Content is the Internet’s most valuable currency. One should create content for humans first, and to feed the search engine bots second. Deliver enough quality content and you will increase readership, subscribers, clients, advertising dollars, and … (you name your objective).
But how do you go about consistently creating quality content?
Types of Content
The problem is that not all content is created equal and, I dare say, content is similar to gold: there’s 24k gold, 20k gold, and there’s fool’s gold. Similarly, content quality ranges from computer-generated crap (spun content), to $3 for 300 words mediocre articles written by who-knows-who, up to super compelling and informative content written by experts.
If you’re trying to grow your blog, you can’t afford to publish anything but the best. And if you’re reading this blog, then I have no doubt that you can write it.
But creating that super interesting, engaging content takes time. Lots of it. I easily spend 10 hours researching, writing and editing an article like this. Creating such content and running an SEO company at the same time is not easy, believe me. You actually divide your day into managing a business and creating content.
A Great Way to Generate Quality Content
One of the best ways to generate the desired quality of content is to allow guest authors to publish content on your blog. The more quality content you get published on your website, the more subscribers you get, and the better your search visibility.
So, the first step is to allow guest posting. The second is to do the heavy lifting and go after the experts in your niche (either well known experts, or experts-to-be) and invite them to guest post. Most of them will be aware of the mutual benefits of guest posting, and with any luck they will accept your invitation.
Once your readership grows and your site popularity increases, more and more authors will notice that you accept guest posts, and they too will become interested in contributing. And that’s where it starts rolling. Your blog might become just as famous as famousbloggers.net
But what do you do then, when you’re getting dozens of guest post inquiries a week?
Editorial, Auto or Reaction-Based Guest Post Approvals?
You now have content, but you might need to review dozens and dozens of submissions. So is there any way you could automate the approval process to avoid spending as much of your precious time reviewing submissions?
Sadly, in my opinion totally automated guest posting will never work – the cons far outweigh the pros.
But let’s clarify the word automation. Many of us think of automation as a process performed by a machine (computer) to speed up a process that otherwise is done manually. Press a button and you’re done! That’s how automation works.
However, the solution might come with semi-automation – where you optimize a process up to a certain point, and then humans intervene to solve what machines can’t. Here are some approaches to speeding up the reviewing and publishing of guest post submissions:
1- Use Human Editors
You allow guest registration on your blog, and hire a professional editor who is very knowledgeable about your niche. All author profiles and submissions will go through him or her, and he or she will be the one who decides which articles gets approved or turned down.
HUMAN EDITORS HAVE REVIEWED AND APPROVED THIS ARTICLE – IMAGE SOURCE
If you’re on a budget you can try your luck with outsourced editors, but finding the right person is a tedious, disappointing process in itself. Been there; done that.
2- Auto Approve
I strongly advise against auto approving any kind of content on your blog. Auto approvals are a bad idea, always. You will publish so much crap, you won’t believe it. Spammers use tools to find targets that auto approve articles. Your blog will be infested with spam in a matter of days, and cleaning up the mess could mean “select all”, then “delete”. That may well mean deleting valuable content submitted by your peers.
3- Reaction Based Approval
This method implies a sandbox, which means you will create a section on your site where guest authors publish their articles. Initially all guest posts will be published under this UGC (User Generated Content) section, and the most valuable articles promoted to the main blog based on community reactions (votes, likes, +1’s, etc).
You may want to have a separate subdomain for the UGC. You want to separate the great content on the main blog from the content you can’t vouch for. Search engines consider subdomains different web properties, and if the User Generated Content is poor, a penalty will be applied to the subdomain, and not to the main site.
In conclusion, I would actually recommend implementing a combination of two approaches:
- Editor-approved articles on your UGC section (here you can approve 5 to 10 articles a days, if you want) and
- Promoting 1 article daily on the main blog based on the community reaction and sentiments.
This approach allows editors to be a bit more flexible with their approvals, and you can leave the “automated reviewing” process to your community. This is A/B split testing your content in a live environment, outside of your preconceptions. It can’t get better than that!
If any of you has had experience with such issues, please leave a comment. Heck, leave a comment anyways
See you at the top!