Guest posts and regular contributors can really elevate a blog to another level. One look at Man Repeller, The Glitter Guide and even IFB will show you that! Crosby's article on accepting guest posts inspired my own article for the week. I took on five contributors last year for my blog, and they've provided both a great addition and tough lessons learned. I realize many IFB members might not have even considered guest contributors before, but they can really bring some value to your blog if done right. I'll start from the beginning, and share some insight on how to know if you're ready for blog contributors:
All the ideas, not enough time
Is your editorial calendar full of post ideas that you never seem to get around to? If you're like me, you've got a ton of fun post ideas jotted down somewhere that never see the light of day. Why not bring on contributors to help bring those posts to life? I encourage my contributors to write posts about what's important to them at the time, whether that's a current trend, an upcoming event or something else. Sometimes they'll prefer to have more direction, and that's when I'll pull a suggestion or two from my post idea bank. Plus, having guest contributors on a consistent basis helps make sure you've got fresh content up regularly.
The need for diversity
Do you ever feel monotonous as far as how your posts sound? A few contributors help add diversity in the voice and perspectives of your content. In this case, it's crucial to work with your contributors and make sure their tone is congruent with yours. It's your blog after all, and your personal brand at hand. I personally love how Man Repeller has different voices but is still very much Leandra Medine; it's clear that's from meticulous communication with her contributors. Crosby's style guide suggestion is a great starting point for conveying the blog/brand voice message.
When they come to you
If you ever feel like you aren't gaining readership through your blog, an unexpected measure of this is the unsolicited guest contributor request. In other words, they'll come to you – and the legitimate contributors will have come to you because you've got an audience they want to tap into. Again, be very careful in working out your partnership with these contributors if you choose to pursue them. They likely have things they want to convey in their guest post, and it's up to you to make sure it's consistent with your blog voice and tone.
When you're ready
You may already know that you want to bring on contributors, and that's exciting! Before you reach out with your asks, however, understanding that contributors will require some time and management from you is essential. Helping them to understand not just your blog tone and voice, but when and how to post their contributor articles, how they'll be promoted (and how they can help you) and general guidance will take time, especially at first. Know that and take responsibility, and you're on the road to smooth sailing for some fabulous contributor posts!
Have you brought on blog contributors? How did you know when you wanted to bring them on?
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