Some of my students who are inclined towards writing often ask me ideas to improve their popularity as a blogger and I recommend guest posting or guest writing to all of them. Though there are Guest Posting Dos and Dont’s to be followed, it is worth the time and effort for a serious blogger in the long run. But before we get to that, let us look at what Guest Posting is.
Guest posting or guest writing is very similar to the regular blogging, except that your fabulous new content is published by another blogger on their blog and is co promoted by them. It is a mutually beneficial process for both parties involved as the guest gets introduced to a new reader base and the blogger (here the publisher) gets free, interesting content with a new voice or point of view for their blog. Sounds great, doesnt it? Its pretty awesome, if you follow basic Guest posting Etiquette.
In the past couple of months, I have received numerous requests from people all over the world to “Guest post” on my blog. Though it sounds quite flattering to get such requests, most of them turn out to be content writers out there to make a quick buck and I end up spending so much of my time and patience on them. I have nothing against content writers, I was one myself for over two years. But thankfully I wrote only for one site and never had to go around approaching blogs or sites to get my content and thereby “links” for my client.
Like any other blogger who juggles a full-time job and a blog, I too love a good Guest post. I love it when friends and followers of the guest writer come over to my blog to read and say hello. guest posts are God Sent when you have a Writer’s block. I have had guests whom I admire write for this blog, like Neena of Caprilicious Jewellery who wrote about why you should buy handmade jewellery or Keith Andrew who wrote about the Beaded brides of Africa. I have also had folks who write regularly here, people like Vichitra or John, who would do as many rewrites and corrections as it takes to get the post to my expectations. There have also been posts which I have re-written sentence after sentence just because the content was indeed very good and they have ended up bringing in tens of thousands of page views.
But then to come across hidden treasures like these, I wade through so much junk. Well, there I said it – Junk. A bit tired of keeping up with my habit of replying to every single one of the emails I get, I decided to share with not just potential guest posters regarding the articles I am looking for but also shed some more light on Guest posting etiquette in general. Fair warning, though – this is going to be a long post.
Guest Posting Dos and Don’ts – For the guest writer
1. Do send a personalised mail – When I see a mail with BCC or CC address listing I don’t feel like reading it, so I simply delete it. I hate reading request emails that are completely generic where the writer has no clue about who I am or what my blog is about. Sending a personalised mail shows that the writer is sincere and really want the opportunity.
2. Read the blog before you approach – This seems like a no-brainer, but when you read some request emails its apparent that they haven’t read a single post. Before you approach a blogger, please read their articles, understand the language, voice, and tone of the blog, categories that already there and propose new topics that will fit in the blog’s niche. This would make them want to take your request seriously.
3. Do Submit Original, Interesting Content – the first rule of successful blogging is to post Original Content. So why will any blogger worth their salt agree to post duplicate content scrambled together from different sites along with existing images? Boss, I want you to add value to my blog, not make me guilty of supporting plagiarism! Do bear in mind that I run all submitted posts through the dupli checker before posting them.While you are there, make the content interesting – specific to the blog and its audience. I get posts that go like this “Women like wearing jewellery, jewellery like necklaces, earrings and bracelets are in trend” and they make me want to tear my already thinning hair in half. Instead, be specific talk about the type of necklaces or bracelets in trend and link to a forecast. I’ll respect you immensely for that effort. But otherwise I am not posting it as I have an intelligent audience and I do not want to disappoint them. I am sure many bloggers will agree with me on this one.
4. Please DON’T try to sneak in Commercial links – This is what annoys me the most, why do people think they can make money using my blog. I provide 2-3 Free links to personal blogs, site or social media pages, sometimes more depending on the author but I don’t like using . Disclose the fact that you’ll be linking back to commercial sites (and getting paid for them), disclose when using affiliate links as you need to pay for them. Most Bloggers, including me, accept these links but remember that Commercial links are NOT FREE, They’ll be paid “Nofollow” links
5. Check for errors before you submit – I use a very conversational tone in my blog but then “If i is 2 rite lik dis den nobdy wont 2 reed”. So please, please do a spell check and a grammar check before you submit your article to a blogger. Grammarly offers free basic extensions for Chrome, firefox, and even a free desktop app, so use it to your advantage and churn out great posts.
6. Do send Images – Images play a very important role in attracting reader’s attention. Always submit your posts with at least 2 original pin-worthy images and more in the case of a tutorial (more on this in an upcoming post). The best etiquette is to submit 3 images – one landscape (for sharing on Google+, facebook and twitter), one vertical image for pinterest and one square image to link to Linky parties. You can also combine the square with either the landscape or the portrait. Stock images are acceptable but nothing like an original photograph, sketch or even a digitally created illustration. You don’t have to be a professional photographer with a DSLR camera to create images – A simple photo editing software would do. I created the first image of this post in 5 minutes using a sample photo that comes preloaded in Windows Pictures folder and a couple of nice fonts.
# Font Tip – Pick a max of 2 fonts and Use the same fonts on all the images within the same post
7. Promote the post – Please do not fully repost that article on your blog, Ever! If you want to blog about your guest post and direct your readers to the publisher‘s website write a new introduction and add not more than 3-5 sentences from the guest post with a link. You can also include a small para about the destination blog to create a context for your readesrs. Submit the destination url (not the url of your introduction post) to linky parties and social media platforms. Yes, I want you to promote another blog as it contains your work.
Guest Posting Dos and Dont’s – For the blogger
1. Display your rules or your expectations for the guest post, prominently on your blog
2. Stick to your rules, add disclaimers and disclosure statements, particular for paid posts
3. Promote your guest posts as you would promote your own posts – Share them freely at linky parties and on all your social media channels
4. Communicate regularly with the guest; inform them about your rules, your background, voice and your readers so that the guest doesn’t have to assume anything. Write to the guest poster with the published link once it goes online so that they can promote it
5. Do not add more than 1-2 in bound links to other articles from your blog
6. Develop a good relationship with the guest by visiting their blogs regularly and by liking or commenting on the posts that you find interesting
Well, that was a long post, but I am still not done on this topic. So come back next week, when we shall discuss content ideas for guest posts that every blogger (and specifically me!!) will want. Till then, I hope that these tips regarding Guest Posting Dos and Dont’s will be of use to you.
Do tell me in the comments about your guest posting experiences – either as a guest or a publisher and also share with us, any more tips, Guest Posting Dos and Dont’s that you follow.
I hope you found it interesting