Sometimes no matter how hard you try, the words won’t flow. And when that’s the case, and you’ve used up all your spare blogs, well there’s only one thing for it – bring on the guest blogs!
A guest blogger is someone who comes along and has a blog published on your website. You may have asked him (or her) or he may have requested a spot, but guest bloggers can be a boon to a busy blog, and even to a not so busy one.
You get content, a new audience (he’s bound to tell all his contacts about his guest spot). He gets a new audience (yours, who may follow him back to his blog) and promotion (you’ll tell everyone you know about his guest slot).
So let’s find a few guest bloggers, shall we?
Ask a client
A safe first option as a guest blogger is probably a client who will say nice things about as well as get to promote her own blog and service (subtly, as with any blogging). This works especially well if your service and products bear relation to one another, but can also work if they don’t.
Again, pretty safe and can work well either way. Not very exciting though is it? And you’ll soon run out of people.
A brave move, and not one a lot of people would take, but a lot of times worth the risk. Let’s face it, he’ll have to reciprocate and you both have pretty much the same potential clients.
A related business
Probably the easiest and the best is to look at a related business and see if they’ll guest blog for you – if you have a similar market they may say yes and you’ll both win.
Look in the comments
If you have an established blog you may have some people who regularly comment and would jump at the opportunity to guest blog for you.
Whether your idea of a celebrity is Chris Evans or Chris Brogan, it won’t hurt to ask them to guest blog.
(A clue though, Chris Brogan is more likely to say yes than Chris Evans!) The worst they can do is ignore you…
The prolific blogger
He posts a blog post every day, is always promoting his blog posts and never seems to have time to work – grab him before he starts another post for his own site!
The already guesting blogger
Everywhere you go you see her posts, and she seems to be in with all the right people. This means she has a huge audience, but is also happy to blog on smaller blogs, so what have you got to lose by asking her?
The new blogger
He’s only just started his blog, so he’s not got much of an audience, but he’ll have enthusiasm and tell everyone he knows he’s guested on your blog. And who doesn’t want to help a new blogger?
He who doesn’t
He doesn’t have a blog, doesn’t want a blog and thinks blogging is for mugs. But he has content, and he needs to put it somewhere – give him a spot and he’ll promote you for life.
Invite them in
If you know them, speak to them however you would normally, but if you don’t, a polite email is best, asking them if they would like a guest spot on your site.
Remember to send them the URL and explain your ‘niche’.
If you haven’t heard in an hour, don’t send them another seven emails saying the same thing – you’ll just annoy them.
But don’t give up
Give it a week or so and then drop another polite email – it could be that they didn’t get the first, were too busy to read it, had a VA delete it by accident.
Wait a little longer
I’d leave it another month or so before approaching them again. It may be that the time isn’t right, or that they just don’t want to do it – the polite ones will email you back and let you know the situation though!
They said yes!
Well done you! Thank them and now let’s agree some ground rules
Tone and Subject
What do you want them to write about? What do they want to write about? Do you want something funny or serious, businesslike or chatty? Talk about this up front so that everyone knows what they’re letting themselves in for.
Length / Number of Words
You don’t want them sending you a couple of paragraphs when you expected a thousand words, so agree up front how long the piece will be.
Who is going to source the pictures? You or them? Free or paid? Make it easy by deciding these things up front and letting your guest blogger know. (I would say that I would deal with pictures but the final choice was theirs if they didn’t like the ones I’d chosen – but then I have a strange sense of humour when it comes to blog posts and images….
Be clear up front if you’re not offering payment. Don’t panic – in most cases you’re not expected to, guest bloggers do it for free, but some high profile bloggers have been known to ask for a fee. Agree it up front – that way everyone knows what to do.
Date for submission
Try and get your blogger to send you the piece a few days before you need it, so you’ll have a chance to look it over, make any amendments agreed, upload it and schedule it to go.
Date for publication
Agree a date for publication and stick to it. Your guest blogger will probably have told people that they’re appearing on your blog and won’t want to be disappointed.
Introduce your guest blogger
Don’t just stick their post up there as a normal post – introduce them:
“Today we have a guest post from Nikki Pilkington. Nikki runs NikkiPilkington.com, a successful Internet Marketing Company based in the UK and France. She has been promoting websites for 15 years and today is going to talk to us about blah blah blah”
Followed by the post.
Another way to do it is just to say ‘A guest post by Nikki Pilkington’ , then have the post, then put the author info in a box at the end of the post.
Remember the links!
Probably one of the main reasons your guest author wants to post is to have the links back to his or her website – make sure they’re there and make sure they’re correct before publishing. This is also another good thing to have agreed up front – how many links and where in the piece they can appear.
From your blogs stats (you do have stats don’t you?) let your guest blogger know how their post did on the day, and then again maybe a week or so later. They’ll want to know how many readers it had, at the very least, but you may be able to tell them other info such as how many people clicked through to their site, how many people came to the post from search engines, what they searched for etc.
How to get stats?
Consider installing the WordPress.com stats plugin – Once it’s running it’ll begin collecting information about your pageviews, which posts and pages are the most popular, where your traffic is coming from, and what people click on when they leave. It’ll also add a link to your dashboard which allows you to see all your stats on a single page.
I’m also a huge fan of Clicky web stats which allows you to ‘spy’ on your visitors, in that you can see which pages they’re visiting in real time. It allows you to see the reaction to your Tweets and promotion of a post immediately. You can get it at Get Clicky.
Something different please
If neither of those grab you, then Mashable did a round up of 30+ WordPress plugins for statistics that may have something you like.
So please consider finding guest bloggers for your website – it’s not difficult and it can help to expand your blog readership dramatically.
Please consider subscribing to this blog to receive updates by email: