As Google moves toward a semantic approach, focusing more on the big picture of a search as opposed to keywords, producing creative content is going to be more important than ever. This is where the idea of reverse guest blogging comes into play, and it’s a big reason that I suspect this will be a huge business trend in 2014.
The idea behind reverse guest blogging is that you, the website owner, find guest bloggers and ask them to offer content to your site. Many small business owners often find themselves saying, “I have plenty of people reaching out to me to post on my site, I don’t need to spend my time trying to find more.”
It makes complete sense, but the idea of reverse guest blogging looks at it a different way. In fact, that reaction is exactly where so many potentially go wrong. To answer the question above, you aren’t necessarily finding bloggers for your blog because you don’t have enough, it’s because you want the highest quality bloggers (and therefore content) possible.
And chances are, the “highest quality bloggers” aren’t knocking at your door.
The Benefits of Reverse Guest Blogging
You Build Stronger Relationships
That is, if you’re the one reaching out to an author. Chances are you’ve seen a great writer on other blogs, so reaching out to them lets them know that you value and enjoy their writing.
The Editor Remains in Control
Because they are going out and finding authors that are known to produce quality and really “get it.”
Sometimes dealing with a flood of emails from people you don’t know can be overwhelming. If you do the reaching out, you know you’re guaranteed to get something good that doesn’t need as much editing. You can count on that for the site.
Quality Bloggers Bring in Quality Audiences
A great blogger likely has a few thousand followers on social networks, but even more so, they might have a few loyal fans who love to read their writing. If you can bring that audience to your blog, you should be able to improve your visibility through social shares as well as backlinks.
It’s also important to realize that this doesn’t need to take the place of any other strategy you might have in place. The traditional way of guest blogging, letting others come to you and ask if they can contribute, is still a great way to get fresh content onto your site. However, reverse guest blogging can supplement that and help keep you in control.
How Does Reverse Guest Blogging Work?
To make reverse guest blogging work for you, you’re going to need a plan. There are essentially three steps:
- Figure out what you want out of a guest contributor. How often do you want them to contribute? Is there a particular subject you want discussed? Who is going to be in charge of managing this relationship?
- Make a list of all the authors you may want to feature. After you make a list, consider doing a few searches to find other writes who you aren’t familiar with.
- Go out and try to connect with those authors and talk with them about this opportunity.
If you can’t get the authors you had originally wanted, don’t get discouraged. Figure out who they are connected with (possibly other writers on that blog) and do your outreach there to try and make yourself known.
After all, it’s important that you and your blog are something the author knows as much as it is the other way around.
How Do You Find Quality Bloggers?
Step number 2 above is definitely easier said than done. If you’re an active reader of articles about your industry, you likely have a few bloggers in mind who you’d love to have featured.
It’s always best if you see them as a guest contributor elsewhere (sometimes staff members at large papers won’t guest blog), but in either case, it can’t hurt to ask. Try not to aim too high at first, but don’t sell yourself short either.
You might not get the star writer of USA Today, but if you focus on your specific industry and stay away from major news publications, you might very well be surprised.
Begin Reaching Out
What about after you’re done making your list of authors you’ve already read – then what? Next, it’s time to find new authors that might work. Consider doing a few different things:
- Twitter search “guest post [topic]” to find bloggers.
- Google search “guest post by; guest blog by; etc.” and then your topic. Also consider doing this search on sites you like to see if you can get a list of their guest bloggers.
- Ask others you know in the industry if they have any recommendations.
- Use a tool like Follwerwonk, a popular tool for outreach that lets you filter and sort results.
Have you ever tried reverse guest blogging?
More in: 2014 trends, Content Marketing