I’ve never really considered having guest-posts on my blog, although that’s a very common practice here in the blogosphere. But then Peter approached me and asked if I would agree to publish one of his articles on my blog. He already had some ideas in mind, but I wasn’t entirely convinced about what was going to happen. Then I realised that he had plenty of guest-blogging experience, and decided.. well, let’s do some Q&A about guest posting! I asked him a few questions and here’s everything he had to say!
Tell us a bit about yourself – what you are doing, how often do you guest post, etc?
My focus for some time has been my online publication HighStyleLife which has been going on for a while now and which has grown from a blog into something bigger. I spend the majority of my time taking care of the website, finding new voices and providing guidance to them.
Every chance I get, I hop on the plane and do a bit of traveling. I spent the last few years exploring Europe and picking up a bit of that Old World charm that sets our website apart from other Australian-based fashion publications.
I also try to connect as much as possible with other lifestyle and fashion bloggers from around the world and quite often meet them in person if I happen to be in the part of the world where they live.
On average, I do about 5 to 10 guest blogs a month, depending on the season, where I am and how I feel. If the inspiration isn’t there, I go easier that month. There is no point in pushing it as it ruins the quality of the writing.
How do you and your ‘hosts’ benefit from guest posting?
I always considered my guest posting to be a two-way street in every sense of the word. Actually, if you count the readers, it should be a three-way street.
As far as the hosts are concerned, I like to think that my content provides a breath of fresh air. Of course, I am not saying that my hosts’ content is stale or anything (in fact it is spectacular in many ways), but people do develop a certain tone, a certain point of view. My contributions provide something different, start a new discussion or two, look at things from a different perspective, perhaps. Or at least that is how I see it.
Hopefully, my hosts’ regular readers appreciate this and get some insights that they didn’t even know they were looking for. I may be a bit optimistic here, but I honestly do believe that people want to hear stuff from different voices out there (mine being one of them).
For me, guest posting does a ton. Most obviously, it gives me access to a new audience.
We all gotta remember that the internet is a very chaotic place where there is a lot of noise. Sometimes, even when you produce stellar content, people simply don’t come across it. I actually know of at least a dozen bloggers who deserve an audience that is a hundred times bigger than their actual audience.
Through guest blogging, your content gets in front of a bigger audience and if at least a couple of those readers are interested in what I have to say, i grow my audience. It is the most straightforward way of doing it.
Of course, there is the boring technical part of it where links back to my website make it more visible for search engines and that is never a bad thing.
How do you find your hosts?
Organically. I know that some bloggers go the technical way, do research, use all kinds of tools and whatnot.
My network grows organically, branching out in all directions. I can’t even tell you how it started or where. You have a few blogs that you start with, then you learn about some new people, you check out a few articles that someone tweeted or shared in Facebook groups.
On Twitter and Instagram, I go with classic hashtags such as #bbloggers, #bloggers, and #lbloggers. If I am already working on an article on something I am really passionate at the moment, I might use more specified hashtags that will reveal websites that publish that kind of content. For example, if I am writing about the resurgence of pocket squares, I might use a hashtag like #mensfashionblog or something similar.
I know some bloggers are really picky about the blogs they contribute to (checking the number of subscribers, social following, traffic data, etc.). I don’t really bother myself with such details. For one, you never know how much of that traffic and following is real and how much is fake. Also, sometimes all it takes is a single reader who really knows their stuff to open up a whole new audience for my blog.
In essence, as long as I like the blog and I think my writing will be a welcome contribution, I reach out to the blogger who runs it. If it so happens that they like HighStyleLife, that’s even better. It is important to remember that bloggers’ relationships go in both directions.
It really is as simple as that.
Any other guest posting tips and tricks you’d like to share with us?
I guess my first tip would be to be nice. If you are reaching out to someone, respect their time and what they have built with their website. Keep them in the loop about your timetable and ETAs.
I’d also recommend that you keep learning. Fashion is a spectacularly complex ecosystem which changes with each day that passes (sometimes even hour) and you can never say you know everything. No one knows everything. No one is even close. Be open-minded. Visit Business Of Fashion every now and then. Learn from other bloggers. Don’t be stingy with your own advice if you realize someone needs it.
While I like to keep my blogging (including guest blogging) organic, I also recommend that bloggers learn the technical stuff – marketing strategy, SEO, social media marketing, various tools, and so on. This will increase their chances of success in this fantastically competitive industry.
Oh yeah, also, make sure you don’t infringe on any copyright when blogging. This. Will. Get. You. In. Trouble. The good news is there is no shortage of places to find royalty-free images that you can. For example, Shopify recently launched Burst, their repository of totally free images you can use.
Peter is an editor-in-chief at HighStyleLife magazine, living between UK and Australia. Beside writing he’s volunteering as an environment activist. You can follow Peter on Twitter for more tips.
Thank you, Peter 🙂