A lot of the success of your guest post, though, comes from what you do after it’s published.
There’s plenty you can do to get the most out of your hard work, including steps you can take:
- On your own blog
- On the host blog
- On social media
- On other blogs
Even if you have very little time to follow up on your post, don’t worry: a lot of these activities are ones you’d be doing anyway – like posting on your own blog, or scheduling content for social media.
Hopefully, your guest post will result in a traffic boost to your blog. Those readers enjoyed your guest post, so have follow-up posts ready to go: this will encourage them to stick around.
These follow-up posts can go deeper into the topic you covered. For instance, if your guest post was titled “Ten WordPress Tricks to Try Today” you might follow that with these posts on your own blog:
- Three Must-Have WordPress Plugins That Every Blog Needs
- Five Mistakes You’re Probably Making with WordPress … and How to Fix Them
- The Pros and Cons of Drafting Straight into the WordPress Visual Editor
It helps if you have them at least drafted before your guest post goes live, so you can post consistently over the next couple of weeks. (You may want to make tweaks to your drafts based on the comments on your guest post: try to answer any questions that were asked.)
Link back to your original guest post from the posts on your blog, too: this is helpful for the host blogger and lets your regular readers know that you’ve been featured on a big blog.
One of the most important places to follow up is on the host blog where your guest post is published.
You should respond to every comment left on your post (unless a comment looks like spam – in which case, leave it and drop the host blogger an email so they can deal with it).
Remember, your reply won’t just make a good impression on the reader who left the comment – lots of other readers will see it too.
Take note of any comments that ask questions or that spark off an idea for you. Respond to these, of course – but also keep a list of them for potential future blog posts.
Most guest posters receive a very warm welcome, but if you do get a negative comment, you may want to ask the host blogger how they’d like you to handle it. I’m sure it goes without saying, but definitely don’t start a huge fight in the host blog’s comments … that won’t get you welcomed back!
After your post has been up for a few days, drop the host blogger an email. Thank them for running your post, and offer to write another for them. By writing multiple posts over weeks or months, you’ll find that the blog’s readers get to know you, and are more likely to come back to your own blog.
Writing several guest posts will also ensure that the host blogger remembers your name. On some blogs, a handful of guest posts can even lead to a paid blogging job.
Promote your guest post on the social networks that you belong to (without going over the top). This means that:
- The host blogger can see you’re going the extra mile … so they’ll be more likely to welcome you back to guest post again in the future.
- Your guest post will get more traffic … helping it to succeed. You may also want to use your posts on social media to encourage readers to comment, or to point out an interesting discussion developing in the comments.
- Your existing audience will see that you’ve been featured on a big, reputable blog … boosting your credibility with them. (Even if it’s a small blog, your readers will likely be impressed that you’ve been invited to write for another site.)
Don’t see this promotion as a one-time thing to do on the day your post goes live. Keep it up, especially if the post is evergreen: build it into your regular social media scheduling.
You can use your guest post as leverage for others, by linking to it when you pitch for other guest posting opportunities (e.g. “You can see an example of my work on ProBlogger…”)
As you write more guest posts over time, link to them where relevant from your other guest posts. This can often be more valuable to the other bloggers than links from your own blog would be … plus, interlinking your guest posts in this way helps new readers to discover your body of work and view you as an established expert in your niche.
If you’ve built up a strong relationship with some other bloggers, you may also want to email them to let them know about your guest post and to invite them to link to it. This approach will be more effective (and less likely to annoy your blogging friends!) if you only do it occasionally, and only send people a post that is really on-topic for their audience.
The more you can do to follow-up after a guest post, the more successful that post will be.
If you’re feeling a little daunted by everything I’ve covered here, create a list of simple tasks you’ll complete after each guest post.
That’s the last post in our series on guest posting. If you’re looking for or have guest posting opportunities, join our Facebook group and do a search for #writer or #host. Good luck with your guest posting – I hope you see great results.