3 Things to Avoid When Guest Blogging

Obtain quality links from guest blog posts to increase your Google PR.
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Guest blogging is one of the essential parts of a link building strategy. It helps us obtain high quality relevant links to our website which can help increase PR (page rank), link popularity and boost website traffic. Guest blogging has also been an alternative to article marketing. Since article directories were severely hit by Google’s Panda algorithm, article marketing is no longer recommended. However, when it comes to link value, article marketing could still give you some traffic once in a while.

In order to succeed in guest blogging, there are some few and minor rules that we should look at before we start doing it. For some reason, some bloggers don’t meet the blog owner’s requirements and in the end, they regretfully ask themselves why they didn’t follow their guidelines, which I will reveal below.

#1) Disregarding Website Guidelines

To avoid low quality and spam content, webmasters have provided guidelines to follow by their guest bloggers to ensure that their standard for content is properly maintained. Some of these guidelines are really common and you will find almost the same guidelines on other blogs as well which includes:

  • Word count – Normally, web masters prefer to accept content with a minimum of 500 words with reliable information and useful advice for the benefits of their readers. You must keep in mind that webmasters value their visitors and treasure them. So, make sure that you are writing for the sake of their readers and not for the sake of backlinks!
  • Excessive Linking – Linking is fine and advisable to help readers understand deeply a specific part of your content but if you link to too many pages, there is a possibility that you will drive away the attention of your readers and may lose their focus on reading your content. So avoid excessive linking if you don’t want to annoy your readers.
  • Uniqueness of your content – High quality content is necessary and originality is crucial. If you would like to create good online reputation and credibility, avoid rehashing content of others or copying their thoughts. However, if your post is identified as duplicated, it will not be published anyway.

#2) Posting Irrelevant Topic and Different Language

Producing unrelated topic on a niche focused website is definitely a waste of time. If you are in the gaming industry and would like to contribute a post on a website focusing in the insurance industry with a link pointing back to your gaming website, there is no way that you will be accepted (unless your post is paid). Also, avoid using another language rather than English. However, if you are targeting non-English countries such as China, focus mainly on the blogs/websites that are written in Chinese language.

#3) Irrelevant Linking

Linking pages that have nothing to do with your content are definitely a huge mistake and must be avoided. Most webmasters only allow linking pages that are relevant and have value to your content. So if you are guest blogging for the sake of “building links” only, there is no way your post will be accepted.

Guest posting is necessary for bloggers and in SEO. So, we must comply with the guidelines of each relevant niche website that we will contribute on and make sure that our effort will benefit the readers of those websites and hopefully our website will receive more visitors and will gain more credibility as well.

Thanks to Joseph for his guest post. Now over to you. What have been your experiences with guest blogging? Is guest blogging a part of your overall strategy? How do you use it? Do you accept guest posts on your blog?

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Author: Joseph Gogo Cruz

Joseph Gojo Cruz is working as a part time link builder at Philoutsource.com but he is mainly focusing on building and analyzing SEO strategies to develop new SEO techniques that will last longer in SEO industry. Joseph is currently maintaining his personal blog which discusses mainly about link building.

44 thoughts on “3 Things to Avoid When Guest Blogging”

    1. Lisa,
      These are all great tips by Joseph. One other thing that irks me when I receive a guest post is content that doesn’t add value. I will immediately reject any post that seems to be written solely to cloak affiliate links. Actually, I discourage guest bloggers from including affiliate links. I prefer working with bloggers who want to build awareness and relationships.

      Thanks for dropping by and adding to the conversation.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Speed Up Holiday Shopping With Mobile Point of SaleMy Profile

  1. I just read a good discussion over on ComLuv about whether or not it was OK to “edit guest posts” before publishing. Whether you (meaning anyone who accepts guest posts) do or not, it would be a good idea to have this squarely in the guidelines.

    1. Was there a general consensus Vernessa? I do edits (if necessary) but I always email the post back to the blogger for their approval before I publish it.

      1. At first I was going to say it seemed to be split evenly, for and against.

        But thinking about it further, I think people who maintained blogs that accepted guest posts were in favor of editing, especially when it related to spelling, grammar and voice/style of the blog. Those who seemed more against editing were people who would likely be submitting posts.

        But, even the post author didn’t like the thought of a blog owner editing the guest author’s post

        1. Thanks for the link Vernessa. That makes sense that it was the people who are likely submitting posts are the ones that are against editing.

  2. This is one very helpful post. In guest blogging, it is not just the great content that is important. We should also consider the guidelines set by the site owners as well as having relevant topic and links.

  3. It was a nice attempt Joseph, this is something a lot of people are mistaken about. Good content is definitely the first and foremost priority of a guest post, but one must also pay attention to the other important things too.

  4. I really like the post Joseph. While Guest blogging it is necessary to keep in mind that you are writing content for visitors not for search engines. The links you putting must be relevant to the content otherwise it is considered to be spammy.

    1. Hi Ram
      Thanks for letting us know that you liked Joseph’s guest post. As a blogger who accepts guest posts, I’m very conscious of the links that a blogger wants to include. I’m always pleasantly surprised when a blogger links to my content within their guest post. That’s always a nice surprise.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..How Many Social Networking Sites Should You Join?My Profile

      1. Hi Sherryl and Joseph,

        Nice tips Joseph. Reminding would-be authors to read the guidelines first is the best advice in the world of guest posting. 🙂

        Concerning internal links, Sherryl I think it’s just common courtesy for a guest author to look around the site and select one (or even two) posts to link to since “internal linking” is a de facto part of SEO strategy. I’ve not seen anyone mention that before as a part of “things to do when guest posting.”

        1. Vernessa,
          Thanks for letting us know that you enjoyed Joseph’s post. You’d be surprised how few guest bloggers link to my posts within their article. I think you’re right, I don’t think bloggers usually mention that. It is important and it makes those guest bloggers (who do link within my blog) stand out from the rest.

          The other thing that guest bloggers do that makes them stand out in my mind (in a negative way) is to not reply to comments that are left from them. I always make sure that is a clear expectation but some guest bloggers make a feeble attempt at it. On the other hand, some guest bloggers reply to comments after a year or more has passed. (We both know which type of blogger I welcome back!)
          Sherryl Perry recently posted..Friday Finds – Twitter Cards, Social Networks, SEO & Triberr RebloggingMy Profile

  5. Hey Joseph,

    We all know that quality content is the blood support for SEO. Without it, it’s useless. A lot of people already know how important and reliable method guess blogging is. It’s basically the first step for new bloggers to achieve a strong bond or relationship with other bloggers. So, it’s important to do guess blogging the right way and for you to share this post is a great advantage not only for beginners but for season veterans as well. This post serves as a reminder to never do this mistakes when it comes to guess blogging.

  6. hi Joseph,

    You won’t believe me if I say to you that I’ve been guilty of making all these 3 major mistakes… the worst was not reading or overlooking the guidelines. That’s what most people do. They either misinterpret the rules or simply put, break them. No wonder their emails aren’t answered, or pitches get denied.

    P.S. Ha, ha… I like the commenting plugin… it has an option which you have to check, saying…

    “Yes. I’m a real person not a spambot.”
    John Gibb recently posted..The Art of SEO without Doing SEO…My Profile

  7. Irrelevant linking is becoming more and more popular these days coz most people guest blog for links. To be more precise, they do for companies – so no matter what topic they are writing their guest post on, they still link to the company that is totally unrelated to what they discuss in the post!

    1. I’ve been noticing a lot more of that lately Lisa. I stay clear of those. With all of the attention Google is giving to quality backlinks, accepting one of those articles is like introducing poison into your site. A few may not hurt but it would partly depend on how spammy the site is. We need to be diligent these days.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Commenting On Blogs – What Strategy Works for You?My Profile

  8. Hey Joseph you’ve succinctly pointed out the major mistakes. Every time someone contacts me regarding guest blogging, the first thing I do is to reply them with a link to the guidelines page. Yet, I mostly get submissions that don’t follow the very basics 🙂 May be they’re not patient enough to read the guidelines coz they have to build so many links lol!
    Jane recently posted..Wireless Broadband: How To Make Your Wireless Broadband FasterMy Profile

    1. There are few guest bloggers that only want to contribute a content for the sake of backlinks and not really for exposure or relationship building purposes. Unfortunately, they probably have articles ready for submission and they only look for potential websites they can submit their articles to. This usually happens when they are linking a corporate website in the content or in the bio. 🙂
      Joseph recently posted..Google Page Rank Update: What to expect?My Profile

  9. It would seem only common courtesy to check if a blogger has any guidelines posted, but it doesn’t surprise me in the least that many potential guest posters fail to do so, and inevitably waste time by not being a good fit for the blog’s main topics, if indeed they’ve even read the blog, let alone ever left a comment!
    Jeri recently posted..On My Mind: Loss of a Dog “Dear Speckles”My Profile

    1. Jeri,
      You make a very good point about bloggers who want to guest post and they may never have even read your blog. That can be so obvious. There’s one post on my blog that is about tips for setting up a compact home office. (It was written by a guest blogger). That one article has generated quite a bit of interest from bloggers who are selling office supplies and want to guest post for me. Many of them submit titles and ideas and it’s clear to me that they have no clue who reads my blog. I just delete them and don’t waste my time replying to them.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Friday Finds – Google Plus, Penguin 2.0, Twitter & Teaching Children to Code #FridayFindsMy Profile

  10. Very informative post about guest blogging. Especially in this ever changing seo climate,where guest posting is more important than ever.Thanks for the helpful tips.

    1. Well I agree that guest posting is quite necessary nowadays.. But this does not mean that we should guest post on different 100 blog sites related to our niche. It’s better to guest post regularly for a website that you are proud of like this website. It’s my honor to have a content posted on this website and I will look forward for more contribution here. 😉
      Joseph recently posted..Google Page Rank Update: What to expect?My Profile

  11. I also do guest blog posting with my campaign, and there’s only one thing I always bear in mind. That is to be genuine and relevant.

    1. Isaac,
      You sound sincere. Your content does need to be genuine and relevant. As Joseph mentioned in his example, if your niche is in the gaming industry what would be your motivation to contribute a guest post to a blogger in the insurance industry. It doesn’t make any sense from a business point of view and it could actually be detrimental.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..How Do You Avoid Keyword Stuffing on Your Website Blog?My Profile

  12. It is funny, although it is obvious I do not accept guest posts each week I get emails asking about can they submit articles. Reading the articles and comments one reason I don’t accept guest posts is I worked out the time it would take to do all the things to ensure the posts comply would probably exceed the time for me to write a post of my own.
    Susan Oakes recently posted..Grow Your Business. Simplify The Customer ExperienceMy Profile

    1. Having a guest post on your website is such a good opportunity as you can have more visitors coming to your website. Especially if the guest author is highly recognized in your industry. Sometimes some guest posts don’t comply with our policies and it’s alright to decline a guest post, just try to provide a guidelines that they can follow to ensure that the quality of content will be posted on your website is still within your content quality. 🙂

      Joseph recently posted..Guest Blogging: Do you think it is risk-free?My Profile

    2. Susan,
      I have tried to write shorter posts but once I get started . . . they grow. 🙂 It still takes me much less time to edit and publish a guest post than it does to write my own. Some are easier than others. I’ve had at least one guest blogger who provided me with all the HTML, their own images and the meta tag data I needed. It was wonderful and they’re definitely welcome back.

  13. Interesting that the secret seems to lie in the fact that a good guest post with a good bio is what matters. I have rejected many guest posts because of the lack of bio regardless of how many or how few links in the post

    1. Roberta,
      I don’t remember ever getting a blog submission without a bio. (Sometimes I think that’s the first thing that they write.) I have had issues with email addresses that don’t pull a Gravatar though.

  14. These are very good points here. It seems none of the people who contact me about guest posts read my guidelines even though they are clearly visible on the page. I put up a guest post request on Blogger Link Up for one of my sites and nobody read those either. I said clearly on them that they needed to be 500+ words and then their email asked how long. Arg! They also didn’t even have the courtesy of addressing me by name. It makes me feel like a spam bot is emailing me. is it really that hard to read them?
    Kalen recently posted..Stop Writing Crappy Content for Guest Posts!My Profile

    1. Kalen,
      I can hear the frustration in your voice! This has to be a widespread issue. My pet peeve is people who send a list of links with multiple Google docs to review. Since reviewing, editing, optimizing for the search engines etc. all takes time, reviewing guest blog requests is not a top priority for me. On a couple of occasions, I did read some of the docs and found the content to be high enough quality for me to want to publish them. Imagine my surprise when I found out that another blogger had already scooped them – along with a veiled insinuation that I need to be quicker in the future. Seriously? That could be added to Joseph’s list! 🙂
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Friday Finds for Weekend Reading – Google Penguin 2.0 UpdatesMy Profile

  15. Ditto — it’s discouraging when I receive inquiries asking if I accept guest posts when my guidelines are clearly posted on my site. Some people don’t even give their contact information or a website. Google’s Matt Cutts did a video on this last fall http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IMxC3wQZOyc in which he discusses Google’s position on guest posts. Bottom line is that Google will frown on poorly written guest posts with excessive links. I think that’s why ProBlogger no longer accepts guest posts.
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted..Marketing Taking Over Social Media Function in Inc. 500My Profile

  16. Like Susan I agree with you. These days I point everyone to my guidelines page.

    1. Good for you for having a guidelines page Cheryl. As I mentioned to Susan, I really need to create one for my site. – Thanks for taking the time to weigh in on this.

  17. I couldn’t agree with you more. I am solicited often to allow a guest post on my site. About 90% of the time I reject the request for most if not all the reasons you mentioned. I always wonder if they ever took the time to review my site AND read my requirements. I strongly suspect not. The only thing they’re looking for are backlinks to site/sites not related to my niche/content.
    Susan Cooper recently posted..Time Management: By Elizabeth ScottMy Profile

    1. Susan,
      It’s surprising how many bloggers don’t follow the simple rules that Joseph included here. I have actually received unsolicited articles attached to emails and then received follow up emails chiding me for not responding to them quicker. I really need to make the time to put up requirements for guest blogging on my site. It’s on my to-do list but it’s reaching the point where it may save me time in the long run. Then again, as you point out, not everyone will review them.

      Thanks for adding your insight!

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