Guest posts are an excellent digital marketing technique. Business owners pursue this type of content to help their search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts, giving their site additional exposure and establishing them as an expert in their niche.
If you’re a website owner, accepting guest posts can be a great way to increase traffic and grow your unique content library.
However, there are many factors to consider before going down this path, to ensure your website benefits from the decision and avoids penalty. Key aspects such as your target audience and niche must be considered and, most importantly, detailed blog submission guidelines should be created to establish content standards and ensure your site’s integrity is maintained.
In this article, we’ve curated a list of things you need to consider before accepting guest posts on your site.
1. Determine your objectives
If you’re merely planning to accept guest posts for the sake of easy money or random additional visitors to your site, then you need to stop and re-evaluate your goals.
First and foremost, you should brainstorm the reasons why you’re considering allowing guest posts, and what you wish to gain from the process. Ask yourself questions like:
- What do I want to gain?
- Where does guest posting fit into my overall website strategy?
- What sort of guest posts am I looking for?
- What are the metrics I’ll monitor to measure success?
These will help you pinpoint your main objectives behind this step, and shape how you proceed. Generally, the underlying goal of allowing guest posts should be to bring new traffic to your website. It’s best to put some thought into your objectives for publishing guest posts on your website. Be as specific as possible so you can prepare your domain to make the most of the increased traffic and meet your goals.
However, be mindful of the fact that you don’t want to appear as another clickbait website that produces vague and random content only to drive visitors to their website.
2. Weigh the pros and cons
Once you’ve determined your goals, you should think about the potential advantages and disadvantages of allowing guest posts on your website. While it’s proven to lead more traffic to your domain, there are risks associated with the practice if it’s not managed properly. Especially when you’re promoting an external source’s content on your blog—the concerns and responsibilities are doubled.
Some pros of publishing guest posts on your site are:
- Attract a new audience: As stated earlier, the primary advantages of allowing guest posts on your site are increasing traffic and widening the range of visitors. Even if it’s a gradual increase, acquiring fresh leads and new viewers is valuable for your SEO and growing your audience.
- Network with people in your niche: Connecting with others in your industry is a valuable practice, even in the digital world. You can stay updated on the latest news and trends in the relevant fields through guest post submissions.
- Boost your domain authority: Publishing quality guest posts can enhance how people perceive your blog. You’ll be considered as an authority in your niche and a source of reliable industry information.
- Incorporate diverse content: Guest posts also introduce your audience to different writing styles and perspectives. It diversifies your content offering, which can help you retain your readers’ attention and engagement.
Meanwhile, here are the cons you should be aware of:
- Review submissions: You’ll be required to proofread and edit every guest post, to ensure the quality is up to par with your existing posts. If you have a lot of submissions, you may opt to hire someone to take charge of this process.
- Risk receiving more spam: Another risk involved with accepting guest posts is that you may end up receiving more spam in your email inbox. A lot of people pitch and send content blindly to any website that publishes articles from external sources without going through the recipient blog’s guidelines. Fortunately, there are spam filter tools that can help you minimise this possibility.
- Increased workload and cost: Adding another process to your digital marketing campaign will result in a greater workload for you and your team. Even if you hire another person to monitor this, it will also lead to more expenses.
- Set your guidelines
3. Set your guidelines
Setting your objectives and weighing the pros and cons will help you create guest post guidelines for your site. These should outline key factors like word count, preferred topics and permitted content inclusions in detail. You can even state outright posts that you’ll reject, such as content with significant grammatical errors.
Being transparent with potential authors will minimise the amount of inquiries you receive, and save you from the tedious process of answering emails one-by-one.
4. Uphold excellent content writing standards
The most important thing to ensure when accepting guest posts is quality. You must be strict when proofreading and editing articles to ensure you only publish high-quality and unique content on your website. In fact, quality is among the ultimate SEO ranking factors. Search engines are becoming more intelligent with each passing day, and their crawlers use sophisticated algorithms to ensure their results pages offer users the most relevant content for their queries. Thus, if your content is poor quality or unoriginal, you’re unlikely to rank well; you may even be penalised.
Additionally, alongside guest posts, you should also continue to produce engaging and compelling content yourself to maintain a consistent tone. Take advantage of the right keywords and link building techniques in your content. Ultimately, any content you publish should benefit the reader; low quality guest blogs, however tempting they may be to post, won’t help readers and therefore aren’t likely to help your SEO.
Accepting guest posts on your website has its pros and cons, but when performed strategically, it can bring new traffic to your site, and help cement your authority in your chosen niche. However, there are risks involved in accepting poor quality guest posts, thus, you need to be careful about your execution. Setting clear guidelines on your guest posts preferences is key to maintaining quality.