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How To Recruit High Quality Guest Bloggers

John asked the following question about finding guest posters in our question box:

What is the best way to get a quality guest blogger to post for your site?

First things first: why should you care about having guest bloggers on your site to begin with? Well, there are several advantages attached to it, including:

  • The possibility to give your readers new perspectives and opinions
  • The possibility to cover areas and topics where you don’t have an expertise (but your guest does)
  • Increased credibility to your blog (in the case the author is an expert on his niche)
  • Reduced workload for you (we all need a break once in a while)
  • The possibility to build relationships with the guest bloggers

The only drawback of having guest bloggers, on the other hand, is connected with overdoing it or having content of poor quality published on your blog.

If you bring too many guest bloggers too often, your readers might start asking themselves why they are reading your blog and not the ones of the guest bloggers. Similarly, if the content written by the guest bloggers is of poor quality, it will inevitably affect the readers’ perception of the whole website.

As you can see, as long as you use common sense, guest blogging will only enrich your blog, so let’s see how one can get started.

How do I find guest bloggers?

As Darren wrote in the past, finding guest bloggers with a popular and established blog is much easier. That doesn’t mean, however, that small blogs shouldn’t try it. On that post he covered six ways that you can use to find guest bloggers. They represent a solid starting point, but there are five more that we could add to that list.

1. Announce it on your blog

One thing that you could do if you are trying to find guest bloggers is actually to announce it on your blog. Write a post asking for interested people, explain what kind of content you are looking for, how and where the content should be submitted and so on.

Apart from getting the word out, this announcement should also let you get an initial feedback from your readers (i.e., whether they are looking forward to the guest bloggers or not).

2. Create a “Write for us” page

If you plan to use guest articles on a consistent basis, you might want to create a “Write for us” page to encourage interested bloggers to contact you.

Make sure to include details about the blog, the subjects and type of content that it covers, how the content can be submitted and so on. The more specific you get here, the better, because it will save time both for you and for the potential guest bloggers.

Remember to highlight the benefits for the guest bloggers as well (check point 5).

3. Post in online forums and job boards

The problem with the previous two points is that they will only reach your readers and people that will somehow end up visiting your site. If that is not enough to get the things rolling, you might need to tap into external channels.

Posting about the fact that you are welcoming guest bloggers on online forums could help here. Some job boards, especially the ones covering bloggers and freelance writers, might also accept an ad listing for guest bloggers.

4. Invite guest bloggers for special occasions

Inviting guest bloggers for a special project or celebration can give people an extra encouragement to get involved. Moreover, it can foster the interaction between you and your guest bloggers, while providing fun and a great experience for the readers (if planned well obviously).

Lorelle used a similar approach when her blog was approaching the second birthday. Basically she invited many friends to take turns in publishing guest articles, for over one month.

Darren also uses this strategy when he needs to travel or stay away from the blog for a period longer than a couple of days. You’ve probably seen Problogger in “Guest Mode” before.

5. Give incentives for the guest blogger

Let’s be honest here, some passionate readers of your blog might be willing to write a guest post in exchange for nothing. The majority of the bloggers out there, however, will only do it if they have something to gain out of the deal. In other words, it must be a win-win situation.

Here are some methods that you can use to ensure that the guest blogger will also gain from the experience (you don’t need to use all of them, these are just suggestions):

  • Add a link to the guest blogger’s blog on top of the article
  • Add a byline, including a small bio of the author, at the bottom of the article
  • Add a direct link to his RSS feed and encourage your readers to subscribe
  • Add a picture of the author
  • Create a special page where all the guest bloggers are featured
  • Create a section on your sidebar where guest bloggers are featured
  • Write a monthly “Thank You” post thanking previous guest bloggers

Final considerations

The only time when you should refrain from featuring guest bloggers is when launching a blog. Setting a voice and a unique identity for a new blog is essential, and guest bloggers too early in the game might hinder this objective.

Secondly, although guest blogging has many advantages, you should still measure the results that you will get with it and refine your strategy along the way. You could use the number of comments, the traffic level, the number of RSS subscribers or any other relevant parameter to track that.

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Comments

  1. I have guest blogged a few times and it’s very useful.

  2. Greg says:

    This is a very good question. When I posted a 15$ reward for blog posts on a forum, all I got was 13 submissions of very bad quality. One should choose guest bloggers with caution.

  3. Greg, yes most of the times you will need to be very selective with the stuff you accept to publish from guest bloggers.

    It is difficult to say “no” to people that are trying to get involved with your blog, but you need to put your readers in the first place.

    If I am not wrong Darren once said that he only publishes 20% of the material that people to them, so expect a similar ratio as well.

  4. Frugal Dad says:

    I’ve just recently developed two friendships in my niche and am considering asking them to trade some guest posts on each other’s blog. I think it adds to the legitimacy of the blog, and makes the blog’s owner appear confident enough to give up some blog real estate to another author. And like you said, we all need a break sometimes!

  5. As someone who writes guest posts for other blogs. I look carefully at the RSS subscribers, if it is less than 1,000 generally I don’t think it is worth it.

  6. Mike King says:

    I think the simplest thing to get guest posts aligns with getting many things in life, and that is to simply ask for it! If you want someone to guest post, ask them to. Most people are simply afraid of rejection so never ask, but it can’t hurt so go for it!

  7. Tom Beaton says:

    Many people are looking to spread their name and get good links back to their blog so guest bloggers are not hard to come by. If your a new blog then you have little to offer in terms of traffic or SEO. In this situation you may have to pay, or just charm people into writing for you.

    Small bloggers should guest post on other small blogs in order to increase each others exposure and help each other out. Once you have some experience of guest posting your mire likely to find success on larger blogs.

  8. Mike, yeah getting proactive about it is a good strategy as well. The problem is that it might become time-consuming if you need to approach all your guest bloggers individually.

  9. Thanks for the tips. I had been wondering about this for the last week.

    For new bloggers it is especially important to become established before recruiting guest bloggers.

    Some guest bloggers won’t work with you until your site has reached an acceptable level of readership/traffic/PR.

  10. John says:

    Thanks for answering my question! I am honored:)

    The advice given here is extremely useful and I hope to implement it shortly on my site. I think a different style on my site now and again to mix things up might create a bit more buzz and help the site grow.

    JP

  11. suresh says:

    Having a guest blogger who blogs in same taste and style is always wonderful.

    Finding that kind of blogger always gives better over view on the subject of blogging.

  12. My usual blog does not lend itself very well to guest blogging, although lately I do not have time to update it more than once or twice per week.

    Perhaps guest blogging is an option. My second blog would definetly benefit from guest writing:

    http://metabloggingsecrets.blogspot.com/2008/02/bloggernoob-review-of-money-making-blog.html

    I did a review about another blog for that post. Feedback has been great so far.

  13. Troy says:

    It’s worth pointing out that sometimes non-bloggers can write great guest posts. Starting a blog and hoping to get multiple bloggers in the project before you’ve worked hard at it yourself is a recipe for failure. You need to show that you’re committed or at least a month or two before people will be willing to put their own time and energy in.

  14. Don Lafferty says:

    I’m in the process of launching a guest blogger strategy with one of my clients who has a nicely growing community on MySpace.

    My strategy involves personally inviting high profile writers from the existing community to blog about anything they want to. In return I’ll put their banner in the number one spot and put them into the top friend spot on the MySpace page until the next guest blog is posted one week later.

    I’ll and promote their blog daily for the duration of their stay in the rotation, which is five weeks. I’m also allowing the guest bloggers to choose time slots that work for their book launch, movie release or other promotional timetable.

    I’ve hesitated to announce an open call for guest bloggers as I’m fearful of devaluing the guest blogging spot for our highest profile invitees. I’m also trying to avoid as much editorial work as possible by limiting my invitations to the most professional candidates.

    Eventually, if the strategy works, I plan to open the invitation up to a wider pool of potential guests, but for now content is critically important to the value of the practice.

  15. But if you’re posting in job boards, you aren’t posting for one time guest bloggers, you are posting for paid staff writers for hire…

  16. A great post Daniel. That gives a lot of good information on how people should find Guest Bloggers, but what about people who want to become a guest blogger, finding blogs which allow this.

    How is it best to approach a blog’s owner to request whether they accept guest bloggers, where is best to find them, and do you have any tips on the subject?

    I would be really interested to hear them.

  17. Ruchir, some job boards have strict rules about what you can post, most do not.

    That means that probably you could get away with ad asking for guest bloggers, and then you just need to specify in the details what kind of arrangement you are looking for, and what you have to offer in exchange.

  18. Pua says:

    i really liked the incentive part. why else would somebody want to write a quality post for my blog?!

    but to tell you the truth even with that it’s hard to get another hawaii blogger to commit to writing a unique post for my blog. everybody is so busy writing qaulity content on her/his own blog.

    i love guest posts! it definitely adds some change to the blog.

    anybody has out there who has to say something exciting about their visit to hawaii???????? we will honor with the incentives mentioned above.

    mahalo and aloha, pua

  19. I like reading guests posts, but when they start to outnumber the actual posts made by the blog’s owner, it gets a little depressing.. if if they are good posts. I guess maybe because it seems like the blog’s owner has taken a step back.

    Either way, having guest bloggers is a great way to gain different perspectives on your blog too. *=)

  20. Lin says:

    It’s funny how often a specific topic I’m interested in reading more about suddenly appears on Darren’s blog.

    I’ve been interested in inviting guest bloggers to write posts on occasion and didn’t quite know how to go about it, but it’s not a problem anymore. Thanks! :)

  21. I am going to seriously consider adding a ‘Write For Us’ link at the top of my blog. I think that will make a lot of people aware that I am looking for guest bloggers. Cause I have not really said it anywhere.

  22. I’ve had “guest bloggers” for years – long before we called this “blogging”. Sometimes they just do a post or two, sometimes they have written again and again.

    The incentive I offer in addition to the usual links and recognition is an optional “bio” page where they can wax on about themselves and a 300×250 space that they can do whatever they want with (well, within reason): they can run an Adsense block, advertise their favorite charity, whatever.

    If content is really exceptional, I’m willing to pay for it too – haven’t done a lot of that, but there has been some.

    And yes, of course I have a “Write for this Site” page, but I haven’t had much luck with advertising that at other places. I’ve found that people don’t READ what I’m looking for and submit posts I can’t use (often good posts, just not appropriate for my site).

  23. Some blogs offer payment for guest blogs, and these will include both a byline and a link back to the guest blogger’s web site or blog. I have mixed feelings about this. One the one hand, I am a writer expect to paid for my work. On the other hand, I’m a blogger and it’s nice to gain exposure. In any case, it’s worth noting as a potential benefit for the guest. It works especially well via a submissions (write for us) page. I haven’t put a call out for guest bloggers on my own blog yet because I’m having trouble reconciling the notion of asking people to work for me for free. Yet, I’ve guest blogged without payment and was happy to do so.

    It’s an issue worth considering.

  24. jhay says:

    It’s an idea I have been seriously thinking about. Perhaps I should really consider it again since now I’m having less time to blog because of school work.

  25. Personally I never paid for guest bloggers. But I guess it depends on the situation. If the guest will bring you a really great article and credibility then it could be worth it.

  26. Four Pillars says:

    As for ‘incentives’ how about paying some cash! Nothing talks like money. If you offer $50 for a well-written guest post you will have bloggers beating down your door…

    My other suggestion is to ask commenters to guest post – some of them aren’t interested in having a blog of their own but they have the ability.

  27. I agree with some, if your blog has not reached 1k subscribers, then you cannot request for guest bloggers.
    Guest blogging definitely helps new bloggers like me who has the ability to write “attractive” posts but do not have a stable blog yet.
    For bloggers who allow guest blogging, I think the advantages they can get are: greater credibility and additional free promotion coz the guest blogger will definitely mention his blog on one of his posts.
    Incidentally, Kevin Muldoon of bloggingtips.com is allowing me to post as guest blogger to his humble site and my 3-time posts is helping me a lot to get notice. Thanks to him.

    http://www.bloggingtips.com/author/guardianangel/

  28. I wrote a guest post yesterday. I have a reciprocal agreement with the site owner. We are both in the same niche and it should benefit both of us, So its win win

  29. H! I hope I do not sound like a spammer here or using this thread to just promote my blog, but I would like to inform Andy Macdonald – SEO & Marketing Blog (the 13th commenter before this, I suppose) that I just posted a topic on my blog entitled “How to convince Blog Owners that you are a Good Guest Blogger” and I hope he finds it informative and just what answer his needs. Thanks!

    http://wherebloggersandhumansmeet.blogspot.com/2008/02/how-to-convince-blog-owners-that-you.html

  30. To choose excellent guest bloggers is a difficult task and must be done very carefully. You don’t know what you may end up with.

  31. Ray Ewwards says:

    This something that I have been considering lately but haven’t really put into effect. Thanks for the great tips on how ot approach this.

  32. Mr. Javo says:

    You are right, I think a blog has an ID and you shouldn’t hire too many guest bloggers.

  33. Tibi Puiu says:

    Guest blogging is always beneficial for both parties, but it should never be used excessively, as it will lead to dilated content.

  34. netvalar says:

    I long ago made a write for me post with basic submission rules. I try to keep a link to it in my top posts section too. However the interest from others to write a guest post has come from 2 sources.

    1 was a forum I participate in where I mentioned that I wanted at least 3 different view points other then my own on a specific subject.

    The other source was Myspace. After finding out from Ariel Publicity how “Making April” used Myspace solely to start selling 1000 tracks per week on I-Tunes. One of the things they did was regular bullitins with off the wall subjects. What I started doing last week is daily questions that relate to my niche. A few people have been answering them and 1 of the answers this week was so detailed I asked if they would be interested in having it posted publicly. As this person isn’t a blogger all I really get is a break but my readers get someone elses opinion and the subject of the article is something I can expand upon later too.

    So Phil rewrote his answer the way he wanted it to appear in public and we discussed a bio line for him along with where to link to. This gave his poetry/song profile another link potentially a few more readers.

    Oh and this brings up another good reason for guest bloggers. They may write something that you can expand upon later in your blog or maybe they will expand upon it themselves either way it has the potential to add content not only once but several times. And we all could use more content right?

  35. This is a great opportunity for blogger but I’m not sure if I can produce a topic that suits your needs. Anyway nice to know that you are giving opportunity and exposure to other bloggers.