Friday, January 6th, 2012
Accepting guest posts on your blog offers a range of benefits, such as increased traffic, a fresh perspective, and new content with minimal work on your part. But it’s important to have some guidelines for your guest bloggers.
- Guest posts must be useful and relevant to the blog’s audience—Above all else, your duty is to provide your readers with content that interests them. The most important requirement for guest bloggers is that they provide you with content that’s relevant to your blog and that will appeal to your audience.
- Guest posts must be original and published nowhere else—Some shady guest bloggers will try to pass off content that they’ve already published on other blogs, or even worse, they’ll steal someone else’s content off another blog and present it as their own. You should only accept original content on your blog that hasn’t been posted anywhere else.
- Guest posts must not be promotional in nature—I’ve received guest blogs that were nothing more than a thinly-veiled advertisement for the author’s products or services. I refuse to publish such posts. If you want to advertise, pay for an ad spot on a blog. Don’t try to pass off a self-promotional guest post.
- Guest posts must be proofread properly—Guest bloggers should be providing you with their very best work. They shouldn’t turn in work that’s full of grammatical and spelling errors. You have a responsibility to your readers to provide them with great content, so don’t let your quality standards decline with guest posts.
- Guests posts should meet a minimum word count—Now, if you’ve been following this blog for a while, you might remember that I’m anti-word count. I’ve never bought into the idea that content needs to be a certain number of words in order to provide value to the reader, but when it comes to guest blogging, I make an exception. Why? Because there are some people out there who just want the links back to their website, so they quickly crank out short guest posts, without focusing on quality. Instituting a minimum word count for guest bloggers can help deter some of this behavior.
What are some other important guest blogging guidelines you’d add to this list?
Tuesday, December 13th, 2011
By now, I’m assuming you know all of the benefits of guest blogging. You already know that being a guest author on other blogs can help you get your name out there, boost your credibility, drive traffic back to your website, increase your search engine rankings with quality backlinks, and eventually lead to more sales and leads, whether directly or indirectly.
But before you can get guest posting opportunities on other blogs, you have to reach out to other bloggers and give them your pitch. Here are a few things you should NOT do when making your guest blogging pitch.
- Sending a generic pitch to multiple bloggers—Don’t send the same pitch to dozens of bloggers. Generic pitches can be spotted a mile away, and why would any blogger want to accept your guest post if they know you’re out there pitching it to anybody and everybody who will listen? You have to personalize your pitch and make the blogger feel special.
- Not demonstrating an understanding of the blog and its audience—You need to show the blog owner that you really know their blog and their audience. Your pitch should explain how your guest post would fit within the scope of the blog and why the audience needs to see it. Ideally, your post will fill a gap on the blog, touching on a subject that the blogger hasn’t gone too in depth on before.
- Going on way too long—Everyone is busy, and chances are the blogger you’re pitching is receiving other pitches from other bloggers as well. This means you need to keep your pitch short and to the point. I’d say anything over 2 paragraphs is probably pushing it.
- Acting entitled—Nobody owes you anything. That blogger doesn’t have to publish your guest post if he (or she) doesn’t want to. So, don’t go into your pitch with an attitude of entitlement. Be polite and personable. After all, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
What is your best tip for creating the perfect guest blogging pitch? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
Tuesday, November 29th, 2011
You already know about the benefits of guest blogging, but if you want to maximize them, you need to make sure you’re guest posting on the right blogs. Here are some tips to help you find the right blogs for guest posting.
- Look inside your niche—You have to consider the audience of the blog you’re targeting. If your target audience doesn’t read the blog, what’s the point of submitting a guest post to it? Sure, link building is a nice benefit of guest blogging, but it shouldn’t be your main motivation for guest blogging. You want to reach your audience, get your name out there, drive traffic to your website, and maybe even gain new prospects.
- Focus on reader engagement—You want to make sure the blog you submit your post to has an active reader base. Take a look at old posts. Do they get comments? Do the posts have a decent amount of ReTweets? What about the quality of the comments? A blog that has a high level of reader engagement will likely drive more traffic back to your website and do a better job of getting your name out there.
- Make sure it’s still active—Check to be sure that the blog still publishes new content on a regular basis. If it has been a few weeks or longer since a new post was added, you should probably look elsewhere for a guest blogging opportunity.
- Size matters, but don’t underestimate smaller blogs—Yes, the more readers you can reach, the better, but that doesn’t mean you should completely rule out smaller blogs. Small blogs may have something to offer. Some smaller blogs have very devoted followings, so even though fewer people might see your post, the response could be stronger. Also, a blog that’s small now could have the potential to grow in the future.
Did I leave any tips out? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
Wednesday, June 29th, 2011
Just because you allow guest posts on your blog doesn’t mean that you should post everything that people send to you. Remember, your blog is part of your brand. If you start publishing junk, your reputation will be damaged and you’ll lose readers.
That’s why I’ve come up with 5 situations that merit turning down a guest post.
- It’s too promotional—If someone wants to advertise on your blog, make them buy an ad slot on your sidebar. Don’t let them sneak in a guest post that’s really nothing more than a sales pitch for their products and services.
- The post is riddled with typos—Look, blogs are more casual, and your guest authors don’t have to be Pulitzer winners. However, you can’t force your readers to deal with content that contains tons of typos and horrible grammar. You need to have strict quality standards to protect your blog’s credibility.
- It contains bad information—There’s a difference between allowing a guest post that contains a controversial point of view and allowing one that is just flat out wrong. For example, we’d never allow a guest post on here that claimed a good SEO tactic is to hide text in the background of your website, because that’s bad information.
- It’s an obvious link grab—Guest blogging has become a popular way to build links. I have no problem awarding guest bloggers links back to their website when they’ve submitted quality content. But too many times, guest bloggers try to pass off inferior, hastily-written posts that are obviously nothing more than an attempt to get a few quick backlinks.
- The subject matter doesn’t fit your blog—We also wouldn’t allow a guest post on this blog that’s titled “10 tips for fixing your Honda Civic” because it wouldn’t fit within the theme of the SEOHosting blog.
Have you ever denied guest posts on your blog? What was the reason?
Tuesday, June 28th, 2011
Allowing guest posts on your blog offers a number of benefits. It drives new readers to your blog, helps you network with other bloggers, and gives you a break from having to come up with new content all the time.
But as you might imagine, not all guest posts are worth publishing. I contribute to a number of different blogs, and I get requests from guest bloggers on a pretty regular basis. Unfortunately, a lot of the pitches and posts guest bloggers submit just aren’t up to par. They’re not something I would want to share with my readers, because they could damage the reputation of my blog.
That’s where having a guest posting policy comes in handy. By placing a clear policy on your blog outlining what you expect from guest bloggers, you can weed out a lot of the low quality, link grabbing guest posts that are littering the blogosphere.
What should you include in your guest posting policy?
- Word count—I’ve never been a big fan of word counts, but when it comes to guest posting, I think having a minimum word count is a good idea. It helps to prevent people from cranking out short, generic guest posts just so they can get their links back to their website.
- Linking rules—Because guest posting has become such a popular method of link building, a lot of guest authors you host will want to have links back to their websites in their posts. You need to have set rules dictating the number of links allowed in each post as well as the type of links (e.g. in-content links or byline links).
- Subject matter—It should go without saying, but you’d be surprised at some of the irrelevant guest blogging pitches I’ve received. Make a basic list of acceptable topics guest authors can write about.
- Exclusivity and originality—Make sure guest authors only submit original content that hasn’t yet been published elsewhere and won’t be published elsewhere in the future.
What are some other things to include in a guest posting policy?