You won’t be blogging long before you see some of the very real benefits of guest posting: there’s no surer cure for beating blogger burnout than by divvying up the workload and enlisting help. But do guest bloggers make sense for your site? Would accepting guest posts lighten your load or turn readers away? How do you know if you should try it?
To help answer these questions, here are some of the biggest pros and cons of guest blogging, along with tips for using guest posts well:
PROS OF ACCEPTING GUEST BLOGGERS
+ Relieves some of your pressure
For many bloggers, one of the hardest parts of writing is coming up with regular, fresh content to post—from generating topic ideas to finding the time to write about them. Enlisting guest bloggers is a great way to offset this demand by outsourcing some of your content to other writers. It ensures new posts are coming and helps you avoid blogger burnout.
+ Frees up some of your time
When you don’t have to spend as much time writing and researching blog posts, you have more time to pursue other projects, including those that will benefit your blog, such as marketing and social media efforts. Guest bloggers help keep your content flowing while giving you a chance to divert attention elsewhere, even as your blog is growing.
+ Builds relationships with bloggers
Accepting quality guest posts from bloggers can be a powerful way to build relationships with some of the Web’s most influential voices. What’s more, these bloggers may end up letting you guest post on their sites to return the favor, helping you expand your network and reach.
+ Brings in new readers
Bloggers, who tend to be active in various types of social media, will usually have loyal followers interested in their content. That means when you allow someone to guest post on your site, you have a chance to tap into their audience as the blogger promotes their work on your site to their followers.
CONS OF ACCEPTING GUEST BLOGGERS
- Confuses your blog’s voice
One of the most important parts of any good writing is the voice—that distinct tone and style that identifies the content as your own. So when you open up your site to new voices, even if they’re from writers you admire or enjoy, you potentially confuse the sense of that voice to readers. Then, they are less sure of what to expect and can sometimes lose interest.
- Makes you seem lazy
If you overdo guest bloggers, it hurts more than your voice—it makes you seem lazy. When readers are continually seeing posts from other writers besides you, they may start to think you’re desperate for content that you won’t have to write yourself, and this can turn them off.
- Takes away some of your control
While of course you as a blog owner still have the final say on what does or doesn’t publish at your blog, using guest posters still removes some of your power over content. Other writers will say things differently and often not in the way you would—and when your blog has been a labor of love for years, that can be a hard thing to let go of.
TIPS FOR MAKING GUEST BLOGGING EFFECTIVE
The biggest message from looking at the pros and cons of guest blogging is that, if you’re going to do it, you want to do it well. How can you be sure to maximize your guest blogging benefits and minimize the drawbacks? Here are some tips:
1. Set Guidelines
If you’re worried about content quality, set up guidelines for guest bloggers. This way, you can determine post length, style, topics or whatever else is important to your site.
2. Be Generous
There are few things more powerful in this world than real generosity. So when someone provides a quality guest post on your blog, reward them with a generous response: help promote their content through social media, and you’ll help build your relationship.
3. Don’t Stop Writing
Unless you want to change your blog entirely, don’t stop writing the majority of the posts yourself. Using guest bloggers is fine and good, but to maintain your voice, you need to be the one readers recognize.
What do you think? Do you allow guest bloggers on your site? How often? And when you come to other sites and see posts from guest writers, is it interesting or off-putting? Share your thoughts!