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Never Fear Google Again: The Smart Person’s Guide to Guest Blogging Safely

It’s simple really — at least in theory.

You run a blog and want new material.

Others out there want some new exposure.

You offer would-be contributors a chance to share their material, and in return you get fresh content, expert insight, and perhaps even a day off.

But there are shadows behind the glossy exterior of guest blogging.

When you open up your blog for guest posts you might be immediately swarmed with spammy offers
You might accidentally allow worthless or shady links in the posts
You might even be punished by search engines like Google
What seems so simple can quickly turn into a hot mess.

So why even bother?

Because once you learn the right system to use with guest blogging, there are huge benefits available — and you never have to fear what Google might do to you.

+uttoran sen explains in tomorrow's post. Stay tuned. 

Update: the post is now live:
http://www.copyblogger.com/safe-guest-blogging/

And if you haven't already, get Copyblogger delivered directly to your inbox so you don't miss a post:
http://www.copyblogger.com/subscribe/
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35 comments
 
I liked your article. I'm not yet ready for a guest blogger or contributor, but I have several people I will ask as soon as I have a slightly bigger audience. I'd love to guest blog for someone else; I'm thinking about how to get invited! I'll check out your suggestion.
 
Matt Cutts  jumped the gun then backpedaled. It cost people a lot of time and money. Lawsuits have been made of less.

Businesses are dependent upon Google. When Google makes changes that affect them, cause them to lose workers or go out of business, who's fault is that? 

Changing an algorithm out of the blue without adequate warning has lots of negative impacts. Making people believe something is bad and then backtracking has lots of negative impacts.

Will Google be doing the same in 5 years? What will lawyers think of that? What will countries think of that?
 
+Catherine Onyemelukwe hey Catherine,
Once you get your first Guest Post published on a strong blog, you will get several invitations coming your way.

The key here is to get your first guest post published - that is how you get attention of the top bloggers and invitations starts to flow.
 
+Greg Strandberg
Hey Greg,
thanks for your comment,

Like they say, when a company is holding 49 out of the 52 cards of the business you are in - there is little choice but to follow their rules.

It is monopoly and there is nothing that you can do.

Follow the best practices and keep serving your audience. That is really the bottom line here.
 
+uttoran sen Ah, the magic word I was waiting for - monopoly.  And that's why the lawyers should be reading about SEO.
 
Thanks for the great article. I came by it on Twitter via Terry Whalen. Most helpful thing I have read in a long time.
 
Interesting post +uttoran sen - I still find a lot of people have taken Matt Cutts' post the wrong way so this will definitely help to point people in the right direction.

Noticed that you mentioned your site, GuestCrew. I've also noticed a lot going on with any sites that facilitate guest posting (e.g. MyBlogGuest and PostJoint), when both sites were hit, there users were too (well some) - How is your platform different?
 
+Catherine Onyemelukwe Why wait for the bigger audience? Because you don't think the folks will see the value in guest posting without the guaranteed eyeballs?

I'd spin it into a positive: tell them that because they could be the first (or second), it will really create a splash among the audience you DO have, because it will be your first (or second) guest post, something different from the usual content.

Always best to find reasons to START as opposed to reasons to wait. :-)
 
Also +Catherine Onyemelukwe ... do not wait to get invited. Choose yourself.

Here's how ...

Write a killer piece of content and target a site that you would LOVE to be published on and that you think is just a bit outside what is reasonable. Then find out who handles guest posts at that site (for example with Copyblogger, it's me) and send an email pitching the idea. Keep it short and sweet, and highlight the benefit that the audience will get from your article.

What's the worst someone could say? No? So what? With that No in hand you can take it to another site.

BUT ... if you have a cordial email exchange with the first site, even if it's a No,, now you'll be on the radar screen for the bigger site you want to post on. Get better, grow your stature, and pick your spot to make another pitch. You'll have a much better chance of being recognized and possibly getting your post published.
 
Hi Uttoran -- This post is timely for me. I find I'm having to get ever more cautious about who I take guest posts from. The last 2 reachouts I got, 1 turned out to be wanting to slip a link in from her employer to promote some app, and the other was trying to promote a course that looked to be of dubious usefulness.

I'm getting more and more selective and looking more deeply into WHY someone wants to guest post for me. As a paying market, obviously, I attract a lot of interest...need to make sure each post is highly useful to my readers, and doesn't have any hidden agenda.
 
Great post +uttoran sen! I'm with +Carol Tice - albeit from the side of the one writing the guest post.

Why you want to guest post is as important as where you do it. Most folks do it for the traffic or the links - and that doesn't work anymore. But if you're doing it to grow your audience and increase your newsletter subscribers, then the calculating metric changes. You're no longer judging by how many people visited your blog - but how many signed up.

And when you're attracting an audience - it doesn't matter what Google says. Once someone subscribes to your email list, the playing field changes.
 
Awesome post, +uttoran sen!  I found it interesting because this is a timely topic. Guest blogging is a piece of my content marketing puzzle this year, as I maintain two blogs and run a book ghostwriting business.

In addition to all the other wonderful benefits you talked about, guest blogging is also part of brand building. When potential clients Google me and find posts, whether on my sites or elsewhere, it gives them further insight into who I am and whether I would be a good match for their projects.

So for anyone who runs a service business, guest posting is also a valuable way to position yourself in the eyes of potential clients who may not be regular readers of a particular blog but who engage in Internet research when considering a service provider. In my case, I don't guest post as often as I'd like, due to work demands, but even occasional guest posts can help in this way.
 
+Adam Connell
Hey Adam,
thanks for your comment,

Guest Crew has the option to nofollow guest posts. We promote the use of nofollow tags for guest blogging.

The other networks that you mentioned and a few others that I know of, where all forcing their users for dofollow links. This is where we are different - we allow our users to opt for the nofollow. We even recommend nofollow as it keeps both advertisers and bloggers safe from Google's penalties.

PS. - At this moment, we are working on a nofollow guest post marketplace on guest crew - something that will be more openly visible to the members. At this moment, all the offers goes to the member dashboards directly - the market place will be more open and visible to the public. This is another step we are taking for more transparency regarding nofollow guest blogging.

thanks,
Uttoran Sen,
 
+Carol Tice

hey Carol,
thanks for your comment,

Yes, one needs to be really sure about the person and his posts before allowing him to guest post.

Your audience is very targeted and in a market like yours, there will be plenty of people who would look to sneak links inside the posts to questionable sites.

You can do one thing though, for the first time authors - give them nofollow backlinks. Once they have a few posts published and you start to trust them, start offering dofollow backlinks.

Another thing that you can do is, only allow your own members from your den community to guest post on your site. Or accept only guest posts from +Jon Morrow  Jon Morrow's students.

This reminds me, +Mary Jaksch  Mary from WriteToDone used to test new authors on a smaller blog and once she was sure of the quality - she used to allow them to post on WriteToDone.

thanks,
Uttoran Sen
 
+Samar Owais

Thank you Samar for your comments,

Yes, conversion - that is the key. Some people like Jon Morrow has converted as much as several thousand people on their email list. When a guest post of mine goes up, such as this one - I too get several people signing up. Some even subscribe and become a paid member on our site.

Like you said - the playing field changes. It is no longer about ranking or links. Once you get a few long term paid or loyal subscribers, the thought process changes.

thanks,
Uttoran Sen,
 
+Monica Carter Tagore

Hey Monica,
thanks for your comments, glad you liked the post,

Guest blogging is great for brand building and reputation management.

Even an off line business can not ignore the internet, because their customers won't. They will be Googled and it is best that we have enough info about ourselves on the internet already to make a good first impression.

thanks,
Uttoran Sen,
 
+uttoran sen, thanks - sounds like you've got a solid approach there which is great to hear!
 
Hi +uttoran sen , that was a great article on Guest Blogging.

I read this Google policy: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66356?hl=en and then visited Copyblogger to see what it is doing for Guest Author Bio.

I'm getting guest posts and giving the guest bloggers DoFollow backlink in Author Bio. However, I want to know if the Author Bio includes keyword/Phrase rich back-link, does Google consider it against policy?

For example I get Author Bios like this:

Nikhil Pai is into writing informative articles on global recruitment processes, jobs, hiring trends and employment markets. His latest article on finance sector and jobs talks about the how you can grab a "high paying job in the financial sector". The write-up also discusses some of the certifications that you can do to reach up to a high level in your career.

The keyphrase (high paying job in the financial sector) linked back to the author's site. 

Here, the author wants DoFollow link AND Keyword-rich backlink too. Do you think both are as per Google's policies? What's the way out?

Thanks,
Avadhut
 
That was a really wonderful article, +uttoran sen. I think we all were a little flummoxed when we first heard of Matt Cutts' post (especially those of us who read it before he updated). It's good to know there is still room for quality guest blogging within Google.

Also, +Jerod Morris: Thanks for the tip(s) you gave Catherine. When you're not yet well known, or your blog is new, it can feel as though there's no point getting into guest blogging until "you're ready." But, as you said, what is the worst that can happen? They tell you no. That's not so bad. :-)
 
+Avadhut Nigudkar

Hey Avadhut,
It is best that you don't give away a dofollow link unless you trust the author.

You can nofollow his first guest post, set a requirement for a minimum number of posts by an author before allowing him a dofollow link,

thanks,
Uttoran Sen,
 
+uttoran sen , Hi Uttoran,

Such guest posts are for ONE DoFollow link only. The writers (SEO agency writers) are mainly linking back to their client sites.

How to make it a WIN-WIN situation for both, the writers and publishers (me)?
 
Hi +uttoran sen 
First, some thoughts about links and Google. Part of my brain ticks along and goes with the 'Yes, links are of course the backbone of Google and it is only right that they should be'

Then I take a step back and cannot help but think that it is slightly weird that authority is built so much on links when those who are in a position to give relevant, authoritative links are such a small proportion of the total reading community.

That said, doing anything done 'for the link' must be against the idea of someone saying 'Hey, go look at this because it's great and I am saying this without any angle or personal gain in mind and simply a desire to share ' 

And that surely makes some of the reasons in Matt Cutt's comment "...There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc...." just nonsense.

I pity Google. It must be hell trying to get a clear signal when the world and its mother is trying to game its intentions.
 
I was sold on guest blogging before I read your post, else your post would have done the job for good - great writing!
And +Carol Tice , thanks for sharing how you filter guest post pitches. 
 
Great tips for blogger who just begin looking for right guest blogging ways. Thanks! By the way, can I share this article on my blog?
 
Great article and very instructive. One question, though: I thought +Google Authorship was being taken out behind the barn and being done away with?  
 
This was an older post, +Eric Johnson, published before the death of GA. The rest of the content is relevant. :D
 
Indeed. Noticed that right after I commented. Lesson for the day: Observe post dates before opening mouth. 
 
Hi All;

My long cherish desire of creating a content based website will be coming true by this year end.

My curiosity is 'what necessary steps need to be taken for good page rank on Google' plus other necessary measures not to be disqualified by Google on the Adsense part.

Please enlighten me on the above issue.

Thanks & Best Regards,

Amith.
 
This was a very helpful article since I am considering using more guest posts on my site as well as writing for other people's sites. THanks for sharing it.
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