The Art of Guest Blogging: How Do I Help Guest Bloggers Blog?
Yesterday, I started this series on the Learning the Art of Guest Blogging, about the lessons I’m going to learn during the next two months of celebrating blogging and WordPress on Lorelle on WordPress in honor of the second anniversary of WordPress.com and my blog.
I posted a some references and resources to help you learn more about guest blogging, both from the guest blogger’s perspective as well as the host blogger’s perspective. As I read through those articles, I found myself coming up with a lot of questions not answered.
Today, I want to share those questions with you, and on Monday and Tuesday, I’ll use your responses and more of my research to answer those questions.
- How do I make a plan for a guest blogging series?
- How do I get the usernames and passwords to all of the guest bloggers?
- How should my blog be set up for guest bloggers, letting my readers know which posts are mine and which are from guest bloggers?
- How should the guest blog posts be scheduled? Do I need date constraints, a calendar, some way of scheduling them so they aren’t all released on the same day?
- Will I need to teach them about how to use my version of WordPress?
- What funky things are on my blog that might not be on theirs that might interfere or confuse them when they come to blog?
- What things do I need to tell and warn guest bloggers about such as how to handle:
- Comment Spam
- Writing Titles
- Graphic Images
- Creating Links
- Tags and Categories
- How much should I dictate/help when it comes to their guest blog content?
- What legal responsibilities do I need to consider by hosting guest bloggers?
I’m sure I’ve missed some of the questions I need to know to make this guest blogging series a success. I want to make the experience as easy as possible for the guest bloggers, while taking some of the stress off my shoulders by understanding how it works and how I can make it work better for everyone involved.
If you’ve hosted guest bloggers before, or have been a guest blogger, I’d love to hear from you on how to make this guest blogging experience a success.
The Art of Guest Blogging Series
The author of Lorelle on WordPress and the fast-selling book, Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging, as well as several other blogs, Lorelle VanFossen has been blogging for over 15 years, covering blogging, WordPress, travel, nature and travel photography, web design, web theory and development extensively as web technologies developed.
I recently hosted a guest blogger during the Blogathon. I got her to register for an account, and prior to that, I had already set her role as a “Contributor” (though I have no idea whether this is how it should be done, I mean, can Contributors hijack my blog??).
She logged in, typed a couple of posts, and logged out. And then she asked me to delete her account, which I haven’t done (should I delete her account immediately? Why, or why not?).
But other that this, I haven’t had any experience hosting guest bloggers, and I’m looking forward to the articles in this series because I’m planning to look for guest bloggers on my turtle-blog :)
Well, I have a few questions about this before answer, but I will start with the fact that while anyone could hack your blog if they really wanted to and had the expertise, they would not have to be a registered user to do so.
For those who guest blog on your blog, you can choose either the Contributor or Author user level. It doesn’t not allow them access to anything that can “hurt” your blog. They can only look at a few things but not touch – well, only write and publish posts and check and edit comments and mark comment spam.
I believe that the Contributor does not allow adding categories, but the Author level might. Editor and Administrator can definitely dig into your Administration Panel and have fun, so don’t give those out without trust.
As for deleting her account, the questions I have are “why” and “why bother”? If you don’t like what she posted, then get rid of her posts. Or is she asking to be removed from the author/contributor list? Her posts will still stay, she just won’t have access anymore.
So I’m not sure what the answer is because there are too many questions.
You are right on track, pelf. Hosting guest bloggers as well as being a guest blogger is scary. It’s a lot of responsibility and can make or break a blogger if it goes totally snafu.
That’s why I decided to share my thoughts and lessons on the issue during the next two months as I naively go forth into the world of guest bloggers.
Hi Lorelle.. My guest blogger was a trusted one, so I had no worries that she might hijack my blog. I was just wondering whether a “Contributor” is what we should set our guest bloggers to be, and if not, what..? And I wanted to make sure that a “Contributor” could save and make changes to a post (instead of just typing and publishing a post, and nothing in between).
And I think she asked me to remove her because she thought she might not need the account anymore. But since I loved her straight-forward posts, I might invite her over again in the future, if I happened to blog about another cause or campaign :)
While on vacation earlier this year, I did line up several guest bloggers, and I thought it would be easier for the writers if they just sent me an email with their post in it… rather than me setting them up with guest accounts. I didn’t want to discourage those guests that didn’t have blogs from writing…. but maybe I was just afraid of letting someone have access to the blog!
Good point, but how did you handle the author credit? Did you put a paragraph or “byline” in the post pointing to the author and just let the author credit stay you?
There is something about giving up control of your blog. I struggled with this for months while considering this anniversary option.
But while I was at WordCamp, meeting some of the folks I finally invited to guest blog, I realized that it wasn’t them I wasn’t trusting, but me. I needed to let go. The best things I’ve ever done in my life are when I gave up and let them happen rather than strangling them into action.
It was a fast decision, and not the one I had already decided to do for the anniversary, but I thought, “What the hell!”
If you planned on having a vacation, then had to be tied to the computer to check comments and post their posts for them, where’s the vacation?
Yes, I did credit the posters with their own byline and a link back to their sites (most had either their own blogs or websites) where appropriate.
In terms of vacation, I did still check in in the evenings for about a half hour to post some of the artictles. However with the future time stamp technique I was able to get a few days totally blog free.
I think if I were more organized, I could possibly get enough guest posts to fill the pipe before the vacation started, and publish them in advance.
But you are right – I might just have to let go at some point – surely the next vacation :)