Perhaps scam is too harsh of a word when I mention the guest post scam, but I can’t really find a way to express it properly, so I’ll leave it at that. Guest articles and guest posts are great ways to get traffic to your websites, for both writers and recipients and the scammers have latched onto this idea to do things that are just plain unethical.
Receiving Guest Posts and Guest Articles
If you want to receive legitimate and useful guest post and articles, you need to have some kind of system and solid rules in place governing the submission of the content. You can use something like what I did with “Submit a Guest Article” or you can develop something else, but you have to be consistent.
The scammers tend to follow the rules, but only to a certain extent. How can you tell they’re scams? Well, the first indication is how they address you. If they use something like “Dear Admin” or “Dear Blogger”, it’s almost (not always) certain to be a scammer dropping the same identical guest post on the contact forms of multiple websites, hoping that one or more will accept it and publish it. The real writers will almost always address you by name because they’ve actually read some of your work.
Submitting Guest Posts and Guest Articles
In comparison to websites that don’t accept guest anything, the number of websites which accept guest posts and guest articles are few. If you like providing content to other websites, for the purpose of driving content to your own, it works really well because the embedded links are editorial in nature. That means the website owner publishing the content can disallow spam-like links or reduce the number of links embedded.
If you’re going to submit guest articles or guest posts (not always the same thing), you need to make sure you follow established rules and address the website owner properly or the website owner will do what I do on many occasions — ignore and delete the message.
It doesn’t matter which end you’re on, the receiving end or the submitting end, you should avoid content that tends to draw comment spam like nothing else. That is, unless you’re prepared to deal with the spam.
Experienced website owners, like myself, know full well what keywords and phrases will draw the attention of the most prolific spammers and I won’t be repeating them here. They’re the high competition, high-paying keywords you see all over the place and in places they shouldn’t be seen (like website footers).
Google doesn’t seem to have any problems with guest posts and guest articles, but Google has a big problem with paid links and any website owner who takes money for spammy links that are stuck in the footer or the sidebar is going to get penalized sooner or later. You shouldn’t be surprised if you have a website like that and no one wants to submit guest posts to it at all. On the other hand, content writers will and should avoid any websites with visual signs like that.
Avoiding the Guest Post Scam
It’s pretty easy to summarize. Make sure you’re dealing with the other party on a one-to-one basis and it’s not that hard. When proper names are used instead of “admin” or “blogger”, it’s worth it to investigate further.
Always check the content to make sure it hasn’t been published elsewhere. Google for certain sentences and phrases and see if they come up in the search results. If they do, it’s a scam and you can delete the message or messages you’ve received regarding it. Don’t bother to reply to scammers or continue the conversation when you find out you’re being scammed.
There really are some good writers out there that want nothing more than to feed content to website publishers and usually at no cost except for one or two embedded links pointing to their websites and sometimes at no cost whatsoever (like beefing up their online portfolios by pointing to where they’ve had stuff published).
It’s no secret that I don’t write as much as I did at one time. I don’t need to write as often anymore because I’ve always got one or two guest articles in the queue, waiting to be checked and published. Guest posting works, for both publishers and writers.