Anyone who has interest in the blogging world has undoubtedly heard about the fiasco surrounding guest blogging. There are many sites, of all different kinds, that are being penalized for posting articles written by guest authors.
With all this tension surrounding guest blogging, people are starting to ask, “Is my site at risk?” In all honesty, every site that posted guest articles needs to know that they will be affected and that changes are happening. The days of using guest posting as a link-building tool are gone. Guest blogging is going back to its original purpose: connecting bloggers and writers and building relationships.
I have seen several sites that pump out guest post after guest post, none of which serve a purpose nor are they high quality. People are only using them to get links out there and spam the web with keywords.
In my personal opinion guest blogging still serves a purpose. It is a way for writers to meet and work with others in their industry. It is a way to fluff your resume and build your portfolio. It serves as a bridge between bloggers to make connections and help readers find sites they otherwise might not have come across. When used for its true purpose, it’s a great thing.
Unfortunately people have been abusing guest blogging. They use it as their primary link-building strategy instead of as a way to build relationships.
If you are willing to continue allowing guest posting on your blog, here are a few ideas that can help you protect yourself:
- I have seen several sites that only publish guest posts. Guest posting should not be the norm, it should be sparse. A guest poster is just that, a guest, not a permanent resident. Write your own articles. Create your own images. It is your blog after all. (I am not including sites with multiple authors as one of these “guest posting sites”.)
- Only publish quality guest articles. When you feature another author on your blog make sure it serves a purpose. Be ready and willing to vouch for the author. If there is anything questionable about the article, don’t publish it. Just because a guest author comes to you with a proposal doesn’t mean you have to say ‘yes’. Learn to say to ‘no’. We’re writers, we have thick skins.
- Make publishing a guest post a big deal. Inform your readers that you will be highlighting a new author in the upcoming weeks. Let them know that this is someone you have built a relationship with and you feel your industry and your readers could benefit from this.
I know several people are really upset about this whole thing and they don’t understand why Google is pushing as hard as they are to get rid of guest blogging. The reality of the situation is that not everyone has been abusing guest blogging. But, like with many other SEO tools in the past, one group of people can ruin it for everyone.
If you’re still wondering whether or not guest blogging has taken a turn for the worse, let me enlighten you. Here’s an example of an email I received from someone trying to guest post on a site I wrote for.
This was one of my first encounters with guest blogging of this type, and let me tell you, it left a sour taste in my mouth. I will admit that after reading that awful email I was a little curious about how bad the article would be. (I know, quite masochistic of me!) I breezed through it and let me assure you, the content matched that of the email.
I wrote this author back, trying to be polite and rejected his submission. I’ve always been one to like a little constructive criticism, so I told him some things he should fix before submitting it again elsewhere. My mistake. Shortly afterwards, I received another email from him.
He “fixed” the problems and sent the submission to me again. When I saw his email in my inbox I was little surprised. I thought I had made it clear that I wasn’t interested. Apparently I had not. I wrote him a quick email letting him know that I still wasn’t going to post his article. I figured that was the end of it. Wrong again. A few days later I received another email from him. I was flat out shocked and ticked.
Now, he was not only ignoring me, but giving me a deadline to post his article.
It was at that point that I realized the relentlessness of these people. They don’t care about building relationships. They don’t care about quality. They don’t care about the reputation and purpose of guest blogging as a whole. All they care about is pumping out article after article that spam the web with their sites’ links and useless keywords.
That is why guest blogging is going down the hole.