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BlogTalk: Guest Posting

by - Thursday, July 19, 2012

Over the years, I've done guest posts for a few bloggers (and on Monday you'll find me here) and I've also had guest posters here on this blog.  I enjoy doing guest posts though they require just as much, if not more, effort than a post on your own blog. Guests posts are a great way to bring awareness of a blog to new readers but there are also a few things to consider before you try it out...

The Pros:
  • Guesting on another blog can help drive new visitors to your blog. This is especially effective if you guest post on a larger, more popular blog.
  • If you host a guest post, you get a break from blogging! Many bloggers use guest posts when they go on vacation or when posting might be a bit more sporadic (like Emma did after she had her second child)
  • If you have a successful blog with a large number of readers, guest posting allows you to "share the spotlight" with other bloggers. Supporting your community can put you in a positive light as a result. 
  • Guest posting is a great way to network. Its an effective way to develop friendships, build your influence, and reach.
  • Likely, if you guest post, the host will include a link back to your blog. These backlinks are valuable for SEO - they help search engines like Google find you.

The Cons:
  • By having a guest poster, you give up some control over your blog. You should edit guest posts for spelling or grammatical errors, and its a good idea to frame the post with an introduction or closing statement, but the content is entirely up to the guest. 
  • There's no guarantee that readers will enjoy a guest post. What if readers disagree or dislike what was written? What if nobody comments? Guest posting requires a leap of faith from both parties.
Have you guest posted on other blogs? Or hosted some on your own? A few last tips before you take the leap...

Tips on Guest Posting:
  • Don't host too many guest posts. Readers primarily come to your blog because they want to hear your voice. If that's not what they're getting, they may not come back!
  • Guest post for blogs that have a similar readership to you. If your style isn't appealing to the host's readers, they likely won't click through to your blog
  • Conversely, have guest posters whose blogs you read and admire. Make sure you are familiar with the content and writing style of your guests and ensure it fits with your own blog style.
  • Deliver a quality post that is easy for the host to implement. Here's what I do: 
    • I write a post on my blog and save it as a Draft. 
    • If I use any images in my post, I store them in an online photo storing site like Photobucket. 
    • I ensure that my photos are properly sized and the text is formatted and error free
    • Grab the HTML of the post and send that to the host
    • All the host has to do is copy and paste the HTML into a new blog post and they should see the post exactly as you wrote it
Now I want to hear your thoughts. Chime in!

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