration and wasted time for everybody.
2. Don’t make interested parties “jump through hoops” to qualify.
It’s one thing to have high standards for acceptance… and you should. Any work published on your site is ultimately a reflection on you and your brand. However, some bloggers make it difficult to receive quality posts. They:
- Require you to sign in or register to their site before you can pitch a post (which often turns into a big deal due to tech glitches, detailed forms, etc.)
- Require posts that have extremely high word counts (think college thesis paper) or require too many steps to execute (i.e. the post must be typed in 12 point Times New Roman with 2 inch margins an accompanied by a quote and an image).
- Fail to allow for different blogging styles or differing views.
Don’t be one of them.
3. Keep in mind that quality attracts quality.
Much like in dating, we tend to attract our “likeness.” In other words, one of the best ways to draw thought leaders and talented bloggers to your spot is to maintain a quality site.
Hello? This fact seems obvious, but it’s often overlooked.
If your site is plagued with typos, grammatical errors, and angry rants, it will be a big turn-off and sabotage your efforts.
4. Be gracious and easy to deal with.
Trust me on this one. I have a pretty extensive resume when it comes to guest blogging, and it’s not always easy to work with bloggers or site owners.
I remember all too well the bloggers that I vowed to never submit a post to again and those who were lovely to deal.
Don’t be in “poor form” when you work with guest bloggers. Whenever possible, respond to guest requests promptly and politely. It creates good karma, and it makes good business sense.
On a Final Note
If you must reject a guest post request, because it doesn’t measure up, avoid being rude, overly apologetic, or critical.
Simply state in your response something like: “Sorry. This is not right for my blog’s needs at this time. Thank you for your work.”
Remember, guest posting done properly provides a win/win situation for both the giver and the receiver. And it can open doors to future collaborative projects.
Keep these timely tips in mind to take the guess work out of attracting—and retaining—quality guest bloggers.
About the Author
Jennifer Brown Banks is a veteran freelance writer, relationship columnist, ghost writer, award-winning blogger and author. Her work has appeared in various online and print publications including:.ProBlogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, Women on Writing and the Well-Fed Writer E-zine.
Banks is the managing editor of Coffeehouseforwriters.com, where she also teaches creative writing classes. When she’s not at the keyboard, she loves cooking, reading, “Jeopardy,” music, and shopping.
Find out more about Jennifer here: http://Penandprosper.blogspot.com/
Photo courtesy of iqoncept/123RF.com