I like to compare blogging and guest blogging to news segments. Bear with me here. For the sake of keeping things light-hearted, we’ll use The Daily Show as an example. Now this is Jon Stewart’s show (or his blog). People tune in primarily to listen to his commentary (his blog posts). However, in addition to his commentary, he also has a number of guests on the program who share their commentary (guest blog posts).
Make sense? I hope so.
Of course, Jon Stewart doesn’t just invite anyone on his show. He looks for different qualities in his guests. In the same vein, there should be certain things you look for in your guest bloggers. Otherwise, the quality of your show (your blog) will suffer.
So, what do we look for?
This should be the first thing you look for in a potential guest blogger. The quality of your guests speaks to the quality of your blog. Jon Stewart doesn’t just put anyone on his show and let them ramble. He strategically picks people who know what they’re talking about and who can add something to the conversation. As they say, it’s easier to write what you know. When someone knows what they’re talking about, it increases the likelihood of an engaging post, which is exactly what you want from a guest blogger.
After gauging their expertise, you want to assess your guest bloggers writing skills. Even though it’s a guest post, if it’s riddled with grammatical errors, it reflects poorly on you and your blog. Jon Stewart wouldn’t invite someone who couldn’t articulate themselves on his show (unless he planned to mock them, which I wouldn’t suggest as a blogging strategy). So with that said, you should make sure your guest blogger can get their point across in a well-written post. This will help build the credibility of your blog.
Knowledge of the Audience
Your guest blogger should speak to your audience, not their own. When you receive a potential guest post, try to review it from your readers’ point of view. It doesn’t have to be an exact match with your tone and viewpoints, but it should be something that connects with your audience. Jon Stewart often brings people on his show that share opposing viewpoints, but they know they’re on a satirical show so they usually incorporate some humor. Make sure your guest blogger is a good match with your audience.
Social Media Profile
One of the reasons guest blogs are such good marketing techniques is because you’re not the only one promoting them. Your guest blogger will likely share the post with his/her social circles as well. Naturally, the bigger social circle or social media profile they have, the more attention you’ll get. Ideally, their fans will also become fans of yours. I’m sure Jon Stewart has roped in a few unlikely viewers just because of the guests he’s had.