Are you a blog owner looking to populate your blog with all sorts of fresh content, but you can’t afford to hire a staff of writers? Are you a blogger who wants to get his or her name out there and build some backlinks, but you’re having a hard time finding sites that want to partner with you? Bridging this divide is the service offered by Guest Crew, a site that prides itself in being a community of guest bloggers.

Free Guest Articles

The fundamental idea behind Guest Crew is decidedly simple and straightforward. You have people who are willing to write articles on a wide range of topics and then you have people who want to have free content on their sites. Guest Crew connects these two groups through a free and open marketplace.

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The registration process only takes a few moments and then you are set up to engage in the forum-like interface of Guest Crew. As a blog owner, you can browse through the articles gallery to see what articles are currently available through the site. As far as I can tell, the articles should be completely original and will not be reproduced anywhere else. That being said, you can’t just pick one up and start publishing it, because the original author has to authorize your site of that blog post.

On the other side of the transaction is the guest blogger who wrote that original article. While it is free for blog owners to publish the content made available through Guest Crew, it costs the guest blogger one dollar for every article he or she wishes to upload. This is regardless of whether or not the article eventually gets picked up by a site owner somewhere.

While there is certainly some variance in terms of length and quality, I found that the vast majority of articles offered through Guest Crew are in the 800-word kind of range. It helps that you are also offered a short description and relevant tags, as well as a series of categories, so you can quickly browse through to find an article that would fit your site.

Sample Posts and Article Requests

Of course, if you agree to publish a guest post on your site, you want to make sure that it is relevant to your audience and you want the writing to be up to your standards. To this end, when you go to the articles gallery and click through on any individual article, you get an excerpt and some author information.

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From there, you can decide if you’d like to offer to publish the article on your blog. There are many posts available through the articles gallery, but you might not find the one that addressese a particular subject that you want covered. For that, you can turn to the article requests gallery and simply ask one of the community members to write on that subject. Getting connected is much the same way.

The Kickoff Contest

Of course, an online community like Guest Crew is only as powerful as its members. To this end, it’s important to them to get as many people on board — both as guest bloggers and as publishers — as possible. To help with that, Guest Crew has launched a $500 cash prize contest.

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Entries to the contest run until the end of July, but you have until August 15th to promote your posts. You see, the way you enter is that you write a blog post on your own site about Guest Crew and this contest. You then get active on the forums and promote your post. You earn posts based on how successful you are and the winner is selected by sole judge Brian Belfitt from Blog Engage.

Check the contest forum thread for more detailed information.