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Guest Posting: The Do’s and Don’ts!

By Jun 5, 2013 July 8th, 2014 73 Comments

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Guest posting can be a great opportunity to drive traffic to your blog, gain exposure and build long-lasting relationships with other bloggers.

But…before you jump in to the world of guest posting there are some things you should do and some thinks you should NOT do. Following these tips could be the difference between an awesome guest post experience and a not-so-good experience.
how to invite guest bloggers

The Do’s and Don’t of Guest Posting!

DON’T Send Blast Email Invites. 

Try to stay away from email invitations to more than one person. Take the time to reach out to your potential guest individually. Let them know in the email what you love about their blog and writing and share a little about why you’re inviting them. Take the time to make your invitation personal. After all, you are asking for them to share their time with you.

DON’T Be Bossy.

Nobody likes a bossy host. Although you want to be clear in your invitation on what you’re looking for, you don’t want to put too many restrictions on their writing. That’s a huge turn off. If you’re making the choice to invite them over, you should be familiar enough with their writing style and blog that you can trust them to come up with quality content on their own.

DON’T Ask At The Last Minute.

Ya know how annoying it is to be invited to a birthday party at the last-minute? Yeah. Don’t do that. Be sure to give a few weeks notice in your invitation. You don’t want your guests to feel pressured to drop everything just to come over to your place. A decent notice will increase the chances that your guest will accept the invite and let’s them know you value their time.

DON’T Keep Bad Company.

Just like in real life, you are who you hang out with. Make wise choices in the friends you keep online. Your guests are a representation of you and your blog. Be sure to reach out to those bloggers who you can trust to value your space and your readers as you would.

DO Clean House.

Nobody wants to come over to a cluttered and chaotic blog. Before you send out the invitation, clean your place up a bit. De-clutter your sidebars and footers. Make sure your site navigation is user-friendly and your design is easy on the eyes. Make it a cozy place that others would be proud to be at.

DO Make Your Guest Feel At Home.

Plan to block out some time the day their post goes live and promote it on your social media outlets. Join the conversation in the comments section of their post. Jump in on twitter threads and “like” the comments people leave on Facebook about their post. It’s nice to let your guests know they are not alone.

DO Introduce Your Guest To Others.

Tag their Facebook page in a post, invite your Twitter followers to follow your guest too. Send a tweet that says “Have you met @______? You’d love her blog!”. Get a conversation going on Google+ related to their post topic with a link back. Make your guests feel special.

DO Be Gracious.

After they share their time with you and your readers, send a heartfelt “thank you” in an email. A genuine thank you means a lot to people. Let them know how much you enjoyed having them over and how great it was to introduce them to your readers.

Now get those invites going and feature some of your favorite bloggers this summer!

Looking for More Posts Like This One?

If you found our overview of Guest Posting helpful, be sure to check out these too:

73 Comments

  • Seowix.com says:

    Wow, fantastic blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?

    you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is fantastic, as well
    as the content!

  • Linda says:

    Great post. These days Guest postings are gaining huge popularity. You will get huge traffic to your website through these guest posts I am planning to start Guest postings for my blog, before contacting the guest bloggers I will keep all these tips in my mind. Once again thanks a lot for sharing such useful information.

  • These tips were definitely dead on. I’ve been guest hosting and posting lately. I can attest to how important it is to be friendly, easy to work with, and not bossy. Who wants to work with the bossy chick?! lol. Setting clear expectations in the beginning is critical.

  • Karen says:

    Great post! I’ve never had any guest posters yet so this is a great resource!

  • Elena says:

    Excellent tips! Loved this post (it was super informative) :o) Definitely sharing on my Google+ community and pinning to my blogging board :o)

    croppedstories@gmail.com

  • Emily says:

    Love this post! Thanks so much! I’m always looking for guest bloggers to keep my blog fresh!
    http://www.facebook.com/loveaverage
    🙂

  • Tamika D. says:

    Fab tips. The sis & I are trying to guest blog. Any suggestions on how to be a guest blogger?

  • Meredith says:

    Great tips, Adrienne! Thanks for sharing these!

  • I just had my first guest blogger on my site – SUCCESS 🙂

  • Travelista73 says:

    Thanks for the useful tips!

    I’ve often thought about inviting a guest blogger but was never sure how or the proper etiquette. Now I do!

    Love & Light,
    Travelista73

  • As always, you bring it, Adrienne!! I did a 12 day stint at Christmas and LOVED it! I even had people sniffly because I didn’t ask them.. maybe it’s time to do another one!

  • This couldn’t have come at a more perfect time for me. Gift from above!! I just had a big leaguer guest post on my site this morning and I was wondering if I was doing enough to thank her. This post was so helpful, informative and reassuring! You really are fabulous!!

  • Adrienne,

    I loved the way you compared this virtual partnership to physically hosting a party. Very easy to understand and relate to.

    Raki

  • Nikki says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I’m new to the blogging world and while I love the idea of guest bloggers, I was so unsure of how to approach it. Your tips are so helpful!

  • Ilene says:

    Great tips! And so timely considering you are on my page today! I hop I am being a good host 🙂

  • This is great, I was just asked by a newbie what the do’s and don’ts are!

  • nellie says:

    Great tips, thank you!

    • Adrienne says:

      Woah, Nellie! II bet you hate that. I say this all.the.time.
      I couldn’t resist, I’m sorry. I don’t even know why I say it. HA. Anyway…I’m really glad you like the tips! 😉 Forgive my dorkness. I just help myself sometimes. 😉

  • Melissa says:

    I love this post! Thank you so much for writing it. I really appreciate the last suggestion of saying thank you to guest contributors. Sometimes it can almost feel like you are being “used” for content. I think taking time to say thank you to some one for the hard work that goes into recipe, tutorials, crafts or any post is the best way to build long term successful relationships.

  • Adrian says:

    Hi Adrienne – nice name!

    I’ve actually done quite a bit of guest posting, both posting on other blogs and inviting others to guest post for me. I have a link to one of my guest posts on the Comment Luv here. It definitely is a double edged sword. On the one hand, you sometimes are able to get some content and perspective that you wouldn’t be able to by yourself. For instance, I asked my real estate agent to post some tips about staging a house for sale in one of my Finance-related posts.

    On the other hand, you can get some real clunkers and occasionally some would-be spammers. I get requests from strangers all the time and all they want to do is put affiliate links on my blog. I just thank them politely and send them on their way. Once I did a general post on a blogging forum that I was looking for guest posters and I got one lady who came up with a post on digital scrapbooking that was really awful. These were pages I wouldn’t have even expected from a beginner, but she was clearly very proud of them. I felt like a deal was a deal, so I went ahead and posted it, but I was cringing the whole time and I finally deleted the post some months later. That was my lesson about “cattle call” guest posts. Now I’m a little more selective and only invite people I know and respect to post for me.

    I think the best thing is to be able to guest post on other blogs that will give my content a larger audience. For example, this bullying post is a very heart-felt post about my son’s experiences with school bullies and some ideas I had to resolve these problem. I wanted to make sure it got a better audience than my little blog, so I asked my friends at Mom It Forward and they were happy to help. It went on their site in a prominent spot and was also the featured post in their weekly newletter, so it got a lot more exposure that I would have ever hoped to receive. So, it was a win-win for both of us. Free content for them and great exposure for me.

    • Adrienne says:

      Oh yeah, a cattle call for guest posts will bring all sorts of madness your way! I get emails all the time for people that want to write articles for the blog that have nothing to do with niche and are filled with links to their product or site. No thanks! I actually direct them to my advertising fee list and then I never hear from them again. When I have asked guest over, it’s only other bloggers that I love and their writing has resonated with me at some point in time.

  • Chris Carter says:

    Great tips Adrienne!!!! I was brainstorming if I had done all of those with my guest posters… hoping I did!!! I love having guests… mainly because I feel like the relationship grows closer with the emails setting it up. I have made some amazing friends that way!! 🙂

  • Charlotte says:

    Thanks so very much for these great tips! I haven’t had any over in a while, but maybe I should extend the invite, right? I mean, what do I have to lose anyway?

    Thanks for this!

  • Great post! I will keep those tip bookmarked and in mind once I get up to that level of other more experienced bloggers.

    • Adrienne says:

      Kristina, you don’t have to be experience to have a guest blogger. If it’s something you really want to do, maybe you can reach out the other bloggers that have comparable numbers in their following.

  • You know this is just what I love about the world of blogging…it’s so much like being at home! I loved all of your suggestions! I’ve only ever had a couple of guest posts..I’m kind of shy to ask..but I would love it!!
    Thanks for sharing!

  • vinma says:

    These are some really helpful tips! I do have an ongoing guest posting segment in my blog . When I invite guest bloggers, I always make the invitation personal and lay down what I expect from them and what would they get back from me. Plus I always give them a good time window to prepare their writing. I also make sure to gain maximum exposure to their post once it comes live, promote it in all my social media channels with a raving introduction to my guest blogger! An additional thing I would do as well is to feature a tiny snippet of their post in my main page so that any random reader dropping by at my site could read a short version of it right away… The whole experience is very rewarding for both the host and the guest!

  • Michelle says:

    Great tips! I’ve had a few guest bloggers and have guest blogged on a few sites, but these are good rules of thumb to follow!

  • Good post. i do worry about Google’s new Penguin update, though. It seems Google is now starting to look down on guest posting and mark some of it as spammy content. This really makes it hard to find guest posters and know what the almighty Google is once again looking for as far as what they deem spammy.

    • Adrienne says:

      I’ve heard about that (a little). I read somewhere that the trick is to eliminate certain keywords from the first paragraph. Words like “featured blogger”, “guest blogger”. I have never tried to tweak a post according to this rule of thumb. Personally, I have a huge hard time keeping up with the tech side of blogging. I just sort of go with it. 😉

  • Carli says:

    This is great! And perfect timing. I haven’t reached out to anyone directly about guest posting. Now I will!

  • Krystal says:

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  • Krystal says:

    I love this Adrienne! Very good pointers that you would think are just common sense but sometimes we forget the simplest of things! Have a great one!

  • Kristen says:

    Great tips! The next time I have some guest bloggers I’ll make sure to follow your advice about promoting them on my social media pages.

  • Sandy Cooper says:

    Great suggestions. I’ve handled many guest posts over the years in many different ways and would agree with everything you said. 🙂 I would also add that I find it helpful for them and me if I give them what I’d like to see in terms of word count, images, format, etc. If I don’t lay those things out specifically, then I find myself spending way too much time editing and formatting, searching for appropriate images, etc. I also like to invite the guest blogger to respond directly to the comments. Sometimes they may not realize they are “allowed” to do that.

    I would also like to underscore the importance of making sure the guest is capable of producing quality content. I had a very awkward situation where I asked a frequent commenter to guest post. She did not have her own blog, but always left very well-written and insightful comments. She was very passionate about a particular workout program, so I asked her to share her experience with that workout program.

    The post was terrible. I mean, like not even salvageable.

    Poorly written. Choppy. Lacking insight. Not at all interesting.

    So. Awkward.

    I ended up asking some follow-up questions so I could fill in with the additional material. I spent more time on that post than I have on many of my own. And I still didn’t get it to a place where I wanted to post it. I ended up telling her that I would tuck it away for future use. I’m still not sure what to do with it.

    • Adrienne says:

      Oh yes!! I agree about laying out some guidelines for images and word count! SO true. great point! That would be an awful experience, but it sounds like you handled it gracefully. Good for you!

      • Sandy Cooper says:

        So, here’s a related question: I was asked to guest post elsewhere. I spent hours doing research and preparing a very detailed (and I think, well-written) post. The post was time-sensitive (meaning, it would only make sense if posted when she said she’d post it). As the date came and went, she never posted it. I shot her a quick e-mail to ask her when I should expect it so I can promote it on my site and she said she NEVER READ IT. She got very busy and I know she just forgot about it.

        Long story short, she never posted it.

        It’s been about 6 mos and I’d really like to use this material for my own blog. Is it ever appropriate to ask for the material back? This blogger is a friend. But I don’t want to come across as giving her a hard time for not posting my guest post.

        • Adrienne says:

          I would definitely use the material at your own blog. Six months is LONG time. I doubt she plans on using it at this point. I would simply send her an email stating no hard feelings, and you totally understand “getting” busy”, but you have decided to use the material at your own blog as it’s a timely topic for you now. Thank her for offering to feature it, but also let her know you don’t want the article to go waste. I would think she realizes she dropped the ball on it, as it’s been so long. Since she never used the material, it’s still yours. That’s my take, anyway. 😉

          • Sandy Cooper says:

            Thank you! Even if she wanted to use it, she can’t really, because it was meant to be posted just before a certain event happened in her life and that event has come and gone. The post would hardly make sense. But I can take the guts of the post and rework it to fit my own site or submit it elsewhere.

            Thanks for your input!

  • Kim says:

    Great tips!

    I haven’t had guest bloggers on my site yet but when classes start for me again in August I may take first week or so to have a few visitors while I get settled into a new schedule.

  • Kim says:

    Great suggestions, Adrienne, and might I add, you walk the talk. You are a gracious and delightful guest blogger hostess!

  • I really enjoy having guests on my blog! I’ve only done it a few times and I have 2 lined up over the next few days! I love the exposure it gets my blog and helping someone else get their message and story out and helping out an online friend 🙂 It’s awesome!

  • Thanks for the advice. I haven’t had any guest bloggers, nor I have but I think I’d sure like to try it. Do you have any blogs on how to become a guest blogger. Thanks so much.

  • I have invited guest bloggers before and always promote them heavily on my social networking sites. It’s a way to say thank you and it makes my guests really happy to see a jump in visits to their sites. I think bloggers need to realize that when you are featuring a guest blogger, it’s not a day off from blogging , but a day of heavy promotion of someone else.

  • These are wonderful. I love to guest post and when the guidelines you gave a followed everything goes smoothly.

    • Adrienne says:

      It can be so much fun having/being a guest blogger. I’ve enjoyed the experiences I’ve had with it in the past for sure!

  • Emelie says:

    Great tips! Thank you! 🙂

  • Honeybee says:

    Great post! These tips are very useful. This week i have a few guest posting on my blog. So glad you share this.

  • […] Are you thinking about inviting guest bloggers this summer? Be sure to read my post today at The SITS Girls, The Do’s and Don’ts of Being a Fab Host!  […]

  • Allie says:

    As a new blogger, these are GREAT tips! Thanks again for another helpful post.