Advice From A Blogger About How To Write Guest Articles That Get Noticed

By Guest Author

First of all, I just want to say that — as a blogger – I truly respect the important work that SEO consultants do. I understand that you’re under pressure to deliver results from clients that don’t completely understand the work you do.

But lately, I’ve been getting a lot of guest writing pitches which are — for lack of a better word — pure garbage. About half of the guest writing inquiries I get these days are from people who don’t understand my audience and simply don’t care about creating good content.

These articles are usually pure filler. They have terrible grammar, awkward writing styles, vague content, a poor understanding of the subject matter, and absolutely no regard for the blog’s audience. If you’ve ever wondered why some bloggers seem rude or difficult to work with, this is probably why. (Although I personally try to be nice to everyone who takes the time to write me)

Imagine if a high school teacher asked a student to write a book report about Huckleberry Finn. And the student hands in a paper that says:

“Huckleberry Finn was written by Mark Twain. It’s 300 pages long. The book weighs 400 grams, and is made with acid-free pages which will ensure a long life. The book retails for $9.95. Etc…”

Of course, this would never be considered acceptable in school. But some SEOs think it’s acceptable to write guest articles in this style. They believe it’s ok to waste a blogger’s time by forcing them to read 700 words of incoherent — probably computer generated — nonsense that does nothing more than fill up space on a page. (If English is not your first language, you should not be a writer)

Also, it’s NEVER EVER acceptable to copy/paste plagiarized content and then pass it off as your own. This sort of thing is VERY easy to discover, and will get you blacklisted from many respectable blogging circles.

Another problem with low-quality content is that it gives your clients a bad reputation. It’s very easy to end up distributing erroneous information about your client, or potentially making false claims that could even land your client in legal trouble.

This sort of behaviour seriously has to stop!

So how can we change this? First of all, you need to understand that it’s not the SEO’s job to be the subject matter expert on their client’s industries. And this also needs to be communicated to clients.

One of the most common tips that I give to SEOs that want to guest-write on my site is to have their clients write the articles for them. The clients have many years of experience in their respective fields, and can provide a level of depth and insight that would be impossible to get from an SEO with only a superficial understanding of their client’s business.

Also, you should stay away from over-worked topics. At least once a month, someone sends me a guest article about “What is cloud computing”, “Why you should purchase a CRM” or something similar. Topics that are boring, generic, over-done, or too promotional never make good guest content.

However, I can give you a piece of advice on how to write exciting content that will attract readers. Take a piece of news that is very relevant to your blog’s niche, and add a controversial opinion which goes against the accepted mainstream views of that blog’s audience.

For example:

  • 10 Reasons Why Linux Desktops Are Garbage, And Will Never be Good For Business
  • Microsoft Surface Crashed At The Demo, But It’s Still Better Than iPad
  • Why CRM Will Be Obsolete In 5 Years
  • 15 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Let Employees Work From Home
  • Why I Think The Patriot Act Is Good For The IT Industry
  • What The Cloud Computing Industry Can Learn From The ___________ Scandal

These are all examples of topics which would make very interesting themes for guest articles.< Controversial opinions are scary to many people. And rightly so!

When you say controversial things, people will say nasty things about your opinion… and possibly about your company. Many people came out and said terrible things about Google when they announced that they would support the rights of gays.

But you know what? Controversy sells. It attracts eyeballs and gets people talking about you.

The internet is a hate machine. Get over it.

There will always be adult male virgins who get upset because you said Captain Picard is better than Captain Kirk. Dealing with criticism is the price of success.

What you need to understand is that certain types of criticism matter, but 90% of online criticism is completely harmless and will never hurt your business. (Apple gets trashed in the media every day, but customers still passionately love their products)

Life is too short to do generic things that don’t matter. So take a risk and speak your mind.

But controversy alone is not enough to get your post noticed and published. It also has to be backed up by intelligent arguments and deep insight that can only come from having been involved in an industry for many years. And for most SEOs, this means getting input from your clients.

They need to be deeply involved in the guest article writing process in order to ensure that the end-result is worthy of publishing.

And don’t just think about the blogger who will be publishing your article. Also think of your client. It’s now common for customers to perform a Google search on a company before making a purchase. How will it look if that customer pulls up hundreds of poorly-written articles that make it look like your client is completely ignorant about their industry?

I really don’t want to sound rude or jaded. I truly do appreciate the work that search engine marketers do, and I really do love getting relevant guest post enquiries from you on my site. It’s my hope that the advice outlined in this piece will encourage some of the SEOs reading this to change the way they work.

I promise that this advice will help you gain much more success with your guest writing, and that your clients will be much happier with your work.

About The Author: Paul Rudo is the webmaster at Enterprise Features & IAAS Cloud Hosting Reviews, and has been blogging about topics relating to cloud computing and enterprise technology since 2010.

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19 Responses to “Advice From A Blogger About How To Write Guest Articles That Get Noticed”

  • xensen

    “If English is not your first language, you should not be a writer.” Even if what you meant to say was “you should not be writing in English,” that’s still a bit harsh. We would lose several great Joseph Conrad novels following that advice.

  • Miroslav Glavic

    “If English is not your first language, you should not be a writer”

    I take insult at that. How many of the top bloggers were born outside US/Canada/UK/an English speaking country?

    What about blogs who are in non-English languages? I am the admin for a website that uses Hindi as it’s language.

    Technically speaking Croatian, Spanish, French and English are my languages (I learned them in that order). I currently speak/read/understand about 27 languages.

    So why can’t I be a writer?

  • Ed

    Nice post, but if you’re going to talk about proper this and that, why not include periods within the parenthetical statements?

  • Ehsan @ GuideAndNews

    Hey Paul,

    Awesome tips man. But I disagree with what said about the people who’s primary language isn’t English can’t become a writer.

  • Paul Rudo

    @Ehsan

    I deliberately made that statement to cause controversy. See how well that works? To me, it’s a bit like saying that people who don’t love calculus can become successful engineers.

    But maybe I’m wrong. I’d love to hear your side of this.

  • Jen

    Excellent post. I am glad I am not the only one who get inundated with junk guest post offers. One thing I would add is that if your guest post does get rejected, accept it and don’t keep harassing the blogger. I get guest post proposals all the time from people who clearly do not speak English as their first language and have probably used an article spinner to generate the post. I am astonished by the number of them that write back and ask me a second (or third time) to reconsider. I too try to be nice in my responses but after the third time, all bets are off 🙂

  • Blogging Tips

    These are all great tips. I am also working on my writing skills to keep the people hooked on my every word. But I know I am not on that level quite yet, that is why I have not submitted any Guest Posts anywhere yet. But it won’t be long at all. :]

  • Kuntala Rahul

    Hello Paul,

    “If English is not your first language, you should not be a writer”

    This turned me off to read the remaining article.

    How can you come to a conclusion that non native English speakers shouldn’t become a writer?

    I think, you’re indirectly saying that non native English speakers should not be blogging at all! Can you guarantee that, a native English speaker can become a prolific writer?

    I think you should re-think about it pal!

  • anonymous

    “If English is not your first language, you should not be a writer”

    Yikes. If you really believe that, I’m not sure I’d want my writing to be associated with you in the first place…

  • Sam ganegie

    Some good advice, but i totaly disagree with ” If English is not your first language, you should not be a writer. ” I’ve been blogging in French since 4 years and i started to blog in english since few weeks. Primarily objectif of this new blog is to learn to write in english.

    It’s not your skill in writing skill who make good posts, but the knowledge in your niche. But i think that you write that only to be controversial, so…

  • Meka

    i agree with you that the title must be different and catchy
    boring Titles will get us nowhere , thank you

  • Nhoel

    let me quote you:
    “If English is not your first language, you should not be a writer”

    that’s the most stupid thing i ever heared.

  • Angel

    I agree with most of the points in your article, certainly. The bit about causing controversy with your articles is spot-on, and that clients and experts should be writing the posts, certainly.

    However.

    “If English is not your first language, you should not be a writer.”

    Heartily disagreed. My girlfriend, an Italian native speaker, has better English than a lot of my English-native friends, and she writes incredibly good music journalism. Just because you’re a native speaker of English, does not mean you speak English well. The fact that international English-speaking heavyweights like the Dutch, Swedish/Norwegians and Indonesians can trounce the English at their own language, to me, completely goes against your point. Not to mention examples like Nabokov, a Russian writing in fluent English and French.

    But there we go, your point has been made. Controversy stirs talk.

  • Dan the mObile marketer

    Man, it’s about time someone stood up & said this! Thank you so much.

    I don’t think of myself as a great writer or anything but I too have been approached with these types of shenanigans. It’s really annoying & gives the whole SEO industry a bad name. (not to mention their crap keyword spam comments on my blog constantly)

  • Ken

    Titles and engaging content are key to guest blogging.

    Also, find a reliable site to guest blog on. I submitted a post to a site about 3 weeks ago and it hasn’t been touched. I’m getting ready to pull it.

    I understand that some admins are busy…but let me know that in the guest blog guidelines.

    Ken

  • Kenneth

    This is so true, everybody seems to be jumping on the guest posting bandwagon, every for my other site I would receive guest post articles that are sometimes completely irrelevant to my site or if not utter none sense they would be articles that were created for grade school readers.

    And from there, they would contain a link to a totally irrelevant site, totally devoid of any relation to the topic they just submitted.

  • Paul Rudo

    @everyone

    I probably should’ve said “If English isn’t a strong language for you, then you should not be an English writer”

    But someone would’ve still gotten their feelings hurt. Truth hurts sometimes.

  • Paul Rudo

    @ken

    People send me stuff all the time, and I don’t get back to them. Why? Because I’m busy and disorganized.

    If a blogger ignored your email, ping them back. They probably just forgot. Don’t take it personally.

  • Ed Forteau

    We only do guest articles for ourselves, not clients. And most of the guest articles we do are for other bloggers in our niche that we know well. We are contacted all the time by bloggers who want to guest post our our site. Many of them would do well to read this article before they contact us.

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