Do you want user submitted posts on your WordPress site? Immediately allow guest posts from the front-end of your site.
Content is king
First, let's delve into why user submitted posts from guest bloggers can be important for your marketing. Content is king, at least when it comes to content marketing. If you’re not familiar with content marketing, here it is in a nutshell. Content marketing is the creation and distribution of valuable online content in your business’ area of expertise. The express purpose of the content is to position your business as an authority in your industry. A solid position of authority is a big trust factor in serving to increase your market share.
The importance of creating valuable content that enhances your position of authority and builds trust with your consumers can't be underestimated.
Every business owner knows that while content may be king when it comes to marketing, producing such content requires investment of time, money, and energy—any or all of which may be in short supply. Enter the uber-efficient guest post.
Efficiency of the user submitted guest post
Guest posts kill two birds with one stone: you save time, money, or energy when a third party produces the content; you establish trust with your online audience utilizing a neutral third party voice. A third party voice can often overcome objections in the mind of a prospect because a third party is seen as more objective. Multiple voices on your blog decreases stagnation and gives your customer the idea that you are a thought leader, there to offer your expertise and guidance along the way. This aligns everything just right so when your prospect is ready to purchase or refer you to someone who is, they’ll want to do business with the industry authority (you)!
Let’s talk about what types of content fall under this umbrella. One such piece of content would be the powerful customer testimonial. Another such piece could be a market analysis by a complimentary or feeder business alliance. Tutorials and how-to’s written by current subscribers to your services as well as topical discussions by industry leaders who aren’t direct competitors to your products can all serve as guest blog content pieces.
Read more: 7 Best WordPress Testimonial Plugins
Formulate an initial guest post strategy
It’s not difficult to initiate a guest blog strategy. Try this for a starting place: come up with a list of the top ten topics that your customers demand content for. (Often you can use your Google Analytics data to find out which pages of your site are the top visited pages. This will give you a solid idea of the topics customers are interested in when it comes to your products or services.) Then, come up with a list of at least five industry leaders, brand ambassadors, delighted customers, and business alliances whom you could invite to write two guest posts each for you. Retired professionals who are no longer direct competitors in your industry could very easily be called upon to write one or more guest posts. It may be appealing to them to keep their industry influence even in retirement, so don’t hesitate to ask them. Most would see it as an honor to be invited.
In WordPress, posts are attributed to authors (admins) of your blog. The key here is not to have your guest write a post and shoot it over to you so you can post it under your own name. No, you want the author’s name to show up next to the article instead, so the reader knows this is content written or produced by someone else.
You’ll want your guest blogger to submit posts easily. Formidable Forms gives you the ability to allow your guest to submit a post to your site without understanding WordPress or the backend of your website. A professional-looking user submitted post form will reinforce to your guest that their time is valuable to you, and that their investment in this activity is worth it.
How to allow user submitted posts in WordPress forms
An individual user account for each guest blogger is important to the third party credibility factor. This is because you want the post to show up as written by your guest, not you. Authorized users will be able to submit posts using the form and the posts will be attributed to their names, not yours. If your guest bloggers are not already users on your site, start by setting up user accounts for them.
? Read more: How to Edit WordPress User Profiles on the Front End
Step 1: Set up user accounts for your guests or have them register themselves.
Set up each of your guest bloggers with their own user account. Set it up under the name you want to show as author of the post.
If your WordPress blog is set up to show Gravatar profile pictures, have your guest upload her profile picture to Gravatar. Gravatar will automatically match her (email address specific) WordPress profile information to her email address registered with Gravatar. (Chances are she already has a Gravatar set up. If not, it's simple for her to create a new Gravatar account.) Once she has a profile picture online with Gravatar, that picture automatically shows for the posts that are attributed to her.
Looking to streamline further? Do you have a lot of guest bloggers lined up who are not users on your site? Allow guests to register themselves on your site.
For the form itself, the Formidable Forms solution is simple and straightforward.
Step 2: Create the WordPress form for the user submitted posts
Create a form to submit posts, just like the back-end of your site. Ask for all the information that you don't want to have to fill in yourself. Include such items as:
- Post Title
- Post Content
Step 3: Set up the form with 'Create Post' form action
Now it's time to set up your Create Post form action. In the Form Actions settings of your form, click the WordPress Logo icon in the Add New Action bar to add a Create Post action.
Match up the fields in the 'Create Post' section to the fields you have set up on the form itself, and Voilà! You now have a form to accept user submitted posts.
Step 4: Finish your Form Settings according to your process preferences
Formidable Forms offers several important features that will help you streamline your process for user submitted posts.
Let me point out first the Post Status setting for your Create Post form action. If you set this to Create Draft, it gives you the ability to proof each post before publishing on your site.
Would you like your users to be able to save their post draft and come back to it later? Just check the box to Allow logged-in users to save drafts in the General Form Settings.
Formidable Forms includes the unique feature to allow your user to edit his published post from the front end. Refer to the "Allow front-end editing of entries" documentation on how to enable this.
You may want to further streamline your workflow for user submitted posts according to your administrative needs. Formidable gives you the tools for this; utilize different form actions such as email notifications and Post Status settings to establish your workflow.
Step 5: Publish your form and send the link to the page with your form to your guest bloggers
You may have some initial back and forth with your guests on content topics. When your guest is ready to submit a post, give them a link to your post form.
User submitted posts come in handy for a lot more than just guest posts. Use this process anytime you want to allow user generated content on your site. The possibilities are endless when you allow users to add content on your site from the front end. Install the User Registration Add-On to further streamline this process.