I am all about utilizing systems in your business. If you don’t know what that means, a system is just a set method for how you always do something. They keep your business organized, they give everyone a consistent experience with your brand, and they work like magic when things get crazy busy. You always know what the next step is!
Setting up systems in your business can help you do so many things more effectively. One of my favorite systems that I have set up within my own business is for dealing with guest post submissions.
Once you’ve been blogging for a bit, it’s normal to receive quite a few submissions from people that want to be featured on your blog.
If you haven’t started using systems for your business, let me tell you, they will change your life.
Accepting Guest Posts: How to Create an Easy System
Setting Up a Collaboration Page on Your Blog
You need to have a really clear method for accepting guest posts on your blog. The best way to do this is to have a page on your blog dedicated to collaboration. I have mine in my navigation menu, so that it’s always on the top of every page.
I’ve also seen other bloggers have a special area on their contact page that is specifically for people interested in guest blogging.
Your collaboration page should include: guest post guidelines and a contact form.
You’ll need to come up with guest post guidelines to make your expectations for accepting guest posts really clear. Having guidelines in place will help weed out bloggers who want to submit posts that aren’t on topic or the right length.
Good things to include in your guest post guidelines might be:
- How long you want the post to be
- What types of topics you prefer
- How far in advance you are currently booking out
- What bloggers should include with their post (i.e. headshot, bio, etc.)
After explaining your expectations in detail, add a contact form so that potential guest bloggers can contact you right away! I have potential guest bloggers use the contact form to submit 3-5 topic ideas, which I can then look over and choose from.
Accepting Guest Posts and Responding to Inquiries
Once someone submits to be featured on your site, this is where your system does the magic! Every guest poster needs the same information about how collaborating with your business will work.
After choosing whether or not you will be accepting the guest post, respond back to them with a canned response.
Here’s what mine looks like:
Thanks so much for submitting some topic ideas for a guest post! I’d love to feature a post from you on: [POST TOPIC].
I’ve saved the date [DATE] for your post.
Please submit the completed post by [TWO WEEKS BEFORE DATE]! Just as a reminder, you can review the guest posting guidelines here: https://www.mirandanahmias.com/collaborate
After I’ve given them their due date, they can then refer back to my guest post guidelines to find instructions on exactly how to submit the completed post.
When I’m responding to a guest post submission, I use my editorial calendar to figure out what date I should place the post. And then I’ll go ahead and plug in the new guest post into its spot, so that I can keep on track of when each of my guest posts are going live.
This also helps me remember when a guest post is coming up, so that I can email a submission reminder to the author if needed.
Promotion of the Guest Post
About a week before the guest post goes live, it’s time to get ready to publish and promote the post.
Go through your regular blog posting process: format the post, work on the SEO, and schedule it. I also will create my social media graphics and make a note of the post’s shortlink.
I then discuss the promotion schedule with my social media manager. We typically follow the exact same process for promoting guest posts that we would for one of my own posts. For a long time, I thought that this was completely normal, but apparently there are a lot of bloggers out there who don’t put in much promotional effort when it comes to guest posts.
In fact, one of my recent guest post authors even said: “Miranda is awesome! I wrote a guest post for her blog a few months ago, after she reached out to me… I’ve NEVER had anyone promote a guest post like she has! She goes super above and beyond.” — Alison Boyer
Going “above and beyond” is something that I always aspire to. It’s important to me that each and every guest poster feels important, and like I’ve gone out of my way to send some page views their way. Community over competition, right?
The final step is that I send another email to the guest poster with all the details of their upcoming post, including the shortlink and social media graphics. I really appreciate this when I guest post for other people, because it allows me to synchronize my social media scheduling so that I can promote the post right when it goes live.