So you’ve built a successful blog for your brand. You’ve defined your target audience, delivered insightful posts on a regular basis, and devoted the necessary hours to make your voice heard in a competitive space. Congrats!
Okay, now stop congratulating yourself. You know you can’t spend much time patting yourself on the back in content marketing. It’s just not the way we roll in our industry. Consider how you’re all warm and cozy in your beautiful blog bubble and —pop! — you’ve suddenly got yourself a problem. And it’s one you never imagined dealing with when you launched. All of a sudden … wait for it … you have too many guest bloggers.
Boo-hoo. To newbies, too many guest bloggers seems like a problem for the Kardashians of the world. While it’s not worthy of ruining your mascara, it’s still a problem.
People follow your blog because they built a repoire, a relationship even, with you and/or your regular writers. They’ve grown to trust your opinion, respect your advice, and follow your lead. And you’ve nurtured your connection to your audience through active listening to data, to comments, to trends. It’s a beautiful thing you’ve built.
Deviating too often from the voice that resonates with your readers and continuously introducing new guest bloggers the way Dancing with the Stars keeps rotating dancers can wreak havoc on your blog in no time. If you’re overwhelmed with guest bloggers, you need to take a hard look at your vetting process. Yes, you need one (if you had a real vetting process you wouldn’t be in the position you’re in). Here are a few tips:
Don’t pick guest bloggers like Kim Kardashian picks husbands. Take your time. Be selective. Make sure you fully screen your guest bloggers for quality and substance. You need to protect the integrity of your blog.
Do your homework.
If you’re receiving a lot of emails from writers who want to guest blog on your site, Google them! Sometimes writers are completely self-serving and spin the same post a million different ways to guest blog on several sites. Don’t be fooled. Upload the guest post you’re considering to Copyscape, a free service that will flag any similar articles, before you publish.
Whatever you do, don’t rely on all the links provided by guest bloggers. You have to click on each one to ensure they’re not going to spammy websites. You are trusting these writers with your most precious commodity: your audience.
You don’t want your guest bloggers to do drive-bys. The expectation should be if they want to contribute to your blog, they have to become a member of your community. They need to read your posts to understand the tone and style that your readers anticipate. They need to respond to comments if they contribute on your site. These bloggers are vying for your customers’ eyeballs; make them stay awhile.
Your site, your content.
If a guest blogger wants to link to his/her guest post from his/her website, that’s okay … but it shouldn’t be the other way around. The ground rule should be that once it’s on your site, you own the content; the writer cannot repurpose and post elsewhere. Clarify content ownership from the outset. That way you can share it as you see fit, without seeking permission.
Once you initiate a true vetting process, your surplus guest blogger issue should go away. In the meantime, manage volume by managing expectations. You don’t want to burn bridges with writers who may generate traffic for your blog. Be upfront and honest; tell them exactly when you will work them into your editorial calendar, and stick to that timeline.
How have you dealt with too many guest bloggers on your site?