Nowadays, many blog owners are accepting guest posts on their blogs. Having clear and solid guest post guidelines will help you reduce the number of irrelevant and low-quality submissions. Since people will understand from the onset what is required, you will be able to turn down or modify posts submitted without offending anyone.
The following are some of the things you need to consider when creating your guest posting guidelines:
1. Quality requirements
Many people avoid imposing strict guest posting standards, imagining that it would stifle the writer’s creativity. However, if there are no standards, you might just end up with many poor quality posts. Therefore, you need to outline clearly what is required in terms of originality, spelling and grammar, word count and uniqueness.
2. Preferred topics
List a few specific subjects in which you would want to receive guest posts. You could consider including some topics which you are not very conversant with so as to get a perspective from more experienced people. Alternatively, you could offer samples of posts which have received a good response from your audience in the past.
3. Link requirements
When it comes to linking, it is important to outline what is acceptable and what is not. You need to:
- Specify the number of links that can be included in the byline or content
- Clarify your position on affiliate links. It would be advisable to forbid inclusion of such links in the post content
- Mention your stand on keyword-rich anchor text
- Specify if writers have permission to link to their own content
- Mention if guest posters are required to include links to related posts on your blog
4. Image requirements
You need to make it clear whether guest posters are required to submit a relevant image along with their post. However, before publishing an image on your blog, make sure it has been properly attributed. Failing to credit images might result in your blog being penalized.
5. Republishing policies
To avoid duplicate content problems, it needs to be clear that as the blog owner, you will retain exclusive rights of all the guest posts submitted on your blog. The author will get the credit but will not be allowed to republish their post elsewhere. You also need to mention that only original content will be accepted on your blog.
6. Formatting preferences
What is your preference regarding the formatting of guest posts? You need to make it clear if you prefer:
- Guest posts submitted in HTML formatting
- Sub-headings or H2-H3 tags in the post body
- Bullet points or brief paragraphs to make your post scannable
Now that you have read these tips, take time to draft or modify your own guest post guidelines. Remember to create a separate ‘Write for Us’ or ‘Guest Blogging’ page on your blog where visitors can find these guidelines.
7. Editorial policies
If you intend to edit guest posts, make this clear in your guidelines, outlining the circumstances which would lead to editing. This will enable you to make changes without offending the guest poster.