Writing Better Posts

Balancing Original Content with Sponsored and Guest Content

By July 18, 2018 No Comments

Regardless of the size and scope of your blog, you undoubtedly face periodic challenges associated with publishing content frequently enough and keeping readers engaged with topics they enjoy. You can especially relate to that if you have more than one blog or maintain an extremely busy schedule that makes it difficult to devote as much time as you’d like to a blog.

Fortunately, sponsored content and posts written by guest bloggers can fill the void. But then the question arises, how much of that material can you use without annoying readers who prefer original content? You can consider numerous things to reach an answer.

Whether Brand Sponsorship Gets You Closer to Your Goals

When companies look for bloggers to write sponsored posts, they typically review things such as the overall quality of the publication outlet, the number of readers in a given month, whether the blog owner adds new posts often and if the angle of the blog fits with what a business wants to sell.

As a blogger, you can weigh various considerations before accepting an arrangement to write sponsored content. For starters, does the associated company fit with your blog’s brand and your readership? Will the company promote your blog on its site as an additional traffic-boosting measure? Does it feel natural to discuss the business and its products or services with the people who read your blog?

After determining those things, you can figure out if sponsored content aligns with your blog’s primary objectives. If it does, you have good reasons to move forward with writing it even if your blog mostly features original content.

The Impact of Reader Feedback

Comments from readers should also help you decide how much original versus guest or sponsored content to include. If people in your blog’s audience mention that your posts are among their favorites because you use a relatable tone, write about fascinating topics others ignore or give them tips they can easily apply to their everyday lives, those things all indicate people love and value what you write.

Conversely, if people say your blog isn’t diverse enough or they think you wait too long to publish new posts, guest content can help.

Guest bloggers have well-defined strategies that impact their goals, just as you have aspirations for your blog. In most cases, they want chances to broaden their online reach and improve their reputations.

If you’re looking for people to provide content as guests, succeeding could be as straightforward as directly addressing your readers and letting them know you’re considering expanding the blog by using additional authors. That approach could work particularly well if people often comment on posts and say they have a different but related angle to something you covered.

Then, some of your guest bloggers might be people who are already familiar with your content. When contributors know what your blog requires and strongly feel they can meet the standards, that’s ideal.

Your Level of Expertise Versus Someone Else’s

There may be instances when you want to write about topics on your blog that you don’t know much about but feel compelled to cover because readers indicated interest. If so, that could be a fitting situation for recruiting a guest blogger who has expertise in the subject or industry.

Even in that case, it’s crucial to avoid one of the common guest blogging pitfalls, which is assuming someone’s an expert based on his or her word alone. Research the person’s past writing, credentials, education and any other factors that’ll help you verify that a level of competency exists to facilitate strong writing. Otherwise, you risk getting someone to write a guest blog and sacrificing your credibility in the process.

Whether You Can Maintain Ethical Standards With Sponsored Content

When weighing whether to write sponsored content on your blog, think about the ethics involved with doing it. Will you be able to stay objective in ways that satisfy your readers and don’t make them assume you’ve “sold out” to a company while also abiding by whatever standards the company requires for compensation?

Your sponsored posts also must contain disclosures about the sponsoring company and any compensation received. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has rules about how to do that adequately.

Some sponsored content contains reviews, but there are also merely informational sponsored posts. You may find it’s easier to write to a high ethical standard if you don’t delve into review territory unless you’re very familiar with a product and it fits your blog’s brand. Readers might get suspicious if you write a glowing review of something that doesn’t apparently fit with your real-life needs, wondering if you only did it for money.

Consider that you don’t want to publish sponsored content at the expense of eroding your readers’ trust. Blog posts a sponsor pays you to write in exchange for money, free products or both benefit you by supporting your bottom line. However, they should also be advantageous to readers by giving them the information they need, want and can rely on as accurate.

The Amount of Enjoyment for Readers

In your quest to strike a delicate balance between original and non-original blog posts, always think about how readers come to your blog because they want to see engaging content you wrote. Occasional guest blogs are okay, but if you’re at the point where the blog contains more posts from others than you, ask yourself if it’s time to reevaluate things.

People can go to the rest of the internet to find content from other people. Let your blog stand as a platform for content primarily written by you that you know readers will like.

The Time Available for Writing

Maybe you’re not writing as much original content lately because it requires more idea generation and potential availability in your schedule for publishing. Then, think about letting readers know that circumstances in your life make it difficult to contribute to the blog as much as you’d like. Admit to them that you’re not giving up but will be posting less frequently.

If possible, give them a schedule you can stick to, such as a new post every week on a particular day. Then, they can get in the habit of making a point to visit your site and read the latest additions.

Always Pay Attention to Readers

By evaluating the factors above, you should find it’s easier than expected to balance out original content with sponsored material or guest posts. In any case, pay attention to readers’ comments about how you’re doing and what they’d like to see.

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