Guest blogging is a powerful way to get in front of the following of other bloggers, but what about sharing your audience? Inviting bloggers to contribute to your blog in exchange for exposure to your subscribers is a practice called “reverse guest blogging.” If you’re looking for help with creating high-quality, original content for your readership, reverse guest blogging might be for you.
Social media has created the expectation that conversations are where meaningful exchange of ideas occurs. Your blog is a great platform for interacting with your readers without risking the out-of-control commentary that happens with social media discussions. Guest bloggers open up the conversation to new insights. You decide what gets posted and have the option to filter audience responses if they’re inappropriate.
With reverse guest blogging, you’re letting your blog readers hear from other voices of authority. You’ll be giving readers more views, resources, help and advice than you provide on your own.
A successful guest blogging effort requires understanding what the fans of your business will be interested in reading and finding authors who can provide that information. Your first task is finding writers who really know what they’re talking about and can put words on paper exceptionally well.
Ask the bloggers that you follow if they’d like to reach out to your audience. (If you’re a travel agent, and you like the reviews posted on eco-friendly travel sites, why not share the passionate views of their travel bloggers with your clients?)
Ask bloggers with businesses that compliment your own to provide their view of the world. (If you’re a real estate lawyer, ask a realtor or appraiser to post their advice on how to value a home in a market with cheap interest rates.)
Invite your competitors to contribute to your blog. You’ll get some insight into what they really know, not to mention help educate your audience. (If your own an antiques business, ask a rival to share their advice on how to identify fake antiques.)
Make sure your guest bloggers understand what it means to be a good guest. If you’re worried about losing customers, emphasize the first rule of guest blogging – using another’s blog is not the place to sell stuff. You’re providing access to your customers, not opening the door to their shopping cart.
Some of your best guest bloggers could even come from your competition. After all, who knows an audience like yours as well as you do?
Start with a Google search of bloggers or blogs with your keywords in the title. (Like “pizza blogger” or “animal rescue blogs”). Do more digging on blog directories like Technorati. Ask these questions:
- Do you think they can make contributions that are likely to be read and shared by your readers?
- How big is their following on social media sites like Facebook and Google +?
- Who is the person behind the blog? What’s being said about them on their social media pages? (These are the place to see unrestricted discussions, too.)
- Do they have good domain authority? This is an indicator of how influential they are in their blog world. (Open Site Explorer provides statistics on factors like popularity of their home blog and the number of inbound links to their site from other quality sites.)
Reverse guest blogging is a powerful way to build relationships with other authorities and enhance the value of your blog to your readership.
Do you have any experience with opening up your blog to outside contributors? What did your readership think? Did it lead to any other business activities? Let us know your stories.