Darya Pino from Summer Tomato wrote a guest post on ProBlogger yesterday entitled ‘Why You Should Charge Money to Review Guest Post Submissions‘. Her suggestion is very simple: charge guest posters $10 in order for you to review their article submissions.
I am sure many of you are surprised at this suggestion. After all, guest posters provide free content and do not get paid for their contribution therefore it seems a bit unfair to charge them for simply reviewing their submission. If all guest submissions were of a high quality then I believe it would be unfair however anyone who has run a successful blog will tell you that the majority of guest post submissions are very poor and fall below the standard most blog owners set.
This unfortunately makes reviewing guest posts very time consuming, which can unfortunately make the whole process counter productive i.e. the time you spend reviewing and editing guest posts is more than the time it would take you to write articles yourself. I certainly found this to be the case. When I advised a guest poster that I could not accept their submission as the quality of the article was below what I accepted (usually due to grammar), they would inevitably apologise for not taking the time to proof read their submission and advise that they will resubmit the post. Unfortunately, 99% of rewrites were still not good enough.
What’s interesting is that when Darya asked guest posters to donate $10 to her favourite charity, two things happened. Firstly, the number of submissions was greatly reduced, saving her a lot of her time. Secondly, the quality of submissions was much much higher. In one swoop she had reduced the time she spent organising guest posts and ensured the quality of content on her blog remained high.
Darya summed the issue up perfectly in a reply to one commenter:
..In reality guest posting is only win-win if both blogs/writers are good. If you’re a very popular blog and the other writer is not, you are doing the guest writer a favor by giving them access to your large and highly engaged audience. The best pitches I get recognize this upfront. For instance, Darren is doing me a favor here by letting me speak to a whole new group of readers as well as giving me a high-quality link back to my site.
Other publications don’t do this because they have huge staffs and make tons of money off advertising, etc. Single bloggers take a serious hit in time and work to review guest posts. Also, the model is used by large institutions such as universities. Universities charge for applications so that they’re sure the people applying have to think seriously about their chances for getting in, otherwise everyone is wasting their time.
Once the number of guest post submissions to my blogs becomes time consuming, I will probably introduce a donation system in order for posts to reviewed. I appreciate that this may discourage some bloggers from guest posting on my site however I believe that the pros outweigh the cons.
I’d love to hear your opinion on this issue. Would you ever consider charging bloggers to submit a post to your blog?