Why do you think some companies pay for guest blog posts? Does their money tree need to be pruned? Maybe it’s a fancy tax write-off? Wrong. Wrong again.
I came across an article by a woman who professes to train freelance writers to make a career of writing. I met her when I answered an ad for a paid guest post. Here it is two years later and she wrote a blog about her ‘ground-breaking’ decision to pay for guest posts. Well, isn’t she clever.
She went on to list about 10 blogs that were now, thanks to her initiative, also paying for guest blog posts. Guess what? When I investigated a little bit further, I found that several of the provided links mentioned her and linked back to her site. Do you smell something fishy?
That’s right; what she had was a blog network of colleagues she was exchanging links with. You see, she’s not selflessly suggesting how you can make big money guest posting on other blogs at all. She’s promoting her network to you.
Every action she takes that provides advice to writers isn’t about actually helping them. It’s often about helping her build her own networks and SEO rankings. But let’s put aside her thinly veiled attempts at making you successful for a minute and return to the relevancy of guest blogging.
When it comes to submitting blogs to popular venues, there are a few things you should look for. Simply, you should always be paid for your guest blogs, but you should rarely be asked to utilize your personal networks in order to promote those blogs. (That decision should be yours, not contractual.)
You are being paid for your expertise within your genre of writing. For example, I’ve contributed to Cocktails With Mom about business skills that help me be way better at life. I love the blog and working with the editor is a pleasure every time.
If a company has the expectation (as many of her colleagues do) that you will post your work on all of your personal social media networks as well as link an article on your blog back to their blog, they aren’t actually paying you for your writing at all.
These folks are using guest blogs as a decoy to get inbound links into their site as well as expand their network by using your connections as a stepping stone. When you post an article to your social media, it goes out to everyone you know, driving potential traffic to their website. Does that make sense?
The fact that these posts pay is simply a token of a contract that will ensure you take all the actions necessary to promote them. Just read through the guidelines of what they expect in return. Do you:
- Have to subscribe to their blog feed?
- Comment on their posts to ‘familiarize yourself with the community’?
- Go through their paid program to qualify as a guest blogger?
- Repost anything you write on your social media?
- Link back to them on your blog?
- Have a personal blog that’s valid for x number of days?
Here’s what I’m suggesting: unless, from a business perspective, there is a distinct advantage to you of connecting with this company, don’t fall for their game. You make a quick $50 bucks, then what? There is no premise of a relationship and they probably will never hire you again.
You cheapen your name and bore your engaged social media users by spamming them with another writer’s content. True guest blogging pays you a fee for your work so they can use your expertise. They believe you are a genuine value to their readership, plain and simple. An ongoing relationship with someone who respects your writing should always take precedent over a one-off, right?
Other free gigs should give you a shout out with a link back to your site. They should promote you with a short biography … not the other way around. Now, aren’t we all too clever to fall for it?