Writer’s burn out—it happens to the very best. Fortunately there are guest bloggers, such as myself, to help turn out original articles and keep continuous content flowing when you temporarily run out of creative ways to satisfy your hungry readers. However, not every freelance writer who shows interest in guest posting for your blog should automatically be guaranteed a published spot on your site. After all, just one bad post can ruin your blog’s credibility. But how can you tell if guest blogger is “worthy?” A background check might be nice but not really necessary. Instead use the following tips to evaluate whether you should give a guest blogger a chance and more specifically, if you should publish his or her article.
Evaluate Email Etiquette. Looking at a potential guest poster’s sample work is a great way to get a feel for his or her writing style as well as his or her skill level. But before you even waste your time reading through his or her work, take a good look at the individual’s email. His or her inquiry to guest post as well as his or her pitch should sound natural, be professional, and be written in proper English. If it sounds too “robot-ish,” spammy, or has a lot of awkward sentences and grammatical errors, then proceed with caution. This person may end up just wasting your time. Make sure to highlight in your guest post guidelines that you have every right to reject the post as you see fit. Therefore, if the guest poster produces subpar work, you can turn it down.
Ask for Credentials. Another great way to see if your guest poster is “fit” to write the article he or she pitches to you (or to write an article that you’ve suggested for him or her) is to ask about credentials. Did the guest poster study the particular subject at some point in time? Does he or she have an English, creative writing, or journalism degree? Is he or she an effective researcher and passionate about the subject? If your potential guest poster can prove to you that he or she is some sort of “expert” in the field, you can feel more confident knowing that this individual will produce quality work and not waste your time.
Be a Fact Checker. Your guest poster may be a fine writer, but that doesn’t mean that everything he or she says is automatically true. Being editor and checking for grammatical errors is always a must, but playing fact checker at the same time is strongly encouraged before posting an article. Click on the links the guest poster includes in the article to validate the information. If the guest poster does not provide evidence for a statistics for example, don’t hesitate to ask where he or she retrieved the information. You only want to publish accurate information.
Do a Quick Google Search. Last but not least, you want to ensure that the material your guest poster has submitted to you is 100% original—even a single plagiarized sentence can give search engines the right to blacklist your blog. So take a few minutes to see if the material is unique to the author. You can try copying a few sentences into the Google search bar and see if anything suspicious comes up; or you can try using Copyscape—a free resource that allows users to pluck sentences from articles or domains to see if any plagiarized material exists.
Guest posters can really be a life saver and help your blog blossom, however, they can also potentially do some damage. So just take precautions to protect your blog’s credibility.
Jane Smith, a freelance blogger and writer, specializes in various types of information screenings, such as pre-employment background checks, criminal records and much more. Email her your questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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