Creating your own, high-quality content takes time. Whilst shared influencer posts only engage part of your audience, because, chances are, many have already seen them.

So is there a third way? You will be happy to know that there is – guest bloggers.

If you’re already getting lots of requests from guest bloggers – congratulations, here’s a virtual cookie 🍪  and a tick in the outreach box. Any additional source of content you can get your paws on is a bonus, isn’t it?

Well, yes and no. Wading through the requests from random guest bloggers can be a minefield. You need to check them thoroughly before allowing them to be hosted on your site (and hence giving them your brand’s seal of approval).

With this in mind, we’ve prepared a checklist to help you to avoid the bad stuff. It should save you time, help you streamline your approval process – and even deter the spammers.

 

Your 10-point checklist to optimize your guest blogger process:

{Once you receive the request}

1. Author Credibility

  • Spam – Google the guest bloggers name and check their social media profiles (especially LinkedIn/Xing), as well as their website and blog for any odd, spammy behavior.
  • Authority – Freelance writers are still fine as long as they have been published in relevant expert blogs. But, if you are in B2B, guest bloggers should ideally be working for a complimentary brand or a recognized expert.

2. Writing style

  • Depth – Aim for those who write articles of at least 600 words, and ideally 1,000+ words that include high-quality visuals. If not then they are pushing content just for links.
  • Accuracy – Content must not have any factual, spelling or grammar errors. We like to use the Hemingway App for this.

3. Audience engagement

  • Comments – See if the author replies when someone comments on their post, and how long it takes them.
  • Promotion – Check that the author promotes their own articles and gives credit to blogs where they are published. It goes without saying, we recommend using all of the key social media platforms.

4. Strategic fit

  • Themes – Topic suggestions and content need to sit well with your brand identity, communication strategy and organizational values.
  • Balance – Sometimes your audience needs to know all alternative options, to ensure that the blog doesn’t read like a sales pitch. However, undue promotion of rivals should be avoided.

5. Transparency

  • Guidelines – Have clear, easily understood guest blogging guidelines (feel free to use ours – we’re trying to help!)
  • Feedback – As your parents would say – remember your manners. Make sure you give recognition to great contributors, but also pass on any suggestions for improvement. Remember, if you don’t like a topic, just see if the author has an alternative.

{After receiving the article}

6. Relevance

  • Uniqueness – In the topic, angle or by way of relating a subject directly to your audience.
  • Recency – The article shouldn’t copy a topic you have recently published or talked about, equally, it can’t be outdated

7. Proofing

  • Full review – Check for all that’s mentioned above and see if the article fits the theme and is of high-quality.
  • SEO – The article must be fully optimized for search engines, this will require a powerful focus keyword, meta description and custom URL. The Moz Keyword Explorer will help you.

8. Outgoing links

  • Article body – There should be a minimum of 4 links to trustworthy sources. All links need to add value and benefit your readers, those that don’t should be removed.
  • Author biography – Add 1/2 links to the author’s website, Twitter handle or their bio, it increases his/her credibility and yours to boot.

9. Author accounts (admin)

  • New bloggers – Accept their content sent via a text document, format it and then hit publish.
  • Regular authors – May be given a contributor account with the ability to save content as a draft.

10. Content ownership

  • No duplication – Triple check that the article is original and not re-published (Tip: search for author name + focus keyword, or use an online checker).
  • Rights – The blog that publishes the guest article usually owns the content, so you can edit it if need be.

So, if you are just not getting the right kind of guest blog requests, what can you do?

Well, an outreach campaign is one option – watch out for our post, coming soon. The other option is to hire a ghostwriter. Sendible offers an affordable content creation service. Our ghostwriters can conjure up some original, fully SEO’d blog articles just for you!

At Sendible, we regularly receive requests from guest bloggers interested in contributing to Sendible Insights, our own resource for best practices in social media and content marketing for business. If you would like to share your expert insights with our community of marketing professionals, why not submit a guest blog to us?

Veronika Baranovska

I'm a content marketer at Sendible. Into social media and blogging for more than six years and well-versed in all digital marketing channels. My biggest daily driver is creating useful content that helps others grow and saves their time, so if it does for you, let me know on Twitter or Linkedin!

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