The process for both tactics is easy and similar....
1. Decide What you Want. Are you seeking interviews, guest posts, or both? For interviews, will you do them via phone, Skype, or via email? If email, what is the length of the post. Also determine what additional information you want: headshot and book or product image, how many links, and how long of a bio. For guest posts decide on your ideal length, as well as image needs.
2. Make a Wish List of 10 Experts. This should be a few people you know, as well as ones you want to get to know.
3. Get Contact Information. If you do not know all the people on your list persoanlly, see if you can get an intro from a friend or peer. If all else fails, tweet to them or message via their most active social media platform.
5. Write a Detailed Request. Have this ready to go for when your expert says, Yes. If you are conducting the interview, decide the details (how much time you need and how you will do it - in person, phone, Skype). If it's an email interview or guest post, give them the word count. Be sure to request images, links, and social profiles, so you can easily share the published posts. And don't forget to give a deadline. It should be at least a week before your publish date.
6. Make a Chart. Create a simple spreadsheet to track your requests, responses, and deadlines.
7. Prep your Post. Decide how you will format these contributor posts for consistency, as well as to make the process easy for you.
8. Publish. When your post is ready, schedule or publish it!
9. Share. Share the post link (with graphic for better exposure) on your social networks. Also, tweet to or tag the contributor, depending on the platform.
10. Thank Your Guests. Send the link to the post in a follow-up email, along with a thank you. You many also want to include sample social posts with a request for your guests to share. This will make sure everyone gets the most benefit out of the opportunity.
Whether you interview experts or invite people to post, it's helpful to have a plan, as well as guidelines for your guests in place. It will save you time and energy, while giving your guests tips to make the most of their exposure on your blog.
What do you think? Do you run expert interviews or guest posts on your blog? What is your process? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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She is the host of the Guided Goals Podcast and author of Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages.
Debra is an editor at Social Media Examiner and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.