Lauren Marinigh

Attracting Quality Guest Bloggers

By Lauren | January 16, 2017 | 0 Comment

Guest blogging can have many benefits for both you, your blog, and the guest blogger. For you, you’ll be able to curate quality content that is relevant to your audience which will only require you to organize and edit versus write. For the blogger, they’ll be able to build their reputation and gain exposure to a new audience. On top of that, if you acquire some well-known, quality guest bloggers, you’ll also attract more readers to your website. But how do you attract these top bloggers?

Step one is to start with building a great blog before anything else. No one is going to want to write for your blog if the content you’re already publishing isn’t in line with their mission and values as a writer, and they’re definitely not going to want to put in the effort if their article is not going to be seen by anyone. When you launch a blog, it’s going to take some time and consistency to get the readership and followers to a place that you start attracting the attention of other bloggers. Work on creating consistent and quality content, with attractive visuals, and build your social media following too since you’ll likely be re-sharing your content there for your audience.

Once you have created a reputation for your blog, think about what the benefits are for guest bloggers. No matter what, you are going to have some bloggers who will only write for you if you pay them for articles, but there will always be some people that are willing to submit an article or two if it will benefit them in some way. Things bloggers will often look for are:

  • The ability to add link(s) to their website or other articles they’ve written
  • An author by-line that mentions them as the author
  • An “about the author” or “about the business” blurb at the bottom of the article to give their brand more exposure
  • Social media mentions and shares of their content
  • The potential reach that the article can have (if your pageviews aren’t high, include social media reach too)
  • $$$$ (not always the case, but it’s always nice when you have the ability to offer some sort of compensation)

When you’ve figured out what benefits you can offer guest bloggers, reach out to brand advocates or people within your network that may be interested in contributing. These are the easiest guest bloggers to recruit because they are already fans of your brand and what you do. Remember, the people within your network don’t necessarily have to be professional writers, in this day-in-age, not just writers are capable of putting together a blog post. Another idea is to recruit new professionals within your industry (think new grads who started working in your sector). These people are usually eager to gain exposure and have opportunities to build their personal brands so they’re easier to catch then senior-level professionals.

While reaching out to potential contributors, make sure you are organized and have an idea of what you are looking for. Some people may have a truckload of ideas for content they can offer you but some may prefer that you have an idea of what you want. You’ll also want to develop some content submission guidelines so the potential guest blogger knows what you are looking for. This will help keep your guest posts consistent and ensure you won’t get something that you completely need to revamp. You should include things like:

  • The length of articles you are looking for (blogs usually are around 600-800 words)
  • The voice you usually use across your blog and brand
  • Any helpful tips for pitching ideas
  • An overview of the audience and types of content you are looking for (Example: expert opinions, personal stories, tips and tools, etc.)
  • Invoicing and payment details if applicable

Content guidelines don’t have to be too detailed, but they should provide an overview of what you’re expecting. Having these will also prevent you from having to go back and forth with a contributor answering questions.

You’ll notice that as you continue to build your blog through your own content and guest content, people will begin to approach you about guest posting. However, it’s important to remember that although it can be tempting to accept any free content people are offering, ensure that it is in line with your brand and your overall communications strategy. Don’t be afraid to turn something down or go back to the person submitting the piece with feedback in order to make it suit your needs.

Guest bloggers can bring a lot of value to your website, but remember, if they’re contributing for free your expectations can’t be too high. For example, you can’t expect that someone would have the ability to contribute once a month for a year when you’re not paying them. Instead, be flexible with timelines and understand when they are unable to make due dates because of other (likely paid) demands. This will ensure that you are a brand that bloggers want to work with, versus one that just expects too much for too little.

As someone who has been a guest blogger on several websites myself, these tips can help you attract top talent and quality content for your blog because lets be honest, you can’t write everything, especially for a company blog.

 

Lauren

Sharing my inspiration, advice, opinion & fun stuff one post at a time.

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