As a Blogger whether you blog for fun or blog to occasionally make a few dollars why would you allow a “PR Professional” to market their client to your network for free through a “guest post”? Your time is just as valuable as theirs is if not more — they need your blog to promote their client not the other way around. Think of it this way would you EVER approach another blogger to promote a company that you own or work for for FREE? Probably not. You might offer them some of your product to try out or to run a Giveaway for their readers or maybe buy ad space on their blog. Why? Because you know what your time is worth to you and you value their time and network.
It cannot be considered a guest post if someone is being PAID to write. No matter how they try to disguise it that would still be an advertisement and needs to be treated as such on your blog or Google will penalize you and several months from now they will come crying to you to ask to have the link removed because Google de-ranked their site.
Guest Posts should be reserved for other bloggers or perhaps an Etsy or crafts fair seller who creates really well made products by hand that you have personally seen or purchased on your own. A guest post should be something that adds value to your blog and engages your readers not markets a company for free.
Someone that begins their introduction to you Hi – My name is X I work for a company that would like to have a guest post on your blog. Huge red flags with warning bells should have gone off. That person is paid by the company to advertise for them and get said company on as many blogs and websites as possible. Why in the world would you allow them free advertising on your blog when in fact it is not a mutually beneficial relationship?
These so called PR professionals that try to tell you that allowing them to write a guest post for their company and giving you the blogger the privilege of posting it for them because it will save you from having to find other content or give you something to post when you would have had nothing is not being truthful. They know bloggers believe content is king and play that card which sometimes works for them to get what they want for free.
Mutually beneficial would be trading guest posts with another blogger. Say you blog about turtles and your friend blogs about Iguanas and you each know that some of your readers have both turtles and iguanas so there would be interest and you would both potentially gain new readers. The other mutually beneficial scenario is that the PR Professional writes a post exclusively for your blog they send you the links and possible some graphics / pictures you post on your blog as a Sponsored Post and they send you money for promoting them and allowing them to advertise to your network. They get their information in front of their target audience and you made a little money to fund your dog collar buying habit or that will allow you to go out to lunch with a friend.
A real professional PR person is either:
A) going to put together a professional Press Release with pictures and information about the brand or product they have been asked to promote. You can then choose to post it in whatever form you think is the best for your blog.
B) Contact Bloggers to ask if they would be interested in Reviewing and or putting together a Giveaway.
C) Invite a Blogger to visit their headquarters, attend an event, or sponsor the blogger to go to some event for them.
If the PR person already has a relationship with the blogger they might send a personal email telling them about a new product launching and giving them some early information about it with the offer to put the blogger in touch with someone having to do with the product for a personal interview for their blog. There might not be any product to review or use for a giveaway but you know that when the product is available you will be sent some in the mail or will be sent other opportunities in the future from the company just like you have been in the past. A real PR person would never ask you to put up a “guest post”. A real PR person will send a Press Release if you choose not to post that day they will not get upset or say how you are denying your readers valuable information. Your relationship with them will not be ruined because you didn’t post that time. They know your time is valuable and any number of things could have happened so you didn’t post even if you might have meant to get to it. On the other hand they might ask if you would be interested in writing a guest post for the company blog.
A self proclaimed “PR Professional” will sometimes get downright nasty with you if you say you are not interested or will try to convince you that it will be a mutually beneficial relationship when you see no real benefit to you or your readers because what they are asking for is not a guest post it is a sponsored post / advertising and they know it. They want the air space on your blog and they want it for free so disguise it as a guest post in hopes of getting away with not paying.
Have you run into PR Professionals trying to get you to post advertisements for their clients as guest posts so they don’t have to pay your advertising or sponsored post fee? How do you handle them?