About Meriel

Meriel Lesseig has written 36 post in this blog.

Before we dive deep into the meat of today’s blog post, here are some statistics to think about, courtesy of our friends over at Hubspot:

  1. More than 1/3 of U.S. companies utilize blogging in their marketing strategy mix
  2. Companies that blog get 55% more visitors to their website than those that don’t
  3. 57% of companies have acquired a customer through their business blog
  4. Asked how important blogging is to their business, 2/3 of marketers said “critical” or “important”

Clearly, maintaining an active and engaging blog has become instrumental to business success. Beyond helping to position you as an industry thought leader (i.e. someone who really knows what they’re talking about), since each blog post constitutes a unique web page, blogging can help you capture more visitors and potential customers who perform search queries using keywords and phrases that you’ve included in your posts. In other words, blogging and SEO are a match made in heaven, and we make it a point of encouraging all of our clients to blog on a consistent basis, i.e. at least once a week.

That said, we’ll be the first to admit that blogging is hard work! Sometimes, coming up with a list of things to write about alone seems impossible. If you are a small business owner with thousand other responsibilities to worry about, it can be easy to feel that for all of the benefits that a blog can bring, it’s just not worth the stress and time that you could be spending with your accountant or serving your customers.

Enter guest blogging. The concept is relatively simple. On the one side, there is you, the time-stricken business owner, who needs a consistent flow of blog posts on his website. On the other side is a professional or part-time blogger who’s looking to grow traffic to his own website and build up his article portfolio. He/she is willing to write a post for your website, as long as the credit is given where its due, and usually as long as the blogger can include a link or two within the article, usually back to his/her own website. Sounds like it was made to be? You bet! How to actually go about finding and recruiting guest bloggers is the main topic of this post.

In our experience, there are two free platforms that work particularly well: Blogger LinkUp and My Blog Guest.

Blogger Link Up –  Launched and maintained by blogger Cathy Stucker, Blogger Link Up is essentially an electronic mailing list for bloggers looking to post and blog owners looking for posts. Three times a week, you’ll get an email from Cathy with links to user-submitted guest post offers and requests. If something catches your eye, you are responsible for connecting with the blogger/business owner directly to work out the details.

To request a guest blog post, head over to the Blogger LinkUp homepage and click the “Request guest posts” link in the right sidebar. Then simply fill out all of the required information, making sure to provide as much detail as possible to eliminate confusion down the line.

My Guest Blog — Unlike Blogger LinkUp, My Guest Blog works more like a forum, but functionally, it serves the same purpose. Upon registering and creating an account, you can access the Looking for guest author forum, which is further divided into category sub-forums, e.g. health and beauty, traveling, cars, technology, etc. You pick the most relevant category, make a new thread with the details of what you’re looking for, and wait for people to respond. Note that all of the initial interaction happens within the thread itself, until you’re ready to start communicating with the prospective bloggers privately.

Whether you opt for Blogger LinkUp or My Guest Blog (or both!), it should go without saying that you should always perform due diligence. To ensure that you’re only getting top-quality posts, at the very least ask to see samples of prior work. Ask yourself these questions: (1) is the post free of grammar and spelling mistakes? (2) is the post likely to elicit engagement (i.e. comments and social shares) from your readers? (3) is the blogger knowledgeable about your industry? (4) does the content flow?. If the answer to any of these is no, don’t be afraid to move on and find someone else.

Do you maintain a business blog? How often do you update it? Have you solicited guest blog posts in the past? Let us know in the comments below!