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.