Article

Tony Tomov
Tony Tomov 1 November 2019

The Sobering Truth About Guest Post Submissions Revealed

Everything points to guest authors and blog post contributors being a blessing in our content-hungry era. But is there a dark side to the joys they bring onto your website?

With more than 4.3 billion people blowing through web pages, social media feeds, blog posts, photos, and videos for an average of 23.6 hours per week, fresh content is what makes the Internet go round.

Or is it?

Let’s be real here. What is the chance of everybody running out of stuff to like and share in a couple of weeks?

And what’s the chance of stumbling onto a piece of digital garbage? 

Exactly. 

The wondrous promise of guest blogging

The online world lives by its own laws, rules, and regulations. At least for the most part. Still, there are some things so fundamental that, just as the laws of physics, don’t change regardless of the environment. The supply-demand chain is one of these principles.

Users crave more quality content and creators are more than happy to oblige. 

More on the matter, search engines, and social media algorithms seem to have cheerfully jumped on the bandwagon prioritizing frequency on par with quality. 

Everybody needs to post early and post often in order to stay on top of their SEO game. In this regard, a guest post submission is truly a blessing from the heavens. 

Why bust your neck working on something as hard as crafting a content masterpiece if you are served one on a plate with a silver lining? 

In a perfect world, a great guest post:

  • Saves your time: Crafting a great piece of content consumes a lot of your resources. From spending countless hours researching to perfecting your writing in Grammarly and Hemingway, to investing your hard-earned money into purchasing the license for eye-candy visuals, creating even the smallest of blog posts is no walk in the park. If someone is willing to do the powerlifting for you – let them.
  • Gives you more traffic: The author of the original article is as eager to get more coverage as you. As such, sharing their content is very much in their best interest. In simpler words, you’ll have someone working on your social exposure as much as you. 
  • Helps you make new connections: The social exposure bit leads to yet another pleasant surprise – exposure in a community. You will be reaching the audience of another blogger. These people are generally interested in the topics that you cover. 

Not all content is made equal

In a perfect world, guest blogs are awesome. They offer a fresh take on something you’ve been covering for ages, or maybe they offer a little bit of expertise from a field you are not familiar with. 

A decently written guest post is a positive indicator that appeals to both your readers and the search engines. However, if we were to speak from experience here, how many of the submissions you receive into your mailbox are worth your while? 50%? 15%? 5%? 

Here’s the thing: the predicament of being in a continuous race with other content producers has opened the flood gate of black-hat SEO engineers and self-proclaimed link building experts going for the short-term benefit of boosting their website with backlinks and then, after it gets penalized, doing the same trick over again, but on a slightly different satellite domain. 

These people don’t care about quality. They are not interested in putting effort into something they don’t view as anything more than yet another backlink.  

These people, while not plentiful, were quick to give the entire industry of guest blogging a bad taste. So much so that even the search engines have started treating these backlinks suspiciously. 

That said, if you have made it clear that all you are willing to offer in return for the guest author’s work is exposure and a no-follow link, you are probably in safe waters. Or are you?

Think about your fans!

Riddle us this: how well do you know your readers? Do you have any “insider jokes” or running gags? Have you discovered that some topics do better than others in your community? Perhaps certain aspects cause a spike in the rate of people unsubscribing from your resource?

I don’t need to be a psychic to know that the answer to all of these questions is a resounding yes. I also know that this is the result of countless hours spent nurturing a loyal audience, investing your time into creating a bond and giving them a feel of what they can expect from you. 

How well do you know the contributor though? Can a guest author share the same level of intimacy with your readers? Will your content resonate with them? Will it have the same vibe as they’ve come to expect? 

More importantly, will the new post have the dreaded “sponsored content” tag? 

Not only are people not willing to read these overblown ads, but they tend to trust the resource holding them less and less with every visit. You don’t want that level of damage done to your brand unless you are already a popular news and media outlet. 

How to get the cream of the guest blogging crop then?

Yes, guest blogging comes with its own set of challenges. Still, there’s too much potential in it to skip the whole shebang entirely. 

What if someone told you there are a couple of simple tricks and tips you can follow and ensure that you are only publishing the best pieces of content your audience will love to share?

More on the matter, you won’t even invest that much time into it.

  1. Check your contributor’s background. Before you proceed to invest the time it takes to read through a blog post, research the links, and the visuals, check if the person writing you is a nice fit for your blog. A simple, automated background check can save you a lot of precious moments even before you get committed. Not to mention that there are plenty of examples of competitors using guest posting to undermine their rivals.
     
  2. Check the backlink: Check the link’s domain-level, page-level, and keyword features as well as traffic and search engine sharing data. There are plenty of tools such as SemRush, MOZ, and Ahrefs that automate the process. Once you know that the link you’ll be publishing is already good, you may be certain that the guest authors intentions are pure. 

Bottom line

A well-designed, masterfully-crafted guest blog from a reputable resource that is crafted with the appropriate tone and voice is an incredibly potent asset for any digital resource. Yes, looking for them may resemble searching for a needle in a haystack, but the endgame is absolutely worth it. 

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