For a lot of beginning bloggers, the guest post exchange that’s built into the annual Blogathon challenge is the first time they’ve ever thought about approaching another blogger to write a post. That can be a scary prospect, especially if you’re so new to blogging, you’re not exactly sure of what you’re doing.
Why It Pays to Run Guest Posts
Running guest posts is a smart way to expand your readership – because your guest will no doubt share links to their post with their own readers, who’ll then click over to see what’s up, discover how fabulous your blog is and put you in their blog reader.
For newer bloggers, guest posts are a great way to make friends with other bloggers who can become a virtual support system – they blog for you, you blog for them. Who knows what could happen?
But first things first. If you’re going to run guest posts, you need to provide potential posters with some guidelines. That means you need to think about the kinds of posts you run, and what you’d want a guest blogger to write about. Also, if you have a blog that’s been around for a while and gets a good amount of traffic, you’ve probably received email from people you don’t know asking if they can write a post for you. But how can you tell if they’re legit?
The WordCount Guide to Guest Post Basics:
To answer those and any other questions you might have about guest posts, I’ve searched the WordCount archives for the top posts I’ve written on the subject. Here they are:
Dear WordCount: how do I run guest posts on my blog? - Never run a guest post on your blog before? Read this to get started.
Guest post: 4 naughty tips for a better blog - Come up with a guest post format. The post I linked to, from Sara Lancaster, is a good example of the format I use. It includes:
- A brief bio of the guest blogger at the top of the blog with links to their blog, website or Facebook or Twitter presence
- A photo, with caption, of the guest poster
- Links embedded in the post that go back to their blog and to one or two of my previous posts
- Links to a book or other project that they might be promoting
How to write a guest post for WordCount - My guidelines for guest posters. I share this with anyone who inquires.
Dear WordCount: How should I handle guest post offers? - How to decide whether to accept someone’s offer to write a guest post for you, especially if you’ve never heard of them before.
Dear WordCount: Someone linked to my blog, is that bad? - If a blogger you’ve never met links to one of your posts, use it an an opportunity to introduce yourself, and leave a comment on their blog. It could be the start of a happy blogging relationship, which you could use to ask them for a guest post.
25 ways to blog every day – Guest posts are great cover for when you’ve got too much else going on to write a post yourself.
10 sure cures for blogging burnout - It’s always more fun to pick up around someone else’s house. If your enthusiasm for blogging is fading fast, ask a writing buddy to post on your blog in exchange for writing for theirs. The change in routine might be just what you need to rekindle your blogging passion.
Freelancers, do not write for content marketers – Invite a guest blogger to tackle an issue you feel uncomfortable or unqualified writing about yourself – and see what happens. This link goes to a guest post from journalist Tim Beyers exhorting fellow freelancers not to work for the likes of Helium and Demand Media. The original post got so many comments that a Helium spokeswoman responded. I invited her to write a rebuttal, which drew even more comments. I followed up with a handful of m own posts on the subject, and ended up getting paid to write a story on the subject for Writer’s Digest.
What’s your best advice on guest posts? Please share it by leaving a comment.