Want to Guest Post on a High Ranking Website? Get Out Your Wallet

By Karen Cioffi

Content marketing is where it’s at today and that includes guest blogging on high ranking, high quality sites.

It’s usually a win-win situation: you provide needed content for a blog owner and you get to broaden your visibility, which in turn may increase your mailing list or boost some other call-to-action you have in place at the end of your guest article.

As part of guest blogging, you need to find those high ranking sites, in order to query them. I did that with a particular health website and got a surprise.

The Guest Posting Guidelines page had “Article Publishing Rates” on it. Below the title was a list of time periods for publishing and the related fee. No, I’m not kidding.

The fees ranged from $5 to get published on the site between 15-29 days of submitting, to $80 to publish your article within 24 hours. Oh, you can possibly publish for free if you allow 30-60 days for publishing, but there’s no guarantee your article or email will even be seen. Priority is given to paid articles.

For the free option, you’ll have worked on a top-notch health article as part of your content marketing strategy, submit it, and possibly wait two months, with no guarantees that article will see the light of day.

Under the “Article Publishing Rate” section, the blog owner listed the reasons why paying him to guest on his site was in your best interest. An interesting approach.

This blog owner is charging you for the use of his website authority. (Wonder what Google thinks of this.)

While there are advantages to having an article on a high ranking website, is the practice of paying to get it there ethical? Should you pay to get on a high quality site?

To Pay or Not to Pay

I don’t think a writer should pay to guest blog on a high ranking site. The site owner should value quality content, realizing that it’s the great content that is boosting him to a higher ranking. The blog owner should want top writers to guest blog for the site. Charging a fee will cause those top writers to back off (in my opinion anyway).

The high ranking sites I’ve guest blogged for are free or PAY YOU for your content.

Since I didn’t want to take my own opinion on this topic as the actual truth, I did some research. Interestingly, I couldn’t even find a Google search query term that would bring me to information on paying a blog owner to guest blog on his site, at least not on the first SERP (search engine results page).

The first SERP was full of information on getting paid to guest blog for high ranking websites, which is just the opposite. There was nothing about having to pay the site owner to get your content on his site.

This leads me to believe it’s an uncommon practice and one I won’t be partaking in.

What are your views on having to pay to guest blog on a high ranking website?


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Dr John Yeoman said...

Karen,I'm sure we agree that site owners who charge people to post on their site are wrecking their own site. They'll publish dross and their site traffic will collapse. It's akin to the short-sighted idiots who litter their sites with Google ads. For a few dollars a month, they destroy their credibility.

I'm constantly approached by would-be guest posters who want to link their dross to a diet plan site, etc, and offer to 'sponsor' their post. I tell them to go to the Huffington Post, where garbage ads are warmly welcomed :)

Unknown said...

Interesting Karen, thanks for pointing this out.

Whether one approves of the money making scheme of the website you refer to or not, I would like your readers to be aware that it is against Google's guidelines to sell and buy links that "pass "PageRank" (PageRank is an algorithm used by Google to evaluate the importance of a website, an increase in the number of relevant links to a site may cause an increase in ranking on Google).

So if the guest blog post has a link to a (your) site that passes PageRank, both the seller (the website) and buyer of links (you), that pass PageRank, can be penalized in their Google rankings (there is another big philosophical discussion around this).

There is a way to "code" the links so that they do not pass PageRank, in which case there will be a link to your site that can send readers of the guest blog post to your site, but it will not cause a potential increase in your ranking on Google, and Google is fine with this.

According to Matt Cutts of Google, in charge of Web Spam at "Google does consider buying text links for PageRank purposes to be outside our quality guidelines." For more info on links & Google PageRank here is a link to a document on

Hope this helps.


Karen Cioffi said...

Hi, Dr. John, It really is amazing the lengths some bloggers will go to to make money. I agree that it's very short-sighted on the part of the blog owner. I guess it takes all kinds.

Thanks for stopping by!

Karen Cioffi said...

Hi, Greg,

I'm not sure the site was involved in selling links. It seemed to me the owner was trying to cash in on his site's ranking which would bring more visibility to the contributing authors.

I don't even know if I'd consider it guest posting if you have to pay to have your content published on the site. I'm not sure what that's considered - buying space or visibility maybe?

It's the first time I ever came across a site like that. It certainly made me take a look.

I did read Matt Cutts advice on guest blogging and am glad Google is taking that road.

Very interesting about coding links to bypass RankPage.

Thanks for the link and stopping by!