If you're thinking about making your blog a 'guest post friendly' platform, there are a few things you should know first.
I’m sure by now you’ve heard of the many benefits of publishing guest content on your blog.
If you have not, then let's take a quick look:
Accepting guest posts is a great way to add variety and a whole new perspective to your blog.
When it comes to diversifying content, there's nothing more effective than inviting bloggers and industry experts to come and share their knowledge, insights, along with their expert advice with your readers.
In addition to adding value to your blog, letting the right people come and write for you is a great way to free up some of your time, so that you can perhaps focus your energy on other areas of your blog development and marketing.
For the person doing guest blogging, there are many benefits to be gained.
Guest posting is still very much an effective strategy for doing blog and content promotion.
Generally, guest posting should be part of every blogger's content marketing strategy.
I’m all for writing guest posts too. And, while I don't do as much of it as I used to, I still love writing a great piece of content from time to time to share on one of my favorite guest blogging sites.
For many bloggers, guest writing has been a huge part of their brand promotion strategy.
Through guest posting, bloggers can demonstrate their knowledge and expertise to a whole new audience, and of course, drive new traffic and help them grow their own readership.
However, there are some people STILL doing guest blogging completely the wrong way.
Let's b honest here:
If you're still using guest blogging to primarily improve your SEO. It's not as effective as it used to be.
In addition, most blog owners are savvy and cautious about what kind of content and what types of external links they allow in guest content.
So, if you're not yet accepting guest posts on your blog but would like to start, I urge you to read the rest of this article.
I don't want to put you off from making your blog guest post friendly, I only want to give you some guidance, and make you fully aware of some of the disadvantages of using this strategy to add more content to your blog.
As I mentioned earlier, guest posts are great for diversifying knowledge and for bringing in new perspectives for your readers.
However, if you're not careful, or don't set proper submission guidelines, for example, accepting guest posts can and probably will ruin your blog’s credibility quickly.
I know this because this was one of the mistakes I made many years ago with my first blog when I decided to accept guest posts.
Posting poor quality guest content on your blog will make your readers question whether YOU actually care about your blog anymore.
Your blog’s credibility is always going to be at stake each time you publish what YOU THINK might be, a quality guest post.
So, with that said, let's look at some of the disadvantages of using guest content for your blog.
One of the main problems with accepting guest post submissions is that a lot of what you will receive, won't necessarily be what you expect, in terms of quality.
I ran a guest post friendly blog over at my old site, Magnet4Marketing, for almost 3 years, and amongst the hundreds of submissions I received each month, only a dozen or so would get my approval.
I wasn't being picky by any means, but the majority of the content I would receive were either too self-promotional or just plain lacked any conviction and value.
Some folks view a quality guest post in a totally different way, but when I think of a quality piece of content I usually vision one that is on a topic that has been well researched.
I imagine the post would be well written and formatted, and that looks at a topic from a totally different angle or perspective. I imagine a piece of content that identifies a problem and aims to solve that problem for anyone reading it.
I also imagine a post that is bursting with value, and not just made up of contextual content but also images, videos, infographics, stats, facts, screen captures, and more.
As for word count, a guest post that has more than 1200 words is often a good indication that the content has been well researched, but is not always an important factor.
So, in a nutshell, that is what I would consider a quality guest article!
Now, think hard and ask yourself how many guest posts like that do you think you’re going to receive regularly?
Not very many, right?
This is why you need to have a rock-solid guest blogging editorial guidelines page on your blog. A page stating clearly what it is you expect from your guest writers.
Check out this page for inspiration on how to create your own, but please don't copy mine.
The other disadvantage with accepting guest posts is that you’re almost always going to get a bunch of people who will want to break the rules.
I've experienced this many times in the past, and guess what? I'm still experiencing it today.
The one rule they usually want to break is this:
Requesting to have a do-follow link back to their own or their client website.
As Kulwant Nagi once wrote in a guest post published here, “there should be one rule for all guest bloggers, every single time…”. Rules are meant to be broken, so the saying goes, and some guest bloggers are going to want to do just that.
You have to stand by your rules, if someone is persistent in wanting to not follow the rules, then you simply have to deny them the opportunity to guest post on your blog.
Guest post and what? What on earth is that?
Let me explain:
Some guest bloggers will submit a reasonably good guest post. They'll also agree with your submission guidelines and promise to fulfill their part in helping to market and promote the post once it is 'Live' for the world to see. But, for some strange reason, they seem to vanish without a trace.
When I say vanish, they don't respond to emails, they don't show up on your blog to respond to comments or be there to answer important questions, etc.
After making initial contact with you and submitting their guest post, and after you publish that guest post, you just don’t hear from them, ever again.
I call these kinds of guest bloggers 'guest blog and vanish' bloggers.
In situations like the one mentioned above, I would usually strip the links away from their guest author bio and content.
Again, going back to the 'quality of guest posts', some bloggers will try and sneak a piece of rehashed or spun out content for you to publish.
A rehashed or spun piece of content is simply a watered down version of something that has already been written and published elsewhere online.
"But, Fabrizio, surely that's called repurposing content, is it not?"
No, this is not to be mistaken for repurposing content.
A repurposed piece of content usually happens when a different medium is used. I.e. turning a blog post into a video or podcast episode.
All that said, rehashed content is not all that bad, it just means the guest post or topic is not unique for your blog.
If you are worried about publishing rehashed, spun, or duplicated content on your blog from guest authors, use Copyscape.
Not to say that a 6-year old can't write good content that is! My six-year-old daughter is amazing at writing short stories, so I know.
Here's the thing:
The quality of guest posts is one thing, but what do you do when you receive guest posts that look like they’ve been written by a child?
And by that I mean, a post with a ton of spelling errors, appalling grammar, typos of every kind ad poor use of punctuation!
It takes a lot of time to go through and make those posts good. The time that you don't have because you're busy trying to build your blog.
All of the issues I've mentioned above are massively time-consuming.
Accepting guest posts on your blog might be beneficial to your audience. It might help to give you some extra time back to work on your blog marketing and promotion, etc.
But, in addition to all of these beneficial things, you've got to spend a lot of time ensuring that guest blogging happens the right way on your blog and for everyone.
I want to ask you, if you are currently accepting guest posts on your blog right now, how much additional work are you having to do to ensure that all guest bloggers are playing by the rules?
Or, how much time are you spending reading, editing, approving and rejecting guest posts, contacting guest authors, replying to comments and questions left for the guest writers, and so forth?
I imagine it takes a lot of your time, right?
Thanks for reading.
1. Guest Posting, Good or Bad? By Sarah Fudin
2. Don't Accept Guest Posts Unless You Follow These 7 Rules By Neil Patel
3. The Guest Blogging Survival Guide By Kristi Hines
4. 3 Critical Tips For Managing A Multi-Author Blog Successfully By Kulwant Nagi