Great news! You have just received a pitch from someone offering to guest post on your blog. But what do you do next?
Since it can be daunting to decide what to do, we have put together this article to highlight the most important aspects you should consider before deciding if you want to move forward with the guest post, allowing you to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
Read on to discover everything you should consider before accepting a guest post pitch.
1. Is the content appropriate for your blog?
This should be your first question, as your recurring blog readers will expect content around your niches. Content that is “off-brand” may put these readers off because the stuff they find interesting (your regular content) might get diluted by stuff that they don’t (your accepted guest posts).
This is likely the most important consideration in this list since unless the content is just really off-base, it may not be obvious straight away.
Look at this from a reader's perspective, if your audience are really into knitting do they want to be reading posts about super cars? Probably not. While this example is a bit extreme, it helps hit home the idea that your content should always be reader focussed.
The second problem with irrelevant content, is that Google may end up flagging it as promotional material due to it being very different to the rest of your blog.
If this were to happen, it could cause your site to be penalized in google ranking, ultimately slowing your site's growth.
2. Is the proposed content malicious?
Once you know the content is relevant for your blog and your audience, you should next check if the proposed content is in any way malicious.
For example, it could be false, misleading and/or illicit. However, you should trust your nose here when reading the proposal and carry out some basic fact checking if needed.
If the post contains obvious deceitful statements that your audience will notice when reading, this will not resonate well with your readers - especially readers who trust you for insightful advice.
If this continues to happen over time, then your credibility will reduce harming your authority and reputation.
Another key aspect you want to look out for is profanity. If the guest post pitch contains bad or demeaning language, it is likley to be hit by Google's adult filters which will heavily decrease potential traffic. Have a skim read and make any necessary edits before posting and continue adding 'no swearing' to your guest post guidelines.
3. How good is the author's previous work?
We always recommend asking the contributor for examples of their previous work. This doesn't necessarily need to be a guest post either if this is their first-time guest posting, and their own blog content or something else they have written will suffice.
Reading examples of what they've previously produced will give you a better understanding of the quality of the content that the contributor will be providing for your blog. This means you will be able to more easily decide whether or not it's up to scratch.
Other advantages of seeing previous content include knowing what topics the author is well versed on and the topics that the author is passionate about. After all, if they're writing about something they're interested in it's likely to be of better quality.
Finally, it’s also worth quickly searching the author's blog for potential duplicate content. This helps you avoid any nasty google penalty surprises if the author has a bad reputation. Take a look at these on-page SEO tools to help you find similar content to the proposal.
4. Are any terms imposed?
There can be many terms that people offer for being able to post on websites. These often include requests such as sharing on social media and backlinks (we don’t recommend dofollow links on guest posts). You should be comfortable with what the author is asking for in return.
We recommend that you check out any linked sites to make sure it’s something that your visitors may actually be interested in viewing, as you don’t want to be sending your users to spam websites as this will reflect badly upon yourself and could harm your domain authority.
We would also offer caution if they require anything out of place. For example, requesting access to a Wordpress admin panel. This is often done for convenience; however, you must be cautious to give them the right amount of control. There is also the possibility of flaws in the security of admin tools. If this concerns you, we recommend using an alternative mechanism, such as Google docs or Dropbox.
5. Who owns the rights to the content?
You may want to clarify with the writer who owns the rights to the article as you don’t want to get into difficulties at a later stage stemming from rights issues. It probably makes sense to clarify this prior to the propsal being received.
This is because you don’t know what’s going to happen in the future and it's always best to make sure you're covered from a legal perspective.
This list contains some important things to consider, however there are a multitude of things that you may wish to check. Often the best advice is to listen to your gut and do what you feel is best.
Once you know you are going to be happy with the content, send back that acceptance message in the knowledge that you have done your due diligence. The final step is receiving the great quality content for your blog, making both you and the contributor happy.
What do you consider when reviewing guest posts for your blog? Reach out to us on Twitter and let us know!