Why Guest Blogging Matters and How to Be a Great Host

I had family visiting this weekend and we had a great time together.  Before my guests arrived, I made sure everything was ready for them.  We talked a few times about when they would get here, what we would do while they were here and I had their favorite drinks and snacks on hand so they would feel right at home.

Guest blogging is not a one-way street. It can be a great experience for the guest AND the host if you have good communication about expectations. Free printable checklist for creating your own guest blogging guidelines! My guests showed up right on time.  They were respectful and appreciative of the space we provided them.  They made themselves at home and were a part of whatever my family normally did.

Our weekend together was a lot of fun, because both guest and host valued the relationship and put effort into making it a good experience.

The same is true of guest blogging.  Many times, we think of a guest post being a smaller blogger posting for a bigger blog to gain exposure and expand their audience.  But guest blogging does not have to be a one-way street.  It can be as beneficial for the host as for the guest.

And especially as faith-based bloggers, God’s Word encourages us to share what we have been blessed with and use it to support and encourage others.

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:16 (ESV)

Benefits of Guest Blogging

God's Girls in CommunityBuilds Relationships – There are not many things more important to online growth than building relationships with others.  Bloggers helping and collaborating with other bloggers opens doors of opportunity and exposure that are just not possible when working alone.  We should always be cultivating relationships with others, and not necessarily only others within our niche. You never know when that one blogger you chatted with in a comment thread will mention you to someone who has just the problem that you can solve.  Guest blogging deepens those relationships as you work together to bring value to your readers.

Builds Credibility – Whether you are the guest or the host, the guest blogging relationship says, “I trust this person and I think what they are doing is important.”  Sure, you can gain some SEO “link juice” through guest blogging, but equally important, you establish a reputation as an important voice in your niche.

Builds Your Audience – Guest blogging exposes your writing to another audience, but a good guest blogger will also drag their audience to their host’s site.  If a guest blog is properly promoted, it should result in increases in audience, page views and subscribers for both guest and host.

So since guest blogging can be as good for the host as it is for the guest, it is important to be a gracious host.  Making your guest feel welcome and appreciated will motivate them to help promote the post and ensure a great experience for both of you.

Be the Best Host Ever

Respond to inquiries promptly and politely – Inquiring about a guest post is the blogging equivalent of inviting yourself to someone else’s party.  It’s awkward and takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there and inquire.  So treat the people who inquire about guest blogging for you with respect.  If you aren’t accepting guest blogs at the time, don’t just ignore the inquiry.  A properly-worded negative reply can build a relationship and produce positive results.

Reach out to others and invite them – If you see someone doing something well and feel like it will be valuable to your audience, invite them to write a guest post.  Jaime Wiebel of Seeking God with Jaime Wiebel found that when she was invited to write a guest post for another blogger, it was encouraging for her ministry and a great experience.

Have a clear submission process – Do you want people to submit an idea first to discuss, or a fully-written blog post?  If you are asking for a fully-written post, notify the writer as soon as possible if you are not going to use it.  They may want to use the content on their own blog or submit it to someone else.  So don’t sit on it.

Review the guest blogger’s site – It is sometimes hard to get a true feel for a writer based on one submitted piece.  Visit their site and be sure that they are a good fit not only for your site, but for your audience.  They should have similar values and content that would truly be helpful to your audience.

Provide written guidelines – Before committing to run a guest blog post, provide a written set of guidelines to your guest blogger and be sure that they agree to the guidelines.  This will solve a lot of communication issues that could come up down the road.  Your guidelines should cover, at a minimum, due dates, post length, format for submitting and cross-promotional expectations.

See the RESOURCES section below to download my free checklist for creating your guest blog guidelines

 

Set a reasonable deadline – Both you and your guest blogger will need some time between when the post is submitted and when it runs.  Elizabeth from My Messy Desk finds that a deadline about two weeks before the post will run reduces stress and gives the guest and the host time to respond to any issues.

Communicate frequently – About a week before the post is due, send a reminder email to your guest. Offer to answer any questions they may have about the guest post and reconfirm the due date and the date the post will run.  Emily from Adventures and Kindness said, “I think the host can make things easier on you through regular communication. They can make you feel comfortable by answering any questions during this process. Answer emails quickly and kindly!”

Promote the guest post heavily – Treat the guest post as if it were your own and promote it across your social media and in your newsletter.  Something new and unusual may attract people who ordinarily wouldn’t read every post from you.

NOTE:  This is a the first of a two-part series. Watch for the second part about being the best guest ever, coming soon!

 

gbclRESOURCES

Download my free checklist for creating your guest posting guidelines, and a sample guidelines sheet.
[email-download download_id=”2435″ contact_form_id=”716″]

I’m taking guest post submissions for my Lesson Learned series, where we share things that are working well and help others learn as well. Contact me at christa (at) doanewthing (dot) com if you have a great idea!

gbclRESOURCES

Download my free checklist for creating your guest posting guidelines, and a sample guidelines sheet.

 

RESPOND

How has hosting guest posts helped you and your audience? And give a shout out to someone who has been a gracious host!

Linking up with Kathe at #You’reGonnaLoveIt,  Dawn Klinge at #GraceandTruth and Jaime Wiebel at #SittingAmongFriends

17 thoughts on “Why Guest Blogging Matters and How to Be a Great Host”

  1. Thank you as always for the great content. I have only guest posted two times. It was a very fun experience. Thank you for the mention and the link here. That is very appreciated. I am so excited to get this download from you today. I have wanted to have guest bloggers but not sure where to start. This is awesome. Thanks again so much, friend.

    Reply
  2. Just starting hosting guests and it’s been fun! Even received some social media looks and site traffic without too much effort. Thanks as always for the practical, needed tips and your generosity to share them, Christa!

    Reply
  3. Hi Christa,
    I am visiting your blog from The Peony Project. Thank you for this in depth, informational post about guest blogging. I am a brand new blogger with much to learn and it is information like this that will help me to be the blogger I want to be.

    Reply
  4. Thanks for these great tips about guest blogging. I have not yet been a guest blogger or a host, but have been wanting to soon, so this is very helpful to me. Will download your checklist.

    Reply
  5. Thank you, Christa, for the wonderful, practical tips — great reminders of the beauty of gracious hosting, anywhere. I have guest posted twice, both were enjoyable experiences thanks to the hospitality of the hosts. I look forward to downloading your checklist and coming back to visit your site often.

    Reply
  6. Thank you so much for this. I’m just a year into blogging myself and was thinking about inviting a couple this summer, in hopes to build relationships with bloggers I think I could certainly learn from. So glad to learn here from your post. Tracy

    Reply
    • Thanks for stopping by, Tracy! Collaborating with other bloggers through guest posts and other promotions is a great way to build your audience AND your relationships!

      Reply
  7. I just got one of my first guest post inquiries which is great…but I was a little clueless as to how to answer some of their questions. This post has been very helpful. Thanks for the tips and the checklist!
    -Rachel

    Reply

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