Do you remember those awful icebreakers that your teacher made you do when you were in middle school where you had to introduce yourself and say something interesting, such as a hobby or favorite food? It always made us feel incredibly awkward as we were put on the spot on the first day of school. Do you talk about your puppy? Maybe you like to draw. Or maybe you should ramble about the newest installment of Pokémon, hoping that someone in class felt the same way you did about Pikachu. Pika pika?
Attracting a guest blogger can feel the same way. However, it doesn’t have to.
1. Find the Right Guest Blogger for You
- Figure out who you are targeting
- Find targets in your niche
Mackenzie Fogelson discusses these two steps in her article for The Moz Blog. “In order to determine the right guest-blogging opportunities, you’ve got to identify your target audience.” You need to identify your audience because they’re going to be the ones reading the blog. Therefore, you want to find someone who will discuss topics that interest your readers. This brings us to the second step. “Now that you’ve figured out who in general you want to target, you’ll want to actually find the specific people that you want to reach out to for guest-blogging opportunities.”
If you want to wax philosophically about Ash Ketchum and his constant attempts at “being the best, like no one ever was,” don’t go to a blog about Law and Order: SVU. However, you can potentially go to a blog that’s similar to your topic and find opportunities there. Maybe you find yourself on a blog about Digimon, another series where people can summon little critters to do their bidding. It’s not the same show, but it is the same genre.
2. Read Their Blog and Start a Conversation
Kristi Hines shared a blog post on KISSmetrics that goes into this second step. “Getting to know your target blog’s content is key. Sure you know they have content about the keyword you searched for while looking for guest post opportunities. But you need to know even more about that content.” This won’t be as awkward as that sixth grade icebreaker. This is because, after step one, you have found people who share a common interest. There is no second guessing if they like Pokémon, you know they do. So now comes that icebreaker. Instead of just flat out asking them to be a guest blogger, read their blog and start a conversation. Respond to something they post, or take advantage of social media and tweet, like, share or all of the above, which takes us into step number three:
3. When Asking About Guest Blogging, Remind Them Who You Are
The reason why you want to start a conversation beforehand is so that your potential guest blogger will now know who you are. When you send that message asking them about guest blogging, you’ll have the advantage of saying, “Remember me? We talked via [insert social media/blog here] about [insert topic].” Also, when sending that email, it’s best to be personal, yet professional. “As a blogger who receives daily guest post pitches, nothing turns me off of an email more than ones starting with Dear Sir or Madam, Dear Webmaster, To the owner of Kikolani.com, or simply Hi,” says Hines. In short, address the blogger by name. It may seem like a small thing to do, but it at least shows that you pay attention to their blog if you can say, “Hi Sarah,” instead of, “To whom it may
4. Don’t Pull Them out of Their Comfort Zone
This goes back to the first step of finding someone who fits your blog. Once you do find that perfect guest blogger, don’t make them talk about something they don’t want to. Don’t make your Pokémon blogging buddy talk about the final score during the Superbowl. That’s not to say that the guest blogger doesn’t watch football, but if their entire blog is splattered with pokeballs, that’s the topic they’re going to want to discuss — unless they tell you otherwise.
5. Show Them Love
Harsh Agrawal says it best in his post on ShoutMELoud: love, love and love. “When people guest post on your blog give them as much love as possible. That could be in terms of traffic, exposure or brand awareness.” It’s important to remember that guest bloggers are people, just like you, and just like you they have their own lives to live. The fact that they’ve taken time out to post on your blog deserves some appreciation. This will also establish a good relationship between the two of you and gives you a contact you can use later.