Blogs! One of the best tools we have at our disposal to share our knowledge, create an online reputation, and (why not?) implement a successful inbound marketing strategy. At least, that’s what Neil Patel says, and he’s clearly an expert in digital marketing, right? 😉
But let’s not fool ourselves, blogs are also a cause of frustration, especially among the most novice authors: we often lack ideas and perseverance, they take a lot of time and seem to give back so little, we don’t get enough visits or comments…
Isn’t there a solution to overcome all these issues? Well, there is. There is a magical solution that allows us to solve almost all the problems that a blog entails while benefiting from its advantages: guest posts. In today’s post I will explain what they are and discuss their advantages and drawbacks.
What Are Guest Posts?
Guest posts are nothing more than posts that appear on your blog whose authors are outsiders. For example, this post I wrote a couple of years ago in WPMayor was a guest post, since I was the one who wrote it in somebody else’s blog.
In this example, I was the one writing a guest post for somebody else. But I can obviously talk about guest posts the other way around. That is, we can offer third-party authors to write blog posts on our blog. And, in fact, this is something we have already done on some occasions.
You just have to find authors who, because of their background and experience, can contribute interesting content to your audience.
Opening our blog to more authors has numerous advantages, both economically, professionally, and personally. Here are my top 4 reasons for getting involved with guest posts.
#1 Broaden Your Professional Network
Getting a person to publish on your blog is not easy, especially if you’re a newbie. Obviously, when your blog has a lot of monthly visits, they’ll be the ones looking for you and asking for a spot on your blog, because posting on your blog will have a huge impact and will allow them to reach more people. But what happens when you’re getting started?
For me, guest posts are not only about the blog themselves—they are a mean to broaden your network of contacts and meet new professionals, since most of the guest authors you’ll have will be people in your field.
Looking for those possible authors, talking with them, discussing possible content that they can write in your blog (and you in theirs), and so on is a great way to bond with fellow professionals.
#2 Attract More Traffic to Your Website
When talking about attracting more traffic with guest posts, it’s usually described from the following perspective: you write something in somebody else’s blog, you probably link that post to your own blog, and then you’re able to reach their audience and attract some of their visitors into your blog. But this is also true the other way around.
When you allow other authors to write on your blog, you are not only giving them a way to make themselves known among your followers—you also allow the author’s followers to get to know you. After all, this very same author will probably promote their post on their social media and, thus, you’ll be combining marketing efforts to reach more people.
#3 Save Time while Creating Quality Content
One of the main problems that we all have when running a blog is finding time to manage it. It takes time to prepare topics, search for ideas, get valid and interesting reference, write the copy of the posts… we invest a lot of resources in maintaining a blog and the benefits we get back from it aren’t always that clear.
If we allow others to write on our blog, we reduce the cost of running a blog. Basically, it’ll be the guest authors who will spend time researching and writing a post instead of us. Obviously, you’ll have to spend some time looking for these people and validating their work… but it’s probably an easier task and, besides, you should be networking anyway 😉
#4 You Can Also Write in Other People’s Blogs
But, as I said, this method works both ways and it may be you who decides to invest some resources in writing content in other people’s blogs. With this, you will get:
- More visits, especially if you publish in websites with a lot of traffic. Some of these blogs might already be accepting guest posts.
- Increase your followers, since publishing on a recognized site (which probably reviews and validates what you write) and linking to your website is a way to increase your credibility.
- Build a stronger network of contacts. In the same way that opening your blog to others is a way to meet professionals in your sector, looking for blogs where you can write also allows you to meet new people.
I will not lie to you, although there are many advantages in letting others write guest posts in your blog (or in you writing in somebody else’s blog), there are also a few drawbacks or inconveniences you should consider.
#1 You May Have Trouble Finding (New) Authors
The first problem is precisely to get the interest of these possible authors. In the same way that you would only be willing to invest your time in writing on someone else’s blog in exchange for something (visits, recognition, dissemination…), people who might want to write on your blog also expect something in return.
If you have started the blog recently or the volume of visits you have is low, it will cost you a lot to find and convince people to participate in it. Anyway, do not give up, there are several options at your fingertips:
- Find people like you. Find professionals who are in a situation similar to yours (they are also starting) and help each other by writing on each other’s blogs and promoting your content on each other’s social networks.
- Conduct interviews. Talk to professionals in your sector and conduct some interviews. Although this gives a lot of work (you have to prepare the interviews), it is a way to get the interviewees to be the ones who, with their responses, generate new and interesting content on your website.
#2 Quality Can Suffer
Another common problem is the final quality of your posts. We all have our own style when writing, which probably varies from person to person. Some people feel comfortable writing short posts with 500 words only, discussing the hot topics of the day. Others will want to write 2,500-word posts covering ever lasting tutorials.
Be that as it may, what I’m trying to say is that it is possible that people who offer to write on your blog don’t have the same quality standards you have, so take extra care when accepting guest posts and make sure you both want the same.
A solution to this problem may be, on the one hand, being very strict accepting who writes on your blog. And on the other, creating a style guide that you share with your guest authors, so that they know what you expect of them and what style and tone they should use.
#3 Content Review and Management Tasks Can Be Quite Complicated
Although letting others write seems like the best idea ever because “others work for you,” the reality is not that simple, especially if your blog ends up depending a lot on those external authors. You will have to review the content they write, manage the topics they talk about, make sure the content is ready when it’s supposed to be ready, validate the references they use… In other words, you’ll have a lot of work managing these authors.
What Do You Think?
Guest posts are a fantastic way to reach a greater number of people, to network, and to add some variety in a blog. If you have written on other people’s blogs or even let others write on yours, tell us about your experience in the comments section below. We’ll love to read your opinion about it!