Maintaining a blog is one of the most important aspects of growing your engagement with your target audience. An active blog can establish a business as a reliable industry thought leader, while attracting people to your website on a regular basis. Guest blogging can help you expand your reach and grow your audience. In addition, it will also help you form relationships with others in your industry and bring a fresh perspective and new content to your audience. So, what is the best way to go about creating a successful guest blog program?
1. Hire a manager
Managing a blog can be a full time job. Establishing, managing, and maintaining a guest blog program requires someone well-versed in content strategy and building relationships with other professionals. It is usually best to have one person dedicated to managing an active guest blog program.
A guest blog manager is responsible for tasks such as scheduling posts, managing deadlines, making edits, and approving topics. They must stay on top of search engine optimization trends and give the final editorial approval for blog posts. It is also the manager’s job to establish and maintain relationships with guest bloggers.
2. Create a strategy
A successful guest blogging program has clearly defined goals that encompass the business strategy, sales objectives and highlight the company as an industry leader. Consider the content that is already published on your blog, and attempt to build upon your current topics. Your strategic goals will determine which bloggers are best suited to create content for you.
Developing relationships with high value bloggers can maximize the benefits of a guest blog program, because they have an established following and will add valuable content to your blog.
3. Develop guidelines
Guest blog programs allow companies to have a wider range of content than you could produce in-house. However, that doesn’t mean that you have no control over what your guest bloggers create and publish on your site. Setting guidelines and holding contributors accountable to those guidelines will ensure you’re creating a quality blog, enabling you to attract and hold onto the target audience’s attention.
Editing and revising content – the responsibility of which may lie with the writer and/or the editor – will ensure that the content you publish creates a professional impression for your brand.
4. Manage expectations and timeline
In addition to holding your contributors and editors to a quality standard, they should be aware of deadlines and timelines. When both parties can live up to the terms of an editorial calendar, a guest blog program can flow smoothly and make your blog an important asset in your marketing strategy. As communication with guest bloggers can be a challenge, a content calendar software program may be needed.
Creating a guest blogger program requires commitment, planning and resources. A skilled consultant has the knowledge to assist in developing a solid program.
Shannon Prager is the President of Leadit Marketing. She is responsible for the daily operations and management of Leadit Marketing as well as the long term vision for the company.
A marketing leader with over 17 years of B2B demand generation and marketing experience, she understands the importance of a fully developed marketing strategy. Shannon’s background includes demand generation, marketing automation, social media and marketing operations. You can follow her on Twitter via: @LeaditMarketing