Guest blogging has become a powerful way to gain exposure. There are tons of articles on the web that talks about how to write a great guest post. However, we had a hard time finding an article that covered publisher’s side of things. What are the benefits of accepting guest posts for a publisher? How to attract guest bloggers? Which posts should I accept and which should I reject? How to effectively manage guest bloggers? What type of WordPress setup do I need? Are there WordPress plugins that can help? What are things to avoid? If you have ever had these questions, then you are at the right place. In this article, we will show you how to effectively attract and manage guest bloggers in WordPress.
Benefits of Accepting Guest Posts for Publishers
Everyone knows that Guest blogging has tons of benefits for the guest author or the company they represent. But what’s in it for you as a publisher?
- New Perspective – Every author brings their unique perspective with their writing. Your audience will like a little change of pace.
- New Audience – Often the guest author will share the published post with their audience.
- New Connection – By allowing the other person to guest post on your site, you automatically build a relationship with them. This increases your chances of helping each other in the future.
- New Post – You get one extra post on your site that you didn’t have to write. You can use that time to do something else.
Now that you see the benefits of accepting guest posts on your site. We are almost certain you are going to start. So how do you attract guest bloggers in WordPress?
Attracting Guest Bloggers in WordPress
There are various ways you can attract guest bloggers in WordPress. The simplest way of doing this is creating a “Write for Us” page on your site. Often blogs tend to make this page very visible. Some place the link in their main navigation:
Others put it after each post in the author bio, or on each guest author post.
Some even offer monetary rewards for guest authors.
The point is that you have to make it visible that you are accepting guest posts on your site. The choice of how prominent you want to make it is up to you.
Another way of getting guest posts is by guest posting on other sites. Often bloggers tend to reciprocate guest posts. This can work out great specially if you are in the same niche. Last but certainly not least, you can join a community of guest bloggers. MyBlogGuest by far is one of the best places for that.
Once you start getting guest post submissions, how do you determine what’s good and what’s not? You have to set rules.
Rules of Accepting Guest Posts and What to Avoid?
Ever since Google has started cracking down on paid text links, SEO companies and spammers are relying on guest posts to pick up the slack. For this vary reason, no matter how popular your blog is, you will see at least a few guest posts request. When your blog is relatively new, and you get a guest post request, you get really excited. In that excitement, you tend to make the mistake of approving sub-par or even low quality posts. Here are some rules that we follow:
Ask what keyword/backlinks do you want? – Because of WPBeginner’s rank and authority, a lot of SEO companies and spammers approach us. Often these companies are very tricky about backlinks. They will never specify which company they are writing for. You can’t tell by their email because they are using some generic gmail or yahoo email address. We don’t want to link to some spammy site (i.e porn, ink jet printers, car insurance company etc). We also don’t want to link to specific keyword. Now if you don’t ask this question before hands, they will write the article for you and add the backlink. At this point if you reject their post, it sort of looks bad. It’s best not to waste time, so get this out of the way.
Ask for Topic Ideas and Summary Before the Final Post – Often these SEO companies and spammers tend to have pre-written articles. So they will say we want to write for your blog, but they don’t suggest ideas. If you say just send the guest post, then you will regret that decision. Because chances are you will get a pre-written post that has been published on numerous sites. It’s always best to ask them for topic ideas along with a short summary. This shows you how qualified they are.
Never Accept Generic or List Post Ideas – We get anywhere from 5 – 10 guest post submissions on a daily basis. Majority of them are generic posts or list post ideas. Examples include “How to Setup your WordPress blog”. Seriously, don’t you think that we have already covered that topic already. Or it would be like “15 Best SEO plugins”. Do we really need 15 plugins? We get tons of suggestions like that, and we automatically delete those.
If you think that a guest post will help your users, then you should accept it.
Setup for Accepting Guest Bloggers in WordPress
Now that you know how to attract guest bloggers in WordPress and what to avoid, it brings us to the point of what type of setup do you need? How to accept guest posts? How to manage guest posts? Let’s take a look at the options you have.
Individual User Accounts Method
This is one of the commonly used method. You create an account for the user on your blog. This gives them access to your backend which makes it easy for you to handle things. The guest author can format the posts, upload images etc. Not to mention, it also shows your user who created the post because the author name is different. Your audience can choose to follow a specific guest author by going to their author profile on your blog. This all sounds good, but there are some major aspects that you should consider.
Most guest authors are one-time posters. Meaning chances are they will not submit more than one guest post. It doesn’t make sense to have so many loose ends on your site. Sure you can disable or lock a user account in WordPress, but you should be a bit more careful.
You want to make sure that you choose your roles wisely. You can either assign your guest authors the role of an “author”, but you need to make sure that you take away some of their privileges such as publishing posts, editing published posts, and delete published posts. Alternatively, you can assign them the role of a Contributor, and just give them a privilege to upload images/files. You should use Justin Tadlock’s Members plugin to do role modifications (i.e add/remove privileges). If you want to see capabilities/privileges each user roles has, then check out this table on the WordPress codex.
This method works great for sites that have multi-authors, but if you have one-time bloggers, then you should probably consider the method below.
Generic Guest Blogger Account
You will notice several blogs including our own using a generic guest blogger account. This is when you just create one specific account and call it Guest Blogger. Any guest posts that are published can be associated to this account. Then at the beginning of the article, you add who the original author was. Then towards the end of the post, you add their author bio. Here is an example of a guest post on WPBgeinner.
So how do you accept posts? Well there are a few ways. You can use the old-fashioned email method. Ask the guest author to write the post in a Word Document. Save it in a zip along with all the images and send it to you. This is a fairly common method that we have seen being used. Alternatively, you can use Gravity Forms. Create a password protected page on your site just for your guest contributors. Create a Gravity Forms there and use their advanced post fields to collect the information.
You can do other neat things as well like rewriting guest author name with custom fields. You can do the same thing with author bio, and make it seamlessly integrate with your design. Whatever you do, just make sure that it is future-proof.
We hope that we have answered all the questions. Just wanted to remind you: never ever give anyone administrator level access to your site unless you absolutely trust them. If you have any questions or would like to add your input regarding guest blogging and WordPress, then we would love to hear from you in the comments.