One of my hangouts for bloggers is My Blog Guest, a blogging community centered on guest posts. It is just one place that I am grateful for etiquette of some responsible guest bloggers. Ann Smarty, a well-known blogger and social media user has been guest blogging and building relationships in the blogosphere for years. At her community you get both guest posts and can offer your own articles. They have also just launched a holiday contest.
If you blog you know how guest blogging is one marketing tool to help build your online presence. Through this method, you can gain traffic, build your brand and grow your list. These are all important benefits for an online business.
I both receive daily requests from potential guest bloggers and am a frequent guest blogger. Most of the requests I get never make it to my blog because they fall short of impressing me as a responsible guest blogger.
In order to be considered a good guest blogger, there are a few responsibilities that will help your writing be accepted more:
1. Responsible guest bloggers research the blog in question –
This is the first mistake many potential guest bloggers make. The requests I often get are a generic, “You have an interesting niche. I have a few ideas that your readers might be interested in,” and then their proposed topic does not even come close. Our content needs to be in line with the focus of the blog we want to be on.
Before sending our pitch to the blog owner, know what they stand for, what type of content their readers are interested in as well as what their guidelines are. If we don’t see them on the blog, ask about them.This is especially crucial if we are choosing a sub-niche. While an article on organically grown fruit trees might be interesting it won’t totally satisfy a blog that geared towards organically grown vegetables.
2. Adhere to the rules –
Falling afoul of the guidelines will not be looked on favorably by the host blog. My guidelines specifically state, “Provide appropriately credited photo (or 2) or video to go with the content.” Some of the bloggers who get a thumbs up to write here often do not follow through with this request, and others. Recently someone had valuable content and sent me a link to an image on one of the paying image and photo sites. That is not following the communicated guidelines.
We need to know what is expected of us and what is being asked in return.
3. Gauge the blog’s reputation –
Remember our reputation is going to be linked to the host blog after we make our guest appearance. In case you want to know, my blog has a global ranking on Alexa of about 150,000 and a USA ranking of 54,000; Google page ranking of 4. If your audience crosses over with mine in some way it could be a could fit. If a blog is not influential in the industry, we may not get the exposure we were hoping for from the blogging opportunity.
Blogs that are not relevant to our niche, won’t provide the targeted traffic that is often a benefit of such a venture. We want to think things through before we either ask to guest blog or get asked to contribute.
4. Build a relationship –
Don’t just do a guest stint and never communicate with the blog again. Consider checking in on it to become an active participant, leaving relevant comments and contributing to its reputation. If our first appearance was well received and we stay in touch this way with the blog owner, we just may be asked to appear again.
5. Communicate with your new audience –
When comments are made on our posts, answer them in a timely manner and with our expertise. Earlier this year when I was selected to be a guest blogger on a highly niched blog, the owner told me what time the post was going live and asked me to be there to communicate with the people’s comments. It seemed quite appropriate since the topic was, The Connected Life of a Blogger.
Our job is to add value to our blog posts, and to give the audience more of us.
6. Write stellar content –
Bring something new to the table as a responsible guest blogger.
Many guest bloggers make the mistake of thinking that mediocre, watered down recycled content will fly on a guest blogging stint. How wrong we are might manifest itself in a tarnished reputation.
Provide the same quality that we would if we were writing for our own site. That’s something to think about.
7. Reciprocate –
Return the favor by promoting the host blog’s content. Remind our audience to check out our guest posts. Post on social sites and encourage our readers to support the blogs who have offered us this opportunity.
It’s an encouraging act when someone offers to blog on our blogs. It’s something to be truly grateful for when they show the etiquette of responsibility.