When you first started affiliate marketing, you may have never dreamed of featuring other writers on your site. But accepting submissions, or guest posts, for your blog can have a number of benefits, even for the beginning affiliate marketer. For example, it provides you with more content that you don’t have to create yourself, leaving you with more time to write newsletters or promote links on social media. Depending on the writer of the guest post, it can also improve your SEO. Additionally, you can widen your audience and reach more people that you may have never been able to reach before. If you’d like to start accepting submission on your affiliate marketing blog, these tips will help you get the best content possible.
Decide What (If Anything) You Can Pay
Obviously, if you’re accepting submissions from people you should figure out if you’re paying these contributors. There are arguments for and against either side, but generally it’s standard practice to offer something in exchange for the work. Even if it’s a small fee, you’ll attract a higher calibre of writers if you pay something rather than nothing.
If you really, truly can’t justify the expense at the moment, see if it’s possible to barter other services, such as a banner ad in your sidebar. People will more than likely prefer getting paid over giving you work for free, but those who are just starting out in the business will be interested to get their name out there. The downside to this is that there may be little benefit in it for you—a newbie in the industry with a small social media following and little content on their own site won’t give your business much. But if what you really need is some extra content to keep things fresh, then it’s a viable possibility.
Conduct A Background Check Of Who They Are And Their Previous Work
Ideally, you should accept guest posts from people who are skilled writers and have a decent track record of writing good content. Even if you decide to post something from someone who’s relatively new to writing, you should at the very least be able to Google this person’s name without discovering a bunch of spam content or other bogus material. However, if they’re truly not involved in your niche in some way or writing about the subject regularly—while it’s not necessarily a deal breaker—it should prompt you to seriously ask yourself why you’d want to publish them on your own affiliate site. Your job is your affiliate business, so treat it as such.
Have A Contract
Here’s one tip that you might not have even thought of but will let you rest easier at night: have contracts for anyone getting involved in your affiliate marketing blog. For guest posters, this should state what the piece is and how much compensation is involved. Make sure it’s clear if you’re able to make edits, if the post can be published elsewhere or not (which you should choose not to for SEO reasons), and what the terms of payment are (net 30 or net 90 makes a big difference). A contract may feel rather formal, but accepting submissions on your site is a big step and you want to ensure that there is nothing left unsaid.
Affiliate marketing is done almost primarily online, and while it’s unlikely you certainly wouldn’t want to be scammed. Get the contract signed and dated first, and then you can make payment and publish your post second.
Check For Plagiarism
Some people will try to pass off the work of others as their own. Aside from being illegal, if you unknowingly publish something that is plagiarized work you could damage your SEO and reputation. Always check to make sure submitted material is original and not regurgitated from previously published posts. You can do this by using a free service like Copyscape to type in the content of the post and see if anything similar or identical pops up. If results pop up and indicate that the work is, in fact, plagiarized, it should not only be a deal breaker to accepting that post on your site, but it’s also clearly a business relationship that is not worth fostering.
Have High Standards
Depending on how many people you’re able to reach, you may not get that many submissions to start with. That’s okay! It certainly shouldn’t prompt you should settle for the first few guest posts you receive.
Just because someone has submitted something to you for review on your blog doesn’t mean you need to accept it. Sure, it might be tempting, especially if you’re struggling to get all your content out and manage the other moving parts of owning a business. But this is your business on the line. If you start posting mediocre content that doesn’t resonate with your audience, you’re going to have few people interested in reading your blog. This can hurt sales.
The posts you agree to publish should, at minimum, be well-written and free of grammatical and spelling errors. Submissions that are littered with these errors should send you a big red flag. Additionally, the post should fit into your niche in some way. Of course, guest posts give you the opportunity to present a different viewpoint and another voice, so don’t think these posts must mirror the work that you do. They should, however, complement existing content and fit into your blog seamlessly.
Most importantly, though, you should wholeheartedly love the post and think it’s a great addition. It’s one thing to outright dislike a submission, but it’s almost even worse to feel indifferent about it. Whatever you agree to publish, make sure you’re excited about it—and this will make your readers excited about it, too.