Accepting guest posts is a great way to boost your blog’s traffic with fresh and updated content. These days almost every second popular blog is open to guest post submissions. No doubt, it is fast catching up as a trend in the whole blogosphere world ! In this post I would like to highlight a few basic things that one should consider before accepting guest posts on their blogs…
1. Blog Value attracts guest bloggers
By value I mean the basic yardsticks that are used to gauge the quality and popularity of a blog. Without any doubt, these are Google pagerank and Alexa rank.
I have seen several blogs with pathetic pagerank and alexa rank being open to the idea of guest contribution. Do you think someone will be at all interested in contributing a guest post for such a blog ? So first of all, work hard on your blog, build a reputation/brand and finally approach the next step of guest blogging invitations.
2. Define your guest post guidelines clearly
Properly setting up a page on your blog that clearly states all the guidelines and conditions is hundred times better than replying to each email query from the guest blogger.
So make a page on your blog stating all the requirements and conditions like minimum world length, proper and correct use of images, videos and anchor text links in the post and so on…
Do you want your blog to be taken seriously in it’s niche ? Then, only accept guest posts from the blogger who is sharing the same/similar niche as yours.
For example, a guest post written by a wedding photographer on a photography related blog will be more authoritative and serious than a guest post written by a car loan provider !
Moreover, guest posts written by off niche bloggers are sometimes questionable with irrelevant outgoing links which might be confused as paid links by Google. And this would only going to invite a penalty from Google. So its better to stay safe and accept guest articles from the same niche only.
Apart from that, implementing this idea gives your blog an overall clean and professional look, unlike an article directory that accepts loads of article from several different niche and looks spammy.
4. Review previous works of guest bloggers (if any)
It is a good way to judge the writing quality of your “to be guest bloggers”. Moreover this gives you a fair idea of how well proficient your guest bloggers are within a particular niche.
5. Check for duplicate content
Before publishing the guest article, make an extensive check for any possible duplicate content. Everyone hates duplicate content and so do the search engines.
Copy a few phrases from the submitted article and put them in Google search within double quotes “xyz is a family of abc..” for example, and hit search button. If any page shows up with the exact matching query, then it is obviously copied content.
Do this for every paragraph of the article.
You have to thoroughly go through this very step to stay safe from copyright infringements in future. Similarly for images, ask your guest contributors to use royalty free images in the post with appropriate cc license/link back to the source or unless they are using their own images while creating the post.
6. Review all outgoing links
A strong moderation over all the outgoing links in the guest post is very important. Make sure that you stay away from bad neighbors by not linking to any suspicious link or service.
Finally the author link in the byline should be moderated as well. Make sure that the outgoing link is not penalized by Google and it adds some value to your blog readers !
To check if the site you are linking to is not penalized by Google, do a Google search – site:abc.com. If the site homepage and internal pages are well indexed then the site is in good relations with Google. If not indexed, then it is more likely that the website has been penalized by Google and you should stay away from linking to such websites.
7. Don’t give exact matching anchor text to off niche bloggers
Although I have already advised you to stay away from those with irrelevant niche, still if you are accepting guest posts from such irrelevant niches then do not offer the anchor text of their own choice. Instead, use anchor text of your own choice, preferably their name.
Reason: Guest posts on off niche sites are more likely to be considered as sponsored or paid posts. And it is also much more likely that the off niche bloggers are using the same anchor text as part of their back linking strategy on several other sites as well. So its better to use a different anchor text rather than that of their own choice and being punished for paid links(mistakenly) by Google.