You have a blog and you need content. As we so often hear, "Content is king." Bloggers are well aware that quality content - the kind of content that readers want to come back to and the kind that will be shared across social media platforms - has enormous value. But content is never easy to come by, especially when time and resources are limited. There goes that light bulb over your head: well, what about guest bloggers? Today we are going to talk about the good, the bad and even the ugly when it comes to hosting guest bloggers on your site.
Using a guest blogger typically means free, interesting blog content in exchange for that blogger to have some needed exposure via your platforms and readership. If you find a guest blogger who is a good fit for your blog, some benefits include:
- More content, of course.
- A new, unique voice for your blog.
- Further expertise in your field.
- Crossover readership. Your guest blogger might bring new readers to your site.
- Further credibility. Reader loyalty is built since that guest blogger stands by your message, niche or brand.
- Inconsistency. No matter how enthusiastic a guest blogger might start off, don't expect regular or consistent content over time without some kind of compensation (we'll get to that later).
- Promised link backs aren't always enoughto woo a guest blogger to guest blog on your site.
- Link backs may be to your disadvantage. Did you know that links to blogs with a low SEO ranking, or links to blogs that are suddenly inactive or banned, could negatively affect your blog's SEO ranking as well? It's something to think about.
- Too many links can distract from your message. Make sure that your guest blogger doesn't end up driving readers away from your page and onto theirs.
- Don't lose your voice. Make sure guest bloggers do not make up the majority of your posts. It's your blog, and your readers want to hear from you.
Notice we mentioned earlier that the benefits are worth it when the guest blogger is a "good fit" for your blog. The blogger needs to be an expert in your blog's niche and have a genuine enthusiasm for the topic. If you find that, then the blogger needs to provide consistent content. This is not as easy as it sounds. Here are some disadvantages to having a guest blogger:
It's time to bring up the elephant in the room. Should your guest blogger be paid? WinePress of Words spells out the bottom line here:
"If your guest post is a one-time deal or only occasional, then you probably don't need to pay the guest blogger. If the guest writer appears on a regular basis, then they have become a scheduled contributor to your blog and should be paid."
If you decide not to pay your guest posters, don't expect consistency or a long-term obligation to post. Also, don't be disappointed if the writing quality isn't always there, either. If you do decide to pay guest posters, be sure to list them as a regular contributor to the blog and set up a blog post schedule.
In the end, it is up to you to decide if managing outside posts is worth it. Be clear about your expectations with any guest bloggers and make sure that both your needs and theirs are met. They are guests on your blog, after all. Welcome them, invite them to stay but don't take advantage, either.