There are many things in life that work one way, but absolutely fail in another. For example, racing tires are perfect for the track, but will send you into a tree if used in the snow. When it comes to guest blog posts, they’re not always a good thing.
Let me begin by saying that any time you have the opportunity to share one of your blog posts on another site, as long as it’s relevant and reputable, you should go for it. Problems occur when you, as a site owner, start allowing guest posts on your own blog.
When it all boils down to the sweet, salty and sticky goodness we love (yes, I’m referring to BBQ sauce), people read certain blogs over others due to one thing: credibility. They trust the message that’s being delivered and, therefore, invest precious time reading the content. Once credibility dries up, they’ll jump ship to find another trusted source of information.
The goal is to be able to distinguish between guest blogs that will add value, and others that can damage credibility.
As a perfect example, I run a real estate investing and home improvement website that got over 10 million unique visitors in 2012. My articles have been quoted by some of the largest real estate websites, we’re featured in Google News, and we have over 250,000 opt-in subscribers on our mailing list. The site is centered around delivering unique, helpful and current information, and revenue is generated from advertisements. Having guest posts from experts on our site will add value and boost the site’s credibility as a whole. And since we’re making money on ads that appear on the site, the more content and eyeballs the better.
On the other hand, let’s use this blog as an example. Here we share our thoughts on a variety of topics, which come from our experience and research working with clients from around the world ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies. Clients come to us for what we know, not what someone else shares on our blog. By adding guest posts, we’re essentially throwing in the towel and saying someone else is the expert.
Keep in mind you need to form a “social voice” and connect with readers on a personal level. That’s nearly impossible when guest posts are being shared on a regular basis. Ultimately such deviations will lead to a disconnect and, consequently, a drop in readership.
Before you go posting a ton of content on your blog, spend some time thinking about your revenue model to decide whether or not guests posts will be beneficial.