It is not uncommon for business blogs to allow or even encourage other authors to create guest posts for the blog. Following is an overview of what this practice has to offer and some danger signs to be on the lookout for when allowing guest posts on your business blog.
The Benefits of Allowing Guest Posts on Your Business Blog
Allowing guest posts on your business blog offers a number of benefits that any blogger in any niche will want to take advantage of. These benefits include:
- Fresh perspective on a particular topic
- Expert advice on a topic that you may not specialize in
- Increased traffic as the person who posted on your blog directs his or her followers to the guest post
- Increased social media coverage as the person who created the guest post promotes the content on social media
- Network building as you get to know people in your industry as well as in industries that are similar to yours
- More links as guest bloggers are likely to remember you and link back to your blog at some point in the future
- A needed break from having to come up with high quality content
- Free, well-written content
The Pitfalls of Allowing Guest Posts on Your Business Blog
Consider the following pointers carefully before allowing guest posts on your business blog. Guest posts could do your website more harm than good if you do not choose your writers and content with care.
Straying Off Topic
Guest posts need to be highly related to your existing content. If, for instance, your blog is focused on selling and installing new HVAC units, you don't want a guest post about plumbing even if the post is well written by a reputable author. Adding off-topic posts to your blog can lead to lower search engine rankings and even decrease your traffic as your audience is no longer sure what to expect from your blog.
Guest bloggers expect to add links to their guest posts. In fact, the whole reason they are writing guest posts in the first place is to increase the number of links pointing back to their own business website or blog. However, you don't want a guest post that is full of links as such posts not only look bad to humans but to Google as well. Limit the number of links allowed per guest post so that aspiring guest bloggers know that there has to be more to a post than a list of links.
The last thing you want on your blog is lousy content. Lousy content will do your business more harm than good as potential customers will see that you do care enough about your business to create top quality content. Google penalizes lousy content as well. When people see content that is rife with misspelled words and grammar errors, they almost immediately leave the page. This sends Google a signal that the page does not answer the person's questions. If this happens often enough, your bounce rate will increase to the point where Google lowers your search engine ranking in an effort to provide better answers to its search engine queries.
Never accept duplicate content on your blog. Check each guest post you receive using a program such as Copyscape to make sure the author is not just re-writing his or her own content or worse yet plagiarizing someone else's content.
Watch out for Images
Including images in your blog posts is always a good idea. A picture makes the content more interesting and easier to understand; it also boosts your search engine standing if you optimize your images properly. However, you want to watch out for guest posts that provide images but don't state where these images come from. Posting images on your blog that you are not licensed to use can result in legal action against your company. There are plenty of websites with public domain pictures that can be used free of charge as well as sites that allow for images to be used under a Creative Commons license, so require that guest bloggers actually look for images on these sites instead of claiming photos or graphics from Google Images.
Guest blogging has a lot to offer but you will need to vet potential guest bloggers carefully to make sure they meet your high standards. Alternatively, you may want to consider hiring a company to provide content that is tailor-made to suit the needs of your target audience. Brandgy specializes in this field, offering content marketing packages to suit the requirements of any business owner in any industry. Get in touch with us to find out more about our company can help you reach your content marketing goals in the most effective way possible.