January 17, 2010

How to grow your blog with guest posts

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This is part of the series 31 Day Challenge To Optimize Your Blog With Social Media.

John HaydonIn the above 2-minute video, I talk about why guest blogging could be a critical addition to your blog.

One benefit of guest posts is to further a relationship. You both build a relationship with other bloggers and expose your blog to a completely new audience — a great way to attract new readers and get new RSS subscribers.

Here are some guest post strategies I’ve used:

  1. Read the blog of the person who you want partner with. Get to know his or her readers and content.
  2. Be sincere and genuine with your interest. A long-term partnership will not blossom if you lead with a hidden, personal agenda.
  3. Add valuable comments to their blog – and not “Great post, here’s a cool link.”
  4. After a couple of months, a relationship will develop. Email the blogger directly. Let her know how valuable her blog has been to you and ask if she’d like to do a guest post on your blog. If it makes sense to write a post for her blog, provide links to a few example posts.
  5. Have a guest post topic in mind when you make the pitch. Each time I’ve contacted Darren Rowse about writing a post on Twitip, I’ve had a clear topic in mind and have stated why this topic might be valuable to his readers. This has made it easy for him to say, “Cool. Yes.”
  6. Give the other party your best content. A kick ass post is the only way to go – for both parties. See Rebecca’s post for an example of kick ass.
  7. Focus on a long-term relationship. Keep the personal interests of the guest blogger foremost in mind.
  8. If you’re an orange, partner with an apple. You want to partner with bloggers that can add value for your readers – but from a different angle. This will enable both bloggers to be exposed to a fresh audience. This was the case with TheDailyBlonde.
  9. Have fun! It’s only a blog. When Grant Griffiths asked me to write for his blog, he had no idea that I would introduce the guest post with “Grant Griffiths Shoots Dorothy, Sells Toto On Ebay.“ We both had a laugh and now have a couple of projects brewing.

Homework: Spend 2 minutes and $7 on Chris Garrett’s book about using guest posting to get more subscribers (no affiliate link here!) and start thinking about your guest posting strategy.

If you don’t want to miss out on the 31 Day Challenge To Optimize Your Blog With Social Media, please sign up.John Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then connect up: Contact John by email, see his profile page, visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment.

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