The pineapple is a longstanding symbol of hospitality. To invite a guest to a party at which a pineapple is displayed was to announce firmly and clearly that no expense has been spared. The history of that symbol is long and sordid, but put yourself in the shoes of a 15th century sailor. You spend your days surviving, fighting scurvy, and callousing your hands with little more than water and prayer to sustain you. You don’t have the terminology to name vitamin C, manganese, or bromelain, but to taste a pineapple is to savour relief itself. You are at ease and you forget the cares of being so far from home. Your host is glad to provide. Learning how to host a guest blogger may not be quite so culinary, but the basic principles of hospitality and respect are as true now as they’ve always been. This post explains the basics of how to host a guest blogger, with an emphasis on building the most rewarding experience for both guest and host.
If you are a blogger, you know excellence involves:
- Great writing
- Technical know-how (HTML, SEO, etc.)
- Promoting content
- Consistently producing high quality content
- List building, and, last but not least,
- Developing relationships with other bloggers
Why are these things important?
That, of course, depends on your goals as a blogger. In general, however, these skills and activities will make your blog popular and, with persistence, allow you to monetize it.
Why Is Guest Blogging Important?
Here is a quick recap of some of the reasons why, as a blogger, it is important to guest blog:
- If you want to be a great writer, frequent writing for a variety of audiences on a variety of topics will help you improve faster, and will improve your technical skills as well.
- Blogging for others is a great way to promote your own blog and can drive content to your own site which, in turn, should help you build your list.
- If you have gotten to the point of blogging for other people, this is a sign you are on the right track in terms of building relationships in the blogosphere.
Having guest blogged and reaped the benefits, maybe now you’ve decided it’s time to give back.
How to Host a Guest Blogger
Just as blogging is more complex than it seems, hosting a guest blogger with style and flair has more to it than you might guess.
Here are 6 tips to get you going:
- Be a leader (or at least an editor). If you get a submission that doesn’t fit with your audience or goals, don’t despair. Simply explain the changes you want to your guest blogger.
- Show appreciation. Let your guest blogger know you appreciate their work. Thank you is a phrase everyone enjoys!
- Agree to promote. When you publish, give your guest blogger a link. Make sure he or she understands you will both be promoting the post. That way, you can reap the benefit of both of your audiences and drive traffic to both or your sites.
- Introduce your blogger. Just as you would introduce a guest at a party, introduce your blogger online. An introductory paragraph explaining who the blogger is and what he or she will be blogging about is enough.
- Back links. It is customary to allow a guest blogger to write a short biography with a link to his or her own blog or website. In addition, the blogger should get one follow link — with anchor text — that links to another article he or she has written. FYI: anchor text is the visible, clickable text over a hyperlink. The reason it is important is that it anchor text is weighted in the Google search algorithm and helps with SEO
- Provide stats. If you have analytics on your blog, it is very considerate to share those with your guest blogger. He or she will enjoy (or at least benefit from) knowing how successful his or her post was.
That’s it. Pretty simple.
What Hosting a Guest Blogger Is Not
Now for the bad news. Hosting a guest blogger is not a way to save tons of time or get lots of free content.
You’ll still have to do most of the formatting, possibly selecting free-to-use images (unless you require your blogger to do so), promoting, and editing.
As with any relationship, there is a potential for conflict if the parties involved are not clear about expectations up front.
Successful relationships take time and hosting a guest blogger is no exception.
Time to Celebrate
Once you have hosted your guest blogger, you can think about the future. If the experience was successful, you can either invite them back or offer to blog for them. Or both, ideally.
In any case, hosting a guest blogger shows you have reached a new level of commitment and expertise.
Have you hosted a guest blogger before? Find us on Facebook, and let us know how that experience went for you!
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