Guest Posting and Article Spinning

, Home » Publishing » Guest Posting and Article Spinning

Guest posting is a method used by writers to get exposure for their blogs and authorship, while sometimes providing great content for readers of digital media publications and magazines like Angie’s Diary.

This 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 serious risk for publishing websites.

You may already know that search engines like Google and Yahoo/Bing can penalize sites (by excluding them from searches) that accept guest posts by specific authors because of the immense amount of junk content they spread on the Internet.

web

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

This is what we look for when non-verified authors post in 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. Simply upload 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.

Links
Links can and should be used for references, or related content. They add value and depth to the post as many authors consider them as their ‘darlings.’ 4 links per article is a good standard but we try to make sure our authors aren’t linking out in their bio or articles to spammy websites, and we will exclude writers who are just cranking out content for 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 significant 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 topics that have been beaten to death.

Bio
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 in Angie’s Diary.

Spelling, Grammar, 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 if we are sometimes saddened to trash a post that has great potential, but nothing justifies the amount of extra work 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 might decide against publishing it.

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 an authoritative 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 comment on their post.

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

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

12 Responses to "Guest Posting and Article Spinning"

  1. Daphne Shapiro  April 29, 2014 at 15:10

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

    Reply
    • Angie  April 30, 2014 at 10:44

      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

      Reply
  2. Andy Bachman  April 29, 2014 at 15:31

    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

    Reply
    • Angie  April 30, 2014 at 10:47

      Thanks, Andy,

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

      Angie

      Reply
  3. Eileen Browne  April 29, 2014 at 15:53

    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?

    Reply
    • Angie  April 30, 2014 at 10:41

      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

      Reply
  4. Branka Cubrilo  April 29, 2014 at 21:43

    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).

    Reply
  5. Angie  April 30, 2014 at 10:59

    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

    Reply
  6. Caryl McAdoo  April 30, 2014 at 16:11

    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!

    Reply
  7. Bart  June 2, 2014 at 13:35

    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/

    Reply
  8. Notcy  March 27, 2018 at 17:19

    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.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

This article has received 508 unique views