Guest bloggers can be a valuable resource for your organization. As we’ve shared in past posts, great guest bloggers help maximize your limited resources, bolster your organization’s credibility and reach new audiences.
With a little guidance, you can help guest bloggers be the most effective digital assets and champions of your nonprofit. If the process feels confusing or daunting, these simple tips can help you smoothly navigate and guide a guest blog post (in a way that helps both you and the writer) from start to finish.
- Be selective and strategic. Make a list of potential guest bloggers, starting with your organization’s inner circle of influencers. Consider key stakeholders, community leaders with influential networks or experts in your field. Be goal and audience oriented: if you’re looking to boost the credibility of your nonprofit, aim for widely respected subject matter experts. If you need to gain reach or exposure to a certain audience segment (for instance, education policymakers), consider inviting some rising stars from those arenas.
- Suggest topics. Provide your guest blogger with some topical parameters. When inviting someone to post, it’s helpful to suggest a topic or prompt you hope they could write about. Share any specific goals or target audiences (for instance, “sharing your firsthand experience and expertise on researching Head Start programs will reinforce our push for policy reforms.”) and give them a chance to ask questions, express concerns or make suggestions or tweaks.
- Offer editorial guidance. Offer basic guidelines on your blog’s style, tone, length, format and audience to help guests hit the bullseye. The more direction you give them upfront, the less strategic feedback you’ll need to give after reviewing their draft. We suggest at least one to two rounds of editorial feedback and revisions in order to make the blog post as strong as possible. Just make sure the guest blogger sees and approves the final version, since their byline is attached. If they need to supply a bio or headshot, let them know in advance. Remember to include a link to their website or preferred social media handle to acknowledge their work.
- Develop a promotion plan together. Guest bloggers may have networks of their own that can help drive traffic to your blog. Develop a plan together to promote the blog post, and ask (never demand) the guest writer if they’d be willing to help share out the post—perhaps on their social media networks, on their own website or in a newsletter.
How has your organization seen success with guest bloggers? What have you learned along the way? Share your experiences with us in the comments below.