September 1, 2013 by Nathaniel Tower
Anyone who maintains a blog that consists primarily of words knows how hard it can be to constantly come up with new posts. Even more difficult, of course, is finding the time to write a new post every week (or whatever your blog schedule may be). This is especially challenging for fiction writers who would like to spend the little free time they have writing fiction (because, as we all know, writing fiction generally doesn’t get the bills paid).
Enter the guest post.
For those who don’t know (not really sure how you couldn’t), a guest post is when someone else posts on your blog. A guest post often can be about anything the guest poster wants it to be about, as long as it fits the general direction of the blog. Occasionally, a blogger may ask someone to come on and write about a specific topic.
The guest post does a lot more than give the blog owner a break for the week (unless of course you are swapping blog duties with your guest poster). Guest posting is a win-win situation for everyone involved–blog owner, guest poster, and readers included.
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine published the very first guest post on his blog. That day, his blog received more traffic than any other day, and that post stands as the most popular post on his blog so far. That’s a big win for him as a blog owner. He received more traffic, more likes, and more followers, all because he allowed someone else to do the writing for him. More reward for less work. Who wouldn’t want to do that?
The guest poster also had a big week when he sent his words over. By guest posting, he picked up a whole new audience for his own writing. Not only did all of his own followers head over to the blog, but the typical blog followers also read his post. As writers in the internet age, one of our biggest goals is exposure. The more people reading us, the better off we are. In theory, a guest poster might get twice as much exposure (and the blog owner may get twice as many readers).
The readers were also winners in this whole guest post experiment. It’s no secret that, over time, our words start to become stale for some people. While we always try to scrape up new topics, our voice is typically the same. Sometimes, people are just ready for something new. When you feature a guest post, you are given your readers something new–a fresh voice with a fresh take on a topic your readers enjoy. What more could a reader want?
Guest posting carries incredible value in the game of acquiring readers (which is why it works so well in the world of SEO). That doesn’t mean you need to have a guest poster every week. After all, it is your blog, and the people who visit come because they want to hear what you have to say. Too many guest posts might cause some of your original readers to stray away.
When done the right way, guest blog posts bring in new readers and give extra exposure both to your guest poster and yourself. There’s no set formula to guest posting. You just need to experiment a little with some guest posts and see what works for your audience. After all, it’s not just about getting more and more readers. You want a loyal following that comes back every time you post something new.
Of course, you should always be sure to thank your guest blogger. And you should be ready to return the favor if he or she ever needs a fresh voice.