Guidelines for Write Speak Sell Guest Blog Posts

Since writing this post sometime ago, I have refined these guidelines. Please click on the tab “Guest Post Guidelines” for the newest version. Thank you.

I’ve been thinking that I should establish guidelines for guest posts on my blog, and have been tooling around the web and reading the guidelines of other folks who accept guest blogs. I wrote about this earlier and said I’d be drawing up a list of guidelines, so here they are.

It’s not that I’m such a big shot that people are clamoring to write for me and I’m holding them off with a stick. No, it’s more that I want to avoid miscommunications or hurt feelings when I receive a guest post (which I most likely have requested) and it’s not quite right for my blog.

These are not engraved in stone, so I’d appreciate your suggestions.  Here goes:

  1. The post needs to align with my brand:  social media and business writing that sells. Is your blog relevant to my audience?  I reserve the right to make exceptions. Sometimes a piece is so good, even if it’s a little off the subject, that I’ll run with it.
  2. It should be from 400-1,000 words with an image supplied by the author, plus the author’s head shot..
  3. It needs to be well written (I know this seems obvious) and grammatically correct.
  4. Every guest post by definition is self-promoting but it can’t be an outright sales pitch.
  5. No affiliate links.
  6. Internal links should be limited to your own blog and to sources that support the article’s main points.
  7. My preference is for an original article. I’m agreeable to considering blogs that were previously published if they are chock full of information that would benefit my readers. But I need to know in advance so I can indicate the original source of the blog. The blog can’t infringe on anyone else’s copyrighted material.
  8. If I use a guest post, which links back to the author’s site, I’d appreciate a link back to my site.
  9. The author’s bio should be about 50 words with a link back to the writer’s site.  It will go at the bottom of the post with a possible comment by me.
  10. If a guest post on my site receives comments, then the author should respond to each one.  It’s only common courtesy
  11. It would be hard to think I wouldn’t publish a post because it doesn’t meet my criteria, but I do need to reserve that right.

So, what do you think? Anything to add?

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Comments

  1. Extremely thorough list Jeannette. Do you edit the guest posts at all? If so, you might want to let bloggers know upfront that they should anticipate light editing if it’s needed.

  2. Good list, Jeannette. I have accepted a few guest posts on one of my blogs as well but did not have a set of guidelines.

    I like your specifics about links/affiliate links, etc.
    Two questions that have come up for me in the past are:
    1. will the links to the other person’s site (and theirs back to you) be no-follow links, or do you want to specify that they cannot be?
    2. If you are an affiliate for your guest blogger, is it OK if you change their link to your affiliate link for them? For internet marketers this is usually a given – and that’s why the guest blogger agreed to write a post – but it’s a good thing to spell out.
    For example, if someone publishes a guest post from me about personal growth, which in turn is free publicity for me, I would assume they will use their affiliate url for the link back to my site, but I don’t know that everyone would assume that. (If they are marketing on the internet and actually have an affiliate program, it seems reasonable they would think that, but you never know…)

  3. Nina — I think it’s only polite to allow the link to the guest blogger’s site be follow (not no follow) if they’ve taken the time to write the post for me.

  4. I agree, Jeannette – it’s the polite and proper thing to do when it’s a direct link. If it’s an affiliate link, it may or may not have their domain name in the link, so then it’s a judgment call.

    If someone is intentionally seeking guest bloggers, they could make a point to include a statement that they always use follow links since it will make guest blogging on their site more enticing.

    And…for those who guest blog for other people, it might be worth clarifying, depending on your objectives for writing the guest post.

  5. Jeannette:

    Your list is what I have been looking for to help with my guest blogging guidelines. I won’t quote you verbatim but I will be using your ideas. No sense recreating the wheel.

    Thanks,

    Rob