Have you been thinking about having guest bloggers on your site, but just not sure how to go about it – or if you even should? Maybe someone has asked to be a guest blogger on your site, or asked you to guest blog on theirs! I’ll go over a few things for you to think about, and hopefully answer some questions you already may have.
Why would I have guest bloggers?
It’s one less you have to write! – Seriously, this business of blogging can be very time-consuming, not to mention that sometimes (maybe all the time for some) we just don’t want to write anything! So, you can either hire someone to write for you, which is a great option if you can connect with some good writers, but of course, quality writing doesn’t come cheap, or invite guest bloggers.
A new perspective for your readers – When choosing a guest blogger for your website you will want to choose someone who will write something that will appeal to your readers, and offer something from a different point of view. I often write about the technical aspects of your online presence, so maybe I will have a guest blogger who would write about the emotional side of online marketing or tips on using social media to connect with your readers.
You may gain a new audience – Whoever is guest blogging for you will, one should sincerely hope, be promoting the blog they have just written, just as they would promote a blog post they have written for their own website. This will bring new traffic to your website, possibly earning you more followers, and maybe even new clients.
Why would someone want to guest blog on my website?
Gain more exposure – Your guest will now be in front of new eyes, and just as you may gain a new audience from the traffic they have brought to you, the same can be true for them. If your website visitors enjoy the blogger’s post, they may start following that blogger and may even choose to do business with them down the road.
Links back to their website – We are all looking for more traffic to our website, right? I mean, what good is a website that no one visits?
Social media followers – Initial traffic back to our websites is great, but keeping a connection to our new followers is easiest done through social media, so getting new followers through a guest post can be gold!
The Nitty Gritty of How To Accept Guest Blogs
Ok, so we have covered some “why’s”, now let’s cover the “how’s”.
Before the post
Have you read some of the posts written by your potential guest blogger? What about checking out their social media accounts? What is the response from their readers like? Does the blogger respond to comments on their blogs and social media posts?
Talk to them about how they will manage the blog post once it is published and explain to them any of your expectations. Do you expect the blogger to respond to any comments/questions that are left on the blog, or on your social media shares of the post? How will they promote the post, either on social media, email marketing, or on their own website As I mentioned above, we would sincerely hope that guest bloggers would want to promote their own post, but do not take that for granted. Remember what’s been said about assuming? 😉
Decide how you want to manage users
There are many ways to allow someone to publish a post to your website. You will need to decide whether you want to give them access – even limited – or if you will post the article yourself.
Will the guest blogger be returning? In most cases, this answer is “no”, so you may want to pass on creating a user account for a one-time writer, especially if you will likely have many guest bloggers over the years.
If the guest is someone who may be a frequent contributor, you may want to set them up as a user, and I will go over the different options for that below.
Option #1 – You post the content yourself
You have probably seen this on many sites – where the name of the author is “Guest Blogger” or something like that. This means that there is one user set up with the name “Guest Blogger”, and all guest posts will be posted by this user. You can check out my blog post on creating users, and for this example, you would use an email address that you have created specifically for this user account, maybe firstname.lastname@example.org. You will not be receiving email at this account, necessarily, but each user does need to have a different email address, so you would not be able to use your email address for this user.
You can ask the blogger to either email you, or share in a Dropbox or Google Drive folder, the post content and any images. They should also share with you a mini bio, a headshot, and their social media profiles. Another option is setting up a Gravity form for blog post submissions.
Usually, the guest author is introduced at the beginning of the blog post, and a brief bio with a link to the author’s website, and possibly social media, is posted at the bottom of the post.
Option #2 – Your guests post the content
This will require setting up a user account for the guest blogger. You can choose either contributor, author, or editor as their role. The link to my post explaining user roles is in option #1, and here is a link to a more in-depth look at user roles on WordPress.com, for those of you who are interested.
Most will choose either contributor or author, as this will give more limited control to the guest. Both of these options will require a website administrator or editor to approve and publish the blog post. I would strongly suggest speaking with the guest about proper image sizing and optimization (I’ve written a post on that here) before they upload any images, and then check the images in your media library before posting if necessary.
In this instance, the author’s bio and any relevant links to their website and social media accounts will have been filled out in the user’s profile and will automatically (as long as your theme is set up that way) show up at the bottom of the blog post.
After the post
Just as you would with any of your own blog posts, share this one to social media, and to your email subscribers, and verify with your guest that they are doing the same.Show your guest blog posts the same love you would your own! Make sure you share on social!Click To Tweet
Respond to comments
Both you and your guest can reply to comments by users, where appropriate. If you have added your guest blogger as an editor, they will be able to monitor comments from within the WordPress dashboard, otherwise they can reply to comments just as any other subscriber to your website would, making sure that they are properly identified when doing so.
Thank your guest
Make sure to show your guest some appreciation and be sure to tag them on social media when mentioning their guest post.
I’d love to hear about your guest blogging experiences – either as the guest or host, and any tips you may have for others!