Guest Posting and Article Spinning

Dos and Don'ts When Submitting your Post

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Guest posting is a method used by writers to get exposure for their blogs and authorship. Sometimes they provide valuable content for readers of digital media publications and magazines like Angie’s Diary.

Guest Posting can be an acceptable and legitimate way to enhance your status as a copywriter if the piece in question is well-written and adequately informs or entertains the reader. Accepting guest posts can also present a severe risk to publishing websites.

Search Engines

Did you know that search engines like Google and Yahoo/Bing can penalize sites (by excluding them from searches) that accept guest posts by specific authors? These penalties are a result of the immense amount of junk content they spread on the Internet.

Over the years, we have adopted a policy only to accept content that will benefit our readers. I was surprised to find that even high authoritative blogs are nowadays allowing guest posts that are sometimes chock-full with second-rate content and ‘spammy’ links. These blogs include publications such as The Huffington Post or New York Times,

The following is what we look for when new or unknown authors submit their posts on Angie’s Diary:

Spam & Plagiarism

Our contributors must have a track record of writing great content.
We Google the author’s name and check if they are not pushing out spammy content all over the web. Guest writers who contribute to dozens of blogs tend to incessantly spin content, using the same article and posting it on many blogs over time.

To combat this, consider using free services like Copyscape, which will quickly identify duplicate or similar articles. Input the article’s URL and run it through their search field.

Our staff uses tools like Grammarly, which in addition to spell-, grammar check, and text enhancement, also detects plagiarism. Sometimes they have to wonder if there still is any original content out there.

Relevant Links

Links can and should be used for references, or related content. Links add value and depth to a post. Many authors consider them as their ‘darlings.’ and will show the reader they did their research. Four links per article is a good standard, but we are always on the lookout for authors that link out in their bio or articles to spammy websites. Also, we will routinely exclude writers who are just cranking out content for the sole purpose of inserting commercial links.

Depth

As a rule of thumb, we like our authors to submit original pieces of at least 1,000 words (exceptions are, of course, Poetry and Flash- Fiction). There cannot be adequate advice or vital information in a 100-word blog post. So why not spend some extra time and write a better article? Additionally, we try to avoid publishing beaten to death topics.

Biography

We allow for several links in our author’s bio: Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ pages, so there is no need to repeat any of those links in the blog post, nor to make any copyright claims, as intellectual property is established at the moment a post is published on Angie’s Diary.

Seven crucial criteria when creating your author biography:

  1. Always write your bio in the third person.
  2. Include education and experience.
  3. Include a square profile pic of at least 500×500 pixels.
  4. Make sure to include something unique.
  5. Do not get too ‘wordy.’ Be concise.
  6. Do not share your ‘dreams’ but list provable facts.
  7. Mention memberships, clubs, writing groups.

Spelling, Syntax, and Formatting Errors

When a submitted post has many errors, our perception of the author in question is that she/he didn’t spend enough time on the article, and disrespects the reader (not to mention our editors). For several (wannabe) guest bloggers, it has become a habit of copy/pasting entire web pages, and ‘dumping’ them in our post box, in disregard of all possible errors, and click ‘Submit Post!’

After years of combat against such practices, we have decided not to publish such posts. Even though we are sometimes saddened to trash a post that has great potential. However, nothing justifies the amount of extra work and time our staff would have to put in.

On-Topic

The content has to fit in with our magazine. We try to publish a combination of original stories and essays with news on art, politics, technology, philosophy, and writing. Outside of this already broad range of topics, no matter how well a post is written, or by whom it is submitted, we may decide against publishing it.

Get Readers to Interact with Authors’ Guest Posting

Your comment section below your published posts is an underestimated tool to boost your readership and social media sharing.

Don’t have a big following on social media yet? You can use these media for advertising and promoting your book cover, even if you’re new to this. Your visibility is bound to increase, but it needs steady and industrious work on your following!

Support our Magazine and Community

I expect our authors to help build, expand, and support our publication. One of the great things about blogging is the creation of a community of readers and writers. They love reading the content while learning new things and contribute by commenting and critiquing. This encourages people to become regular visitors and helps to establish our magazine to be a trustworthy entity on the web.

Generally speaking, if we want to enrich our community, we need guest authors to contribute to it, and they need to participate not just by submitting content, but possibly also through comments. Every time someone comments on a post they write, they should respond to the comment. It could be just a simple reply, as long as they acknowledge the feedback on their article.

By doing this, you will encourage more readers to become interested in your work. This not only helps with social sharing and traffic, but it also helps enhance your authorship and clout.

Expert Views on Guest Posting

Here’s  Google’s stand on guest blogging just for links:

12 Comments
  1. Daphne Shapiro says

    Very useful, in-depth article.
    I hope many wannabe contributors read this carefully before posting 🙂

    1. Angie says

      Thank you, Daphne,

      I thought it was necessary to share this information with our community, as it can only benefit the authors and our magazine. I hope nobody takes offence 🙂

      Angie

  2. Andy Bachman says

    I totally agree, Daphne.

    Love your insights, Angelica.
    I promise to leave no stone unturned in my efforts to provide your mag the best possible, and unique content!
    Cheers,
    AB

    1. Angie says

      Thanks, Andy,

      I know your submitted work was always a pleasure to process and publish.

      Angie

  3. Eileen Browne says

    Thanks for this piece, Angie.
    So copyright (intellectual property) of a story or article is established when a post is published here on Angie’s?
    How does that work in a court of law, in case of a dispute?

    1. Angie says

      Dear Eileen,

      Good question.
      Of course there are many ways to prove a creation is yours, but having it published on Angie’s is one of them. We have backups of articles and stories from as early as May 2008, and we will declare the authenticity of our files if it would come to a dispute. There are specialized legal services available that make a registered time-stamp on your texts according to local copyright laws which might form an even stronger evidence in a court of law.

      In the Netherlands it is not uncommon to have your work (text and music on paper) registered at the tax office for a few dollars. And then there is the so-called ‘poor man’s copyright,’ where you send yourself a sealed package by registered mail, only to be opened by a judge in case of a copyright dispute.

      I hope this answers your question,
      Angie

  4. Branka Cubrilo says

    Good article Angie. Avoid at all expense bare bums and ‘shocking celebrities’ tales’, does cultured soul really cares about it? No! Cultured people are repulsed by such ‘stories’ just leave those stories (plus soft pornography and vampires) to yellow press. You have to distinguish yourself by publishing high quality work written by experienced and mature mind (not that everyone would agree, but you have to chose your audience).

  5. Angie says

    Thank you, dear Branka, for reading and commenting!

    Our magazine features a large variety of subjects and genres, and we know we cannot please everyone all the time with every single article. We can live with that, but within mentioned array of subjects, there are still the same choices about quality, subject matter, and presentation as outlined above, that we need to make on a daily basis to stay ahead of the competition.

    Of course we choose our audience and our copywriters, but above all I want them to opt for our magazine, as that will enhance their exposure and credibility while transforming a good magazine into a GREAT one.

    Angie

  6. Caryl McAdoo says

    Good article. I had no idea there was so much to be careful about. It’s great you’re aware of such and I appreciate you sharing your information with the rest of us! My March Through Texas Tour is over and The conference that I was director of is behind me now – the two equaled thousands of hours, some in the wee morning. But now I’m free! 🙂 I’m setting my finding out how to remove cookies so I can get on the Angie’s Diary dashboard again 🙂 Hugs and blessings from Texas!

    1. Angie says

      Thank you for commenting on my article.
      I understood from your remarks that you are unable to access ‘your dashboard.’

      Of course the changes of late may seem somewhat daunting, but the simple fact is that there is no more dashboard. To submit a new post, just click ‘SUBMIT NEW POST’ in the (secondary) menu bar:
      https://angiesdiary.com/submit-new-post/

      For more info:
      https://angiesdiary.com/faq/how-to-post-an-article/

      Angie

  7. Bart says

    In addition to Copyscape, mentioned by Angie in the text above, you can use this URL, if you simply want to check ANY text for plagiarism on the web:
    http://smallseotools.com/plagiarism-checker/

  8. Notcy says

    Very convenient post,Thank you lot for sharing it! I want to offer to you and the others one honestly advantageous and completely free social site for every blogger called Notcy.I hope this helps.
    Kindest regards! : Suzana K.

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