As the leading authority on your company, it’s only natural that you’ve got a lot to say about it on your small business blog. However, manning the ship all by yourself can carry some pretty serious risk with it – namely, your content can become a little stale.
Sometimes, the best solution is as simple as inviting a guest over. No, not for dinner … to be a guest writer on your blog!
Here’s why occasionally tapping an outsider can help, where to find the guest of honor and how to be a hospitable host.
The Perks of Guest Bloggers
As much as your audience loves your small business blog (and they do love your blog, because you’re creating great content – right?), a fresh voice is always welcome.
Guest bloggers can share a message that’s similar to yours, but from a different perspective. They may have ideas or suggestions you’ve never thought of before. At the very least, they’ll lighten your workload – after all, that’s one less blog post you need to write.
There’s an added perk to this guest blogging stuff, too. Your esteemed guests likely will have followers of their own, meaning you’re not just finding new words for your audience – you’re actually finding new people, too.
And some of them may just stick around to see what you’ve got to say in the future.
Find a Quality Guest Blogger
The benefits of using a guest blogger are pretty clear, but knowing who will be a great guest blogger – who has the right combination of expertise, experience and voice – might not be.
The best place to start is with the industry blogs that you already read. (You read them for a reason, right?) A simple email inviting someone to be a guest writer will often do the trick, especially if you’ve had some interaction with the person in the past. If you need to grease the palms, consider offering a guest post of your own in return, or even payment if you can afford it.
If you can’t find a fellow blogger, ask one of your small business’ customers, longtime clients or one of your staff members. All of these people can bring an interesting and different perspective and voice to your small business blog.
Be a Good Host
You wouldn’t invite a stranger home for dinner without first introducing him to your family. So you should never let a guest blogger speak to your audience without introducing him or her. This can be as simple as a blurb saying “This post is written by so-and-so, a frequent contributor at…”
It’s also common courtesy to give your bloggers space for their own bio and a link back to their website. Remember, they should benefit from this partnership, too.
Make sure to follow up with your guest blogger after their post is published, and thank them for their contribution. Politeness goes a long way – and you may even score an invitation to write for their blog.