5 Important Points To Consider When It Comes To Writing A Guest Blog Post

Writing a guest blog post is one of the most rewarding and credible things a blogger will ever get the chance to do.

Thinking of writing a guest blog post?

It can help propel you and your blog in front of thousands of new readers and followers. In some cases, it can also get you noticed by other publications which might be willing to pay you for your work.

As somebody who has had the honour of writing guest posts, there are some essential guidelines I follow before accepting an invitation to write for another blog.

Likewise, these points also act as a reminder when thinking about inviting other writers to write a post for my blog.

Am I being put in front of the right audience?

If you’re invited to write a guest post for another blog (and are not familiar with it), check out their blog posts and ask yourself if you are putting yourself in front of the right audience. 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

For example, a guest post about cake decorating is probably not going to be appreciated by an audience who is used to reading blog posts about science-fiction or horror.

Likewise, if the blogger asking you to write a guest post writes about a subject you’re not interested in, then you’re likely to struggle to come up with something they will accept, or something that will go down well with their audience.

Don’t waste your time writing for blogs that you know won’t work for you or your writing. Never be afraid to turn down an invitation to write a guest blog post that you have any doubts about writing.   

Ask your host if they have any requirements for guest posts.

Great! You’ve just accepted an invitation to write a guest post. However, don’t go off and write it before asking your host if they have any rules or guidelines about what they will and won’t accept. 

Don’t forget these –

For example –

  • They may have a word count limit or may require you to write about a particular subject. 
  • Is the word count limit too high or too low for what you have in mind? 
  • Do you really want to write a guest post about embarrassing, personal, health issues or the history of lampposts in your neighbourhood?
  • Do they want you to respond to any comments left on the post?
  • Do they allow pingbacks in guest posts to any of your other blog posts or those of other bloggers?
  • Do they allow affiliate links in guest posts? 
  • Is there a deadline to get your post to your host, and can you meet it?  
  • Do they expect you to return the favour and ask them to write a guest post for publication on your blog? 
  • What about the sharing of your guest post? Do they expect you to share it on your social media accounts or your blog?
  • Do they expect you to supply images/photos with your post, or will they be providing them? If so, who has the copyright for those images/photos when the post is published?

Check all the requirements first, even before accepting the offer to write a guest post. And don’t be afraid to turn down offers that you know will not work for you.   

Responding to comments.

For me, even if my host did not require me to respond to any or all comments left on my guest blog post, I’d still respond to all of them.

Why on earth would anyone want to ignore the audience of another blogger/writer? 

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Like many others, I enjoy reading and leaving comments and questions on guest posts. These posts can not only be an entertaining read but often teach me something new.  

I’ve recently left some comments and questions on guest posts and got no responses back. Not only did it make me feel like I was being ignored, but I thought how bad it made the host blogger look because his/her guest was ignoring his/her audience.

It doesn’t look good and can easily backfire on the host blogger.

If you’re a guest blogger, my recommendation is that you respond to all comments left on your guest posts. And this includes any questions or comments that come in months or even years later. 

Don’t ignore them just because your guest post was written and published several weeks/months/years ago. That’s like closing the door on readers who may be interested in buying your books or following your blog.  

If you’re hosting a guest blogger/writer, make it a requirement that your guest responds to all comments and questions left on the post. Why? Because time and time again, not responding to comments is the main reason why somebody may unfollow a blog or why a reader may not return.   

I’ve gone as far as to take down the guest post of somebody who, despite me repeatedly asking them, refused to respond to any of the comments or questions left on their guest post.

Don’t be afraid to take down a post.           

How to treat your host.

Regardless of whether or not you accept an invitation to write a guest post, always thank the person who approached you.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

You do not need to go into full details as to why you are not accepting an invitation, but it may help the host if you give them some information as to why you’ve decided not to write a guest post.

For example, you may be too busy or have already reached your quota of guest posts. 

However, don’t be afraid of giving them a reason so they do not keep sending you invitations. It’s better to be upfront with somebody than to keep turning them down again and again.    

Never feel under any obligation to return the favour and believe that you must ask your host to write a guest post for your blog.

Although I’ve never had anyone be upset with me for not asking them to write a guest post, I have heard of incidents where a host turns into a troll because they were not asked to write a guest post in return. 

And we all know how to deal with trolls, don’t we?

Sharing is caring

One way that I always find helps both my host and me when I’ve had a guest post published is to share the details on my social media sites. 

Image by Pixaline from Pixabay

When it comes to Twitter, I’ll pin the tweet to the top of my Twitter feed, so it does not slip down as I tweet more. It remains there for at least a week. 

I also ensure the Twitter username of the host is included in the tweet so that they are made aware that I’ve tweeted the post and how many times it gets retweeted.

Although I don’t always feel obliged to share my guest post on my blog, I always leave links to them on one of the pages of my blog (such as ‘My Books’ page). 

If I do share the guest post via ‘Press This’ (I no longer reblog posts), I always give it at least a week after publication before I share it on my blog.

This helps give the post a second boost after its original publication and stops duplication on the WordPress Reader and in the email boxes of readers.

Too much duplication of a post on the same day doesn’t look good, especially if it’s being seen by the same readers. Plus, SEOs such as Google rank duplicated posts lower.      

Final thoughts    

Last week, I updated and published a guest blog post I had initially been invited to write for Donna Connolly, who blogs at Retirement Reflections.

Although the post was originally published in April 2018, it went down well with my readers, some of whom had never read it before. 

Republishing guest posts (after updating them) not only put them in front of a new audience who may have followed you since the first publication, but it can also help fill a gap you have in your blogging schedule. 

If like me, you’ve written many guest posts, then you may have an archive full of hidden gems worth republishing. 

Do you have any guidelines you follow when asked to write a guest post or when asking another blogger to write a guest post for your blog? Share them in the comments section. 

Copyright © 2019 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

87 thoughts on “5 Important Points To Consider When It Comes To Writing A Guest Blog Post

  1. Thanks for these thoughts Hugh, I found this under your 13 tips post so this is a useful find about etiquette and how to approach.

    I treat it as common courtesy to respond to comments so will keep an eye out when I have a guest post coming out, though have no objection being prompted (especially if it’s months after publication and I’ve stopped checking)

    To help share, I created the ‘Featured Elsewhere’ page which is a portfolio of all my guest opportunities- the benefit for me is the social proof that people like my work and will publish elsewhere beyond my own blog!

    1. You’re welcome, James.

      Whilst many bloggers welcome the opportunities of guest blogging, I have witnessed guest posts being published on blogs where the subject of the guest post has nothing to do with the content the host publishes. Needless to say, those posts end up getting a lot less attention than they would have if published on a blog that published similar content. I always find it sad to see guest posts with no comments or likes on them.

      Likewise, guests who do not respond to comments left on their posts is something I’ve witnessed. I always think of that as not a nice way to treat your host or their readers. It’s one of the reasons why I insist that guest bloggers respond to all comments before I publish them on my blog.

      1. That’s interesting to note Hugh. I had someone come via my ‘Contact Me’ page asking if I’d be interested in a guest post about setting up a marketing department, which suggested they hadn’t even read my blog as I haven’t anything at all related to that subject (I politely declined)

        I’ve responded on guest posts on the authors behalf though it’s felt weird responding about things that aren’t my ideas. I probably should have asked the author to respond!

        I guess it’s like being invited to someone else’s party, making yourself at home and ignoring all the other guests when they try to make polite conversation.

        1. I get requests to guest post on my blog via my ‘Contact Hugh’ page almost every day, James. However, many of them include demands, which is an instant turn-off for me. And when they start Hi, Hello, howdy, etc., and say they’re a big fan of my blog, they go straight to delete. They’re obviously templates sent to many other bloggers, probably by spambots. If they can’t be bothered to address me by my name (which is obvious), I know they’ve never read a single post on my blog. Which is probably the reason why they’ve never left a single comment on any of the posts they’ve claimed to have read.

        2. I can understand with the demands!

          I’ve had a few odd requests from the contact me, one was from a relative new follower, asking if I wanted to be a cohost on their podcast (again with no focus what I write about), I compare that to going on a first date and being proposed side!

          On the reverse side of things offering to guest blog through a contact me page, I was sent through a ‘contract’ to sign recognising that I had no right for payment if the blog was to make any money off my work.

          I’m no expert but not sure it would count for much if I ever made a claim (not that I would, good luck if they can make money from my words!)

    1. I’m always shocked by how many guest bloggers do not reply to comments, Diana. One told me that she only checks for comments on her guest posts for the first four days after publication. I did ask about the comments that are left after day four, but she never replied to my question. I’ve made it a requirement on my blog that guest bloggers reply to all comments on their posts, regardless of when those comments come in.

  2. Really great gems in this post, Hugh. I always learn something new from you. I have had very good experiences writing Guest Blog posts. I find the Hosts have been very kind and generous. It has helped me think outside of the box on some topics.

    I think most of us appreciate comments and our interactions with the blogging communities. Christie Hawke’s comment in your feed brought a question to mind. I have been getting increased spam and one of the help sites advised I should close comments on posts older than approximately six months. I do not like doing this since I will get the occasional comments on an older post. I set my “Manage Following” to “Automatically close comments on articles older than 150 days.” I now get almost zero Spam. Therefore, the positive, no spam. The negative, comments are closed. Do you have any suggestions or strong personal feelings? I have been reluctant to begin Moderating my posts. Thank you, again, for sharing your wisdom. Erica

    1. I’m glad you’ve always had good experiences with writing guest posts, Erica. Same here too, although I have turned down some guest posts offers because of the types of blogs concerned. Their audiences were not the kind that would have been interested in my blog posts.

      In answer to your question, I’m a firm believer that comments should not be turned off, although there are a few exceptions. For example, if the blogger is away dealing with personal or family matters. For me, turning comments off is like closing the door in the faces of your readers. If a blog post is attracting a lot of spam and is over a year old, then consider rewriting the post and publishing it again. On the older post, you can then add a sentence explaining why you’ve had to close comments off, and redirect readers to your new post (via a pingback). They can then leave comments on the newer post.

      I see many bloggers automatically closing comments after 21 days. Many say that 21 days is long enough for their followers to read and leave a comment, but it doesn’t work like that. What about readers (like me) who often take a month to get around to reading a blog post? And what about visitors who find your posts via a search engine three months later?

      I hope that helps?

      1. Thank you for taking the time to respond to my question, Hugh. You make a good point I had not thought about before. The spam did seem to gravitate to only a couple of posts. I will turn comments back on and track the specific post(s). Yay, I am more comfortable with this plan. Thank you, again, and have a great week!

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