Guest Posting: What you need to know

I get, on an almost daily basis, multiple emails from people asking if they can guest post on my website. It is almost relentless. So I thought I’d take a minute and talk about the dos and don’ts of guest posting and allowing guest posts.

First, why do people want to guest post on your blog or why would you want to guest post elsewhere?

The reason is for links. The highest priority for Google in their entire ranking system is links. There are many factors, and many considerations, but the truth is, links matter. Links matter a lot.

Guest posting is a great way to get a link back to your site, so everyone is trying to leverage it. But it’s not always the right decision.

guest posting on your blog

Should you guest post on another website?

Yes, but only if it meets the following criteria:

  • Is the site related/relevant site? For example, if your site is about birds, it probably wouldn’t be helpful to write a guest post on another site that focuses on toasters. Google says links are important, but more important than the quantity of links is the relevance of the link. Make sure there’s a reason that the other site would share your content.
  • Is the site a quality site? If you get the opportunity to guest post on a well-respected industry website, related to your field, then that is the best possible opportunity for you. More important that quantity is quality. Writing a lengthy guest post on an unknown blog with zero followers won’t help you much, but writing a guest post on the Huffington Post might be a great opportunity for you.

Should you let others guest post on your site?

In most cases, no. I know this seems contrary to my advice from above, but let me explain. I get inquiries every day. Every day someone wants to guest post on this blog. Almost zero of them are relevant to what I do.

Here is a screen cap from one of my favorite unrelated guest post requests.

Example of unrelated guest posting request

This person has sent an inquiry to me, requesting to post on the Sumy Designs blog about… unusual anniversary gifts. And I guess giving someone a website would be an unusual anniversary gift, but otherwise, this is a ridiculous request. And obviously, this is a form letter because they forgot to fill in the [THEIR RESOURCE] section of the email. Ha!

So when should you allow guest posting on your website?

As a general rule, if you are getting an unsolicited request to post on your website, just ignore it. These are almost always spam. Guests posts should come from people you know and/or respect in your field. They should include information you want your site visitors to know, something that will be helpful.

Here’s a great example. I write about web design, development, blogging, marketing, etc. But I could invite a colleague to write a post about something related, but that isn’t my direct specialty. That would be a great way to provide value to my readers about topics that I’m not an expert but that are related. For example, I could invite a colleague that I know is an expert in email marketing to guest post, or someone who has a specialty niche.

And in return, you could do the same on their site.

Guest posting can be great for your site, it can provide valuable content for your readers and posting elsewhere can build your credibility as an author. But it has to be done right.

For sure, there will be no guest posting about unusual anniversary gifts on this website!

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Amy Masson

Amy is the co-owner, developer, and website strategist for Sumy Designs. She's been making websites with WordPress since 2006 and is passionate about making sure websites are as functional as they are beautiful.

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