7 Ways the Perfect Host Makes Guest Bloggers Feel Right at Home
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Content is an important part of building an interesting website, helping to improve your Google search rankings and giving visitors a reason to keep coming back. But as a busy professional, you likely have limited time to create and post content. Even if you can post every day, you’ll eventually burn out if you’re the only one posting.
Bringing in insightful, relevant posts from guest bloggers is a crucial practice for keeping your content fresh and making your site more of a destination. Here are a few tips for sourcing great content from guest bloggers for your business site.
1. Promote your guests
For each guest blog you host, you’ll need to write a brief introduction with a link to the poster’s website or social media presence. On the day the post goes live, you should promote it on your own social media networks as a thank you to your guest blogger, who put in the time to write content for you in exchange for that publicity.
You will most likely find that the guest blogger will be sharing their work to their following, which is especially beneficial to you if that following is large. It's always helpful to be exposed to new audiences. Once other writers in your field see the support you gave to your guest bloggers, you’ll switch from asking others to guest blog for you to fielding offers from colleagues.
2. Consider a swap
As a respected entrepreneur in your field, you’ve likely made multiple connections in your industry. Consider contacting those colleagues with an offer to trade, writing guest posts for each other’s blogs. As you host each other, you can link to each other’s websites and use your separate readerships to increase your audience.
When you guest post on another site, show the same courtesy you’d expect on your blog by promoting the post across your networks and responding to comments. This is just good social-media etiquette, which plays a part in building your reputation as an engaging and professional online presence.
3. Widen your circle
When you begin hosting guest blogs, your first plan will likely be to invite people within your industry, but you can potentially introduce your readers to new concepts by widening that circle. If you’re a local business, invite a fellow local business leader to guest post on local issues. If you specialize in ecommerce, host a series where you bring other ecommerce leaders in to talk about issues specific to that industry. This is not only a great way to beef up your content, but you’ll be forming professional relationships along the way.
4. Be creative
Your guests' blog posts don’t have to fit within set boundaries. A colleague could do a video blog (vlog) or put together an infographic that you use on your site. Even if you’ve seen this content posted elsewhere, you could repost it with permission and write your own content around it. This will allow you to source interesting content, as well as forge new relationships with other online entities.
5. Set content guidelines
Once you start receiving requests from people eager to guest post on your blog, you’ll need to come up with guidelines. When someone contacts you with a guest post request, you can then forward those guidelines and ensure the post is in line with the other content you’ve posted. Not just anyone has a background appropriate for posting on your site. Your guests should know that if you accept their contribution, you’ll edit the blog, as needed, to fit your standards. Be prepared to say "no" if a post’s problems are too extensive to be easily remedied.
6. Require promotion
The link you provide on your blog helps your guest bloggers by improving how they rank for various keywords in search results, as well as from a general promotion standpoint. In return, the guest posters should promote the post across their own networks. You’ll likely find, however, that some bloggers neglect to do this for a variety of reasons. As part of your guidelines, you can require that the blogger promote the post at least once on Twitter, other networks, and/or their own blog. This will ensure you get publicity out of the guest post, as well.
7. Thank guest bloggers
Sending a follow-up email to thank your guest blogger is polite and a valuable part of networking. You’ll make a lasting impression on someone who likely will remember your business the next time he or she is asked for a recommendation. An even better way to acknowledge your guest bloggers is to thank them publicly through Twitter (or another social network), especially if you (or they) have a large follower base.
Hosting guest blogs is a great way to increase search engine visibility, for both you and your guests. It has been shown over and over again that, in general, a higher volume of quality content hosted by your site will allow it to rank more highly, as well as see more visitors. This ongoing practice will also help you make valuable connections throughout the industry, giving you possible future opportunities that will help your brand.