When I was a kid, my mom was on me all the time about keeping my room clean. You see, I was a complete and utter mess. More than once, my mom threatened to take a match to my room since that would be the easiest way of cleaning it up.
So I cannot tell you what a delight it is to my soul to see my Airbnb reviews.
“Terrific guest. Easy to communicate with and left the place in great shape. Recommend.” Gregory
“Kathi and her group were great guests. They left the home in tip-top condition and followed all home owner guidelines. Thank you for joining us!” Deven
While I may not have been awesome at keeping my room clean as a child, I have internet vindication that I am now a great guest.
And I want my reputation to stay intact whether I’m staying in someone’s guest house in Alberta, Canada or showing up on someone’s blog as a guest blogger.
I am a big believer in not only hosting guest bloggers, but also guest blogging myself. I have two monthly guest blog gigs, one for Sheila Wray Gregoire and one for Girlfriends in God and I feel that both of them are a great use of my time, energy and creativity. Here are a few reasons I love to guest blog:
Stretching my writing
When I’m writing for someone else’s audience, I need to keep my brand and theirs in mind at the same time. This is challenging, but not impossible. I love thinking outside the box and working to help my own brand and my serve my host well.
Expanding my audience
Some of my blogging serves my current audience and some reaches a new audience. Guest blogging serves to reach a new audience.
What the Host Invests
Just like getting ready for a great party, as someone who is hosting a blogger, it takes time, energy and yes – even a little bit of money to host them right. Here are a few things the host has to provide:
- Final edit
- Social media graphics
- Social media promotion
- Writing an introduction
- Answering comments and questions left by readers
If the guest is running a giveaway, the host also provides:
- Drawing the name of the winner using rafflecoptor or random.org
- Notifying the winner and requesting an address
- Posting that the giveaway is now closed
What Hosts Hope to Get in Return
Here are a few things to keep in mind to be a great guest (one who gets asked back a second time):
Do your research
You wouldn’t offer to bring mini sausages, wrapped in bacon, to a vegetarian’s house, would you?
So why would you offer to write an article about leading people to Christ for your favorite money-saving blogger?
Just because someone has a popular blog doesn’t mean that you should be writing for it. Make sure your topic is a great fit for the blog you’re approaching. Because we can all sense when someone is doing someone else a favor – but the problem is, you are not serving the readers of the blog well if you’re not writing on topic.
Prep for your visit
It’s up to you to be fully ready to be published. Show up ready to go.
- Have your article edited before you press send. It is not the hosting blog’s job to edit your work. (That doesn’t mean they won’t give you a second edit.) It’s your job to ship the best content possible.
- Ask about artwork. I’ve found that most host blogs want to do their own artwork. They want to keep the look of their blog consistent no matter who is writing. But I always appreciate when someone offers to supply a graphic. (If you have pictures that you’ve taken that go with the blog post you are writing, be sure to let the host know about them.)
Be the best guest possible
On the day of the post:
Let the world know. As a guest, it is my job to let my social media world know that I’m over at the host’s blog and I’m excited to be there. Yes, the host may have more followers than you, but to be a good guest, I want to direct my tiny corner of the world to my host’s big corner of the world and let them know how fab she is.
Respond to comments:
If you get comments on your post (YAY!) be sure to engage with those who are leaving comments. It will mean the world to them – and to your host.
Make sure you’re ready for company
One of the best reasons to guest blog is to let others know about your own blog. Are you ready for them to come visit?
- Do you have a gift to get them over to your blog?
- Do you have an obvious place for them to sign up for your email list?
- How about a landing page for them to be able to do everything at once?
Bonus: Be a Stand-Out Guest
Send a hostess gift
After someone has been gracious enough to let me hang out at their blog, I want to say thank you by sending a little gift their way. And one thing to think about is not just the blogger, but any that have helped you get the blog up and running.
Recently, I guested with a huge blogger. When I was done, I not only sent “huge blogger” a little e-gift, I sent one to the person who was working with me to get the guest post up. She thought it must have been a mistake, and forwarded the e-gift on to “huge blogger.” “Huge blogger” told me that she was thrilled to be able to tell her employee that no – I had already sent her a gift – this was for her. She had never been thanked by a guest blogger before. She and “huge blogger” both could tell I was grateful, not just for the opportunity, but that I understood it took many people to give me this opportunity.
The gift doesn’t have to be huge – a small gift card, a book (not your own) or your favorite pen are all great, small gifts. They show that you are a grateful for the time and talent it took to share your post.
Be a great guest. It will make for a better experience for you, and for the one who is hosting you. (And who knows? You may be invited back.)
Kathi Lipp is the founder of Leverage-The Speaking Conference and a national speaker. She’s authored 17 books, including Overwhelmed, Clutter Free, The Get Yourself Organized Project, and The Husband Project. Over the past 10 years, Kathi has helped hundreds of people increase their platform through teaching and coaching. She is a frequent teacher at writers’ conferences and has helped countless authors and speakers find their audiences. Learn more at kathilipp.com.