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How to Find Fresh Expert Guest Posters for Your Blog

Here’s a quick tip that I’ve used a few times with success over the last couple of months on my photography blog.

Like most bloggers I find it difficult to sustain writing a new tip or tutorial for Digital Photography School everyday. I do want to provide readers with helpful tips on a daily basis but after a year of writing and in the busyness of life it can be difficult.

As a result, recently I’ve been approaching a few experts to contribute to the blog.

I’ve done this before on different blogs but what I’ve done differently this time is look offline for the experts to write guest posts for me.

Where have I found my guest bloggers?

Two places:

1. Magazines and Periodicals

I subscribe to a number of digital photography magazines to help me keep inspired and up to date on my niche. One of the things that struck me a couple of months ago was that all of these magazines regularly feature interviews and guest articles with Professional Photographers. Many of these photographers have their own websites (usually not blogs).

On a whim one day a recently I emailed two of the Pro Photographers featured in these magazines and introduced myself. I asked them if they’d be interested in writing a guest piece for DPS in return for a little publicity of their site.

2. Books

The other place I’ve found guest posters recently is in my local bookshop. No – they were not there browsing the digital photography section – they’d written the books there.

Again, just to see what would happen, I tracked down and emailed the author of one photography book asking if he’d be interested in a guest post in return for a little publicity for his book (with my own Amazon affiliate link).

Does it Work?

Before I tell you what happened as a result of my approaches – let me tell you why I suspected the technique might work….

  • They’ve demonstrated their expertise and ability to communicate
  • They’ve demonstrated their willingness to write for publicity already (in magazines)
  • They have something to gain from participating (links to their sites/books)

What happened?

  • One of the magazine authors emailed within an hour agreeing to write a post.
  • One of the magazine authors didn’t reply for a month – but yesterday did and offered not only to write one guest post – but a series of 10 of them! He’s already written a few and we’ve agreed to release them 1 per week over the next few months.
  • The book author agreed to a guest post and is interested in doing more (one per month) depending upon the results of the experiment.

I’m pretty happy with the results to this point. I’m yet to get any of the posts actually in my inbox so there jury is still out on it – but the initial response has been very positive and I’ve already approached a couple more people to participate.

I particularly like this strategy because it brings new faces to the blogosphere. Usually guest posts tend to come from other blogs in a niche. While this can be very effective – it can sometimes produce posts that are nothing too new. Bringing in authors from outside of the blogosphere can bring a new voice that your readers may not have heard before.

Time will tell how it works out – but it’s an experiment with promising results so far.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Exploring outside of your niche is one of the best ways to find new content. It’s been recommend for a while when you’re looking for new information, and it sounds like it works when looking for new writers as well.

    As a reader of your DPS blog, I’m looking forward to seeing what some of these experts bring to the table.

    Now, I’m off to build traffic to my blog so that I actually have something to offer in return for guest writing : )

  2. CatherineL says:

    Hi Darren – That’s a great way to find guest bloggers. Did you email others aside from the ones who replied? What percentage of the ones you contacted have replied? I thought it would be wise to check this first. It would be great if everyone replied, but not if you’d contacted 100.

  3. Great way to get new ideas on blogs. I have used various other bloggers but to go out to main stream media is an excellent idea.

  4. I believe that pulling guests with knowledge in their field is WONDERFUL. I routinely reference others work such as authors, government officials, and field specific individuals.

    This is a GREAT tip and I will put it in action on my own blog.

    Thank you,

    Jason MoneySpace

  5. This has worded for my with DeadMule. When she was Books Editor for Popmatters she worked with publishers and authors everyday while filtering the books to the 70 reviewers under her. Now when she needs to interview someone for the DeadMule there seems to be an endless supply to pull from.

  6. RobMalon says:

    Very sound idea. I was actually just talking to a friend of mine last night…Catching up on the past 4 years. I found out he had been playing around in a related nitch and offered him to guest post his knowledge and experience as I am doing with my blog already. He agreed so its something we’ll be setting up shortly

    I think if you just keep this attitude in mind while going through everyday life you’d be suprised how many oppertunities there are to get someone elses opinion and ideas. And you can always rely on the fact that most people like to talk about themselves and their experience. :)

  7. Darren I absolutely love this idea! I’ve taken the same approach in having guests on a weekly podcast I’ve done for a few years, and its worked tremendously well in that medium, so why not in blogging?

    I will definitely be trying this out on my blog and have already spent about an hour researching experts in my blogs focus field of ethics and technology. I will let you know how the results go.

  8. The fact that you are going after proven authors is also a good thing… it’s difficult sometimes to find writers that will generate quality content.

    Good thought, something I’ll keep in mind in the future.

  9. Kevin says:

    good post Darren. I definately think that if you are in the position you are in, eg multiple blogs, you need to outsource a lot of the posts from time to time.

  10. Pedro says:

    Darren,

    Great idea however it may be difficult to do that unless your blog has a decent amount of traffic. How would you find guest posters if your blog does not have that much traffic?

  11. AJ says:

    Excellent idea.

    There are several advantages to getting a guest poster even if the post is something that you have covered:

    A different way of explaining the concept may make sense to some of your readers.

    Two voices. People are more inclined to believe something if they hear it from multiple sources.

    Repetition. Learning can be facilitated by hearing something multiple times.

    The voice of authority. Some readers may find your poster has more credibility because of having sold a book, having a regular magazine article, having a title, or just having a following.

    Could bring more readers to your site. It’s an excuse for your guest-poster to put out a press release saying that the author will be posting on your blog.

    New reader. Just because you said it a year ago doesn’t mean that I was reading a year ago and may not yet have found the article in your archives.

    Even getting a post that doesn’t agree with what you’ve said in the past can be worked to your advantage. You are presenting — as a public service to your audience — an opposing viewpoint so that your readers can decide for themselves what works.

  12. This is a wonderful idea, and I believe it helps new readers come along, when the larger authority figures post on a blog in a similar niche… because they’ll usually tell their fans and frequent readers about it.. who will then follow on to your blog to see what they wrote. It’s a win-win!

  13. Chuck says:

    Great idea. Way to think big.

    I also think it’d be fun to find bloggers who write on one topic to write on another one instead.

    Usually, bloggers are successful because of their style in addition to their expertise. I think it’d be fun to mix it up a bit and see Darren write about gossip for example…

  14. These are solid ideas! I think smaller bloggers (read: me) get too involved in our own little arms of the blogosphere and forget about traditional media outlets like magazines and books.

    Thanks for reminding us, Darren :)

    Do you mind if I ask you which authors you approached? I’m particularly curious about the book author.

  15. pearl says:

    great tips Darren… thanks!!

    I emailed my new readers (just three ‘coz I have very little traffic to begin with) and got a guest poster who is much more established and has a larger reader base…….hopefully guest content will bring in some new kind of audience to my blog… but I am interested in learning how to then keep those readers that you attract with the guests?

  16. Sean says:

    Love this idea, but I was just wondering if this would be reccomended for a new blogger, considering the fact they haven’t established themselves 100% yet?

  17. Darren Rowse says:

    I wouldn’t do it too early Sean – although even after a month or two an occasional guest post can work out well – just keep them occasional until you get yourself established though.

    Having said this – some blogs have the author’s identity as more central than others and for a blog where the author is less central then it wouldn’t matter so much.

  18. Barbra says:

    As RobMalon said, “I think if you just keep this attitude in mind while going through everyday life you’d be suprised how many opportunities there are to get someone elses opinion and ideas”

    For example, later this week I’m taking a day off to go to a big arts and crafts festival up-island. My primary reason for going is recreational, but I’m going to take my mp3 recorder and interview various participants about their home based businesses. I’ll then get the interviews transcribed and use the interesting bits in my http://www.homebusinesswiz.com blog. And if I had a podcast I could use the material there as well.

  19. Tim Linden says:

    Now if I could only find your photography blog.. I’d subscribe! LOL I’m overtired and can’t seem to find a link to it on your about page.

  20. Tim Linden says:

    OK found it on b5 nevermind

  21. Glen Allsopp says:

    As long as these enquiries actually do turn into blog posts instead of just those people saying they will then it will have certainly been time well spent

  22. Interesting idea Darren. Like Pedro mentioned above I suspect this would work better for you given how popular your blogs are. There’s a lot more incentive for the writer than there would be writing for the rest of us.

    However I think this could till work well for less known bloggers. The key would be in who you contacted. If you contact magazine writers who aren’t well known either the incentives match up more. Similarly for book authors on less read subjects.

    The key is to target a writer where you both derive benefit from the guest posting opportunity.

  23. Mr Review says:

    Excellent post mate. I always tried to think of ways to get guest posters.
    You have offered informative methods and information.

    Best Regards,
    Mr Review

  24. ApOgEE says:

    This is great! It will also help to enhance blog contents where the guest blogger is already a writer and we can expect great articles from them.

  25. Steven Snell says:

    Hi Darren, those are good ideas. I’m sure the quality of writing that you get from them will be very good. It should also be good for your readers to get some fresh content.

  26. Brian Auer says:

    Hey now, don’t forget those “experts” you scrounge up from the other photography blogs. ;-)

  27. I guess the moral of the story is: you’d be surprised at the kinds of people who’ll agree to a quick e-mail interview!

  28. Darren, did any of those contacts ask you about being paid to write? Did you pay anyone to guest write?

    I would assume that you don’t, but then you and your blogs are famous and attract lots of traffic, so there are more incentives for the guest authors to write for such blogs even without being paid.

  29. Ryan says:

    Great post. When someone contributes to your blog do you have them sign anything stating that the blog now owns that content? I’m just curious about what would happen if a contributor wanted to remove their content after it had already been posted (e.g. maybe they decide they should have been paid).

  30. w2look says:

    What a great idea! I am relatively new to blogging and I am already having some trouble coming up with fresh content and ideas for my comparison shopping blog. I guess ‘m wondering some of the same things as the others though, did you get the authors to contribute for free? Just how did you get their contact info?

  31. Clara says:

    I have a guest contributor who’s an established author and we have a excellent relationship (almost 7 years!), I’m able to have more content, promote the author’s book through my affiliate link and I can even introduce other related books. And of course, the content belongs to the author.

  32. David Mackey says:

    Good thoughts. I like the idea of introducing people who are better known offline, as they may not already have all the connections.

  33. I have asked for a few industry people to write a guest column for my blog and I can tell you that everyone has said yes. I have yet to receive the articles but look forward to having someone else bring something to my blog. You are correct, their articles could bring on new people to view your blog. I can only hope that this happens for me. Thanks for the post,
    Joe

  34. What a great idea. I think to many of us who blog, featuring a guest as well as being a guest, can bring in a fresh perspective on our specialty. I would definitely consider both using and being a guest poster.

    James Hofheins
    @jwhof
    Service is The Action Form of Love blog
    http://serviceafol.blogspot.com