Guest Posting is a common practice nowadays, Many new bloggers write guest posts in order to get high quality back links and traffic. Guest posting also helps you build reputation and relationships with blog owners. Guest Posting is also very helpful for blog owners as they get free articles which help them update their blog regularly even if they don't have time writing articles. I started accepting Guest Posts in 2012 and by now I've received several guest post. For me guest posting is a boon and it help me update my blog regularly even in my busy days. Currently I'm a Deck cadet in Merchant Navy and most of the year I'm out on ships sailing across the oceans. I'm usually busy and i don't have time writing article for my blog. This is where guest posting comes into play.
Though Guest Posts are Important but still you should not always publish every guest article. There are many points to be checked before publishing any article as the reputation of your blog is concerned. Below are 10 Things which you should check before publishing any guest post.
Things to Check Before Publishing Guest Posts
1. Genuine Author
A lot of people hire companies to get them back links, And companies on other hand target Blogs accepting guest posts. Such companies already have a team of content writers and they submit content to blogs as guest post containing back link to their client's website. Such companies pretend to be an individual author and submit articles using fake names and photos.
To protect yourself from such things You should always inspect whether the author is genuine or fake. The best way to do is by asking author to provide his/her Google+, Facebook etc profile links. You can also ask them links to their previous contributions (previously published guest posts). You can also check his / her Google+ profile, Go to Contributor panel and there you'll find some sites the author has contributed to.
2. If he has followed the Guidelines
Every Blog has their own Guest Posting Guidelines and It is really important to check whether the guest writer has followed them correctly. Sometimes Guest writers don't pay attention to guidelines and it is your duty to check them thoroughly before hitting publish.
To save yourself from too many unwanted articles, It is Important that you Add a Page containing Guest Posting Guidelines and insist guest writers to go through them before submitting articles.
3. Article Length
A Quality Article is one containing all sorts of details and explanations. It should be a bit lengthy with lots of Information. Search engines love such articles and usually rank them higher. Short Articles usually lack Information and add no value to a site. So if you want your site to rank high iin search engines then the best way is by providing unique and high quality content with lots of Information.
So you should never accept short guest posts unless and until they are really Important for you. Ask your guest writers to make sure that the article is at least containing 500 words. Avoid publishing articles less than 500 words.
4. It Should not be Copied
Plagiarism is the worst thing for a blog. A Blog containing articles copied from other sites can easily get banned by Google. Once banned your blog posts will never be displayed in search results and if you are using blogger platform, then your blog may get banned and deleted. So you should always write unique articles and Check if guest author is doing the same.
There are many online tools which can help you detect if the article is copied. For more information on the tools you can check my post 8 Online tools to check Plagiarism. Another way to know if the article is copied is by pasting a small part of the article to Google Search and hit search, If the article is copied then you'll find it out by looking at search results.
5. Inspect Links
The Reason why people do guest posting is because they get a back link in return. So you should always check guest article links before publishing that article. You should never publish articles containing links to Adult sites, Hacking, Copyrighted stuff or illegal activity. Always publish articles containing clean and individual blog links. If you suspect a link to be harmful for your site then you should avoid publishing that article or just add a rel="nofollow" tag to that link. You should never allow Affiliate links in guest posts.
6. Related & Unique Content
There is no point publishing articles not related to your blog. This way your audience will not take interest in your posts and will stop visiting your blog. Always publish guest articles related to your blog content or the one your visitors want to see. Also Before publishing a guest post you should check if that Topic is unique and not covered anywhere else before. Publishing articles already covered somewhere else will not help you rank high in search engines as other sites having same article are already indexed.
7. Grammar Errors
Many guest writers make silly grammatical errors which make that article look low quality and bad. This will make a bad impression on your visitors and they will leave your site in search for some better place. So before publishing any guest post, you should go through it and correct grammar errors if they exist. This way you can confirm that the article is good or not.
8. Article Format
The Guest Article should be in a good and user friendly format. It should be easy to read and in a language easy to understand. The article should be well divided in small paragraphs with bold and big headings. The use of font, color and font size should be well and according to your site layout. The headings should contain appropriate heading tags and the article should contain Images to make it easy to understand. If the article is a Tutorial then it should contain a screenshot or Image wherever necessary.
Also See: Why You Should Have Images in Your Blog Posts.
Also See: Why You Should Have Images in Your Blog Posts.
9. SEO Optimized
SEO means Search Engine Optimization and it helps an article to get indexed faster and ranked higher in search engine results. A Guest post should be properly optimized with keywords and heading tags (h2, h3, h4, h5 etc). The Images should contain ALT and Title tags, The Title should be catchy with proper placement of keywords. Before publishing any guest article, You should make sure that it is well optimized and all the above points are considered.
10. No Self Promotion
Many Guest writers do a lot of Self Promotion like "Visit my site" etc. Many writers review their own products like software, programs or services and then submit it as guest post. This is very bad and you should never publish such posts, Well you can publish it as a Sponsored post but not as guest post. Always check for such activity and strictly reject such articles.