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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.