From SEO benefits to helping establish thought leadership to providing monthly newsletter content, blogging brings a lot to the table for organizations of all types and sizes. However, for all the benefits of blogging, there are challenges too – and a lack of time is often at the top of that list of challenges.
At ClickDimensions, we split the blogging workload among several departments and individuals, including our marketing team, marketing success managers, product support and our CEO. We will also occasionally feature posts by guest bloggers outside of our organization.
Guest blogging is not only a great way to save some time on writing posts, it's an excellent strategy for bringing new perspectives and knowledge to your readers. It can also help you build or solidify relationships with the customers, partners or industry experts that are your guest bloggers. To help ensure you have the best possible guest blogging experience – because like blogging in general, it too can have its challenges – we've compiled our three top tips for guest blogging best practices.
1. Find the right contributors. When you hear the words "guest blogger," a few people might come to mind that you could approach. Maybe it's the loyal customer that posts insightful comments on your blog or the vendor whose own blog you admire. If such individuals don't automatically come to mind, ask around either on your own team or elsewhere in your organization. Perhaps a member of your sales team saw someone from a partner company give a great presentation at a conference that would make a good blog post, or one of your customer service representatives recently spoke to a customer with a great story to share. Looking at your LinkedIn connections or searching hashtags that are relevant to your industry on Twitter can also give you great ideas for people to contact as guest bloggers. As you create your list of potential guest bloggers, keep in mind that the opportunity should be beneficial for both parties. Sure, you're getting fresh content and your guest blogger is being exposed to your audience, but ask yourself if that exposure is valuable to them too.
2. Have established guidelines. If your organization already has blog editorial guidelines for internal use, you can send these to potential guest bloggers, but creating a specific guest blogging policy is also a good idea. So your potential authors know what you're looking for in a post, be sure to include information like:
- The type of content you're looking for. For example, you may prefer guest posts to be more educational than product focused.
- Word count or the typical range of post lengths on your blog.
- Any requirements related to images.
- A statement on whether you will accept content republished from other sites or only original content.
- How links can or can't be used.
- Bio guidelines for the author, such as length and the information or links that can be included.
3. Manage expectations. A guest blogging policy document will go a long way towards managing expectations when it comes to the blog content itself, but don't forget to address timelines and review processes as well. Once you have someone ready and willing to write a post for you, come to an agreement on a draft due date based on their schedule and your blog editorial calendar. Based on that due date, give them a timeframe for review and a publish date. If something changes to alter this schedule, be sure to communicate that to your contributor so everyone can be on the same page, and so your guest blogger can partner with you on promoting their post on their social media profiles.