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Is Guest Blogging Going Bust

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:

  1.  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”.)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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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.

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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.

guest post demand better

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.

Making Your Content Stand Out

A blog with good content is well on its way to gaining a following and finding success. While there are other factors in getting your name out there, such as advertising and guest posting, you still need quality content. When your blog is first up and running, content should be your number one priority. Get content on the blog and then promote it.

This article is a great example of that exact idea. This is my first article on this blog. I haven’t been promoting my blog on my social media accounts before this because there was nothing to follow. Now that I’ve posted something, of course I’m going to share it. But the content came first.

Here are some important tips when it comes to writing content. These tips are important whether you run a seasoned blog, or like me you’re writing your blog’s first article.

Originality

There are millions of blogs and websites out there. That means that any topic you are going to write about has most likely already been covered at one point or another. But don’t lose heart. That’s ok. The trick is finding your voice; finding that quality that makes you unique and makes your writing original. You want to stand out from the crowd.

Find your voice. Look at things from a new perspective. It’s ok if you’re writing about something that has already been talked about as long as you make it yours. Give personal insight, share your experiences and be original.

Serves a Purpose

People read blogs to be entertained, informed, to learn new things, to be enlightened and even to have a good laugh or a good cry. Your articles should do these things. Decide what your purpose is. Ask yourself why you want to write a blog.

Once you have your purpose in mind and you know what your goals are, gear your writing towards that. Every article you write should be moving you closer to achieving your goals. Make sure your readers are getting what they want; you don’t want them to leave you’re blog with a bad taste in their mouth.

Reliable

You need to make sure that whatever you’re writing about, you can back up. Write what you know or what you’re learning about. I’m a writer. I love writing. So, I created this blog to talk about that. Running my own blog is something new to me, but I’m going to share my blogging experiences with other writers out there and hopefully they can find some value in them.

You also want to make sure that you are keeping your promises. Set up a blogging routine for yourself and stick to it. If you say you’re going to post once a week, then post once a week. Don’t make your readers play a guessing game where they have to constantly check your blog to see whether or not you posted something. That’s a sure-fire way to lose readers in a hurry.

Quality not Quantity

Many blogs prefer posts to be a certain number of words. A minimum of 600 words is common throughout the blogging community. A minimum is used because most people need that amount of time to make a point and prove it, but that’s not always the case. If you have a well written article but it falls short of your preferred word count, look through your article and see if you’ve made your point and backed it up. Think of anything you would add to it, if what you would add is all fluff, you don’t need it.

Quality is what’s truly important. Your readers don’t want to waste their time reading pointless sentence after sentence. Stay on topic and give your readers the kind of articles they deserve: high quality.

Quality also pertains to the amount of articles you post every week or month. I have seen blogs that will post 10 articles in one day and then nothing for weeks. Some of the articles were useful but most were worthless. Articles that aren’t worth reading shouldn’t be posted. Don’t put articles on your blog just to have a lot of pages or for keyword volume. Stay consistent and focus on quality not quantity.

I know that I didn’t cover every single thing you can do to make your writing stand out, but these are the ones that are important to me. I’m excited to spend some of my time in this blogging world and to get my personal blog up and running. I encourage you to make comments on my articles. Please let me know what you think. We are a community of writers and bloggers and there is so much that we can learn from each other.