Is Allowing For Guest Post Submissions Got You In a Twist?

Today, we are going to discuss the pros and cons of offering guest posting. We’ve discussed the benefits of guest posting before and posted an article here on its best practices.

There are definitely lots of benefits to guest posting on other sites which we won’t get into here; you can read those posts if you want to.

However, when the tables are turned, there may be some things to look out for before you allow a free-for-all guest posting fest on your website.

Pros

It gives you a much needed break!

Maintaining a blog is a lot of work, especially if that’s your central focus. For some of us, developing other areas of our business (such as with ecommerce sites), is our priority. For many others, the blog is the central focus.

In order to stay in the eyes and minds of your target market and peers you have to make it a point not only to post regularly, but to post quality content consistently; tall order sometimes.

Allowing others to post on your site gives you a break to work on other areas of your business while still providing added value to your readers.

Provides additional value that you can’t offer.

Often times, what we post on our blogs are based on our own experiences and expertise. Allowing others to write complimentary articles in your industry enhances your sites perceived value and credibility.

For example, I may know a lot about how to start an online business, such as details on creating websites, SEO and social media marketing. But I lack expert knowledge on taxes, creating business entities and such. Of course I can do it and I have in the past, but it’s not something I can speak about with ease nor would I want to.

Allowing an expert in these fields to post an article on these topics would be beneficial to my audience. We are providing a well-rounded experience by doing so.

Cons

Sometimes guest posters don’t play by the rules.

There will be times when others request to submit articles and haven’t even read your guest posting guidelines. Even worse, maybe they have read your guidelines and have chosen not to adhere to them after you’ve published their articles.

This of course leads to a tricky situation and you are left with the task of having to decide whether or not to deactivate their links or in worst case scenarios, un-publish their articles.

I’ve been fortunate in that I haven’t had to do this as of yet, and I’ll share with you in a bit a few tips on what I’ve done to prevent this.

The articles may not meet your expectations.

When you begin announcing that you are allowing guest authors on your site, you often get many submissions from people whose articles do not meet your expectations; and you have to do the not so fun task of sending the rejection email.

But at the end of the day, your credibility is at stake. You wouldn’t want to post an article on a topic that you have a completely opposite view on, would you? Nothing wrong with stating differences of opinion, but why would you publish an article on something you don’t believe in?

If you want to offer differences of opinions, do a ‘he said, she said’ series and leave it at that.

Or what if the article is poorly done and put together haphazardly? My thought is I’d rather post less and provide great value to my readers than to post more and provide sub-par quality content.

Tips on managing Guest Authors

Provide rules / guidelines

Yeah, I know it sounds so uptight and you’re not like that. But I think we can agree that sometimes it’s a necessary evil to ensure that articles submitted are meeting your standards and requirements.

For example, if interaction such as answering comments is important to you because that is the type of community you’ve created, than it will be something you will want to stress to your guest authors. Often times, people want to submit articles just to get backlinks, not realizing that the value is in connecting with the community.

Be sure to publish your guidelines and direct anyone who makes a request to submit an article, to this page. If they are cool with it, great! If not, then they wouldn’t be a quality guest author for you anyway.

Check their articles.

This is a very important step and often get’s overlooked. I’ve spoke about Copyscape before, but in case you’ve missed it, it’s worth mentioning again. This is service that allows you to check for duplicate articles; and for 5 cents an article it well worth it!

For example, recently I received a guest post submission from someone whom I don’t personally know, but have heard of and is connected to my circle of friends in the blogging industry.

Of course I was excited that he wanted to submit an article. However after reading it, realized that it sounded very “salesy”. I requested he revise it a bit, which he did. Then I did something which I don’t normally do with people who are already established in the blogging industry as they should know better, I ran his article through Copyscape.

Turned out he had posted the same exact article just two weeks earlier on another site of someone I knew well! Needless to say, his article was REJECTED!

I won’t go into who it was as that’s not my style, but I was a bit shocked to say the least… who am I kidding, I was downright pissed!

Hence, check the articles for uniqueness if that is a priority for you.

Check for quality control after the article is published.

Once the article is submitted and published, be sure that your guest poster is still falling within the guidelines of your standards.

  • If answering comments is a priority, make sure they are doing so. If not, send out a friendly reminder.
  • Read through the comments to make sure they are not getting spammed.
  • Participate in the conversation. Just because it’s not your article, does not mean you shouldn’t get involved.
  • Publicly offer thanks to the guest author. They have taken the time to create a unique and valuable article for your readers, so sure to let them know you appreciate that and them.

As I’ve said earlier, allowing for guest authors can really be a wonderful addition to your site (and sanity), but it should be monitored with care. At the end of the day, you are the site owner and responsible for not only WHAT is presented on your site but HOW you want it presented, so in one simple phrase:

The buck stops with you…

What are your thoughts on allowing for guest posters? Any experiences you’d like to share?

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