As a blogger, you’ve probably come across guest blogging before. Or, you may have been contacted about it and seen it on other blogs. Nevertheless, you’re not entirely sure what it entails – or how to use it. Today’s post will provide a deep dive into the world of guest blogging, answering all of your biggest questions. By the end, you will know exactly what it is, how to use it, and much more.
Let’s get right into things by answering the most obvious question of all…
What is guest blogging?
You can probably work this out, as it is quite self-explanatory. On a basic level, guest blogging is where different people contribute to a blog. The reason they’re ‘guests’ is that they’re not permanent fixtures on the site. You can be paid to partake in guest blogging (we’ll get to that later), but you’re not a guest if you’re employed to contribute to a blog. Does that make sense?
In essence, a guest blogger is someone that doesn’t own or work for the blog, contributing work now and then.
How can you use guest blogging?
There are two main ways to take advantage of guest blogging and guest bloggers:
- Invite guest bloggers to contribute to your site
- Guest blog on other websites
The first idea is very popular as it means you have fresh content on your site. It can bring more unique articles, offering new things for your readers to engage with. It also comes in handy when you might be too busy to create your own content. Instead, get guest bloggers to contribute for you, ensuring your readers have something to read.
The second approach is mainly used when you’re starting out. It’s a way of spreading the word about your blog and showing off your writing skills. Usually, you write for another blog, and they let you link back to your site. This way, both of you benefit from the work. They get a free piece of content, and you potentially get some traffic back to your site.
What are the benefits of guest blogging?
Guest blogging comes with a lot of benefits, mainly surrounding the marketing side of your blog. It is seen by many as the smartest way to direct more traffic to your website, increasing readership and making more money. The idea is that a guest can bring in traffic from their existing audience. This attracts them to your site, where your content keeps them hooked.
If you write a blog for someone else, this could also get more traffic. You saw how this was possible in the previous point, so there’s no need to go over it again. It is worth pointing out that the more popular your blog is, the more traffic you can generate as a guest poster. In essence, your name comes with a reputation. People may have heard of you before – or seen your blog somewhere else – and it encourages them to visit it. But, these people may not have gone to your site if it wasn’t for the guest post you produced!
Alongside this, guest blogging is a great way to earn some extra money on the side. When you establish yourself as a premium blogger with excellent content, people might reach out to you and ask for your posts. They may want you to blog on their site in exchange for a fee. You can now earn money by simply writing a few hundred words, drawing up some invoices, and waiting for the payment to come in. All the while, your actual blog still generates income as it usually does. Consider this a side hustle to try if you keep getting asked to guest blog.
Finally, guest blogging is beneficial as you can give back to smaller bloggers. Remember, you were a small blog at one point, so it makes sense to help others out. You give them a platform to showcase their work to a larger audience, helping them grow. Of course, as mentioned previously, this happens to you if you’re a small blogger; guest-write on bigger blogs to gain more traffic of your own.
In summary, the benefits of guest blogging are:
- Drive more traffic to your website
- Increase your loyal audience figures
- Earn an extra source of income
- Help out small bloggers
How should you take advantage of guest blogging?
You’ve seen the two main ways to use guest blogging, but how do you take advantage of this? Specifically, how do you get the most out of it? Believe it or not, there are right and wrong ways of approaching this. When done incorrectly, guest blogging won’t yield the benefits listed above.
Generally, these are the best practices to follow:
Find blogs/bloggers relevant to your content
This is definitely the most important thing to remember. A big mistake is finding blogs or bloggers that have nothing to do with your content. For instance, you run a mom blog, but let a guest blogger write a piece on the top 5 sports cars of 2020. Where’s the correlation between your blog content and that piece? It will make no sense on your site, and your audience won’t bother reading it. Any readers that come from the guest blogger’s website aren’t likely to stick around as the rest of your work doesn’t interest them.
The same happens when you write for other blogs; find sites that share an audience with you. This allows you to create relevant content that the readers are interested in. As such, there’s a high chance they’ll come on over to your site as well. Realistically, most people won’t let you write on their blog if your content doesn’t fit anyway. Take up this same approach when welcoming guest bloggers to yours.
Set your own rates if charging
If you charge for guest posts, make sure you set your own rates. Loads of huge blogs will try to rip you off by paying a tiny fee for your post. They try to make out that you benefit from the resulting traffic, but you should still know your worth! Do some research to see how much the average content writer charges per post, and set your fee in the same region. It ensures that you get fairly paid for any guest posts you produce on other websites.
Set some ground rules
This kind of relates to the first point on finding the right bloggers for your site. Essentially, you need to set some ground rules for all guest bloggers. Of course, the main rule is that the content fits the site – simple. However, implement other rules as you see fit. For example, make it a rule that they can’t swear or reference taboo subjects. This might be something you feel strongly about on your site, so you need to ensure they follow these rules.
Basically, it creates boundaries for guest bloggers when they create posts. You can also talk about things like the number of links you want per post, if they need to find images, and so on. If they follow the rules, you’re guaranteed to see content that fits your site and is suitable for your audience.
Proofread and edit the pieces
Obviously, you expect that guest bloggers will edit their work before submitting it to you. If they don’t, it’s a clear sign they probably don’t deserve to feature on your website. Either way, you should still edit and proofread it yourself. This is to ensure that everything adds up and fits your rules. It’s also a chance to pick up on any spelling/grammatical errors that slipped through when the writer was editing. Think of this as the quality control step just before the post is published.
Don’t go overboard
Lastly, make sure you don’t go overboard with guest blogging. This relates to both ways of using guest blogging. You don’t want to go crazy and publish hundreds of guest posts every month. Some bloggers do this as it means more content – meaning more views. In reality, it annoys your regular audience as they feel like you don’t care and only want to get views and money. So, you gain some content, but you can lose a loyal audience. Keep things simple; maybe have a couple of guest blogs a week, depending on how much content you publish yourself.
Similarly, don’t post on every single blog you can find. It’s tempting to do this – particularly when you’re trying to grow your own blog. Still, you end up wasting time and content on other websites. If you produce 50 guest posts in a week, how will you have time for your own site? Any traffic you gain will be put off by the complete lack of content on there! Always prioritize your blog – guest post now and then when you have time.
To round everything up, guest posting is very useful for bloggers at all stages of your career. Write posts for other websites to drive traffic back to your site, then invite people to write for you to further expand your audience. The final two sections are the most important ones: pay attention to the guest blogging best practices to see all of the benefits!
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