The guest post has become a major part of the world of contemporary blogs, which are rarely written by a single person (and almost never written by a single person if the blog has commercial aspirations). Since blogs can so easily be accused of nearsightedness – featuring only a single writer or a single viewpoint, or obsessing over one thing even within the blog’s more general focus – guest blog posts can prove to be hugely useful under the right circumstances, though it takes careful editing and a good sense of judgment to make sure that the posts you choose to carry actually help your blog.
A good guest post achieves several things at once: it expands your blog’s field of knowledge without going completely outside of your reader base’s interests, it offers potential for audience crossover if your guest blogger has their own pre-established and loyal reader base, and it gives both you and your guest blogger greater exposure.
For example, if you write a blog about music and you think your audience wants to read something about an artist or a genre you’re unfamiliar with, you could have another music blogger who writes on that subject for their blog contribute a guest post. The guest blogger links to you from them, you link to the guest’s main blog (and perhaps provide a guest entry there, too), your audiences cross over, increasing hits, and you potentially get new opportunities to bring up your advertising revenues. Your audience is bigger and better informed and your brand is now more viable than it once was; everyone wins.
However, the key to this model working is simple: your guest posters need to be informative and interesting, able to bring traffic your way, and someone who isn’t going to hurt the image of your blog, either in terms of its brand or its reputation. Irrelevant, uninformative, and uninteresting material will often frustrate and alienate potential readers, which will then do the exact opposite of what a good guest post does. A bad guest post hurts your credibility as much as it the writer hurts themselves; be sure to keep up with your commenters an see what readers think of your guest posters and figure out what is and isn’t working before you give more precious screen space to someone. Do know, though, that the guest post can easily work in your favor, and to take advantage of it.
Andrew Hall is a guest blogger for Guide to Online Schools.