Allowing guest blogs on your website is a great way of getting good content that not only increases your sites SEO organic rankings but provides a fresh voice regular visitors can enjoy and learn from. It can also relieve the pressure on always having to find new content and provide beneficial links to high ranking sites and encourage new audiences. Done well it’s a sensible and powerful marketing strategy.
Why You Should Have Rules of Acceptance for your Guest Blog
Done poorly, however, guest blogging can cause irreparable damage. It can leak bad content onto your site, contradict your brand ethos and dilute your marketing approach in ways you may not have anticipated.
That’s why we always suggest that you have a guest blog strategy in place and put together some sensible rules for acceptance that contributors can easily find and understand.
It goes without saying that you should always read the content that is supplied for your site from third parties, even if they have been contributing for a while and you trust them. That includes checking the content is relevant to your site, well written and doesn’t contain anything inflammatory or inaccurate that could impact on your reputation.
A simple list of guidelines should include:
Insist on Original Content for a Guest Blog
Any marketing pro knows that duplication online is not a good thing. Plagiarism is rife and content that is simply cut and pasted into an article can cause damage to your search engine ranking. Your rules of acceptance need to ensure that writers know that their content has to be original and that it will be checked on plagiarism tools such as Copyscape.
Are Images Copyrighted?
Copyright isn’t just the province of written content. It’s easy to copy an image off the web and attach it to an article without even thinking about whether you have the licence to post it, particularly on a commercial site. Any image should belong to the blogger or they have to demonstrate they possess the licence to use it in the post.
Include Links to Only High Quality Sites
Links are the lifeblood of the internet and even if you are parochial in your outlook, putting some external links into your online content is highly beneficial. Bloggers need to be aware though that you only want links to high quality sites. That can include mainstream news sites or industry experts, not Fred who occasionally writes about your product or article linking to sites where reputation is not high.
Level of Writing
Content for your site should be well written, that goes without saying, though it’s still worth mentioning in your rules of acceptance. That means good grammar and spelling and content that is factually correct. The marketing strategy for your blog may depend on a certain style of writing. For instance, you might prefer short sentences or longer, more complex ones. You might be an industry specialist and expect a certain amount of technical jargon. Whatever you choose, make sure it is clear to potential guest bloggers so they know what is expected of them.
Most business sites need to steer clear of controversial content and it’s another guideline that should be stated clearly – that means no inflammatory, derogatory, racist or bullying content or anything that is considered unlawful. However, we do encourage opinion and even the odd rant. As long as it is well written, factual and unlikely to cause offense.
The Right to Edit or Refuse
Bottom line you need to be comfortable about what is added to your site, this is your reputation on the line. Make sure it is understood you retain the right to edit or refuse an article.
Your rules of acceptance need to be easy to find on your site so that contributors can check it out. Keep the language simple and make sure you cover all the bases that you need to. A good list of guidelines should cultivate better, more relevant content for your site, making it easier to check and keep your blog or other content in line with your brand ethos.
If you have any questions regarding guest bloggers, if you would like to write an article for The Last Hurdle Blog or you would like us to write a guest article for your website: contact us by email on email@example.com so long as you are aware of our Rules of Acceptance for Guest Bloggers.