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Free Content for Free Spirits: MyBlogGuest WordPress Plugin Review

27 March 2013 BY

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First there was God, and then came the internet. Our new religion has consumed us, and devoured us whole – every last megabyte. Content is the new Holy Grail, and links are our happy ever after, but what about legacy? What about the good of Mankind? Here we take a look at the shiny new plug-in from the guys at MyBlogGuest.com, to see if our prayers really have been answered.

What’s it all about anyways?

Looking at the MyBlogGuest site, you’d be forgiven for thinking it had been around since the beginning of time, or at least since the beginning of the internet – but we all know life didn’t exist before the internet. Actually, the site has only been around for a few years. It was born out of the age-old law of supply and demand. People wanted to write on other people’s blogs, and other people wanted free content. It was a win-win setup. It wasn’t originally all about obtaining links, although, as we all now know, that’s certainly where it ended up. Back in the day (about a year or two ago) the site was nothing more than a forum where you could talk to people about guest blogging; either offering content, or offering your blog as a platform in exchange for free content. I tried it a couple of times but found it frustrating to navigate. Still, I appreciated their efforts and could see the value in what they were trying to do. It’s clear that they’re really working hard on the service they provide.

But now, in 2013, everything’s changed. Hasn’t it?

Well, now you don’t have to waste an afternoon trying to find your way through endless forum folders; folders that never seem to contain the information which the label would lead you to believe. Now you don’t even have to ‘advertise’ that you are open to hosting guest bloggers on your site. Now you don’t even have to leave your dashboard to get that all important fix of free content. This has all been made possible by the new plug-in which connects your blog directly to a world of guest bloggers.

The Good Bits

Most of us, even those of us that love to write – and I really do love to write – will understand how hard it can be to create fresh content for our sites and clients’ sites on a regular basis. It’s not only time consuming, but also energy sapping and frequently painful. There are those days that you simply haven’t got it in you to sit down and focus long enough to create something worth publishing.

So when those days occur, when you have crap to deal with from your boss/client/mother/partner, but you still REALLY need to get that new blog post published, well those are the days when you would turn to MyBlogGuest. Once you’ve signed up and created an account, your WordPress dashboard will (almost immediately) be bombarded with offers of free posts. You can specify what kind of content you’d like to be offered, and so far it seems that the filtering function works pretty well. What’s more, the authors of the content can be ‘graded’ so you can quickly assess the quality.

In the space of a week I’ve been offered six travel-related posts. One of which I considered to be good enough to consider publishing – the rest, not so much. But the point is, it was there when I didn’t have it in me to sit down and write 500-600 words of my own. And for these occasions, I can easily see how the MyBlogGuest plug-in could quite quickly become a blogger’s best friend.

The Bad Bits

Finding the plug-in (even once I knew it existed) was almost impossible because of the site’s poor usability – sorry to be harsh but I have to be objective. It has a feel of web 1.0 and it detracts from the overall experience. In fact, it took me the best part of an afternoon to find and install the MBG plug-in, which is awfully slow even for me.

Unfortunately, like everything pure, it hasn’t taken long for the good intentions of the guys at MBG to be demonised. The content can often be of a low standard and contain more spammy links than you can shake a flagellant’s whip at! But how could we possibly complain when it’s FREE content, delivered (literally) to our doorstep? Well I’ll tell you why.

Benefits for blog owner:

  • Get free exclusive content
  • Get free targeted traffic
  • Network
  • Get new fresh perspective
  • More!

 

Benefits for guest bloggers:

  • Reach new audience
  • Build your brand
  • Network
  • Build links to your site
  • More!

 

Overall thoughts

In the grand scheme of things we’re still at the very beginning of our industry and it makes me sad that we’re already trying to systemise the most creative aspect of our job. What is our job? To help sites rank higher? To build more pages and blog posts than the next hobnob in town? No. Our job is to come up with bigger and better ideas, to constantly think up fresh thoughts, and try to foster them into the digital world. With care and compassion. It really isn’t about “more”, and it really is about “better”. So, now, when I find myself lazily browsing through the MBG plug-in trying to find something that’s decent enough to publish, I’ll give myself a gentle slap in the giggle berries to snap myself out of it. Because quite frankly, if I don’t have the ability or creativity to write my own blog posts, for myself, or the clients I’m working for, then perhaps I’m not cut out for the job. It’s like an artist paying someone else to paint his masterpieces, because he is feeling a little “uninspired”.

But what about using the MGB plug-in to get links from other sites?

Forgive me for I have sinned. I’ve been talking entirely about content and not about links.

Rather than continuing to preach. I’d like to leave you with a few questions.

  • How precious is the content you create?
  • Where do you really want it hosted? Where do you really want links from?
  • What is your legacy going to be when you look back on your career?
  • If a job is worth doing, isn’t it worth doing properly?
  • Are short-cuts such as the MBG plug-in really going to help you achieve any of this?

If you’ve used the MyBlogGuest plug-in then please let me know why you love/hate it – It’d be great to hear your thoughts!

AUTHORED BY:
h

Ben Holbrook is Head of Content at Verve Search and has a particular interest in content marketing and developing sustainable link development strategies.
  • James Perrin

    Hi Ben, nice review. I haven’t actually used the plug-in myself – it’s more to find unique articles, whereas I use MBG more for outreach. However, I just want to touch on a bigger point you made:

    Our job is to come up with bigger and better ideas, to constantly think up fresh thoughts, and try to foster them into the digital world. With care and compassion. It really isn’t about “more”, and it really is about “better”

    Whilst I’m a big fan of MBG, I have to completely agree with you on this. To what extent do we rely too much on making our jobs, quicker and easier, and how much creativity do we lose as a result? I’m a huge advocate of Guest Blogging, so that’s it’s done in the right way, with the right intentions for all parties. Having a plug-in like this will suit some more than others, so it can’t be demonised completely, but my general feelings adhere to yours, and blog owners should think carefully before relying on it too much.

    Great post.

  • http://twitter.com/seosmarty Ann Smarty

    Thanks for taking a look at the plugin as well. One thing: You are really looking into just one direction / implication of guest blogging: The one that aims at simplifying your life. But there are actually more reasons for someone to want to publish free content written by someone else. As someone who has been editing guest posts at Search Engine Journal and many other great blogs, I can absolutely surely state that publishing a guest post is not much faster than writing it yourself: It takes time to find images, format properly, read carefully and then promote. The value is in inspiration you feel when you update your blog when you are burnt out, the unexpected SEO value when guest posts start to rank (because guest bloggers have a different style and may hit the long tail you have never thought of), the community the guest blogger may bring with him/herself, the new “voice”/different angles your blog gets… There’s much more behind guest blogging than sheer links and easiness… Too bad many people are missing it (and hence the overwhelming trend for lower quality guest posting)!

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