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Setting rules for guest posts on your blog

As I have just started using guest bloggers on this blog (see Karol’s post from yesterday as an example), it seemed timely to discuss how you establish guidelines for your guest bloggers.

Why have guest blogger guidelines?

Every blog is different – as are all the bloggers – which means two things.

  1. to keep your blog focussed on your brand and style, you need to define how that happens
  2. not all bloggers will have the same high standards as you  so don’t assume any guest blogger will behave professionally or within your style

Guidelines for guest bloggers helps maintain your blog. Publicly available policies or guidelines will also reduce the number of blog posts you receive that don’t meet your rules.

What goes into guest blogger guidelines?

Well, the short answer is ‘that’s up to you – it’s your blog!’

rules & guidelines for blogs

Fun or formal, long or short, guidelines are handy…

But I’m guessing you want a more detailed answer so here are some important points to consider – you may or may not list all of them for bloggers to see but it’s good to have considered each one relative to your blog.

  1. length of posts – minimums and maximums
  2. unique content vs reused content – including how long after you publish the post can it be used
  3. standard of writing – is average acceptable or do you want great?
  4. standard of content – is it correct and up-to-date? Does it give something new or just spout motherhood statements?
  5. copyright and ownership – be sure the blogger has the right to offer you the post and any accompanying images
  6. how many links can be included in the post? in the bio box?
  7. how long is their bio? will it be shown and can it include images?
  8. do posts have to be informative rather than an ad for someone else?
  9. can affiliate links be included?
  10. what type of content do you want (or not want)? For instance, toplists only takes lists and other sites don’t want reviews
  11. what topics do you want (or not want) covered? Does it have to be something not covered before in your blog?
  12. will links get a dofollow or nofollow attribute?
  13. what promotion do you expect from the guest blogger?
  14. do you expect the guest blogger to visit your site and respond to comments? it’s in their best interests to do so but many don’t
  15. are there suitability factors such as no adult concepts or no swearing?
  16. how often will you post something by the same person?

Which ones do you include in your guest blogger policy (even if it is an unwritten policy so far!)?

Did anything on that list make you say “Oh, that’s a good idea!” and get you thinking?

I’ll post more about hosting guest blog posts soon, but let me know if you have specific questions…

8 Responses to Setting rules for guest posts on your blog

  • jwdrumhaven says:

    Great post! I am relatively new to blogging, but I really enjoy the process. One of the problems of just starting out is content. I want more content on my blogs without feeling overwhelmed or pressured to continually churn out posts on my own. I had thought about having guest bloggers to keep the flow going, but never really considered having policies in place to safeguard my site from undesirable posts. Thanks for the suggestions!

    • tashword says:

      You’re most welcome, Joe. Policies won’t stop all undesirable posts arriving (like protecting your email address doesn’t stop all spam – unfortunately!) but they can help.

      A blog without content isn’t much good so guest psots can help take off soem of the strain – I have a few posts on guest blogging which may help you further. Good luck with your blog 🙂

  • KennyK says:

    Great post as usual. You definitely have put a lot of time into thinking about this. I think the standard of writing is very important and it should match in a way with the rest of the content or quality you’re providing. A little advertising is okay, but I would keep it to one or two links maximum.

    • tashword says:

      Thanks Kenny 🙂

      My personal opinion is like yours – the standard of writing and content must be maintained; I wouldn’t be comfortable putting up a low quality post to risk all my hard work (you never know which psot someone will read first on your blog after all).

      As for advertising, I’m happy for someone to link back to their site with relevant links (eg a post on the words in the blog) but not any blatant advertising.

  • probono says:

    This is an excellent post with some very useful advice. I have done quite a bit of guest blogging and I wish more of those bloggers would read your post. It’s absolutely maddening to have a blogger reply to your hard work with, “But that’s not what I had in mind”, but they told you write anything you want.

    • tashword says:

      OH, that is frustrating, probono. It’s hard to kick a goal (or win gold!) if you don’t know where the goal posts are.

      Thanks for your kind words about my list, too.

  • Randell says:

    This is a wonderful post, this has really helped me get started with offering guest posts on my blog, like joe was saying my blog is rather new and im not really one to churn out post for the sake of having consistant content being added so guest blogging is a perfect solution to this problem.

    I was aware id need to place some rules before commencing with the idea, but i didn’t know how to write a good set of rules and where to even begin really. Im grateful you made this post cause it’s given me some great guide lines in which i can work within and i agree with what you have said. Amazing write up keep them coming.

    • tashword says:

      Hi Randall, thanks for adding your voice and I’m glad ot have helped you. I agree that putting up posts just for the sake of putting up psots isn’t great and using guest posts can add to your content. Good luck with finding the right guest bloggers for your blog!

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