Woman Thinking About Blogging
If you’ve been reading or writing online content for any length of time, you’ve probably seen or read an entry written by a guest blogger. Once your blog has some readers, you might receive inquiries from would-be guest bloggers, or consider writing some posts for others. There are pros and cons to both writing a guest blog and hosting a guest blogger.

Pros for the Host Blog

Hosting guest bloggers can provide free, valuable content while giving you more time to work on other projects. Many people use guest blogs when they are unable to write during a particularly busy time or a vacation. Some establish a specific guest spot, such as every Friday, for planning purposes. But guest blogs can also simply be a refreshing change of pace from a different voice. Your guest may bring new ideas that you never considered, or a unique expertise that will build credibility with your readers. Guest bloggers also bring their sphere of influence, which means an expanded network for you!

Cons for the Host Blog

Bringing on guest bloggers isn’t all sunshine and daisies. Your readers are used to hearing your voice, and they may not be as accepting or trusting of someone else on your blog. If the content is poorly written or incorrect, you could risk damaging your blog’s credibility or negatively affecting your search engine optimization. Worse yet, the content may have been plagiarized, culminating in punishment from Google.

Pros for the Guest Blogger

If you’re considering writing a guest blog, one of the perks is that you can include anchor text for a link back to your site. Google indexes this link when the blog is crawled, and will become a backlink. Because it comes from a different domain, the link will help your blog or website become more search engine friendly, potentially boosting your ranking within search engine results. Guest posting also allows you to express your thoughts, opinions, or facts across numerous domains to reach a wider audience.

Cons for the Guest Blogger

As a guest blogger, you don’t receive payment for your written content. Although you do get a link, it has no direct monetary value. The value of the writing is given to the blog host. Also, the link does not guarantee that your blog will rise through the search engine results pages. There is also a possibility that you could work diligently on a guest post, only to have it rejected by the blog owner. Though potentially your work may be accepted by a different blog, the time and frustration may not seem worth the time and effort.

Successful Guest Hosting

If you do decide to accept guest posts, there are some steps you can take to maximize the pros and minimize the cons. First, create guest blogger guidelines. These will be helpful to both you and your potential guest writers. For example, you could ask for links to previous posts and have them provide their bio. Once you receive a pitch, investigate other material the guest has written, especially any other guest posts. When you accept a post, be sure to edit and format it so that it fits properly into your blog. It’s always best to have ongoing communication with a guest poster to discuss any major edits or changes.

Successful Guest Posting

If you’re looking to provide a guest post, target blogs that mesh well with your style and the topic you’re writing about. Be yourself: there’s no need to assume a forced persona or artificial voice to lure in visitors who will ultimately be disappointed by your real blog. Provide unique, original content for each individual blog, and practice honest communication to ensure a successful working relationship and to build trusted allies in the blogging world.

With some careful planning and preparation, guest posting can be a successful search engine marketing tactic, with the benefits far outweighing the potential drawbacks.

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