“The rising tide lifts all boats” is an expression that definitely applies to authors. You can view other writers as your competition, or you can decide you’re all in the same boat and should help each other out. But beyond being a team player, there are other benefits to you as a host.
(Psst! If you haven’t read the rest of the series, check out 6 Reasons to be a Guest Writer, Where to Find Opportunities, 10 Awesome Ideas for Guest Posts, and Getting the Most out of Interviews.)
Driving Traffic to your Site
Whenever someone writes a guest post, they will want to promote it. This means sharing in their newsletters and social media, as well as telling family and friends. So, in addition to your own regular readers, you should see a wider audience visiting your blog. This raises the chances that they will click on other posts or read about you, and they may subscribe if they like what they see. This may be a one-time boost, or this writer could take off at some point in the future and then more people will be searching for them.
Taking Pressure Off of You
You’re busy. Who isn’t? So, it can be hard to create a continuous stream of content to keep your readers happy. If there’s a big gap, the fickle public may move on to something else. But if you can find ways to provide interesting content related to your core reader interests, they won’t mind if you didn’t write it yourself. Especially if you know you are heading into a period when you won’t be able to blog as much, lining up guest writers is a great way to keep the content flowing. If you are about to move to a new city, add a member to your family, take care of an ailing loved one, or head off on a European adventure, asking for guest writers is a great strategy for filling the gaps and leaving you breathing room in the process.
The 80/20 Rule
Have you ever decided to unsubscribe to something or unfriend an acquaintance because it was always “me, me, me” all the time? Marketing wisdom dictates that only 20% of what you put out on social media (which includes your blog) should be dedicated to your brand or sales. That leaves a whopping 80% of your content that has to come from somewhere else. Hosting guest posts is a wonderful way to help you reach that quota.
Finding Opportunities to Host Guest Writers
Once you know about all the benefits of being a guest writer, it’s easy to see why someone might want to do a guest post for you. But how do you find these wordsmiths?
Ask and You Shall Receive
That’s right, folks. Often, all you have to do is ask people! If you make a “Submissions” section of your website and add it to your menus, that tells people you’re in the market to host. Then, you can start posting a link to your submissions page through your social media to get the word out. There are plenty of writer groups on Facebook, and the occasional request for guest posters will likely yield some results.
Plus, you probably have writer friends who would love to write you a post or swap articles. But you won’t know until you ask. The worst they can say is, “No thanks.”
Blog Tour Stops
I mentioned running a blog tour when it comes to being a guest blogger, but it works for being a host, too. If you keep your eyes open for people advertising blog tours, signing up is a great way to become a host. You can ask for a guest post or interview and you’re golden. You get the traffic from being part of the tour, and the writer gets some exposure. Everyone wins! Usually, you don’t even have to take time to read the book. Though getting free books to review is also awesome, of course! Just make sure you actually follow through and write the review.
Being a Gracious Host
Before you invite someone over, make sure your “house” is in order. If you create a “Submissions” page, be clear about your expectations and the kinds of posts you are interested in hosting. If you follow best practices for blogging, let them know if you have parameters for formatting and image sizes. And after someone writes a post for you, always make sure to thank them. Not just with words, but by promoting their post with the rest of your social media activities. The writing community is both vast and tiny at the same time. Being polite and will never go amiss.
Do you write guest posts? Have any more tips? Share in the comments to keep the conversation going!