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Wendy Buckingham / Creator, Life Coaching Professionally
Wow! You've been asked to comment on someone's blog article. Or better still, they've invited you to be a guest blogger and write an article on their site.
How good is that? Not only does the person inviting you to be a guest blogger or comment on their blog think you have something of value to contribute, but it's a chance to raise your profile, share your website or FaceBook link and get some free publicity for your coaching practice.
But wait ! There are things to be aware of and check before you get busy posting that comment or taking the time to write that guest blog article. These blogging guidelines will make sure you get the best result for your efforts and don't waste your time with unproductive blogging.
Much of the content published on coaching and coaching related blogs asks for comments. This is where you can add in some value and invariably get a link back to a relevant page on your own website home page or your Facebook page.
You can also research forums related to life coaching generally, or your particular coaching niche or speciality on FaceBook, where coaches have posted links to their own website or FB and see if there is an opportunity for commenting or contributing an article.
Whatever your coaching niche or speciality, look for blogs that are related to coaching and have lots of articles on them about coaching. They will often be hungry for new material to publish for their subscribers. For instance I and many other coaches regularly contribute to a newsletter put out by the Coaching Tools Company with articles on various aspects of coaching as well as free coaching tools.
Choice.com and Coaching at Work also publish newsletter and are always looking for new material. Your coaching school or an industry association you belong to that serves your niche can also be worth approaching.
Whether you are contributing a full article or a short comment, these guest blogging rules and guidelines will help you get the maximum value.
1. Write original blog article content:
If you receive an invitation to write a guest article, write something original or at least rework a piece you already have, with a new title, so it is not an absolute copy.
Material that is substantially the same as an article you have already published will not fare well with the search engines and the search results will most likely just display your original article.
Also it's not a good look just to keep contributing the same material for different blogs.
2. Blog comment with power:
When writing a comment on a blog article, make it of value to the reader. Rarely just say "nice article Fred" or "I agree".
As a general guest blogging rule write something that gives you authority as an expert. This is as important for your own credibility as well as it is for adding value to the original post. Write a paragraph adding some information that may have been missed or even make a correction (politely of course).
Don't ramble on. Keep your comment short and to the point. This is a request for a comment not a full article. If appropriate your comment can link to a fuller article on the subject.
3. Check out the blog where your guest article will appear:
Before you agree to be a guest blogger and spend time writing and full article, do a bit of research on where it will appear.
Is this somewhere you would like to see your name as a professional? Is the site's design and focus likely to bring you visitors to your site?
A valuable guest blogging guideline is to also check out the quality of existing comments and interaction on existing articles. Are the posts constructive or do they criticise or belittle? Does the host add any comments.
4. Is the blog current and up-to-date?:
You don't want to post comments on a blog that has had little or no current activity, so check when the last blog or comments were posted. A site that has been dormant for even a few months with few comments is not worth the trouble.
5. How many subscribers or followers does the host blog have?
If you are asked to write an article or are even suggesting one to a host, try and find out how many subscribers or followers there are. This could be a bit of an honesty game with a mailing or subscriber list as, unlike with Facebook followers, there is really no way of checking.
I mention this because, for the best chance of your guest blog being seen and have any real benefit for you, there need to be at least a few hundred subscribers.
However, you may be really keen to contribute to a new website blog because of its quality and relevance, so use your judgement here.
6. Check your blog contributions:I
If you do get to submit a full article, ideally ask the host to let you approve any major edits and alterations to you before publication. They may not say yes but it is worth asking! And also take the time to check the article after publication to make sure it is correct.
7. Write your own bio:
Often an article you have written for a website blog will also have a short bio about you. It's wise ask to write and submit your own author bio to the required length needed. This is so it says what you want, the way you like to express it in a few words, rather than being randomly gleaned and edited from your longer website "about" page.
8. Do a link check:
A really important guest blogging rule is to check any links on your contribution to make sure any links go to where you want them to go.
As an example, I recently found an article of mine had been published with an outdated bio and a link to Amazon that didn't work because it went to an old book which is no longer available. Fortunately my checking spotted it and was able to get it speedily corrected.
Whatever platform you use, it's important to set up a system to moderate any comments or articles ideally before they go "live". Your good work shouldn't get devalued by poor articles or offensive comments and so you need to create a set of guidelines for written contributions to your site.
So, let's look at these six important guest blogging guidelines and rules to have for potential contributors to your blog.
If you agree to someone posting an article on your blog or website, insist it be original and exclusive and not just something lifted from their own site without any significant rewriting or rewording.
This is because if it is not mostly original, the Search Engines will most likely downgrade the page on your site because it is "duplicate copy". in other words it just won't appear in the search results in any meaningful position. You can check Google's policy on duplicate copy here.
Also, before you accept, make sure they are not covering the subject in the same way as has already been done by you or another guest contributor. Make sure it adds information rather than repeats what you have already said.
Needless to say, if you do discover that an article that has been submitted is also online elsewhere, then remove from your blog or website immediately. I use and recommend regular checks using Copyscape.com which is free.
Ask for an original image – not a stock photo from a library or pinched from the internet! However, stock images can be made original with the addition of text. Caption the image properly with the name of the person and the subject of the article . Images called 1234.jpg will not help your site’s wellbeing😊.
3. Links to the guest's own website should be do follow:
One of the biggest benefits to a guest blogger is a do follow link back to their site. All links are naturally do follow (it’s a way of telling the Search Engines that you value this contribution and you are happy for the author's site to also receive some search credibility from you.) A quality contribution deserves a do follow link so make sure you set this up on your blog.
However, any links to obvious sales pages should always be nofollow or Google may penalise you site!
4. Links back to your blog or website:
Ask the contributor to post a link to their guest article on your site on their own website or social sharing pages. This will be of extra benefit to you as those clicking on the link will visit your site and see what your are about.
5. Check out the contributors blog and website:
Taking the time to do some research on the compatibility of the author offering the guest post is a vital guest blogging guideline for you. If they turn out to have a poor-quality website or blog, or one that is not in line with your content or values, you may want to reconsider using material from them. Also bear in mind the main aim of wanting to contribute may be simply to promote their product of service to your audience.
So there you have it! Guest blogging, whether in comments or contributing full articles can be a great marketing and value adding strategy for a life coach. So keep these blogging guidelines for guest bloggers in mind and make sure that the contributions you are giving and receiving are authentic and add value.