One of the more active buzz terms in the blogger sphere and amongst internet marketers is guest blogger or guest blogging. For those not familiar with the terms, a guest blogger approaches a site owner and extend an offer to submit a guest blog post for said blog. The caveat is that in return, the blog owner receives free relevant content and the guest blogger receives a link back to his blog using relevant keywords in the author box and thereby expands his reading audience and exposure. It definitely can be a win-win situation if you do your homework.
Recently I was approached by someone that extended an offer to be a guest blogger here at Aspired Muse. I thought I would share with you how I determined if I would accept the offer.
7 Basic Areas Reviewed to Vet a Guest Blogger
Review the Email
- check their email to determine if it is being sent from the same domain as the requesting blog
- if from Gmail or similar service, look to see if the email matches their name or is relative to their blog
- review email properties
- spammers know how to make an email “appear” as if it comes from a particular domain when in fact it doesn’t
- check for a prominent link to their blog and/or website within the email or in their signature
Relevance of Their Blog
- confirm that they are the author and owner of the blog/website
- if they are not the owner of the blog then you would want to receive confirmation from the blog/website owner that they agree to the guest blog posting arrangement
- determine how often they post to their own blog – is it on a regular basis
- if they are not regularly authoring their own blog, then why would they want to guest post on yours?
- how relevant are their blog posts to the purpose/intent of their website/blog
- then apply that relationship to your own blog – is the topic of their blog posts relevant to your blog and your readers
Quality of Blog Posts
- read several blog posts over the history of blog
- determine the quality of the posts
- check for spelling and grammatical errors
- review facts for accuracy
Originality of Blog Posts
- run a check to see if their blog posts are original
- select a various sentences or paragraphs throughout a blog post and search using either Google or CopyScape to determine if the content is original
- verify that with the proposed guest blog post is only going to be posted on your blog and not used on any other blog or article directory
Review Other Guest Posts
- unless this is their first guest post, their initial email offer should include links to other guest posts
- if no guest posts were offered, request them
- review their guest posts on other blogs using the same criteria as above
Stamp of Approval
- determine if the business of the blogger would be something you would support if you were seeking their product or service
- remember that having a guest blogger says to your readership that you
- would buy their product
- would contract their service
- would recommend them to family or friends
Conflicts of Interest
- review your business and the business that you support to determine if there is a conflict of interest
- do you recommend a particular service company or product to your clients that is a competitor of your guest blogger
Remember, as the author of your blog, you are speaking to your readership as an authority on your chosen topics. With a guest blogger, you are now introducing someone that you deem as an authority to your audience. If you haven’t done your homework and know who is posting to your blog, you could loose some of your audience. It’s always great to see someone else’s take on a subject to widen our views.
There are certain instances where a guest blogger may not have a blog. You may be approached by a company with a product that is relevant to your blog and to your readership. That company may offer you the product for free for you to review along with a discount to your readership in exchange for allowing them to introduce their company and product.
The bottom line, you determine what is best for you, your business and your audience.
My Real World Outcome
My conclusions for the guest blogger request that I received. As it turns out, this individual was attempting to guest post for their employer which in and of itself is not a bad thing. What didn’t resonate with me was that the company blog had been sitting idle for almost a year. The one guest blog post that the individual offered as a reference, after my follow-up email, was actually used as a guest blog post on more than one blog and all within the same week. The same guest blog post was being used by more than employee as a guest blogger. The final nail in the coffin was that the potential guest blogger while stating they were an employee of a particular company represented themselves as someone that liked to blog about certain topics as a hobby yet that guest blog post offered as a reference, along with the ones that I discovered checking for content originality, all pointed back to the company with keyword linking.
As my five year son would say (quoting from “Dispicable Me) – not cool Dave!