Allowing Guest Blogs on Your Site – What You Need to Know
This blog is the first in a series of 2 on the topic of guest blogging. It comes from the wonderful Suzanne May. Suzanne is the owner of Story Gem, a professional writing service, which helps small business make a bigger impact using the power of the written word.
The way that we present ourselves to the world is so important.
In business, we strive to come across as professional and personable when meeting new people. Barbara, at On Your Feet, does an amazing job of teaching businesses how to give engaging presentations and excel at public speaking.
But, in an increasingly digital world, we need to be aware of how we present ourselves online too. And our business blog plays a big part in that. So, the idea of allowing an ‘outsider’ to take over for a day can be a daunting prospect. There are substantial benefits to accepting guest blogs on your website, but you also need to be aware of what can go wrong too. Knowing the pitfalls in advance helps you to recognise and sidestep them as you go.
Before we begin, if you need a refresher, pop over here to read my previous guest post on why blogging is so beneficial for your business in the first place.
Pros of Accepting Guest Blogs
1. Offers a Fresh Voice with Different Expertise
One of the best reasons to have guests contribute to your blog is that they can contribute a different perspective from the one you usually provide. No matter how great we are at what we do, we can’t be an expert in every area. If there is someone you know and trust who can provide a different set of expertise which would be beneficial to your audience, it may be a good idea to have them supply a guest blog post for you.
2. Benefits Your SEO
When done right, guest blogging can improve your SEO. By allowing other people to write for your blog, you can increase the amount of content on there. This in turn creates more pages for the search engines to index and, if it’s good quality, your ranking can improve.
Also, as your guest blogger is likely to promote their content throughout their own networks, guest blogging creates more opportunities for people to link back to your website. Another writer is also more likely to link out to different resources than you normally might. Both the quantity and quality of links in and out of your page presented by guest blogging can enhance your site’s SEO ranking.
3. Attracts New Readers
By contributing to a blog as a guest, a guest blogger endorses you and your blog to their readers. If the guest blogger has an established audience of loyal readers, they are likely to visit your blog. If your blog is in good nick, these new readers may stay around after reading the guest post to see what other interesting information they can find there.
4. Fosters a Strategic Alliance
This is another great reason to allow people to guest post on your blog. When business owners collaborate, amazing things can happen! They can post on your page, and you can contribute to theirs, you both get the advantage of each other’s experience to benefit your audience and reach out to new people. It may also build a foundation for other types of collaborations to take place in the future.
Cons of Accepting Guest Blogs
1. Risk of Poor Content
As a professional writer, I cringe more often than I care to when reading content online. Rehashed, badly written posts benefit no-one, not the business creating it or the readers. If you’re unsure of the writer or bloggers past performance, there’s no guarantee that a guest blog won’t need significant reworking.
2. Risk of Black Hat Techniques
Black Hat techniques are those which try to trick search engines into ranking pages higher than they normally might. They are dodgy and should be avoided at all costs because the search engines are wise to it and do not look kindly upon this type of activity. One example is disguising links using white font in the blank area of a document, so that it can’t be seen by the audience. Unscrupulous guest bloggers may try this without your knowledge.
3. Potential Damage to Your Blog & Brand
Building trust and authority is one of your blogs main jobs. Your audience come to trust you as an expert in your field and they read your content because they like what you have to say. If you use a guest blogger who does not live up to your audience’s expectations, it can damage your reputation. When the blog is associated with your business this can be quite serious.
4. Potential Penalty from Google
Google is a bit like Santa Claus, it knows if you’re good or bad – and it checks up to make sure.
If Google discovers that you’re playing games trying to get more links through black hat measures as mentioned above, or that you’re paying for people to link to your site, they will penalise you and your ranking will be impacted. A Google penalty is the last thing any of us need when trying to make an impact online. So, play fair.
Overall, the likely benefits of accepting guest blogs on your website outweigh the unlikely event of a worst-case scenario happening for you. That is not to say that the risks listed above do not happen. In our next post, we’ll address some best practices for accepting guest blogs on your business site which will help you to reap the benefits of guest blogging while protecting your blog and reputation at the same time.