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.