So, this morning I was in an exchange with someone who’d contributed a guest blog post to a blog of which I am editor. At the end of the exchange she gave me some positive feedback about how I’d handled he blog post.
I just wanted to add what a lovely experience writing a guest blog for you has been. So often, it’s hardly acknowledged but in your case you have kept me in the loop all the way.
Now, she’d commented last week what a good experience it had been also. Last week I published the post and shared it on Twitter with my client’s following. Today I popped it into our LinkedIn group to share.
The reason I am sharing this is that is made me think. It made me realise that this person was having negative experiences guest-blogging for people. This a) flummoxes me and b) riles me a little.
Content is king. It is the most valuable thing you can have on your website. It takes time and effort to produce your own content, and sometimes it costs you money, too, if you are paying writers. So why, when someone has done the work for you – put in the thought, put fingers to keyboard, sourced some images – and sent you content you just have to paste and format into WordPress or whatever CMS you use, would you not appreciate the act? Why would you not a) acknowledge their work and b) do something in return like share the content with your audience to give the guest blogger some exposure?
Is it because you’re too busy?
Is it because you don’t understand the value of what they’ve given you?
Has content been de-valued these days because you can pay someone on Fiverr to write for you?
Chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you DO appreciate the value of content and the people who produce it for you. But let’s just remind ourselves of some good guest-blogging etiquette when it is you are on the receiving end of the relationship:
- Work with your guest blogger on the subject of the post. If they ask for a steer so that they can give you content you really want, take ten minutes to give it some thought and to pen them an email with a couple of ‘hooks.’ Or, if they’ve presented you with one or more suggestions, actually reflect on them and choose one or offer feedback if needed. This will benefit both of you because you’ll be giving them the green light and steer which remove and potential blocks to writing for you, and you’ll get content better-designed for your audience
- Set their expectations – let them know when you plan to publish the article and when and with whom you’ll be sharing it. Then deliver when you say you will. If something comes up which delays publishing or sharing – let them know!
- Let them know when you’re sharing on social media and make sure you tag them so they can get a notification and then re-share to their own audience
- If you’re adding any copy of blurb of your own to position their post, do them the courtesy of running it past them before you set it live in case they need to tweak it
- Say thank you. Thank them for taking the time to do this. You both know the exercise has been for mutual benefit, but at the end of the day the onus has been on them to do the bulk of the work. Let them know their effort is appreciated and chances are they will write for you again in the future. Plus, it’s just plain good manners!
You could sum it up with: Treat your guest bloggers as you would wish to be treated yourself.