Help Inform Me About "Guest Contributors" or Freelance Writers

by mn8809
15 replies
I'm seeing an increase in freelance writer requests to our website lately, and quite honestly I don't understand it at all.

If you are a freelance writer, guest contributor, or have experience with them can you give me your insight? I would love to understand the pros & cons from a business owner's perspective.

I'm trying to understand if these applicants are working from an angle, looking for a paying job, or simply enjoy writing and want a medium to do it through.

Any input is appreciated
#freelance #guest contributors #inform #writers
  • Profile picture of the author savebook
    Its all Search Engine Optimization (SEO) game, Guest Posting on other blogs of same niche with good page rankings help to index Guest Poster's website on search engine in a better way or somewhat improve their rankings. The anchor text for hyperlinks act as keywords thus helping the guest author. DoFollow links help to improve rankings of websites.

    Recently Matt Cutts Incharge of Google's Web SPAM team had hinted to penalize websites who are selling guest posts.

    More SEO Tips I had found are here: Top 15 SEO Tips to Increase Blog Visibility, Traffic & Money | Online Income Methods
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      It's not always about SEO.

      Some guest contributors are after a site's "eyeballs" -- the human visitors who may be lured to the contributor's website. If you have an accepted "authority" site, the contributors may be looking to ride the implied endorsement from publishing their contribution.

      Freelancers may be interested in building a portfolio of places they've been published. If you were in the market for someone to write "guest posts" for you, which would impress you more -- a list of articles on the freelancer's website, the same articles published on some directory, or actual published examples?
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    • Profile picture of the author DTGeorge
      Originally Posted by savebook View Post

      Its all Search Engine Optimization (SEO) game, Guest Posting on other blogs of same niche with good page rankings help to index Guest Poster's website on search engine in a better way or somewhat improve their rankings. The anchor text for hyperlinks act as keywords thus helping the guest author. DoFollow links help to improve rankings of websites.

      Recently Matt Cutts Incharge of Google's Web SPAM team had hinted to penalize websites who are selling guest posts.

      More SEO Tips I had found are here: Top 15 SEO Tips to Increase Blog Visibility, Traffic & Money | Online Income Methods
      YES and NO.

      DUMB freelance writers and websites will request guest posts in order to increase SEO rankings.

      SMART freelance writers will request guest posts in order to gain experience and have something tangible to display to potential freelance clients.

      I have requested (successfully) to guest post on a number of well known guest post sites, such as those listed in my sig. However, I have NEVER done a guest post with any SEO considerations at all.

      Cheers,

      Daryl
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  • Profile picture of the author NicoleBeckett
    I'm assuming that you're getting contacted for 2 different reasons -- the freelance writers want you to hire them, and the guest contributors want to write free content for your site in exchange for a byline and a link to their sites.

    As far as the freelance writers go, there are pros and cons to hiring them. The biggest pro, of course, is that they handle all of the writing you need done (like new posts on your blog, press releases you may want to announce your new product, new sales copy for your website, etc.) The biggest con is that all freelance writers are not created equal. Some are great, and some are terrible. So, you'll have to do your homework when/if you hire one.

    As far as the guest contributors go, they can free up some of your time. After all, if you post an article from a guest contributor on your blog, you don't have to worry about thinking of a topic, doing the research, and writing something yourself. Plus, it can be nice to have a variety of expert viewpoints on your site. Of course, you have to do your homework with guest contributors, too. The last thing you need is for your site to become a place that's full of crap content written by people who are trying to get a quick link
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  • Profile picture of the author mn8809
    Great input, definitely learned a few things!

    Based on your suggestions I'll welcome guest posts as long as they don't include backlinks and are for portfolio building purposes. The website has a fair amount of authority (established in 1997) so I wouldn't be surprised to see a few SEO rats trying to sneak in.

    I really appreciate it.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Pagulayan
      Originally Posted by mn8809 View Post

      Great input, definitely learned a few things!

      Based on your suggestions I'll welcome guest posts as long as they don't include backlinks and are for portfolio building purposes. The website has a fair amount of authority (established in 1997) so I wouldn't be surprised to see a few SEO rats trying to sneak in.

      I really appreciate it.
      I really doubt people would want to guest post without them linking back to whatever their promoting. That's the only reason they are asking to guest post in the first place.

      It's like receiving free content without giving anythingin exchange. The least you could do is give them an option to link back to their website.
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      • Profile picture of the author mn8809
        Originally Posted by John Pagulayan View Post

        The least you could do is give them an option to link back to their website.
        If we were a small blog in desperate need of content I might consider it. Luckily we are not and I have the luxury to set restrictions as I see fit. They are approaching us with offers, not the other way around.

        As far as what we offer, having an article hosted on a trusted site that's been in operation since 1997 seems like enough of a reason, but who knows. I'll see how they react.
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    • Profile picture of the author DTGeorge
      Originally Posted by mn8809 View Post

      Great input, definitely learned a few things!

      Based on your suggestions I'll welcome guest posts as long as they don't include backlinks and are for portfolio building purposes. The website has a fair amount of authority (established in 1997) so I wouldn't be surprised to see a few SEO rats trying to sneak in.

      I really appreciate it.
      I agree with John.

      I myself usually ask for a link back to my site (NOT for SEO purposes) since I am essentially offering a service to the website owner for free.

      The idea isn't to stop all backlinks, but to set reasonable limits that would allow both you and the guest poster to maximize the benefits of a relationship that frankly costs you very little.

      In order to weed out the SEO chaff from the wheat, ensure that the post is high quality (e.g. relevant, grammatically correct, and most of all informative/compelling) before publishing it on your site.
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  • Profile picture of the author RogozRazvan
    Guest posts - writing on a blog that you don't own for free / paying for it / getting paid for it in order to either build a back-link (SEO) or bring organic traffic from that site.

    This ranges from effective to a waste of time. Since Google Analytics tracks everything in detail, I can tell if it is a good investment of my time.

    To put it simply ...

    ... you have a blog. Your blog is visited by my target market.

    I'll write you an article. It will contain a link to my site at the end. I will funnel visitors from your site to mine. You win be getting an unique, high quality article. I win by bringing new visitors.

    If your site gets 10 unique visitors per day, it is not that valuable. If your site would be the Wall Street Journal, I would pay $10.000 for that guest blog post.
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  • Profile picture of the author cyberdenizen
    Guest posting isn't always punished by Google. Not all guest posting practices are spammy. Here's what usually happens in a legit guest blogging situation:

    The owner of a high ranking authority blog invites people to submit guest posts. He/she has strict guest posting guidelines. Writers have to pitch their guest post ideas and submit outlines of their proposed blog posts. The blog owner either approves or rejects these pitches. The writers submit their blog posts only when their pitches get approved. However, that doesn't mean that their blog posts are going to be published. The blog owner still has to check the blog posts for quality and see whether the writers have followed the guest posting guidelines. Oftentimes, blog owners ask writers to revise their blog posts if they do not comply with the guidelines or if there are some quality issues.

    And yes, every writer who gets published gets to have his/her byline and a link back to his/her site. He/she is also obliged to respond to readers who post comments on his/her guest post.

    I Will Teach You to Be Rich is an example of an authority blog that accepts guest posts. It has a high page rank (PR 6). You can read the guest posting guidelines here.

    By the way, blog owners usually reject guest posts from agencies or companies working to place guest posts for clients to get backlinks.

    Also, not all who submit guest posts are freelance writers. Some of them are marketers who are trying to build readership for their blogs and are looking to establish credibility. Danny Iny of Firepole Marketing grew his blog readership by submitting guest posts to numerous marketing blogs. He's even known as the Freddy Kreuger of blogging because he's everywhere!

    Here are more examples of blogs with high page ranks that accept blog posts:

    Money Saving Mom (PR 5)
    Get Rich Slowly (PR 6)
    Money Under 30 (PR 4)
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  • Profile picture of the author deekay
    I only get contacted by writers through my websites for two reasons:
    1. They are applying as ghost writers.
    2. They would like to submit a guest post either with their or their client's outbound links.

    Whichever agendum they have, it's a win-win deal, I believe.
    If I need a writer, I'll just have to assess that person's writing skills. If he or she qualifies and we both agree on certain payment terms, then, I'll hire that person.

    If my website welcomes guest posts with 1-2 outbound links, I give my guest post policy to that person. If his or her entry qualifies, then, it gets posted to my website.

    Is that website of yours a news website that appears on the feeds of Google News?
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by mn8809 View Post

      If we were a small blog in desperate need of content I might consider it. Luckily we are not and I have the luxury to set restrictions as I see fit. They are approaching us with offers, not the other way around.

      As far as what we offer, having an article hosted on a trusted site that's been in operation since 1997 seems like enough of a reason, but who knows. I'll see how they react.
      It's pretty much standard practice to allow a link back to the author as "payment" for their content. That said, it's also okay to set guidelines for those links. For example, I don't allow affiliate links, affiliate redirects or links to pure squeeze pages and it says so in my guidelines. I also only allow "naked" links (URL, complete with http: ), which cuts down on the backlinking junk.
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  • Profile picture of the author clickforseo
    If you can write well and build a good relationship with a blog targeting freelance writing subjects, it certainly does help with leads.

    Many sites pay for the content. Best to target a number of high traffic sites, just a handful, then you can slowly build a relationship with those monthly. Become useful to the blog's readers, increase the blog's visitor retention and the blog owner will love you for the content. Then it is a win win situation.

    There are also sites that will pay for the content such as writers weekly. Whichever way, if your focus is on leads, connect with blogs that are busy, lots of comments, regular updates.

    Be smart about the marketing approach rather than just posting to gain links.

    As a blog owner, ask for samples, and make it clear that the first article written is a test to evaluate the writer's ability to craft structured sentences, good diction skill and of course strong attention to grammar.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by clickforseo View Post

      As a blog owner, ask for samples, and make it clear that the first article written is a test to evaluate the writer's ability to craft structured sentences, good diction skill and of course strong attention to grammar.
      All good points. On this one, for this blog owner, every article is a test that must be passed before publication...
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  • Profile picture of the author HappyComputer
    This is all valuable information. Does anybody have a list of websites that accept guest posts?
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