Last week, I wrote A Guide to Guest Blogging Part I, which covered why as an entrepreneurial writer, you may want to consider guest blogging and contributing to other online news sites, magazines, and blogs as well as how to properly do it. This week, I’ll cover why you may want to offer guest bloggers the ability to contribute to your site, either as a one-time guest blogger or regular contributor. I’ll also share others blogger and websites opinions on both being a guest blogger and why being a guest blogger has helped their business, either as a writer or otherwise.
Why You SHOULD Accept Guest Posts
Allowing for people to contribute to your site, just like guest posting to other people’s sites, can be helpful in growing your brand. You are only one person, it can help to get a wide variety of voices, styles, and opinions up on your website or blog. If your goal is to run more of a news source site, magazine, rather than a blog–eventually you’re going to expand into having multiple writers and bloggers–having one time guest bloggers as well as regular contributors can be a test run for the future of staff writers and paid contributors. It may also help expand your audience if the guest blogger shares the post written for your site on their own blog and on their own social media outlets. I like to encourage my guest bloggers to do this because it helps to get their followers (on Facebook, Twitter, etc.) involved in content they produced as well.
Even if you can’t pay people (especially if you aren’t currently making money yourself because you’ve just started)–you might find that people are willing to contribute for the same reasons mention in my post about why you should guest blog.
And Maybe Why You Shouldn’t
I know several people who are against accepting contributors for their more personal-branded blogs (especially since guest posts have a higher potential to clash with your personal brand). One of my biggest pet peeves are bloggers who accept guest posts with various opinions, but feel the need to interject their own dissenting opinions in the same post, either within the text that the guest blogger wrote or at the end of the post. This to me, as a reader, makes it seem like the blogger feels like they have to be the dominating, correct force over the blog, and it turns me off as a reader. If you feel like you have to be in control of everything, maybe guest posting isn’t for you.
Another reason to avoid guest posting, according to Brick Marketing Blog, is if you’re extremely desperate for content. If you’re lazy or can’t come up with content on your own, you shouldn’t be relying on others to do your work for you. Instead, only use guest blogging as a way to supplement your own content. Brick Marketing also lists that you should avoid accepting guest content if you are afraid of giving up control.
How to Get People to Guest Post
You can use a contribute form (I have a page set up on my website) to ask for bloggers to suggest topics that they’d like to write about. Alternatively, you can ask for complete posts. I like to ask for pitches before complete posts because I know how painful it can be to write up an entire post and not have it published. Although I understand that bigger sites need to do this, however, I’m tiny and therefore it’s nice to work more closely with writers to develop a good idea and post (although, again, depending on the quality, that doesn’t mean the finished piece always gets published). I’ll also post calls for guest bloggers on various social media to ask for bloggers as well (I belong to several blogger groups on Facebook which is extremely helpful). If you’re trying to develop your requirements, I’ve found the best way is its best to check out other websites requirements for submission and copy what you like best. You can see a whole bunch of them here. Some are as simple as a sending a general e-mail while others have specifics for what to send from samples, to the pitch, to the entire guest post.
Generally, when I’ve just started out, I ask potential contributors to submit a pitch via e-mail or contact form that’s related to my subject matter. Then, if I’ve determined that they’re a real blogger (and not a SEO scammer, see below) I’ll ask to see their blog or writing samples (unless it’s been provided already) and work out what exactly they’ll be writing about and ask them to send me their first article, with the understanding that I may edit it and may not even post it if it’s not up to standards.
Advice From Bloggers Themselves:
I asked some fellow bloggers and website runners for their experiences with guest blogging and how it helped them and for their opinions on it:
“Having your own blog is great but anyone can start a blog. By connecting with other bloggers/websites and writing a
guest post, it helps increase your credibility and authority online.”—Mike Wolfe, http://www.wamenterprisesllc.com
“Most of the time when people ask me to write guest articles on my sites, if they are actual bloggers, I let them. But if they are SEO consultants, most of the time they just try to place spammy links on my websites so I don’t want that sort of a thing on my sites and I don’t let them do that.”—Alex Genadnik, http://www.problemio.com
“Guest blogging has been a great way to meet influencers in the market research industry, get exposure, learn, build my skills and get traffic. I even got to cover a top event for GreenBook which was a great way to attend a conference for the first time. You get to meet tons of people and have in-depth conversations. Guest blogging also helps me think about the same topic in a new way. I get much more into the mechanics of how to do the research for Greenbook than I do on either of my own blogs.” Julie Diaz-Asper, www.sociallensresearch.com
“However, bloggers need to beware. There are many scammers out there that send emails offering to write guest articles for sites if bloggers include a link to an outside site. Some of these people even offer payment. I have a blogger friend who was a victim of such scam and never received her payment after publishing the post. Bloggers need to be able to decipher between authentic guest post inquiries and spam emails.” And “Since my blog focuses on local family travel, I have made great connections to lots of area businesses and venues from guest bloggers. This has helped increase my page views, build a solid reputation in the community, and has led to other experiences such as giveways or event invites.” Michaela Williamson, www.GoKidTrips.com
“ As your blog grows, you will receive a lot of requests for guest blogging. Do some research and ask a lot of questions beforehand including if they have a blog, if the article is original or if it is recycled, if you can see writing samples, if you are able to edit their piece, how many people visit their blog, how they plan on promoting the article on their end, etc. “ Ellie Hirsh, http://www.MommyMasters.com
What thoughts do you have on guest posting?