Many blog owners, once their site has become reasonably established, receive requests to post guest content. It is also possible to invite people to submit guest posts through your site, or join platforms that match up blogs and people who are looking for sites to post their guest content on. Usually, blog owners are paid to publish and host these posts.
For some types of blogs, accepting guest posts is an obvious good way to make money. It may even have been one of the goals of creating a blog in the first place – to generate income through guest posts. However, when it is a personal blog which you started in order to either promote yourself, or to share things from your unique perspective or lifestyle, it can be harder to decide whether accepting guest posts will have a negative effect on your blog.
Here we look at the pros and cons of accepting guest posts on a personal blog:
Guest posts are usually requested for SEO reasons. Businesses want content with keywords related to what they do and links back to their own site on blogs around the web, because this improves their standings with search algorithms. You can even consider posting some guest posts of your own on other blogs to help improve the SEO of your blog, if you want to.
Guest posts can also bring in traffic from people reading the article and clicking the link, but this goal is secondary to that of the SEO in most cases where people are paying to post content on a blog, so guest posts are not normally overly promotional, and when done professionally, will be normal blog posts covering a relevant topic, rather than an advertisement for the company.
There are some other situations where people may want to write guest posts for your site, such as other bloggers or writers who just want their writing to be seen by more people, to gain some exposure, or people who simply have something they want to say or report on that is relevant to your audience (for instance, local interest posts or news if your personal blog has a big focus on your local area), and don’t have a platform of their own. In the latter case, and sometimes the former, this would not normally be something they’d pay to post, but it can be worth accepting their offer just to get some more good quality content for your site.
The obvious advantage of accepting guest posts is that it can bring in money. While you are unlikely to make a lot of money doing this unless you turn your personal blog into more of a lifestyle type site that can accept lots of guest posts in different categories, it will at least cover the costs of running your site, even if you only accept one or two posts a month.
The other big advantage is that you get more content for your blog without having to write it yourself. The more content you have, in general, the more reasons there are for your readers to keep coming back to see what’s new, and the more opportunities there are for new readers to find you through search.
As long as you are strict about quality control and what types of topics you’ll accept, the guest posts can add value to your readers and improve your site’s standing.
Situations Where Guest Posts May not be Appropriate for Your Blog
However, while guest posts can be a boon to some personal blogs, for others, they can prevent your blog from achieving the goals you had for it. If you have a blog because you are a well known person in your industry or in general, then people will generally only want to see content you created on your site, or will at the very least take any content by other people that you post as being fully endorsed by you. If you created your blog to showcase your writing as a professional writer, then unless it is very clear which posts you didn’t create, having other people’s work on there will detract from that goal. Or, if you created the blog to document a certain thing in your life, which could be anything from a round the world trip to living with a disability, posts that don’t come from your unique perspective may turn off your readers.
These types of situations don’t necessarily mean you should never accept guest posts, just that there may be more to consider in terms of marking or sectioning off guest content to separate it from personal content than if your personal blog is just about topics that interest you or mainstream topics like parenting, that other people could provide the same value to your readers with. You may decide in some of these situations that it is better for your blog’s identity and brand to just keep to your own content, and monetize it in other ways.
If you have considered the above and decided that you want to start including guest posts on your blog, then there are a few things to think about in terms of what you’ll accept. You’ll want to set up some guidelines for guest posts, and make these easily available on your site. These would include things like topics you’ll accept, that you’ll only accept posts with good spelling and grammar, what people can link to in guest posts for your blog, the typical length of post you prefer, and whether they need to supply pictures to go with the content.
You may also want to consider actually diversifying your blog with some new categories and topics. For instance, if you usually post about parenting, you could expand into other topics related to domestic life like home improvement, diet and wellness, fashion, technology and personal finance, so you can accept content from a wider range of people.