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Looking for a way to generate more content on your site? A lot of us are exceptionally busy and really don’t have the time to create something new every day. A great way to increase your site’s output and deliver more content is through user submitted posts.
And although you may have to spend a bit of time editing this content, it’s still efficient to allow others to contribute. Besides, sites that have more than one author are often deemed more professional.
However, you need vigilance to keep the content in check. You don’t want to publish something that doesn’t fit your site’s niche or publish content that is inappropriate.
Benefits of User Submitted Posts
Allowing users and visitors to publish new content comes with a lot of benefits. All of these have potential to vastly improve how your site is viewed on the Internet from both humans and search engine bots.
Even in the business world, blog content is important. In fact, as many as 53% of marketers attest to blogging as a priority.
Mixing Up Styles
Everybody has a certain writing style. In fact, some experts can compare two articles and determine if the pieces were written by the same person based on language, syntax and grammar.
Having a single writer isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does make the site a little stagnant. After all, there’s a reason why people will follow certain authors over others.
User submitted posts is a way to expand those different styles you offer on your site or blog. Those who do not like your style may love that of your writer.
Increasing Content for Free
In reality, a user submitted post is kind of like guest blogging. It’s accepting content to publish on your site from people who are not actually part of the brand. And guest blogging is a proven effective method for marketing.
Some people just want recognition and a way to share their knowledge. Others appreciate backlinks, which is why so many dive headfirst into guest blogging. In any case, user submitted posts is a way to grow your site’s library without spending actual money.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong if you want to give contributors incentives. Most site owners will allow external linking back to the author’s website, and some may even pay for certain pieces of content.
The bottom line is that user submitted posts, or guest blogging, is a symbiotic relationship. You get content relevant to your site and the writer gets a link and recognition to boost their own authority.
Speaking of traffic, an increase of content often means an increase of visitors. Of course there are several factors that come into play, such as several SEO practices and writing something someone will want to read.
However, the influx of materials has a greater chance of driving people to visit the site. For example, I noticed a sharp uptick in visitors since I started creating more content on all of my blogs.
This isn’t to mention how you may come across a writer who has more skill than yourself. A quality contributor can do amazing things to any website in terms of getting visitors and improving retention rates.
Learning Something New
One aspect I am quite interested in is learning something new. I spend most of my day learning and growing, especially when it comes to writing content for my clients. Opening the doors for user submitted posts increases the chances of coming across something I don’t know.
Personally, I value knowledge in any form. It’s empowering and enhances your abilities whether it’s in your personal life or career. And giving someone a platform to help teach owners and visitors is quite an attraction for many.
Some site owners may have a problem with this point. That’s because many of them feel they know it all and will often discredit a valid point if it contradicts what they think is true.
If you’re one of those people, you should set aside skepticism and be open to new information. Remember, 500 years ago humanity knew the world was flat. About 150 years ago, 15 mph was a “break-neck” speed for railways.
What will you learn from your contributors tomorrow?
Drawbacks to User Submitted Posts
User submitted posts may sound like a wonderful idea, but it comes with a few caveats. It’s not like you can give your writers free run of your website. That could lead to all kinds of issues, some of which could land you in legal trouble.
Defining a Strategy that Users Will Follow
You’ll need to define rules and practices before you can offer guest blogging in any form. This includes things like:
- Content structure: Make sure all elements fall into optimal SEO practices.
- Type of language: Is your website PG-rated, or do you offer more adult content?
- Checking for plagiarism: What tools will you use, or how will you protect the work of other writers?
- Image use: Is there a certain file format or size dimensions you’ll allow? What about using images with copyright protection?
- Content topic and length: Search engines like relevance, so you need to make sure people are writing for the overall topic. And what is the minimum/maximum number of words you’ll accept?
These are only a handful of things you’ll need to establish before opening the gates for user submitted posts. Remember, any content on your website is going to impact its success.
Editing the Work of Others
Perhaps the most time-consuming aspect of guest blogging is editing the work of others. While you save time in creating, you still need to make sure the content is inline with your site’s agenda.
What if you’re not a very good editor? Then your site probably already reflects that issue. The best you can do is use tools like Grammarly.com or the Proofread option in Jetpack, if you use WordPress.
The bottom line is that you don’t want to just publish anything users submit without going over it. What if the content is illegible or contains a lot of hate-driven speech? Keep in mind it’s your site’s reputation you need to protect.
Dealing with Spam
Spam is a problem whether you’re dealing with user submitted posts or the comment section. Any interaction from your guests has the potential of being abused. It’s just one of those things you need to monitor.
Luckily, you can cut down on most spam by implementing filters and anti-bot programming. A lot of sites will use things like Google reCAPTCHA to ensure submissions are by humans. But then you also have to remember humans can be just as spammy.
It takes a bit of vigilance to cut out spam, but it’s not impossible. This is one reason, of many, why I love using WordPress. It’s full of tools to cut out spam in any form.
Embrace Content Acceptance
As you can see, there are more positives to user submitted posts than negatives. In fact, I am working on adding guest posts to my website as well. You don’t have to create all the content yourself, and you don’t have to spend money to hire writers.
Just keep an eye on what’s submitted to your website…and don’t be afraid of opposing points of view. As long as there are facts to support the idea, you might learn something new.