Thursday, 12 December 2013

5 Tips for Developing Guest Blogger Guidelines

Having guest bloggers contribute to your website has several benefits. It can help relieve your workload, as you won't have to worry as much about keeping a continuous fresh stream of content published. It can also increase traffic when those guest bloggers have their own devoted following - their readers may migrate to your site.

Guest bloggers, when chosen carefully, can also lend credentials to your website. If your topic is nutrition, for example, having a medical doctor write a post will make your readers more likely to respect your blog's credibility.

To reap these benefits, however, you must vet your guest bloggers to ensure they will be an asset to your website. The flipside of the coin may be that they bring your reputation down with their own poor reputation.

Here are five tips for developing guest blogger guidelines to ensure your guest blogging process is smooth and results in quality content.

Agreeing blogger guidelines
Make sure all the members of your team are clear about your guest blogger guidelines.

Rule #1: Street cred

Make it a rule that all guest bloggers must have some kind of relevant credentials in the subject your website covers. These don't necessarily have to be formal education certifications, but at a minimum your guest blogger should have a platform with published writings proving their expertise on the topic.

Rule #2: Check it out

Sometimes the most educated people are the worst writers. Not everyone expresses themselves well with the written word. Never post a guest blog without having it edited. If you are not qualified to edit the material, it behooves you to pay a third party to edit all guest blogs. Misspellings and grammatical errors are the fastest way to make your website appear amateurish.

Rule #3: Show us yours

Always ask your guest blogger to provide a professional photograph for posting at the bottom of their article. This helps your readers identify with the author. If their photograph is less than professional-looking, omit it. It doesn't do to have your "expert nutritionist" showing up in a T-shirt at the bottom of their post.

Choosing the right photograph for your guest blogger
This is not the type of bio photo you would want!

Rule #4: Keep in touch

Request that your guest blogger subscribe to the comments on the post they write for your blog. This will let your readers ask questions regarding the post and receive expert advice from the blogger in return. This enhances not only the relationship between the readers and the guest blogger, but also the interaction between your readers and your website. When a reader asks a question and they know they will get an answer, they are more likely to return.

Rule #5: Keep it real

Whenever possible, request that your bloggers cite references in their post. This increases the legitimacy of the post and will make your website stand out as a reliable source of accurate information.

Remember, your website is a representation of you and what you stand for. Your guest bloggers can make you look good or can detract from the quality reputation you have worked so hard to build.

Kate Supino is a professional freelance writer and small business owner who writes extensively about best business practices, such as using business accounting software.

All images courtesy of

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