Even in the days of social media, running a blog can be a great way to advertise your small business. If you blog consistently enough, you may have heard of guest blogging. Guest blogging can take the form of letting other workers write a blog post when they normally would not, or even letting those outside the business pen their thoughts about your business or a relevant topic.
You may worry that allowing guest bloggers could decrease your blog’s quality, but guest bloggers can be a fantastic way to improve your blog and its marketing capabilities. Here are some of the most important reasons and how to ensure good guest blogger quality.
Ensure Consistent Content
A good blog requires consistency as much as quality content. The most successful blogs are those which create trust by providing relevant content on a consistent schedule. If people do not know whether they can expect new content by visiting your blog, they will stop coming. Blogging guide Shout Me Loud further points out that being consistent can also improve your SEO results as your new content will be quickly indexed by search engines.
However, a small business owner with many responsibilities may not have enough time to produce consistent content for his blog. Guest bloggers can shoulder part of that burden and let you post a steady stream of content without having to write it all yourself. Some guest bloggers may ask you to write content for their blog in return, but that can be written on your time without having to stick to a rigid yet necessary schedule.
Writing a good blog post is one thing, but how do you ensure it is seen by as many people as possible? There are guides on how to market your blog such as this one from Small Business Trends. But all too often, businesses struggle to distinguish themselves from the countless blogs on the Internet and getting noticed by readers who would be interested in the blog’s content.
Guest bloggers can help provide an initial infusion of readers. Your guest blogger will likely promote his article on your website, even if anonymity is important, meaning that there are now two groups promoting your blog instead of one. If the blogger has loyal fans, that can be the initial infusion of readership your blog needs. The fans read the post, decide to check the rest of your blog, and then share it in their social media profiles.
Improve Content Quality
A major challenge with blogs and writing in general is that a writer can struggle to figure out how good their content is. Getting a second set of eyes, particularly a blogger with experience, can improve your content quality.
Most bloggers are happy to give feedback if you ask for how you can improve your writing. Listen to their advice and do not get insulted even if they heavily criticize your writing. At the same time, do not take any single writer’s ideas for how to improve as gospel, as no writer is perfect. If you can use multiple guest bloggers and ask for feedback over time, you can develop your own writing style which will fit you and your blog.
Links and Good Guest Blogging
In 2014, Matt Cutts, the then-current head of Google’s web spam team, created a blog post slamming guest blogging. Cutts pointed out that guest blogging had become too spammy, and that websites were using it to just share links and game their way to a higher Google search result.
Guest blogging declined once Google cracked down on such inauthentic maneuvers. But guest blogging can still be useful if you see it as a way to share quality content and not as a means of spamming links. Make sure that guest blogging is occasional, and that you create the majority of blog posts. By doing guest blogging legitimately as a means to share content and not as a means to spam links, you can boost your business’s search engine rankings without risking a crackdown.
So how do you maintain high quality? A major challenge is that you may receive requests from guest bloggers who are not interested in helping your business. These guest bloggers see posting on your blog as a chance to get their big break, and will write whatever they want instead of creating content relevant to your business.
Consequently, make sure to strongly regulate guest bloggers. Their submitted content should be without grammatical errors, concise, and relevant to your business. You can put a page in your blog or social media profile announcing your interest in guest bloggers, but set strict guidelines on what content will be accepted. Look to use people you know before online strangers.
Guest blogging done right can improve your business by bolstering your blog, improving your writing, and creating good visibility. As long as you keep quality high and use trusted individuals, they can be a vital part of any content marketing strategy.