Guest posting is the most efficient technique of creating valuable back-links towards your site, but it is much more than that. Why do blog owners accept them to begin it? There is definitely something in it for them as well, otherwise they would not be spending so much time sorting through bad guest-posts and replying to hundreds of e-mails. Blog owners accept guest articles for various reasons. Some of them wish to offer other writers a chance to showcase their works. Others simply want a fresh perspective on a certain subject, or they want to create meaningful relationships with like-minded people from the blogosphere.
Whatever the reason, one thing is certain: in order to make the most out of your guest-posting experience, you should only accept quality, uniqueness and value. A few weeks ago we talked about the importance of guest-posting for authors, today we will discuss from the blog owner’s perspective. Here are ten tricks that will help you distinguish the great guest-posters from the bad ones:
1. Duplicate Content
Google’s algorithms hate duplicate or spun content, they sense it immediately, and if they see that you have too much of it on your website, you might be penalized. Obviously, is is impossible to know all the content that can be found online, but there is a way to check if content is duplicate or spun. Copyscape is a great program that can automatically check the internet for similar phrases or articles.
Furthermore, duplicate content also means that you do not value your site enough to only accept quality. No matter how great an article sounds, never publish it without checking for its source or authenticity. One way to ensure your blog is free from duplicate content, is to ask guest-posters to always credit their sources of inspiration.
2. Links in Author Bio
There are certain guest authors who only come for the backlink(s), and no matter how hard you try they will never, ever provide you with high-quality content. While we are not entirely against authors crediting their online businesses in their bios, they should at least be related to the niche of the site. In other words, if, for example, you are the owner of a home improvement blog, you might want to accept a great guest-posts that credits an interior design firm in the Author bio. In the end, the reader might actually be interested in what those people have to offer, and you are not forfeiting your principles.
However, make sure you do not accept any paid links, or anything that is unrelated to your blog, because it might result in a Google penalty. In most cases, it is safe to accept Twitter, Facebook or Google+ mentions in the Author Bio, and a link to a personal blog (or business).
3. Grammar and Spelling Issues
When it comes to blogging, people are not grammar nazis. In most cases, blog articles are written in a conversational tone, and typo here and there is not the end of the world. The whole idea is to add value through writing. But there are some people, who do not have a proper grasp of English. It may be acceptable for a programmer or specialist who shares tutorials to be a little bad in English, but you should never, ever accept long guest-posts from people who can’t even structure a sentence correctly.
It will show your blog in a poor light and it might actually make people leave it. Don’t waste your precious time correcting the articles of guest-posters, because this is something they should do themselves.
4. Google the Guest Author
Let’s say that somebody has contacted you in regards to a guest-post. That’s all fine and dandy, but before you reply to them, we urge you to check their background. All you have to do is type their name in Google, and you will see what they have written before (if they have written before), you can check their social media profiles (to make sure that they are actually real people), and get a better idea of what he can offer your site.
If nothing comes up in searches, you should not waste your time, because it is probably just someone who is ghost-writing for a digital agency, and you don’t want that sort of stuff on your blog.
5. Guidelines Should be Respected at All Times…
If you have laid down some ground rules for your site (this could include article formatting, length, topics, link rules etc.), guest-authors should abide by them without hesitation. A person who hasn’t taken the time to read and respect your rules, probably does not deserve your attention in the first place. If people are truly serious about guest posting on Your site they will definitely take the time to learn the rules.
6. …But there is Always Room for Advice
Even if the guest-author has read your guidelines, he might still have problems understanding certain things. This is not necessarily bad, and questions related to guidelines might make the submission more valuable in the end. You will realize, from the way that the person has formulated his/her query, if he has or has not read the guidelines. Also, if guest-authors are not certain which subject they wish to approach, you can give them a helping hand. This doesn’t mean that you should be the one picking the topic, but simply helping them pin-point the perfect article title.
7. Say No to Offensive Links and Content
While it is acceptable to post controversial articles (which are usually meant to spark a discussion), try not to fall into extremes. A personal opinion (from the writer’s experience), is always welcome, but there are certain subject that should be avoided. Guest bloggers are usually tempted to be a bit more opinionated than usual, and it may fall upon you to temper them. Before publishing a guest-post, remember to take responsibility of what you are about to accept.
8. Stick to Similar Writing Styles
As we mentioned earlier, it is great to accept fresh perspectives from time to time, but if you regularly permit guest-authors to post on your blog, you might create confusion in the mind of the reader. If your target audience is familiar, and comfortable with a style of writing, try not to accept too many writing styles on your site.
As a matter of fact, you should have strict policies or suggestions of a certain pattern of writing. Google doesn’t approve of incoherent writing styles either, so make sure you protect your website the best way you can.
9. Don’t Accept Articles that are Out of Topic
A guest-post must be relevant to the blog’s categories. What’s the point of running a personal development story on a technology blog? Readers will not understand it, and Google will no like it. If guest authors submit topics that are not related to your niche it means that they are interested in one thing, and one thing only: the back-link.
Guest-posts can be very beneficial for both parties. On one hand, the guest-author has a chance to reach a whole new audience, and the blog owner can gain fresh perspective on a certain subject. Nevertheless, the process is a hassle for both sides. This is why blog owners are strongly advised to prepare themselves with strict codes and guidelines before considering the prospect of accepting guest-posts.