Four Guidelines To Use Before Accepting Guest Posts
In the quest to expand our reach and to market our blogs and websites to a more varied audience, we may at times allow other writers to create content for our projects. The general notion of this well-established and common practice is in exchange for a backlink to their own blog or website, a writer will create a piece of content for you at no charge. While this may seem good for both sides, there are still issues that must be addressed prior to publication in order to guarantee your website or blog is in no danger of being penalized or otherwise viewed negatively. In this article, we will discuss four important points any webmaster should consider before allowing a guest post on his or her site.
Monitor Outgoing Links
This may be the most important element when it comes to protecting your site from potential penalties by Google and other major search engines. Most guest writers expect that they will be able to plug their own projects via pinging links in the article and/or footer. This is perfectly fine and as a webmaster, you should understand that this is the trade-off. However, you will want to verify that each link has validity within the context of the article and is not simply an attempt to spam random links for benefit. You may also want to check the basic metrics and analytics for the sites to which the article links in order to verify that the site is not of questionable character.
Verify Writing History
Each potential guest writer should have some bonafides in his or her field; if not, then you probably will not benefit much from their free content. By asking a guest writer to submit some samples prior to making any agreements, you can avoid potential frustration or improper communication when it comes to the type or quality of content being produced as a guest post for your site or blog. Any established writer will have sample content to share with you, vouching for their abilities as a writer.
Retain Authorship and Control
While it may be appealing to give a guest writer access to your blog via their own account, you should never, ever do it. Why not? Because other bloggers are not invested in your website. Some may wish to cause undue harm, while others may simply be negligent if given the opportunity to publish content without moderation. Regardless of the reasoning, it is never a good idea to give a guest writer direct access to the site on which their content will be featured.
Before agreeing to publishing any guest content, the writer and you need to come to a fundamental understanding: you own the content, and it should not be re-distributed elsewhere. If content is duplicated after appearing on your site, this could impact your rankings with Google and other as they begin pinging links on your website and others. Guest content without ownership really is no different than going out, plucking articles from the web, posting them to your website and then giving said site all the credit.