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The Ultimate Guide to Accepting Guest Posts on Your Blog

This is a guest post written by Ann Smarty, founder of My Blog Guest, a community for guest bloggers.

Accepting guest posts on your blog is a great way to give your site fresh insight and to offer some variety. Most of popular blogs in any niche take advantage of guest contributions for a few reasons:

  • Guest authors bring in new ideas and unique style. They also contribute some new information you were not aware of (and thus make your blog comprehensive). Here’s a simple example: as a search expert I am aware of quite a few search tricks few people know or use. Therefore my post on using Google creatively to save money on a popular personal finance blog seemed so fresh and interesting to the blog author and the readers.
  • Guest contributions allow you to take a day off. No, seriously, blogging is a continuous commitment. It is so refreshing to take some rest and relax while keeping your blog updated. I do agree you shouldn’t overuse that because your blog might lose voice but keeping one day a week for guest contributions is a great idea!
  • Guest contributions can be an awesome source of inspiration. You blog daily and a day comes when you realize you don’t know what to write about. You have no ideas and everything that comes to mind have already been covered. Now imagine that a new person enters your community and offers something completely different. Or maybe he even writes something that you have already mentioned – but he uses a unique style, a different perspective and a new format. And your readers find that awesome! Now you feel inspired! You feel you know how to re-use your previously published ideas to find new ones and how to re-think your previously published opinions to spur new discussion.

So I guess, the benefits of accepting guest posts are quite clear. Now, let see how to do that painlessly, almost effortlessly and to the maximum efficiency.

1. Clearly Invite Guest Posters

People reading your blog will most likely want to guest post one day. Or at least they will know that you accept guest posts and will then invite their friends who happen to look for guest posting opportunities. Therefore making it clear that you are looking for guest contributions is such a good idea.

The best way to encourage guest articles is to do the following:

  1. Post an announcement at your blog inviting guest contributors.
  2. Create a static page explaining how to submit a guest post and link to the page from your blog main navigation menus.

A good way to name the page is one of the following:

  • “Submit a guest post” (if you are looking for one-time contributors);
  • “Write for us” / “Become an author” (if you are more interested in regular contributors).

This will both tell your readers that you accept guest posts and also will help those using Google to find guest posting opportunities to come across your blog.

2. Clearly State Your Guest Post Requirements

Guest posting is not a new concept but the process as well as rules are still undefined and can vary from blog to blog. Besides, you don’t want to spend plenty of time editing the submissions, so you need clear guidelines to keep the low-quality guest posts to minimum.

I don’t like long lists of rules because people tend to never read them all, so be sure to only list what is really important.

Consider the following guidelines to be included for example:

  • Required topics (This especially makes sense if you only want contributors to write on some specific topic that you want to cover on your blog but don’t have expertise in);
  • Minimum post length (This one may seem superfluous because it somehow limits the author’s creativity: people can actually be brief and provide great content at the same time. But per my experience, this one is required to cut down on short incomplete posts written for the sole purpose to get a link back).
  • Post formatting requirements (Would you like the post submitted in HTML? Do you use H2 tags?)
  • Requirements to post images (Would you like the author to submit a related image? Would you like the image to be properly licensed and attributed (I bet you would!))
  • Re-publishing terms (I for one always require that the post remains never republished for the lifetime of my blog for the fear of duplicate content issue and to maintain my resource uniqueness and quality).
  • By-line requirements: How many links are allowed from the author’s bio?

It is also advisable to let the guest posters know about your editing policies. I usually state that I will only edit the posts for minor grammar mistakes and add contextual links to the related articles from my blog.

3. Clearly Describe the Post Submission Process

The easier the process of submitting the post, the better. People prefer doing it in various ways from emailing the post to adding each guest contributor to their WordPress blog authors (I myself use all of the ways for various blogs and purposes).

Here are the two ways that look convenient both from the blogger’s and author’s perspectives:

1. Grant access to your blog WordPress wp-admin and let contributors upload posts.

The method has two great advantages:

  • It is very handy for managing regular contributors who submit posts monthly or weekly. This way, they can easily log in, upload and format posts to submit for your review.
  • It is very encouraging for the guest authors to submit more posts. Next time they have a solid post idea, they will come and write the post for the blog they have access to.

If you choose this method, be sure to check my post listing some essential WordPress plugins that make the process of reviewing the guest post and notifying the author of the status easier and faster.

2. Create a form for submitting guest posts

This is an ideal method for those looking for quick one-time submissions. I have such a form for one of my blogs inviting to submit short actionable search tips. You can go with a simple form most of us have for contact page but to ensure high-quality and thorough submissions you’d better create a form that:

  • Allows to upload or attach images;
  • Has a separate fields for the post title and the author’s bio;
  • Has a reliable CAPTCHA (but the one that is possible to pass for a human being);
  • Supports HTML (or even has an HTML editor);

CformsII is a good plugin to consider for that.

And how do you encourage guest contributions and make the submission process user-friendly?


Ann Smarty is a search blogger and social media enthusiast. If you are serious about guest blogging, join the forum started by Ann – My Blog Guest. My Blog Guest is a good place for those who plan to accept guest contributions on a regular basis or look for guest posting opportunities on popular blogs in various niches.
Follow Ann Smarty on Twitter: @seosmarty.

Post image by JoshuaDavisPhotography. COM

Categories: Blogging Tips, Guest Posts, Important
Tags: , , , ,

This post was written by . You can visit the for a short bio, more posts, and other information about the author.

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Comments

  1. Jennifer Brown Banks ) says: 3/22/2010

    Good tips, Ann!

    And I can attest that these guidelines work, as I have contributed to various sites within your “My Blog Guest Community” that adhered to them. Much continued success.

    Reply

  2. Marcus Gardner ) says: 3/22/2010

    I use WordPress on my blog and, to be honest I’m not that technically minded.
    Would you happen to know of a plugin I could use to enable this feature?
    My other concern would be the possibility of opening my blog up to spam and abuse. I know Captcha and the like are quite good, but once you get popular isn’t it going to be difficult to stay on top of the ‘inappropriate’ content problem bearing in mind the amount of work we already have to do?

    Editor’s note: Homepage link in comment removed.

    Reply

    • Ann Smarty ) says: 3/23/2010

      I listed a few essential plugins for that. As for spam concerns, you still do have some contact page on your blog, do you? A guest post submission form won’t generate more spam that that contact one of yours.

      Reply

  3. Mike Storzieri ) says: 3/24/2010

    I ran across you on Twitter, and started following you. I’m just starting to research all about Guest Blogging, so your information is Golden… Thank you.

    Reply

  4. Vijay Jacob ) says: 3/25/2010

    Great post! I tend to blog a lot more of collected articles that interest me! Need to get down to writing originals. Thanks for your insights!

    Reply

  5. Business Equipment Funding says: 3/29/2010

    The article is about guest posts on your blog which is a great way to give any site fresh insight and to offer some variety. Most of popular blogs in any niche take advantage of guest contributions for a few reasons Guest authors bring in new ideas and unique style & many more through this article.

    Reply

  6. Chelsea FC - True Blue ) says: 5/26/2010

    Thanks for the excellent tips. All the articles that I previously read were about writing guest articles only.

    You were my first to give tips on accepting guest articles. Keep up the good work.

    Reply

  7. Palak says: 8/3/2010

    I could not understand this 2nd point:”Create a static page explaining how to submit a guest post and link to the page from your blog main navigation menus”.
    Could you explain me further,how to enable this.

    Further can I simply ask the guest to send me an email with their thoughts on a topic I suggest them,and then simply copy paste it to my blog ,with adding my summary?

    Reply

  8. CommDiscussion says: 10/28/2010

    I think guest posting on another blog is a great way to help build up your own site and establish a strong network.

    Reply

  9. Hannah @Cooking Manager ) says: 1/15/2011

    What do you think about content from guest posters who are clearly trying to get a link to a particular site in an unrelated niche (online college for example)? Is it bad for SEO for me to accept these posts? Some people are making a business out of this, writing on behalf of various perhaps sleazy websites.

    Reply

    • Ann Smarty ) says: 1/15/2011

      Whether it’s a guest post or not, I am always cautious as to what I am linking to. If I don’t like the website of a guest author (it looks spammy or is in the dubious niche), I’d rather reject the post.

      Luckily, behind really good content there’s usually a man with a good website (as a rule).

      Reply

      • Hannah @Cooking Manager ) says: 1/15/2011

        Thank you for getting back to me so quickly! That’s my instinct too. For the record, you can tell because they won’t link back to your post on their site. And why would you want a link from a spammy site?

        Reply

  10. Morten Pedersen ) says: 2/22/2011

    Is there a place for marketing my site that we do wan’t guest writers?

    Reply

  11. Mike Storzieri ) says: 2/23/2011

    I agree with Ann, I only accept worthy sites to link to. I reject post all the time, that are of a dubious nature.

    Reply

  12. branding agency in london says: 7/8/2011

    Thanks for one’s marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you happen to be a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will eventually come back from now on. I want to encourage one to continue your great writing, have a nice weekend!

    Reply

  13. Abu Hena Nasir Uddin says: 9/11/2011

    Same question for my article web site. My web site address http://www.bdinfotutorial.com

    Reply

  14. Taylor ) says: 11/1/2011

    These are great tips. Our company has recently started accepting guest posts on our site, using a lot of this advice. What are your suggestions for spreading the word? We’d like writers in the marketing world; targeting internet marketing, social media, and web development for small businesses. Any ideas?

    Reply

  15. Rahman @ Travel News ) says: 3/3/2012

    Now that Panda update has changed the rule of the game for article directories, guest blogging has gained even more popularity among those who care for building quality backlinks. However, content relevancy, focus on a particular niche and valuable posts add to the reputation of the author.

    Rahman Mehraby
    Travelist News Distribution

    Reply

  16. Stacie @ WomanInLeadership.com ) says: 5/29/2012

    Amy,

    This is an excellent post on guest blogging guidelines.

    I have just recently expanded my search for quality content on my blog.

    I am grateful for discovering My Blog Guest. I have only been a part of the community for less than two weeks and I have had amazing results with finding professional guest bloggers. I only want to provide quality content to my readers and so far the members in the My Blog Guest community have delivered on their promises.

    Many Blessings,

    Stacie Walker
    Woman in Leadership Founder

    Reply

  17. Robert ) says: 7/12/2012

    James, in step #2, you talk about creating a form to allow guest posts to your blog. Seeing this need, we have made the process very easy with a pre-created form and captcha that allows blogs to easily accept guest posters.

    You can sign up for free on our home page at: http://ultimateguestblogger.com/

    Hope this helps some of your blog readers.

    Cheeers,
    Robert

    Reply

  18. sanjay says: 7/22/2012

    hello ann,
    i liked this post. it will be useful to new blog owners. i have a question. please answer me.

    “”” Grant access to your blog WordPress wp-admin and let contributors upload posts””””

    you have mentioned this as one of your tips. my question : is it advisable to grant ‘admin access’ to some other persons to the site? what are the risk involved in it? don’t mistake me as i am a novice to wordpress and internet world. expecting your reply . thanks in advance.

    Reply

  19. Ziki De Naim ) says: 8/14/2012

    Hi Ann,

    Just became aware of your writing style and have enjoyed reading a few of your posts around.

    I can say that this is one of the most significant, clearly a step by step and very encouraging post about guest blogging that I’ve been reading.

    Regarding the duplicate content issue, another resource i would like to recommend is the Anti Plagiarism WordPress plugin that can help to protect our content by disabling the copy commands.

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/anti-plagiarism/

    Oh.. and thank you for easing on us by linking to all the resources needed such as plugin’s and additional posts.

    Best,
    -Ziki De Naim

    Reply

  20. information on internet marketing says: 7/17/2013

    Hi there everyone, it’s my first visit at this web site, and post is truly fruitful designed for me, keep up posting these content.

    Reply

  21. Victoria ) says: 3/5/2014

    hi Ann, you have mentioned about CformsII . is this plugin can be used in weebly sites or is it restricted only to wordpress?

    Reply

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