Guest Writer: Vetting Candidates and Evaluating Content

guest writer

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In today’s business world, blogging is a must. According to a study by Hubspot, businesses with a blog get 55% more website visitors than those that don’t.

A blog is a powerful SEO tool, as well. Each post can be a new page, and any added pages increase the brand’s online visibility. Search engines also index pages based on new content, so blogs give you a way to continue to update your content regularly. 

The better question really isn’t ‘should a business maintain a blog?’ but how should they do so? Many tricks are available to help brands create blogs that offer meaning to their target audience. Guest writers are one practical option. 

This article will discuss what guest bloggers are and what they aren’t. It also covers what to look for in selecting a guest blogger and some benefits of using them. 

    What Is a Guest Writer? 

    Guest writers or contributors create content for a site even though they may not be directly connected to the brand. Typically, this is done in exchange for a backlink to their site. 

    It is possible to hire a guest blogger, where you would pay them, or make other arrangements with them, such as where, when, or how often to include their backlink.

    Guest blogger vs. freelancer

    Some guest bloggers could be classified as freelancers/independent contractors. A freelancer is someone who makes a living creating content, often for a variety of employers. A client may publish a freelancer’s submitted writing under another name, which is often called ghostwriting, or use the writer’s byline.

    Freelancers often work through a private content provider service, such as WriterAccess. WriterAccess has some of the top writing and editing talent in the world. These writers are freelancers who run their own businesses and partner with WriterAccess to meet the needs of their clients. 

    What are the Benefits of Having a Guest Writer?

    Maintaining a blog can be time-consuming and a challenge. Bringing in a guest blogger is one way to relieve some stress. Consider other benefits of using guest bloggers:


    On the internet, reputation is everything. Bringing in a guest blogger who is an authority in your industry can potentially impact the brand’s reputation. 

    It can also help search engines designate the site as more authoritative. That could mean a boost in search engine rankings. 

    Reputation is also why some writers are willing to be guest bloggers. Writing a blog about your brand helps them increase their personal or professional visibility. 

    The more guest bloggers willing to contribute, the better. Search engines use content to determine authority, too. If guest bloggers deem your website worthy of accepting their posts, that influences how the search engine ranks you. 


    Inviting guest bloggers can be a way for your brand to expand into a new specialization. For example, a company that focuses on adult sports clothes might bring in an expert on children’s sports as a new way to expand its audience and product lines. 

    You might look to extend the topics in your blog just to provide more information to your readers, too. For instance, a fishing supply store might bring in an expert in bait as well as tackle. They may not sell bait, but good bait is one of the topics that interest their target audience of fishing enthusiasts. 

    To combat writer’s block

    One of the most complex parts of maintaining a blog is always creating new topics and always writing. It is easy to get writer’s block and have your blogs become routine or boring. 

    Bringing in the occasional guest blogger with a fresh voice can bring new energy. A short break may be all you need to continue developing your own blogs. 

    To get noticed

    If you are struggling to get traffic on your blog, a guest writer could help. They will likely promote their post on social media, websites, and blogs. These new channels add more visibility that will draw traffic to your website. 

    To barter

    Guest blogging can go both ways. When someone creates a post for your blog, it might be in exchange for you writing one for them. That means both sides get the benefit of having a guest blogger. 

    You could barter for other services, too. For example, a printing company might consider inviting a local influencer to be a guest blogger. In exchange, the printing company could offer free or reduced printing services as compensation. The influencer might provide them with a mention to their audiences on their social media channels, as well as a link to the print company’s website. 

    What to Look for in a Guest Blogger

    You should approach a guest blogger like anyone you are considering representing your brand making sure they bring some value to the blog. Before giving someone a guest spot, here are some specific things to consider. 

    What is their expertise? 

    Your goal should always be to provide quality posts to your readers. That means you need to be strategic about picking guest bloggers. 

    You wouldn’t just ask some random person to write a blog about secondary education. You would want someone with years of experience as a teacher. 

    Look at their expertise and see how it fits with your blog. Where does their expertise come from? Is it verifiable? 

    Look beyond just background or their channels or site. Search Google for their name to see what comes up. Look at their social media sites. Is there anything controversial about them that might have a negative impact on your brand? 

    Can they write? 

    Get writing samples to see if they have the skills necessary to create a guest post. You don’t want to put something up that has grammatical errors. It may be a guest post, but it is on your pages and reflects your brand. 

    You also want to ensure their content is unique. Run any submitted writing samples through a program like Copyscape to make sure someone else didn’t write them and the guest blogger falsely takes credit for them.  

    Do they understand your audience?

    It’s the golden rule of marketing, no matter the author: know one’s target audience.

    You should be looking for someone who can connect with your readers and bring traffic to your website. That isn’t likely to happen unless there is some common ground and familiarity with your business.

    It doesn’t have to be a perfect match. Consider the fishing supply store example again. Someone who focuses on gathering and supplying bait to marinas and tackle shops might not have direct expertise with your whole line of fishing poles. They may, however, have a connection with your audience who like to fish.  

    The connection can even be more subtle. For example, a local doctor might be brought in as a guest blogger to write about tips to stay healthy while fishing. You might bring in a travel agent to talk about great fishing vacation destinations. You should be able to connect the dots from their expertise to your audience. 

    Social media presence

    You want a guest writer who will help expand your marketing, especially if they are willing to promote their guest blog on their own social media. They lose some value to you if they don’t have a significant following on mainstream sites like Facebook or Instagram. 

    That’s one reason influencers are in such high demand. They may not have the expertise that someone with academic or professional credentials may have, but they have fans. When they guest post for your blog, with any luck, their audience may become yours, as well. 

    Tips for Bringing in Guest Writers

    Consider these tips for getting a suitable writer to write for your blog.

    Have a plan

    Before you even start thinking about a guest blogger, map out your strategy for guest posts in general. Consider:

    • What is your budget, especially if or how you want to compensate a guest blogger?
    • What is your screening process for new bloggers?
    • What is your editorial process for proofreading/modifying their content? 
    • What is a deal breaker for you, such as certain topics or formats?  
    • What are your deadlines?
    • Do you take pitches? 
    • What about graphics? Does the blogger provide them or do you add them? 

    Always ask for samples and check for plagiarism

    Just because they may understand a topic well doesn’t mean they can write about it. Ask for samples so you can tell if they have the skill sets you are looking for in a guest blogger. 

    Always run samples through a plagiarism checker such as Copyscape, along with any submitted guest posts. A subscription to Copyscape may cost you a little, but it is really worth the investment especially if you rely on outside content. You don’t want them posting someone else’s writing to your blog, which could cause you legal issues as the host.

    Where Can You Find Guest Bloggers?

    Look first at the people involved with your business, such as vendors. Then, consider people within your industry. Who are the influencers? 

    Finally, consider taking pitches. You can post a call for guest writers on your website and let them suggest ideas to you. This is a useful way to get a list of potential guest bloggers you can return to when you need a break. 

    If managing a blog is getting to be more work than you can find time for, consider hiring a team of talented professionals from WriterAccess. We offer content marketing strategists, editors, and writers who can do the job for you. 

    As a subscriber, you also get access to AI tools that can take some of the legwork out of content development. Use these tools to create topics, develop keywords, and create briefs for your writers. 

    WriterAccess can help you scale your content production. You can get a 14-day WriterAccess trial and see how we can grow your blog for you.


    Human Crafted Content

    Find top content freelancers on WriterAccess.

    Human Crafted Content

    Find top content freelancers on WriterAccess.

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