A Go-to Guide to Accepting Guest Posts

December 8, 2011

in Business

There’s a popular saying on the Internet, that “content is king”. This is especially true for blogs where content is often the main reason why readers will visit a website.  Successful blogs are filled with quality content; attracting visitors with niche topics and thought-provoking articles. However, regularly updating a blog with daily or weekly content can be difficult, especially when you are writing the posts yourself.  Guest blogging allows a guest to write a post for a blog, and is a valuable technique when looking to populate your blog with varied, high quality content.

Qualities of a Great Guest Post

For a new blog, gaining popularity and exposure may be a daunting task. However, guest posting can help your blog achieve this goals by bringing in visitors and providing top-notch content. But how can blog owners navigate past the countless number of guest bloggers, simply looking for a place to spam their links?

When starting to accept guest posts on a blog, there are a number of tips to look out for. First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure that the content matches the theme of your blog. If you add a guest post about postage meters on a blog about baseball, your readers will be confused and deterred. A good guest post will address a topic that is similar to the theme, but is more niche-specific.  Guest bloggers bring in their own unique knowledge and writing style; thus providing a fresh perspective into your blog.

Another tip when looking for guest contributors is to avoid writers that focuses on self-promotion. Readers will not appreciate posts that focus solely on spamming links or selling a product. Visitors want to read on interesting topics; not a post that shamelessly uses self-referential links. Blog owners should look for quality posts by reliable writers before agreeing to an exchange of back links.

Advantages of Guest Posts

For blogs looking for a way to populate their site with quality content, guest posting is a viable strategy. Guest posting can provide a blog with a number of benefits:

  • Increased Traffic

A good guest blogger will have his/her own followers and readers that follow him or her to various sites. One of the main advantages of utilizing a guest post is to gain access to this additional audience. Allowing a guest writer to post on your site will trigger a flow of visitors into your site, increasing the likelihood of increased subscribers and traffic.

  • Influence

If you hand pick your guests posts (and you should), you can populate your blog with educated individuals that write intelligently on varied topics. Sooner or later, visitors will view your blog as a platform of authority and influence.

  • Varied Content

One of the difficulties of maintaining a blog is the challenge of devising and creating new content with each update. A guest blogger can bring a fresh perspective or writing style in your blog, giving your writers a much needed break. This break can allow them to spend more time on their next post, increasing the likelihood of quality content. In addition, a guest post can create dialogue and discussion among your readers, with the benefit of nurturing an active community.

Disadvantages of Guest Posts

One of the tricks of guest posting is figuring out how often to utilize guest posts. Having too many guest posts may annoy readers, and deter them away from your blog. Other disadvantages of guest posting include:

  • Poor Writers

One of the dangers of guest posting is poor writers that provide low quality content. Some writers, sadly, have poor grammar and spelling, or write posts that are too short. Other guest bloggers have a boring writing style; therefore producing content with a dull attitude. These writers can have a negative effect on your blog, so make sure that you pick and choose your guest posts wisely.

  • Unrelated Content:

If blog owners accept guest posts that are unrelated to the blog’s theme, then they risk confusing their visitors. Readers may think that the blog is a dumping ground for content, and quality blogs will likely turn away from any potential partnership.

  • Linking

Many writers find value in guest posting for the ability to add back links to a post. However, blog owners should make sure that the links lead to related, quality websites. Avoid guest posters that link to suspicious websites, or back links that may flag your blog for search engine violations.

The disadvantages listed above can be dispelled through careful selection and moderation, and therefore should not dissuade your from accepting guest posts. In general, bloggers should make sure that they populate their blog with high quality content. It is completely in the hands of you, the editor. It has also become popular for blog editors to use VoIP phone systems technology to speak with writers who are interested. In other words, whatever it takes to learn about the writer and what they expect will be worth your while.  With great writers, time, and a little bit of luck, blog owners can see the traffic, visitors, and subscribers flowing to their site.

Photo Credit: fitnesscheerleader.com

Ileane December 17, 2011 at 4:07 am

Hi Amanda, very sound advice here. I get several offers a day from people wanting to guest post and many times I can tell just from the tone of the request if I’m interested in having them write for my blog or not. Usually when they approach me as though they are trying to strike a deal by telling me that their post is 100% free and all they need is one link, etc. Then I also get the ones who are asking on behalf of a client – No thanks I’m not interested. LOL

Thanks for the tips Amanda.

A_DiSilvestro December 19, 2011 at 11:10 am

I think you’re right–usually you can just tell from that initial email and the tone of the email. Some editors like the “100% free all I need is one link” spiel, while others don’t. I think this would be something great to put in “guest posting guidelines.” Thanks for reading!@Ileane

A_DiSilvestro December 13, 2011 at 1:50 pm

I’m glad my article helped put some of those fears to rest! Guest blogging is nothing to be afraid of, yet I find that a lot of people aren’t too excited about it (must like yourself). Once you get into a rhythm, you’ll find it’s actually a lot of fun. It’s a great way to make connections and get your name out there!

Lewis LaLanne aka Nerd #2 December 9, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Guest posting is something I’ve been a big baby about doing – on other people’s sites as well as having them on my own.

Thank you Amanda for letting me in on some of the pro’s and cons to doing it. Every bit of great advice like yours chips away at the fear that people like me feel when doing something new that they’re unfamiliar with.

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