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December 7, 2012

Setting Standards for your Guest Authors

<img src="guestpostguidelines.jpg" alt="Guest Post Guidelines">

Accepting Guest Posts from others is a great way to keep your content fresh and exciting without exhausting yourself mentally. I don't know about you but between working a full-time job, household chores, paying bills and trying to keep up with the kids and my blog (which I seem to be failing at lately), I'm really needing some off time. Guest posts can definitely help regain some of your time.

Even though a guest author is helping you out by providing you with fresh content and free time, remember you are doing them a favor as well. You have worked hard on your blog and what you bring to your readers and you should expect any guest author to do the same.

I set up a page for Guest Posts here on A Little Unhinged. It provides the guidelines that I expect all guest authors to follow and how they can contact me to submit a guest post.

Here are the General Guidelines that I have established:

  • ALL guest posts must be something relevant to what we publish on A Little Unhinged. (i.e. Tips and tutorials on blogging, social networking and marketing)
  • Please keep posts short and sweet. We do not like to publish lengthy articles.
  • Article must be original, not a revision of a previously used article on your site or someone else's and not an article that you plan on publishing anywhere else in the future.
  • You may include only 1 image at the beginning of your post.
  • You can add a paragraph (4-5 Sentences) at the bottom of your post for an author bio.
  • Backlinks/Outbound Links - Only two backlinks in the author bio at the end of post. Backlinks/outbound links are not allowed anywhere else in article. 

These are just an example of what you can establish for your guest posts. Some other ideas for guidelines may be:

1. Formatting Guidelines
2. Submission Guidelines
3. Quality Guidelines
4. Editing Policies
5. Sharing Guidelines (like the author must link to it from their blog or share the article on social networking and bookmarking sites.
6. Finally, WHO can submit guest posts to you. Some guest authors work for SEO companies and are only looking for backlinks to a specific site. If you only want legitimate bloggers to submit guest posts and you only want link backs to be directed to another blog rather than a business website...state this in your guidelines.

Do you accept Guest Posts on your blog? If so, have you set up guidelines yet? What else would you add to yours?

This post was suggested by Kat @ Simply Chic For You. Stop by and check out the beautiful line of Miche purses. She also shares coming and current fashions and publishes a new article on her site every Tuesday and frequently a few in between. 


Question: Why would we not want to post an article from an SEO company? Because they are not in it to build up a fellow blogger, or would there be a downside to the links they would provide? If it is quality content... what would the downside be? 

Answer: Some bloggers consider posts done for SEO purposes to be spammy or low quality. I feel as long as the quality of the post is doesn't matter who writes it or what it links back long as it's not nothing vulgar. ;) Some blogs that allow guest posts only want to link back to other bloggers but that is their personal preference.There is no downside to the links SEO companies provide. 

Question: Under the Editing policies would that cover omitting something that was not in the spirit of your blog, or adding something that was? Or is that going to far?

Answer:  Editing policies covers things like formats. Maybe you prefer the guest post is submitted to you as HTML or that their headings is in H2 tags....things like that. 

Question: How do you word that a submission may not be accepted? And please encourage other bloggers who request submissions to at least give a response if they decline. To never give a polite No, thanks just isn't polite. 

Answer: This is how I worded mine....

We reserve the right to completely delete the guest post, at anytime, without further notice to the guest author, should any of the guidelines above not be met. We also reserve the right to reject any submission that we receive. However, we will provide a reason for the rejection.

As far as blogs that YOU submit a guest post to, here are some good tips on how to get your submitted post approved: How to Get Guest Post Approved Easily.

When you submit your guest post, enclose a line or two like this:

If for some reason you find that this post is not a good fit for your blog, I would really appreciate a reason as to why. I am always looking for ways to improve and will gladly accept any constructive critism that is available.