Guest Posting and Article Spinning
Dos and Don'ts When Submitting your Post
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Always write your bio in the third person.
- Include education and experience.
- Include a square profile pic of at least 500×500 pixels.
- Make sure to include something unique.
- Do not get too ‘wordy.’ Be concise.
- Do not share your ‘dreams’ but list provable facts.
- Mention memberships, clubs, writing groups.
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.
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: