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Dealing with poor guest blog posts

Have you got some low quality guest posts for your blog? Hopefully you understand that quality content less often is better than frequent content that is not always very good.

Last week, I described some aspects of low quality blog posts so they are easier to spot even if you have little confidence in judging people’s writing abilities.

But what if you have accepted some poor guest blog posts or have a regular guest blogger who is providing low quality posts for you to use?

Your options as the blog host

The most important thing to remember is that it is your blog so only you can set the standard and make the rules.

  1. Reject the post
    If there is nothing good about the post, you don’t have much choice but to reject it. That could mean sending it back to the author with a ‘no thanks’ message or just deleting it from your blog or emails. It’s up to you if you give reasons or reject them from future consideration – having clear policies* can help you make and enforce such decisions.
  2. Request an amendment
    If the post has potential (for example, it has some great ideas but is poorly written or doesn’t explain ideas very well) it may be worth asking the author to change the post and resubmit it. If you request this, you will get better results if you make your expectations very clear.
  3. Edit the post
    Again, if the post has potential you could make some changes to the post yourself. This is simpler than asking for an amendment in that your standards will be met but there are other complications* – remember the guest blogger’s name is on the post. I believe this is perfectly acceptable if you are just correcting a typo or two but needs care for larger changes.
  4. Accept the post
    You obviously have this choice but it can damage your blog’s reputation so why risk it? If you feel you have to post it because of an agreement, make sure it is clear in your blog that it is a guest post (not the host owner or regular contributor) and adjust that agreement as soon as possible. If you have an ongoing or desirable relationship with the blogger this may seem tempting but it isn’t really doing him or her many favours either. Better for you both to let them know their posts are not at a suitable standard so they can learn from their mistakes.

How have you dealt with low quality guest posts you have received? What reactions did you receive?


* I’ll cover editing others’ posts and setting up your policies over the next few weeks.

16 Responses to Dealing with poor guest blog posts

  • onlinebusinessgal says:

    There are times when I have had no choice but to reject a low quality post. Some individuals are clearly posting simply to drop links to their website. If a post makes some good points but is just poorly written, I have either asked an individual to tweak the post some or edited the post myself.

    • tashword says:

      I think rejecting poor posts is perfectly acceptable – it protects your blog and also teaches that low quality posts done purely for SEO won’t work on good sites.

      How much editing have you done, onlinebusinessgirl, without asking for the author to agree to the adjusted post?

      • onlinebusinessgal says:

        I will usually only make minor changes to an author’s post without asking them directly to do a rewrite. If they have just made spelling and grammatical errors, I will try to fix up their post. Of course, if someone has made a post that makes no sense or is completely off topic, then I will either need to reject the post or ask that the author edits their comment or post drastically.

      • tashword says:

        I think that policy works well for you (your blog) and the author of the guest post.

  • difrancprod says:

    I usually accept blog posts that are already done by prominent bloggers in my location. This will not only help me maintain a good online reputation but even build a great traffic as well because my guest blogger has already got some stable followers. Quality and reputation is indeed crucial when it comes to this subject.

    • tashword says:

      Guest blogging certainly has advantages for both sides and helps to form the blogging community which I think it great. Quality leads to a good reputation and I agree both are critical.

      Do you only take posts from prominent bloggers, in part, to avoid poor posts?

  • ranjitrgeorge says:

    Though I personally don’t have guest blogging service, this post will serve as a checkpoint for future references. An informative post!

  • Lani Star says:

    Your writing has really inspired me to totally rethink the way I write, especially how I write guest posts. I guess I only saw the links not other pluses for guest posts so didn’t care enough but will now. I appreciate all your hard work in sharing your expertise

    • tashword says:

      Hey Lani and thanks for your comment. I love hearing that I have helped someone learn better business and/or communication skills. I hope your guest blogging goes really well.

  • shantald06 says:

    I would remove the post, an if that individual provided an email address I would of course send them feedback. As a writer on any form of media, you should expect feedback. Constructive criticism is the best route to go, especially in a business environment. High quality is the best quality. Having low-quality posts can negatively affect how people respond to what is being said.

    • tashword says:

      I agree, shantald06 as I know I don’t take the content seriously in a poorly written post/article.

      Constructive feedback with a rejection is much nicer than just a rejection – and we can hope the writer will learn from it so they can effectively share their message.

  • Anna T says:

    I have rejected several poor guest blog posts. I have accepted some that were poor but could be edited to acceptable.

    When I first started blogging, I hated telling people no when it came to guest posts. But the more you have to do it, the easier it gets. Ultimately you have to do what is best for your blog.

    • tashword says:

      Saying no is a bit easier, I think, if you have rules or policies to refer to (especially if the writer would have seen those policies prior to submitting their post).

      Ultimately you have to do what is best for your blog

      Very true, Anna, which is why I am shocked to find so many poor guest posts on otherwise good blogs.

  • KennyK says:

    Very informative post. Having a clear policy in advance is the best way for me. You could even add that policy somewhere on your website so that people who are interested in guest blogging know what you expect.

    Taking some time to provide feedback when rejecting a guest post will pay off in the long run.

    • tashword says:

      I agree that a clear policy is advantageous – both for reducing the number of inappropriate posts you receive but also for making it easier to assess each one.

      I have tended to give a reason why I say no to guest posts, too, Kenny, but I don’t know if I always will – depends on how many I get I guess!

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