Although guest blogging is a powerful strategy for you to get a word out about your own blog or your business, when your guest post is published you shouldn’t simply steal the limelight. You’re probably wondering what the heck she’s on about, Huh? Isn’t guest blogging all about me? After all, you wrote the post, right? Right.
Yes you wrote a guest post, but no it’s not just about you.
OK, we all agree that guest blogging is a great opportunity to help your website succeed. You get to develop your relationships with other businesses and bloggers, and you contribute to their blogs’ success by offering great content.
You also get the privilege of introducing yourself to their community for exposure and give something of value in return by sharing your knowledge. Great.
But what many guest business bloggers don’t realise is that guest blogging is supposed to be a win-win deal where the hosting blogger gives you an opportunity and you as the guest blogger would also play a role in housekeeping and promotion of your post.
What does this mean? I’ve put it all in bullet points as quick and easy guest post guidelines. By the way, just to clarify, since some people mistake ‘blog’ for article/post, when I say ‘blog’ I mean the ‘website’ you’re submitting to.
As soon as you submit your post
- Check that you also submitted a short bio. Your bio should be unique for each blog you’re writing for and must reflect the topic you’ve covered. Don’t focus on your maths degree if you’re writing about baby showers.
- Ask the blogger to let you know when the post goes live. They might email you a short link or mention you when they promote it on social media.
- Find which social media channels the blogger lives on. Follow them to show them that you’re there.
Before the scheduled date
- Prepare the best post you’ve ever written and schedule it on your blog for a time before the guest post goes live. Just write about your usual topics. The point here is to offer something extremely good to the influx of traffic you hope to receive from the other blog.
- Prepare an announcement for your site about your upcoming guest posting gig. Make it a shorter post as a synopsis to the guest post. This would be posted on your blog. Once your guest post is live, you’ll add a link to to your announcement post to guide your readers to check it out. If the blogger has a button or special banner then place that in your short post. Park this announcement until the guest post goes live.
- Write to your business contacts. Assuming that your business contacts are not receiving your blog posts, prepare an email campaign to them. Perhaps only do this if the guest post is relevant to them. So don’t automatically send a guest post about your pregnancy or freak footy accident to your suppliers. In the email, also introduce the blog owner and a little bit of background. When the email goes out with the post link, don’t distract readers with additional links. Keep it short and sweet. Again, park this until the guest post goes live so you can add the link.
- Let the blogger know how often you’ll be monitoring the comments. As a guest blogger, it’s best you monitor comments on your guest post. So let the blogger know the estimated frequency of your visits. If there’s the opportunity to sign up to comments or the blog itself, then do that.
On the day
- Keep an eye out for the notice that the blog post is live. Share the story with your readers and followers before the end of the day.
- Check on the guest post at least every two hours to monitor the comments readers are making on the post. Maybe reply to a few at a time whenever you visit.
- Keep calm if the comments are negative or too overwhelming. Contact the blogger (nicely) and ask for their input. Don’t overreact when you contact them and keep an open mind because not every reader needs to agree with your story.
- Do NOT under any circumstance, respond to negative comments without the blogger’s consent. My view is you’re a guest in someone’s house and you’ve just told your story to their friends. If the friends don’t receive it well, don’t jump in and argue. Look to the host for a hint on whether to clarify, drop it or debate in a polite manner. Once consent is given, respond to negative comments in the style of “Thanks, Mike, for your comment. It’s good to have different perspectives…” and keep it short.
- Monitor social media and be quick to respond to any feedback you receive. Answer all questions and if the number of comments is not too overwhelming, acknowledge each person commenting.
- Write a comment on the post to tell the blogger that you’re grateful for the guest blogging opportunity. Mention some of the new ideas received from comments the others made.
- Share the guest post again, perhaps four times that day and then once to twice a day for the next two days. Whenever you share, mention the blogger’s name. If you’re on Twitter or Facebook, tag them.
- Monitor any Facebook postings from the blog’s page on your story. Do the same thing as with the website comments, reply to them, jump in and offer your support.
- If anyone retweets the story, respond, thank them and engage into meaningful conversations. Thank each person for their feedback.
Before end of the day
- Email the blogger to say a big Thank You for featuring you as a blog guest. Show your appreciation by giving some kudos on social media.
- Share one of their other posts with your readers to show how much your enjoyed guest blogging.
- Invite the blogger to guest post. Let the blogger know if you want them to consider appearing on your blog. You don’t need to send them topic ideas or discuss guest posting right away, just a quick mention to feel free to guest post is fine.
- Ask permission if you want to republish your post. You might feel the urge to get your post republished elsewhere. Do be careful and ask the host blogger for permission and then mention in the reprint that it first appeared on their blog.
After the day
- Double check that you’re subscribed to the comments for your guest post. If there’s no option to subscribe, ask the blogger to let you know when they need you to respond.
- Continue to interact on social media and on your blog, with the new audience and respond to their queries.
- Applaud other guest bloggers if any others appear on the blog within days or hours of your guest post. Follow them on social media and promote their posts as well.
- Say thanks to the other guest bloggers who mention your name or promote your posts, blogs and status.
So, there you have it. My list of essentials of guest blogging etiquette for experienced and noob guest bloggers. If you need some more tips then please ask in the comments below.
Businesses: Do you guest blog? Do you invite guest bloggers to your business website? What are your thoughts on these etiquette rules?
Hosts: Do you think bloggers are doing it right? Do you find it useful that a guest blogger returns to comment on their post?