The Dirty Little Secret About Guest Blogging
So I was doing my daily blog reading routine when I encountered a certain post. In it, the author was complaining about receiving a lot of guest posts with clear “client links” in the bio boxes. In other words, guest posts where the author wanted to promote a third-party company or website instead of their own personal brand.
The blogger in question was kind of angry that these guest authors “would dare” to send such posts, instead of wanting to “share with the community naturally.”
So the main question is this: Is guest posting on your client’s behalf bad?
(Well, you can see my point of view in the headline, but I’m curious to learn yours, so feel free to comment.)
Anyway, I’m going to tell you exactly why guest posting for clients isn’t bad at all, and also, what you can do when dealing with bloggers declining your posts just because your link points to a client.
Reality of guest blogging
There’s a lot of guest blogging advice circulating around. Most of it portrays the whole practice as a fairy tale. The preachers use words like: “when you guest post, you get to add to the community, reach out to other people, be part of something bigger than yourself.”
But it’s not the whole truth.
Guest blogging is always an exchange between the writer and the host.
The host gets a free post (unless they pay for guest posts, ekhm). The writer gets an audience to speak to, the possibility to spread their brand, and the chance to link some website of their choice. In a word, they get to grow just a tiny little bit thanks to the guest post.
Now here’s the kicker, I honestly believe that if there was some international law forbidding guest bloggers to link to their projects, we’d see at least a 90% drop (not that I’ve done any research) in the volume of guest posting done worldwide. And I’m not trying to judge whether it’s good or bad, that’s just what would likely happen.
Now, since the above pretty much explains that most of guest blogging is done to achieve the writer’s goals and pursuits (in other words, it’s a case of “me marketing”), let’s move on to the next thing.
A quality post is always a quality post
What I mean here is that if a given post is a quality one then the presence of a certain link in the bio doesn’t make it any less quality.
Here’s the thing…I’m a freelance writer (where I’m not a part of the company I’m working for), a team writer (where I am), a “me marketer,” and a blogging enthusiast all at once, so I do tons of different work. Some of my writing is sent directly to the client, some of it is submitted to other publishers, some ends up on my personal sites, and some of it is submitted as guest posts by me, personally.
Whenever I write a guest post for my client, I go through the exact same process (I’m sure it’s the same process you go through). Which is:
I research the blog where I want the post to be published.
I analyze the topic.
I decide if I’m experienced enough to write about it.
I pick some possible angles for my article.
I craft the headline and then write the post.
At the end of this process, (if I don’t make any mistakes along the way) I end up with an article that has a good chance at being a good fit for the blog I’m targeting. The fact that it will be sent on behalf of my client doesn’t change anything when it comes to the amount of work it’ll cost me.
In such a case, I am not afraid at all of linking to whatever I want in the bio box, and you shouldn’t be either.
If you’ve written a quality post that is most likely going to benefit the audience of the blog then you’ve earned the right to use a link of your choosing.
That’s simply because writing a really good article always requires a lot of work, no matter if it’s done for your client, or as part of your own project.
The no-no links
Even though you, as a writer, shouldn’t even feel bad or awkward about linking to something, it can still get your post declined (more on how to deal with this form of rejection in a minute). The chances of this happening go through the roof if you link to a no-no site.
(Note. This is actually a warning against taking projects involving guest posting and linking to these no-no sites. Such a project is impossible to complete.)
The no-no sites/topics include things like (ordered according to the level of inadequacy):
Porn (it does happen, I actually had a client who wanted some guest posts pointing back to a porn blog).
Anything involving unmentionable private body parts
“Bad” dating sites (ones that trick people into signing up by promising something that’s very unlikely to happen).
Get-rich-quick offers and business opportunities.
Strange weight loss products.
Affiliate links in general.
Linking to anything from the list above will get your post declined most of the time despite the quality of your writing.
Dealing with rejection
So what to do if you did your job right, yet the blog owner still declined your article because of the link in the bio?
Actually, there’s nothing you can do. Just move on, and remember that there’s nothing you did wrong. Don’t get discouraged and don’t change your ways. If your post was a quality one then you have nothing to be ashamed of. Take it and send it to another blogger with the same confidence.
Okay, I know that “move on” might not sound like quality advice, so let’s take a minute to talk about the following.
How not to get declined
If you’re a freelance blogger and your client has asked you to guest post on their behalf and you want to do a good job, you have only one way of achieving this:
Be honest when sending your guest post.
Honesty really goes a long way. For example, if you try to keep things stealth, i.e. you write the post, include some disguised links pointing to your client’s site, send it out, and the blog owner gets a grasp on the situation, they will feel like you’re trying to trick them. This will result in your post getting declined.
But if you’re honest right from the get-go, you have a much better chance of everything going according to the plan, so to speak.
Don’t explain yourself (remember you’re not doing anything wrong), just use simple words to talk about your relationship with your client when asked. For instance, you can say something like: “Yes, the link in my bio doesn’t point to my own site. This is intentional, it’s my client’s site.” You really don’t need anything more.
For example, currently, one of the projects I’m part of is Bidsketch – an online client proposal tool for freelancers (freelance bloggers too) working for more than one client (link). The thing on my plate is building the company’s brand awareness through guest posting.
I did have my posts declined on two occasions (maybe more, but I remember two specifically) exactly for mentioning this fact in my author’s bio. One of them was a classic “how dare you!?” -case. Yet, I’m still here and still doing it. The reason I’m telling you this story is to convince you that this stuff does happen every once in a while, but it shouldn’t have any dramatic effect on the way you work.
Quality speaks for itself
I guess that’s all I have to say. In a nutshell, make sure to write quality guest posts and be confident when sending them out, even if you’re doing it on your client’s behalf.
But hey, what do you think about guest posting for clients? Are you up for this kind of projects? Also, if you’re a blogger yourself, do you accept guest posts like this?
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