Recently I was able to secure a guest blogger every week, for three months on our new business blog, Busy & Chic, a lifestyle blog for busy women entrepreneurs.
Starting a new blog that no one has ever heard about can be overwhelming. We didn’t have the bandwidth to immediately update our blog 2 to 3xs a week, as suggested for traffic and growth. Despite that, I knew I wanted our blog to grow quickly and reach my targeted audience.
So, instead of hiring more writers, I decided to use this as an opportunity to grow our audience and connect with people. Guest blogging seemed like a great way to do that.
As with all things in my life, I started with a strategy. That strategy allowed me to book a guest blogger every single week for an entire quarter AND I even had to start a blog wait list!
Here’s exactly what I did:
1. Got clear on my blog mission and goals.
Before I started reaching out to guest bloggers, I wanted to understand exactly what my blog was about. Who was my targeted audience? What content did they care about? How could I make their lives better?
I already knew the answers to these questions; I just needed to get those answers on paper.
If you are not sure about your blog goals and objectives, pause and do market research. You’ll need that information later for your media kit.
2. I created a beautiful media kit.
As a branding specialist and graphic designer, I am a firm believer that beautiful design can open doors. Having a beautifully designed media kit let’s guest bloggers and partners know that you run your blog like a business.
I spent the time putting together a blog media kit that showcased our blog goals and objectives, categories, themes, statistics, and sponsorship opportunities.
3. I created guest blogging guidelines.
Before I invited anyone to write for our blog I wanted to be clear about what we needed and what we expected from them as a guest writer.
I laid out the minimum words we expected, what type of images I would accept, how to submit their posts, what topics they could write about, etc.
Having these guidelines were not only great for them, but also allowed us to be able to manage and upload guest blog content efficiently.
4. I created an editorial calendar.
If you are accepting guest on your blog
you need an editorial calender. This allows you to see what holidays or themes are coming up giving you the info you need when scheduling writers and content.
For example, during the months of December, writers know in advance to only submit holiday-related content.
5. I contacted everyone I knew that could write something of value for our audience. Literally. Everyone.
I contacted EVERYBODY! I went through my Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, and LinkedIn contacts and sent messages to any non-competitive contacts who could potentially write on subjects that our targeted audience would be interested in.
5. I created a sense of urgency.
When reaching out to potential guest bloggers, I let them know it was a first come, first serve, for the weekly guest blogging spots.
Because I contacted so many people and advertised the open spots, I was able to say that dates fill up quickly confidently.
This sense of urgency was a great marketing and selling tactic.
6. I shared guest blog openings on social media.
By this point, most of the dates were filled. For the last dates, I shared our guest blogging openings on social media.
I continued with a sense of urgency that there were only a few spots left.
It didn’t take long for those last few spots to fill up. I had booked an entire quarter of writers to write content for my blog!
7. I promoted each blog post like it was my own.
Here’s the magic!
I wanted our guest bloggers to see the benefit of blogging for our blog, and I wanted others to see it too.
To do that, I created and stuck to a promotional strategy for every single blog post.
They were promoted across social media, in my Instagram stories, and on Pinterest. I also created custom graphics and quotes for my our guest bloggers to share on their social media as well.
This allowed our guest writers to get exposure and traffic as well as giving us plenty of social media content.
8. I said no to poorly written blogs
I wish I could say that this process was perfect. It wasn’t. Now and then a poorly written blog post was submitted, and I had to say no.
It was important that the quality of content on our blog was high for SEO reasons, and for my audience.
Lesson learned? If I do not know the writer, I will request writing samples.
That’s it! Yes, it requires work upfront, like everything in life, but in the end, the benefits win:
My blog is always updated.
I’ve met new people and expanded my network.
My new blog has a bigger audience.
My email list has grown.
I’ve signed new clients.
Definitely worth it.
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