Are You Asking Too Much For Original Content?
Type ‘guest post’ into a search engine and you will find hundreds of articles telling you how to write a piece of content that will be picked up by publishers.
You’ll also find blogger pages with details of how you can get a guest post on their blog or how to pitch the perfect magazine article.
But where is the article that tells publishers the reason why media agencies are submitting the articles in the first place? Where’s the How-To guide for new bloggers that informs them that asking for £50 per guest post straight off the bat might do them more harm than good?
The truth is, media agencies reach out to publishers (you!) and other website owners because it’s their job – we do it to help get our client’s content seen. Clients want exposure and the best Google-friendly way to do that is to write original, unique articles for their own website that turns heads. Then people can read it, reference it and link back to it.
However, great content can still take a long while to get noticed so media agencies simply reach out in different ways to selected parties (you again!) to help raise its profile and let people know it’s there for use if they wish.
That’s how part of it works, it is what we’ve been told to do in all those helpful guides mentioned above. So why is it so damn hard?
Before I even start this article I’d like to clarify one thing; this is written with the assumption that the media agency contacting you is not a spammer, has an excellent grasp of writing and is not offering dodgy links. Spammers are ruining it for everyone but believe me when I say, we’re not all like that.
1) Sorry But No Links
So, you want my original, well-written article that I have spent hours working on but you won’t link to the pieces of information I reference within it, even if they add further value and back up my points? I don’t think so.
When a media person contacts you about an article and you actually like it – pay your dues! They’re not asking for money for this original piece of content, they just want people to be able to read it and for it to be used in the form it was submitted so the reader gets the most from it. Is that really so hard to do, especially if the links, images and videos are perfectly relevant to what’s being said?
Not only will you be getting some excellent original content but those relevant links within the article can help increase traffic to your own site and improve your rankings. It really can be a win-win situation if you let it.
Of course, the agency may at some point link to a piece of content on their clients’ website, but if it’s a great back up piece then what’s the harm?
2) I’ll Take It If You Pay Me
Similar to the point above. You want a unique article for your blog or website that won’t be published anywhere else, one that you’ve had to spend no time whatsoever on, and you want to be paid for it?
Now, I understand that many bloggers use their blogs to earn money and that’s fine. You’re trying to earn a living, we get that, but so are we.
Many media agencies are now using what is called white hat SEO techniques to build links. Asking for a link in exchange for a well-written and relevant article is not bad practice – it encourages natural links and the creation of original content.
The great benefit to bloggers is that you could get a lot more exposure for your blog if you allow relevant links and good-quality guest posts on your blog. You don’t have to be shy about it – make it clear that this is a guest post but you found the content relevant to your blog. It doesn’t make your own content any less valuable and you could make some great new contacts for future content.
3) Freebies Please!
‘Sure, I’ll post your article about The History of Shoe Making in London, but I see you referenced XX brand shoes so I’ll only post it if you send me a pair of these shoes to review.’
Unfortunately this does happen. Reviewers and bloggers have been known to offer to post guest articles but only if they get free gifts in return. This isn’t the way to be doing things. Not only is it underhanded but it goes against white hat SEO principles – you are essentially paying for links and as we know, that doesn’t end well.
If you assume that only an article that comes with a freebie is worth posting then you could be missing out on some excellent content for your blog.
4) You Know Why We Do It
Anyone working within the digital marketing world has a basic concept of how ecommerce websites, SEO and search engines work together. (If you don’t, I suggest you head here next)
So we all know how this works, you post content with links, the links send juice to your website and your page rank goes up. It is a bit more complicated than that but as basics go, that’s it.
So why do so many publishers, bloggers and online magazines act as if we are doing something shady when we submit articles? I have had so many come back to me and ask ‘is this for a client?’ Well yes! That’s how it works. I’m not going to sugar-coat it – I’m doing this to help my clients get exposure.
However, I also want to help you succeed – if you website goes up in the rankings, then my article goes up as well, and vice versa. So why not work together?
If our submission is not right for your site then fair enough, we’ll move on. But please don’t treat us like we were doing something naughty simply by asking in the first place.
5) Lower Your Drawbridge
You are the King of your Castle (website) and you want to protect it from anything that could be harmful, including poor content and spam.
It may be that you’ve had bad experiences with media agencies in the past and you’re wary of taking a chance on any of them. But we ask you to reconsider.
More and more media agencies are using white hat SEO and ethical practices than ever before – if you want to know, just ask! Chances are if the agency in question is using these best practices, they will be more than happy to discuss them with you.
6) Everybody Wins
So, what’s my point with all of this? That’s simple….
MAKE THE MOST OF US!
You have a whole host of writers on your doorstep who are willing to write excellent, original content for your website for free and all they ask is a couple of links in return.
I’m not saying you should accept every guest post or article that comes across your desk . We all understand that you’re there to ensure your website is only populated with relevant content and if our piece isn’t suitable, then that’s that.
However, perhaps it is time to start making some room for those digital marketers who are making the effort.
Make a little time to actually look at the articles that come your way. You might find a hidden gem that will be beneficial to your website and start a partnership with a writer who will always have great content for you.
[Image Credit – foeoc kannilc]