“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” ~ Zig Ziglar
Every writer wants to be published
This is a basic cosmic truth as far as I’m concerned. Every artist wants to be seen, every musician wants to be heard, every athlete wants to be cheered, and every writer wants to be published. I have been all of these at one time or another in my life (as have many of you). Sure, the attention of others isn’t the whole motivation. It can’t be, because that would be an incomplete recipe for success. However, we’re fooling ourselves if we try to deny the importance of being noticed and appreciated for what we do.
For years, bloggers have pursued the practice of guest blogging. This is where you try to find other bloggers in your industry who are a little bigger and more established than you. Then you ask them if you can write a guest post for their blog to get your name in front of a larger audience. The problem with this is that there are a lot more people wanting to guest blog than there are spots for guest bloggers.
This is why I suggest turning the guest blogging model upside down. Instead of thinking like an aspiring writer, try thinking like a publisher. Go find bloggers who are enjoying some success and offer to publish them on your site in exchange for a backlink. Think about it. A backlink is about all you’ll get from a guest post anyway. Why not get the same end result without having to write the article?
What To Look For
When searching for writers to publish, you should look for some key elements such as:
- Your writer should have a quality standard equal to yours
- Your writer should have at least one year’s worth of posts on his or her site
- Your writer should have a track record of posting consistently
- You writer should have a significant number of followers
These points aren’t anything new or special. They should be the same standards to which you hold yourself. Neither of you will have anything to fear from one another if you are on equal footing with regard to your material and your audience. You may find that your new friend would like to return the offer and have you write on his or her site.
How to Handle Things
Here is a list of helpful ideas for how to handle situations that may arise:
- Editing – Let your writer know that you expect to retain editing rights for anything that appears on your site, but offer to give him or her a look at any edits you propose before the article publishes. In the end, it’s your site and you are responsible for its content, but you want to always maintain a respectful and cooperative working relationship.
- Payment – If you are offering payment for the article, agree on the details of where, when, and how much will be paid. Also, be willing to return the favor and write an article for your new friend under the same terms. If you’re only asking for a backlink be sure to specify that you would like it to be an anchor text link featuring the name of your site and linking to a specific URL.
- Lead Time – Be sure to give your writer plenty of lead time to write the article. Include time for edits and revisions before you publish the piece. Nothing says, “Amateur,” like rushing someone through what is basically a big favor. Remember, you’re supposed to be pros, so impress your friend with the professionalism of your publishing process.
- Subject – If your writer is to create a new piece, be sure to give him or her some guidelines such as subject, type of article, and suggested length. If your writer has already written a piece on his or her site that fits your purpose, you can simply offer to republish it on your site.
Say Thank You
Always publish a flattering, “Thank You,” along with the article. Give your writers a little plug and show your appreciation. This endorsement will go a long way toward creating the kind of good will that leads to more collaborative opportunities in the future.
What Each Person Gets
Your New Writer Friend Receives:
- A clear endorsement of their article and their site
- Published on another site increasing their reach
- A backlink from you
- Some traffic from your audience
- A well-written article that you didn’t have to write
- A backlink from someone with an established following
- Traffic from their audience
- An implied endorsement of your site
So that’s what it means to begin thinking like a publisher. There’s really nothing revolutionary about this approach. It’s just being helpful to others and the same good, old-fashioned friend-making that your mother tried to teach you as a child. Isn’t it funny how those lessons keep coming back as we get older? Now get out there and turn the blogging world on its ear.
Have you had any experiences with guest blogging? Leave a comment and let’s talk about it.