How You Should Be Accepting Guest Posts On Your Blog

Guest posting is not exactly the newest trend among bloggers and internet marketers to grow their blogs and get backlinks, but it’s certainly one of the most popular techniques.

Most people prefer guest blogging over article marketing, as the quality of links and exposure that we get from a high-quality blog is far better than from an article directory.

This post is dedicated to all bloggers who accept guest articles on their blogs, and who receive too many guest posting requests/submissions every day.

The idea of getting a free blog post is always appealing to a webmaster, but care must be taken so that you do not unknowingly hurt your blog with unfiltered guest posts.

Accepting guest posts
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In this article, I will be sharing a few techniques that you should keep in mind when accepting guest posts. Use them as a guideline, and add them to your current criteria for accepting guest posts.

I will also be outlining a few of the methods I use, which you may wish to also use for your own blog.

Before moving forward, I recommend that you read my previously published guide on how to create a multi-author WordPress blog, which details some WordPress plugins that will help you to open up your blog to guest posting.

Accepting Guest Posts? Are You Killing Your Blog?

Believe it or not, you can accept too many guest posts, and by doing so, you could be killing your blog. I’m not referring to the difference in voices of the guest bloggers, I’m talking about the SEO demerits of outbound linking via guest posts.

Guest posting can be very lucrative. It is an inexpensive way to gain backlinks, as I have previously outlined in an article on how to craft a guest posting campaign.

You may have noticed a rise in requests for guest post proposals recently. Since the Penguin update, it has become more difficult to gain quality links, and this has served to make guest blogging an internet marketer’s best friend.

But, for many bloggers accepting guest posts for their blogs, it could become slow poison.

Now I’m not suggesting that you should not accept guest posts. But, you must set a high standard with your guest post acceptance criteria.

1. Start with links

Let’s consider backlinks in guest posts. This will help you determine whether you need to consider additional factors, or simply reject a post.

Here are a few suggestions to consider:

  • Avoid linking out to irrelevant niches. If you blog about blogging, only accept articles that link out to things related to blogging.
  • Avoid SEO-optimized anchor text links. Most of the IMs use SEO anchor text to generate links, and many times they use the same anchor text. Since the Penguin update, too many exact anchor text backlinks will be considered spam, and you might end up penalizing your site. I usually link out to sites with the domain name as the anchor text.
  • Set a link limit. Limit the number of links to a maximum of two. Too many backlinks from one post pointing to a single domain might be considered spam or a sponsored post.
  • Diversify links. This point may be a bit out of context, but it is still very important. Try to add 2-3 more outbound links from other domains. This will ensure that if your guest author’s blog is new and not credible enough, your link will not be viewed as bad linking. Remember that you can link to Wikipedia or other useful resources from the web. You can read more about this in my previously published article on outbound links for SEO.

2. Content length

As part of my criteria for guest posts, I have set a post length of greater than 1200 words. My niche is blogging, SEO, and internet marketing, all of which requires detailed information. For this reason, I believe 500 words should be the minimum for adequately and meaningfully delivering that information.

Depending on your niche, you can set a length criteria for guest posts for your blog as well. My recommendation would be that guest posts should be at least 1200 words, regardless of niche.

3. Duplicate content/spun content

Before checking the quality and other factors of guest posts, I recommend you carefully check to make sure every proposed guest post is original, and not duplicated material.

To do this, simply select one line from each paragraph, and search that line, enclosed in quotation marks (“…”), in Google. This should tell you whether there is any near-duplicate or exact-duplicate out there.

You can also use services like Copyscape to check the originality of content.

Read:

4. Copied images

This same research applies to images within guest posts.

Make sure there are no copyrighted images and that you have sufficient permission to use them on your blog.

I have noticed that in most guest post submissions, authors are using images from Google Image Search, and that is always a bad idea.

As an editor or website owner, you can run a reverse image search or simply direct the proposed guest author to guides such as: How To Use Flickr To Find Images or 5 Websites To Download Free Stock Images.

5. Content quality

Most bloggers and IMs whom I know hire freelance writers to write articles for them, and then they submit those articles as guest posts. There is nothing wrong with this practice unless the submitter is not thoroughly editing the articles and adding personal touches to them.

I set criteria of a certain standard of quality of the content I will allow on my blog.

If a proposed guest post does not meet the standard of my blog content, I simply reject the proposed post and add a note explaining that it’s not up to my standard.

You can read this guide on how to judge the quality of content to give you an idea of what factors you should be looking for in a quality article.

6. Readability and spelling mistakes

Readability is one of the main SEO factors and I use the EasyWPSEO plugin to check the readability score of any article.

If the readability score is negative or very low, I ask the submitter to rewrite and resubmit the content.

Make sure to also correct grammar and spelling mistakes. You can use a free Chrome addon like Grammarly to check for common grammatical and spelling mistakes.

Note: Any “readability” or grammar checking tool is just an algorithm. These measurements should not be used to overrule a trained proofreader/editor.

7. Self-promotion

I don’t mind self-promotion as long as it is adding value to the article.

But sometimes people go overboard with self-promotion in guest posts, and this is never good.

Publishing posts with excessive self-promotion should be limited from day one of your blog.

8. Unrelated niches

Make sure you have a good reason for accepting every guest post.

Never accept articles on topics that are not related to your niche. Regardless of how good the article may be, if it is off topic, it will be a disappointment to your regular readers. You need to clearly specify the topics that you accept for your guest posts.

If you follow the points noted above, you will greatly improve the quality of guest posts.

I also recommend that you have a dedicated page for guest post submission guidelines somewhere on your blog. This page should mention the criteria for accepting guest posts, as well as other important information such as how to submit the guest posts and how long the author should expect to wait to hear whether the post has been accepted.

So let me know: What criteria do you specify before accepting a guest post on your blog? Share your thoughts using the comments section below.

If you find this article informative, don’t forget to share it!

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Authored By
A Blogger, Author and a speaker! Harsh Agrawal is recognized as a leader in digital marketing and FinTech space. Fountainhead of ShoutMeLoud, and a Speaker at ASW, Hero Mindmine, Inorbit, IBM, India blockchain summit. Also, an award-winning blogger.

12 thoughts on “How You Should Be Accepting Guest Posts On Your Blog”

  1. Hi Harsh,
    Before accepting guest posts in blog, one need to check the tips that you have suggested. Definitely very helpful. I like the duplicate content which you have said. This is true that before approving a post in your blog, one needs to check whether the content is an unique or not. Posting a duplicate content is not beneficial for your blog. Secondly, I like the guest post image. This is also true and need to be checked out first. Thanks for the share!!

  2. Hi very informative article I run a health and fitness site and started accepting some guest blogs. I would also recommend checking for duplicate content as I find people try it on.

  3. Useful Information. You need to be very careful in accepting guest posts, especially the links you are going to give to the author. Most of the offer I get on my blog are from people who work for Clients and are paid $50- $100 for posting one guest post. This means you are writing a paid post for Free.

  4. Thanks Harsh for those awesome tips, I really enjoyed and learnt a lot from this article. I always concerned about guest posts on my blogs and I’m practicing some of tactics you mentioned here. Also, few days ago, I read in a warrior forum that, Google might consider your site a spam if you accept guest posts heavily, is it true? Thanks again man.

  5. Accepting too many guest post without which has same kind of concept is just worthless.

    Thanks for clarifying the points, Harsh.

  6. Your alarm ‘turning your blog into article directory’ touched me from inside. How true to the core!

    I often check for duplicates using double quote on Google search. Still, always careful about spinned content.

    What most hurts me is to see the guest bloggers not responding to the reader’s comments. This directly hurts the readership. Thus, I’ve started to remove authors links from the post if author did not turn back to the post to reply user queries. Though it has not solved the problem, but I guess I’ve right to stop linking to the deaf ears.

  7. Awesome post! Well, all the above listed guest posting factors are really useful , mostly avoiding external linking to irrelevant niche, keeping guest post length to 400 Words atleast and checking the submitted guest posts for duplicate content. Thanks Harsh for sharing this excellent post 🙂

  8. After the penguin update, every blogger has started thinking twice before publishing any guest post in their blog. So do I.

  9. Hi Harsh,
    I found this post very useful and I admit I didn’t know about most of the terms that you used. It will certainly save my time and prevent my site from being hurt by too much back links.

  10. Hello Harsh i started my blog as name wallpapersfever.i first think that i will upload wallpapers only in this blog but now i changed my mind.now i want to write some entertainment news and others in this blog can.Is There any Traffic Effect when leave uploading wallpapers in this.

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