Should You Publish Guest Blog Posts on Your Website?

Should You Publish Guest Blog Posts on Your Website?

Reader Comments (29)

  1. Fortune teller walks into a clothing store. Asks the clerk to see the blouses. He holds one up. The fortune teller says, “That won’t fit me.”

    Taken aback, the clerk asks, “How do you know that? You haven’t even tried it on.”

    The fortune teller says, “Because I’m a medium.”

  2. Hey, Stefanie

    Impressive writing, some valuable things i found here, Surely i will apply these for my niche sites.

    Have a nice weekend.

    Thanks in advance 🙂

  3. Ah, if only deciding whether or not to publish guest posts were so simple. Bloggers should either decide to get serious about having many writers – and delegate the time it takes to edit the content – OR stick to only publishing their own content.

    Here’s why: you might publish a post that is great content your readers like not knowing that the person who wrote it has an “investigator” after them who has decided they deserve to have every site they’ve ever published on penalized by search engines and your blog may get swept up in that penalty-fest.

    So ask yourself these questions:
    * How important is search traffic to me? Can I afford to risk losing it?
    * Do I want MORE traffic and need guest content to get it and want to take that risk?

    If you want to publish more content than you can write and become an authority blog, just know it is a lot of work and you will either have to hire an SEO or learn SEO to know what to do if your search traffic starts tanking thanks to the black and white not-so-cuddly algorithms and manual penalties applied by people who assume guilt rather than innocence.

  4. Guest posts on your blog are indeed tricky. You not only want the post to be well written but also fit with your audience. The trick would be to get freelancers and guest bloggers that not only fit your brand but also can bring something new and exciting to it with their guest post.

  5. Hi Stefanie Flaxman, Once again I learn the tips on Copyblogger. I will keep these valuable tips in mind while guest blogging. Quality and Formatting are the main points while writing guest posting. I am new in Blogging want to learn more about marketing.
    Thanks again for valuable content.

  6. Great post, Stefanie — I think a lot of bloggers don’t imagine the work that goes on behind the scenes to curate really excellent guest posts that add to the value of your blog. I turn down easily 95% of the requests to post that I get! And we usually ask a LOT of questions to flesh out more facts, get more details for our readers on *exactly* how to do something.

    The level we do it at now, I pay an editor, and I’m sure it would take fewer hours to write it myself! And then there’s the whole issue of whether guest post author links are hurting you in Google, which some folks think they are.

    But the bottom line for me is that I believe in having guests and bringing multiple voices and points of view to my readers. I think that makes it a more useful blog…so I keep doing it. 😉

    • So happy to hear from you and get your thoughts, Carol!

      I agree — the main idea is the possibility of making a more useful blog for your readers.

      The search rankings issue is certainly another beast.

      Call me simplistic, but if site owners don’t do sleazy things and don’t allow guest authors to do sleazy things, a lot of messes can be avoided. 🙂

  7. I have had to put a note on my site that I won’t accept guest posts anymore due to the poor quality of posts I was receiving, despite giving a detailed guide to what we look for in a post. Saying “no” to these writers is always hard but it was so frustrating to receive poorly written, factually incorrect and irrelevant articles all the time. One guest post submission even plagiarized one of my own stories!

    So for now, I think not accepting posts is saving me a lot of time and frustration.

  8. Hi Stephanie,

    What is your take on what Carol Tice mentioned about Google author links hurting a website?

    I have occasional guest posts on my blog. They are always with people I have already made a connection with online and we have typically already begun a friendship at some level. I don’t solicit guest posts. If someone I know approaches me, I normally talk with them about it and something gets published.

    I don’t like to give them a lot of regulations. One I do stipulate is 1000 word minimum. I do more proofreading than editing. I don’t want to change the writer’s voice. I do make corrections and check facts when needed.

    Actually I enjoy giving my readers a new perspective. I just haven’t turned up the volume yet on guest posting.

    Funny thing is I have been considering doing just that, so your post is timely.

    Thanks for putting this thoughtful post together, Stefanie. Gave me some things to think about. Love the questions to ask yourself.


    • Sounds like you’re on the right track since you’re building relationships with your guest writers, Matthew. And the more you know them, the more you will trust that they are providing accurate, valuable content for your site.

      It’s a shame that guest posting is often associated with a technique used to “game” search engines to get links to your site. As other readers have pointed out, that behavior has been recognized and penalized by Google, when appropriate.

      But for the flavor of guest posting I discuss in this article, the main idea is treating your digital publication like a print publication that is highly selective about the writers it chooses to publish. When you treat it like that, and carefully review the content (and hyperlinks) before publishing, you can avoid a lot of potential issues with search engines.

  9. hey Stefanie, how are you today?

    I regularly read the content here on copyblogger and as always the content is fab.
    Your content/post is excellent and I have read it three times now! If more marketers and bloggers would think about this before publishing guest posts, I think the blogsphere would be a better place.

    Thanks for adding so much value to my day!!


  10. Perfect timing for me too!

    I post one or two articles a month on my site and share plenty of knowledge on my field of expertise.
    But I am now considering taking guest posts from people who are in a similar industry, but would complement what I already offer.

    I’ll now take all your points into consideration when doing a call out for guest-perts!
    So thanks Stephanie for sharing your knowledge,

  11. Hi Stephanie,
    Great article here and I really appreciate the 3 Fs, especially the formatting and fact-checking parts. Have a great weekend.

  12. Hey Stefanie Flaxman,
    Thanks For sharing this post.
    I have a question for you.
    I want to enable guest posting of my blog. But Which plugin should I use for enable guest posting.
    Which plugin must have every guest posting enable blog.

  13. Hi,

    Sure it’s a small risk for any popular blog to accept a guest post, the risks perhaps a little over blown in this post and the comments that followed. Surely a site as popular as copyblogger will not tank from a few shaky links.

    I have and still try to do guest posting on popular sites. I follow their instructions to the letter. I read and study their blogs for months. Scour the comment sections for hours to get a feel for their audiences as well as interact personally in the comment sections. I even study exactly how to comment in the comment sections.

    I make contact with the website owners on Twitter, Google Plus, Facebook, the contact form on their sites and try to establish an acquaintance.

    I research ideas, spend hours trying to perfect just the right headlines and craft a captivating short summary as the site owners ask that I do.

    After I have spent 60, 70 or more hours following the sites’ instructions to the letter I finally put it all together and email it to the target site according to their wishes, exactly. I hesitate, then reluctantly hit send. And then wait and wait some more.

    I understand it’s their site, their business and they have busted their ass to get where they are. But….

    I would think that after I went through the entire process they specified and after they said they would respond that I have earned a response, even if that response is, beat it you bum.

    I hope that my little rant does not come off as bitter, on the contrary, although I have not secured a guest post yet I am a better blogger for trying.

    I hope I remember all this when it’s my site receiving the requests. My canned response will be, “beat it you bum.”

    Attention popular site owners. If you really don’t want guest posts from people you don’t know please say so.


  14. Here’s a little trick that I discovered that weeds out 75% of the crappy guest posts that I get: I run their articles through Grammarly to make sure that they don’t have a lot of errors. If I even see one misspelling in the article, it’s tossed. No questions asked because it’s so simple to spell check nowadays. Then I check the grammar and if I see more than 3-4 errors, it get’s tossed. BTW, I’ve checked several crappy articles and each one of them would have failed this test. And it saves so much time.

  15. One other thing to think about is “Why does this person want to write for me for free?”

    This leads on to a related question: “What will this look like if a competitor reports this post using Google’s webspam tool?”

    Writing guest posts takes some time and effort.. nobody is going to do it without anticipating some sort of benefit. Far too often, the only reason for the guest post is to build links for SEO reasons, and it really shows. This leaves you open to a manual penalty action for being part of an artificial linkbuilding scheme. Guest posting has been penalised often enough before.

    The upshot of all of this is to not just be fussy about the quality of the content, but about what you link to. A guest post can conceivably be interesting, properly researched and very well written and yet still be part of an unnatural linking pattern. If the links are a natural fit with your readership and if they’re links that real readers would conceivably click on then you will probably be okay.

  16. Perfect post at the perfect time. when the student is ready the teacher appears. I have been researching Guest posting for a few weeks and I seem to receive a few guest post requests recently.

    I found it a lil off that people who havent made any effort to connect with me n social media at the least are trying to guest blog on my site…So I have given them a few hard questions, Suffice to say many slink off and dont come back. Others persist and that gets me wondering why they think we have anything in common if they haven still connected with me on social media where I can get to know a wee bit about them at the least.

    I now also find that i have to consider the validity of their links, the authenticity of their posts, I know to use Grammarly for my own posts for typos and good grammar…so it looks like its takes just as much time to allow a guest post as to create or curate one myself! On the other hand once one’s blog grows in authority and your Diary fills with more commitments, you feel the pull of a guest blog…written by someone else…all you gotta do is edit and double check!

    Food to ponder, Enjoyed this post thanks Copyblogger!

  17. Hey, Stefanie Flaxman, that’s fantastic article, basically, I have got more ideas about Guest Post, Thanks for shared.

  18. Hello Stefanie,

    This is a nice article.

    I believe that article formatting is the most important thing nowadays since visitor experience depends on it. Also, when it comes to paragraph length, i prefer short paragraph. Short paragraph works best with mobile devices.

    The other points are very informative. Keep up the good works.

  19. Hi Stephanie, this is just the post we need. Glad we found it before we started accepting guest posts on Swift Social. We recently decided to completely change our approach to content, tiring of the “content marketer” approach to our blog, with a view to include guest posting from other entrepreneurs and individuals involved in the frustrating world of startups. It’s not all roses!

    Would love your thoughts on our new strategy,

    We will certainly be utilising this post to vet any guest blog authors we look to attain.

This article's comments are closed.