A guest room with coffee mugs and a bagel in the foreground and a pillow reading Be Our Guest on the bed
A guest room with coffee mugs and a bagel in the foreground and a pillow reading Be Our Guest on the bed

Guest Posting 101: The Dos and Don’ts for Your Website

Paul Kiernan

Allowing guest posts on your website can bring numerous benefits, including fresh perspectives, increased traffic, and expanded reach.

If your social media game is bananas, then you can get a lot of attention from different quarters. You could see more visitors ot your website and more customers at your online store, and you could have more people writing to you and asking to guest post on your blog. It’s nice to be noticed and wanted, isn’t it?

If you find yourself in this situation, like a popular girl before the prom, be thankful and aware. Out of the woodwork will crawl those who want to piggyback on your success and post their stuff on your blog. Now, this isn’t a bad thing at all. There are many benefits to allowing a guest post, but there’s also work that goes into it to ensure that your blog and your brand are not compromised by a thoughtless guest.

That’s really who these folks are: guests on your blog. Would you allow someone to stay in your house without rules? Would you allow a stranger to have access to your house and car without vetting them first? If you said yes, then I’d really like to meet you. If you said no, then you’re clear-minded and cautious. A guest post on your blog is very much like a guest staying at your house. You want them to feel welcome, but you also want them to be civilized and thoughtful.

Ground rules remove some fear and anxiety and also help your guests know what’s right in your home. The rules are important to ensure everyone benefits, and no one is replacing the Italian tile in the kitchen.

With that in mind, today we are looking at guest posts, the dos and don’ts, the wy and why not, and more.

Let’s dive in.

The Guest Post

Guest posting is a popular strategy in digital marketing and blogging. Allowing guest posts on your website can bring numerous benefits, including fresh perspectives, increased traffic, and expanded reach. However, it also comes with challenges that, if not properly managed, can negatively impact your website's reputation and SEO. This guide will walk you through the essential dos and don’ts of guest posting to help you make the most of this strategy.

An outside dinning table and a baby elephant walking by it

The Dos of Guest Posting

Do Establish Clear Guidelines

Before accepting guest posts, create comprehensive guidelines for potential contributors. These should cover the topics you're interested in, the preferred length of posts, formatting requirements, and any specific SEO practices you adhere to. Clear guidelines help maintain the quality of content and ensure that submissions align with your blog’s standards.

Do Vet Contributors Carefully

Not all guest contributors are equal. Vetting authors is crucial to ensure they have the expertise and credibility to write for your site. Look for writers with a solid portfolio and a good reputation in your industry. Checking their previous work can give you a sense of their writing style and the quality of their content.

Do Encourage Original Content

Ensure that all guest posts are original and not published elsewhere. Plagiarized or duplicated content can harm your SEO and damage your credibility. Use plagiarism detection tools to verify the originality of the submissions. Clearly state in your guidelines that only original content will be accepted.

Do Focus on Quality Over Quantity

It’s better to have a few high-quality guest posts than numerous mediocre ones. High-quality content adds value to your readers and enhances your blog’s reputation. Encourage contributors to provide well-researched, insightful, and engaging articles that resonate with your audience.

Do Maintain Editorial Control

Even with established guidelines, reviewing and editing guest posts before publishing them is essential. Ensure the content meets your standards and aligns with your blog’s voice. Minor edits for clarity, grammar, and style can significantly improve the overall quality of the post.

Do Promote Guest Posts

Promote guest posts on your social media channels and include them in your email newsletters. This not only increases the reach of the content but also shows appreciation to the guest contributor, encouraging future collaborations. Additionally, ask the guest author to share the post with their audience to expand your reach further.

Do Build Relationships

Use guest posting to build relationships with other bloggers and influencers in your niche. Networking can lead to future collaborations and opens the door to reciprocal guest posting opportunities, further expanding your audience and influence.

Do Monitor Performance

Track the performance of guest posts using analytics tools. Monitor metrics such as page views, time on page, social shares, and engagement rates. This data will help you understand which types of guest content resonate most with your audience and inform future guest posting strategies.

The Don’ts of Guest Posting

Don’t Accept Irrelevant Content

Stay true to your blog’s niche and audience. Accepting irrelevant content can confuse your readers and dilute your brand. Ensure all guest posts are relevant to your industry and provide value to your target audience.

Don’t Overlook SEO Practices

Poor SEO practices in guest posts can negatively impact your site’s search engine rankings. Ensure that guest posts adhere to good SEO practices, such as proper keyword usage, internal and external linking, and the use of meta descriptions. However, avoid keyword stuffing and ensure that the content reads naturally.

Don’t Neglect Legal Considerations

Establish a clear agreement with guest contributors regarding ownership of the content. Specify whether the guest post will be exclusive to your site or if the author can republish it elsewhere. This can prevent potential legal disputes and clarify expectations for both parties.

Don’t Ignore Red Flags

Be wary of contributors who push for do-follow links or seem overly focused on SEO rather than providing value to your readers. Such contributors might be more interested in link-building than offering quality content. Set clear rules about the types and number of links allowed in guest posts.

Don’t Forget to Give Credit

Always give proper credit to your guest authors. Include a short bio with a link to their website or social media profiles. Acknowledging their contribution is not only courteous but also helps build a positive relationship.

Don’t Compromise Your Editorial Standards

Maintaining high editorial standards is crucial for your blog’s reputation. Don’t publish subpar content just to fill a content gap. It’s better to have a strict submission process that ensures all content published on your site is high quality.

Don’t Overload Your Blog with Guest Posts

While guest posts can diversify your content, overloading your blog with them can alienate your regular readers, who come for your unique voice and perspective. Maintain a balance between your own content and guest contributions to keep your blog’s identity intact.

Don’t Neglect Communication

Keep the lines of communication open with your guest contributors. Provide feedback, acknowledge their submissions promptly, and inform them about the publication schedule. Good communication fosters a positive relationship and encourages future contributions.

3 hands holding 3 balloons, pink, pale pink and white, against a light peach wall

Why Allow Guest Posts?

1. Fresh Perspectives and Ideas

Guest posts can bring fresh perspectives and ideas to your blog. Different viewpoints can enrich your content and provide readers with varied and insightful information.

2. Increased Traffic

Guest authors often bring their audience with them, leading to increased traffic to your site. When the author and their followers share a guest post, it can significantly boost your blog’s visibility.

3. Expanded Network

Allowing guest posts can help you build relationships with other bloggers and influencers in your niche. These relationships can lead to further collaborations and networking opportunities.

4. Content Diversity

Guest posts can add diversity to your content, preventing it from becoming monotonous. Different writing styles and approaches can keep your blog exciting and engaging for your readers.

5. Improved SEO

High-quality guest posts can improve your SEO by increasing your site’s content volume, providing valuable backlinks, and enhancing your site’s authority. However, this is contingent on ensuring the guest posts are SEO-friendly and adhere to best practices.

Potential Drawbacks of Guest Posts

1. Quality Control Issues

Maintaining consistent quality can be challenging with guest posts. Not all contributors will match your writing style or meet your quality standards, impacting your blog’s overall quality.

2. Risk of Duplicate Content

There’s a risk that guest contributors might submit content that’s been published elsewhere, leading to duplicate content issues that can harm your SEO.

3. Potential for Spammy Links

Some guest contributors might include spammy or irrelevant links in their posts, damaging your site’s credibility and SEO. Reviewing all links included in guest posts and ensuring they add value is essential.

4. Time-Consuming

Managing guest posts can be time-consuming. The process requires significant time and effort, from vetting contributors and reviewing submissions to editing and publishing.

5. Dilution of Brand Voice

Guest posts can dilute your blog’s brand voice if not managed carefully. It’s essential to ensure that guest content aligns with your blog’s tone and style to maintain a cohesive brand identity.

Summing Up

Allowing guest posts on your website can be a highly effective strategy for enhancing your blog’s content, increasing traffic, and building relationships within your industry. However, managing the process carefully is essential to avoid potential pitfalls. By following the dos and don’ts outlined in this guide, you can leverage the benefits of guest posting while maintaining the quality and integrity of your blog. Establish clear guidelines, vet contributors, focus on quality, and maintain editorial control to ensure guest posts add value to your site and resonate with your audience.

Share a Thought

If you’ve read our blog and like the content, let’s discuss a mutual guest post opportunity. We are always happy to share ideas and insights that will benefit us, you, and the general public. Be patient and make sure your idea is right for our blog. We look forward to hearing from you. Drop us a line here.