This guest post is by Shari Lopatin of ShariLopatin.com.
We’ve all heard how writing guest posts for other blogs can increase exposure and drive traffic to your site. But what about hosting guest bloggers as a way to increase traffic?
New concept, huh?
Before we move on, I want you to stop right here and clear your mind. Then, repeat after me: “Inviting others to my site will not help my competitors. Inviting others to my site will not help my competitors.”
Benefits of hosting guest bloggers
Several months ago, I was experiencing a major lull in my blog, “Shari Lopatin: Rogue Writer.” Literally, I averaged 15 visits a day. Then, I invited another published writer and teacher to craft a guest post. The day she published … bingo!
My blog’s views soared from 15 to 200—in less than two hours. And it only climbed from there.
After inviting others to guest post in the coming weeks, I started seeing a trend. Every time I hosted a guest blogger, my page views more than doubled. Sometimes, they quadrupled. And this was good traffic, too. People commented. They followed me on Twitter. And, some even subscribed to my blog.
How to drive traffic with guest bloggers
Here’s the key: you can’t invite just anyone to write for your site. You have to find the “influencers” within your niche. If you want to be successful, here are the steps I recommend following. They haven’t failed me yet!
1. Find potential influencers
Start by using Twitter’s search feature, or other social media search tools, such as SocialMention.com or Topsy.com. Use terms that correlate to your blog’s niche, such as “social media” or “photography.”
2. Identify the true influencers
These are the people whose followings are not only large, but engaged. Some points to look for: consistent blog comments, regular (but not necessarily frequent) blog posts, more Twitter followers than they are following, and consistent responses to Facebook comments.
3. Be reasonable in choosing your influencers
I say this because if you’re a lesser-known writer, you cannot expect Seth Rogen to guest post on your blog. Even another writer with 2,000 Twitter followers could be a great pick.
4. Court your influencers
Like them on Facebook, subscribe to their blog (and then comment), follow them on Twitter. Get to know their writing style and understand how they interact with their readers.
5. Reach out and invite them to guest post
If you courted your influencers correctly, they may already know your name by now. So email them, or send a direct message on Twitter. Ask them to write a guest post for your blog … and tell them why you’re asking (i.e. do they generate great discussions, or perhaps their composition blows you away?).
This is vital. The whole reason your blog will benefit from hosting a guest, is because of cross-promotion. On the day you publish, ask your guest to:
- post a few links to Twitter
- promote their post on Facebook
- run a teaser on their blog, driving traffic to your site
- and don’t forget: you do the same to promote them!
Give it a try, and I promise you’ll see results. If it works, I’d love to hear your success stories (I might even blog about them), so find me at the virtual hubs below and let me know. If you’ve already used this technique to boost traffic to your blog, let us know your story in the comments.
Shari Lopatin is an award-winning professional writer, journalist, and media strategist who’s been published regionally, and nationally. Find her on Twitter @ShariLopatin, follow her on Facebook, or visit her at “Shari Lopatin: Rogue Writer,” where she blogs every other Thursday about writing tips, funny stories, industry news, and media strategies.