How To Source Guest Bloggers
This guest post is by Mischaela Elkins, social media product specialist at Cision.
One of the challenges of writing engaging content is keeping it fresh. Sticky content can quickly become stale when the writer is zapped of creative energy and writing just to stay consistent. We’ve all been there, staring at a blank screen in WordPress, hard pressed to churn out something for our blog because “it’s Tuesday.” Reaching out to a guest blogger who writes about topics that would interest your readership is the key to keeping your blog engaging and maintaining homeostasis of your creative juices. One of the most important benefits of guest bloggers is that they come with their own network–and an audience that will undoubtedly include followers who don’t know about you but might be interested. After your guest bloggers complete a shiny new post, they’ll want to push it out and syndicate it across their social networks. This little bit of buzz gives your blog a boost in a new direction.
I’m sure you are wondering, “How can I get guest bloggers?” Where are these lovely strangers who can turn industry drivel into the 21st Century equivalent of Shakespearean prose and then amplify my content by pushing it out to their individual audiences? Look no further, this blog post has the details on where to find the soliloquists, savants, and social media superhumans that can help you make your blog more engaging and reader friendly.
Where to Find Them
One of the oldest methods of finding guest bloggers is to simply reach out to the contacts you made at that recent marketing conference or finance seminar. When attending these events, it is important to be proactive and discuss blogging with everyone you meet. Hopefully they include their blog URL on their business card, but many people don’t. If they include their Twitter handle, that’s definitely a great starting point. Check out their Twitter account, see if they blog. Your potential guest blogger may not have a blog of their own, but instead like to guest blog to link back to their company or personal page.
LinkedIn can be a great place to source guest bloggers, because LinkedIn search allows you to search by industry and return lots of smiling faces. Dig a bit deeper and investigate if someone has their own blog. You can also join blogging groups on LinkedIn and start networking with others.
With the advent of social media, it is now easier than ever to research bloggers who are looking for guest posting opportunities. In my experience, this has been the most fruitful way to source guest bloggers as you have already identified the need. Do a quick Twitter search (note: you’ll want to use Twitter Advanced Search, so that you don’t return every person looking for guest blogging opportunities. Search for guest bloggers within your industry using hashtags like #marketing #tech or #cliparthistorians.) The best query is the most pertinent query, my friends!
One of the best strategies for guest blogger sourcing is to include a page on your blog with details on how interested bloggers can contact you regarding guest posts. It is common for people looking for guest posting opportunities to run a quick Google search for terms like “guest post by”, “guest posting guidelines”, or “accepting guest posts” because these queries return blogs that are looking for guest posts or those whom have accepted guest posts in the past. Be proactive and create a form where interested parties can contact you with ideas or gather more information.
You can also use the search query trick to your own advantage. Search for the terms “guest post by” followed by the name of a blogger in your industry. The results will display every outlet that this individual has guest posted for. Knowing this will help you gauge how often they guest post, what they guest post about, and what types of outlets they go for. Cision’s media database is another way to find bloggers in your industry.
When To Reach Out
Follow your prospective guest bloggers on their social media accounts if you aren’t already. Learn their schedules and patterns of recreational internet use. If someone is a busy professional who blogs on Saturday mornings because they are balancing a corporate job and a family at home, reaching out to them via email on a Monday morning isn’t the best time to get their attention. Come Monday morning, your perspective guest blogger is hard at work catching up on all of those new emails and not in the blogging frame of mind. Track the patterns in their social media updates, blog posts, and commenting patterns to figure out when they having blogging on their mind.
How To Reach Out
Before you send out the pitch, write a small post about your potential guest blogger, their business, or their topic of interest and post it to your blog. The key is to sound informed about the person, product, or topic but don’t sound like you are evangelizing. A savvy person—and ALL of your guest bloggers are savvy people I trust—will see through this and avoid you and your blog.
Wait a few days and send your pitch. Make sure you lead in with the statement that you recently wrote about X and would love for them to contribute some thoughts, expand upon your ideas, or contribute some content from their perspective. Your pitch needs compelling evidence as to why this person should devote their hard earned blogging time to contributing a unique piece of content to your blog. This pitch will be short and sweet and outline exactly what you are looking for and why this person is the only one in the universe who could contribute what you are looking for. (Don’t use those exact words, hyperbole is never cute.)
Do you have additional tips for sourcing guest bloggers? Let us know in the comments below!
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