This guest post is by Frank Angelone of SocialTechZone.com.
Have you ever lent a friend money? If so, was this someone you thought you could trust? If you answered in the affirmative, as they say in The Social Network, than you will want to keep reading.
The thought may already have crossed your mind, “how does lending money to a friend relate to blogging?” Well, I’m glad you asked because when it comes to guest blogging, the blog owner is lending you their blog just like when you lent money to your friend.
Let’s start off with a story and we’ll bring this all together later on.
The perils of lending property
Let’s dive right into this personal story of mine and I’ll show you the best practices to take when using my experience in your guest blogging ventures.
A friend of mine, who I once considered my “best friend” had been in multiple financial jams when it came to paying rent, bills, or (let’s be blunt!) anything with a due date.
So, like any friend would, I decided to lend him the money to help pay his half of the rent and any other bills.
Little did I know that this pattern would continue down a path of destruction. What started out as me helping out a “brother” turned into me supporting him.
There are two things to point out: I shouldn’t have been so oblivious that he was taking advantage of me, and I’m not the only culprit on his list of lenders.
My friend swindled me out of about $1,000. It became so bad that it was starting to affect my financial situation and the best thing that happened to me was finding a way out of that terrible situation by returning home.
When a friend takes advantage of multiple people who lend their resources, they’re obviously not a friend, but someone who gets by through manipulation. The bottom line, as the saying goes, is “If you want to lose a friend, lend them money.” It’s safe to say I don’t talk to this individual anymore.
Guest posting? You’re borrowing a blog
I mentioned in my story above that I loaned money. Well, when it comes to guest blogging, you need to be aware that the blog owner is lending their blog to you. Their resources, whether that be their audience, their reach in the blogosphere, or even their own reputation, are made available to you when you share your voice on their property.
The resources the blog owner gives to you are like a personal loan. You need to pay the blog owner back for giving you the opportunity to share your insight with his or her audience. Obviously you’re not paying back a monetary value, but you should still be looking to give back in some way.
I know most people are going to feel that you “pay back” the owner of the blog by writing a high-quality article for their audience. That’s not enough. It’s too generic a way to give back. Writing a great article should be understood as a basic part of the exchange, not an added bonus.
The last thing you want to do is disappoint the owner of a blog after they decide to publish your article on their site. This can ruin the relationship and ruin your personal reputation, just like my friend did by taking advantage of many of his so-called friends. Also, if you don’t return the favor of the individual who lends your their blog, that news can spread like wild fire among the popular bloggers—especially if you have an article published on an A-List site.
I want to pay back the blog owner. What should I do?
First and foremost, I always email the blog owner directly after seeing my guest post go live and thank them for the opportunity. I know it sounds like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised by the strength of the the emotional connection you will hit with the blog owner in doing this.
They are expecting that you are using the guest post as a marketing strategy to bring traffic back to your blog. That’s understood because that’s what everyone is doing when it comes to guest blogging. However, you can take it a step beyond the publicity that you are being given, and work on continuing to build the relationship with that blog owner.
A personal email would be like the old-school version of mailing a letter. People like the written word, not a “thank you for the opportunity” message on Twitter. That’s not showing the effort, nor are you “paying” the owner back.
The personal email means more. Just think how you feel when someone emails you and thanks you for commenting on their blog. It sends a powerful message.
You can also ask the blog owner in the email if there’s anything you can do for them! Maybe they have a new product or post coming out and they need help promoting it. They may even have a service that they’d like you to test out. Anything of this nature that shows you are trying to make an effort to “repay your lender” is great, but do it in a genuine way—not just because you feel you have to.
Gain opportunities and build the relationship
There aren’t enough people who give back, in my opinion. My friend never gave back the money he owed me, nor did he really ever do anything to show our friendship meant something. The blog owner is looking for this same feeling of being your friend.
Everyone always wants more friends, and to develop new relationships. When you give back to them after they lend you their resources, then it can strengthen the friendship or business relationship.
You run an almost 100% guarantee of ruining the relationship if you screw over the blogger by not responding to comments left on your guest post or refraining from continuing to keep in touch with that blog owner. By doing so, they will know you were “using” them for one thing … one-time self promotion.
My friend used me and I was gullible enough to allow myself to be taken advantage of. Hopefully these insights along with the integration of my personal story paints a clear picture of how to give back to those who help you out.
What have you done after having a guest post of yours go live to “repay” the blog owner? What were the outcomes of those actions? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
Frank Angelone provides social media strategies and tech tips through personal stories on SocialTechZone.com. His goal is to help and give back to people from his own experiences. He would love to exchange personal interactions with you, so please subscribe to his newsletter and receive his free blueprint to improve the speed of your computer.