Blogging: The pros and cons of guest posting on your blog

17

Over the past years guest posting on various blogs has become one of the greatest ways for new bloggers to get ‘out there’ or just do a bit more promotion for an established blog. The ‘deal’ is pretty easy: the prospective guest blogger looks for good successful blogs, prepares few ideas of articles that would go well with the community/topic of the ‘target’ blog, contacts the site owner and pitches his ideas.

If the guest posting deal is accepted, the guest poster will prepare a well thought and original article which will be published on the site. It can contain few links to his own site either in the article body or the bio section, depending on the conditions set by the owner.

The result: the guest blogger gets some traffic and exposure, while the blog he posted on gets some free content.

guest blogging

While it all sounds very easy, here are few things to have in mind when preparing for such a deal as a blogger who’s getting guest posting requests:

The pros of accepting guest bloggers on your blog

1. free content

You don’t have to worry about not having an idea for an article, not having time to post it or just having an empty ‘slot’ in your calendar. The guest posters will provide the article for the day, while you can focus on promotion and life.

2. new fresh ideas

We don’t know everything in our niche (let’s be honest), no matter how hard we try to do our research or how experienced we are. Having a guest blogger write articles for you can get you some really nice new ideas you probably wouldn’t have ‘touched’ in your content.

3. wider topics

If your blog is not very strict with the niche you’re posting for, you can widen your topics even more. Say you usually post about parenting, but you can now get articles about child psychology, formal school education etc. As long as the topics don’t go too much outside your comfort zone (and the niche you have chosen for the blog), a guest poster can help develop new interesting categories.

4. more activity

It’s clear, when you have 2-3 people posting on a site, there’s a bigger chance to get more activity than when you’re posting alone. With a nice team of guest bloggers you can even start posting daily (if you’re not already doing it) or more times a day. More activity and content will get you in return more traffic, some better SEO results and more readers.

5. more traffic

Many guest bloggers do promote their own articles (on the social media sites, on their own writing portfolios etc.). This means that, when you have new content posted by them, you also get some more links/traffic since they’ll do their best to promote their work.

The cons of accepting guest bloggers on your blog

1. too much content at once

Who said that was bad? Well, having 2-3 guest articles in a week might not be a bad idea, but, if you’re running a successful blog and more people are interested in being featured, you’ll have at least 20 articles to be published, if not more.  This means you either have to schedule more in a day (it’s OK, if you are willing to keep up this rate) or have them wait for weeks to get their article posted. Some might not be too happy.

2. the quality is not always good

I have received my share of excellent guest articles and some that I blatantly refused. If you have some standards for your own writing, you cannot accept crappy articles, 3 paragraphs and bad style. Not to mention some of the articles are lacking any decent information, that it’s clear for anyone they were either ‘spun’ from another article or just written to have someone publish them. I usually try for my articles to do at least one of these things: solve a problem / educate / entertain, so a guest article needs to still be useful to my readers and not just waste me database space.

3. some might go on an idea you wanted to personally develop

Say you are writing an article about freelancing here. It’s quite easy to develop an idea I wanted myself to ‘touch’ in the near future. This means I either have to give up the idea (it’s not nice to have 2 articles about the same thing, right?) or to try and spin the topic some more to create another decent post.

4. the community might dislike it

I made such an experiment on my 6 year Romanian blog and had few people post guest articles. Few of them were met with such resistance by the community, that I was shocked. Sure, not all articles were great, but few of my guest bloggers really delivered some excellent content. Instead of starting to lose my readers, I had to slowly discourage guest posting.

5. it’s hard to maintain a ‘voice’

We all write about similar stuff. Let’s say I haven’t discovered freelancing, frugality or blogging on my own, so most of the time we ‘circulate’ some similar topics/ideas. What makes us all different is our writing style. Good or bad, people start liking our ‘voice’ and they come exactly for this. They like how we write, they want to know how we feel about a certain topic and what attracts them is exactly this ‘voice’ we all have. Well, when you have a team of guest bloggers, the ‘voice’ might get diluted a little. I think it was the biggest complain from some of my readers, regarding guest bloggers, they complained they liked my style and didn’t care for anyone else there.

6. it can easily be abused by some of the SEO and PR agencies

I had a commenter here shed some light about how some agencies use guest posting to actually not pay for sponsored reviews. And I actually start receiving emails on both my blogs from people who want to provide a 400-500 article (which is very small if you ask me anyway) and drop 2-3 links to their sites from the article section. Usually this is a sponsored post which COSTS money, but they try to ‘fool’ some bloggers that the 3 paragraph article is actually something the blogger will benefit from.

FROM OUR READERS:

I think one of the cons of taking guest post is the guest poster may not respond to your commentors or take the time to write a thoughtful comment. (Romona)

Almost all of the people who have offered to write a guest post have had an agenda to promote a web site that I would consider bad for my readers, such as consolidation loans, payday loans, and equity indexed annuities. (Bryce)

One of the blogs that I run has somehow made it on a list of “blogs that accept guest posts” (which I don’t) and I am getting bombarded with requests. I found out that most are from agencies trying to get a link back to their site and the quality of the articles is below average. It takes me way too much time to sort through the dirt to find good ones, so I have to say no to them. (C the Romanian)

Allowing guest bloggers on your blog can be either a good idea or not so. In some cases you get some excellent content, exactly when you need it and grow your community. The opposite can happen though: bad articles which can affect your readership and traffic over the time. If done carefully (choosing only the best articles, not publishing too many and caring for the community as well), this can really get your blog out there.

What other pros and cost have you discovered for allowing guest bloggers on your site? Do you allow guest posting? What are the conditions?

Article update: I’m getting such nice ideas from our commenters, that I’ll add them in the main article. Keep them coming and thank you 😉

17 COMMENTS

    • Having them try to promote things you are clearly not comfortable promoting is indeed a problem. You’d probably refuse a paid post if it was so against your beliefs, I really don’t think you’d accept it for free 🙂

  1. One of the blogs that I run has somehow made it on a list of “blogs that accept guest posts” (which I don’t) and I am getting bombarded with requests. I found out that most are from agencies trying to get a link back to their site and the quality of the articles is below average. It takes me way too much time to sort through the dirt to find good ones, so I have to say no to them.

    I am trying to go with a different approach with other websites and accept sponsored posts but those are even trickier for the regular readers. However, a blogger’s gotta eat too and hopefully the other bloggers will understand that :))

    • I think most our readers understand that running an active blog means work and time, so they shouldn’t have any worries about the ads, as long as they’re, of course, not intrusive.

  2. You always remember your first, first comment, first subscriber, first fake guest post request. If it wasn’t for Pauline’s from Reach Financial Independence post about fake guest posts I would’ve fell for it. I notice most guest posts usually talk about debt, I guess that’s the reason I don’t really get actual requests.

    • Well, debt is in most people’s minds, that’s for sure. Many are still paying it off, others became debt free, so it’s something they had experiences with 😉

    • haha some are well disguised aren’t they? my guidelines for guest posting is that you can’t talk about debt, loans, or anything that has nothing to do with financial independence.
      I limit guest posts in general to one per week on my site so I get to keep my voice. They are well received because they fit the global theme of the site. I like to get other views, from people who are married, have kids, still have a day job, etc. so readers get to see other opinions.

  3. Hi Ramona,

    This is my first time to your blog; I’ve seen you around in the blogosphere and thought I’d come over and check you out. Nice job on the site!

    As for the topic of guest posting, my site has been live for nine months now. I’ve had the good fortune of being asked to guest post on two of my favorite personal finance sites and was lucky to get a featured article in a new ezine for women entrepreneurs called LeapStrong.

    I do accept guest posts on my site but I’m VERY PICKY and have only accepted/posted one to date. It was from a fellow blogger Mr. Welfare to Well Off. I’m sick that he made the decision to take down his blog because he produced really great content for his readers and I think his voice will be missed.

    My site has a Guest Post Submission Guidelines page. I think I may take that down because I get frequent (several per week) requests to guest post and it’s clear to me that the person has an agenda. But, rather than go with my assumption, I send an email back that reads something like this…

    Thank you for your interest in submitting a guest post. If you are still interested in submitting a guest post:

    – Please point me to your website or posts you’ve written on other sites so that I can get a feel for your writing.
    – Provide your social media URLs so I can get an idea of who you are.
    – Let me know what you want to get out of the exercise. If it’s to drive traffic to your own site, that’s fine as long as I feel we have some degree of compatibility. I won’t steer my readers to a site that doesn’t in some way align with my content.

    Once I have a chance to get to know you better, I will either ask you to submit a post as outlined in my Guest Posting Guidelines, or I will decline to accept a post at this time.

    As you might imagine, I usually never hear back from them!

    • Hello, Ree and welcome to the blog. I appreciate the kid words and also your story. I used to send them to the ‘guidelines’ page (to make sure they read them), but many still provided bad articles since, as you said it better, they had an ‘agenda’. I did enjoy having guest posters, but only if they really delivered something worthwhile, otherwise it’s really a waste of space 🙂

      Love your strategy though, it clearly weeds out the posters who are not really serious about it.

  4. I’d like to guest post, but have not been consistent posting on my own blog. As for people asking to guest post on my blog, I’m always a little paranoid because I don’t know why they would want to guest post as my blog is not well known at all. For the most part, they want a link back to some product like debt consultation or something. Some seem to be from freelance writers and I’ve accepted them since I figure I could use some free content. Not sure what they get out of it or if there’s an ulterior motive…

    • Well, most guest posters are interested in showcasing their work to another audience, getting some traffic/links. Which is OK and normal, especially if their content is really good and useful for your readers. There are also agencies or people who just post crappy articles to promote their stuff and that’s not OK anymore

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here