Beware Of Unethical Guest Bloggers: 6 Point Checklist Before Approving Guest Author Accounts

What a total waste of my time… In the last few days I’ve had the most frustrating and heart wrenching task of removing a number of guest articles from this blog.  So if you’re ‘one of them’ who is wondering where your guest post went, it’s in my trash folder!

Why?

Because a certain number of people have signed up for guest blogging, then pretended to be someone they’re not, and then cheek-fully submitted watered down versions of content that has already been published elsewhere on other blogs…

When you read about some blogger boasting about how they ram out 30 or 40 guest posts per month, and get thousands of visitors per-day doing it, they’re probably spinning out regurgitated crap and posting them out into the blogospghere, on unsuspecting blogs.  Was I one of them?

It’s pretty damn cheeky if you ask me…

I usually run guest posts through CopyScape and do thorough checks before hitting that old ‘publish button’, but I guess I put my trust into one or two who have abused that trust a little bit, so it’s my fault really.  I won’t be naming anyone, but I’ll certainly be a little bit wearier of who signs up for guest blogging in the future, regardless how well I think I know them.

Anyways if you’re a genuine blogger yourself running a blog and are accepting guest posts, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been doing it for years or just a few months, I’ve been accepting guest posts since I started this blog in 2010, just ensure that you follow these 6 simple checkpoints before pressing publish, or even before approving guest post author account registrations.

guest blogger

My 6 Point Checklist before Accepting Posts from Guest Bloggers

1. Check their guest blogging track record

Anyone who participates in guest blogging should have a track record of some sort, for the record I’ve appeared on a number of reputable blogs including ComLuv Network and Basic Blog Tips, which are also my two favorite guest blogging blogs.

The best way to check for authorship credibility is to see if your guest blogger has a Google+ profile, if so then check their contributor information in their profile.

If they don’t have any information there, you can always run a Google search on their name, email address etc, that’s probably the easiest.

It’s hard for me to say don’t accept a guest post from a first timer, as we all have to start somewhere, but just make sure that the person submitting a guest post is genuine.

2. Check and remove any shady outbound links

If you receive a guest post that is well written and original but has several outbound links, just check to see their relevancy and how useful YOUR readers will find those links should they click on them.  I usually allow for one or two useful and resourceful links, however if you’re getting guest posts with links to unrelated or spammy looking sites remove them immediately.

Recently I had a post submitted to me by a regular writer and although the post was original and informative, it contained around 5 or more links to sites totally unrelated, they were accidental lawyers sites.  I removed them… it’s simple.

3. Check their author bio

Ensure that your guest blogger has provided a good author bio and that it is legitimate and they say who they say they are.  Allow for 1 or 2 outbound links here also, I usually allow one to a social site and one to their own website, you should try and do the same.

4. Check content uniqueness

This is a biggy and where I fell short of, checking the uniqueness of content being submitted, it’s so damn logical as well how could I have let a few slip me by?  Anyway, ensure the content from your guest blogger is at least 600 words or more and doesn’t contain too much filler content or also known as fluff.

Also be aware of topic choice, if you recently published a guest post or a post of your own covering a particular topic, and you receive a post that covers the same topic, don’t be obliged to publish, it regardless of how good it is.

As for uniqueness and originality, there are some great tools that can help you check if a piece of content is unique or not.  The first method is by copying and pasting a part of the guest post into Google search and seeing if there are any other copies made; the second would be to use CopyScape.

5. Don’t be afraid to hit the ‘Reject’ button.

OK there isn’t really a guest post reject button, however if you don’t feel comfortable in publishing a guest post for any reason, follow your instinct, don’t be afraid to put in the trash folder.  Its better do reject a guest post now than to do what I’ve been doing, and publishing it and then finding out later that the guest post is crap.

6. Have an approval process

Finally make guest blogging easy, fun and rewarding for your genuine guest authors, but have an approval process.  Approve guest post accounts if a guest writer meets certain criteria’s for example such as –

  1. Filled in author details correctly
  2. Has added several links to social profiles including Twitter and Google+
  3. Has provided proof of their guest blogging track record
  4. Is a regular reader of your blog or familiar amongst other popular blogging communities

So there you have it, my six point checklist of accepting guest posts and moreover, approving guest author accounts.  Beware of unethical bloggers out there peple, I’ve learned my lesson well.

image courtesy of PhotoBucket user: Wikety

  • Samantha

    Hey Fabzy, it’s always going to be a bit of a roller-coaster ride with accepting guest writers, you really have to be careful and choosy with who submits what kind of content. The last post that was on the blog was about guest blogging content farm was that a copied post as I noticed you removed it?

    • / Fabrizio Van Marciano

      Hey Sammy yeah definitely I think we need to be careful picking out guest posts and double checking everything, makes me wonder how many I’ve left go past now lol.

  • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

    Great tips Fabrizio!

    I’m doing a similar thing on my site at the moment. I haven’t found any posts that need removing (yet), but I have had to remove or no-follow a few links.

    Blogs need to tighten up their guest post submission guidelines. Bloggers should submit their social profiles, especially Google+ link for rel=author markup. That way, they are demonstrating that they are genuine, as people can see who they are.

    • / Fabrizio Van Marciano

      Hey Matt thanks for stopping by mate, yes it’s important to run a strict checklist to make sure posts follow guidelines, I hope you don’t ever have to find any that have slipped the net :)

      I’m definitely with you on blogs needing to be more ruthless with their submission guidelines, thankfully there are some great ways to detect genuine guest writers and duff ones.

      I kick myself for not being strict enough but nevertheless I’ve learned for next time.

  • Jim Luthra

    Really a great one Fabrizio, recently i published a guest post on my blog and after 2 days accidentally found the same somewhere else, it was written by the same author, the title was similar and the post was also similar (not 100%) but almost… I immediately removed it. Next time I’ll keep this checklist in mind :)

    • / Fabrizio Van Marciano

      Hey Jim welcome and thanks for sharing your experience. I can’t understand how guest authors don’t realize they’ve already submitted a post for guest posting on a blog, which would suggest to me they’re either spinning them off or just blindly not caring about submitting duplicate content.

      I’m glad to hear that the tips here will help you keep a checklist at hand. All the best mate, hope to see you here again soon.

  • Sam@Goa trip

    I am agreed on that thing guest blogging is the best way to touch with readers but before that you should know about that blogger who is taking permission from you for guest post.

  • http://webincomejournal.com/ Chadrack

    Hi Fabrizio,

    I totally agree with you on every point here. I have been publishing guest posts on my blog for about 3 years now and I must say many of these guest bloggers simply want to
    regurgitate old posts and send them in as guest posts.

    I usually use Google search before publishing any guest post, but I must say I was surprised sometime ago when after about 2 weeks of publishing a guest post I discovered that that same post has been published on another blog before I published it!

    It was really bad because that was the first time of accepting a post from that person but unfortunately, I was so taken in by his ways of trying to connect before he sent in the post that I really did not check before publishing.

    I think I will be taking into consideration your suggestion of making sure that their author and social media profiles are filled from this time on. This is one area I have discovered that many of them don’t want to take care of.

    It’s really unfortunate that many have abused this very good way of promoting and connecting on the blogosphere.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • / Fabrizio Van Marciano

      Hey Chadrack glad you agree with the points I’m making, though the sad thing is it seems to be getting worst I think. I think we’re going to see a lot of guest blogging spam as I call it. It can be hard to spot even as an experienced blogger.

      Your situation sounds very similar to the one’s that I was experiencing, and I think if more legitimate bloggers are weary of these ‘guest blogging spammers’ we can recognize the signs pretty quickly,

      Yes guest blogging is such an awesome way to say to other people in the blogosphere, ‘hey I wrote this awesome guest post come and engage with me and check out more awesome content on my blog’, but there are some that are going to take the absolute pi$$ out of the method.

  • CSTryon

    I have NOT started to do any guest blogging as of yet, but it is something that I am considering in the near future, I’ll keep your tips in mind.

  • http://www.mymagicmix.com Ambika Choudhary Mahajan

    So true, Fabrizio.
    One has to be wary before finally approving of a Guest Post. :)
    I have had a bitter experience in the past too, which made me a lot wiser than I earlier was. I do a Google search for my author before I accept any besides, of course, checking the quality of content on his/her blog.