A few weeks ago, we wrote about how guest posts can boost your content marketing,
offering tips and links to five websites you can target. But what about the other side
of the guest blogging discussion? In addition to soliciting other blogs, why not invite
bloggers to post on your website? After all, in the age of social media, aren’t we all
In a past life, I managed a company blog in Washington, DC. The blog was successful
because of its simple yet effective policy: 70 percent of the posts were written by
guest bloggers; 30 percent by the firm’s employees. The blog, Re: Philanthropy, was a
platform for those in the nonprofit sector who want to share new ideas and thoughts. It
was a win-win situation: guest bloggers promoted their work to a wider audience and the
company used the blog to engage their clients. Important tip: Don’t forget to ask your
guest blogger to share the post with their personal and professional networks.
I know you’re thinking—“How do I manage a blog (corporate or personal) so my tone
and voice aren’t diluted or worse, lost?” The answer: by maintaining a clear policy and
guidelines on who you’ll invite to guest post, how you’ll determine a topic, and how much
editorial control you’ll have over the content. The key is to be ruthless when posting
content that’s relevant and augments your brand. So, if you write about social media
marketing, only invite experts in this field to contribute. If your expertise is early child
development, ask people knowledgeable about the topic to offer their insights.
Realistically, a 70/30 split will not work if you have a personal blog. However, explore the
idea of inviting a guest blogger to write for you once a month. Or, try variations of guest
blogging: post interviews you’ve conducted or pose questions (either yours or those from
readers) as blog posts.
Gretchen Rubin, author of the New York Times bestseller The Happiness Project often
posts interviews with other fellow “happiness” experts on her blog. This strategy gives
her readers something different and fresh to look forward to and probably gives Rubin
ideas for future posts. Another blogger, Magda Pecsenye, writes about parenting issues
on her popular blog AskMoxie. She often posts reader questions and offers her thoughts
before opening up the discussion. What follows is a dynamic “Comments” section
on almost all of her posts. Pecsenye recently announced plans to write a parenting
book and shared a draft of the table of contents—ending the post with the question
to her readers: “What am I forgetting?” This post alone generated 92 comments. The
participatory nature of AskMoxie is what makes it successful and has given Pecsenye
ideas for her forthcoming book.
So, writers, how will you engage your fans today?
Sarita Venkat focuses on communications and online media for Big Fish Media.