I hope you find my writing and business tips and observations useful. My business and blog are dedicated to helping businesses communicate clearly and reach their potential. Read, subscribe to my newsletter, enjoy!Tash

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Blog editing policies

The editing of guest blog posts is a perfect example of a blog policy.

It gives the host blog some control over the standard of posts accepted. The host blogger can accept great post ideas and make sure they read well.

Specific policies are more effective

Many blog policies include something like

All guest blog posts may be edited before publishing.

As a potential guest blogger, that makes me nervous. What will they edit? Will they tell me they have edited it before it is published? What if their edits include poor grammar/expression so it looks like I made those mistakes?

As a host blogger, I would feel uncomfortable taking advantage of such a policy and making huge changes to someone else’s post. I would also start to think it would have been easier to write my own post on the topic!

I prefer a more specific policy, such as

Guest blog posts may be edited for spelling and basic grammar.

For full transparency and relationships building, I would add an extra sentence, too:

We will get your approval on any edits other than typo corrections

If you’re submitting guest posts, which blog would you choose if the only difference was in their editing policies?

Editing guest blog posts

Accepting guest blog posts for your blog can be a win-win-win situation if they are good quality posts.

Sometimes you will receive guest blog posts that are pretty good but not quite at the standard you want for your blog.

I know I have read blog posts that have great ideas and tips but are poorly written or posts that seem good but don’t quite develop the ideas enough to be useful.

The temptation is therefore to edit the posts so they also read well or make their intended point.

Is it ok to edit guest posts?

Yes and no!Adapting blog posts to suit he blog

If the guest blogger has made a simple error or two (for example you instead of your, busniess instead of business, or copywrite instead of copyright), then I would fix it for them.

A good writer would prefer you to fix that (or ask them to) then let them have public errors. And may not realise you have made the changes if they don’t go back to their original.

However, it is still polite to let them know you edited their work.

On the other hand, if the post has numerous and/or more serious issues, it is not ok to edit it without the author’s consent.

Remember that the guest blogger’s name will be with that piece so they have the right to know it is in their words – and you also enter into legal issues for what is called moral rights.

I think there are three ways you can get an edited post:

  1. Return it to the author with an explanation of what is wrong and ask if they are happy for you to edit it – offering to get their approval before publishing of course
  2. Edit it and return it to the author for approval before publishing it – make sure you introduce the subject nicely as some people will be offended at you doing this
  3. Ask them to edit it (and ideally explain why it needs editing so they have an idea of what to change)

Some blogs have a policy stating that they can edit the post before it goes live. Even with such a policy, I would not advise doing heavy edits to someone’s work without giving them the power to accept/reject those changes.

If you submit a guest post, how would you like the host blogger to deal with your work if it contained errors?

Why use a professional writer?

Not many people actually ask me outright, but you can almost see the thought cross their mind – “why would I pay someone to write stuff for me? I know how to write a sentence.”

One very important reason some people choose to hire a writer is simply to save time. It is a task to be outsourced so you can spend more time doing what you’re best at. This is especially true for people who struggle over every word and find writing very time consuming.

Another reason is distance – a professional writer is not so close to your business so will have a clearer perspective of what needs to be said. When you are close to the business, it is easy to get caught in details that aren’t necessary in a marketing document for instance. And when it comes to something like an about us page on a website, many people find it hard to write about themselves anyway.

A professional writer (or editor) may just review what you have done – finding those little errors you can’t easily find in your own work. It is handy if you work alone and don’t have anyone else who can proof read for you.

Of course, a major reason for using a professional writer is to get words that work well, are easy to read and are grammatically correct. For some people this is easy to achieve, others have to work hard at it and some people just can’t get it no matter what they do. Even if you can write fairly well, if you aren’t experienced at writing in a certain way it may be worth getting a professional to do it for you. You can always use their work as a model for future projects.

I think of it this way – I can hold a pencil or paint brush and make marks on a page but I would pay someone else to actually paint something to hang on my walls. We all have our talents and I’d prefer to outsource to experts than try to find time to do everything myself. Which of course leaves me with more time for writing…