Guest Blogging – Receiving Guest Bloggers

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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.

A supplier
Again, pretty safe and can work well either way. Not very exciting though is it? And you’ll soon run out of people.

A competitor
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.

A celebrity
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.

Don’t forget
Remember to send them the URL and explain your ‘niche’.

Don’t badger
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.

Pictures?
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….

Payment?
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.

Alternatively
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.

Feedback
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.

Get Clicky
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.

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A code of ethics for bloggers

Thanks to RedGage for reminding me of this 🙂

A BLOGGERS’ CODE OF ETHICS (from cyberjournalist.net )

Be Honest and Fair

Bloggers should be honest and fair in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.

Bloggers should:

• Never plagiarize.
• Identify and link to sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources’ reliability.
• Make certain that Weblog entries, quotations, headlines, and all other content do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context.
• Never distort the content of photos without disclosing what has been changed. Image enhancement is only acceptable for for technical clarity. Label montages and illustrations.
• Never information they know is inaccurate — and if questionable information, make it clear it’s in doubt.
• Distinguish between advocacy, commentary and factual information. Even advocacy writing and commentary should not misrepresent fact or context.
• Distinguish factual information and commentary from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two.

Minimize Harm

Ethical bloggers treat sources and subjects as human beings deserving of respect.

Bloggers should:

• Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by Weblog content. Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.
• Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief.
• Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of information is not a license for arrogance.
• Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone’s privacy.
• Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.
Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects, victims of sex crimes and criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges.

Be Accountable

Bloggers should:

• Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.
• Explain each Weblog’s mission and invite dialogue with the public over its content and the bloggers’ conduct.
• Disclose conflicts of interest, affiliations, activities and personal agendas.
• Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence content. When exceptions are made, disclose them fully to readers.
• Offering such information for favors. When accepting such information, disclose the favors.
• Expose unethical practices of other bloggers.
• Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others.

It’s an interesting list, and I know that not all bloggers agree with all of it – is there anything you think is out of place, or anything that could be added? Let’s update it and see what groupthink can come up with!

I'm looking for bloggers who have businesses aimed at women

afternoon light #12That’s it really – are you a blogger who runs a business aimed at women?

Whether it’s aimed at mums, women in corporate life, whatever, as long as it’s aimed at women, I need to know about you.

You could be a training company, a jewellery website, a resources portal – whatever you are, as long as you’re aiming at women I need to know about you.

Why? Because I’m going to be compiling a list, that I’m going to broadcast quite a lot, and it might be good for you to be on there 🙂

Please use the comments below to leave me:

  • Your blog name
  • Your website and blog address
  • Your name
  • A short description of your blog

Any questions, drop me a line nikkipilk@gmail.com

Thanks 🙂

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Creative Commons License photo credit: goldsardine

Want to create more hype about your product or service?

Toy sampling megaphoneIt’s 2010 and a great way to create hype and recognition of your product or service this year is to involve the blogosphere.

We’ve worked with quite a few clients in 2009 who gave away free samples of their products or services in return for reviews, generating backlinks, great articles, traffic and in turn buyers for very little outlay.

Good blog reviews on sites with lots of traffic in your niche market can create great buzz, great traffic and obviously sales.

So why not try it this year?

If you have a product or service that you could give away, even to as few as 10 good bloggers, in return for reviews, you could generate more interest in your company, and hopefully more money!

It’s as simple as approaching bloggers in your market, and asking them if they’d accept your freebie in return for a review.

Some points:

  • DON’T demand a positive review – be confident in your product or service
  • DON’T only choose blogs with lots of comments – ask about the number of readers or subscribers too
  • DO ensure you give your bloggers some guidelines, telling them where you want them to link to and the tone of review you’re looking for, as well as the number of words you’ll need
  • DON’T demand to see the blog before it’s written – although feel free to ask for changes in grammar and spelling afterwards.
  • DO remember to thank your bloggers and comment on their blogs afterwards

It does take up a little time, it isn’t always easy to get people to agree to do this, and some would say it’s a little controversial, but it works, and it works well.

We’ve seen book authors sell more books, skin care specialists make more sales from their online shops, speakers gain more bookings, and a baby product retailer increase sales by 75% from 15 reviews!

Give it a go, let me know how you get on, and of course if you don’t want to do this yourself, drop me a line to nikkipilk@gmail.com to find out more about  how we can help you for as little as £15 per review!
Creative Commons License photo credit: altemark

I've been tagged!

Thanks to Chris Hebert for tagging me – we’ve been Twitter friends for a while now and i love reading her posts!

Being tagged is a game bloggers play where they have to write six random things about their self, and tag six other people.

Here are my 6 things:

1. I haven’t watched TV at home for over a year – when we moved to France in 2007, our TV wasn’t compatible, and we’ve never bothered changing it or buying the kit we need to hook it up. I don’t miss it at all.
2. Despite #1, I’m an avid soap fan, following UK soaps Coronation Street and Eastenders online daily. Probably none of my friends know this about me 😉
3. Although I’m a Goth at heart, I love Country music and am a sucker for a Country ballad
4. Pets I have owned over the years: a 4ft Monitor Lizard, a Monkey Tailed Skink, 2 Royal Pythons, various tarantulas, scorpions and lizrds, African Claw Toed Frogs, axolotls, crayfish, a house rabbit, cats, dogs, rats, gerbils and hamsters. Oh and fish.
5. Despite 20+ years of trying to stop, I still bite my nails
6. I spend too much time playing trial versions of time management games from Big Fish Games.

Here are the rules:

Okay, for those of you tagged, here (apparently) are the rules, as I was given:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on the blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Here are the following six people I tag:

Camden Kiwi
Zakomedia
Cathy Dobson – Planet Germany
Old Welsh Guy
Sarah Arrow
Suze St Maur – How to Get Married In Green

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