No Time to Write? Maximize the Use of Guest Posting

digital-marketing-strategiesAs a marketer, your time is valuable, and if you’re like most of us, it’s in great demand. With all the other day-to-day tasks you have to take care of, finding time to write is sometimes just a distant dream. Yet, without fresh content on your blog, you’ll lose your readers – and they’re too hard to win to risk losing them.

Consistency is key when marketing online, and one aspect of that is presenting regular blog posts. There are a few different methods of getting new content without robbing time from your other activities. One way to do that is to build relationships with trusted guest bloggers. This needs to be handled carefully, though… you’re looking for someone that will offer the right quality of writing and the sort of content that you want to present to your readers.

Establish Clear Guidelines

If you’re going to accept guest posts, you have to establish clear guidelines for your contributors. For instance, outline what type of linking is acceptable. Guest posters want to post on your blog for two main reasons – brand building and traffic. Normally, they want to use your higher traffic blog to get traffic back to their own site. So they’ll want to add links to their post that will direct your reader to their site.

You need to be very clear about how many and what type of links are allowed, so your guest posters don’t end up driving away your readers away or hurting your standing with the search engines.

You’ll want to be very specific about things like no affiliate links, no link shorteners, and only links to pages that are highly relevant to the content of the guest post and your site. Of course, you’ll also want to check out their site, to ensure your blog won’t be linking to a site that will put you in a bad light with Google or your readers.

Steer the conversation

Steer the conversation

Obviously, you’ll want to retain editorial control, so you can be certain that the post is correct in its grammar, spelling and punctuation. You’ll also want to stipulate that the content must be unique and never be re-used elsewhere.

While you’re crafting your guest blogging guidelines, don’t forget to require that the guest blogger provide a link from their own blog to their guest post on your site. They should also be required to respond to comments or questions on their post for a reasonable amount of time – a week is normally sufficient – after that, you can handle it.

Once you’ve established your guidelines, put them to use. You can post them on your site if you like, but I’ve found that sometimes invites a flood of spammy applicants. I prefer a subtle notice somewhere that mentions you sometimes accept guest posters. Whether you post them or email them to a guest poster before they submit, they should definitely be a part of your process.

Choose your Guest Bloggers Carefully

Whenever you let someone guest blog on your site, think about whether it will benefit you. Fresh content is, of course, vital, but so is the quality of the content. Does that writer have a good following and will their presence on your blog be in line with your marketing goals? Does the blogger serve a similar niche or offer relevance to your readers? Basically, will the blog post make your blog look good? If not, you may want to thank them for their interest, but turn down their offer.

Handling the Posts

It should be obvious that you’ll need to carefully screen the posts, the authors and their sites. Never publish ANYTHING on your site without you or someone you trust checking them. Anything that doesn’t add value to your site doesn’t belong there.

When I accept guest posts, I always stipulate that I, and only I, have the right to re-use the post, but that they will always be credited as the author. I’ve never had an author balk at that yet.

survival-preparedness-conflicting-viewsDon’t Be Afraid of Conflicting Views

While you want your guest posts to support your brand, sometimes having someone guest post who disagrees with you can be advantageous. By presenting a different view, you can spark conversation and even promote some social shares that will draw more traffic to your blog. That doesn’t mean you should subject your readers to extremist views, but don’t be afraid of offering something a little out of the ordinary now and then.

Guest posts can relieve the pressure to create new, relevant content, while still providing your readers with fresh content they’ll enjoy reading. If you craft some guidelines and offer guest posting on your blog, the time you save will be welcome on other tasks.

About Sheldon Campbell

Doc Sheldon is co-founder of Top Shelf Copy – a content strategy and SEO services firm with offices in San Diego, California, and Albany, New York – where he specializes in technical SEO and Content Strategy. Doc has over 30 years experience in marketing and professional journalism bolstering his 9 years online marketing background. In addition to his primary interest – the Semantic Web and the technologies to achieve that end – Doc also performs organic search optimization services for Top Shelf’s clients worldwide, specializing in content strategy services.

Comments

  1. I don’t often accept guest posts on my blog, I do only when I really don’t have time to write
    thanks for sharing
    this awesome post

  2. I think many bloggers are afraid of accepting guest posts, but definitely this is a way to good. Excellent tips of how to select guest authors and scheduling the content. Definitely accepting guest posts will create engagement with other people in business and as might bring some extra traffic.

  3. This is very on-par with what I tell my clients when they want to just accept any guest blogger who asks. You need to be selective and really pick someone who will improve the blog and not just add fluff. Thanks for the post.

  4. Thank you for this useful article.

  5. Guest posting has been very helpful to me. Of course, I am always careful on who can guest post to me so that it won’t hurt my site in any way.

  6. Really interesting points here, at the moment we don’t accept guest posts but after reading this I think we will! thanks for this post!

  7. When I started my blog, I though that guest blogging will help me in updating it regularly. Initially, I didn’t get much response, but even after that, the guest posts quality wasn’t good enough.
    I guess that was because of guidelines and stuff. Can you think of any other reason?

  8. Like kalpit my experience is also not good because I tried many guest posters but there was a question mark on the quality of the articles which was bad with passage of time. So now I am only doing myself.

  9. Neither do I, Anis. Sometimes finding, reviewing, editing guest posts seems to take more time than just sitting down and writing one myself. But if you’re selective, you can find you’re getting new traffic as a result, so it can be worthwhile.
    Thanks for the comment!

  10. Thanks for commenting, Carl. Yes, with Google getting more critical every day of our 1st and 2nd degree connections, folks have gotten nervous. But I think anyone that wasn’t being cautious about who they allowed to guest post before was still being foolish.

  11. Yes, I’ve run into that too, Lou. Thanks for dropping in.

  12. It can be helpful, if, as you say, you’re careful. Thanks for commenting, Dylann.

  13. Hi, Daniel-
    Great! Just be selective and you should be okay. Thanks for the comment.

  14. A lot of things can come into play, Kalpit. Maybe the niche you’re in isn’t heavily populated with interested users, or maybe it’s over-populated with niche blogs that are more established than yours. It’s hard to say, without digging into your situation a little.
    Thanks for commenting and good luck!

  15. Hello, Muzammil-
    Quality should always be a major concern. Even valuable content isn’t enough if a post is poorly written, in my opinion. But, there are good writers out there in the blogosphere… don’t give up looking.
    Thanks for dropping by!

  16. With the constant need for content guest posting is becoming essential. With clear guidelines this is a great way to get rich content while offering different opinions. However unless you’re a popular blog it’s kind of difficult to be picky because you wont get much guest posting offers.

  17. I do guest posting and I agree with all your points above. I have already encountered different bloggers, some of them will accept your work instantly and others are not.

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