Bloggers love to talk about the importance of guest posting on other blogs across the web. There are huge SEO benefits and networking benefits that come from being a guest contributor, so many bloggers offer advice for those hoping to guest post. You must write an article that is relevant to the site, reply to all comments, include backlinks only if they sound natural, etc. until you have crafted the perfect article. However, for some reason bloggers don’t generally discuss the difficulties that occur when you are on the other end of things—when you’re accepting guest posts.
Most bloggers love the idea of accepting guest posts because there are so many benefits:
- It gives you a break. This is probably the biggest reason bloggers accept guest posts on their blog. It seems much easier to edit a blog post than write one.
- The guest blogger will bring with them a new audience. Fans of that blogger will likely visit your site to see a post written by your guest; thus improving the overall visibility of your blog.
- Your blog will be full of fresh perspectives and a good variety of content. It can be difficult for one person to constantly come up with great ideas and great articles, so accepting guest posts solves this problem.
- Because you will have all of these benefits, your blog is likely to grow in popularity; therefore making you money.
However, there are also many difficulties that follow the decision to accept guest blogs. People are so caught up in being the contributors that sometimes they forget how difficult it can be to accept contributions. Before you open your arms to new writers, there are a few things you should consider:
Tips and Tricks to Accepting Guest Articles on Your Blog
1. It is important to consider whether or not now is the right time to accept guest posts.
Believe it or not, accepting guest posts right off the bat isn’t the best idea. You want to have a well-established blog before accepting guest posts so that you can create a focus. Guest bloggers need to know what your blog is about when it comes to topics, tone, style, etc. You are the best person to set the stage for your blog, so make sure you have a clear vision of what you want before letting others contribute content.
2. You should decide whether you want authors to send you an article right away or send you story ideas first.
This may not seem like a big deal, but many bloggers who allow guest posts find that this is very crucial. Everyone has their personal preferences, so this is something you should consider before making the announcement to authors. There are pros and cons to each choice. If you accept articles first, you don’t have to go back and forth with emails and you’ll only hear from authors who are serious about posting on your blog; however you could run the risk of getting material that is completely off topic (a guidelines page doesn’t always do the trick).
If you want to ask for ideas first before receiving an article, you will most likely only read articles that have the potential to be posted on your blog and you will be able to tell whether or not you want to work with someone before they go through all the time it takes to write an article. However, this option does take more time because there is more back and forth with email. You also run the risk of having a lot of people email you with ideas and then don’t follow through. Ultimately, the decision is up to you, but it’s certainly something to consider.
3. Determine whether or not you want to give contributors a WordPress login.
Some editors like to give authors a WordPress login so they can upload the articles themselves. This works great because they don’t have to publish the articles, but they can just click “submit for review.” This will allow you the editor to see all articles before they are posted on your blog. Although I think this is the easiest and most efficient method, some authors still prefer email. Email allows you to really get to know your contributors and stay connected, so it’s something to consider.
4. Have a plan regarding how frequently you want to publish guest contributions.
Many bloggers do not want to feature a guest post every day because they feel it gets away from the core of the blog. It’s usually a good idea to bring in guest posts slowly. Start with one per week, then two, and then three. How many guest posts you’d like to publish per week will affect how many contributions you can accept. You will want to give your guest authors a time frame regarding when they can expect to see their post, so it’s important to have this figure out ahead of time.
5. It is important that you craft a guidelines page for guest writers.
Most blogs have a guest author guidelines page on their blog to help ensure that they get the types of articles that will fit the blog. These guideline pages typically have topic ideas, word count, backlinks, and any type of formatting information an author may need. Therefore, it is important that you consider all of these things and make sure you state them clearly on your guest author guidelines page. Most editors allow 1-2 backlinks, want articles between 600-800 words, and like articles formatted in HTML. However, it’s completely up to you!
In the long run, the whole idea of guest posting is a good one. If done correctly you can benefit greatly from allowing guest posts, but it is important that you are prepared.