The vision that you have for your company, including your website and your blog, will change over time as things develop (both internally as well as in the industry). However, it’s important that you are the one growing and modifying your business in a way that you see fit. Allowing writers to guest post on your blog can threaten this if he/she does not understand the vision for your blog including subject matter, tone, and even reach. It’s important to ask yourself: How should someone accept guest articles and make sure that they are in-line with the vision you have for your business?
Steps to Accepting Guest Posts On Your Website
The first thing to understand is the intent of many guest authors you will speak with. In most cases, a writer will want to offer a guest post to your blog for SEO benefits. The more links that someone can earn for his/her website on other websites across the web, the higher his/her website will rank on a SERP for particular keywords. Another reason guest posting is so great for an author is because it offers visibility to for both the author and the website. In short: Most guest contributors are doing so for his/her own benefit—not yours.
Once you understand this idea, you can begin to follow a few simple steps to ensure that your allowing guest articles is going to be a good thing for your company:
1. Specify who can contribute. Do not accept guest posts from everyone who is interested.
I always recommend not accepting guest posts from your direct competition. If it there is an opportunity for you to earn a guest post on the competition’s site then this might be okay in some instances; however it’s a good idea to still ask their author to write about a topic that you don’t offer at your company. For example, if your competition wanted to write about the benefits of workshops and workshops are not something you offer, this might work well. In any case, always make sure that guest posts are not promotional in nature (more about this later).
It’s also a good idea to only accept guest articles from someone who works for a well-known company or has valid credentials to show you. You want the guest articles on your site to be quality so that your readers will be impressed, and this involves telling a few guest bloggers “no.” You can put these restrictions in the guidelines.
2. Have a strict set of guidelines.
Going off of the first point, you want to have guidelines for all those who wish to guest post on your blog or website. This is where you explain how your content keeps in line with the overall vision of your website. Explain what that vision is, and then give more detailed guidelines such as word count, how to send the article, whether or not you want article pitches or content first, etc.
3. Make sure you have permission to make any edits you wish.
In your guidelines, make sure you add that you want permission to make any edits. If you make a lot of major edits, it is customary for you to email the author with the revised version and let him/her know this is how you plan to publish the article. If he/she doesn’t want the article published that way, no problem. You can move on to another contribution, and the author can send the article elsewhere (you do, however, waste a bit of time with the editing. Learn more in-depth about this issue here).
Are you the owner of a blog or website that allows guest contributions? How do you ensure that you don’t lose your vision? Let us know your story and your thoughts in the comments below.