I am so lucky to call blogging my full time job! When it comes to blogging, there is a lot that you need to get your head around. You might hear phrases batted around – domain authority, back links, no follow and lots more. I want to warn bloggers about the guest posting scam that every blogger needs to be aware of.
First things first, this isn't a scam…exactly. No one is trying to con you out of your hard earned money, but they are being dishonest about their request.
What is guest posting?
Guest posting is where you write a blog post for another blogger to host on their own blog. If you are writing about a topic that you have already written about in the past on your own blog, then you will need to make sure the content is different and not copied word for word.
You can choose to swap guest posts, where you write something for a blogger and they write some content for you. Or you can offer to guest post on other blogs without publishing a guest post on your blog. It is really flexible.
Why do bloggers do guest posting?
Guest posting is actually really beneficial for bloggers, and I would actually encourage it for a number of reasons.
If I host a guest post by another blogger, I am getting content for my blog that is within my niche, but not something that I would normally write about. For example, I don't have children, and by hosting guest posts about saving money with children, I am appealing to my audience who do have children.
The person writing the guest post is also likely to promote the post on their social media platforms, and maybe even their email list, meaning that I can reach new readers.
Hosting a guest post also saves me time, and frees me up to do another blogging related task.
As for writing guest posts for other bloggers, it means that I am reaching their audience who might like what I have to say and come back to my blog.
Most crucially for me, it gives me a chance to boost my domain authority. A lot of the PRs and brands I work with want bloggers with a high domain authority, so increasing this is something that I work on regularly.
What is the guest posting scam?
The guest posting scam usually starts with an email, from someone claiming to be another blogger. They may, or may not, give you a link to their blog for you to check out. They want to write a piece of content for your blog, which you might think sounds great…until you receive the guest post. Inside you find that actually, they're linking to a brand, a product or a service. They're not actually linking back to their own blog. You might find that they're linking to something that doesn't align with your brand values!
This is not a guest post – this is a sponsored post.
As a blogger, I have spent a lot of time working on growing my audience and providing useful content. If a brand wants to advertise on my blog, by way of a post linking to them, and they want to reach my audience and have a share of my domain authority, then this should be a sponsored post, and paid for accordingly, not a free guest post. You might be interested in how bloggers make their money to get more of an understanding of sponsored posts.
How to avoid the guest posting scam
I accept guest posts from other bloggers – in fact I have guest posts every Wednesday! I accept these from bloggers I know, not from people who I have never heard of. If I haven't heard of their blog and they don't tell me what their blog is, I send them my media kit straight away. Genuine bloggers will reply back telling me their blog link and the brands or PRs then go on to negotiate or tell me that they “don't have a budget”.
Not having a budget is an excuse that I see a lot – remember that they are paid to place content (usually with links) and you do not have to accept guest posts for free if someone else is benefiting from your hard work.
If you are looking to host or publish guest post on other blogs then there are plenty of ways in which to do this. I frequently swap guest posts in blogging Facebook groups I am active in, and respond to requests to write guest posts.
Whilst this isn't a traditional scam, it is dishonest when someone is trying to get links placed on your blog, completely free of charge. Don't be afraid to ask what the content will be, and where the links will lead to. Another blogger should just want links to their home page, whereas someone looking to gain from this guest posting scam will be linking to something else entirely.
Apply for jobs on Get Blogged
Get Blogged is still a relatively new blogger agency, and I believe the pay isn't as ideal as it could be, but when needs must then they must! I have seen as many as 150+ jobs on there at one time which could give you a welcome boost when you need it.