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.
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).
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.