Performancing Metrics

3 Ways to Attract “Trophy Bloggers”

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No doubt you’ve discovered – either by exposure or experience, that guest bloggers can make your spot hot, and increase your visibility exponentially in the blogosphere.

Done correctly, their words of wisdom and timely tips can do wonders for your “wow” factor.

And let’s not forget that these blog-buddy arrangements provide a win-win situation for all parties, which adds to the overall appeal.

Featured guests get to tap into your fan base and potentially gain new followers, and you get the benefit of their “groupies”, a different voice and style for your readership, a day off from posting your stuff, and everybody goes home happy.

Right?

What you haven’t figured out is how to draw top talent.

Because You HAVE figured out that there are bloggers and then there are “BLOGGERS“.

And the rules of the game are quite similar to those in the corporate world: Their success makes you look good by association.

For the purpose of this piece, let’s think of them as “trophy bloggers”.

You know …people you like to be hooked up with to increase your “cool points”.

Other than begging, bribing them, or offering them your first born, here are a few tried and true methods of hooking them, based upon my experience.

Have a Reputation for Excellence

Everybody loves a winner. It doesn’t matter whether your blog is listed in Technorati’s top tier, or if you’ve been recognized through industry related awards, (though it helps). The main thing is that your blog should boast of quality content and be attractive and easy to navigate.

Be Accommodating

In other words, don’t make guest bloggers have to jump through hoops to get your attention. For example, some time ago I surfed upon a blog in the writing niche that was not a leader in the field, but very impressive, and I definitely wanted “in”. I clicked on the section for “Guest Posts” and was pleased to discover that they did indeed accept them. However, after I read through the laundry list of dos and don’ts in the guidelines, discovered that you had to register first, then type in the code at the bottom of the page, then wait for word of approval. I lost interest. Others will too.

Respond to Requests in a Reasonable Time Frame

I’m a firm believer that if it took the good Lord just 6 days to create the Heaven and earth, it shouldn’t logistically take 6 weeks to get a status update on a 600-word post. Are you with me here? Everybody’s busy these days. Remember that a guest post is a courtesy not an obligation. Particularly those that come without compensation. J

Apply these three tips and you’ll be rewarded with an all-star line up of trophy bloggers who ultimately add to your “Net-worth”.

How about you?

Weigh in. What strategies have you found successful in drawing top talent to your site? Do tell.

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Comments

  1. Robyn from Sam's Web Guide ) says: 4/12/2010

    I think that the ‘trophy bloggers’ are extremely busy people and tend to not guest post as often as when they were newbies. I may be wrong but that’s my observation.

    I think one of the best ways to get trophy guest authors on your site is to start building relationships with them by guest posting on their site first. Provided that the content you offer for the guest post is of immaculate quality this will open the doors for further interaction and possible alliances and exchanges. So, focus on building relationships with the cream of the crop.

    Of course, bear in mind that if your site’s content or design is not attractive then they may not want to associate their reputation or writing with mediocrity. I know I would not.

    Reply

  2. Jennifer Brown Banks ) says: 4/12/2010

    These are good points, Robyn. Building relationships is a good approach, but I think building an impressive site where “trophy authors” have an opportunity for “quality” exposure and networking opportunities works equally as well. :-) Thanks for your thoughts.

    Reply

    • Franky Branckaute ) says: 4/12/2010

      Knowing myself very well how busy it is in the background, I think guest bloggers (and/or hosts) should only follow up every week. I do try to reply ASAP to request though.

      Otherwise, sure it would be nice to have a ‘trophy blogger’ post on any site I manage but personally I prefer discovering new talent. Much more rewarding, at least to me it is. :)

      Reply

  3. Jennifer Brown Banks ) says: 4/12/2010

    Point well taken, Franky. And I can attest that you are more the exception than the rule.
    In all your “busyness” you are very good and prompt follow-up.

    I still say that with all the technology we have at our disposal it shouldn’t take more than a few days to get back to folks, even if it’s very brief. It just shows courtesy in my book. Unless a person is on vacation, having tech issues, or is being stalked. :–)

    Reply

    • Franky Branckaute ) says: 4/12/2010

      I still say that with all the technology we have at our disposal it shouldn’t take more than a few days to get back to folks, even if it’s very brief.

      A quick reply is very easy if you sleep in email like I do. The main problem though is that it gets lost very quickly in the web of many emails. Most online ‘trophy bloggers’ have no virtual assistant or PA.

      Btw, use that ‘reply’ button. ;) or should that be :P ?

      Reply

      • Jennifer Brown Banks ) says: 4/12/2010

        I guess there are exceptions. And why aren’t there more virtual assistants being used?
        Any idea?

        Reply

      • Franky Branckaute ) says: 4/12/2010

        Don’t know. Too expensive? A too delicate matter to be trusting enough to give out access to your main email account?

        Then again…
        a) I’m no ‘trophy blogger’;
        b) The question arises what would be the trophy? The blogger or… well you get my point. ;)

        Reply

      • Amy parmenter ) says: 4/15/2010

        Jennifer! Great topic. I find the blogging community in general to be very generous.

        Even though blogging invites the public, it’s also personal. So, I thinking being selective in accepting guest posts is as appropriator as being selective in choosing a babysitter. (maybe that’s a little dramatic….) nobody likes rejection…giving or getting….but it’s an integral part of the blogging experience and an opportunity to set quality standards, for yourself and others. I would have to think that bloggers without quality standards will soon be without readers.

        Thanks for initiating the discussion. Keep up the great work.

        Amy (parmfarm.com)

        Reply

  4. Cheryl from thatgirlisfunny ) says: 4/13/2010

    Seems like if you’re willing to accept submissions from most (or all) of the people who would like to guest post on your blog, your reputation will grow as a person who is welcoming to everyone. I guess what I’m saying is, you have to start somewhere in order to attract the “big name” people or the bloggers that you really admire. What’s great about cruising around on line is that you never know who you’re going to meet. Maybe even a trophy blogger who’s still a diamond in the rough :D

    Reply

  5. Cheryl from thatgirlisfunny ) says: 4/13/2010

    OOps! Forgot to mention that I accept guest posts on my blog thatgirlisfunny.com

    Plus, as a featured editor, I have to opportunity to support guest bloggers on BlogCatalog.com

    Don’t be shy! Hit me up! Send me something. Broad variety of topics will be considered.

    Reply

    • Jennifer Brown Banks ) says: 4/13/2010

      Cheryl,

      Thanks for your visit here today and your input. Funny thing, I just came across your website info recently— not sure whether through someone’s Blogroll or general surfing.
      Intended to pay a visit soon.
      I will definitely check-in in the next few days.

      In terms of your comments…I think that while it’s good for a hosting site to be receptive to a wide range of featured bloggers, (not just cream of the crop), it’s still important to be somewhat “selective” in terms of what is chosen to appear on his/her site. Because ultimately, if it’s poorly written material, it’s a negative reflection on all involved.

      Reply

  6. Nikola ) says: 4/13/2010

    Hi Jen,
    Regarding selective posts – I was just in this painful situation, having to tell a guest writer, I could not use her post (even after the second rewrite) because it was poorly written: grammar, inaccurate information, etc. I’m truly grateful to all who visit my blog and to those who are guest writers, but agree that it is prudent to be selective in what posts are allowed on your blog. I don’t mind changing the occasional “and” to “the” (with author permission), but I’m not comfortable doing a total rewrite. I guess this goes back to your tip on blog excellence. I still feel terrible about rejecting her post; such an awkward and unfortunate situation. How about helping us out Jen, and writing a post on rejection letter etiquette? :)

    Reply

    • Robyn from Sam's Web Guide ) says: 4/13/2010

      I second that Nikola!

      Would love to read an article on rejection letter etiquette. What do you say Jennifer? :)

      Reply

      • Jennifer Brown Banks ) says: 4/13/2010

        Robyn,

        Robyn and Nikola,

        I just might take you guys up on this. But I don’t know when. So keep checking in…(“same BAT TIME, same BAT station”).

        And if and when I do, you guys have to promise to put your two cents in just in case I’m vilified.:-)

        Deal?

        Reply

    • Jennifer Brown Banks ) says: 4/13/2010

      Nikola,

      Thanks for your thoughts. I can definitely relate. Sometimes rejection can be difficult, whether it’s professional or personal. And to be honest, some folks really can’t stand to be told what they don’t do well. And I’m a firm believer that there’s no growth where there’s no truth.

      For instance, I’m not as good with technical stuff as I’d like to be. But, I’m aware of it and working on it.

      But, as for rejections, I have gotten in hot water before for trying to point out some developmental issues with a fellow blogger who thought that I was being “overly negative.” Oh well…you can’t win ‘em all. :-)

      Do you have standard rejection letters in place? Or do you respond personally? Curious…

      Reply

      • Franky Branckaute ) says: 4/13/2010

        I bet it would be interesting to also hear Andrew G. Rosen’s view on this topic. He has written many a ‘How to apply’ guide over the years, both on his own Jobacle and over at The Blog Herald, before I transferrred him to write here at BP. :)

        Reply

  7. Jennifer Brown Banks ) says: 4/13/2010

    Franky,

    That would be cool. Should we both do it? “What say U?”

    Reply

    • Franky Branckaute ) says: 4/13/2010

      If you can, I’m all about co-written posts! What the NYT can do, we can do too! :)

      Reply

      • Jennifer Brown Banks ) says: 4/13/2010

        I’m game. Not sure about the time frame, though. :-)

        Reply

  8. Amy ) says: 4/15/2010

    Jennifer:

    I submitted a comment but somehow it jumped up the page between 4/12 and 4/13! Just didn’t want you to miss it. Loving your posts….

    Amy

    Reply

    • Jennifer Brown Banks ) says: 4/15/2010

      Amy,

      Thanks so much for weighing in, (several times). :-)

      You’re right– standards must be applied to blogging like other areas of life and rejection is just something that one has to potentially expect and deal with.

      Reply

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