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. 

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Author: Hugh W. Roberts

My name is Hugh. I live in the city of Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom. My blog covers a wide range of subjects, the most popular of which are my blogging tips posts. If you have any questions about blogging or anything else, please contact me by clicking on the 'Contact Hugh' button on the menu bar. Click on the 'Meet Hugh' button on the menu bar of my blog to learn more about me and my blog.

81 thoughts

  1. Hi Hugh,
    I agree with your tips regarding guest posting protocol. For example, I always reply to the commenters even if the host blogger doesn’t ask me.

    1. Same here, Janice. I’d never ignored a comment, although I do mark some comments as spam – e.g. ‘Great Post.’ And I also send comments with uninvited links that have nothing to do with the subject of the post straight to the trash folder.

  2. it still amazes me how there are many, many bloggers that don’t bother to leave a comment and don’t reply if you leave a comment for them! Then there are others who have no option to subscribe to comments so you never know if they replied to the comment you left for them. To me, blogging is about community, friendship, conversation, etc…

  3. This is a very valuable post for writers as well for blog hosts who accept or request guest posts. My first guest post, I submitted to a very large blog (over 1 mil hits a month). They were very kind to me, asked me to read a book to improve my presentation, they gave me a second chance. On my second writing, they published my post. So a very positive experience that made me a better writer.
    I was asked to write for another site, they took my post and changed it so that I could hardly recognise it, they spread it over three pages with their own stuff advertised through it. Never again.
    Another host took a point I had made, I had supportive evidence for the point, and they said to a commenter that they did not agree with my point. I thought that was a bit rude:)
    I have written for smaller blogs and have had very nice and pleasant results.
    So, your post is going to be helpful for all of us. We will feature it on the next Blogger’s Pit Stop.

    1. Hi Kathleen, thank you for sharing your experiences with us about writing guest posts.

      I can’t believe that some hosts change posts of guest bloggers so that they become unrecognisable. At the very least, I would have contacted the guest blogger and suggest some changes instead of editing it and publishing it. And not to support a guest blogger in the comments section is something else host bloggers should never do in public. By all means, go back to them and say so, but not in public where visitors can clearly see the disagreement.

      I think that in most cases, guest blogging can be an enjoyable and pleasant experience. But, like you, we will all learn lessons about it along the way.

      Thank you for sharing this post on the upcoming Bloggers Pit Stop. I’m glad it’s been of some help to you and many other readers.

      Best wishes,

  4. Hugh, I always learn from your blog posts about blogging. One of the things in this post is “Do they allow pingbacks in guest posts to any of your other blog posts or those of other bloggers?” reminded me that I’ve never understood what pingbacks are. #SeniSal

  5. These are great ideas. I’ve never written a guest post before, but it’s something I should look for I think.
    x, Julie

  6. I love guest posting, and especially enjoy interacting in the comments with new readers.
    Here’s my pet peeve about guest posting: the scheduling. I’ve had hosts change the date without letting me know AND run the post without telling me the date! This makes it very hard for me to send readers their way via a short post on my own blog.
    Other than that, I’ve made lots of good friends by teaming up with other bloggers and with websites.

    1. Oh, that’s not the right way for any host blogger to treat their guest blogger, Michele. I’m shocked that there are host bloggers who do not notify their guests of any changes to scheduling or when their guest post has been published. That’s almost as bad as a guest blogger not responding to any comments left on the post. I’d certainly think twice before accepting another invitation to write a guest post from a blogger who did that to me and their other guests.

  7. It’s an honor to be asked to create a guest blog, Hugh, and you’ve done great jobs with it. This list of tips is useful as well. I have created a few guest posts in the past (it’s been a while), but haven’t asked anyone to do so for me, yet. I have so much material myself, that – trying to stick to a “one post a week” schedule – still doesn’t allow me to share all the travel experiences and photos I’d like to put out there.

    I couldn’t agree more with the importance of replying to comments and questions on your posts or guest posts. It’s the least you can do to respect your commenters and it’s one of the best parts of blogging: communicating with your readers and followers. I have unsubscribed from blogs (or not left comments anymore), because the blogger never replies (anymore). I feel that if you don’t have time to reply to your comments, you shouldn’t publish new posts until you’re caught up. I always make sure I replied to all the comments, before I post a new story on my blog.

    1. I’m on the same blogging schedule as you (once a week), Liesbet. I know what you mean in that there is so much I want to publish, but I like to break up the ‘Hugh routine’ of blogging with the odd guest post now and again. I also didn’t really take into account all those guest posts I’d written in the past and how useful they would become in republishing them. Now, I can’t see myself ever running out of ideas of what to blog about.

      I’ve also come across another rather alarming fact about comments. However, that’s food for another post.

      Hope Mark and you are both well.

  8. Thanks for your words of wisdom, Hugh. I can always count on your blog for helpful tips. I have written a few guest posts and invited a couple of guests to write for my blog. I agree with everything you said and can’t think of anything to add. I would emphasize the sharing and responding to comments. It helps you and it supports the host, who was kind enough to invite you in the first place. I always subscribe to be notified of comments via email to ensure that I don’t miss a comment that comes, as you said, months or years later. I found your post on the Bloggers Pit Stop.

    1. Thank you for coming over from the Bloggers Pit Stop, Christie.

      I’m glad you’ve found this post helpful. I completely agree with you about subscribing to comments on a guest post we’ve written and had published. I’ve even had comments come in a few years after guest posts were first published. I’d hate to think I was ignoring anyone that left a comment for me.

  9. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips, Hugh. I do write guest posts fairly often and I always go over for four days afterwards to see if there are comments. Some lovely bloggers, like Christopher Graham, actually email you when their are comments so that you can prioritize going over to visit. I feel that if you don’t respond to comments, it is not really worth doing a guest post. It is all about interaction.

    1. Only for four days, Robbie? What about the comments left after day four? Does that mean that if anybody left a comment on a guest post of yours a week or month after publication, you would not reply to it? Take me, for example, it can sometimes be a week (sometimes a month) before I get around to reading a guest post. It all depends on how busy I am at the time of its publication.

      I’d highly recommend that you do what Ritu said in her comment, and subscribe to comments on your own guest posts. That way you wouldn’t miss any.

  10. Very good advice Hugh. I have monthly guests & have appeared as guests on other blogs. It is very beneficial, but as you say these simple points are important, especially answering comments. I hope I get it right. Ritu’s point of subscribing to comments is excellent so comments wouldn’t be missed.

    1. Yes, Ritu makes a great point about subscribing to comments, Sam. I can’t understand why anybody would not subscribe to comments on a guest post they have written. From what I have seen, you’re getting guest blogging precisely right.

    1. The comments make such a difference, Kevin. It always delights me when readers get into a discussion with me and each other about the contents of a post. I think it proves that what has been written has definitely been read and motivated the reader to add value to the post. For me, that’s what blogging is all about.

      1. I have one request Hugh. Could you recommend some bloggers or websites where someone like me ( who has not written guest posts earlier ) could start writing guest posts.

        1. I think in most cases it’s worth contacting a blogger who has a blog where you feel a guest post of yours would fit in perfectly, Deepa. However, I recommend that you at least follow those blogs first and leave some comments on some of their posts before asking. I’ve seen some bloggers publish a blog post asking readers if they’d like to submit a guest post. Check the menu bar of blogs and see if there is a button titled ‘Guest Posts.’ Some will say ‘Guest Posts and how to submit them.’ One I know of is Sue Vincent, who blogs at ‘Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo.’ She has a ‘Guest Post’ button on the menu bar of her blog which, when clicked’ tells readers how to submit guest posts.

        2. I got your point Hugh. Look for bloggers who encourage guest posts, follow them and read their articles. It makes sense to do that also to check if the niche and topics are complimentary.
          And then check with them or follow their guest post instructions.
          I will look at Sue Vincent’s blog.
          Thanks Hugh.

  11. Great tips and advice, Hugh! I have been a guest on several blogs and I felt honored they asked me to do so. I was careful to follow their guidelines and absolutely replied to comments made. I was recently featured on Sally’s blog archives and hope I attended to all the wonderful comments! I like your timeline of “reblogging” the post a few days later–in fact, that works if a blogger has a particular schedule they use for posting. I have really been enjoying your helpful blogging hints series, Hugh, it suits you and with your readership and experience, you give expert advice. Keep ’em coming!

    1. Thanks, Terri. I’m so pleased these kind of posts are helping so many.

      I would not have doubted you responding to all comments on your guest posts. I just wish other bloggers who write guest posts were the same. Some offer great help and tips yet still ignore the audience of the blogger who was kind enough to host them. When there is an option to close comments off, I still can’t think why they would do that. If it’s a time issue, then why not inform the host so that he/she can take over responding to comments?

      I think this just goes to show that we should all be careful when asking who to write guest posts.

      1. Do you get requests to accept guest posts from random people? I get maybe 2-3 per month. I got suckered in to one from a local business that worked for my blog and I was not happy in the end. I wonder how others deal with these requests. I usually reply with a polite no thank you.

        1. Yes, I get lots of requests, Terri. Many say they are big fans of mine and love reading all my posts, which is strange because they’ve never ever left me any comments. I go back and say they are welcome to submit a post to me and, if I choose it, I charge £100 for publishing it on my blog. Needless to say, I never ever hear back from them. ☹️

  12. Hi, Hugh – Once again, you have offered stellar advice. The guidelines that I use when selecting Guest Host Authors are:
    • Bloggers whose writing is a good match for my niche (i.e. retirement).
    • Those who have a track record of writing quality content that benefits readers.
    • Writers who engage fully and meaningfully with comments.
    • People who enjoy collaboration and working as part of a team.
    This formula has worked well for me. You were a very popular guest on my site. I greatly appreciated your contributions.

    1. Thank you for sharing those guidelines with us, Donna. I especially like ‘Writers who engage fully and meaningfully with comments.’ Those kind of comments are worth hundreds of the ones that are left just for the sake of saying something that adds no value. You’ve got a great formula for guest posting.

  13. Thanks again for all you’re great insights to blogging. Comments are so encouraging as a blogger! I just don’t know why someone would ignore those who took time to read and share their thoughts! 😊

  14. Thank you for the practical and helpful advice, Hugh. I haven’t been following you long, but I learn something each time I read one of your posts. As a newer blogger, I appreciate all of your wisdom.

    1. Thank you, Debby. I really do think that updating and republishing those guest posts from years ago is a great idea. If I enjoyed reading the post the first time around, I’m sure I’ll enjoy an updated version of the post.

  15. I also commented at length to a guest post and never heard back. I shared very personal reflections in a reaction to her post – not something I usually do – and being ignored (along with other commenters) was disappointing. I look forward to your posts – very helpful!

    1. I think it happens to us all at some point. However, it does teach us which bloggers to avoid when leaving comments. I’ve gone as far as to unfollow bloggers who do not respond to comments.

      Thank you for the feedback on my blog posts. I’m always delighted when readers tell me how helpful I’ve been.

  16. You always provide such helpful advice! I have enjoyed participating in guest posts and have “met” a lot of new friends/followers that way. I love how you keep reinforcing the importance of replying to comments on regular posts and guest posts. Not only is it polite to reply, but I think it’s important to do so as quickly as possible. Leaving comments sitting out there for several days without a reply can be frustrating to those of us who value the conversation.

    1. I agree, although I do understand that sometimes life gets in the way of allowing us to respond to comments straight away. I make it a priority to respond to all comments. In fact, it’s one of the first things I do when I switch on the computer for the first time. I think it’s one of the reasons why readers keep coming back.

  17. As I think I’ve said to you before, Hugh, I regard my blog as somewhere for me to write, and feel that in some way I would be short-changing regulars who expect to see my words rather than someone else’s. For that reason I’ve never invited guest posts and very rarely reblog someone else’s post – an honour accorded to few! I’ve done a couple of guest posts for a blog that went very well, and I diligently responded to every comment, as I do on my own blog. Like you, I think it rude not to respond, but I also feel that people who don’t engage with commenters are missing out on a key aspect of blogging. We can learn from those interactions.

    1. I know of many other bloggers who feel the same way about allowing somebody else taking over their blog, Clive. I’ve had a lot of guest posts appear on mine over the almost six years I’ve been blogging, but nowhere near as many as some. Most of my followers seem to appreciate me introducing them to new writers. However, each to their own. So far, I’ve only had one guest blogger who did not respond to comments. I learned my lesson, but would not be afraid of taking any further guest posts down.

      1. It’s good that it has worked for you. I guess we all must do what feels right for us. After all, the world (and blogging) would be a very dull place if we all thought and did the same!

  18. Hugh, I always look forward to your posts and blogging insights! I never thought of pinning the Guest Blog post to Twitter, but I love the idea. Thanks again for sharing these great blogging tips. Cheers! 🙂

    1. I completely agree. I recently left a comment and a question on a guest post and heard nothing back from the guest blogger or the host. When I checked the post (to ensure my comment had not failed to show), I noticed the guest had not responded to any of the comments. She’d simply ignored everyone who’d taken the time to read her post and leave a comment. To me, that was such a rude thing to do. Why write a post if you’ve no intention of acknowledging or responding to comments? You’d be better off closing off comments.

      1. Very true! Everyone can get unlucky and miss one comment (Even if you should try your best not too) but for both to ignore it and guest blogger to not be seen in comment section at all is bad form.

  19. You’ve covered every avenue here Hugh, but the responding to comments is one of the key points to remember. I try and subscribe to comments of any post I have guest posted on, so even if it is years later, I am notified so I can respond.
    Being a guest on a blog is a fantastic opportunity to increase your reach, you are right!

    1. Subscribing to comments is the best way to go about ensuring you don’t miss any of those comments or questions left on your guest posts, Ritu. I find it strange that some guests won’t respond to any comments after the post has been up for a certain amount of time. However, it could be that they did not subscribe to comments and just kept going and forth to check if there are any new comments. Nobody wants to do that, so subscribing is definitely the best way to go.

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