Guest posting is an awesome and a win-win thing where both the host and guest bloggers are gietting many benefits, like traffic, exposure, content, promotion, SEO benefits and so on.
But it seems to me (and other blogging friends of mine) that spammers make use of this awesome tool.
Read the guidelines/rules
This one is a no-brainer isn’t? And a great time saver too! It could take you 1-2 minutes to read the guidelines to guest post on a blog. But if you are lazy or careless and just jump in and submit a guest post without reading it, you are wasting the time of host blogger and yours too.
If you miss an important rule, these are what could happen:
- Your post could be rejected just right off the bat. Of course you spent time to submit it to that blog (registering, filling up profile information, formatting the post for that blog, sending email etc.).
- The busy host blogger could have spent time working on it, finally to find out that your post violates something. That’s again waste of time.
- The host blogger publishes the post, and then later on find that you had been mischievous and takes down the post. This is waste of time for you and the host blogger.
- If (3) is the case, it is a waste of time for the wonderful visitors who took the time and effort to leave comments on your post. Their comments are also taken down, just because you didn’t spend 2 minutes initially.
(3) and (4) happened recently. I published a guest post and then read the same post by the end of the same week on We Blog Better. Ouch! I told Kiesha and she took the post down immediately.
To me, it was about a week already and the post had quite some comments (when Kiesha took it down, the post at her blog already had beautiful comments as well) – scratching my head, I removed the author links (thanks to Brankica for the suggestion).
We then had a loooong discussion that night on Google+ over this (that was sweet by the way!).
Do you know that it takes much much longer for me to “polish” a guest post than to write a fresh post myself from scratch? You might be surprised but that is the truth.
However, this is not the case with all guest post submissions I receive. I do receive very few top class guest post submission where the guest bloggers do all the necessary formatting.
When you are ready to submit a guest post to a particular blog, visit some blog posts from that blog and see how the posts are formatted. What tags do they use for sub-headings? How are the posts structured? and so on.
Some blogs publish posts without sub-headings. Some blogs (like this one) publish posts with sub-headings; so you have to make sure that you format your posts accordingly. This will speed up the publication process.
Very poor formatting can seriously lead to rejection.
Do not copy paste directly from word document since the apostrophes don’t convert well. You should use the “preview” option on the right side of the WordPress dashboard (just above “Submit for Review”). If you see that there are strange characters, you should delete apostrophes and put them again from your WordPress dashboard editor.
Are you in context?
It is pretty much common sense. Would I just submit a guest post titled “5 ways to make delicious chicken BBQ” to a blog that talks about “blogging tips”? You may be asking to yourself “Who would do that?”. But I am getting irrelevant submissions that are not even near to the categories in this blog.
How come people submit recipes, mortgage and real estate stuff to my blog? I get about 4-7 submissions a week!
Linking back or FREE advertising?
OK, every host blogger allows you 2 or 3 links back to your blog, normally in your byline or author bio. Most bloggers also allow links within the article body apart from the ones you use in the author bio; but only if the links are relevant.
So what is the point of adding those links within the article? It is great for your SEO, that’s true. But from the reader’s point of view and the host blogger’s point of view, you should be linking to your blog only if you are quoting something from your blog posts.
If you want to tell people about a concept or a method which you have already talked about in your blog post, then you can simply link to it instead of repeating it again in your guest post.
But you cannot use in-article linking as free advertising (to get more subscribers or sell a product) or merely for your own SEO benefits! For instance you cannot use a keyword anchor text and link to one of your services/products. That is free advertising.
You should refer to the blog’s “Advertise” page and pay for some banner ad instead. And it goes without saying about affiliate or questionable links. Do not include them.
Guest posting spam is picking up momentum. For bloggers, it is another kind of new spam to deal with. For spammers, it is fun. Are you a spammer or a responsible guest blogger?
Don’t litter the blogosphere and don’t make it hard for the host bloggers, they already have too much in their plates! Know what is guest blogging first, and then start pitching your offers.