I don’t care what that SEO manual is telling you about how offering your guest posts to other bloggers (on condition that there’s a link back to your blog) is a fine and dandy way to increase your readership and your search engine ranking. In principle it would be, so long as the bloggers have the faintest idea who you are (as internet persona), or else so long as they are one of those heavily monetised blogs, just itching for daily click-fodder, who transparently welcome randomly proffered content so long as it’s vaguely on theme. But how many blogs operating online actually have such an open-slather guest posting policy? This may not be blackhat territory, but it sure looks pretty greyhat from this angle.
Now, this is a blog that likes publishing guest posts, definitely. We’ve done quite a lot of it over the years. But we have always made clear in our blog policies that those guest posts are solicited only from people with whom we already interact – our frequent commentors, and/or people whose blogs we regularly comment on, or very occasionally someone we’ve known offline for years. Occasionally we go off-piste ourselves and ask people who don’t comment here whether we can crosspost a piece just because we are overcome by the awesome, but that’s our call alone. We figure we owe it to our readers and commentors to at least offer this much quality control on the guest posts we publish, because frankly to do less seems rather disrespectful of their contributions to the ongoing conversations on this blog. Because, after all, interaction is the point, right?
So, if you’ve never even left a single comment attempting to engage with our commenting community, then asking us to publish a post of yours on spec is simply downright rude. It also makes any claims that you are in fact a regular reader and huge fan appear more than a little duplicitous, and is likely to discourage us from ever even visiting your blog, let alone publishing any of your posts.
When your website is an obvious marketing tool plastered with ads for online diploma mills, multiply that reaction x1000. It may even inspire us to add your splog’s URL to the spaminator filter.
At round about this point, if you’re someone who recently offered HaT a guest blog post following advice from one of those “Grow Your Blog” articles yet you had nothing but good intentions of reaching out across the blogosphere, you may be feeling rather appalled. Relax – if you’re a genuinely interested fellow blogger, you won’t be banhammered here just for emailing us about a guest post. We understand that feeling of wanting more readers only too well, and nobody’s going to judge you harshly just for that. But you need to apply different tactics to growing your blog if HaT really is a blog you enjoy reading and not just a blog that you want to link to you.
Start by interacting with commenters here and being interesting/entertaining enough that they want to read more things that you write, and so will click on links back to your blog, and feel inspired to leave comments on your posts there. Post links to your articles in the linkfests threads – that’s what they’re for. Entice us to explore your
Then maybe we will link to it, guest post or not.
Categories: ethics & philosophy