People start blogs as a way to share their expertise on an important topic with a community of like-minded followers.
Many bloggers are surprised how much time it takes to successfully write posts, promote them on social media, and interact with a community of followers.
To spur growth and expand the conversation, the next logical step many bloggers take is to present high-quality content from other experts in the field as guest posts.
Although adding guest posts sounds like a timesaver, asking another expert to author a post simply shifts your investment of time. Most bloggers spend about the same amount of time recruiting guest posters, sifting through submissions, and making edits as they once did authoring content.
If you’re wondering why it would be worth the effort, consider that it’s about adding a new perspective, expanding your audience, and offering a better experience for your followers.
It requires a significant commitment of time and energy to accept and publish guest posts. Depending on your time, passion, and work skills, you need to determine whether the value of expanding ideas and drawing new audiences is worth the investment. It’s possible you could lose the strict control you’ve held over standards, goals, or brand identity.
High-quality guest posts are usually a result of a good networking relationship. Reach out to a few active, engaged followers on your site or seek out industry influencers and ask them to contribute. This will allow you to start slowly and with people who are familiar with your brand and style.
Promote your guest post program as a sale. When you ask someone to write for you, explain how your site’s mission, audience, and SEO potential will benefit the author. Pay the guest poster, whether you offer a backlink, cash, or a thank you gift.
Set strict editorial standards before you seek your first guest post submission. Establish a style guide that explains word count, image requirements, sentence length, keywords, and whether the post should be informative or convincing.
Keep the content quality high by rejecting essays that don’t meet your standards, or inform authors up front that you have editorial authority. Most authors will vehemently object to having a heavily edited article published with their byline.
Once you’ve built an audience of engaged followers who appreciate your perspective and style, you can offer them a new experience. A respected author can offer value and help your audience learn more and engage with another perspective, which can lead to new insights or opinions. In addition, your blog will benefit from increased traffic, fresh content, and a chance to spread your brand.
Consider participating as a guest blogger for another website to experience the process before you build a program. Authoring content for another site will allow you to experience firsthand what it’s like to write under the constraints of a style guide and will open your eyes to the submission process.
Once published, your guest posts on other sites will help you gain status as an expert in your field, and open up your ideas to a new audience.
The more in-depth, well-researched posts you publish on authoritative blogs, the more chances that audience will follow you back to your site. This helps distribute your name and expertise to a new audience and raises your authority as a topic expert, as well as resulting in increased traffic and conversion.
Working with other bloggers will open up business opportunities and provide valuable professional connections with industry influencers.
After you’ve built a robust blog with a unique style and informative discussions, it might be time to allow input from guest authors as a way to add a new perspective to your content. Hosting guest posts is a powerful way to expand your audience, build traffic through backlinks, and offer your community valuable insight from another expert.
It’s critical to create and implement high editorial standards to ensure that guest posts fit the temperament and style to which your readers have become accustomed. Your standards shouldn’t be so imposing that others are forced to mimic your writing, but just strong enough to encourage writers to appeal to the community you’ve painstakingly built.
It’s up to you to ensure that guest posts add beneficial content and don’t dilute your brand. The goal is to broaden your audience and add another perspective, not alienate your base.