When you start accepting guest bloggers, as the blog owner, you have a responsibility to make sure their post coincides with what your site is all about. This means you need to check your guest bloggers’ links in their posts.
Guest Blogging 101: Check your Guest Bloggers’ Links In Their Posts2>
Perhaps you’re not as strict with your own guest writer submission policies? That’s okay, but you need to establish some type of quality control in order to protect your brand. In fact, there’s a couple ways that links could harm your blog:
- Paid Links
- Affiliate Links
- Spam Links
- Excessive link dropping
Some blogger’s aren’t promoting their own work. Some are promoting other companies, and often will approach you with a hefty list of articles on different websites. Make sure to click on them and review them. Pay attention to the links. If they seem salesy or link out to a business website, more than likely the blogger got paid to write an article by a company wanting to get backlinks.
If that’s not right for you, make sure to let the guest blogger know that you reserve the right to edit the article and even replace links. This means that they may change their mind about submitting an article.
The alternative to this is to ask them about the links within the article. If they got paid to place those links, then let them know that you either won’t accept the article, or you charge a sponsored links fee of whatever amount to publish the article. If they’re getting paid, you should too since they are ultimately using you to advertise.
Affiliate links are where you link to a product or service, and get a portion of the sales. Some guest bloggers may try to slide in their own affiliate links within their posts. This is extremely rude, unless you’ve given them permission to do so.
If the links within your guest blogger’s post link out to scammy sites or websites that have nothing to do with your niche, then you can either remove those links or refuse the article. In a lot of cases, they probably got paid to do that.
Excessive link dropping
It’s good to have a balance of internal linking and external linking on your articles, but excessive link dropping could look a bit spammy. It’s good if your guest blogger is great at using references, but unless it’s a guide with statistics need those notations, you really should edit any excessive linking. Make sure to add some of your own site’s links instead.
As a note, if you’re seeing your guest bloggers linking to sites (leaving spammy links) that aren’t relevant to yours or their own, you could even face some penalties from Google.
Unfortunately, while there are a lot of honest bloggers out there, some guest bloggers have an agenda. You will see guest post submissions that have nothing to do with your niche. You’ll have some proposals that are obviously copied, pasted, and emails to multiple blog owners. Sometimes you may have to reject every submission that comes through.
Make sure to have a guest blogger policy established. You might even want to create a page designated to that. This will give your guest bloggers a better idea on what to expect. You could even make it a requirement of potential guest bloggers to read before submitting their posts. You might get some guest bloggers mad or they may not want to submit, but you’re looking for quality articles, not quantity.
Does your blog accept guest posts? Have you set any guest blogging rules for your blog?What are your blog’s guest posting rules? What’s your worst guest blogger experience?
Having a policy for guest posting is a great idea Nile.I certainly wouldn't want my blog to become "one hot mess of link dropping spam".
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Wes Towers says
This is a great thought that you have put out, Nile. I honestly haven't thought about having some kind of guest posting policy. I have just accepted my first guest post and like Sherryl, I wouldn't want "suspicious websites" linked to mine. Although I do make sure that my guest posts come from people I know from my blog commenting community, so I am kind of confident that they are not some kind of fakers or spammers.
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I haven't accepted any guest posts yet, but I'm considering it as I've talked to a couple of writers who would be a great fit. I'm just not sure on the particulars of how to set it up properly. I was thinking about just having them submit articles by e-mail and I'd upload them, but there's got to be a simpler way that doesn't have the worries of giving strangers WP access.
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Mobile Disco says
I think guest bloggers should be allowed to put a link or 2 as long as its not competition its not harming you
AJ Clarke says
I remember when Famous Bloggers wrote about this because people were guest blogging for SEO purposes only. I think this is really sad. Sure guest posting is to help market yourself and your site, but it should also be to help others out and position yourself as an expert in any given field.
I think another super important thing to do is copy and past some text into google to make sure it isn't duplicate content there are lots of people out there submitting guest posts that they simply copied from an article site like hubpages or squido. So watch out!
My recent post WordPress 31 Post Formats
It is funny how you mention hubpages or squidoo… a lot of the copying and pasting are actually to those places, rather than blogs. A lot of TOS violations that are hard to keep up with. I have had my own content stolen by people pasting it to several places online, even at Yahoo! Answers.
This is great Nile, I wrote an article about guest blogging if you don't own a blog and instructed people to link to their FB, Twitter or store front pages (Ebay,Etsy) but I am hoping this did not encourage a hot mess of link spam, I haven't experienced it yet.
Allen Santiago says
It is clear reality that no one will want to look his own blog like a hot mess of link dropping spam.
Erik Emanuelli says
I’ve removed some time ago the guest posting page from my blog, Nile.
But I still receive contribution requests.
I agree with you, you need to have a clear policy in mind when accepting guest posts.
Or your blog could become a busy port of call for spammers!
Thanks for the share,
have a great week, Nile.
I. C. Daniel says
Guest post for link is not allowed and Google penalize such blogs.
Also a blog becomes a so-called farm link if accept many guest posts.
Robin (Masshole Mommy) says
I don’t let people guest post on my site anymore because I got one with a bad link 2 years ago that shut down my site for a whole week. It was a nightmare.
Our rules are, you give us the blog, and we skim it over and make sure its all good.. then we reply or have the guest reply to the people commenting.
Danielle Stewart says
Definitely something to watch. Great reminder. Thanks!
Thank you for reminding us how important it is to have policies for guest bloggers. Some guest bloggers can really take advantage of naive bloggers.
Great post Nile!
You make an extremely important point, that far too often, most online marketers only learn (through) an extremely painful online experience!
Or by paying money to a far more experienced marketer, such as yourself!
But they also learn it from paying to either be in a private mastermind group or paid membership site of some kind.
But either way It’s an extremely important issue and one that gets neglected far too often!
Such a good point to check out their links! I do not have guest bloggers but if I ever were to I would definitely check it out!
Cindy (Vegetarian Mamma) says
I’ve been duped before. Now I only allow people I know 🙁
Amy Desrosiers says
I have had some people try to pose as genuine guest bloggers when all they are, are spammers. Three years ago I may have fell for it, but now I know better!
Guest posting is something that I’d recommend some blogs to try, it can do wonders for you.
Myrah - Coupon Mamacita says
This is a great article. Guest posters are great, but you’ve got to be careful that they’re not running an agenda in the background.
Carherine S says
I will have to share this with my sister. I am not sure if she has ever had a guest blogger on her site.
I don’t allow guest posts either – too risky!
Elizabeth O. says
Checking guest links shows courtesy. I’m glad someone thought so too.
I only accept guest post when I know the blogger who will be guest-posting and if the topic is relevant to my blog. Also, I prefer those with more word count than 300.
Chery Schmidt says
Hello Nile, I for one have never had a guest blogger, but if I ever do I am going to take your advice here.. Thanks for sharing.. Chery :))
I haven’t had a guest blogger in a long time, but they last time I did, I made sure to check everything. It worked out wonderfully, but you can never be too careful.
Lori Felix says
usually when I say all my links are “no follow,” that is the end of the conversation.
We haven’t had guest bloggers yet but this advice is good to keep in mind. Thanks for sharing the tips!
Laura MyNewestAddiction says
Very informative! Thanks for sharing your tips.
Good information and hopefully these tips will avoid a potential mess.
I accept guest posts from time to time on my blog, but only from other bloggers that I personally know and trust. I don’t accept random ones from companies, mostly because a lot of them want a do follow link.
michele d says
I don’t usually have guest posts on my blog but thanks for info!
donna merrill says
After learning the hard way I do have a list of requirements on my guest posting. I only accept people I know well. I will, however help out a good friend if they are promoting their own product/services in a post that is appropriate – By that I mean, they can be talking about a subject and embed a good link to their new product written in an ethical manner.
No spamy stuff!!! As I mentioned, I did learn from experience…I did have a nightmare in the past of overlooking this and did have to do a lot of work on my blog.
Thanks for the tips. I’m going to put this on my editorial calendar, to do from this moment forward. I love all the great tips, you are sharing.
I used to accept a lot of guest posters when I was first starting out, but over the years I have gotten more and more stringent about it. You have provided excellent tips and things for bloggers to think about!
I honestly do not have any idea about guest bloggers. But I’ve read some guest bloggers post, twice. I thought they were friends with the bloggers, possible right? 😛
Great advice, especially because I’ve been considering doing some guest blog posts. thanks for sharing!
Liz Mays says
I don’t accept guest posts because they really are there to drop links. I’m just not comfortable with that.
Grace | A Shutterbug's Lair says
I never tried having guest blog posts. But I know the idea. I think it’s ok to have a link or so, provided that it’s clear between the site owner and the poster, plus not in contradictory with the site’s stand and not a competition too..
Dawn McAlexander says
I really don’t accept much guest blogging just because of stuff like this. My husband, daughter and I all write on all of my blogs and I also have a couple friends who do occasionally, but that is really about it.
Rebecca Swenor says
This is great information for bloggers using guess bloggers. It is always best for any blogger to have rules put in place and to make sure they are followed. Thanks for sharing.
Kyle Holcomb says
I did not know that guest blogging even existed! After reading your post and realizing what it can do to my page, my blog, and ultimately my reputation, I am going to have to start keeping an eye out for anyone who tries to do it. Thank you for sharing!
Deanna Ritz says
I have never had a guest blogger before so I haven’t really thought about all of this before. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.
Sarah Arrow says
I have a policy, and I find it’s mostly ignored by SEO companies and their staff writers. I’m not immune to their pleas, but I won’t have the bio from “staff writer at xxx”. I make them assign it to a real person. Often the submissions are of such low quality it’s not worth the hassle to chase the writer up and correct them, it’s easier to just delete the email.
Karen Peltier says
I’ve definitely had some suspicious looking comments left on my blog. Some I’m not even sure if they were left by a real person or not. For example, I’ve noticed comments with “….” before and after referring the reader to something like “Check out these delicious spa water tips, they….” The comment seems to look like a comment they left on their own site referring readers to my site. Any idea what that’s all about?
By the way, when clicking on these “suspicious comment” links, I’ve noticed that it usually is an article/blog post similar in content to mine that may feature one of my links. Anyhow, these have always seemed like some kind of automated way to get links back, but beyond that, I know nothing about it. If you can shed some light on it that would be great!
By the way, do you know how Comment Luv factors into all of this? Does that negatively affect your site?
Karen Peltier says
Hi Nile. I realize I made a detour in my other comment, so I wanted to leave another one that was more on topic. (Somehow I mistook guest bloggers for guest commenters after I took a break and returned to your post in spite of the chaos around me ….It’s been one of those days!…So, sorry.)
I haven’t used guest bloggers yet, but I have had a few offers. Some seem legitimate, but others are vague, which leads me to wonder what their main objective is. Anyhow, I haven’t received any yet that seem truly “mutual,” but if I did, I would definitely consider it. The idea seems great, but as you note, you really have to be aware of link dropping that may ultimately hurt your site.
Your suggestion of a guest blogging policy seems valid. Maybe putting it on the “About” or “Contact” page is a good idea? How do you make your policy clear?
Shelley Alexander says
Nile, Thanks for sharing these helpful tips on guest bloggers. I do accept guest posts but only from friends and companies that I believe in and have had experience with. I get approached on a weekly basis by people who want to do guest posts for my blog but I will turn down anyone who doesn’t fit in with my blog’s mission and I do have a guest post requirement that I share with anyone who wants to be featured on my site.
Let me share a experience with Guest Blogging.
Once I got a blog post for guest posting. I reviewed the complete post for malicous links and other things, And While optimizing the images added by the guest author i found some thing unnatural thing. In the alt tag of the image the author added a Google meta tag to get access to my blog lol.
I’m finding it hard to find guest bloggers to write on my photography blog, Do you guys know where I should look for them.
William Earl Amis Jr says
May I suggest that we also look for quality in the post. You can adjust anything submitted to your site. I do not take guest bloggers. Yet, over thousands a week. People slamming me with dropping links attached to crazy comments.
I made a police if you do not have gravatar, you are not going to get that comment posted. I only allow a few comments. I want our readers to have the choice of interacting with each person. Yes, it is our lifeblood to have people exchanging their perception. Yet, I want it to be reflective of ethical support.
Thanks Nile for always giving me more to write about.
Requiring quality posts is a given.
Rahul Yadav says
Very informative Post!!! Thanks for sharing your tips.
Pritam Nagrale says
nile nice post and many thanks such a lot for sharing this post with us. i used to be not privy to this guest bloggers. There are so many bloggers whos simply copy paste the contents from different articles , however google penalized such bloggers.
You have made very important point of having policies for guest bloggers .
watch out guys and save your blogs.
I tried your link to your FB page but it’s giving a 404 Not Found error. I can get to the page if just go into Facebook from the link as it shows so you might want to check that out.
Hi Shawn! The link seems to be working on https://facebook.com/NileFlores
This is a great thought that you have put out, Nile. I honestly haven’t thought about having some kind of guest posting policy. I have just accepted my first guest post and like Sherryl, I wouldn’t want “suspicious websites” linked to mine. Although I do make sure that my guest posts come from people I know from my blog commenting community, so I am kind of confident that they are not some kind of fakers or spammers.
This is great advice. I haven’t don’t guest posts on my blog. I don’t think I plan too. I know it’s a way to grow. I would just really have to trust them.
I keep thinking of being a guest poster or inviting others to post on my blog but have not done so yet.. I will keep these tips in mind when I do so in the future..
Deirdre J. says
Great advice! You should always check guest posts to make sure nothing nefarious is going on. I would hesitant to use a post that contained excessive links.
I have no problem using guest posts, but links are limited to a short blurb at the end of the post, and they point to the author’s website.
However, the comment by another user about the malicious link in an image was an eye-opener. It reminded me to check more than just the text.