What's in it for them? Why should they come and contribute to your blog when there are thousands more similar blogs out there in the blog sphere. If you want to attract guest bloggers these are the question you must answer.
I've lost count of the number of guest posts I have written for various blogs. Even now I have more than 50 blogs in my bookmarks where I have contributor access. I manage quite a few blogs as well so I'm perfectly positioned to talk about attracting guest posters from both viewpoints.
What Attracts Guest Bloggers
Remember the first sentence? It's all about what's in it for them. Below are few things that guest bloggers usually look for when contributing an article.
- Page rank - Whether you like it or not, PR is one of the easiest ways to determine the authority of a blog or a website. If you have a page rank 2 or above generally it's much easier to attract guest bloggers. I do contribute to lower page rank blogs if they are highly relevant to the linking websites niche.
- Comments and social shares - When submitting a guest post I look for traffic and branding opportunities as well as good back links. If the posts in a blog is getting lots of social shares and comments I'm much more inclined to contribute to that blog. It's important to remember that social shares can be faked. If a blog is getting 100's of social shares and no comments at all then I try to avoid those blogs.
- Traffic Stats / Alexa / RSS count - Few more things you can look for when submitting a guest post. Although they don't give the most accurate picture of a blog they are a fair way to measure it's popularity. If a blog is having 10,000 RSS readers you're bound to get some traffic.
- Clear and Flexible Guidelines - If the guidelines are very restrictive I tend to move away from those blogs. I'm spending a considerable time to compile a post so I need to be rewarded accordingly. If the guideline says things like only 1 back link per article, back link in author bio only, 800 word minimum etc. I usually skip those blogs. Check my write for us page for a good example of what I'm looking for.
Now you know what they are looking for lets explore how to go about doing this.
Ways to Attract Guest Bloggers
- Get your site listed - There are few sites that facilitate blog post exchanges. BloggerLinkUp (BLU) and MyBlogGuest are some of the most popular ones. Submit your site to them and and guest blogger will come looking for you. The number of request you get depends on your page rank, but something is better than nothing right? Additionally you can look for blog posts listing guest blogging opportunities and ask the site owner to list your site as well.
- Have a Write For Us Page - There are many benefits to having a separate page for this. If you're good at SEO you can get this to rank in search engines which will bring your more guest bloggers. More importantly this will give you an easy way to explain your guidelines for inquiring guest bloggers. Also make sure to display the link to this page in a prominent place.
- Increase PR and Social Shares - I know these things wont happen overnight, but try to improve these as much as possible. Get quality back links, engage with others and increase your social shares etc. All these will contribute to more people requesting you for guest blogging opportunities.
- Work With Them - In your quest to attract guest bloggers, you will come across many who are okay but not exactly the standard you're looking for. But if you see the potential in the article work with them to improve it and adjusted according to your need. I manage many blogs and if I see an article that has potential I always work with the author to improve it.
Converting Guest Bloggers to Regular Contributors
As I mentioned before I have contributed to numerous blogs and websites. But I regularly contribute to only a handful of blogs. What's so special about these blogs that makes me contribute again and again. I have listed down some of the reasons below and if you implement them you have a good chance of retaining the best bloggers.
- Build a Community - This is definitely one of the best ways to convert one time guest bloggers into regular contributors. But building a community doesn't mean adding all contributors to a Facebook group and forgetting about it. You should nurture it, care for it and make the community a valuable resource for all the contributors. A great example of this can be found at TweakYourBiz, a small business blog with many contributors. It was truly a privilege to be added to their Facebook group for contributors and it was amazing how they work together to build a successful blog.
- Treat Their Articles as Your Own - A common mistake made by most blog owners is to give less prominence to guest posts when promoting posts. Don't ever do that, try to promote them the same way as you would promote one of your own blog posts. When you're tweeting try to give credit via your Twitter handle, when promoting in Facebook or Google+ try to tag their user profile in the description. These little things show the contributor that you care, making it more likely that they will contribute again and again.
What Do You Do to Attract Guest Bloggers ?
Mentioned above are few things you can do to attract guest bloggers based on my personal experience. Having contributed to hundreds of blogs I can safely say that if you follow the steps above you'll be like a magnet to guest post contributors. Just make sure to maintain the quality of your blogs by learning to say no to sub standard guest posts. Now's your turn to be a super star. What's your secret tip to attract guest bloggers ?