Guest blogging is a tricky and sometimes frustrating business. For the uninitiated, it’s often confused with guest posting and, as a result, some bloggers may avoid it to focus on more creative tasks like writing original content. To make things worse, the process of guest blogging can be quite opaque with often many companies operating under different terms.
If you are unsure about the ins and outs of this new medium for content marketing then allow me to introduce you to three websites that will clear up all your doubts: Huffington Post Media Group Blogging Guidelines; High Impact Blogging; Top 100 Guest Bloggers in 2015.
These three websites are the holy trinity of guest blogging. You will find links to them in the guest post section of all major businesses and they are often referenced by guest bloggers themselves as a reliable source for information on how to land a coveted spot on their blog at News Report Online. The trouble is, what these sites actually contain is often so radically different from each other that it’s almost like you’re reading about three different industries.
The Huffington Post’s guidelines on how to approach people for guest posting, for example, says that they accept unsolicited guest posts only via email but their guidelines for sponsored posts are available only if you have a working relationship with their editorial team.
High Impact Blogging, however, says they accept guest posts via email and through their contact form and that they also publish sponsored posts. Top 100 Guest Bloggers in 2015 only publishes a twice-yearly list of suggested blogs for people to approach. It’s like the three sites are talking about totally different industries!
Confused? Let me break it down for you:
Guest Posting – Writers approaching publications with pitches for new original content that will be published on the site.
Sponsored Posts – Writers approaching publications to write about specific products or services in return for payment from those products or services.
Guest Blogging – Writers approaching publications to blog as a representative of an organization and not as a freelance writer pitching an idea.
The differences between these three things may not seem like much but they are the key to understanding the mystery of guest blogging and why it’s such a good idea for businesses.
Guest Posting – this is merely an extension of traditional journalism, except the journalist doesn’t work for a newspaper or magazine. More often than not, their work will be unpaid.
Sponsored Posts – this is simply advertorials with all the attendant problems that come with that. If you want to take part in them then by all means do so but don’t expect your readers to thank you for it! Your reputation as a blogger will take a hit every time you publish one of these posts.
Guest Blogging – this is where the action is. Guest blogging has a much better chance of going viral and, unlike with sponsored posts, a well-written guest post will get you more than just a few dollars in return.
Remember also that if you’re thinking of writing a guest post, don’t be afraid to contact every single company that you may have on your “no” list and make the case that even if they don’t accept your article today, perhaps they will in the future!
I know from personal experience how useful this approach can be and how far it can go to secure an agreement with companies who are skeptical about accepting guest posts.