Hosting excellent content gets people visiting your website and sticking around to read more. When you’re trying to build up a consistent readership, nothing does the job like a frequently-updated blog, full of compelling, interesting articles. Keeping solid content flowing can be a challenge, and one way to lighten the load on your in-house writing team is to publish guest posts from other writers in your industry.
Guest blogging can keep your site full of fresh, custom copy and content, but there are some pitfalls you need to be aware of when you open up your site to outside writers. If you’re thinking about publishing guest posts on your site, here are some pros and cons to keep in mind.
PRO: Guest Posts Draw in New Readers
One of the best aspects of guest blogging is that when you publish content from a writer who already has a following, some of their readership is bound to find their way over to your site. A high-profile guest blogger can drive tons of new traffic to your site. Even if only a small percentage of those viewers stick around to keep visiting, that’s a big net win for you, just for giving somebody else a voice on your platform.
CON: Guest Bloggers Can Dilute Your Brand
On the other side of the coin, turning over too much of your hosted content to outside writers can drown out your site’s unique voice, watering down your attempts to build a strong brand for yourself. A distinctive voice and vision are essential to building a connection with your readers. So if they’re always encountering different perspectives and writing styles on your site, they won’t develop a strong sense of what you’re really about.
Posts from guest writers can make it easier to fill your site with content, but make sure it’s quality material
PRO: Hosting Guest Bloggers Expands Your Network
Giving a colleague space on your site to reach a new audience is a great way to build relationships with other people and companies in your industry. An invitation to write a guest blog for your site can be a very effective overture toward someone you want to build a stronger professional connection with. There’s also a good chance your invitation could be reciprocated, giving you a chance to expand your own reach and influence.
CON: Managing Guest Writers Takes Time and Resources
While letting guest bloggers write content for you can seem like a great time-saver, the reality is that managing a guest blogging program effectively can be a lot of work. If you don’t vet your guest writers and maintain careful editorial control over their submissions, you’re likely to end up with a lot of low-quality content that can actually hurt your site.
PRO: Guest Writers Can Provide Useful Expertise
Say you’re starting up a new company. You’ve got great ideas, plus the drive and the vision to bring them to life, but you don’t yet have years of experience under your belt. How do you speak with an authoritative voice from your web platform? Guest writers who have the experience and knowledge that you haven’t yet accumulated can help you with that, giving your site added credibility.
Informed guests can lend authority and expertise to your body of content
CON: Guest Blogs Can Hurt Your Search Engine Ranking
Google and other search engines sometimes look askance at sites that host a lot of guest-blogged content. A carefully curated guest blogging program probably won’t bring the wrath of the SEO gods down upon you, but publishing lightweight, generic, or keyword-overloaded guest posts from writers who aren’t making the effort to write tailored, high-quality content for your site may end up doing more harm than good.
How to Make Guest Blogging Work for You
If you want guest blogging to enrich your site, rather than just pad it out, one of the first and most important steps you can take is creating comprehensive editorial guidelines and sticking to them. Your guest writers will write better content if they have a clear concept of what you’re looking for.
Here are a few other key points to remember:
- Don’t be afraid to filter out material that isn’t a good fit.
- Exercise strong editorial control over the quality and style of the words you’re publishing.
- Research your writers before you give them a platform. (You don’t want to get blindsided by finding out they’ve written controversial or offensive material elsewhere.)
When you’ve got a good handle on the merits and hazards of guest blogging, you can establish guidelines and seek out contributors that can really add value to your site, to help bring in those clicks and eyeballs.