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Five Traits of Guest Content That Audiences (and Editors) Can Actually Use

by Alyce Currier  |  
March 6, 2014

Guest article or post submissions can be a great asset to a publication, but they can also be an excuse for bad content to slip through the cracks. Editors as well as guest-post writers must therefore take special care to ensure that they do not lower their usual standards.

I was spurred to write this article after reading a blog post about what makes for a great guest post: Kate Morris's "The Anatomy of a Great Guest Post" at Distilled.

As the editor behind the Wistia blog, I've outlined much of our approach to guest posting. But I wanted to share a more thorough breakdown of how we think about guest content, what we've found makes for the best guest posts, and the suggestions I'd give to someone writing guest content for any publication.

1. Share your personal story

We wouldn't want to outsource the Wistia post about "how to use video in email," for example, but we're happy to outsource a post about "how [company] uses video in email to [achieve a thing]." That's not because we don't think someone else could do a good job creating the former post, but because we're capable of creating that piece of content ourselves. We think we should be the ones who write the more general, go-to resources on our blog.

Specific anecdotes from different perspectives offer something to our audience that we couldn't otherwise provide. As Kate said in her article, "include yourself." Don't be afraid to tell your personal story in guest posts: Editors want your content because they're interested in you!

2. Include your own stylistic flair (to a point)

Don't submit a post that sticks out like a sore thumb among the other content on someone else's blog, and be familiar with their formatting and style, but also don't be afraid to incorporate some of your own personality.

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Alyce Currier is content strategist at Wistia, a provider of Web video hosting for businesses.

LinkedIn: Alyce Currier

Twitter: @notalyce

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  • by Kimmy Burgess Thu Mar 6, 2014 via web

    I really appreciate the above-mentioned tips Guest content writers can surely use these very well. They might as well share their personal experience. Or some product information which might come in handy any time. But, it's also true that this can be a good excuse for bad content to slip through the cracks.

  • by Kevin Cheng Fri Mar 7, 2014 via web

    Hi, Alyce - I'm a frequent Wistia blog reader. So good to see your article here - it's a small world! (Well, in online marketing, it probably is ...) Anyway, one of your points above is spot-on, I couldn't agree more on this:

    "Use guest posts as an opportunity to share your knowledge and insight, and people will look into your product—when they're ready—because you've built trust."

    I believe that when someone trusts you to have their best interests at heart, that is the fundamental reason why they'll choose to do business with you over others. This post is a great primer on how to build that trust.

    One thing someone can teach me is: How do I get guest-posting opportunities? (Hint, hint - Alyce, if you're looking for a topic for your next post :) ) Best, Kevin

  • by Jhon Staphen Sat Mar 8, 2014 via web

    Your way of conveying message is always perfect I am a big Fan of yours.

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