This guest post is by Amanda DiSilvestro of Highervisibility.
When you’re a blogger, you want to gain as much visibility and authority as you can, and featuring your content on more established websites is one way to make this happen.
Guest posting is becoming more popular, and it works well for all parties involved: the editor gets a great piece of content and someone new promoting the site, and the writer gets to put his/her content in front of a well-established audience and reaps many SEO benefits.
So what’s the issue?
More and more blogs are beginning to ask writers to pay to post content on their pages. This typically occurs for a few different reasons:
- The site is usually very authoritative, meaning it has a high PR and a good readership. This means that any link the owners put on their website is providing the guest poster with significantly better SEO and visibility benefits than links from lesser-known sites.
- Sites that ask a writer to pay to post an article likely have a large influx of articles every day. Everyone wants a piece of the exposure, so asking writers to pay will weed out those who aren’t serious.
- Asking writers to pay means more income for the website.
Being that there are still many websites across the Internet that are thrilled to meet with a guest contributor, a blogger has to stop and ask whether or not paying to publish a guest post on a particular site is worthwhile.
How to make sure paying for the spotlight is worth it
In some instances, paying to put your content on a very authoritative site is going to be worth it in the long run. Sites that ask you to pay to feature your content typically will promote your content to thousands, which will help you establish a name for your brand.
There are a few things you should do to make sure that payment is worth it in these situations:
- Ask the site owners what they can do for you: If a site is asking you to pay, make sure its owners are willing to help promote your article. Ask them if they will be sending your article to their subscribers, how and where they’ll share your article on social media, and if they are willing to continue to help you grow your brand in the future.
- Analyze the site on your own: Even if a site tells you they are going to do all of these great things, check up on them yourself. Make sure the site has a great PR, check to see the average number of tweets and comments that an article on the site receives, and talk with others who have contributed there.
- Decide whether or not you really need a quick fix: Getting your content on an authoritative site should, in theory, speed up your brand management process. However, it’s important to consider whether or not you really need this quick fix. There are many websites that have grown successful without paying to contribute their content, although it may have taken them longer (and in some cases, taken more work).
It’s also important to realize that, in Google’s eyes, paying to guest post isn’t quite the taboo that paying for other backlinks is. Google looks down upon sites that pay for links because the search engine likes to see backlinks generated organically. In the case of a paid guest post placement, the links are organic and they work in the same way that links in any other guest post would.
When to just say “No” to paying for exposure
Naturally, you should decide against paying to place your guest content if you find negative responses to any of the points discussed above.
However, the biggest thing to keep in mind is whether or not you have the power and resources to really get the same traction without paying for placement.
It is entirely possible to post your content on very authoritative websites that don’t charge you to submit, but it will take a lot of time and effort. Several bigwig sites have declined my writing, but eventually I got it right and was able to get a link back to my blog from those sites.
In my opinion, you should never have to pay to place your content on a blog if you have the time to really work hard to find other alternatives.
Have you ever paid to place your content on a blog? Did you feel the benefits were worth the money? Let us know your story in the comments below.
Amanda DiSilvestro is a graduate of Illinois State University. Although she graduated with an English Education degree, she found herself working as a full-time blogger at Highervisibility, nationally recognized as one of the best seo firms in the country. Connect with HigherVisibility on Twitter to learn more!