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What are the Guest Post Guidelines?

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Guest Posting is a method used by bloggers to increase blog traffic where bloggers write posts to be published on other bloggers’ blogs. Guest blogging can work in one of two ways:

  • You write a post to appear on another person’s blog.
  • Another person writes a post to appear on your blog.

The primary reason for having a guest post published is to insert links back to another website, this is frowned upon by search engines. The majority of traffic that comes to a blog post comes within the first day or so after it’s published. You can get bumps in traffic long after a blog post is published, but more often, the bulk of the traffic to a blog post comes sooner rather than later. With that in mind, it’s important to promote your blog posts and increase traffic to them immediately after you publish them. This is particularly important for posts about timely topics but applies to all of your blog posts.

Assuming the all the above conditions are met and you decided to accept a guest post, you need to do the following before publishing it:

  • Check for uniqueness – Use a plagiarism detection tool to ensure that the content is 100% unique. In addition search the title on Google and read any similar articles to make sure that the meaning is also unique and not just the setup of the words. In other words check that it is not a rephrase of some other article.
  • Beautify the text, add images etc. – Don’t forget your SEO. Before publishing any piece of text you need to add correct headings (both H1 and H2), make small paragraphs, add relevant image(s) with ALT text, add a unique description etc.
  • Do some internal linking – Internal linking is good for SEO so try to add a couple of links to your existing articles 
  • Bind post with the author’s Google+ profile – Don’t forget to bind the author bio at the end of the article with the Google+ profile of the author. Also ask the author to add your website to the ‘Contributor to’ section of his/hers Google+ profile.
  • Don’t call it a guest post – You don’t have to call it a guest post, there is no reason to do that. Even if you do, is not the end of the World but since you already have the author bio at the end of the post, you don’t need to add any extra unnecessary information and get the search engines confused without any valid reason.

What are the characteristics of a good guest post?

By a ‘good guest post’ we mean content that you can safely publish on your blog (if you choose to do so). Such a post should satisfy the criteria below:

  • It is related to the content already published on the hosting website
  • It is unique both in title, text and meaning
  • It is written by a Google verified author
  • It is written by an expert in the particular field
  • It is written specifically (and will only be published) on the particular website
  • It is includes detail and accurate information
  • It does not include keyword in-text links
  • All links in the article carry the no-follow tag

Advantages of accepting guest posts on your blog

Are there any advantages for you as a publisher from hosting a guest post on your blog? Provided that the post meets ALL the above guidelines, by accepting guest posts you can benefit from the following advantages:

  • A different voice, opinion or different view about a subject – It’s a good opportunity to present a different opinion about your niche or introduce something new to your readers that you cannot cover yourself.
  • Free content for your blog – Although we don’t like this term, if it is a ‘good post’, then it’s free content for your blog.
  • More time to do other tasks – Publishing a guest post once in a while can free up some time to do other tasks or why not for pleasure!
  • More social media exposure – Normally the guest author will promote his/her article on social media and essentially your website will get promoted as well.

Disadvantages of accepting guest posts on your blog

On the other hand, by accepting guest posts on your blog it’s a great way to:

  • Lose readers – If your visitors are coming to read content publish by you because they consider you an expert and instead they continually get to see content published by others, then this is something that may drive them away.
  • Get link penalties – If you don’t have very strict guest post guidelines and you get carried away by ‘offering links for free content’ then either you will get a penalty and lose your rankings or lose the ‘trust’ of your website in the eyes of Google, which is worse.

Set strict criteria for quality guest posting

In addition to the above characteristics of a ‘good guest post’ and to make sure that you will benefit from the advantages and not suffer from the disadvantages, you need to set very strict criteria before accepting any guest post. For example, these are the criteria we are using:

  • Allow guest posting only from people who have a verified Google+ profile
  • Don’t allow text links within the body of the article
  • Don’t allow keyword stuffed links in the author bio
  • Allow for only one link in the author bio
  • Guest posts should be over 1500 words
  • Allow guest posts from authors who have strong social media profiles (at least on Google+, Facebook and Twitter)

You may be thinking that with all the above criteria, no one will be willing to contribute a post. Maybe this true but you don’t want to take any risks at all so better be strict and safe than lenient and risky.

Writer Benefits of Guest Posting

Guest posting

1. Build more authority for search engine traffic – While the SEO landscape has changed over the last year, links to your site from other relevant blogs do still benefit your site. It is wise for you to obtain a wide footprint of links from many of the other blogs in your niche. It proves to Google that your site is legitimate and authoritative.

2. Gain direct traffic to your blog – Another amazing benefit of guest posting is the beauty of gaining new traffic to your site. Many people will click on your link to go visit your blog. Be sure that you have engaging, high quality content on your blog so they will want to come back and visit again soon.

3. Obtain a larger footprint on social networking sites – Many other bloggers are active on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other social networking sites. The article you write for them can reach an even wider audience than the article itself. This is great name recognition and personal branding for you as an authority in your niche.

4. Develop key relationships with other bloggers – This is a benefit that many bloggers never think about. Too many bloggers starting out see other bloggers in their niche as mortal enemies. Experienced bloggers have an entirely different perspective. They understand the power of networking.

5. Build your mailing list or RSS subscribers – Guest posting can also do wonders when it comes to “capturing traffic” on your blog. You can capture traffic by getting more visitors to opt-in to your mailing list or by subscribing to your RSS feed.

Publisher Benefits of Guest Posting

1. Display social proof on your blog – Social proof is so important in building some credibility to your blog. Social proof helps new visitors  see that there is a community forming on your site. Social proof can be witnessed through blog comments, Facebook likes, tweets, etc. Another powerful way to show social proof is for you to allow other people to write content for your blog. Again, do not be concerned about guest posters “stealing your traffic.” Get rid of a limited mindset. Provide value to your readers by allowing other bloggers to contribute to your message.

2. Allow your readers to hear a different voice – It is also a good practice to allow different perspectives to be heard. It creates an “iron sharpening iron” community. Encourage it and allow it to take place on your blog.

3. Build more authority in your niche – One of your main goals should be to cover every possible topic in your niche. You should want to become the authority. A place where people go to find answers to the questions that they have. Guest posting allows you to do this.

4. Gain unique, relevant content for your blog – What blogger doesn’t want more content for their blog? Sure you want quality content. Sure you want it to be relevant to your audience. Those things are important. However, sometimes we need a break from writing. Publishing a guest post frees up some more of your time.

5. Increase your income from the additional traffic – As a publisher, you can also benefit financially from allowing others to write for your blog. You can earn additional Adsense income, affiliate income, or even sell more of your own products.

We believe guest posting is the single most important strategy for growing your blog readership and platform.

Article Written by Alex and Jona  |Digital Marketing Consultant and SEO Developer

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