Have you been toying with the idea of writing or accepting some guest blogs? Here’s what you need to know.
What is Guest Blog Posting?
There are three distinctly different types of guest blog posting.
1. Initiated by the Blogger
This is where a blogger or website owner asks someone they know or respect to write a guest post for their site. Usually, because they want to add credibility or another point of view.
Mostly, no money changes hands in cases like these or bloggers swap guest posts, posting on each other’s sites.
For example, I asked a Doctor who had been breastfeeding for 7 years and an Author who was also very Pro Breastfeeding for guest posts on my breastfeeding site.
2. A request by someone (usually unknown to the blogger)
This is where another blogger (usually a beginner blogger with less influence or a lower authority site) requests to have their guest post published on another blog in order to gain authority and traffic for theirs.
Somewhere within the post or at the end of the post, the guest blogger is permitted to leave links to their site and/or add a bio with the links to their site and social media profiles.
I’ve been allowing this kind of guest post on my sites since January 2017. I started out with a gig on Fiverr and once I had some guest posts on my site, emails started coming in requesting to post.
Sometimes guest bloggers pay me for this service and in special circumstances, I offer this free of charge or at a special discounted rate.
3. Ordered by Link Building Agencies
This is similar to no. 2 except that requests come from agencies that specialise in link building specifically for SEO.
A full-service link building agency is essentially the bridge between clients (companies or bloggers) needing backlinks on bloggers sites and the bloggers who publish guest posts on their sites. Agencies hire content writers to write specifically for blogger’s niche sites and usually include one backlink to their client per post.
A good agency will ensure that both parties are a good match, thus enhancing and protecting the SEO of both sites. They do this by providing quality content targeted to the audience both website owners serve and that includes internal links and links to authority sites as well.
The benefit of working with link building agencies is that you can get in more regular paid posts of high quality and be assured of payment.
So… should you accept paid guest posts or not? In the contributed post below, you’ll get the full lowdown. Then you can make an informed decision.
The Complete Guide to Accepting Guest Blog Posts
Nowadays, a large portion of bloggers accepts guest posts from companies and freelance writers. It is a great way of adding more content to your blog while also getting paid in the process.
However, it is something that needs to be handled with care. After all, you do not want to compromise your blog by posting content that is of a poor quality or not related to the topics you usually post about.
With that in mind, read on to discover everything you need to know about accepting guest posts on your blog…
Advertise that you accept guest posts
The first place to start is by advertising that you accept guest blog posts. This is something you can do on your website with ease. Being upfront and transparent is always important.
Plus, it saves you from having to answer an endless stream of emails asking whether you accept guest blog posts or not.
Research your potential writer
Whenever a writer gets in touch with you regarding creating content for your blog, it is important to do your research on the writer before you progress any further. After all, you do not want to get penalised from Google for publishing content that is duplicate or spammy.
You need to make sure you can trust the individuals that you are letting post on your blog. You must be wary of writers that are simply rehashing content and sending the same sort of articles to multiple blogs.
You also need to be wary of anyone that does not write their own content and instead outsources it to someone else with less expertise and quality, simply inserting their links afterwards.
Nowadays, thanks to the Internet, it is easy to research a writer. You can see some of the work they have produced so far, as well as read reviews that have been left by other companies and bloggers they have written for.
Today, when employers interview candidates for a job role, they do their background research online to make sure the person will be a good representative of their company and brand.
You need to do the same when it comes to determining whether a writer is suitable.
Remember that guest blogging is a two-way stream
It is important to look at guest blogging from both sides. As a blogger, it can be easy to get caught up in the benefits of guest content for you. But you also need to think about what you have to offer the writer too.
After all, they aren’t merely going to be putting posts together because they feel like it. They want to be featured on the best platforms.
You can show that your blog is a great place to be featured by highlighting your stats. These include:
- how many people are signed up to your email list and newsletter
- as well as your audience demographics
- and how many visits your blog gets per month.
Create guidelines for your guest post
One of the first things you need to do is put some guidelines together. This will save you a huge amount of time, as you will not need to explain your expectations for any guest post writer that contacts you.
Not only this, but you put together blog-specific information and helpful tips for writers, it will increase the quality of your blog posts too, which is always important. If you take a look on the Internet, you will be able to find plenty of examples regarding guidelines you can give to your writers.
These guidelines can be great sources of inspiration, but you should never simply copy them. Your guidelines need to be unique so that writers can understand exactly what you want.
Don’t compromise your blog
When you set out your blog, why did you do it? What were you hoping to achieve? Perhaps you set up a blog to provide sexual health information to readers? Great! So, including a link on cakes and pastries probably isn’t going to be the way to go is it?
You need to make sure that all of the blog posts are relevant to your audience and something you would have posted yourself if you wrote it. Some bloggers try to get around this by having a blog category titled ‘other’ or ‘guest posts’ – but is this really providing any value to your readers?
If anything, it is going to confuse your audience and dilute your brand message.
Have a link policy and make sure it is clear
Your link policy can be included in the guidelines or it can be a standalone document. However, it is so important that it requires its own section. It is important that guest blogs are vital for both the blog owner and the writer.
It is important to specify the terms of your link policy so you can make sure that the blog posts are not too overly self-promotional. You may want to lower the number of links that are allowed to an author’s sit within the text.
After all, if you have ten different links pointing to the same website, it is not going to do your blog much good. It is all about striking the right balance in terms of maintaining your search engine ranking and the integrity of your blog while enabling the writer to benefit from posting on your website too.
Ask for a draft and examples of previous work
Another part of doing your due diligence is to ask for a draft, as well as examples of previous work. The latter is for the purpose of ensuring that the content is up to the standard you expect.
In terms of a draft, you should ask for a brief outline and a title before the writing begins. This is important so that you can get a good idea of whether you want to post the blog or not. It is also important for the writer because it means that they are not going to waste their time writing something for your website only for the blog post to be rejected.
Once you have posted a guest post, you will be able to track it to see how it has been received by your readership. If you like the writer and the content they have produced, and it has gone down well with your fans, you should invite the writer back.
Don’t assume that they will message you again. Writers are busy, and they may be worried about bombarding you with content requests. So, why not show your interest instead?
Create a promotional plan for your guest posts
Another factor that you need to consider is the marketing side of things. How are you going to advertise a blog post once you have received it? This is something that is just as important for the blogger as it is the writer.
- If social media is a big part of your approach to marketing, you can emphasise the content on there. Share posts that encourage people to read the guest content.
- You could also include it in the email list or newsletter you send out, especially if the guest blog is something you feel is really important to your readers and deserves a prominent position in your marketing materials.
A lot of bloggers make the mistake of slacking in regards to the promotion of guest content when compared with their own. You should promote both types of blog posts in the same manner. After all, they are both featured on your website, and they can both result in extra traffic to your website.
Make sure you own the content
Last but not least, it is important to make sure that you own the content, even though you have not written it. Why? Well, if you don’t, the person that does own it can start publishing it on other websites or on their own website.
There is nothing wrong with stating that the guest post was written by someone else; it is the matter of ownership. The rights to the content are what is important here.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding regarding accepting guest posts for your blog post.
If you follow the advice that has been provided, you should be able to build an effective guest blogging policy that enhances your content while also building your profile and your profits at the same time.
Over to You
Have you ever accepted guest posts on your site?
Looking for my guest post Guidelines? You’ll find them here.
Check out my popular tutorial on guest posting here.
If you have any questions or comments, please join the discussion below.