In my last article I discussed mistakes I see guest bloggers make as a publisher. In this article I want to give you some insight on what quality guest writers go through to give you good articles and suggestions on how you can support them.
I also want to briefly explain why I added the word “quality” in the title of this post. There are an amazingly large number of “guest writers” out there today. However, there is a limited number of real “quality guest writers” out there. A quality writer offers fantastic articles for the following reasons:
- They live and breathe the industry or topic they are writing about.
- They have real writing skills – flow, spelling, grammar, ability to explain concepts easily etc.
- They offer something in each article and/or they educate.
- Each article they send is a pleasure to publish.
- They don’t offer rehashed information or junk, they create something new.
Writing a Quality Article
Writing is creative and creativity doesn’t just get cranked out on a clock. To create something amazing creative people need to be inspired. They also need to be in the right frame of mind to work to create quality. Writing has to be done at the right time, but that isn’t always easy because writers have lives.
Great writers typically have jobs, families and responsibilities. They have a lot on their plate, yet they are somehow finding the time to create a great piece of work for a publisher. Great articles take hours and even when the article is complete most good writers walk away and have to come back to review and edit. Often the editing process is detailed and many things are changed or added to. Good articles require a lot of work.
Respect Should Be A Given
Those that write quality articles put a lot of effort into the process and they deserve to be respected for the time they have given you (and for the time they took from their family, work or personal time to write for you). They also deserve respect for their ability to write well and the knowledge needed to create the article.
As I writer I know that a lack of respect means I won’t be writing for someone again. As someone that works publishing guest posts I can tell you that the respect I give to the writers is appreciated and it also creates trust and loyalty. Respect is a given, every writer deserves it (even those who offer articles that don’t make the cut, because they still spent the time trying for me).
A quality guest writer is giving you a gift for free. It is a gift that your site is most likely making some kind of money off of. I am sure there is a benefit they get for writing for your site, but if you are going to compare who gets the most benefit it is the site that publishes an article. Respect is a critical aspect of the writer/publisher relationship.
Writers expect publishers to promote their posts in social and newsletters because the publisher is really promoting their own site. Writers understand that there are some promotional benefits for them and they do appreciate it. I suggest you take the promotion further. Promote the writer as an individual with colleagues and other sites that are looking for guest writers. Share what they write elsewhere with friends and on your social accounts. Promote the person and they will be very appreciative.
Writing for a publisher that supports the writer’s work is great, but writing for a publisher that also supports the person is an amazing thing.
Be Real and Get to Know Your Writers
If you are looking for a long-term working relationship with a writer you need to get to know them on a personal level. Long-term working relationships are never comfortable when relationships are just “civil”. Additionally, you need to know who you are working with and what type of people they are.
Let’s say Bob has written for you for 9 months and his articles are always on time weekly and you depend on these articles, but you don’t interact with him very much. Then one day he just disappears and you can’t get a hold of him; your entire publishing schedule is messed up. Bob isn’t responding for weeks and you get angry…relationship ends. This is not good.
What if you had a more personal relationship with Bob?
Now let’s say you and Bob interact on a personal basis often. You thank him for his posts and always throw in that you hope things are well or ask how he is doing. You two build a more comfortable working relationship and one day he mentions that his wife is having surgery the following week, but all should be fine. If his weekly post didn’t come in the following week you would probably understand why. If you didn’t hear from him you would assume something might be wrong and there would be no bad feelings between you.
A more “personal” relationship helps avoid misunderstandings. I had this exact situation happen. When I didn’t hear from the writer I quickly made plans to cover the time slot. It is a good thing I did, because they writer couldn’t write for a month, because something did go very wrong with the surgery.
During the holidays, special times of the year or even just because you want to find a way to give back to your writers. I am really a dork, but nothing thrills me more than to get a t-shirt in the mail from one of the companies I write for. It is a gift I use and when I wear it I am advertising the company that sent me the shirt. So basically I win as a writer because I got a gift and the company that sent it to me gets more loyalty and free advertising when I wear it around.
I also have coffee mugs and other promotional items. Each one is really appreciated. Give back in small ways and people will not forget it.
What I Want Publishers to Know About Guest Writers
They are people. They work hard, they have things go wrong in their lives, they have feelings and they are giving to you. Always remember that they are people that need to be treated with understanding.
They work hard to give you a quality article and they deserve a lot of respect for that. I am hoping that you will take some of the suggestions I have given in regards to respect, promotion, giving back and relationship building and use these ideas to create great relationships with your quality writers.
Trust me when I say that you can’t go wrong when you treat quality writers the right way.