Yesterday, I talked about how you could continue to submit guest blog posts without shooting yourself in the foot. But if you also accept guest posts there are other things you need to think about.
Why? Because if you accept the wrong guest posts your site could be just as penalized as if you’d submitted lots of terrible guest posts. So how do you avoid this problem?
Tighten Your Standards
And I don’t just mean content quality standards either, though obviously content quality should be your primary concern. I’m talking about checking out the blogger who is proposing to generate content for your site.
Think about it. You wouldn’t let just anybody into your home, so you shouldn’t let just anybody onto your blog. Take some time to check out the writer’s credentials. Pay attention to what they’re doing on the Internet.
Is this writer spreading a ton of low-value blog posts wherever he or she can do so? Then you might want to skip that blogger. Google seems to do a lot with “guilt by association.”
Now, I’m not saying that every guest blogger you invite needs to be famous. Because that’s silly.
I am saying that you should make sure that they aren’t mass producing a lot of mediocre content and that they seem to be authoritative in the niche they’re proposing to blog in.
You run a landscaping business and your blog is all about landscaping. Someone from the local fence industry who has mostly written on their own blog and maybe in one or two other places wants to guest blog. Go for it.
You run a landscaping business and someone who sells a dodgy weight loss product wants to guest blog, and that person has written some stumbling, fumbling content on just about every site known to man? Skip it. That person doesn’t really know the first thing about landscaping and your site isn’t relevant to their site. And that person is just the sort of person that Google wants to penalize.
Always ask: what’s the value to my readers? Is this post bursting with value? Does this blogger bring value wherever he or she goes?
In fact, you can even seek out people who have impressed you and invite them to your blog. You don’t have to wait for them to come to you.
Don’t make a big deal out of using Copyscape, because that’s going to be a little bit insulting to serious bloggers, but use it. The last thing you want is to publish spun or duplicate content, and Copyscape is the quickest way to spot either.
Cultivate Regular Contributors
When you do this you’ll get a steady stream of content from people you trust. You can offer them a lot of value by letting them link to their own sites in the body of their posts instead of in the targeted author boxes (when and where appropriate).
You can trust to your own eye to tell whether the link is promotional, spammy, or useless. If it brings value, leave it. If it annoys you, then make the blogger cut it.
A trusted regular contributor will almost never present this problem, however. And your audience will appreciate high-value regular contributors as well.
Keep Thinking of Your Readers
If you’re accepting guest posts for the sake of packing your blog full of content that you didn’t have to write then you are already off-track. There’s only one real reason to accept a guest post: you think that it will provide something of value to your readers.
If that hasn’t been your strategy to date then make it your strategy now. Otherwise, you’re better off not accepting any guest posts at all.