Blogging 101: When Guests Come Knocking, Don’t Close the Door!

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I know a great many bloggers who literally cringe at the thought of having anyone guest blog on their sites. They’re eager for their own guest blogging opportunities, yet close the door when someone approaches them about featuring their work. I really don’t understand this mentality. Having someone guest blog offers a number of benefits, not to mention it makes you more approachable and likable as a blogger. So when guests come knocking, don’t close the door! Open it to those who are a good fit and produce top-notch content.

If you’re afraid that you’ll chase away regulars, allow guest blogging in moderation and introduce it to your audience as an exciting addition. Let them know that guest blogging is not replacing your own writing. I’ve referenced her a lot in the past few weeks, but one blogger who has successfully introduced guest blogging is Jill over at Scary Mommy. Her Alexa rankings and popularity continue to climb and the community atmosphere has been amplified by the introduction of guests.

Here are some additional benefits of hosting guest bloggers:

Cross-Promotional Opportunities – Some of the most successful blogs on the planet are hosted or managed by more than one person. Having additional “hands” and momemtum, expands market reach and offers considerable cross-promotional opportunities. Guest bloggers work with you to promote their content – driving additional traffic and readers to your blog.

Prevents Burnout – If you’re feeling a little burnt out on blogging and social media (and trust me, we all reach this point and probably again and again), guest bloggers can lift some of the burden and help you take a much-needed break. You should not feel ashamed or that you are letting go of an obligation. People are expected to take vacations from work and hobbies.

Fills in the “Gaps” – Creativity at a stand-still? Let guest bloggers fill in your editorial “gaps”.

Attracts New Readers – One of the most exciting benefits of hosting guest bloggers is the chance to attract new readers to your blog. You’ll be tapping into their audiences and social media networks. Make sure to welcome visitors with open arms, respond to all comments and really give the guest blogger props for stopping by your site.

Diversifies Your Content – Maybe you’ve been considering adding a new column or feature to your blog. Or maybe you’ve been wanting to test the waters with new categories of posts. Either way, guests can facilitate this process and help you determine early on what’s a hit and what’s a miss.

And of course…

Link Juice – Most of the time, both parties – the host and the guest blogger – benefit from the deal in terms of link juice and favorable SEO. You just need to be really careful about how you are adding links to content as Google’s Panda and Penquin are on patrol.

If you do allow guest blogging, make sure you are a gracious blog host. Offer to reciprocate, do your part in promoting their work and always say “thank you”.

Do you accept guest blogging on your site? Why or why not?

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