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Warning: Don’t Accept Guest Posts Until You’ve Done these 5 Steps

This is a guest contribution by .

Guest blog post can add a lot of value to your blog.

Guest posts not only give you a break from writing, they show you are connected and that you respect other experts’ opinions and different perspectives. Guest posts can demonstrate how much you value quality information your readers find useful. In the long term, guest posts can bring you new audiences, more connections and better content.

But it’s not always as easy as that. Before you accept and publish any guest blog post make sure you do these five steps so that only the best ends up on your blog.

1. Always check the posts for Plagiarism

Search engines, particularly Google, do not want duplicate content and plagiarism on web pages. Google’s recent update, Panda, has made it harder for content stealers to continue their behavior without getting penalized.

If you don’t want your blog to be penalized for duplicates, check any guest post submission for plagiarism There are a few easy to use plagiarism checking services where you can copy and paste the post and their unique algorithm will scan the content for duplicates, giving you a detailed plagiarism report with links to all the used sources. Some of them, like PlagTracker, are even free!

Google may not directly penalize duplicates, but such content will erode your website authority. You could even get lawsuits from other publishers for stealing their original work.

By checking your guest posts, and making sure the content you publish is always authentic and original, you can avoid such problems and guide your blog to success.

2. Proofread and Format the Guest Posts

It seems obvious but if you care about share high quality information with your readers, it’s important that your guest posts are relevant to your blog’s niche.

As with all online copywriting, make sure your guest post describes the benefits to your readers.

After all, your readers are interested in how their lives can be eased, so give them what they want!

Your proofreading should also check names, titles and genders, whether they are correctly written and consistent throughout the text.

3. Interlink the Guest Posts with Previously Published Content

You want to keep your readers on your blog for as long as possible. Linking new and old posts can help you minimize the bounce rate, keep the readers engaged and increase the number of page views.

In fact, it’s a strategy that professional bloggers use to rank higher in the search engines results.

When interlinking your blog posts, it is very important to decide how much will you interlink because too many inbound links may turn out to be counter-productive.

4. Optimise Guest Post URLs and Meta Tags

In order for search engines to recommend your blog in their results, you must make it easy for them to read and understand what your blog is about.

That’s what meta tags can help with.

Meta tags are information about information. If your title tags are optimized for the keywords you’re focusing on, Google will be able to faster index and rank your blog or web pages. The description tags should be creative, interesting and provide enough quality information for the potential visitors to know what your page or website is about.

Additionally, base your posts URLs on the important keywords and consider using short URLs when sharing your blog posts because they are smaller and appear better than the long ones.

5. Add Intriguing Images to draw your Readers’ Attention

As we all know one picture’s worth a thousand words. Don’t miss an opportunity to intrigue and keep your audience tuned into your message by including an image. You can always start with the free images available using Google Advanced Image Search, or Tumblr, FreeDigitalPhotos.net, PhotoPin.com, Foter.com, etc.

Do you accept guest posts on your blog? Can you add to this list?

Sandra Miller is a tech tips writer from Brooklyn. Loves writing about blogging, social media and SEM. You can reach her at Google+

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Comments

  1. JoLynne says:

    Always link back to your guest’s website and make sure you spell their name correctly if you introduce them before you post their copy. I know it sounds obvious, but skipping this step leaves them feeling un-thanked.

  2. Great post! I’ve made the mistake of not checking for copies and not editing before publishing in the past.

    I no longer accept guest posts. It’s been such a pain in the butt dealing with the extra work of reviewing them for content that I decided this weekend that I’m done with the process. There are several pet bloggers that I know that I accept guest content from, but the random submissions are rejected with a polite note.

    Instead, I’ve decided to build a team of regular contributors who I enjoy working with and accept content from them. We all have a vested interest in seeing each other succeed so the process is much less stressful.

  3. I love these savvy, actionable tips. I must admit that I had not been checking my guest posts for duplicate content previously; but I certainly will now. Thanks!

  4. Ileane says:

    Sandra, bloggers should be doing #2, #3, #4 and #5 on their own blog posts too. The interlinking is often referred to as on page SEO and it’s also a great idea to do this in case some tries to scrape your content. they will be building links pointing back to your site and hopefully people will realize where that you are the actual author. Thanks for the post.

    btw – you have a typo in the header of #4.

  5. Joanna says:

    The main rule would be – content has to be unique and INTERESTING ;)

  6. Sharon says:

    I just finished posting a series of guest posts on my blog, so naturally this caught my attention. I think I did okay for all except No. 4 … how does that work out? I usually give my guests the liberty of naming their posts, do I insist on giving the posts my own title?

    Thanks for sharing these tips.

  7. Joshua Smith says:

    Great post!

    I would also suggest editing out redundant statements and adding in clarifications to keep the flow of the post going and keep it understandable.

    Also when reviewing guest posts, you wouldn’t want your regular readers to get bored with the post or not understand it if the content is such a different writing style than your own; they did subscribe to YOUR style, not someone else so add a little bit of flavor into the post to make it more geared toward your readers.

  8. What are the benefits of not accepting guest posts to your blog?

    • Jon Rhodes says:

      Here’s a couple that spring to mind.

      You have a consistent voice on your blog. Your blog might have a certain theme or missions, and you can stick to that. Guest writers may not. For instance my blog is about ethical affiliate marketing, so I don;t write about anything black or grey hat.

      Less spam to deal with. Accepting guest posts attracts spam. You get a whole load of poorly written content by pushy spammers. I used to spend a lot of time trying to reason with them, now I just ignore them.

  9. Hi,

    Thank you for sharing with us. As far as I read seems there will be some changes regarding guest posting in Google’s eyes. The best idea remains to have a guest post only on high quality websites, related to your domain and to use your brand name as a anchor text in author bio, instead of using keyword rich anchor text.

    Chris,

  10. SAM NICHOLS says:

    Thanks for sharing tips.

  11. Good topic Sandra,

    I would add that the guest post must serve a distinct purpose.

    It must answer a question or solve a problem that you know your audience is facing or what’s the point of publishing it?

    The best returning guests on TV Sitcoms always bring something that was missing to the scene my view is a guest post should do the same thing.

  12. nagababu says:

    Thank you for saving my blog getting penalized from Google. Recently i add guest post page on my blog and but i mention few conditions only on this page.After reading this i add some extra conditions which gives better clarity about guest posting on my blog.

  13. Okto says:

    Great share Sandra,

    Having guest posts gives something different or offer a unique new perspective to the blog. If we continue with the kitchen metaphor then having guest post adds something extra to the menu of the day. People will expect to taste the food from the chef but is given something different and unique instead.They where expecting a great apple pie from the chef and found that the menu offered blueberry pies.

  14. Sai Krishna says:

    Thanks for mentioning about plagiarism especially, so many of new bloggers not checking guest posts for copied content, they are just posting it with eagerness. Your post is very helpful for every blogger who having no experience with guest posts. Thanks for well written post, keep contributing.

  15. This was conveniently helpful with my first guest post coming up! Now I will know what to check for before I publish.

    As always I appreciate the info.

  16. zahib says:

    I like those images. It is a unique way to number the items in the list. I haven’t started accepting guest post yet because of the control issue I have with content and I don’t have a following that will benefit the writer. but these are interesting points made.

  17. Sofiya says:

    Excellent Post and Well said. I just got into the blogging world recently, but it seems like most people’s strategy is to exchange content that’s watered down in return for cross promoting eachother’s audiences. Then spend all your time finding other people to post/cross promote mediocre content. 99% of blogs should not exist. Yours should, love your posts.

  18. prince says:

    i pick the number that said bloggers should always check the Plagiarism which very important if you don’t won’t to be sanctioned by google

  19. Omkar says:

    Hey, Thanks for these warnings, 1st one seems obvious but, neglected by most of the blogger, like me. And I always forgot to interlink the content. Thanks again. Bookmarked this post…

  20. Guest posts are good and I accept loads of them. I know that it involves a lot of work, but then no one is perfect. It is your responsibility as a blogger to go through the lists mentioned above.
    Bloggers should even stop trying to be perfect, because it bores readers.
    Thanks for sharing.

  21. Paul says:

    Thanks Sandra. I’ve just started accepting guest posts on my blog. This is rock solid information that I will use to further enhance my own blog. I knew about copyscape but the plagtracker site is another great site that helps with plagiarism.

    It is also helpful by adding “rules before submitting your guest post”. Most guest writers will abide by the rules you have set such as no spam, no hate posts, not posted elsewhere, etc… Not always but most do.

    Paul

  22. Top5Buzz says:

    great post !!
    thanks for sharing this tips, I have learned much things …

  23. David says:

    Hi Sandra

    Thanks for sharing your post. I am a newbie who has been looking into guest blogging and you have given me a lot of food for thought.

    Thanks again

    David

  24. Jason Neuman says:

    Checking for plagiarism and using the right images are the key ingredients that stand out in my mind. I also think it depends on the type of site you’re running.

  25. Daniel says:

    Along with #1 and #5. Make sure that you have the rights to the photograph the guest blogger/you use as well as the content. While it might no be exactly plagiarism, the net effect is the same on images. Photos are protected works too.

  26. Great post! I have also just started accepting guest posts on my website as well.
    I knew to check for plagiarism, but thanks for the links to specifically go to check it out.
    One thing is I am a bit of a perfectionist, so I would spend the time to format the post so that it matches my blog.

  27. Myindustry says:

    Hey

    It was a very useful post. But a bit late for me ! cause i made most of them in my website ! I read this great post late !

    Thank you for sharing these knowledge with us. I owe my Websites traffic to you !

    Thanks

  28. Cassie says:

    Hmm, this brings up a question: I accept guest posts and allow people to submit posts they’ve published on their own blogs but are buried in the archives. As long as the topic is relevant (and the content is updated), I’ll publish it with a link back to their original post. Does this mean, though, that I could be penalized by Google? I hadn’t thought of that. I do know plenty of online publications will do this with a disclaimer that “a different version of this story was published on XYZ.com.” Same thing? Surely they wouldn’t risk hurting their SEO, right?

  29. Brian says:

    In my excitement to post a new guest post, I am guilty of not doing these things before. Nice list.

  30. These 5 points are very good, straight forward, and actionable. Just want to add, as an extension to #1, that if your guest blogger provides an image, it is essential that the image does not violate any copyright restrictions – should either be purchased or from the public domain, with the appropriate license and attribution.

  31. Faust says:

    How about press releases that are spread across sites? how do we not get duplicate content?

  32. Juliet says:

    Informative article, its really helpful.

  33. rakesh kumar says:

    I think i have read a better guide on guest posting on the same topic at quicksprout.com, though you have written the whole article in your own term still i feel that it is a kind of plagiarism. What is your kind opinion?

  34. siddharth says:

    Great post and one of my friend is suffered from . so thanks for this post, and i am going to save this article to show him his mistake…. thanks again

  35. Jay Davis says:

    You can Accept guest post but don’t compromise with the qulaity of the sites

  36. Anirudh says:

    Whoa, Darren you had mentioned almost the Top notch points. Well, I was following some, will follow the rest too. Great Work, Cheers :)

  37. Eddie Gear says:

    Thanks for the wonderful tips as always. With today’s blogging craze, there is so much content spinning that’s happenings, that we would never know if our content is spun and republished elsewhere. I believe by checking these things before we accept guest posts is vital to preventing our blogs being penalized. SEOs would do anything to get a guest post and a backlink. Appreciate you sharing these well worth advice with your readers.

  38. Jamie says:

    I have used one or two guest posts. I agree with some previous comments. Limit the amount of extra time and effort you need to go to to make the post readable or relevant. The cons will outweigh the benefits if a lot of editing is required.

    A guest post I noticed on a prominent blog site just this week was so obviously written by an author with English as their second language that, grammatically, it made the piece a very awkward and poor read regardless of the valuable content. There’s almost no excuse for this.

    By the way, I hate to be a the grammar nazi, but shouldn’t the very first line of this article read:

    “A” guest blog post can add a lot of value to your blog? ;-)

    cheers

  39. Hiroshi says:

    Website owners face another problem in regard to this. I have been receiving several emails from different people interested in guest posts. The problem is, most of them are advertisers and only want to contribute single post with links to several services. Bloggers should check with them and ask them whether they want to contribute posts at regular basis or they just want to post single article. And make sure they are not there to only advertise different services. Choose guest bloggers carefully and before giving them guest blogger account with your website, have them interviewed and ask samples of their posts if they want to share.

  40. Plagiarism has become a serious trouble now a days. Some people do copy even from Wikipedia. It becomes necessary to check for plagiarism before publishing than worrying after publishing.

    Thanks for the great tips!

  41. Ashley says:

    Whoa, I did not know you should always check your guest’s blog post. I didn’t know that it affects readers. This is all new information for me because I’m a new blogger and I didn’t know many people would plagiarize too. Thanks for the great advice and update!

  42. Vivek says:

    Well I too get lots of guest posting requests but most of them gets declined. Reason ( which I suffer mostly ) is software generated articles. Or some of the articles are even outsourced and contain so less words that they don’t fit into my guidelines.

    Thanks for your amazing tips. But many of these points should be performed by every individual bloggers.

  43. This may sound self-evident, but the guest post needs to be well written. When someone offers to write a guest post for me I want to see previous posts they’ve written. Also I reserve the right to not publish a post after it’s submitted. In one case, the post didn’t contain a single new idea and was very generic. So I politely had to tell the writer I couldn’t use it. The pitches I receive are often so poorly written and lacking even basic contact information, that I don’t even respond.

  44. Andrea says:

    Great article – thanks! We have just set up a new blog and are working on accepting guest posts. This is a helpful list – especially the links to check for plagiarism. I would add that a list of guidelines/expectations would be very important.

  45. yogesh pant says:

    can you please tell me what status should I give to the guest author for his guest post? I am confused about either giving “contributer” or “author”? I am talking about wordpress.