Karen’s PR & Social Media Blog

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December 17, 2012

Guest Blogs & Interviews: Tips & Best Practices

Blogging has been one of the things I have really enjoyed doing not only as a graduate student, but also as an assistant professor now at the University of Louisville.  I started blogging back in 2006 after I competed my eligibility at USC in track and field.  I have had my own personal website since 1995, and so I thought this was a nice extension to my online reputation and presence online.

Over the years, I have been blogging not only on issues surrounding social media, reputation management, crisis communications, or public relations – but I have also written blogs on my travel adventures around the world, best practices for teaching, conferences, and many more.  It has been not only a fun activity for me, but one I have used for all of my classes and will continue to do so at the University of Louisville.

However, I have had several students and fellow professionals ask me what are some good tips on how to not only set up your own personal blog, but guest blog or even be interviewed for blogs?  There are some things you will want to make sure to keep in mind if you want to do a guest blog post:

  • Before you even begin writing a blog post, know your voice: Every person has their own voice when it comes to both online and offline conversations, but you have to determine what your voice is going to be online.  What personality characteristics will come out with your writing?  How are you going to distinguish yourself from other bloggers in the same area?  What is going to make you unique compared to others and stand out?  Before even writing a blog post, you have to think about this and determine who you are and your voice online.
  • Ask about the requirements for post: First, you will want to make sure you are aware of the requirements for the post. Is there a word limit? Can you use images or other multimedia in the post?  What are the requirements for citing appropriate works? Know the basics for the blog because there are some universal characteristics and requirements yet there are others that may be different.
  • Know the deadline for the post: Blogs have to be updated quite regularly, so you have to be aware of when you have to submit your content in by.
  • Get inspiration from the experts:  One of the things I look for inspiration in blogging is to look at the experts.  One person who I think does a superb job in Mark Schaefer with his {grow} blog.  Great insights with wonderful resources! Others who I think are really great at this include Brian SolisMelissa Agnes, and Chris Syme.
  • Be aware of why you are being asked for a guest blog post:  Writing a guest blog post usually means others would like you to share your perspective in a particular situation or case study, and this will help you understand your overall reputation in your particular area. Most of the guest blog posts I have done have been around social media and crisis communications.
  • Share, share, and share some more:  When you are writing a guest blog post, it is not only going to be shared by the owner of the blog, but you should take this opportunity to share it with your audiences as well across the social media platforms as well.  You never know who may read the content and it can spark another conversation or even form a new professional relationship.
  • Know the audience and what they want from the blog you are writing a guest blog for:  Understanding the overall expectations of the audience is key.  Research and be prepared to have the same materials and resources in your post like previous blog posts, but maybe have something different and unique that represents your perspective as well.

Here are some of the guest blogs I have given online over the years:

Here are some links to interviews I have done online over the years as well:

In summary, the best way to get started with guest blogs is to have one of your own.  Start writing content you are passionate about and willing to share your thoughts and ideas with in the social media community.  Invite others to guest blog on your site as well – it is great to have another perspective and share this with others as well.  Hope you all are having a great day!

Best Wishes,

Karen

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