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Recognising an ineffective guest blog post

Good guest blog posts can be a great tool in your blog. However, as I wrote last week, low quality posts can be detrimental.

So what makes a low quality blog post low quality?Fail key for bad content

Here is a list of errors and faults I have seen in recent blog posts:

  1. the post is simply poorly written – I’ve seen poor sentence construction, multiple ideas squeezed into one confused sentence, changes of tense (future to past, etc) and lack of flow from one sentence or paragraph to the next
  2. poor use of sub-headings and bullet points – one I recently saw had bullet points appearing as sub-headings that didn’t actually make sense (maybe that is another blog post for me to write!)
  3. rambling – we all ramble a bit when we’re talking to friends, but rambling in a blog post wastes people’s time and often indicates you don’t know the topic well. It certainly shows you didn’t plan the post nor edit it well.
  4. using unnecessary, impressive words or misusing words makes the post very hard to read and understand
  5. rehashed content that is boring – using the same content over and over is not interesting. The post needs to contain new information or a new perspective on it
  6. using inaccurate data is not good for credibility at any time, but using incorrect data that the audience will spot as incorrect is just stupid or lazy. If you get the basics wrong, why should anyone trust your ideas and opinions?
  7. support of illegal/immoral/stupid things to do. I don’t like reading blog posts encouraging spinning articles (using the same content over and over with just enough changes to make them appear different), spamming people or using black hat (i.e. generally disliked by search engines and people) SEO tactics – there’s no way I would let a guest blogger put something like that in my blog as I value my honesty and credibility.
  8. A combination of the above! If one factor makes it look bad, imagine my response to multiple factors…
What other things have you noticed in poor guest blog posts? Or poor blog posts in general for that matter!

10 Responses to Recognising an ineffective guest blog post

  • Godric says:

    This is indeed a great guide to writing a good blog post. But what are the chances that your blog will get a guest post. Personally, I have never had a good guest blogger in any of mine or my friends Blogs. They are mostly focused on getting good quality backlinks and some randomly created posts. I never really allow them to do postings on my blogs, after such an incident happened a few months ago.

    • tashword says:

      I’m glad you found this helpful, Godric.

      Not everyone wants to accept guest posts in their blog, for various reasons, but it can have advantages if you manage it carefully.

      Some blogs are full of guest posts, others use them infrequently and some use them to cover breaks (e.g. if you take two weeks holiday, you may use a guest blogger to keep things going) and many believe that most blogs will end up with a guest post at some time.

      Sorry to hear that you had a bad experience though, Godric. I suggest you have a strong policy about guest posts and use that to control what goes into your blog.

  • onlinebusinessgal says:

    You have made some excellent points. I think there are times when people guest blog as a way to promote their own busienss, website or services. They will sometimes place posts on a blog that really have nothing to do with the point of the blog. You are correct that there are often blog posts from guest bloggers that are not well written at all. It seems to me that some people quickly write a blog post without giving it any thought at all. I do not have guest bloggers unless someone comes to me with a really great idea or article for my blog.

    • tashword says:

      I know from discussions that some people see guest blogging as a quick and easy way to get back links and “SEO juice” for their own site. They don’t realise that it offers great value than that (such as building a reputation and relationships) so don’t put much effort into making their posts quality.

      Good to hear you only accept quality posts in your blog, onlinebusinessgal. It’s the best way to maintain your standards and brand.

      • onlinebusinessgal says:

        You have made an excellent point. Guest blogging can help you to do much more than gaining links to your website. You can build good relationships with other bloggers and blog readers. It also makes it possisble for you to show that you are an expert in a partuclar area and to provide valuable advice for others.

      • tashword says:

        Thanks 🙂

        I think blogs can be useful marketing tools but they offer so much more than that. Guest blogging is fun – you get to interact with some new people and share your ideas further as well.

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  • Anna T says:

    I agree with all of the above. Especially your point about the use of sub-headings. I always try to include lots of bullet points and sub-headings in my writing because I know that the average internet user is a content skimmer and not necessarily a reader.

    A long block of text that isn’t broken up for easy scanning isn’t going to be read by too many folks. People enjoy sub-headings and lists because it allows them to skip to the parts they feel are most relevant to them.

    • tashword says:

      As much as we’d love to think people read our every written word, skimming is the reality 🙂

      I also think that sub-headings make the text easier to understand and learn from for those people who do read every word.

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