You may have heard that The Huffington Post, the popular news and opinion site, decided to shutter its popular guest blogging platform earlier this year. Citing the growing popularity of social media and other vehicles for personal expression, the site announced that the platform—which started more than a decade ago—would be replaced by a page of regular columns. While the existing guest posts will remain on the site, there will be no new contributions from the estimated 100,000 bloggers who regularly contributed to the site.
For the companies that used the guest blogging platform to attract the attention of potential new customers, it was unwelcome news. But it also doesn’t mean the end of guest blogging. In fact, the end of this popular platform could well be a signal that it’s time to start diversifying your approach to guest blogging and looking for new venues that can better showcase your company’s strengths.
How Has Guest Blogging Changed Over the Years?
When The Huffington Post began publishing posts by guest contributors in 2005, there were relatively few prominent venues for guest bloggers on the internet. The game has changed considerably since then. Today, there are a multitude of sites such as Medium that give anyone on the internet a chance to make their voices heard, and social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter have made it much easier for bloggers to find their audience. In addition, more companies have blogs on their own websites than ever before.
If anything, the rise of a chorus of diverse voices has led to an unexpected problem—there is now so much content on the internet that it is difficult to stand out. The challenge facing today’s bloggers is producing content that is of such a high quality that it can compete in a crowded marketplace. Guest blogging enables content producers to basically help each other, lending each other the benefit of their expertise. By reaching out to your industry colleagues and offering to trade blog posts, you can help to find a wider readership for both of you.
What are the Pros and Cons of Guest Blogging?
For many companies, the advantages of guest blogging are clear. When you post a guest blog from a writer who has an existing audience, you’ll be able to benefit from that added visibility—a favor you can return when you do a guest post for someone else. Guest posts can help to improve the quality of your blog and help you rank for different keywords. Finally, it allows you and your readers to benefit from someone else’s expertise.
It’s important to keep in mind, however, that guest blogging does have some potential drawbacks. If you don’t choose your guest posts carefully and edit them thoroughly, you could end up with low-quality content on your site. Guest bloggers may also have writing styles and approaches that are so different than yours that it could be distracting. You could also end up getting penalized if the writer attempts to reuse the content by posting it elsewhere.
How Can You Vet Your Guest Posts?
When you’re looking for a guest blogger to write for your website, it’s essential to do your research and make sure that you’ve found a writer who will be well-suited for your audience. The quality of the writing should meet your own standards. All posts you use on your blog should be carefully edited and fact-checked to ensure that the content on your site remains as strong as possible. Make sure to request the exclusive use of any posts you run for your own website, so that search engines will not penalize you for having duplicate content. As long as you are cautious and discerning about what you choose to publish, outside guest posts can be a valuable tool in your SEO arsenal.
Are you looking to revitalize your blog content? Pennington Creative can provide you with the polished, professional blog posts you need to engage your audience and draw more traffic to your website. From video posts to extended, graphic-enhanced posts, we offer a wide array of formats to help you keep your blog versatile and exciting. If you’d like to get started, send us a message through our website today.