I hope you find my writing and business tips and observations useful. My business and blog are dedicated to helping businesses communicate clearly and reach their potential. Read, subscribe to my newsletter, enjoy!Tash

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Selecting the ideal guest blogger

many places to search on a beach

Where to start searching?

Inviting someone to be a guest blogger in your blog has advantages for everyone concerned so you may be excited at finding someone to be your guest blogger.

Of course, those advantages disappear if you use a guest blogger who doesn’t work well in your blog and results in you loosing readers and subscribers. So it is important to select guest bloggers carefully.

If you have found a potential guest blogger or been approached by someone wanting to post in your blog, here are my ideas on what you need to consider:

  • does your guest blogger have some expertise in a relevant field? It may not be the same area as you blog about but it must be related. For example, if you are a car mechanic your guest blogger may be a motorbike mechanic, a panel beater or a car detailer, while a business coach may invite a professional writer, accountant or lawyer to post some business tips from their perspective
  • can your prospective blogger write well? They don’t have to be Shakespeare but it is important that any posts they write can be easily understood by your readers – and that includes someone who will write without a lot of jargon your readers won’t know. Reading their blog is a good first step in deciding if their writing is appropriate
  • is the person reliable, as best you can judge? For a one off post this may not matter but if you are promising your readers a guest blog post every week for 4 months, you want to be fairly confident they will deliver
  • does the person’s style suit your blog? An ideal guest blogger will match their style to your blog (to some extent – it doesn’t have to be identical or it may as well be you posting!) but if they don’t do that you need to be sure their style is acceptable. For example, if they swear in their own blog but you want a family-friendly blog, you need to be sure they will tone down their language

Depending on the arrangement you are putting in place, you also need to be sure you totally trust the guest blogger before you give them any passwords or access to the backend of your blog. There is less risk in getting the posts sent to you and posting them yourself, but it takes time and may defeat the purpose of why you are getting a guest blogger.

Personally, I would want to see some potential guest posts from anyone before I let them post onto my blog, and possibly insist on knowing all topics in advance of them being posted.

Is there anything else you would do to check on a someone before selecting them as your guest blogger?

Choosing valuable partners

A few days ago I wrote about having strategic partners rather than just using suppliers, and how valuable they can be for your business. For example, having someone who knows your business and has strong ethics can provide much better expert support with less involvement from you.

It made me think about what is important when choosing partners for your business, and how it is worth spending that time rather than rushing the process.

So what are some of the key things to consider when being diligent about selecting partners?

  • price is important – it has to fit in your budget and you have to feel comfortable you are getting value for your money. It just doesn’t mean you always take the cheapest quote
  • expertise – obviously if you are paying for a service/product, you want it done by someone who knows what they are doing. Ask for their qualifications and experience, look at examples of their work, ask around for others who have used that service, do online searches to learn about a business – don’t just rely on their assurance that they ‘are experts’
  • quality – will get you get quality results you can be proud of? will the service meet your needs? will the results last for a reasonable time? It is worth paying more for something that will last as it is often cheaper than paying for it multiple times
  • service – do you get good service from your partner? That is, do you get prompt responses, respect, your thoughts listened to and clear messages?
  • value adding – does your partner offer information, ideas or extras that truly add value to your business in some way? For instance, if I write some web content for clients I often point out some additional links or improved navigation they could use and a printer I used for a client recently spotted an anomaly and asked for clarification rather than just printing as was.
  • relationships – to be most effective, you need a good relationship with your partners. I don’t mean you have to send them roses on Valentines Day or remember an anniversary, but just have a good working relationship where you can both communicate clearly and openly to get the best results.  A good relationship is more fun, saves time and increases the chance of getting urgent projects squeezed in, too. While you don’t have a relationship while selecting a partner, you can make an assessment about how you think you will get on with each other – if you don’t like someone at the start it is much harder to work well in the long-term
  • intangible assets – not always easy to judge straight away, but think about how your potential partner meets your expectations and beliefs; are they ethical, do they pay attention to details, do they demonstrate integrity, do they show an interest in ‘being green’, will they respect your privacy and property (including confidential information), and generally be professional.

What else can you add to this list?