How to Avoid Having Your Guest Post Rejected in the First 10 Seconds


The fastest way to get your guest post rejected is to make your post look like a prescription pill ad.

You’ve probably flipped through a magazine recently. Think back to that long full-page ad for some prescription medication. What did the format of that page look like?

No breaks, lots of jargon, and a LOT of small type squished on the page.

Did you read it? Did you even consider reading it?

When a blog owner opens a guest post request, and the post looks like a Celebrex ad, he’s not even going to read it. Your guest posts have to look easily digestible; like a reader could scan over it and understand all the main points in less than one minute.

In fact, I would say that many blog owners toss out the majority of posts they get before they even

Here are my 4 favorite ways to entice blog owners to read your post before throwing it out!

1. Small Paragraphs

Long paragraphs make your article look longer, dull, and academic. Big block paragraphs are ok for textbooks or novels, because the reader knows they’re going to have to block of some time to tackle it.

Whether your article is actually longer is irrelevant – short paragraphs show more white space and appear more scannable.

2. Use Sub-Headlines

Breaking up your post into separate categories gives the average blog visitor a way to find what they want and get out! Sub-heads make the reader believe they can blow through the post in a quick run-through.

And of course, your most important reader is the site owner looking to approve your post right? If he doesn’t believe his readers will take a second glance at the post, you’re toast!

3. Numbered Lists/Bullet Points

Lists deliver your information in short, power-packed snippets of info that can be scanned over and internalized very quickly. The overall look and feel of your post will improve. Your article will be more visually appealing – and more appealing to site owners as well!

4. Italics/Bold/Parentheses/Quotes/Underline

One of the best ways to spice up your posts (without having to work any harder on content) is to sprinkle those 5 things throughout your post. Remember, don’t overdo it. You’re sprinkling it on like salt on a steak – not too much, or you ruin the flavor of your post.

All of these strategies are super-easy to implement. In fact, you can write posts the same way you always have, and then visually enhance your posts afterwards with these 4 strategies!

Do you know any other strategies for making your posts look better? Let us know!


Google Cracks Down on Guest Posting Scams

Google has become even stricter when it comes to guest posting for blogs. With so many spammers infiltrating genuine guest posts, Google was forced to take a stand. Matt Cutts, head of the webspam team at Google, recently explained why penalizing shallow guest posting was necessary in a YouTube video: too many are trying to take advantage of guest posting by offering the same post to multiple publishers; offering similar posts with only a very slightly different spin to multiple publishers; and only writing the 300 minimum amount of words.

New guidelines were added in order to warn against “link schemes.” Backlinks that attempt to manipulate PageRank or SEO standing is a violation against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This will hurt both the writer and the publisher of anything that qualifies as a link scheme. The guidelines can be found here:

What Does This Mean for

FreeGuestPost is unique in that it guarantees more safety for writers and publishers against Google’s punishments than organic guest posting. Many of the violations to Google’s guidelines are impossible for FreeGuestPost users to carry out. Writers and publishers can only communicate through the website, limiting any opportunity to pay for articles or form partnerships for the sake of backlinks. FreeGuestPost also is not compatible with programs that automate link creations, another one of Google’s possible infringements. encourages writers not to commit these infractions. Create genuine blog posts with thorough research and depth. Write more than the required 300 words. Don’t try to offer the same or similar blog posts more than once. Try to avoid including too many backlinks into one post. If you are worried about your backlinks being punished, make them no follow – this will allow readers to follow the link back to your source, but Google’s spiders will not follow them for SEO purposes.

Publishers should also be careful about what they chose to accept and post on their own blog. Only accept posts that are well thought out. Although it is not always easy to see who is an expert in what field, you can screen each individual post. A shallow post should be rejected. Make sure all writing that you publish is valuable – quality over quantity.

Should I Still Use Guest Posting to Improve My SEO Rankings?

Although Cutts was firm in his video, he was also very confident that guest posting is a valuable resource for bloggers, writers, and businesses. There may be more complications to guest posting with these new, stricter rules, but guest posting can still improve your SEO rankings, bring your writing to a broader audience, and introduce a new voice or expertise into your blog.


“What is Google’s view on guest blogging for links?” (16 Sept. 2013).

Grigg, Ally. “Guest Posting – How to Avoid Google’s Wrath.” (19 Sept. 2013).

8 Ways to Prepare Before Writing a Guest Post

In many ways, writing a guest blog post is just like writing a regular post for your own blog. However, there’s a lot of pressure, especially when there’s more at stake: guest blogging can be a huge benefit to your own website if you are accepted by a publisher, but being rejected is never a fun feeling. When writing a guest post, you should follow the same writing routine you normally do for your own website, but keep in mind a few key differences between a guest post and a regular blog post; most importantly, a guest post is your first introduction to a new audience. Because you are trying to convert new readers instead of appeasing old ones, you need to put your best foot forward. Make sure your post is polished and completely readable. This might mean finding an extra proof-reader or two.

So how do you prepare to write a guest post? Try a few of these steps and see what feels right for you:

  1. Think about your areas of expertise. Guest posts should contain valuable and informative content – if you aren’t teaching something new or sharing something interesting, it isn’t worth it to you or your publisher. Before you settle on a topic, make sure it’s a field that you are totally confident writing about. Besides, you’ll enjoy writing about something you’re familiar with.
  2. Don’t worry about keywords when you are deciding your topic. Trying to rank for keywords on an individual blog post is not worth as much to your SEO as branding. Use guest posts to display your own talent, rather than trying to work the system of SEO.
  3. Once you’ve settled on your topic, then you can start thinking about your angle. Are you writing this from a specific perspective? An example of this would be “time management for parents” rather than just “time management.” Or maybe you’re writing your post for a specific audience, such as people who have some experience but aren’t yet experts. Writing your blog post from a predetermined angle will help you organize your thoughts, as well as make your post fresh and interesting.
  4. Think long and hard about the format of your blog post. In fact, you may even want to try it a couple different ways to see what works best.
  5. Your guest post should be at least 300 words long, but ideally more than 500. Make sure you have a lot to say about your chosen topic.
  6. Grab a friend or other trusted individual to proofread your post. You may even want to read your post out loud to see how it sounds. You and your proofreader should check thoroughly for clarity and readability, not just grammar and spelling mistakes.
  7. Create or find some interesting rich media (pictures, infographics, graphs, videos, etc.) to add to your blog post.
  8. The title of this post is especially important because you are trying to put your best foot forward. To ensure that you are creating a perfect and catchy title, write out 10 title options and pick your favorite one.

Now you’re ready to submit your article to a publisher! Your post will contain valuable content at the same time as remaining SEO-friendly.

What steps do you take before writing and submitting a guest post? Let us know in the comments!

The Dos and Don’ts of Guest Posting [Infographic]

Although guest posting has gone through its ups and downs this year, it is still a viable method of reaching a new audience or adding fresh content to your website. However, spammers have used guest posting purely for SEO purposes, creating content that is not valuable or informative; Googlehas caught on to this method and is stricter than ever when it comes to guest posting. Before you guest post, read this inforgraphic to make sure you aren’t falling on Google’s bad side!

Guest Posting | Guest Blogging

Learn more about guest posting at “Guest Posting 101: A Beginner’s Guide.”

How to Guest Post Without Pissing Off Google

SEO, Link Trading, and Guest Blogging

We all know that SEO affects pagerank, and the purpose of having a high pagerank is to get more visitors to your website, which then results in more money – but what exactly does it mean to have a high pagerank? The real underlying message behind being at the top of a search query is that your website is an authority on a certain subject. What you are conveying to Google is that you are an expert on your keywords, and that the information contained on your website is valuable to readers. Because ultimately, Google doesn’t create SEO algorithms to help businesses or blogs earn more money. Nope – it’s all about the individual user for them, and how they can enhance the searching experience.

This is where linking comes in. When another blog or website links to you, they are passing on some of their “link juice.” So basically, they are signaling to Google to pass on a bit of their authority on to you. Google sees that another website likes you and finds your information valuable, which in turn means that your information must be valuable to the Google user. And that improves your pagerank.

And that’s why link trading was such a popular SEO strategy, until Google caught on to people using it for SEO purposes. Once an SEO method becomes well known and encouraged by SEO experts, spammers will swoop in and use it for “evil.” Then Google finds out about it and starts penalizing the spammers and giving things like link exchanging less SEO weight.

Unfortunately, guest blogging may be the next SEO method to fall under Google’s ax. The webspam team leader at Google, Matt Cutts, posted on his personal blog this week that guest blogging is dead. This spells trouble for all the bloggers out there who want to share their expertise, broaden their audience, or publish new content onto their own website. The advantages beyond exchanging link juice are many.

Of course, Matt Cutts later went on to say that guest blogging is still a viable option. His exact words were:

“There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there.”

To put it simply, Google does not want you to guest blog for the sake of SEO. They want content to be valuable to the user, and so they are doing their best to discourage inauthentic guest posting.


How do we save guest posting?

Google has always recommended original, valuable content. Successful bloggers who want to produce quality content are already doing this. Writers should be using their expertise to produce interesting articles that are at least 500 words long. Publishers should field guest post submissions, taking only articles that are worth staking their reputations on.

The very best way to ensure that your guest posts won’t be penalized by Google is to use no follow links. What is a “no follow” link? Basically, when you create a no follow link, none of your link juice will be transferred over to the website you are linking to. When Google spiders your website, it will not follow the link to the other website and register it as one you want to give authority to. With no follow links, you can still produce great content and give credit where credit is due without risking your pagerank. Plus, readers can still click through to the link, giving the website you are linking to a higher readership.

To make a link “no follow,” you need to edit your HTML. Find the original URL. It should be surrounded by < and >. Before the closing bracket, insert (rel=“nofollow”) without the parentheses.

For example, if you were to create a backlink to FreeGuestPost, it would look like this in your WordPress post:


The HTML for a nofollow link

For many website owners, simply switching their backlinks to no follow made a huge difference in their pagerank. If you find that your pagerank is suffering, try updating some of your links.



Rampton, John. “Matt Cutts Clarifies Guest Blogging for SEO (with tips).” (22 Jan. 2014).

Hambrick, Kecia. “Nofollow, Dofollow, and your Google Page Rank.” (22 Jan. 2014).

Guest Posting 101: A Beginner’s Guide

Guest Post Help

Whether you are starting a new blog or looking to boost traffic for your existing blog, guest blogging is a valuable tool. Guest blogging is when a writer is allowed to post an article or story on a host’s website. It’s a mutually beneficial opportunity that allows the guest blogger to gain exposure and possibly take advantage of the host blog’s traffic to create links back to their own blog. It also allows the host blog to take a break from posting content, gain a unique perspective and possibly even benefit from the future growth of the guest blogger’s own blog.

Here are some essential tips for those looking to get started with guest blogging.

Identify Blogs Accepting Guest Blogging

If you are writing for a niche or specific topic, you might want to identify some of the well-known or high-traffic blogs in that area. This could be as simple as entering appropriate keywords in a search engine and seeing what blogs are returned high in the results. High SEO ranking is likely reserved to the high-traffic blogs. These would be your targets for guest blogging as they would provide you with the greatest exposure and back linking traffic.

You could also refer to directories that provide lists of sites accepting guest blogs. One such directory is BloggersPassion. There are others out there. It’s better to first confirm that a host blog is seeking submittals before wasting too much of your time and theirs contacting them.

Pitch Your Blog via Direct Emails

It’s important when emailing the blogger that you demonstrate an understanding of their content or niche. You should also make the request personable. If it seems like a canned or spam-like request, it will likely not be accepted and could wind up in their spam folder. Do a little homework in advance and come up with several possible topics that the blogger can choose from that would fit well. Make sure you are not duplicating content that’s already on the blog. Remember they want a unique perspective. When soliciting a guest blogging opportunity, you should also provide samples or links to some of your past work for the host blogger to reference so they can see your writing style.

Write Quality Posts

This may go without saying but the guest blogging strategy will not work unless you are producing unique, valuable, quality content that both readers and the host bloggers will appreciate. As mentioned earlier, much of the value in guest blogging will come from your unique perspective. Additionally, providing top-notch posts will result in having to exert much less effort in marketing your guest blogs in the future. Blog owners will welcome and possibly even solicit your articles if they prove to be of high-quality and demonstrate an ability to generate a lot of traffic for the host sites.

Be Sure to Provide Links Back to Your Own Site or Blog

Guest blogging will provide valuable back linking opportunities that will boost your traffic and also your SEO. Search engines look for the kind of organic traffic that will come from any readers who click on your link from the guest blog to your site. It will boost your ranking and possibly provide new subscribers to your blog or website.

Guest blogging is a mutually beneficial opportunity when executed properly. The readers win by getting your valuable content, the host blog gets free valuable content and you get exposure and hopefully increased traffic.


3 Guest Blogging Myths That Haven’t Died in 2015

You may have heard the rumors, but guest blogging isn’t dead.

Many successful bloggers continue to use it as a strategy to gain credibility and attention for their own sites and online marketers believe it’s here to stay. Floating misconceptions about guest blogging halted its popularity last year, but with the right intentions, it is still an effective marketing tool.

Late January of last year, Google engineer Matt Cutts declared on his blog that guest blogging was over. He later revised his statement, clarifying that he was referring to ‘spammy’ posts written solely for SEO purposes. However, his post still created a hesitancy toward guest blogging in general, resulting in a steady decline in what was once a growing practice just a few months earlier.

The timeline below details Google searches for the term “guest blogging” over time. It spiked when Cutts wrote his post, and you can see the decline still continues today.

Guest BloggingDoes this mean guest blogging isn’t as effective as it once was?

The answer is of course not – when used properly, guest blogging is just as effective today as it ever was. In Cutts’ revised statement he said:

“There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). I changed the title of this post to make it more clear that I’m talking about guest blogging for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.”

The reason guest blogging took such a hit in popularity is because many people were using it as a spam service or to get links for their own website. A rising number of spammers published generic or irrelevant guest posts to boost traffic and get links

To combat this problem and offer better search results to its users, Google updated its algorithm to weed out sites that misuse guest blogging. Joshua Steimle, CEO of the internet marketing agency MWI, wrote that he believes Google will only devalue low-quality posts that contain an abnormal amount of links and keyword-rich text.

If guest blogging isn’t good for SEO purposes, then how will it benefit my site?

 Guest blogging still offers plenty of benefits to publishers and writers, but only if they avoid reproducing the ‘spammy’ posts mentioned above. Links are still a valuable source of traffic, but that doesn’t mean your posts have to be full of them to work.

Marketing writer Louis Gudema was able to take his company’s website from being buried under millions of search results to being number one by guest blogging. He wrote for several authoritative sites and built connections with other site owners (and their followers), which generated a huge push of traffic to his site.

Guest blogging is a win-win scenario. For writers, it offers free publicity, added credibility, and social media shares from followers of sites that have a large following in your niche market. And with some editing and selectivity, site owners benefit from guest posts as they will have less to write each week and can easily curate diverse content for their blogs.

But won’t my site be penalized for guest blog posts on Google’s search rankings?

It’s a commonly held misconception, but Google has no intention of penalizing authors for gaining traffic from quality, original content they’ve written for a relevant site. However, it is possible for your site to be penalized if you’re writing for links or less-than-credible sites.

The easiest way to avoid being penalized is to stop thinking about how you can get links from other sites, and instead think of ways you could increase your website’s traffic through guest posts. More traffic will lead to more links in the long run, so don’t worry if your blog post is published with a “nofollow” link.

When asked about the role of guest blogging in 2015, founder Zac Johnson had this to say:

“If you are guest blogging on other sites, make sure the quality is there. Don’t worry about the link back, as you should always have a full author bio at the bottom of the post. Focus on article quality and always link to real resources and examples. Follow these tips and you will continue to see guest blogging be one of your best marketing and branding platforms.”

The Big Picture

Guest blogging isn’t dead, if anything it’s been revived. Guest posts will become more valuable in 2015 as they are chosen selectively by publishers, crafted by experts in their field, and are written for content rather than SEO purposes. If you want to increase your audience and outreach for your website, consider guest posting effectively. You can’t be punished for great original content, and your website will benefit from the added visibility of a site with a larger following.

We’d like to know your experience as a guest blogger – What did you learn from the experience? Any advice you’d like to share to fellow bloggers? Let us know in the comment section below!