Today the places that most people get their information, whether it’s regarding general news, entertainment, sport or technology, all seem to be sourced from the internet. Perhaps some people get all their news for free from social media while others for premium stores from large news corporations.
No matter how the informational transaction takes place, the truth is that there are millions of hungry minds that search the internet for various types of information. The market has responded to this, and as such there is fierce competition between news blogging websites that primarily make their money from on-site advertising.
In order to standout in this market, a website that wants to build an audience has to offer something unique. People need a reason to visit your news blog over the hundreds of thousands of alternatives.
The Australian news blog, Best in Australia, is a website founded with a simple goal; to share information about industry news. The idea of an entrepreneurial/small business based news blog was not necessarily new, but the way in which Best in Australia targeted, engaged and built its audience was based around a simple yet effective policy.
Best in Australia allows anyone to post their own articles to the website, provided it meets some basic guidelines for quality control. By inviting guest bloggers to publish their work on the website, Best in Australia gains access to a larger amount of more diverse content than they would have been able to use otherwise.
This is important because it makes your blog feel more like a community environment that invites different opinions and levels of expertise. While this sounds idyllic at first, it needs to be balanced with strong editorial standards that maintain the authority and uniformity of the websites’ content.
You get what you pay for and ultimately when you invite random people to publish content to your website you end up needing to reject and edit a lot of low quality submissions. Failing to properly curate the website can be disastrous for your reputation and readership.
If you don’t create clear editorial guidelines and enforce them, then you will rarely find any good content coming through. If you end up needing to edit a great amount of people’s work before publishing it, then your guidelines are not strict enough.
You need to actively reject content that is not good enough otherwise you will create a precedent whereby other low quality work is tolerated. You must only ever publish to the standard that you set for yourself and never undermine it.
If you end up creating a popular blog that accepts guest then you’ll begin to notice the standards you set out being followed automatically. Eventually, you’ll have a continually self-improving pool of content written by high quality authors who are attracted by the readership of your site.
This mutually beneficial relationship between the webmaster and their guest bloggers helps to keep the website relevant as everyone works together to promote the articles. Instead of the articles being promoted from a single source, they are now being shared by multiple accounts in circles where people are already more likely to click and read.
Guest blogging is only as good for your website as your ability to curate it. You will need to find a commercial balance between quality and quantity that engages and does not alienate your target readership.
Inviting 3rd party content invites their readers to travel to your domain but if the content is poor quality it can drive people away from your site in a hurry. Trust is hard to gain but easy to lose and therein lies the inherent risk with guest blogging.
With that said, guest blogging is a smart move for any webmaster that is prepared to properly manage it and leverage its benefits.