Close
Close

How to Be a Good Guest Post Host

This guest post is by LJ Earnest of SimpleProductivityBlog.com.

You often see articles about how to be a good guest poster: things you can do to make an impression and get your post published. But what about the flip-side of that? Do you have what it takes to be a good guest post host?

Guest posting is beneficial both to the writer and the publisher. It builds relationships, strengthens support, and generates publicity for the host while giving exposure to the writer. Here are eight things you can do to be a better guest post host.

Have an FAQ

FAQs are good ways to keep yourself from answering the same questions over again. For guest posting, have a FAQ that covers the questions you are asked, such as “How long do posts have to be?” and “What format should I use?” It should also cover things such as your blog topics and the frequency of posting, even though this should be apparent to those who have done their homework. Having a FAQ can save you a lot of extra work answering email, and gives a place to link to in response to general inquiries.

Even if you don’t accept guest posts, your general blog FAQ should say this outright. It will save the author a lot of trouble.

Make the FAQ easy to find

It does no one any good if you have a guest posting FAQ that no one can find. The link needs to be prominent and convey that it is about guest posting.

A great way to get your guest posting guidelines out is to put a link to it on each guest post you publish. A prospective author will find it more quickly if they are already looking at a guest post.

Respond when you say you will

The process of submitting a guest post is one where the poster submits an idea or article, and then it goes into a kind of freeze until the host blog accepts it or rejects it. The article can’t be submitted elsewhere, and it may possibly go out of relevance.

Part of the FAQ should be a timeframe when you will get back to your possible guest. Even then, you must honor what you say. If you say your timeframe is five days, make sure you respond in five days, even if it is a “I like the article, but I am swamped and need more time to look at it.” If you find yourself consistently missing your stated timeframe, change it in the FAQ to something you can meet.

Responding within a given timeframe builds credibility and makes people more likely to submit a post; after all, who wants to send a post knowingly into a black hole?

Have a clear way to submit a guest post

Having a separate email address or form for guest post submissions makes it easy for you to keep track of what is coming in. It also gives the author a feeling that his post will not be lost in other email. This information could be included as part of the FAQ.

Give some basic feedback

We all strive to improve at what we do. But without external feedback, it is very hard to figure out what we are doing right and wrong.

Who doesn’t like to have their work praised? If there was something that caught your attention in the article, tell the author. This form of community building will net you allies and readers.

On the flip-side, if you are rejecting the post, give some basic feedback why. If the post doesn’t meet the criteria set forth in your FAQ, let the author know (along with a link to the FAQ). Or if the post would require too much editing on your part, the author should know as well. This type of feedback will help them write better posts in the future, should they choose to use the information.

Be willing to negotiate

Sometimes a post doesn’t work on your blog because of timing or some other factor that has nothing to do with the article itself. In that case, ask the author to be flexible. I had a recent submission where the author did everything right—but the article was on the same subject as one due to go out the next week. I asked him if he would be willing to delay publication because of the timing, and he agreed. A possible rejection turned into a win-win.

Negotiating with the author can not only build relationships, but also a reputation for fairness.

Don’t compromise

It is your blog, after all, and you have the final say over content. If your blog is about widgets, and someone submits a post on elephants, don’t compromise your content quality by publishing it. Likewise, feel free to reject posts that don’t make the cut, even it they come from someone you know.

Be kind

Having creative work read by others can feel like having your skin removed. Remember that the person on the other end of the email is a person with feelings. Be as kind as you can.

Have you thought about what it takes to be a great guest post host? Share below.

LJ Earnest is a computer programmer by day, productivity geek all the time. Using the principles of productivity and simplicity at SimpleProductivityBlog.com, she helps people get through the stuff they have to do so they can get to the stuff they want to do. She can also be found at Twitter and Facebook. Remember, a productive life doesn’t have to be complicated.

About Guest Blogger

This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above. If you'd like to guest post for ProBlogger check out our Write for ProBlogger page for details about how YOU can share your tips with our community.

Problogger.net runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Framework

The Genesis Framework empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. Genesis provides the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go.

Check out the incredible features and the selection of designs. It's that simple - start using Genesis now!

Comments

  1. Exactly LJ, it is a win win situation for both writer and publisher. Therefore, publisher should at least provide quick feedback to the writer as soon as possible.

    Freeze time is really a killer for an author.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I hope publishers will take these points seriously!

    • Pat says:

      Rana… I agree… when you don’t hear back at all, it can be very discouraging. Even a response with a rejection is better than nothing. I think though that the suggestion to delay a good post until a more appropriate time is a good solution to a post you just can’t “fit” at the moment.

      All good ideas.

      • Dan Padavona says:

        Yes, absolutely. I would far rather receive a soft handed rejection than receive no response at all. I might try again later after a rejection, but if I received no response, I doubt I would ever look in that blog’s direction again.

      • LJ Earnest says:

        I think even worse is when someone keeps putting you off. Keeping a guest’s article frozen is not good. Topics can expire, and it keeps the guest from submitting to those blogs who might be better able to use it.

  2. faheem says:

    Guest posts are good way to build relationship but on other hand it might also affect quality of a blog, as every writer has different style of writing.

  3. Great article. I’ve read several on how to be a good guest blogger, but this is the first of read on how to be a good guest blogging host.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • My thoughts exactly! Tables are turned this time around. And I see all the points being necessities to avoid confusions that may lead to something not good for both sides.

      • LJ Earnest says:

        That was my thought in writing the article. Guest posting is a two-way street, and both sides should be on their best behavior!

  4. Emily Rose says:

    I am new to guest posting, working on trying to get my first one right now, and this is helpful to see the perspective of the person who is hosting your guest post!

  5. Interesting perspective on guest posting LJ. I totally agree with the idea of specifying the time frame to respond to the guest poster in FAQ or guest posting guideline, so writers know what actions to take and when.
    I also think a good host should first of all build a community around their blog before asking for guest posts. It’s funny how bloggers go looking for guest posters when they don’t have up to 10 regular readers on their blog.

    • LJ Earnest says:

      I had never considered when to ask for guest posts. :) On my own blog, they just seem to fall from the sky. But it is a good point – you have to establish your own voice and message, or you run the risk of being seriously derailed in your content.

  6. Earnest,

    Additional editing of the post may help to encourage blogger to post.

  7. Health Forum says:

    You want to make it as easy as possible when someone decides to choose a guest poster. It is critical that they know what your readers want to learn about

    • LJ Earnest says:

      I agree – unfortunately, not all guest posters actually read the guidelines, I have found. I think as hosts, we can only do so much to get the information across. I want to make it easy on my guests, but also save myself the trouble of answering the same questions over and over. This does not mean that the guests actually take the time to research (and I have absolutely no problem sending a pointed email with a link to the FAQ when it is apparent the guest hasn’t even looked!)

  8. Oracle says:

    Sir, i am grateful for this piece of info, i shall come again

  9. This is a really helpful article. My blog is quite new but in the near future I will be working with guest bloggers,

  10. sokun says:

    Great tips. I’m considering taking guest posts when my blog has more traffic.

  11. I like the idea of adding a link to the faq right after the guest-post. I don”t want to cram up my header with too many page links.

    • LJ Earnest says:

      I have seen two takes done on this – putting a link at the end of the article with information about guest posting, as ProBlogger does it, and also putting it at the top of the article. I put my links at the top to give people the idea that I am open to guest posting – I’m never sure how far people actually read.

  12. Trung Nguyen says:

    Currently, I still not have any guest blog post because my English skill is not good, so I need to improve my English skill before write for anyone. Thanks LJ Earnest .

  13. Its a Proven fact. Building strong relationship is one of the key element to bring traffic. Manickam

  14. Megan says:

    thankyou for pointing out the fact that guest posts are important for both the author and that blog host. the host needs to make the process smooth for the writer or they will not have the pleasure of different perspectives on their blog.

    I have sent requests to blogs in the past offering to write a guest post and had no reply at all. it could be because my topic was off-beam or because they weren’t accepting posts at that time. But a reply would have been nice. The fact is that an established process is important and it makes life easier for everyone.

    Now I just need to get off my proverbial and write one of these darn guest posts. perhaps the next article should be about how to find the time to write one!

    • LJ Earnest says:

      I, too, have had no response from well-known blogs, until I make a second or third inquiry. It really makes me think hard about submitting to them again, even if I feel the article is great for their blog.

      As far as time to write…just do it! :)

  15. Jarrah says:

    Great tips indeed. In fact, we’re actually looking for Guest post contributors relating to digital marketing and blogging. Any experts out there?

  16. It’s Very interesting, thanks for the tips ^_^, i will try to do that…

  17. Jon says:

    I went through this before. A post was submitted that wasn’t as good as I thought it could be, just really rushed. It wouldn’t fit in with the quality of content I personally write and wouldn’t promote the author’s business in the intended way. I replied asking for another revision to check spelling, punctuation and to improve formatting, hoping he’d add more content in the process. Version 2 came back about the same as the first.
    Instead of outright refusing the post I offered a tip on how I plan my posts, outlining 3 key points for the topic. At first he was disappointed but a week later I got another draft that was almost ready to publish.

    Instead of criticizing I offered a solution.

    • LJ Earnest says:

      This is a great strategy! Giving specifics about what you want to see is the best way to get improvement. I generally don’t reject posts for the editing, but it is very apparent if someone is just regurgitating information from somewhere else. No amount of editing will make that go away!

  18. James Greg says:

    A very useful post. What I liked the most about this the point- be kind. This is something very rare I have faced many harsh and rude replies and many time ignorance too. People don’t feel it worth replying to queries or requests which is very offending. I believe if you want to make your site/business/blog successful then providing quality services is what should be ensured.

    • LJ Earnest says:

      Having been on both sides of the street, I understand how hard it can be to have someone read (and judge) your work. Being unkind never helps anyone, and I really believe that civility belongs at the top of every blog.

  19. Raluca says:

    Nowadays it is much easier to associate with someone. It is ideal to find more people that invite you to write articles on their blog. It is a huge traffic exchange. Interesting article. Keep up the good work!

  20. This is a really helpful topic, with some suggestions I hadn’t thought of. I work hard to make my guest bloggers welcome and to create a dialogue between my regular readers and the guest, and it’s been very rewarding for all concerned.

    About once a month, I hold question and answer sessions on my blog, using the comment section for the interchange. Occasionally, I ask guests to do a Q&A on a topic that’s relevant but outside my expertise. We’re bombarded with questions and reach the guest’s agreed on limit quickly, but we all go away happy.

  21. Bob Jordan says:

    I have an pet peeve about the proper use of an “a” and an “an”. I think we suffer equally on both sides of the pond. It should be “a FAQ” not “an FAQ”. (Extra an-s used to demonstrate common illogical usage)

    Also FAQ is an abbreviation for Frequently Asked Questions. It’s a list of questions, plural, not just one question. So grammatically it should be “a FAQs” not “a FAQ” or “an FAQ.

    A good article on the topic can be found here:
    http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/a-versus-an.aspx

  22. Himanshu says:

    some great tips to keep the guest blogger with you. really learned some good tips

  23. IT Rush says:

    Interesting, just found some tips on how to improve my guest posting relationship.. anyways, anyone wants to guest post on my blog? Just let me know…

  24. Marie Noelle says:

    I have been accepting guest posts for a few weeks now (published 2 and 1 will be published tomorrow morning) but I never thought of having a FAQ. That’s a great idea! I’ll have to work on it! I don’t know why I didn’t think of it since it really make sence but anyways, thank you for this great post!!

    And I’ll finish this comment like IT Rush: if anyone wants to guest post on my blog, let me know! (I don’t have a FAQ yet but I’m a nice person!!)

  25. Salman says:

    Very well written Earnest … Truly said, as a guest post host one should never compromise with our blog’s content !!

    Thanks for the great article …

  26. Kalyn says:

    Thanks for the tips! I am going to start working on my F.A.Q. this week.

  27. A very timely post indeed. Some people are somewhat afriad of guest posting, and some are not so nice to “unwelcome” guests to post at their blogs. Thanks for some basic tips that need to be observed.