Monday, February 13, 2012

Guest Posting Tips

I've only entered the world of guest posts in the last few months, but there are some things it's worthwhile to pass along when it comes to guest blogging or hosting a guest poster. I'm not aware of a manual floating around out there, so here are a few tips you might find valuable. Feel free to add your own in the comments or, if you beg to differ, tell me why. I'm still learning, and can use any tips you have to offer me.

When You're the Guest Poster

Do:
*Thank your host.
*Post about something the host's readers might be interested in. In other words, do your homework.
*Return to respond to comments.
*Visit those who were kind enough to read your guest post and comment.
*Get your post to the host by the requested deadline (or in a timely manner if there is no deadline).
*Post a link on your own blog so people know you have guest posted elsewhere and can follow you there.
*Be professional. Watch your language, be respectful, etc.
*Keep up with communication with your host before your post.

Don't:
*Ignore guidelines (if they say it should be 500 words, make it 500 words).
*Monopolize your guest post as a sales pitch for yourself, even if it technically is. Instead, write something interesting that will make them want to know more about you.
*Submit a guest post full of errors; check your grammar, spelling, html and information.

When You're the Host

Do:
*Be sure to make clear any preferences, guidelines or rules.
*Thank your guest poster.
*Write a nice introduction to your guest poster.
*Let people know the guest post is coming up to make sure people stop by.
*Be flexible where you're able.
*Keep up with communication with your guest leading up to the post.

Don't:
*Assume your guest poster knows what you want if you haven't told them.
*Take the day off. You should still be there to respond to comments on your own blog, even though it isn't technically your post.
*Change the date of the guest post without discussing it with the guest.
*Change the content of the guest's post without discussing it with them first.

Guest posting can either be very comfortable and rewarding or very uncomfortable and, possibly, damaging. Treat it as if you're a guest in someone's home, or a guest speaker at their office. If you wouldn't do something in person, don't do it in writing. You're being given a great opportunity to reach a new audience, so be sure to show your gratitude through your words and actions.

Do you have any other tips for guest posters or hosts? Any guest/host horror stories to share?

May you find your Muse.

7 comments:

  1. You definitely covered all the main points! Yes, you have to write a post that will appeal to the host's followers and follow guidelines. I'd add that you should already be a regular follower and commenter of the blog.

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  2. Hey Shannon,

    Great post. Very important tips to follow. Another one might be, don't post the same guest post on your blog and/or use it in another guest post.

    I love that you're opening your blog for guests. Not that I won't miss your voice, but it's damn hard to keep up a blog like you do. I hope that this will give you time to work on WIP and get it out into the world!

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  3. Thanks for the tips! I think I will be a guest blogger on A-Z tomorrow so please stop by and say hi. It's my first one :)

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  4. Fantastic tips to keep in mind. I've been a host and other people have hosted me. I've had great experiences so far with guest posts.

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  5. Alex, that's a great point!

    Laura, thanks!

    Becca, thanks!

    Julie, that's a really good point! Ah, if only it were the blog keeping me from writing. As of May, I will be done with the two main things that are causing me issues and draining my time. I cannot WAIT!! Ultimately, though, it's up to me to find a way to get that time either way.

    Heather, I'm late to it, but I will definitely check out your post and your blog!

    Medeia, I have, as well, which I'm really thankful for!

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