If you are reading this, chances are someone is asking to add their comments to your blog or website. Or perhaps you want more experts to contribute comments to your existing articles. In either case, I promise, you won’t leave this article disappointed. We’ll go over some of the reasons why you should jump at the opportunity and say YES! to contributing commentators. But we’ll also tell you what things to watch out for.
Just to be perfectly clear: The idea here is that you (as a website or blog owner or editor) will request (or accept) a topically relevant comment (100 to 200 words) on an article that is on your website from a subject matter expert. If you find value in the insights they provided, you would publish that comment right inside the body of the article itself with full attribution to the expert. In this article we are going over all the reasons why you might want to do just that.
If you are wondering why the contributing expert would want to give you free insights and commentary, read the sister article, here. They are benefiting tremendously as well. We believe in win-win-win scenarios (the contributor, website owner and readers all win with this strategy when executed properly).
This isn't simply guest posting (which has its benefits). This is Featured Expert Commentary. It has almost all the benefits of vanilla guest posting, with a small fraction of the commitment required for both the author and the editor. Even better, readers don't have to deal with a bland, full-length article. Rather, they get just the very best of what the contributing author has to offer.
So, without further ado, here are 9 great reasons for website or blog owners to accept (good) article contributions. Click on each to jump to a more detailed breakdown of that topic:
- It Adds Authority
- Get a New Genuine Perspective
- Generates More Keywords
- Provides Another Image
- Validates the Ideas Already in the Article
- Likely to Generate Links to Your Article
- Likely to Share on Social Media
- Additional Page Visits from Author
- Outbound Links to Contributor’s Site Don’t Hurt
- Get a New Genuine Perspective
Having someone with a title who is giving expert advice, adds credibility to your entire page and domain. It can look really good when someone with a sharp profile picture and a professional sounding title has taken the time out of their busy, important life to contribute to your article.
New, Genuine Perspective
As great as your ideas are, the fact is that you just don’t have the same set of life experiences as everyone else in the world. If you truly want to make your article (and website or blog) great, you need to tap into the mental resources of those who have passions and experiences beyond your own.
On the cautionary side, just make sure that you review what they’ve said in their contribution to make sure it is relevant and a little bit insightful. Be gracious – again, you don’t have to learn anything personally from their commentary. It’s all about providing value to your readers from a perspective other than your own. It could be touching on the very basics, and that’s OKAY.
Adds New Keywords
If you are not familiar with what a “keyword” is, let me explain. A Keyword is a word or phrase that Google looks for when providing search results to people who are Googling. So, the contributing author that is adding some content to your article is expanding on your potential base of words and phrases that Google is looking for. What this all means in simple terms is that by having the additional content, you are more likely to get additional readers from Google to view your article. This is a very good thing.
Adds New Image
Google loves images, and so do readers. As we mentioned before, making Google happy is going to bring more readers to your page. And when they get there, seeing nice unique, professional images is going to prompt them to stay on page longer and read more. All good things.
Whether it’s a professional profile picture of their face, a picture of their store front, or a logo, it doesn’t really matter. So there really is no down side here. I suppose if the picture is truly atrocious you could suggest an alternative from their website. But don’t suggest an alternative image just because they are ugly. Be nice. ?
Validates Your Ideas
Most contributors will validate at least some of the ideas you presented in the original article. And in fact, if they can find something particular to refine or critique it just goes to show that they are really paying attention and that those things that they didn’t disagree with they are intelligently (though tacitly) validating.
If the contributor for some odd reason disagrees with most or all of your ideas, embrace it! Let them say what they’d like, post their commentary in full without edits. Then, go ahead and respond to their points as needed below their commentary. But again, this is very unlikely to happen, and you can simply reject their submission if it’s downright hostile.
Contributor Likely to Link to Your Article
Chances are the contributor will add your article to his list of pieces he’s contributed to. Every once and a while he’ll want to share that link with others, or he may even have good reason to put a link to your article on his own website or blog. If you understand the value of backlinks for SEO, this should get you very excited. Backlinks are absolutely the golden goose, a strong indicator to Google that your site is worth showing in the results. You may even ask if the contributor is planning to link to your article (or website) from their blog or website. You could go a step further and ask them to do so. Links are that important.
But don’t require links from the contributor as a condition of adding their commentary. Just don’t. It’s not polite. And besides, you’re getting enough value from all the other aspects that come along with accepting quality contributions from experts.
One rare thing to watch out for is links from sites that Google has blacklisted. It’s basically impossible that a contributing writer will be giving you links from a site that’s blacklisted. Really, checking for bad links and disavowing them is a separate topic unto itself. But suffice to say that even if this does happen (it won’t) you can take effective steps to remediate all damage.
Contributor Likely to Share on Social Media
Again, most authors are proud of the contributions they are making. They are likely to share their ideas on their social media channels. As with links, you could ask if they will do so, or you could ask them to do so. Social media shares are valuable, especially if the person has many followers. So to evaluate the potential upside to this aspect, you could check them out on the social media platforms and see how many followers they have.
The effect will be a brief influx of new readers – and that’s it. Social media shares are not effective at all in bringing in readers over the long term. There is some value here, but not as much as links.
Additional Page Visits from Author Himself
Naturally this is a small amount of page visits, but it’s more than nothing! The author himself is very likely to return again and again to the page to make sure his contribution is still published, and to marvel at his own genius. He may even engage in meaningful dialogue with other readers of your blog or website if you have comments enabled.
Outbound Links Don't Hurt
It's a good idea to give the contributing author links out to the site of his choosing. Outbound links don’t hurt your page in the least, in terms of SEO. After all the benefits the author has given you through his contribution, it’s just fair and equitable to allow a few DO-FOLLOW links inside his contribution or elsewhere in the article body. You’ll need to ask the contributor what pages he would like links to, if he doesn’t volunteer that information.
If you don’t know what DO-FOLLOW links are, they are the opposite of no-follow links. No follow links are basically useless to the contributing author. They’ll still technically work, but it’s basically telling the search engines (like Google) that you don’t trust the author at all, and you think he should not be getting any credit for being linked to. No follow links are very impolite.
Okay, Hell Yes, I Want This
So, after reading all these amazing benefits, you may be asking yourself “Wow, this is fantastic! How can I get more contributions like this to my existing content???”
That’s easy: You ask for it.
Write for Us Page
Some websites have a “Write for Us” page where they invite guests to create guest posts that the website or blog owner will then publish. This idea is okay, but it’s often a very big time commitment for both the contributor and the website owner.
Here’s a better idea. Do go ahead and create a “Write for Us” page (or edit your existing one). And instead of (or in addition to) asking for guest posts, let authors know that you are willing to accept and publish quality guest commentary as well! Set a minimum (usually in the 100 to 200 word range) and a maximum (usually 200 to 300 words) on their contribution submissions.
To really streamline the process, ask the contributors to read this article first before making a submission. In that article we go over all the reasons why a contributing author would want to write expert commentary for another website or blog. Then create a submission form on your Write-for-Us page that lets the author submit all the needful things:
- A field for their name
- A field for their email address
- A field for their professional title
- A field for their company name, if any
- A field for a link to the image they want to use
- A field for a link to your article that they are commenting on
- A larger field for their expert, insightful commentary
- A field for the link(s) they’d like to include, and where they want them included in the text
- A recaptcha tool
- A submit button
Poof. Here is an example of our Write-for-Us page. If you’ve done all that, you’ve made it super easy for both yourself and contributing authors to give and receive this form of expert commentary. Bookmark or memorize the link to your Write-for-Us page and share it with experts in the fields which are covered by your website or blog. Places such as forums, Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, etc.
If you find yourself inundated with lower quality submission, just raise the bar a bit and ask for qualifications. Or hide the Write-for-Us page from the public altogether, and just show it to pre-approved, select groups or people in private.
On Every Article
Besides having a Write-for-Us page (highly recommended), you should also consider adding just one line to every article you write to elicit more contributions. Such as the following:
You’ll be linking to your Write-for-Us submission form, as well as to this article that we mentioned before that spells out all the benefits to the contributing author.
And of course as we mentioned before, here at Doakio we put our money where our mouth is. We have a real Write-For-Us page that contributors use to help us create great content.
What this article is really all about is a killer, white hat method of sustainable link building for the very best content creators and content hosts where everyone wins.
So there you have it! Nine reasons why you should accept expert commentary on your website or blog. Did we deliver on our promise to impress you? Have you used a strategy like this to increase engagement with your web content? How did it go? Let us know in the comments below!