The world of guest blogging is gaining speed and quickly becoming one of the most popular and most effective ways to build links. Most people saw what guest blogging was doing for everyone else and decided to jump on the bandwagon even though they didn’t have any knowledge of what it entailed. It should be easy, shouldn’t it? All you do is write an article, throw in a couple links and you’re good to go, right? WRONG! Guest posting is about a lot more than that. If this is your mindset, it’s time for a change.
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There are three sides to guest posting: the author, the blog owner and the reader. Each has their own responsibilities and expectations.
Author Do’s and Don’ts
As an author it falls under your umbrella of responsibilities to make sure you are writing good-quality, unique and engaging articles. You may think it’s easy to submit an article but unfortunately many authors make mistakes when they approach a blog owner, when they submit their article and even once the article is posted. There are several things that you need to make sure you do or don’t do.
Do send a polite email to the person in charge of guest posting when you first approach them. Review their blog beforehand! You are asking to be published on their blog, know what it’s about. Present either a fully written article or a list of 2 to 3 ideas you could write about.
Don’t leave them hanging. Respond to all emails they send you, even if they reject your submission or you decide not to let them publish your article. You want to have a good reputation, always follow through.
Don’t send them an email and ask what they want you to write. Provide them with an article or a couple ideas. If they don’t like any of them, they will tell you. If they have something specific in mind, they will let you know. You shouldn’t expect them to do all the work for you.
Don’t demand that you’re submission be published. This is one of my personal pet peeves. If the blog owner determines that you’re article, for whatever, is reason is not a good fit, you can offer to change it, but don’t demand that it be published. I have received several submission emails from prospective guest authors that look something like this:
Here is my article. Post it on www.blog.com on Monday. I expect you to send me the link when it goes live.
Your Next Rejected Submission
This email is rude, there’s no other way to explain it. There is a difference between showing initiative and offending the person who decides what to do with your article. As a guest author you should be trying to build a good reputation with blog owners. You should be polite and courteous. Say ‘please’ and ‘thank- you’, even if they reject your submission. There are so many guest posters out there and that makes you expendable. You can and will be replaced if you are hard to work with.
Don’t submit articles that have nothing to do with their blog. The blogs I accept guest posts for are about real estate, internet marketing, finances and entrepreneurs. I can’t count the number of submitted articles I have received that are about owning an exotic pet, vacationing in Europe, or even how to make this Valentines Day special. These articles have nothing to do with what my readers want. It is your job to make sure that you are submitting the right kind of article. Do your research on the blog; find out their niche.
Do edit your article before submitting it. You should be sending in your final draft, not your first. It is not the blog owners’ responsibility to edit your grammar, word choice, paragraph placement or even the general flow of the article. These are things you should take care of. If English is your second language, find a native English speaker to edit it before you send it. It wouldn’t hurt to have someone else read it even if you are a native English speaker. A second opinion is always good.
Don’t get discouraged. If your submission is rejected send a polite email asking what you need to change or fix. Work on those things and continue writing and submitting your articles.
Don’t fill your blog with useless or unrelated links.
Do follow all the guidelines the blog has set for guest posts. Don’t think that you are exempt from them for some reason.
Blog Owner Do’s and Don’ts
Do respond to emails promptly, even if you are rejecting the submission. Authors need to know if they should move on to another blog or if they can expect to be published through you.
Do be polite. Even if the article is horribly written, write the author and let them know what they need to work on. If the article is great, tell them; those are the authors you want coming back, encourage that.
Do allow a byline and a place for the author to include their personal link. There is a reason they are guest posting, it’s all about link building.
Don’t tell someone you will post their article and then not follow through. It has happened before. Blog owners get busy and forget about a submission and never post it. It’s your job to stay organized and make sure you are posting articles where and when you say you will.
Do approach authors you want to publish on your blog with a polite and encouraging email. Give them ideas for articles they could write for you. Express your interest in other articles they have written. Let them know why you chose them to write for your blog.
Reader Do’s and Don’ts
These articles were written for you to enjoy, to learn from, to peak your interest in something new and even inform you.
Do take time to make comments, positive or negative; both can help the author improve. They also let the blog owner know what their readers want more of and what they don’t care for.
While many of these tips may seem like common sense, it’s amazing how many people disregard them. Following through on these things will help you to build a good reputation as an author, a blog owner, or both.