If you have a blog up and get some amount of traffic, you will begin to get requests for guest posts. At first you may feel flattered. That wears off pretty quickly.
Posts offered to you are not relevant to your topic or niche. They are all about getting their links on your blog, for free. There isn’t anything in that offer really for or about you and your blog/ site. Almost every offer you will get for guest blogging will be nothing but a new form of spam. The value of the posts they offer you will be on the level of comment spam, the stuff you delete.
When guest blogging started, before it became popular and attractive to spammers, it was a good thing. You could find real content to supplement your own and give yourself a day or two off from writing and posting yourself. Those days are gone. We are left with a very few sincere guest bloggers and a mass of spammers all too happy to take advantage of web publishers who don’t know the difference.
Choose Your Own Guest Bloggers
Don’t wait to be asked by guest bloggers. Reach out and find the people you want to work with. Find people in your niche/ topic. People who already have content you have read and found worthwhile, resourceful, competent at the very least. Approach people you would like to write for your site. Offer them space in your blog and set out your terms: formatting, length, links, author bio, etc. Keep it simple and let them suggest alternatives and options.
Start by requesting an interview. This gives you a post, introduces your site to them (if they don’t already know you) and you find out more about them and what they specifically know about your niche/ genre/ topic. If you do accept guest posts from them you can refer back to this interview as an introduction to them.
Pick Performers, not Promoters
Look at the content the perspective guest blogger has to show. Do they focus on informing readers or are they selling keywords for ads?
You want a blogger who will have reader appeal. You also want someone who will focus on promoting the post AFTER it’s on your blog, not from inside the post itself. The smart guest bloggers will promote the post with their own social media. They will also return to check the post for reader feedback/ comments and give replies.
Don’t accept guest posts from anyone who wants to talk about links before any other content. You don’t want more than 2 links in the post and 2 links in the author bio at the end of the post. That’s a total of four links, 2 which should be for the guest writer – not something they are trying to sell.
Typos Are Unacceptable
When someone offers to write a guest post don’t give them the time of day if they have a typo in the very proposal/ request they have sent.
If they can’t put time into making a good first impression do you really want to give them more time. Obviously, they don’t think much of you. They don’t really appreciate your time or the chance to have some of your blog space.
Offering a Post “Free of Charge”
How kind and generous… how full of themselves they are…
A guest post is free.
If they mention this they either think you are too stupid or clueless to know this or they think you will appreciate their boundless generousity and grab up the offer while you still can.
Either way they are trying to pull something on you and I don’t want to work with someone like that.
Beware the Tried and True Cookie Cutter Content
The last thing you want from a guest post is something you could have written yourself, or something you have already read in a dozen other blogs. Blah, blah, boring.
The guest post you publish should have something fresh, unique and individual. A new slant or a fresh point of view. A twist on an old idea. Something!
Don’t publish a guest post to be nice, to do someone a favour or just because someone offered you a “free” post.
This is your blog. Your name is on it. You pay the bills. It’s your space to create something great, including the content from guest posts.