There are two primary purposes for a blog. The first is to allow bloggers a venue to express their ideas about subjects they are passionate about while building a brand in their field of choice; the second is to use the free content they provide to build an income through various monetization efforts.
The most common way to do this through Google Ads or various affiliate programs. While trying to find new ways to monetize, some bloggers have taken advantage of recent trend whereby various media and marketing companies have offered to pay bloggers to publish a guest post on behalf of one of their clients.
If you’ve been blogging for a while and have seen some success, you may have received an e-mail from one of these companies. If that is the case, congratulations! It means that your bog is doing well enough that they think the traffic you could generate is worth paying for. However, don’t be so quick to accept the offer, as it could damage your search engine ranking.
Here is how the process works. A client pays the marketing/media company money to secure a number of guest posts on related bogs. They may contact you and set up a deal where they pay you a monthly fee to keep the post up, usually for about a year.
Each of these blog posts will have back links that drive traffic to their client’s site. This is referred to as ‘native advertising’, meaning that you as the publisher are paid to pass what essentially amounts to an advertisement off as legitimate content.
One of the problems with this is that it can ruin your credibility to your readers. If your readers see that your content is subpar, they may not project the kind of authority onto you that you want them to. As a result, this can hurt your brand. This can hurt tenfold if the site that the backlinks lead to have pop-up ads, because your readers will see your links a spam.
There are more serious problems that arise from this. When search engine spiders are indexing your site, they will follow and evaluate the links. If the links on your site takes the spiders to other quality blogs of websites, there won’t be an issue. If, however, it takes the spider to a website that is overloaded with advertisements or purchasing links, it’s going to hurt your search engine rankings and may even lead to Google or other search engines to banning your site for using what they deem as a ‘Black Hat’ tactic.
If your site relies heavily on search engine results, as most blog do, then your traffic will take a huge dive. This means that your other monetization techniques will drop significantly, and with your traffic down, the media/marketing site will likely cancel whatever they deal have with you. If this happens, it will be difficult to resurrect your site’s traffic.
This is not to say that you should outright reject any such offers. First, do a little research. Does the company who contacted you have a website? If not, don’t bother. If they do, enter their name in a search engine and see what others have said about them. If you can’t find anything untoward, e-mail them back and ask for some details. How long is the post going to be? Make sure it is over 500 words as algorithms don’t look kindly on posts shorter than that. How much are they going to pay you? How are they going to pay you? If they aren’t willing to go through Paypal and request banking information, I would pass just to be on the safe side.
If you can work out a deal that works for you, make sure that the agreement is contingent on you approving the post. When you get a copy of the post, check out the backlinks before posting. What kind of pages do they lead to? One blogger who I have coach received an offer like this from Sony Pictures Animation. The backlinks led to pages with legitimate content, including a GQ interview and report on upcoming Sony Picture films. In this case, a guest post isn’t going to hurt.
However, if the bank links take you to a gambling page, or a page with pop-up and/or excessive ads, be sure to reject the post. And never give somebody else access to the dashboard of your website. Do not give a stranger ‘author’ access to your site under any circumstances.
It is always best to find a way to increase the revenue, but you never what to do this at the expense of the long-term health of your website. If you get a request like this, be sure to do your homework and find out if the free guest post somebody wants to share is suited for your site and isn’t going to hurt your search engine rankings.
If haven’t gotten offers like this but are looking for guest posts on your site, try to find a more organic way to do it. Find other blogs similar to yours, and offer to trade guest posts with the other blogger with a backlinks to each other’s sites. You may not get paid for swapping guest posts, but you will get referral traffic from another blogger whose readers trust them, and that increase in traffic could help increase the revenue you get from your ads.