Guest Posting 101: 5 Things Every Guest Poster Should Know

A quick shout out to my awesome Biz Buddy Vicki Voisin for inspiring this post. She’s always stopping me during one of our weekly chats to say “That’s a blog post!” and many of my best posts have been because of it.

The Tips from T.Marie Blog has been around awhile.  Almost 9 years to be exact.  In all of those years I can count the number of guest posts I’ve had here on one hand.  While other blogs consistently showcase guest bloggers, this one has remained mostly in one voice. Mine. Not because I like the sound of my own voice, but because I’m picky about the content and quality of what readers can find here.

The longer the blog exists; the more questions I get about guest posting.  To be perfectly honest, I love the idea of adding new voices and new ideas here. Those busy months when I run out of work day before I run out of work and the blog goes silent would be something of the past. Readers would consistently find fresh information and ideas here.

So what’s the problem? 

For me, the guest poster has either been someone I know and trust or they have gone through a screening process before I published their posts.  That screening process, which includes authenticating the author, making sure the material is relevant, explaining what is and what is not acceptable content and checking for plagiarism, takes time. Time I felt was better spent writing myself.

Lately I’ve seen an increase in guest posting inquiries, which has left me feeling badly that in many cases I just haven’t had the time to go through the whole process with them.  Earlier this week I had a lightbulb moment.

I needed to set official guidelines for guest posting here.  By setting out the expectations for guest posts, it would shorten the time needed in the process.  Author authentication and plagiarism checks would still be a necessity, but the basic do’s and don’ts for being a guest poster would no longer need to be passed along each and every time I received an email.  A quick sharing of the link and inquiring minds would have all the information they needed.

As I was pulling the new guidelines together, I realized that this wasn’t only going to benefit me, it could be a great benefit to those looking to guest post as well.  Many of my guidelines are similar to other blogs.

If you are someone looking to submit guest posts to established blogs, here are 5 guidelines that will apply anywhere:

  1. Know the type of material and subjects covered. If you expect to submit a blog on appropriate office attire to a blog like mine that is all about non-traditional offices not only will your post be rejected, it will be obvious you haven’t even read the blog you want to be published on.
  2. READ THE BLOG. I’ve had people submit ideas for posts about SquareSpace, Wix and Weebly.  I’ve also had people send posts about outsourcing work to freelance site workers.  Readers of this blog know my opinions on these things because I’ve freely shared them. On the blog.  If I’m not recommending my readers use something I certainly am not going to welcome a post talking about how it’s a viable option.
  3. Send unique content. Not a spin on something you’ve already published elsewhere. Not another post that covers something that’s been covered a dozen different ways already. And definitely not a rehashing of something that’s already been posted on the blog you’re submitting to.
  4. Don’t plagiarize. It doesn’t matter if it’s not word for word. Stealing someone else’s work is still stealing even if you change the words a bit.  People who have spent time and effort to build a blog will have experienced it being plagiarized at some point and will not appreciate you doing the same to someone else. Write your own stuff.
  5. Make it quality. If you are serious about guest posting, you want it to be your best stuff. This is your chance to be seen by a whole new audience, show them what you’ve got.

Even though this blog hasn’t seen many guest posts, I still believe it’s a great thing for both blogger and guest poster. Guidelines make the whole process just a little bit easier for both.