HuffPost (a.k.a., The Huffington Post) has decided to shut down their entire contributors platform, which was launched in May 2005.
The platform was home to about 100,000 contributors, who covered everything from finance to relationships.
Here is a part of the email that was sent to contributors:
…we have made the decision to close the contributors platform on our U.S. site. Going forward, when you log in to the portal at contributors.huffingtonpost.com, you’ll see that you are able to access your previous drafts and published posts – and unpublish those posts if you choose to do so – but you won’t be able to post anything new. We won’t be taking down or making any changes to previously published content ourselves.
In its place, HuffPost has decided to replace the contributor content with two new sections: Opinion and Personal, which are pretty self-explanatory.
The New York Times reports that the contributor platform was only about 10 to 15 percent of its site traffic, so HuffPost isn’t losing a significant amount of traffic from the change.
However, this change comes as a shock to many contributors who relied on contributed HuffPost pieces to grow their visibility and website traffic.
But all is not lost.
Just because your time to write for HuffPost has come to an end, it doesn’t mean the collapse of all your inbound marketing efforts.
The best content marketing is usually done through the “multiple baskets” viewpoint, meaning that putting all your eggs in one basket (as the saying goes) isn’t the best strategy, as change can often come faster than we were expecting it.
But that doesn’t mean a little change isn’t good for our businesses and online visibility.
Does this signal a shift in content strategy?
HuffPost’s decision to close their contributor platform could be a sign that there is about to be a new era of guest blogging and content strategy.
It’s long been known in the industry that platforms like HuffPost and Forbes are sometimes lax with their linking policies, which has lead to entire companies launching that solely focus on offering paid guest blogging links to clients.
It’s well-known that this approach of paying for backlinks (no matter the outlet) doesn’t pay off in the long run, because links can disappear and aren’t as high quality as a link you actually earned and didn’t have to pay for.
In addition, Google’s Gary Illyes has stated that Google has a pretty good chance of ignoring links when they aren’t reputable or worthwhile, regardless of a site’s reputation.
What’s next for guest blogging?
Getting your unique content on external platforms has always been a good way to drive leads and traffic back to your site, especially when the platform is larger than yours or has a similar target audience.