Reverse Guest Blogging

Have you tried asking people to write for your site, as contributors (free/ contributed writers)? It’s complicated. We don’t feel good about asking for free content. But, there are good reasons to write for another site, even if you aren’t paid in dollars, or cents.

  • Building contacts
  • Becoming an authority
  • Attracting new readers

If you write for another site (as contributed content) make sure you get an author profile with links to your own sites and a little write up about who you are and what you do.

If you want to find writers for your site make sure you set the terms clearly. Don’t leave them expecting to be paid and hope they won’t notice or make an issue out of it. Tell them about your site and your readers. Interest them in what you do. Talk about your future goals but keep it short until they ask for more information. When you request a guest/ contributed post from them think about how you would like to be approached yourself and be sincere.

How Does Reverse Guest Blogging Work?

To make reverse guest blogging work for you, you’re going to need a plan. There are essentially three steps:

Figure out what you want out of a guest contributor. How often do you want them to contribute? Is there a particular subject you want discussed? Who is going to be in charge of managing this relationship?

Make a list of all the authors you may want to feature. After you make a list, consider doing a few searches to find other writes who you aren’t familiar with.

Go out and try to connect with those authors and talk with them about this opportunity.

If you can’t get the authors you had originally wanted, don’t get discouraged. Figure out who they are connected with (possibly other writers on that blog) and do your outreach there to try and make yourself known.

After all, it’s important that you and your blog are something the author knows as much as it is the other way around.

via Reverse Guest Blogging Will be Huge in 2014: How it Works.

Avoid the Daily Post Burnout

Avoid burnout.

If you want to stick to daily posts on your site you have options.

  • Write the posts a week ahead and then schedule them to appear daily.
  • Instead of writing a long post with many points divide it up. Use each point as an individual post and turn them all into a series, interlinked on your site.
  • Get help. Find someone else in your niche who would like to write but doesn’t want to do it alone, or doesn’t know HTML, etc.
  • Use borrowed content. There are many sites which offer contributed content. Read the rules at each site.
  • Write shorter posts. Go with an illustration or draw a web comic one or more days of your posting week. You’ll still be busy posting every day but the change of media could keep it from getting stale and give you fresh insights.
  • Revamp your blog layout, template or theme. Giving the site a new look makes it feel new again, or at least not the same old routine.
  • Change the format of your posts. Write in point form or make a list post once or twice a week instead of the standard paragraph form.
  • Write ahead for seasonal posts. That way you know you have at least one day off to look forward to.
  • Interviews and product reviews can be kept in a stash to be posted when you want to take a week off without notice.
  • Most people have a 5 day work week. You can take off weekends and still be considered to be posting daily. (It’s a personal choice).
  • Exchange content with another writer. Or, arrange to exchange blog babysitting so he/she writes for both blogs one week and you take on both blogs the next week.
  • Run an event. It could be a contest or something with the idea of social networking/ community building. You will need to promote it and get others involved but it also gives you something to write about each day as you talk about your idea and the progress you are making.
  • Finally, just take a week off. Announce it in your blog and give the date you will return. Try to stick to the return date unless you really do decide to abandon your site once you are away from it.

 

Copy in Plain Text Firefox Plugin

Copy Plain Text: A plugin for Firefox that lets you copy in plain text. Very nice! It’s experimental so still beta and you may find it does not work for you, or does not work in every case. But the idea is great! If you have ever used contributed content from another source and find yourself having to reformat it all you can now save yourself from doing it that way any more. Just copy it in plain text from the email or web page and it will allow you to post it in your own format, as any plain text would. Sweet!

Freely Contributed Content

I used to run a website for writers: HerCorner. The site included articles about writing, in fact those were the main content. So, I read a lot of what other people are writing about writing. Well, ok, I skim it. Anyway, most of the contributed content (free to reprint in ezines and newsletters) is full of the same thing over and over and over again: web promotion and selling.

I think it’s great that people are writing articles and then contributing them to sites like mine in exchange for their own promotion, it’s self syndication. It seems like such a great win – win situation. I just love those.

But, it’s not working as well as it could be. Unless you can find a source for articles geared to the content you are looking for (writing, space travel, parenting, etc) you will end up wading through endless articles and only find one which you really, strongly feel you want to use. It’s not that the articles are not well written, they just cover the same old stuff all too well.

Most of the articles I come across (on several email lists for contributing content) are geared to web promotion/ selling. I don’t think many of the people looking for content are looking for that kind of content. There are so many sites covering that and each of them seem to write their own articles as a way of promoting themselves as an authority on the subject.

The original writer of the article isn’t creating anything unique that could be used by most of the ezines and sites out here. I bet a lot of writers decide this form of promotion isn’t workable. But, it is, if they would just look at the ezines out here. There are so many different topics covered with endless angles and styles. Look around, find a topic you really have an interest in or want to become known for writing about.

In a perfect world this self syndication would be one of the best things about the Internet for a writer. Until then, we just have to work with what we have or write our own content. Which I do.

However, I really like publishing another writer’s work. Mainly because this way it’s not just me talking. My readers get another point of view and my site looks healthier. A site with just one writer does lose something. To grow, a site manager needs to keep exploring, developing, creating and searching for fresh content and points of view. It really helps if you can find an article someone else wrote to reprint on your site.

So, that is my point in all this: writers looking for that self promotion/ syndication from contributing content need to work outside of the box. Find out what web publishers are really looking for. Take a chance and try something new, something uniquely you!

Free Content

I’ve used contributed and/ or free content before. But, it brings it’s own set of difficulties. Before you jump into this, thinking how much easier your life will be consider the following:

1) Unless you want content geared to website promotion, you may be out of luck. The main topic of free content is about site promotion, one way or another. This is changing, slowly. As you find articles to use the well will run dry. Eventually you may find you are spending more time looking for fresh content than it would have taken to write it yourself. If you do find a good writer this way, keep in contact and ask if they have other articles you could use.

2) People who post to free content sites don’t always read the rules. I’ve had authors demand I stop using their content. Some claimed it had expiry dates, some claimed the full article was never meant to be used, just a teaser with a link back to their own site. One expected me to change the format of my pages to suit her article. Before you use a free content site, read the rules, be aware of them. Before using any free content send an email to the writer. Give them an outline of how the content will be used, keep it short and simple.

3) Formatting is hell. Do I need to elaborate? If you have ever cut and pasted a large body of text to a site you are familiar with the backspace and up and down keys on your keyboard. The most aggravating part of using content which you cut and paste from another site is making it fit into your own site’s layout. Yes, this is a small thing but over time it is seriously aggravating. Ask if all contributed content can be sent to you in plain text files. You can at least hope.

4) Grammar, punctuation and spelling. I’m not a dictionary myself but I try to learn from my mistakes, I proofread and I run spellcheck. I don’t understand why everyone who writes can’t do the same. But, you may find yourself editing a lot of contributed content.

I’m not against using free or contributed content but it’s not the perfect answer to filling up your zine with greatness. On the plus side, you won’t be the only one talking. It is good to have more than your own voice, ideas and experiences. It’s great to have something you can rely on when you’re pressed for time, out of ideas or just don’t want to write. Making contacts and networking is another plus. But, it’s not all free and easy. Be aware of the pitfalls.