Imagine that you have an important meeting, like a job interview or a date. You’re going to meet the other person for the very first time, and your first impression is going to determine whether or not they’re willing to give you serious consideration.
If you looked sloppy, unkempt, or otherwise unpresentable, do you think that you would get any serious consideration? Of course not! So why are you soliciting bloggers for guest posts without making sure your content is presentable?
Formatting is Key
You could write the best post on purple widgets that God will ever allow in his universe. But if you don’t format it to be easy to read, how do you expect anyone to ever find out that this is God’s gift to purple widget fans? Follow these tips to make sure your guest posts are easy to read (so they can be read):
- Use subtitles where appropriate. You should have one subtitle for every three to five paragraphs of test.
- Keep paragraphs to three or four sentences at most.
- Use an easy to read font, like Calibri, Helvetica, or Arial
- Add images, if possible, to provide a visual break for the reader.
- Use isolated quotes to highlight the important parts of your article and make it easy for a reader to scan it.
All of these things might seem minor, but imagine the difference between an article that follows these suggestions and one that doesn’t. The properly formatted piece can be scanned quickly, allowing the reader the opportunity to figure out if it’s worth spending time reading it thoroughly.
The unformatted piece will look like nothing more than a big wall of imposing text that no one will ever dare scale.
Which do you think has a better chance being picked up and published as a guest post?
Can You Get Away with Mediocre Content in Guest Posts?
You might be able to. It all depends on a few other things. First and foremost, make sure you follow the formatting guidelines above.
If you don’t feel that you have put together a fantastic piece of content you really need to reconsider whether or not you should be soliciting blogs for guest posts. But, if you really feel that a mediocre article is the best you can do, these things will help to improve the likelihood that it’s actually picked up and published:
- Tell them you don’t really feel it necessary to receive a back link. They’ll be more willing to post the content, and if it generates any amount of buzz they’ll be more willing to post another in the future.
- Let them take full credit for the post instead of giving you a byline. They can slip a link to your site somewhere in the content, instead.
- Offer to publish two or three guest posts for them before they even consider doing the same for you. This will build trust and establish a better relationship, anyway, so you should do it even if your article is absolutely awesome.
Keep these things in mind and you will gain back links that no google algorithm will ever take away from you.