Are Guest Posts Paid? Everything You Need to Know

If you’ve been researching guest posting, you might have encountered the term “paid guest post”. But what does that mean? Are you supposed to pay for guest posts? What do you get when you pay for posts? And more importantly, is it legal?

In this post, we’ll dive deep into the world of paid guest posting to see if this strategy is actually good or bad for business.

Organic vs Paid Guest Posting

Here’s the truth: You don’t have to pay for guest posting.

Marketers, site owners, influencers, and business owners write guest posts all the time — and most of them do it without having to spend a dime. They do their research, reach out to bloggers, and write articles in exchange for backlinks.

They don’t pay nor do they get paid (not in cash, at least) for their work.

Why Do People Pay to Write Guest Posts?

So if you don’t have to pay for guest posts, why do people do it?

It’s all about convenience. Writing guest posts is hard enough as it is. But when you add to that the uncertainty of bloggers who don’t accept guest posts, not to mention the guest post guidelines you have to follow, then the pressure may become too much for some.

Paid guest posts can also be a cost-saving measure. If you’re doing guest blogging manually, you’ll need to set aside people and time to reach out to as many bloggers as possible. But when you’re paying for backlinks, you won’t need as many resources. One person can get in touch with a seller and pump out articles for the post.

In some cases, the content quality won’t even matter. That’s because there’s no need to impress the blogger. There’s no approval process since you’re paying for the post. And there might be no control over the number of backlinks you can insert either.

And while you might think these are good things, they’re really not.

Paying for Backlinks vs. Paying for a Link Building Service

It’s important that we distinguish the difference between paying for a backlink vs paying for link building service.

Paying for backlinks is bad. Good marketers will highly advise you to stay away from this tactic. Google doesn’t encourage paid guest blogging either. And the reason is simple — It goes against the logic behind its algorithm. Google wants people to link to sites organically.

And while it does acknowledge that guest posting is mostly transactional in nature (in that users exchange content for backlinks), it will not condone people paying bloggers in cash or kind.

Paying for link-building service is a different matter though. In this case, you’re paying a person or a business to be guest bloggers on your behalf. It’s no different than hiring freelance writers to write for your own blog.

Link building services are perfectly fine — unless these services buy links from bloggers. In that case, Google will look at it as a link scheme which means you’ll get penalized anyway. That’s why it’s important that you thoroughly research any service provider you’re considering working with.

The Penalty for a Paid Guest Post

We’ve mentioned a couple of times that Google penalizes domains caught buying backlinks from bloggers. But what is the penalty exactly?

If you end up violating Google’s link building guidelines and you’re caught doing so, the company will have no problem removing your domain from the search results. At best, you’ll find yourself near the very bottom.

That’s a big price to pay for backlinks. And it’s certainly not worth the risk considering there are better guest blogging opportunities out there.

Besides, even if paid guest posting ends up working great, its benefits won’t last. That’s because paid guest blogging—more often than not—relies on low-authority domains. And as any online marketer will tell you, guest contributions from low-quality sites hold little to no SEO value.

The Perks of Organic Guest Posting

There are far more advantages to organic guest posting, which is what companies with a high-quality guest post service offer. For starters, you get to pick which blog owners to send a guest post pitch to. That’s important because, as we discussed earlier, you only want backlinks from domains with high authority.

And when you get backlinks manually, there’s no risk of Google penalizing you. You can breathe more freely and focus on other tasks at hand.

It can also help your writing career because high-quality sites get more traffic. That means your articles get exposed to more people. And when that happens, you’ll be seen as an authority figure in your niche. This can lead to more opportunities for you down the road.

Having to do things manually may seem like a lot of work — and it is. However,  it lets you add relevant links to your pages without the risk of getting punished by Google’s algorithm. And should the work become unbearable, you can always get a freelance writer and pay them per post. Hiring writers is always a good idea especially if there are too many guest blog post opportunities.

In fact, you can hire an entire team of guest posters. They can handle everything from reaching out to bloggers, doing research, making pitches, writing content, and monitoring their progress. That’s what some small business owners do.

Ultimately, the decision will be yours. So long as you contribute content and build links on reputable sites with high domain ratings, you should be just fine.

Conclusion: Link Buying Is a Bad Practice

You should avoid paid guest blogging at any cost. It’ll only do more harm than good. It’s difficult to recover from a Google penalty.

If you’re finding it difficult to do guest blogs organically, then we suggest that you pay for a guest post link service instead. That way, you’re paying people to do all the work for you but only pay for backlinks that get published on high-authority domains.

Not only do they have the experience of working with blog owners, but they already know all the sites accepting posts as well as their submission guidelines.

It’s a happy compromise between paying for a full team of writers and flat-out paying for backlinks.

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