Some subscribe to the “only blog when you have something to say” approach, but we’ve found that successful blogging is really about consistency. The success of our top publishers clearly indicates that those who blog more generally have more pageviews, plain and simple. It’s the really rare blogger who can only write on occasion and still get a lot of visitors. In the rare cases that it does work out, it’s usually because said blogger has built up a following outside of their blog first, the the content is highly anticipated. An example? Best-selling author Clay Shirky.
So where does that leave you? You’re probably like me – not famous at all, and with a whole lot of content to create if you want to achieve “consistency.” Enlisting the help of guest bloggers is one way to accomplish this.
Why Guest Bloggers?
I have used several methods to get content created on various company blogs I’ve worked on: guest bloggers, interns, freelancers and even enlisting the help from non-marketing employees at the company. All of those methods have their pros and cons, but I really like working with guest bloggers.
First, it’s oftentimes a special treat to get invited to guest blog. I’ve done it quite a bit, and even I realize that I try to make my guest posts extra special because I want to give something really great to the person who invited me. People will do that for your blog too. And again, because it’s a special invite, guest bloggers are particularly excited when the post gets published and they’ll share it to their networks. Inviting others to post on our blog often creates an opportunity for me to blog for them, too – so I’m getting in front of their audience as well.
Leverage the social media following, connections and enthusiasm of your readers – give guest bloggers a try!
Here are some ways you can use the reports in your content analytics to help you get started with a guest blogging program for your blog.
1. Know What Content Works
Metrics will tell you what the most popular content is for your audience.
Knowing your best performing content will help you in three major ways.
- It will help you recruit the right guest bloggers. Take a look at who has written really great posts before about these topics and reach out to them and see if they would want to contribute something to your blog.
- It will help you create your editorial guidelines. Now that you have more than just you contributing to your blog, you’ve got to have clear editorial guidelines so that the topics you cover and the formatting of the posts themselves stays consistent. Once you know what topics you want to cover, you will be able to tell others about them.
- It will make planning ahead so much easier. Knowing the kinds of posts that work for you will help you generate – and edit – your own ideas in your editorial calendar. For many people, it’s not about having a lack of ideas to write about – it’s more a matter of having way too many ideas and needing to focus. Your top content report shows you where that focus should be.letting guest bloggers know from the start the type of posts you want for the blog. Having a clear vision of what successful content you are trying to replicate will help you plan out your editorial calendar, which will become increasingly important as you will need to communicate your plans with more writers.
2. Inbound Links Report
When you’re first starting a guest blogging program, the toughest part can be “filling the funnel” of consistent writers who will write for you. Your inbound links report solves this by showing you who is linking to you in their own posts, with a link right to the post itself. It’s the perfect guest blogger recruiting tool! Think of this as your warm list of leads, primed for your invite to guest blog. Additionally, if link-building is part of what you want to accomplish with your content, this is a great way to discover places that may accept your guest posts.
3. Influential Sharers
Bloggers love to read and share other blogs. So there’s a good chance that the people who share your content love to create content themselves. Your Influential Sharers report gives you the Twitter and Facebook profiles of the people who share your content the most and drive the most click-throughs on their shares. Reach out to them and see if they’d be interested in sharing some more – on your own blog.
If you’re just starting your guest blogging program, recruiting the right people to contribute to your blog is your first challenge. Keeping your new writers focused on creating the content that will continue to push your blog in the right direction is next. Don’t wish for the right bloggers and don’t rely on hunch alone to help you make these decisions. Trust these simple metrics reports to guide your efforts, and you’ll be off to a great start in your guest blogging program in no time.
This is part of a 3-part series on how to use content analytics to make your blog better. Read yesterday’s post on How to Engage Your Blog’s Community with Content Analytics. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post on what actions to take with common content analytics.