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A Quick Start Guide to Getting the Most from Guest Posting

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We greatly value the work of guest bloggers on this blog as they have contributed some of the blog’s best content; however, it is important to manage the guest writers correctly for the benefit of both us and them.  Below are the top fifteen points to help you get the most out of guest blogging.

A guest blogger can be a highly useful asset, particularly since we have a small editorial team and need to produce large amounts of content.  The majority of the articles on this blog are written by the editorial team, but other content contributions come from elsewhere in the company and from guest bloggers.  

Using guest bloggers we are able to obtain various perspectives on digital issues from others who are ‘in the field’ from clients and agencies.  Furthermore, the guest blogger can become a ‘cheerleader’ for the blog promoting the content to their own networks. In short, the guest blogger can be valuable and significant for different blogs.

How Can I Get The Most From A Guest Blogger?

For a blog’s editor, the trick to getting the most from a guest blogger is to make the correct choices.  This is not always simple, but here is how I try to achieve this task:

1 – Ask For Ideas

If the blogger has a track record of blogging, this can be helpful because you can review the quality of his or her writing.  If not, then it is recommended that you request that the potential guest blogger submit ideas for articles they wish to write for your site.  This will also allow you to offer early feedback for the individual.

2 – Agree On Different Topics And Themes In Advance

One problem facing several bloggers working on a single site is that, while all people want to write about social media and content marketing, there are often gaps in the less ‘glamorous’ areas including affiliate marketing.  By agreeing on topics in advance, you will help the guest blogger locate their niche on your blog and assist in avoiding any duplicate content.

3 – Be Selective

Given the vast amount of guest blogging offers we receive, it is essential that we are selective.  In fact, the volume of submissions makes it more challenging to respond to all the requests and sort the proverbial wheat from the chaff.

I can now understand Bas van den Beld’s frustration regarding guest blogging and his decision deny future submissions for guest blogging positions.  While we do not want to stop accepting applicants, the number of low-quality requests for guest blogging is becoming annoying.

So, my advice in this situation is to only accept the guest posts that you know will be good and of interest to your target audience.  While you cannot tell if the content is good until the individual submits a post, do not be afraid to reject the post or request rewrites.

4 – Setting Standards

We are sent numerous articles regularly which are obviously written as a means of ticking the guest post box and not to submit an article of substance.  I have seen various posts that are 400 or 500 words, but only words of waffle with very little true content. This does not work and will portray the blogger in a poor light.

When discussing guest blogging it is important that you make it clear what the quality level is regarding content for the site.

5 – Setting Expectations

I have been referring writers to lists similar to this whereby we explain our guest blogging criteria; however, I am creating a new checklist as it is clear that certain people are not reading the original list.  

It is important that you make your blogging expectations clear from the beginning because this will allow people to make informed decisions as to whether they want to write for your site.  If you do have expectations marked out, it should include the type of content you want, the frequency of posting, etc. In our situation, we require insight and best practice tips from our guest bloggers, not infographics, interviews or news articles.

6 – Promoting The Use Of Pictures

Believe it or not, posts do look more appealing with screenshots and charts to demonstrate the points being made by guest bloggers.  The images break up the text and evidence shows that it is more likely that people will read on.  Getting guest bloggers to use pictures in these ways reduces the workload of the editor.

7 – Ensure They Know About Your Blog

While I do not expect all guest bloggers to be avid readers of our website when they begin contributing, it does help if they are familiar with the site’s content.  In fact, I would agree that the majority of our best guest bloggers have success because they understand the blog’s audience, the content, what works, and the gaps that need to be filled.  If a person arrives at your website by randomly searching for guest blogging opportunities, then it is likely that the content will be low-quality.

8 – Provide A Clear Style Guide

According to matthewwoodward.co.uk, style and formatting are highly significant to our blog and posts need to be informative, but also simple to read.  Taking these points into account, we have formed a blog style guide providing guest bloggers with content writing expectations, an example of how the posts should look, and which hateful marketing jargon they should avoid.  In fact, if I happen to see the terms ‘leverage’ or ‘paradigm’ in a guest post I can be certain that they have not read our style guide.

9 – Speaking Directly With The Guest Blogger

I do not want to dismiss all the guest blogger submissions we receive via PR agencies, but I find it helps to have a direct conversation with the blogger before accepting their content. Using this conversation, you can be sure that your points have been put across and feedback can be passed on quickly. It also ensures that the guest posts are not written by a third-party. To learn more about other blogs that accept guest posts and how to get in touch with the owner of such sites, be sure to check out this list of sites.

10 – Avoiding Any Self-Promotion

While I indicate that there will not be self-promotion with guest blogging on our website, I still receive articles containing phrases such as ‘using our industry-leading solutions’.  These are similar to press releases and, while I understand it can be difficult to pass up opportunities to talk about your own work, blatant self-promotion should be avoided entirely.

11 – Do Not Spend Too Much Time On Bloggers

While you can provide expectations for content and offer feedback on the guest posts, if the blogger does not ‘get it’ you must not be afraid to cast him or her aside.  Why waste time working with these bloggers when you could be writing your own original content.

12 – Creating An Author Biography

The standard author biography can be used for guest bloggers and this ensures that no person can require ‘juicy’ anchor text or leading SEO phrases to describe themselves as content gurus.  Our standard biography allows a guest blogger to describe their job title, the company, and offer the readers some options on how to contact them once they finish reading the article.

13 – Ensure The Articles Are Exclusive

There are several reasons why the articles must be exclusive.  Firstly, you do not want to risk the chance of producing duplicate content and facing these issues with Google.  Secondly, you do not want to use the same post that has been placed on another person’s blog.

14 – Providing Constructive Feedback

You cannot expect a guest blogger to submit perfect posts the first time, and if they wish to improve they will appreciate your feedback.  Tell them why you have changed certain items in the post and what types of things can be done to improve the next post. It can take guest bloggers several posts to gain their stride, but once they have momentum it means consistent content and less work for the editor.

If you currently have a website, blog, or online brand, be sure to start implementing these simple steps into your guest posting efforts, and you will definitely start seeing better response rates, approvals, and SEO across the board.

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Zac Johnson is a online marketer with 15 years of experience and also a blogger at ZacJohnson.com, as well as the founder of BloggingTips.com. You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Blogging

Why Do So Few Bloggers Make Money?

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You are ready to make more money blogging.

I see it.

I feel it.

So never ask questions like this:

Fear-filled bloggers ask such questions.

People afraid to lose money ask such questions.

Since where your energy goes, grows, if you fear losing money, you lose money.

Can you see why few bloggers make money?

Most humans and bloggers fear losing money.

Making money through blogging becomes impossible if you fear losing money.

You cannot fear losing money and make money simultaneously. Impossible.

You cannot feel abundant, rich, whole and complete, and lose money. Impossible.

Analyze this Question

The Quora user asking above question typifies many bloggers who fear:

  • losing money
  • spending money
  • being scammed
  • being spammed

Said fear co-creates fear-filled, poverty-inducing, failed results.

Life mirrors your energy.

Few bloggers make money because few bloggers feel abundant, rich, whole and complete.

Your Energy Dominates Your Actions and Life

I recall working really hard creating, connecting and doing stuff successful bloggers told me to do.

I still went broke.

Why?

No matter how hard I worked and no matter what proven, successful blogging advice I followed, my energy screamed:

  • fear
  • lack
  • limitation
  • poverty
  • scarcity
  • no money

so I manifested lack, poverty, scarcity and no money.

Your energy dominates everything.

How to Make More Money Blogging

I decided to visualize riches, to feel wealthy, to focus on blogging wins and to keep things positive.

Almost instantly, I began to make more money blogging because I changed my predominant feeling to rich, abundant, wealthy vibes.

Money appeared in my bank account through 2 income streams with minimal work. I got an idea to promote my blogging course frequently; I sold more courses. I linked to my eBooks frequently to boost eBook income. Toss in acting on an idea to SEO optimize posts and I made even more money blogging through passive, targeted Google traffic.

Money flowed to me because I visualized myself with more money, I chose to feel rich, I emitted a calm, confident vibe, and I felt detached and knowing riches are mine.

As within, so without.

Go From Lack to Lots

The person asking the Quora question allowed fear to dominate their mind, focusing on lack of opportunities. Such folks are broke or go broke fast because where your attention and energy goes, grows.

Focus on lots. Concentrate on the idea of abundant. Feel rich by visualizing yourself with riches. Count all of your blogging wins. Keep things positive.

Life just follows your mindset. Experiences follow where you choose to put your attention and energy.

Few bloggers make money because few bloggers choose to focus their mind on abundance, wealth, riches, success and positive ideas.

Choose to make money blogging now. Visualize yourself being wealthy. Feel opulence. Step into the spirit of opulence.

Pull out your credit card to invest in my blogging course. Investing money makes you more money. Money circulates; release it to see it return to you multiplied.

Rich people feel and act this way. Emulate bloggers who make money.

Think, feel and act rich to earn riches.

Make money blogging.

Step away from the herds of bloggers who focus on lack.

Think abundance.

Prosper.

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Blogging

How Can You Start Blogging for Free?

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Impossible.

Blogging requires:

  • financial investment; domain and hosting at a minimum
  • time investment
  • energy investment

Blogging is a skill. You invest money to begin developing the skill effectively. Add time and energy through your blogging work and you lay the foundation for a successful blogging career.

You cannot start blogging for free because without financial investment you are not really blogging.

Imagine starting a blog on a free platform.

How can you ever impress people if you fear investing $7 a month on hosting and $14 on a domain?

People see the free platform, believe you to be an amateur, you lose your credibility as potential readers do not trust you, and folks exit your blog.

Investing Money to Make Money

Observe my blog:

Blogging From Paradise

I invested thousands of dollars in my blog over the years and made a lot more money than thousands of dollars.

I bought my domain and hosting 10 years ago as an investment in freedom and greater profits.

Fast forward a decade; I have circled the globe for 8 years, living in places like Fiji, Bali and Costa Rica. The thousands of dollars I invested allowed me to:

  • gain reader trust
  • convey a professional brand image
  • be seen as one of the top bloggers on earth
  • increase blog traffic
  • increase eBook sales, course sales and audio book sales
  • be featured on world famous sites
  • move higher in blogging circles

Imagine if I began blogging for free. Would Fox News want to interview a blogger using a free blogging platform? No. Of course Fox News seeks out renowned leaders and every blogging leader invests money in blogging to do blogging right.

Free Platforms Look Cheap and Unprofessional

Free blogging platforms look terrible.

Can you ever gain reader trust if your blog looks terrible?

Observe the long, wordy, non-branded domain name, including the free hosting company. Imagine if cnn.com was cnn.blogspot.com? Would you trust CNN if the corporation used a free blogging platform? No.

This is from my trip to Turkey.

Imagine if espn.com was espn.typepad.com. Would you trust the content? No.

Even if you intend to never profit through your blog you better buy your domain and hosting because few if any readers trust bloggers on free platforms.

How to Begin a Blog the Right Way

Invest money in:

Invest money in your success.

Begin blogging the right way to cut years off of:

  • your learning curve
  • your success curve

Money circulates; invest money today and it flows back to you multiplied exponentially.

Losing or spending money is impossible in a Universe of abundance.

Develop this prosperity consciousness to begin blogging from an abundant, successful, positive energy.

Develop a Money Consciousness to Make Money with Your Blog

The old saying goes; it takes money to make money.

I take it one step further; it takes a money consciousness to make money.

A high number of bloggers invest money in their blog but struggle to make money. Said bloggers believe they spent or lost money on their blog, which is not true.

Develop a money consciousness.  It takes a money consciousness to make money with your blog, meaning you need believe money circulates, as you release money and it returns to you multiplied in awesome fashion.

I discovered 2 unknown, unexpected income streams recently, both online. Why? I circulate money. I see any investment in my blog, in bills or in anything, flowing back to me multiplied.

Develop this positive, abundant mindset.

Invest money in your blog from day 1.

Begin blogging the right way.

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Blogging

How to Build Brand Authenticity Using Customer Generated Content

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Creating quality content is the best thing someone can ever do for their company. When done right, it generates a lot of traffic towards the website thus giving a high likelihood of converting the followers into leads. Unfortunately, quality content is expensive and can use up a lot of money, time, and very exhaustive.

Fortunately for us, there is another way to get quality content without having to go through all this hustle. When you make use of this strategy, it will turn out to be more powerful and accurate than other cumbersome methods. This solution is known as User Generated Content (UGC) since it is one of the simplest way to get results without getting tired.

What is the significance of UGC?

The moment you make use of content generated by customers, you automatically create trust with other customers. This is because more than 80% of consumers find content generated by their fellow customers to be convincing and true than what the brands can write about themselves. The assumption is that no one will ever write negatives about themselves unless third parties take over.

UGC is the most authentic type of content as 98% of it is true since customers have no interests in the customers creating profits. If something is bad, they will write it as it is. The reverse is also true. It is therefore recommendable to spend more time curating on the content written by consumers rather than the company itself. You can also use a tool like keyword.com to better create content for your audience and to also rank higher in Google for multiple keywords and search phrases.

The other advantage of UGC is the ability to track all the conversations and mentions. This mostly helps by finding out what the customers think about your services and products. In case of any problem, you can address the same issue. You are allowed to comment on the same wall towards their plights.

The other advantage is to help a company in saving time meant to write content. This time can be allocated to other issues that help in accumulating profits for the business.

Ways to Build an Effective UCG Marketing Strategy

1 – Choose your platform wisely

You do not just create a CGC in any area. The first thing is to ensure that you have a good number of active followers in online platforms. In addition to this, remember that each platform works differently; Facebook users are known for sharing content whereas Instagram is more of visuals. When you ask people for content, remember to be specific with what you want since a lot of us are ready to talk about anything we wish.

2 – Collect independent customer reviews

Customers’ reviews are very vital to any business as they act as personal recommendations to other people who are yet to try your brand. In fact, a lot of people prefer to read a number of reviews before making a conclusion on whether to buy or not. If someone comes across two or more negative comments, a good number will pull away from your page. Remember that savvy customers will always spot fake reviews hence the more reason to stick to authentic customers. The only way to win their hearts is by offering what you promised in the first place.

3 – Offer rewards

There is nothing as encouraging as being rewarded for doing something. Offering rewards attracts a lot of people towards your page as everyone is eager to get something. Don’t try too hard by getting expensive gifts. You can promise that a winner will have their tweets retweeted or you feature their article or business on your page. Not only will they feel happy that they are part of your success but will also attract new users to subscribe.

Neil Patel is often preaching about the process of offering rewards and getting users to submit an email address on your site — which you can then follow up with afterwards. You can read more on Neil and his most recent resources in this article from webdesignteam.com.

4 – Support a charity event

You need to remind your customers that your brand is not after making profits but rather in helping the community in different events such as acts of charity. Let people know that you have a greater vision for them too.

Online platforms can either break or boost your business. This is because a lot of people have turned to recommendation on social media by strangers or friends. If you want better reviews, ensure that your products are quality and services are up to standard.

User Generation Content is the Way to Go!

With more than a billion active websites and blogs on the internet today, content overload is happening daily. The same is true for brands and bloggers that are struggling to create original content on their own.

The better option is to build a platform or content creation and marketing plan that relies on content being created from other users. After all, how much content has Facebook or Instagram ever made… and look at how huge and massive their brands are!

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