Today I have received a good question through Twitter from @AdesignStory “What should one do when the invited guest bloggers who agreed to be a part, decide to just stop responding?”, I love questions because it help me to write, it’s actually the most source of inspiration I can get from bloggers.
After I reply to that question on Twitter, I had to run to do some offline stuff, and the good thing is I didn’t have to drive, so my hands was free and I had the chance to write a few points to save them till I get back to my laptop, so.. basically this post was planned on the go.
While I can not resist thinking of the question, I realized that answering it by typing 140 characters is not enough, so let’s start with some general experience that I had while dealing with daily guest posts and bloggers.
Get ready because this post is not a short one, some time things goes out of my control, so … I will try my best not to waste your time!
Guest Blogging: Three Types of Bloggers
To make it more simple to understand, I think we need to classify bloggers by three types regarding to guest blogging:
- 1- Bloggers who do guest post on other blogs
- 2- Bloggers who accept & actually receive guest posts from others
- 3- Bloggers who do both
I have wrote a few guest posts myself, but I have discovered that I am not from that group some how, basically because I am really busy with dealing with bloggers from the second type everyday, so I don’t find enough time to guest post on other blogs, I prefer to work on my projects as much as I can trying to serve the community, this is also a big reason why I am not participating on guest blogging contests, I really love the challenge, but I just can’t do it, so… for me, being one of the second type is ideal, I think everyone should know himself before making any commitments to other bloggers as this will make them feel really disappointed if you don’t write for their blogs!
I will not talk more about Bloggers types, I think you got the point, so I am going to jump!
Why Guest blogging is not working for my blog?
This is a fact, I deal with guest posts everyday since I started this blog, I must say it wasn’t an easy job to attract bloggers to write on FamousBloggers, and it’s not easy to attract them to write again and again for the same blog, but I have gained that experience for sure, and I am going to share with you the best of what I have learned, so let’s go more deeper into the topic!
There are very important questions you should ask yourself before telling the world that you accept guest posting on your blog and start invite bloggers:
- 1- Do I have the right design?
- 2- Is my guidelines page clear enough?
- 3- How to make it easier for bloggers to submit their articles?
- 4- Do I have a strong and active community around my blog?
- 5- What I should do after publishing an article?
- 6- How I will protect Bloggers who writes on my blog?
I can NOT imagine success in guest blogging for any blog with out having at least a few of these basics, so let’s expand these points to make sure we understand the whole thing!
1- Blog Design: Is your Blog Ready?
Basically FamousBloggers is different from any other personal blog, it was planned and designed to be a multi-authors blog, so wasn’t a personal blog that I opened for guest posting, and here is why so many bloggers fail to do it, simply the reason is they didn’t plan their blogs to accept others to write with them since the beginning, so… some how they are not successfully attracting bloggers, it’s like inviting someone to the wrong place, and this is why most of you will get disappointed when they don’t get respond from others!
Let me show you a few basic elements and enhancements we have added to FamousBloggers in the last 7 months of blogging
- The Blog Domain Name
One of the basic element of FamousBloggers success is the domain name, which attracted so many bloggers, and also open a few hard to open doors, for example I don’t have any problem to get this blog accepted by web directories and advertising services because it gained credibility and trust much faster than any personal blog I have seen. I think now you start to get the idea, and you understand why you should plan your blog to do the job you have created to it!
- Basic Blog Design and Layout
Talking about the right blog design is my favorite topic, probably because I am a web designer and I have invested a lot of time designing and redesigning this blog trying to give it a good shape and keep it simple!
- Author page
Realizing that most of the “author pages” on FamousBloggers has a PageRank, especially those who created their accounts earlier and started to write for famousBloggers before the last Google PageRank update, we was thinking about the best ways to award them, we allow our bloggers to add a like or two to their profile Bio, but those links was showing only under their posts, now we have added a special code to customize our authors pages, although it’s not working 100% for everyone yet, but it’s a great way to get extra backlinks from our blog especially when author pages got a PR of 2 or 3 as many of our bloggers has.
And here is a link to an awesome post of mine talking about how to customize Thesis Themes author page.
- Bio and fields
We have removed the defaults, and added two fields to the profile, so now you can go a head and edit your profile, add your Twitter and Facebook to it, note that for Twitter you don’t need to add the full URL, just add “@” and your ID!
- Customized Login page
Thanks to Mia, I have found her post useful to follow and she leaded me to get a customized WordPress log-in page in a few minutes, I am no longer having the usual WordPress login page.
- Author box
This is a nice add, James has the code on his blog post How to add author Bio box without a plugin, if you want to grab it, it’s the same author box code we are using exactly, you just need to teak it a little to fit your blog.
- Author avatar
By having a Gravatar.com account, your avatar image will show next to title of your post on home page and the post page, this is what other blogs are missing!
- Take Twitter Anywhere
We have managed to add Twitter @anywhere to our blog, we believe in Twitter and want to get the most of it without losing our blog visitors/readers, so they actually don’t have to take off the blog to follow someone on Twitter anymore!
- Twitter Box as a communicating tool
And they can contact us on Twitter On-Page as well as send any feedback, or ask a question, I love that, and this is how the can inspire us, and writing a post like this one is how we try to respond!
- Buttons & Badges
We have designed a few badges for our authors, and also some banners for those who would like to support us, it’s highly recommended that you add the badge anywhere to your blog and link it to your author page, check out Kikolani.com‘s sidebar, Kristi Hines is one of our blog team and she have done the right thing to promote her author and profiles pages of blog she writes for, although you don’t have to do it, we only recommend things that could help us both, and you are completely free to follow the advice or to do whatever you think is good for you!
This was a general review of a few customizations we have made to serve our bloggers the best way, we will not stop developing this blog, so when ever we have a chance you will see something new that you will really like!
2 – Do you have a “submit your article” page?
I can not tell you how much this page is important for us, but you probably notice that we have added an image button linking to it in our sidebar and also on the top navigation menu, I think we should make a statues for this page 🙂 it’s the most visited page on this blog after the about us page, make sure to have one, and make your guidelines clear to everyone!
3 – How easy it is to submit a Guest Post to your Blog?
Many bloggers will not give a chance for others to register to their blogs thinking why they will have account for those who guest blog once, but for us we have a completely different way of thinking, we want you to have the most of our blog, I think you got the point, and yes… registering to our blog will give you more benefits as you will get a powerful author page!
It’s absolutely easy for any blogger to use our dashboard to submit his/her article as we believe that most of you are familiar with WordPress, so it’s not a very complicated math, and for us we don’t need you to do anything more than write your awesome article and submit it for review, we do all the dirty work that you don’t want to do, we will structure the post by adding heading, thumbnail images, other images if needed, edit the title when needed and customize your article for SEO, then we promote it trying to give you the exposure you deserve, it’s kind of 5 star treatment 🙂
4 – Having a Strong and Active Blog Community
This is a must, if you want to successfully attract bloggers to write for your blog, then you must already have a powerful community around your blog, they must see that you actually going to give them exposure and gain readers to their blogs, this is after all why they are blogging for your blog, and this is what bloggers need to feel while guest blogging for you, and when they taste the sweet of guest blogging for your blog, they will come back over and over, and this is how you to shine your brand in the guest blogging world!
5 – What after publishing article?
The is the fun part, if Kristi Hines told us why we should socially promote articles we comment on, then I want to add that guest bloggers should socially promote their guest posts and reply to all comments, exactly like I did with my guest post about How to Manage Busy Social Networking Life with Multiple Projects at Hand, also multi-authors blog owners are required to heavily promote each post published on their blogs, this is how it works!
6 – Is my Blog safe for guest posting?
Most guest bloggers won’t write for your blog if they had a feeling that your blog will disappear one day, they want to make sure 100% that they won’t lose their precious content one day, they want to make sure that content are safe on your blog, this is why you should really put attention to protect content of your blog and your reputation while accepting guest posting, so… basically you need to:
- Have a good plan and talk about it to share it with others
- Host your blog with a reputable hosting company
- Backup all the work on daily basis
- Solve problems fast and respond to your bloggers
- Never stop the development process on your blog
Check out these awesome Multi-Authors Blogs
I have added to you a few links for Multi-Authors blogs that I personally admire their work, take a few minutes to check out their different pages, how they structure the blog and how they highlight authors, there is lots to learn, so… Try to learn something “good” today!
To be able to get the most success while publishing posts written by other bloggers on your blog, you must have planned and designed your blog to so the job.
We all know that guest posting has lots of benefits, but so many bloggers still don’t know how to boost guest blogging success, and they should focus more on writing high quality guest posts, I mean try to forget about link building for a moment and think more a head, just write a very good post to get as much exposure as you can, try to think that you are introducing yourself to a new blog community, you really need to be in a good shape while meeting new people!
I hope you will find this post useful and you will able to share a few thoughts in the comments