A Simple Tutorial On Accepting And Handling Guest Posts

a-guest-posting-tutorial

Anyone who has chosen to feature guest posts from others should know that it could enhance their blog or drag it down the proverbial gutter.

For the record, I am all for guest posting; but that was not always the case in the past.

When I first started Renard’s World, I wanted nothing to do with it.

What was it that triggered my repulsion towards accepting guest posts in the past?

I disliked the idea of showcasing guest posts from others because the experience was a disastrous one in the past (My article, Expect To See Guest Bloggers On Renard’s World In The Future, highlighted some of the horrible things that transpired with my first WordPress blog when I invited guest bloggers to submit their guest posts).

So far, things have been going rather well with my guest blogging project the second time around (And, I truly hope that it stays that way).

If you have intentions of accepting guest post submissions on your blog, you may want to grab a seat and read on closely.

Create Guest Posting Guidelines

The God’s/Goddess’s truth is that you do not want to feature subpar guest posts (those that were poorly written) on your blog (This is where guest posting guidelines come in handy).

Your guest posting guidelines could include the following things:

  • All guest posts submitted should be original and not posted anywhere else on the world wide web.
  • Affiliate links within guest posts are prohibited.
  • Guest posts should be no less than three hundred words.
  • Included images should be given the proper attribution (Unless you own the image or have chosen to use a free stock photo; which requires no attribution).
  • Those people who are interested in sending a guest post submission can add a PDF attachment via email.

Now, the above is merely an example of some of the things that would be included in the guest posting guidelines.

Where guest posting guidelines are concerned, you are free to include whatever you want, due to the fact, that it is your own blog.

Tell People The Reason Why You Rejected Their Guest Post Submission

From a realistic point of view, not every person who sends in a guest post is going to meet your criteria; this happens because:

  • Those people did not read your guest posting guidelines.
  • Their article is not suitable for your audience or your brand.
  • Their article reads like an incomplete draft; which means a lot of work is still required in transforming it into something remarkable.

One should have the kind courtesy to politely tell people the reason why they rejected their guest post submission via email.

Visit The Potential Guest Blogger’s Blog

The majority of people that are interested in sending you their guest post submission will include their blog’s URL in the email.

Since they provided you with the address to their blog, you might as well check it out.

Dear friend, you can learn a lot about a person by visiting their blog; such as:

  • Their level of expertise in blogging.
  • If they are the type of person who is consistent in the area of publishing blog posts.
  • If they are the type of person who responds to the comments that were made in the comments section of their blog.
  • Their likes and dislikes.
  • Whether or not the person specializes in a niche or they dabble regularly in miscellaneous topics.
  • The quality of blog posts that they publish on their own blog.

Where potential guest bloggers are concerned, it would be wise to have an idea of the type of people that you plan on introducing your viewing audience to.

You can think of it as doing a background check on the potential guest blogger.

See To It That Potential Guest Bloggers Follow Through With Their Promises

There are bloggers who would ask you for an opportunity (via email) to have their guest post featured on your blog.

If you were interested in the idea of featuring their guest post, you would have said, “Yes,” to their proposal and wait for the arrival of their guest post.

If a month passed by and you still have not received any semblance of a guest post, you are more than free to provide them with a gentle reminder of their proposal via email.

In most instances, it would be a case of the potential guest blogger not putting a guest post together due to some other type of commitment or life’s distractions.

If they are serious about following through, they would request an extension period; which would provide them with more time to get their guest post ready for publication.

There are bloggers who give people a certain deadline to send in their guest post submissions.

In my case, I do not force my potential guest bloggers to stick to a deadline; I simply say to them, “Send me an email whenever you are finished putting your guest post together.”

Make Your Chosen Guest Bloggers Official Contributors To Your Site

Any guest blogger who accepts the invitation to become a contributor to someone’s WordPress blog can type and format their guest posts directly into the WordPress editor (I love this function because I do not have to copy the guest blogger’s article from a DOCX file and paste it into my WordPress editor).

Some bloggers might not be comfortable with the idea of someone else having access to their blog’s editor; I can assure you that it is totally safe (That is provided that the administrator of the blog chose to make the guest blogger a contributor).

And, how is such a thing totally safe?

It is safe because the contributor cannot publish anything via your WordPress editor; they can only create and edit their blog posts and when it is all finished, they can submit it to the administrator (which would be you) or the editor (someone whom you have bestowed editorial duties upon) to review.

If you would like to learn more about what I mentioned, you can have a look at, User Roles, on WordPress’s Support section.

Another nice thing about that is the guest blogger gets full credit for their work.

Anyone who comes across their guest post via the WordPress Reader will see their name along with their Gravatar image (This, in my opinion, is way better than the administrator publishing it under their own name and adding a guest post by whomever in the title; which is something I have seen quite a lot on WordPress).

Proofread All Guest Posts Before Publishing Them

Most serious-minded bloggers would proofread their own blog posts before publishing them.

Therefore, if you have adopted the habit of proofreading your blog posts before pressing the Publish tab, you would not think twice about proofreading the guest posts that were submitted by your guest bloggers.

For the record, proofreading the guest posts from your guest bloggers is highly recommended.

Why?

Because you will want to make sure that it does not contain any sort of typographical errors or grammatical errors (The best writer on the face of the Earth will make a few of those occasionally).

Always remember, that we human beings are not one hundred percent error-proof.

The risk of us making typographical errors or grammatical errors becomes high whenever we are mentally exhausted or distracted by someone or something.

I am fully aware of the fact, that people are supposed to proofread their guest posts before submitting them to you.

However, it is always a wise decision to proofread all of the guest posts that were sent to you by your guest bloggers (You can think of it as the last line of defence).

Include A Guest Author Bio For All Guest Posts

The sole purpose of adding a guest author bio for the guest blogger is to let your readers know a bit of information about them and to also provide the URL for the guest blogger’s homepage (This is placed at the bottom of their guest post).

Unfortunately, all WordPress themes do not do this by default; if you are on the self-hosted version of WordPress, you can add it via a plugin.

Those of us who blog on WordPress.com will have to type in the necessary information manually.

Personally, I think that adding a guest author bio at the bottom of all guest posts is a superb way of making sure that the guest bloggers get the credit that they rightfully deserve.

Do Make Sure That The Guest Posts Are Aligned With Your Brand

If your blog is one that is based on home and gardening, you would want to make sure that the guest posts from your guest authors are also based on home and gardening.

Publishing a guest post that is based on sports will stick out like a sore thumb.

However, if your blog is not a niche-related blog, you are free to accept guest posts that are based on any topic (Provided that they went through a strict proofreading process by the people who submitted them).

Realistically speaking, you should know the type of guest posts that would be most valuable to your readers.

So, it is up to you to choose wisely.

Let The Guest Bloggers Know When Their Guest Posts Are Published Or When They Are Going To Be Published

Your guest bloggers have every right to know when their guest post is published or when it is going to be published on your blog.

And, what is the reason for doing that?

You do it because it grants them the opportunity to:

  • Read their guest post on your blog (There is nothing quite like reading their featured article on someone else’s blog).
  • Share it on their social media accounts.
  • Respond to comments in a timely manner.

You can notify your guest bloggers about the date and time of the published article via email (They would appreciate it a lot if you sent them a link to their guest post).

However, if you plan on scheduling any of your guest bloggers’ work on your blog for a future date, tell them the date and the time that their guest posts would be published.

Promote Guest Posts On Your Social Media Accounts

Guest posts have a greater chance of reaching a much wider audience by promoting them on social media.

If you are in the habit of promoting your own blog posts on social media, you might as well do the same for all guest posts.

You can even ask the featured guest blogger (via an email message) to promote their guest post on social media (In most instances, it is not necessary for you to do so because most guest bloggers would promote their own guest posts on social media without being asked by anyone).

Final Thoughts

Featuring guest posts does not have to be rocket science.

As a matter of fact, any blogger who chooses to feature guest posts on their blog can do it.

Simply follow the steps that were stipulated in this blog post; in a proverbial nutshell, they are:

  • Creating guest posting guidelines for anyone who is interested in submitting a guest post to follow.
  • Telling the person the reason why you rejected their guest post submission.
  • Visiting the potential guest blogger’s blog with the intention of learning more about them.
  • Seeing to it that your potential guest bloggers follow through with their promises.
  • Making your guest bloggers official contributors.
  • Proofreading the guest posts from all guest bloggers before publishing their work on your blog.
  • Including a guest author bio for all guest bloggers.
  • Making sure that the guest posts are aligned with your brand.
  • Letting your guest bloggers know exactly when you plan on publishing their guest post or notifying them as soon as you publish their guest post on your blog.
  • Promoting guest posts on your social media accounts.

By the way, if you also feature guest posts on your blog, I would love to read about your unique method via the comments section of my blog.

And, thank you for perusing my simplified method of accepting and handling guest posts.

35 thoughts on “A Simple Tutorial On Accepting And Handling Guest Posts

    1. ๐Ÿ™‚ Sadje, thank you for saving this blog post of mine for future reference.

      You might find yourself singing a different tune one year from now or later.

      Do keep in mind, that I had no intention of featuring guest posts on “Renard’s World” when it came into inception.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Very timely! I just happened to be in talks with a friend concerning a series of guest posts. Only thing is that he’s not on WordPress, so I’ll probably have to sort that out. But definitely worth the read!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. These are excellent thoughts, Renard and thank you for sharing them. I haven’t considered guest posts but, you never know. I feel sometimes we need to change or enhance our blogs so it’s important to keep an open mind.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you, Dolly.

      In regards to guest blogging the first time around, I experienced the following nightmarish things:

      โ€ข People not proofreading their guest post submissions (Despite the fact, that proofreading them before sending them was included in the guest blogging guidelines).

      โ€ข People trying to pass off other people’s work as their own.

      โ€ข Guest bloggers failing to respond to the comments that were made in the comments section of their guest posts.

      โ€ข Guest bloggers leaving links to affiliate products in their guest posts.

      I am pleased to know that I have wonderful people like yourself contributing guest posts this time around.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I thank you for sharing those issues, Renard. I can certainly relate to your concerns. Sometimes I come across an interesting recipe that I would love to feature on my blog, but the grammar is so atrocious that I simply can’t bring myself to open my blog to it. I am a grammar Nazi, as you know! I think some people truly don’t realize how bad their grammar is.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s so important to ensure that guest bloggers respond to comments. I’ve only had one guest blogger who failed to respond to any comments on their guest post. Although I kept reminding him to respond to comments, he still didn’t answer them. In the end, I took the post down.

    I also get lots of people contacting me with guest post requests, many of whom say they love reading my blog and are big fans, yet I’ve never seen them ‘like’ or leave any comments. Most of these are spammers. I found the best way to stop them from contacting you is to tell them they’re welcome to submit a post under your guidelines, but that there is a charge of ยฃ50 when doing so. They soon stop contacting you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hugh, it was brilliant of you to give the spammer the impression that in addition to following the guidelines, they had to pay a ยฃ50 fee.

      Also, a guest blogger who does not respond to comments is a person who will sully the reputation of your blog. You did the right thing by removing their post.

      Thank you for your participation!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have been featuring guest posts on my site but not actively seeking out guest authors.
    These are some great tips I am still considering turning guest articles into contributors but I have some reservations on doing that.
    But I am thinking of adding a new page to my blog acting as a directory to show bios of contributors and the articles they have done so one can easily find who else and what else has been done by the guest authors
    ~B

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I suggest that you attribute ALL images or you will end up getting into copyright issues. Far too many bloggers still think they can use any image they find online. Make sure they actually do have the rights.

    And if the image is from a site that provides free images like Pexels, Pixabay or Unsplash, it is best to specify which site and what username. Even then, some sites have run into copyright issues so they now prefer to only use images they purchase from their specific course so they have proof of acquisition.

    Sooner or later if you accept guest posts you will run into people being paid to do them. Often, they cannot write proper English (or even anything you can understand at all). Worse, they want to link to risky sites using money phrase anchor text.

    Any site owner who doesn’t know what money phrase anchor text needs to learn and avoid that before they start accepting guest posts.

    On my site, I do not allow links to sales pages, most home pages of commercial sites, or using money phrases as anchor text. A money phrase is what you would type into a search engine to find something to buy. Anchor text is simply the words that appear in the link in the text.

    If we were really excellent at SEO, we would also have some criterion for evaluating sites that we allow links to but most of us aren’t that advanced in our SEO skills.

    Liked by 1 person

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