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Being nice with your guest post refusals

handwritten note of no thanksWhether or not you want them, as your blog gets older and more popular it is extremely likely that you will be offered guest posts for your blog.

And assuming you want to maintain a certain standard (in writing quality, content value and staying to a style and topic range), you will need to reject some, if not all, of those offers.

I’m not going to cover why we should reject posts nicely – or reject them at all rather than just ignoring them – that’s a topic for another day. And I’m ignoring obvious spam for this post, too.

Rejecting with respect

The key to refusing a guest post nicely is to be polite and respectful.

Even if the guest post is irrelevant to you or low quality, someone has taken the time to write a post and submit it to you. If they have really tried, they will have an emotional attachment to the post and your response.

How to reject professionally

  1. be polite
    • use their name with a greeting –  “Hi Sam”
    • thank them for their submission
    • don’t use derogative or insulting words
  2. show respect
    • show you have a reason for the rejection – it doesn’t have to be in detail but adding ‘we don’t accept guest posts’, ‘we only use posts on this topic’ or ‘your post doesn’t suit our style/audience’ makes the rejection less personal and lets them know how to avoid the same mistake
    • don’t be insulting, rude or patronising
    • write a proper response – a single ‘no thanks’ looks lazy and disrespectful so use proper sentences
  3. be positive where possible
    • if you list faults with the submitted post (such as if you like their information but want the writing improved before you could use it), start and finish with positives about the post

The rejection note doesn’t have to be long as long as it is respectful and makes sense – a greeting, one or two sentences and an ending is enough.

Example rejection notes for a guest post

Hi Sam,

Thanks for submitting your “how to treat frog fungal infections” post. It was well written, however, my blog only accepts posts on business related topics.

Kind regards,


Hi Mary,

I received your guest post yesterday, thanks. I won’t be using your post in my blog because it doesn’t meet the guidelines for guest posts.



Thanks Phoebe.

Your guest post, Measuring your social media ROI, was fascinating and well suited to my blog. However, I found it a little hard to understand at points and a couple of sentences seem to stop mid-idea. The questions you posed were thought-provoking so I would be interested in seeing a revised version.

Hope to hear from you soon,


Hi Bob,

While I appreciate you sending me a guest post I don’t think it suits my audience so I have removed it from my inbox.




* image courtesy of 123rf

6 Responses to Being nice with your guest post refusals

  • KennyK says:

    Taking time to send a reply, even a short one, with a clear reason, is important. At least you show that you have read their work. While the actual article isn’t what you’re looking for, you can still thank them for their efforts and give them a good feeling, instead of insulting them (this actually happens quite often, and it makes people angry sometimes).

    • tashword says:

      Absolutely, Kenny. And why insult someone for no reason?

      Given today is World Peace Day, maybe friendly rejections can be my way of sowing harmony. I think that sounded more sincere in my head but I do believe that little things can build relationships so we all feel better.

  • allswl says:

    I have guessed blogged before and had my post rejected for some reason do not remember. I was upset but I never let the client aware of that. In fact kept posting on his blog and he accepted most of them. The thing for blog owners to remember is that the more information you give a writer, even when they reject their work, the better they will be able to give you what you need consistently.

  • Domoviye says:

    Great advice here.
    I get quite a few guest post offers, many of them not very good. Unless the person is really annoying, multiple guest post offers after I tell them I’m not interested, I keep things as polite as possible, and try to offer advice on how to improve.
    Unfortunately not all of these would be guest posters show the same respect.
    I had one woman send me a guest post on how the history of stress. It was a little light on details. I explained the problem and told her if she could expand it by 100 words, it would be great. She said no problem, so I pegged her in for the next week.
    I never heard back from her, which is a shame it had good potential.
    Domoviye recently posted..Dress For SuccessMy Profile

    • tashword says:

      Thanks for leaving a comment, Domoviye.

      Sometimes it is frustrating to do ‘the right thing’ when others around us don’t, but I guess we need to hold onto the belief it IS the right thing for us.

      What a pity that woman didn’t take your advice and get her post published – the history of stress sounds like a fascinating post (and I imagine it would go on and on so an extra 100 words shouldn’t have been too hard!)

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