How-to Draft a Fool-Proof Guest Post Guideline for your Website
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Accepting guest posts is a great way to keep your website fresh on content, allow others to share their knowledge, and bring insight to your community but it can be a real pain in the rear when you receive a guest post that’s either pure garbage or simply doesn’t ‘fit’ your style.
A guest post guideline is a great way to increase the frequency of great guest posts; having one in place will free up your time having to deal with submitters and ensure you’re only receiving the best.
In this post, we’ll be sharing a simple guideline you can put into effect if you’re the type to accept guest blog posts on your website.
The Muck of Guest Posting
Guest posting can either be a blessing or a complete pain.
Sometimes you receive a guest post that simply blows you away in its accuracy, tone, and direction; these are the ones that you love and the ones that your community deserves.
Then … you get the flood of subpar posts.
Guest posting has become a powerful, popular way to build links, traffic, and authority so nearly anyone and everyone has put it into effect for their online efforts. Unfortunately, many of these individuals scrape the bottom when it comes to putting in the effort to make something decent for submission.
Often, you’ll receive:
- Unsolicited guest posts that aren’t even in your same niche
- Posts that are sloppy and full of errors
- Ones that are too promotional and aggressive
- A giant block of text
Much of these subpar guest submissions are generally done through cheap writers and outsourced labor just taking a shotgun approach to getting the work published anywhere. Well, that’s not for you and your community only deserves the best.
This is why we put guest post guidelines to work.
The Simplest, Effective Guideline for Guest Posts
Now here’s what you’re going to need …
1. The desired length of the guest post submission
2. The tone and direction of the post
3. A list of topics you’d like to see covered
4. Examples of other guest submissions
5. Formatting guidelines (or a template)
6. Rules and waiting time for the submission
Beginning the guideline, you’ll obviously want to set a length (word count) for the work since you probably don’t want anything too short (or too long). Here’s the thing: set it just barely past the normal blog post length such as 1,000 words versus the normal 500 – 700 because doing this will automatically deter cheap writer submissions and will force submitters to take the time to really expand and work on the topic before it gets to you.
Next, you’d want to tell people what sort of tone and direction you’re taking with your website because there’s no sense in publishing a work that’s overly aggressive and promotional when everything else is very relaxed.
Third, give the submitter a list of ideas you would like to see covered. Guest post submitters will most likely just look through your popular posts to get a general idea of your content but giving them your desired list will have the new content in fresh areas.
Fourth, give the submitter some kind of idea of what others have done in the past so they can see if a topic has been covered, get an idea of the tone, community response, and inspire some ideas.
Fifth, explain the need for correct formatting for the guest post submission. Explain how you want the work formatted based on sub-headings, paragraph length, lists, images, and other media. The goal, here, is to reduce the amount of work required in the final editorial process before it goes live. A better way to approach this is to create a text file with the HTML formatting already present for the guest poster to use in their work.
Finally, lay down the rules for the guest submission such as how many links are allowed, if they need to submit a byline, sign up for an account, or need to sign over the rights to the work. Additionally, let them know how long it will take before the submission is published and then do a follow up once it’s live to make sure they’re coming back to respond to comments.
Then, take all of this and distill it to a guest post submission page on your website with contact forms and file upload options.
Guest Posts in Effect
The whole point of accepting guest posts is to bring fresh, valuable content to your website. The added benefit is that the submitter will do their rounds of promotion which will aid in your traffic generation.
Having a guideline in effect for guest post submissions will make the entire process extremely streamlined and free up your inbox from those dreadful, awful guest submissions that we’ve all received at some point in our work.
In the end, all that extra content will increase your chances for earning from your affiliate offers – more content, more free time, and more sales – that’s why you’d want to accept guest posts … the smart way.