Anyone running a B2B blog is always on the lookout for guest bloggers from outside their own organization. They provide much-needed interesting content, they offer support by sharing links with their networks and they widen the pool of expertise on offer to your readers. But how do you get those quality guest bloggers to contribute to your blog? Here are the ten steps to building a network of guest bloggers that I have followed for the B2B PR Blog and the B2B Social Media Guide.
1. Create a quality blog
Seems a bit obvious but, judging by the number of people who have invited me to guest post on their poorly managed blogs, it needs to be said. Ask any blogger – they will be more inclined to write for you if they feel it is worth their while – that means they need to feel they are contributing to something that, at a minimum, reflects the professional standards they adhere (or aspire) to. That means
great content and appealing design.
2. Optimize your blog for search engines
No matter how great your content or how beautiful your design, if Google (and other search engines) can’t read it in their preferred language, then you’re not going to rise up the search rankings and attract organic search traffic. The number of people willing to contribute to your blog is directly related to the number of readers it has, so if you’re not attracting search traffic you’re not going to be attracting the guest bloggers.
3. Drive traffic to your blog
Do whatever it takes to get relevant people to read your blog. I’ve used social bookmarking, shared every post on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, guest blogged myself, and offered a weekly prize for the best comment to encourage engagement. The benefit for both my blogs has been a steadily rising readership.
4. Have a contributors page
Any would-be guest blogger should be able to easily establish whether you take contributed content, and if so, what kind of content you take and what form you want it in. Make this prominent so that there is never any confusion.
5. Follow other bloggers
Know a great blogger who you think would be a valuable addition to your network of contributors? Develop an understanding of who they are, their preferred subjects and the types of guest posts they offer by engaging with them on social networks. Armed with this information, you’ll be able to make a targeted pitch.
6. Give something back
Most guest bloggers are happy to be paid in backlinks (the currency of SEO), tweets, Facebook likes or comments. Whatever it is, make sure your offering to the blogosphere is appealing.
7. Find experts in your field
Approach experts or up and coming experts directly on LinkedIn. Look for people in positions of power or influence and invite them (use inmails) to share some of their knowledge with you. If they say no, then why not play the long game and go for their second in commands? They’ll ultimately probably be promoted into those positions of influence, and they might be more willing to share their stories on the way up.
8. Ask PR people
It’s their job to find good guest posting opportunities for their clients. The best way to get them? I send out enquiries asking for experts in certain fields on Gorkana and Response Source – it’s incredibly effective, but only if your blog meets certain minimum quality standards.
9. Ask for specific topics
When you make your approach, be specific – asking someone if they would be interested in contributing a guest blog on something to do with their industry is vague enough for them to say yes without actually having to commit. It also puts them in the difficult position of having to figure out what to write, which, for some people is more of a mission than writing the darn post. Asking them for their top ten tips on encouraging resellers to promote their product over a competitors’ (for example) and they will be less inclined to agree non-commitally, and more inclined to actually write it.
10. Join a blog network
There are a number of blogger networks out there that put guest bloggers in touch with blog editors. Take myblogguest.com for an example. You register your details, and outline the types of contribution you are after, and they come to you!
What are some steps you have tried to encourage guest bloggers to contribute?