03:45 – Why have guest posts?
04:43 – Getting people to write for you
07:50 – Core elements of the process
10:58 – When requirements aren’t met
12:23 – Outlines to meet benchmarks
16:18 – Where to find your guests
17:25 – Choosing like an investor
22:59 – Why you should attend events
26:03 – The power of referrals
27:19 – So you want to be a guest
29:20 – Consider co-authoring
31:13 – Mixing up your media
33:53 – A bit of a sum-up
35:16 – When work is subpar
37:43 – Your action step
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James: James Schramko here. Welcome back to JamesSchramko.com. Today we’re going to be talking about content marketing again, and specifically a technique to leverage your blog or website without having to do all the work yourself. So I brought back my special guest Kyle Gray, who you may recall we had on a previous episode called How to Find and Train Your New Content Manager. Now, assuming you went well with that, it’s time to start leveraging your website by getting some guest posts. So welcome back, Kyle.
Our repeat guest
Kyle: Thanks for having me back, James. It was a good time and I’m excited to be here with you again.
James: Well, I like to have guests back. I know it’s a novel thing. It’s something that I’ve found is the single most effective thing I did through last year, was to have serialized podcasts with the same person back on multiple expansions on the same theme. And what I found, just some research for listeners here, is if I get, say, 3,000 or 4,000 podcast listens for an average episode, I’ll end up getting 3 or 4 times that with a serialized podcast, because the same person who listens to the first one is going to listen to the second one and the third one. And of course, you’re able to link back to each of the podcasts, and you’re building up a library. It’s kind of like a Netflix show where we like watching more episodes from the same show.
Kyle: This is: Content Marketing, The Sequel.
James: So hopefully, we’ll have a few other topics to talk about in the future, and if you’ve got an idea, if you’re listening to this and there’s something you would like to hear from Kyle about, then please leave a comment right below the show, on JamesSchramko.com.
So today, we’re talking about the idea of having a guest come and create content for us, so that we don’t have to do all of the content, but also we can tap into other people’s expertise. It’s kind of like what we’re doing with this podcast, where I’ve gone out and found someone who’s a subject matter expert on a particular topic. And just by way of refresher, Kyle, you’ve really helped build up WPCurve with the content marketing, and we talked in more depth about that in our previous episode, but is this where you’ve sort of refined this process of guest posting?
Kyle: Definitely. That was where I kind of cut my teeth on this process and worked with dozens and dozens of different guest writers from different backgrounds and on different topics. And so yeah, it was where I learned a lot of what I do now with guest writers, and I think it’s been very, very valuable. Getting a good process down was one of the biggest time savers and ways to streamline the content marketing management I was doing for WPCurve, and one of the biggest things to help my current clients right now.
James: Yeah, well that’s very nice, and by the way, in case anyone’s wondering, I asked Dan if it’s alright to talk to you about this, because I wondered if anything was IP, but one of the strategies that I think WPCurve use is they publish things that a lot of other companies would keep as proprietary IP. And I think that is a good way to attract people who are the right target audience for that particular product. So thank you to Dan and also thanks Kyle for coming along and sharing.
The importance of guest posts
Now, why would we even think about having guest posts? Let’s talk about why it’s important.
Kyle: Well, one of the biggest things is it gives you a chance to have a different perspective, a different expertise, like what you were just saying, on your blog. You can’t be a master of everything, so it’s nice to have different ideas and different experiences. Some people just have different stories to tell than what you do, so it’s valuable to have other guests on your blog to make your content interesting. It also helps where you have other people linking to your content, promoting your blog that they have been featured on, and diversifying the ways that you can promote your content and who’s promoting it.
James: Right, so then picking someone like a reporter who has a big audience on their column might be a good sort of target person to have contributing content if you’re going for the guest’s audience, if you want to get some flattery shares, so to speak.
“You’re going to need to exchange some value.”
Kyle: Absolutely. But one thing you want to make sure you’re aware of is that when working with guest writers, you’re going to need to exchange some value somehow. So you’re either going to need some brand value, or money. If you have a strong brand with a large audience, it’s going to be easier to convince writers to write for you, and share their stories on your blog. Otherwise, you might need to pay them to incentivize them to come and share what they have with you.
James: So why did you come on this show, Kyle?
Kyle: Well, I did want to continue to share what I know about guest writers, it’s something that’s really interesting to me, and it’s something that, like you were saying earlier, in the comments of the last episode, somebody was asking about it. And so I was happy to help with that.
James: That’s very nice. But I mean I was looking for a more truthful answer. I mean, I’m not sending you money. But would you say my audience is a good audience for you as an expert to be associated with?
Kyle: Absolutely. After coming onto your show, a few people from your audience mentioned that they heard of me after talking to you, and a few people have worked with me that you’ve referred to. And so there’s a lot of value being exchanged both ways. So I think we’re all winners here with guest posting.
James: I did a recent post in my JamesSchramko membership, and I asked people where did they meet me. In fact, I didn’t start it. One of my customers started it, because at my recent event I said, I’m not sure where I first found you, because I knew where I found a lot of the others, and she went and looked it up, and I’m getting the most fascinating sort of origin stories of where they found me, was like 2009, and they saw me speak at an event, or they heard me as a special guest on someone else’s podcast, or they go mountain bike riding with a friend of theirs who knew someone who’s had a website built.
And I think as a marketer, we should also be looking to contribute guest content in other places, because I know that that’s worked really well for me. So it’s something we can play both sides, right?
Kyle: Yeah. And I absolutely agree, I think that’s really where the value for content marketing comes into play. It’s kind of intangible benefits that you won’t see a conversion rate on something like the story you just described. It’s something organic that happens without analytics, it’s the stories that people are telling to each other, it’s the interesting post you heard, and the name that sticks in the back of your mind for a while that ends up being a customer. Or even a team member, or heck, I’ve even heard of investors joining teams because of what they heard and what they learned from content that people produced.
James: It’s very powerful, and what you just said can also be similar to the description of social media that I just heard Jen Sheahan talking about at my event. She said, with social media now, and as much as she came from direct response marketing, it’s a little bit harder to track a conversion rate, and that’s really not the way it is anymore. We’re looking to just have these massive value contributions.
Setting the process
So assuming that we’ve decided to have a guest contribute some content, I imagine it’s not as simple as saying, hey, just flick me over some words and we’ll paste it to the blog. You’re going to have to have some kind of a process, and I think we should probably talk about that.
Kyle: Yeah. Well, there’s a couple of ways that you can have a process. I think one good idea that I’ve seen a few people do is having a landing page to direct guest writers to that gives good guidelines of what you expect in your content, how each step of the process, how to pitch an idea, what your ideas should contain, and all these things. We use that document at WPCurve, and I still like using documents because you can update them without having to update a page and all of the links will stay the same.
But I think a few core things that you want in a process when working with guest writers is audience information: what is your audience looking for, what are some of the problems that they have that your guest writer could solve? Some previous successful content — what’s the best stuff that you’ve posted before? What has resonated most with your audience and how can guest writers emulate that?
Timelines for guest content — so what’s the average time that it takes from pitching the idea to having the idea published and the different sub-timelines between all the different steps, so that you don’t have a guest writer contracted to write a post for you and then they go off for a few months, not knowing when they really need to have this back to you.
And quality expectations — what the text should look like, are your headers in caps lock or sentence case?
And a really big one is image quality expectations. Sometimes guest writers, without knowing what a good image will look like, will send you a huge screenshot from their massive iMac monitor that’s just 3 megabytes big, and they expect it to fit on your web page, and it’s going to slow the web page down. And so, getting really specific on what kind of images you want to see, what file format they should be, how big in file size they should be, are all really good things to have outlined in a process for your guest writers.
James: I love this. I can really relate to this, having just run my event, where I get experts to present as well as me, just to give variety. Because even if I feel like I’m an expert in a topic, sometimes it’s nice for my audience to hear from someone else. What I found with the experts, I did tell them about the audience, I did tell them what level they’re at and what topics they’re interested in, I did give them a timeline, and I gave them the expectation of style, as in the aspect of the slides. And of course, I gave them suggestions on good fonts to use, and make things look big.
Dealing with noncompliance
But still, and it happens pretty much every year, they hand in things that don’t comply. They might give me a 4×3 aspect, or they give me one that’s just too plain, or you can’t see from the back of the room. And I know my guests have no idea what goes into curating 16 experts’ slide decks, but quite often I’m getting a thumb drive at the back of the room in the session just before, and it drives me wild, because I’d rather be talking to my customers out in the lunchroom.
So what do you do to herd cats? I mean, the more powerful and the more professional and the more serious an expert is, I imagine the less compliant they are because they start to build in levels of self-importance that override your requirements.
Kyle: Absolutely. Some people just have their kind of artistic idea of what they think would be nice, and again that’s where being very, very specific on the guidelines and being able to just have a specific section, like “This is section 5C in the post, you need to look at this,” so you can just reference that instead of having to repeat yourself over and over again. Just being able to send them back to a very specific expectation.
Get an outline
But you’re right, guest writers will still occasionally try and skirt the process for you. One good thing to do as far as the content goes, or the ideas that they’re developing, is to request an outline before they create the content. So you can have an outline with maybe their intro paragraph, and then just bullets of their main ideas and their supporting points, so you can see a little bit where they’re going before they write out this whole post and you realize that they’re just totally off in a different direction than what you were wanting.
James: I love that. It’s like, I gave a little screenwriters’ brief. Because some of them, I really got to tailor how I wanted, because I’m the curator. And I know this post sort of started out as being just guest content for a blog or website, but I’m just thinking how relevant it is if you’re running an event, it’s exactly the same. I would call this, how to leverage guest expert content, and I’m thinking about how I was going over through Skype share, looking at their run-through of the presentation, to see that it’s going to be perfect for my audience.
I think the more you care about the message-to-market match, and the tighter you can bring up the benchmark, the more it’s going to be absorbed and actionable by the audience, right?
Kyle: I think so. And on that note, when it comes to creating an outline that you think’s going to be excellent, or if you have an idea, a really good idea of how this post should go, or how it would best resonate with your audience, then create the outline for them before they do all this work and kind of take it in a direction that may not be the best for your audience. And we’ve done that a couple of times before, where we just give them the bullets of the main ideas that you want them to build the post around.
James: It’s kind of how this one works, too. You know, I’ll say, Kyle, I think my audience would need to know about X, Y, Z, and then you put together some show notes that follow that idea, because we want it to be structured and we want it to be usable, and it was actually planned out. And I think that’s one thing I’ve worked hard on, the last year in particular, is having less spasmodic or randomized content and having more of a framework and a structure.
And now, if you’re pre-doing the frameworks and structures and outlines, then a lot of the content that hits your blog is going to be off to the races from the beginning, right? You’re going to have a higher traction rate of success when you put content out there based on what’s worked before. I particularly like the one about what worked well before, I think that’s a step that I’ve missed in the past. I do it for myself, going through analytics, but I should definitely share that with my experts.
“It’s actually liberating to know what to aim for.”
Kyle: Yeah. And it’s something, though it may seem like it’s kind of a restrictive thing, I think that it’s actually liberating to know what to aim for and then build out your content around some nice guidelines. It’s like having a good foundation to work with instead of a lot of guesswork and trying to just kind of feel your way through what the audience will be like.
“A framework is like a train track.”
James: Well, I think a framework is like a train track. You could have a very powerful locomotive, but if it hasn’t got a track it’s just going to sit there spinning its wheels in the dirt. But you put on a track, and away it goes. It can harness that energy in a single-purposed direction and get a result where you move someone from somewhere to somewhere else.
Kyle: I like that.
James: Feel free to use that.
James: It’s actually my favorite coaching metaphor, because it’s easy to understand, and it speaks heavily to reducing noise and people getting taken off track. You just don’t take a train off track. It goes one way, and that’s it. There’s no left or right or should we just pop around that mountain, no. We go where the track is set.
Finding your writers
So where do we find these guest writers?
Kyle: Well, there’s a lot of places that you can look around to find guest writers. One of the best places is to look in blogs or businesses that have parallel audiences or similar audiences to you and are at about the same level of authority or have about the same size community that you have.
If you’re just starting out, it’s going to be difficult to get a really big blogger or a really famous blogger like Neil Patel or something to be willing to give you a guest post on your blog. But somebody else who’s getting started and getting to know their audience and their system would be more willing to work with you and contribute to your blog to help build their audience.
And so a good place to start is to look around for different places and try and measure up how many followers they have or how many comments they’re getting on their content. There’s a lot of different ways you can measure it, and you kind of have to eyeball it and just test by pitching it out to a few people.
Getting the good ones early
James: That’s a good tip. I also like, you know, you’re talking about picking someone at your level? One of my favorite techniques has been to be like an investor, and I pick people stocks that I think are going to go well. My best one to date probably is Clay Collins, who I picked really early, and I got him on the show 7 times with these serialized podcasts, because I knew he was going to go well, and I can tell who else is going to go well a lot of the time. Before that, of course, I picked James Dyson as someone who was going to go really well, the OptimizePress creator. And I bring them to the market, and quite often I’ll watch them grow and become popular, but they always remember who gave them a soapbox to stand on in the beginning.
Kyle: You’re like a Warren Buffet of social favors.
James: I am. And not only that, I actually coach them or grow them in the background, so that I’m actually just like an investor. I not only have confidence in where they’re going to go, but I have a stake in how I can help them do that. And so that’s sort of a grow-your-own technique. It’s a bit of a longer term play, but it can be very powerful when those investments come good. And if you read up on Richard Koch’s Star Principle, it’s a lot like that. You pick the fastest growing person in the most popular category, and strap on for the ride.
Kyle: How has that paid off for you in some ways?
James: Well, in actual dollar terms, I know that a friend of mine, he says, oh, you often talk about podcasting, it’s always interesting and it’s never helpful. Well, it’s generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in commissions, and it’s given me extraordinarily good networks to contact to.
I mean, I was just having lunch the other day with James Dyson, but when I first met him, he was just this young kid selling templates on the Warrior Forum. So we’ve gone the whole way. In the last 9 years, we went from the beginning, at stage 1, right through to multi-million software development business.
And Clay Collins is such a nice guy, and because we worked together in the beginning, we’re very good friends, and you know, I was actually there when I introduced him to Ezra Firestone, and they’ve become good friends, and the same with Ezra, actually. When he came to me with SmartMarketer.com, it was kind of a new blog, and he wanted help to blow it up. We added $1.2 million the first year, and he’s now doing 8 figures a year with his e-commerce business.
So getting in early with those guys has been huge for me. It means they’ll come and speak on my platform. I’ve had Clay and Ezra and James Dyson and Kevin Rogers, and Andre Chaperon, they’ve all come over to Australia and spoken for my audience, which is a huge favor for them, and it’s just the way to go. Basically, I’ll invest in someone before they’re famous, and it’s kind of this really long term approach. But I’d say it’s been tremendous for me, and I get exclusives where other people may not get access, and I never ask for anything in return, I’m just trying to get good people for my audience.
And if you look back through the last 11 events that I’ve run, every single event, I’ve broken in a brand new speaker, or someone who’s never spoken before or is completely unknown, and quite often they rise to the top. My last event, Greg Merrilees from Studio1design.com spoke for his first time ever, and he’s come from nowhere, total obscurity, and he now designs websites for some of the world’s top marketers, even the tallest, most celebrity-type personal development guys, and just super cool stuff. He does like bulletproof coffee and all these things. So guys like that are going places and they’re super connectors.
So you get in early like a stock market investor. Don’t always think, what’s in it for me, and they need to be a certain minimum requirement. Don’t think about them as today, but think about them in 5 years from now. If you could go back in time and get some of those guys earlier… Even Gary Vaynerchuk when he started out, if you go and look at his first few videos in Wine Library TV, he probably would have attended the drop of a hat.
Kyle: Yeah. I think what’s really cool about what you’re saying here and what speaks really to the core of content marketing is, I think it’s about building relationships first. And that’s a big part of guest blogging. Whether you’re trying to get somebody to be a guest blogger for you, or building up a little bit of a relationship with this serialized podcast you’re talking about, or several co-authored posts, or several guest posts, trading guest posts with each other, which we’ll talk about in a sec, there’s a lot of opportunities to build on what you’re doing with a simple guest post and grow your community and your relationships together. That’s really cool.
James: Excellent. So we’re doing the usual stuff, we’re looking at our websites, looking for people who are in our market.
How events can help
Obviously use our real-world contacts. For me, it’s going to events has been just the absolute number one winner. I went to an event in San Diego recently and I actually listed down everyone I spoke to. There was over 100 people, who I already know from previous events, but just reconnecting with them, it generated coaching clients for me, some of them came over to Australia just a few weeks later to attend my event, and it also reestablished some fantastic relationships that I had, and in fact one of the speakers there joined my highest-level program and I’m working with him now. And just because I went to the event, and his network alone, he provides services to a lot of the top players in a certain industry.
So by going to events, you’re going to meet people, and it’s so simple to say, hey, why don’t we do a podcast together? I’d say Chandler Bolt fits into that category. I met him 2 years ago at the same event, and he had just published a book on productivity. And I said, you should come onto my podcast! Just book it! And I give him the scheduler, and through that, we start this relationship.
He’s gone on now to generate a 7-figure business helping people publish their own books. So I’ve watched him come from nowhere as this cheeky little kid with a huge smile. He’s a prolific author, and doing great things in the marketplace, and I know he’s going to be big in the future as well, because he’s got that can-do attitude.
Kyle: Absolutely. He’s got a big blog launch coming up soon for Self-Publishing School that should be guaranteed to provide a lot of awesome stuff, and hopefully make a big splash.
James: Yeah. I mean, there’s a classic example where I actually introduce him to you, because I want him to get good access to people, and I know you because you kept sending me emails from WPCurve, and I saw your name, and I liked what you were doing. And I used to send that to my team and say, I think this is the benchmark for content publishing that we should be paying attention to.
So you popped up on the radar because of what you were doing, because of your content marketing, which is why you’re here, and I just want you to share exactly what you were doing with this audience, and we’re onto a winner.
What else do we need to know?
Kyle: So in line with conferences and events, you may not be able to attend all the conferences that you want to, but there’s still ways to look for guest writers. You can go onto a conference page, and see who the speakers are and see what they’re talking about. And this might be a fertile ground for looking for people that could be interested in writing on your blog.
Just reach out to the speakers, tweet up them, and see if they’d be interested. Maybe not right as they’re speaking at the event, but for many event websites, the guest speakers are listed up there for a long time, so you could even go back a year or see who’s coming to an event in a few months from now and reach out to them before or after the event.
Look for connectors
James: And if you know anyone who’s on that speaker’s roster, there’s a very good chance that they went to a speaker’s dinner or became friends at that event. Or if you Google that expert and you want to get access to them, see what other shows they’ve been on, or podcasts, or blog posts, and look through that list of other experts, because there’ll be a connector in play.
Put it this way: Kyle, if you wanted to speak to anyone who’s on my blog, if they were already on my blog then there’s a good chance I know them, because I’ve probably spoken to them or I’ve at least got their email address, and it’s easy for me to connect.
In fact, we did that just before this call, I’ve connected you to someone who’s been on my show 3 or 4 times, and spoken at several of my events. I know them really well, and they’re going to pay attention to a referral. So have a look at the expert list, and you can either do a direct outreach, or find someone in common who can do an introduction, which is like a hot missile.
“Getting referrals makes things immeasurably easier.”
Kyle: I totally agree. Getting referrals is something that makes things immeasurably easier, and I think all of the best leaps forwards in my life, whether it’s with business or personal life have come from a good connection or a good referral like that.
When you want to guest post
James: What if someone’s listening to this and they want to be a guest post? How do they get themselves on a show?
Kyle: Well, I think a couple of good ideas are again, to have a good portfolio of content or something to show that demonstrates your quality and what you’re doing, and approach the person you want to do a guest post with a bit of a plan. Maybe write the outline for them ahead of time, or definitely look up if they do have outlines or guidelines on their site somewhere, or see if you can find them exactly what their process is, and follow it nicely and try to make it as easy as possible for them to say yes.
Again, if you can get a good referral, it opens up doors really easily. But just make it as easy as possible for them. Hey, I have a great idea, here’s the outline, here’s where I’m going to promote it already, here’s some work I’ve done before, do you want to take this?
I actually was working with a friend of mine trying to get a case study that we had written together promoted on a lot of different blogs, and yeah, definitely the best way to get the doors open for them is to make it as easy as possible for them to say yes.
James: I like that. Being a good guest is basically just giving them a pre-made product. It’s like if you want to be on a big talk show. Come up with the show idea, map it out, make it exciting, give proof of how well it’s gone before, and how good it will be for the show, and then give it to that producer who’s just desperately scratching for the next story, because they’ve just been doing it for 5 years and they’re bored and it’s all hard work, and someone just throws the story on their lap.
That’s how I used to get some of my clients in the local paper, with getting them some free press by preparing a story for the reporter and just giving it to them all tied up in a little bow. Pictures and everything.
Kyle: Yeah. Wow. And I think another great thing which kind of crosses the line between who’s the guest writer and who’s not is trading content with other influencers. And a good way to do that is to maybe have a post halfway written on an idea that you really enjoy but you wanted somebody else’s ideas mixed in there and if they have different perspectives or maybe there’s more they can add. And so reaching out to somebody that you’ve done your homework on, and you have a bit of a relationship with, and you know they really like to talk about Slack, for example.
I co-wrote a post with the designer John Myers, and I saw he was he was my friend on Facebook, and on Twitter, and he’d been tweeting about Slack and Slack communities for a long time and was really interested in how that was all moving together. And so I was writing a post about how different startups are using Slack to create communities and engage with their customers. And I reached out to him and asked him if he wanted to co-write the post.
And he was honored to, produced a lot of great insights and perspectives that I hadn’t done, and we put this post up together and both promoted it and promoted each other through it. And it was a big success, so there’s a lot of different opportunities where you don’t always have to have 100 percent of the workload on one person or another. You can collaborate on a blog post and be really successful with it.
James: Wow. It’s kind of like what we’re doing here, just mixing a few ideas with a core topic and we end up with a lovely transcription. You know I like to do the podcast and then have it transcribed. But I do admire the discipline and effort that goes into polishing up an amazing text blog post.
And I imagine you’re going to be dealing with guests who have different preferred modalities. Some people like to write, some people like to make videos, other people like to do podcasts. I remember once I put up a guest video that I got from the guys from The Foundation, which was teaching how to come up and develop ideas. And that was quite popular as well. So is it good to accept different types of media?
Kyle: Yeah. I think if you do have good guidelines, or maybe just trying new types of media and mixing it up a little on your blog, if somebody has a good way to translate the idea into video, and you can do good writing, I think that those two mediums and the audiences that each of you have developed in your own strengths could definitely cross-pollinate and make something really interesting that references the other and maybe having the video on the blog post story, having a nice write-up of thoughts after an interesting podcast conversation like this one.
James: Yeah. You know, the one thing I got from the event that I just put on with Darren Rowse shared his content tips and the slides that attracted my attention the most were about polishing, adding extra depth, so putting in case studies, cheat sheets, frameworks, reports, research, stats, and then the other part I really loved was embeddable media. He showed just how many things you can embed these days. Slideshares, YouTube videos, images, Pinterest, even those replays of Blab and Periscope and stuff, you can now embed into your post and make it a much richer media experience, and therefore the content is fantastic.
And of course, you combine that with an SEO tip that we shared at the event, based on some really good research, is that linking out to authority sites in your market can really help your blog post get ranked better in the search engines now.
Kyle: Yeah, I think having a good, or just the tags that you do especially since Google owns YouTube and several other media outlets, Google definitely gives bonuses to having that mixed media and seeing those different embeds moving across different places, and it helps also with social sharing, maybe the video will do better going across social media and attract more people to the blog post. But the original thing that was hot and got shared was the video or the line or the slideshare depending on whatever media you’re using.
Summing things up
James: Fantastic. So let’s just tie this up. We’ve talked about why you might want to get some guest expert content, whether it’s through your podcast or a live event, or a webinar, but it’s always good to look outside because you’re going to get someone else’s voice or opinion or perspective that can add value to your audience. You will also potentially get some extra targeted traffic, if they have a following, if you’re choosing well.
We sort of talked about what some of the steps are. Kyle made a great suggestion of putting up a landing page, and put some details, like your audience info, list each step and what sort of ideas work well, the image requirements, when you need it, and things that your audience really like.
And then we talked about some cool stuff — how to pick experts before they’re famous, where to reach people at live events, how you might research them online, why you also might want to be a guest on someone else’s podcast or blog or event, and we talked about the importance of having a script or a framework that you can use to sort of smooth out the production.
We covered a few of the challenges that come up, like getting substandard work and what you have to do in that situation. And I think we’ve given people some good information here, Kyle. What else should we talk about?
Handling substandard submissions
Kyle: Well, I do want to add a little bit more about substandard work.
James: Let’s do that, because it’s something that affects me whenever I’m getting guest expert content, and I’d like to eliminate that.
Kyle: I think it’s something that is inevitable, no matter where you end up in your authority or how high-quality your guidelines are. Sometimes things just aren’t going to measure up. And so you have a couple of options. One is to reject the post outright, which is, maybe I’m too nice of a guy but I find that a little bit hard to do sometimes. And again, it kind of goes against building the relationship. But it’s definitely an option.
One way to do it is to just give the guest writer feedback on how to improve the post, and then you’re helping out a new author or helping somebody have a little bit of higher quality content. And I’ve done that a few times, and that’s been a great way to build relationships and kind of invest in somebody, like what you were saying before. And it’s built some interesting relationships and followers on some of the work I’m doing now.
And then finally, another kind of combination of a few ideas we’ve already talked about is take the post, and if the idea is solid but maybe just needs a little bit of tweaking to make it the quality that you want for your audience, take it and rewrite it, or take it and rework it to the standard and quality that you want, and to something that you’d be proud of. And then release it as a co-authored post.
That might mean a little bit of work for you that you weren’t expecting, but then the guest writer still gets their win, and they definitely owe you a solid. And you have the high quality content that you expect on your blog. But definitely don’t let laziness dictate what you’re doing and just let a subpar quality of content slip through onto your blog just because you didn’t want to push it to the level that you need for your blog.
James: I think that’s it, it’s just not worth putting out something substandard now. You’ve got to have a minimum standard and I’d rather not publish it if it’s not good enough, so it’s, to take a line from Mercedes-Benz advertising campaigns way back, “the best or nothing.”
An action step for listeners
James: So, Kyle, what would be an appropriate action step for someone listening to this podcast?
Kyle: Well, one good step, we have a template to our guest writer style guide that they could download and fill out according to their own audience and their own business. So they could take that and put it into what they’re doing now and their own content marketing, so that they can be prepared for the next time that they have a guest writer pitch an idea to them or maybe want to reach out and hire somebody to write a guest post on their blog.
James: Fantastic. So we’re going to share the guest writer style guide template, right where this episode is, JamesSchramko.com, look for the episode called “How To Leverage Guest Expert Content.” Kyle, thank you for sharing again.
Kyle: Hey, this has been so much fun, James. Thanks for having me again and yeah, I hope to talk to a lot of people and answer some more questions in the comments and be on the show again sometime soon.
James: Yes. We’ll be keeping an eye on the comments. We’d like to get some ideas. What would you like to hear from Kyle and I talk about on the next podcast episode in this series that we’re creating, that’s all revolving around content marketing? Thank you Kyle, I look forward to catching up soon.
Kyle: Thanks again, James.
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