Nowadays, you can launch a website easily with the help of content management systems like WordPress. However, giving shape to a thought is not an easy process. Especially in the blogging world it is really a difficult and long term task to establish a reputed website. Most of you may have websites but running out of thoughts for publishing quality content. Though you can hire freelancers to manage you content, it will cost you hefty bills. The alternate option is to accept guest post in your blog. However, you have to prepare complete guidelines for accepting guest posts in your site and inform the submitters to make the process smooth.
Benefits of Accepting Guest Posts?
Here are some of the benefits, you will get with guest blogging.
- Free quality content can save your time and money.
- Develop networking from experts from the same niche.
- Social promotion as submitters will share content on their social profile.
- Improved visibility for your site.
Guidelines for Accepting Guest Post
In order to maintain the scope and quality of your website, you can request authors to understand and follow the guidelines before submitting the article. You can create a guest post submission page and mention the following guidelines.
1. Accepted Categories
You may have multiple categories to group the posts on your site. It is a good idea to accept guest posts only from certain categories to maintain the quality. It will also help you to focus writing content on other categories to keep your blog running. Clearly mention what type of categories you will accept from guest authors and what categories you will not accept.
2. Content Guidelines
Next step is to inform the content guidelines for acceptance criteria on your site. Below are some of the useful content guidelines for you to accept guest posts on your site. Remember, these are the guidelines you are expecting from the submitter.
Content Guidelines for Accepting Guest Posts
- Articles should be with minimum length of 1000+ words.
- Use original wordings with quality content and do not submit the articles already published on other website.
- Need minimum one image to be used as a featured image for the blog post. Don’t copy images from other websites and simply insert on your document.
- Article should be submitted in a Word document along with images and videos separately sent through email or using contact form. You can also send the text content for each article along with images in a zip file.
- Once the article is submitted, our editors will review and let the author know about the publishing status.
- The review process is manual hence it may take up to a month time, so request not to submit the same article on some other site during this time.
- Approved articles will be published under relevant category with your name as author name (if provided).
- In case if the article is rejected, we will confirm the status and never use the content of the article.
- We reserve all rights to modify the content and make the formatting of the article suitable for this site.
As you see the above guidelines make many points clear to the submitter:
- Number if words required for the article
- Time needed for reviewing submitted article
- Only unique content will be accepted
- Need images and text content separately
- Word documents if accepted format
- You have the rights to accept or reject without any notice
The idea is to avoid arguments and lengthy email chains for clarifying the guidelines. You can add other formats like PDF if want to accept content in that format.
3. Credits and Backlinks
One of the biggest problems in accepting guest post is to handle links in the articles. 99% of authors work for some outreach agencies and submit content for promotional purposes. These articles will include backlinks to sites not at all related to your website. The best way to handle links in guest posts is to make them nofollow. However, you should mention this to the author before publishing the received content. On other hand, you can accept dofollow links from reputed sites referenced in the article.
Below are some of the link guidelines you can take as a reference and inform the submitters:
Backlinks Guidelines for Accepting Guest Posts
- Avoid completely copying and submitting someone’s article or sending your own article published on any other site.
- The purpose of accepting guest post on this site to provide a platform for beginners and not for the purpose of back linking.
- Any article submitted with irrelevant links pointing to unknown sites will be rejected without further review.
- All links on the guest post will be NOFOLLOW to make sure the article is focusing on the subject instead of back linking.
Many authors will contact you for publishing with dofollow links for a payment. Remember that guest posting and sponsored posting are completely different. You should inform the submitters that you offer guest article posting fully on free of cost basis which means you neither pay for guest posting nor accept payments for posting on your site. This will avoid any misunderstandings that submitters could assume.
Note: Publishing articles by accepting payment is against Google’s webmaster guidelines. Google will penalize your site soon or later for selling links. If you want to accept sponsored post, make sure to use nofollow or sponsored link attribute to inform search engines that the links are paid for promotional purposes.
4. Reject Articles with Irrelevant Backlinks
Even you mention the above guidelines, you will still receive queries or articles with irrelevant backlinks. Therefore, we recommend you to explicitly mention the type of links you will not accept. In our experience, below are some of the links you should simply reject to protect the reputation of your site. You can make it clear that the content will not be published no matter how good it is, if it contains the links from the following categories.
Guidelines for Links Not Acceptable
- Links related to essay writing and assignment submission.
- Quick rich scheme and make money online links.
- Pornographic, adult and vulgar material.
- Gambling, casino, betting, fashion design, food recipes, etc.
- Educational and link building.
You can add any other niche that you do not like to publish. In summary, request the submitter to submit content related to your website.
5. Author Details
Another set of guidelines you need for guest posting is the author bio details. Most authors want to showcase their name and social profile in the author bio section. Make sure you can add author bio for guest articles and connect their social profiles. In order to avoid receiving unnecessary details in author bio section of the article, you can add the following guidelines:
Author Bio Guidelines
- Mention in few lines about what exactly you are doing. You can be a college student or a mom – be truthful and mention it clearly.
- Ensure you have a Gravatar attached to your email so that the profile picture will appear on the author bio box.
- You need to be an independent author. We do not accept articles from SEO companies and site owners, submitting modified content with link back to a third party site.
6. Content Alignment
Many submitters expect the content to be published as it looks on their Microsoft Word document. You have to inform them that the content will be adjusted to fit the formatting and look (headlines, font, colors, etc.) of your site. Also, make the point polite that if necessary you reserve complete rights to modify the content on the article at any point of time.
Sometimes, the author may submit the same article to multiple sites and more than one sites will have the same content. This will create content scrapping problem and your reputation will be impacted when readers misunderstand you scrapped the content from other site. Hence, periodically review the guest posts after publication of the articles to find duplication or plagiarism. If you find the article is copied or published on other site, do not hesitate to delete the content immediately. You may inform the submitter about the deletion or simply ignore the situation. If required, setup a redirect from the deleted page to another relevant page on your site.
7. Receiving Articles
The final step in receiving guest articles is to choose the way for submission. The best option is to insert a contact form on your guest post acceptance page with an option to attach articles. This will help submitters to read the guidelines and submit the content on the same page. You can also promote the guest post page with all necessary details available in a single place.
If you can’t add contact form with file attachment option, ask the submitter to contact you through email. At any case, you need to respond them over emails for further communication.
As you can see, setting up the guidelines for accepting guest posts in your site needs lot of analysis and time. Though the setup is onetime process, you have to review each submitted article with utmost care to avoid plagiarism or misunderstanding with the author. As a reward, you can get some quality content and your blog reputation can improve over the period when you publish content from popular authors on your niche.