Savvy Speaks: What to Include in Guest Blog Guidelines

Savvy Speaks: What to Include in Guest Blog Guidelines
The Savvy Sisters - Wed Dec 08, 2010 @ 03:33AM
Comments: 56

One of the beauties of blogs is that they don't have to be limited to a single perspective or certain set of contributors. While each of the Savvy Sisters brings her unique experiences and inspirations to the table, we broaden that by welcoming posts from guest bloggers. Not only does this infuse our world with fresh voices and ideas, it gives each of us a bit of breathing room until our next post is due.

Though we've invited guest posts for quite some time, we've learned valuable lessons along the way. Here are some tips you can use to streamline and ease the process of peppering your blog with guest posts.

Wendy Thomas


Some guidelines I give for guest posts include the routine like length (300 - 600 words) and topic (please, please stay on topic).

A not so easy to define personal requirement is that a post has to match the tone of my blog. I'm not going to post a negative diatribe against anything on my blog because that's not what it's about. Even though your information might be valuable, just like any literary agent would say - I'm not the representative for you – try someone else.

Another key requirement is that the author needs to know how to write. I'm not trying to be facetious here. If you want to guest post you need to be able to create a post with a purpose that has a beginning, a middle, and a very clear end.

Get in, say what you need to say and then get out. Just don't forget to tell me that you've left the bulding.




Help guest posters understand who your blog is intended for, and what topics may interest them. Suggest that they review your current posts (ideally you have these categorized for easy scanning) and submit a few ideas for possible posts. That way no one wastes their effort developing a post on a topic that isn't relevant -- or that's already been covered. At the same time, it saves you the trouble of reviewing a blog post that doesn't fit the bill.

And don't forget to explain your posting process. For example, that when submitting the first draft, guest posters should include any required graphics and a bio. And that once you've reviewed the draft and suggested any edits, you'll let them know when the post will be going live.



I think the number one thing I look for when we get a guest post is that the preson adds a new perspective or approach to our theme. I want original (not previously posted) content on a topic that isn't already covered extensively on our blog. As an example I was working with a marketer who was an expert on survey analytics for one of my clients. I learned so much from her I knew she needed to be a guest poster on our blog. Beyond word count guidelines, etc what I am looking for in inspirational ideas and practical strategies in keeping with our broader theme.



The person offering to submit a guest post needs to be fully informed of your editorial guidelines in advance. In general, creating a list of clear editorial guidelines is the best way to avoid any misunderstandings and cut down on wasted time by all parties.

For example, if you don't want to publish content that's already been posted elsewhere, you need to let posters know upfront that any posts need to be original - as well as what your policy is for re-posting the blog after it's gone live on your site.

I also agree with Stephanie that a gentle reminder that the poster should review your blog for style, tone and content is in order as well.

At the end of the day, don't be afraid to turn down a post that doesn't meet your guidelines. It's your blog and you will ultimately be the one judged for its content.



I second all the great advice of my fellow Savvy Sisters. Here are a couple miscellaneous tips to round out the list:

  • Document your guidelines either on a non-navigable page on your Web site or in a google document. That way, you can easily send the link to prospective guest posters so they have all the gory details at their fingertips.
  • To make your life easier, request that the blog content be sent as an HTML file with all the formatting already done (including images). The guest poster can easily create and format the post as a draft on her own blog and then just copy and send you the HTML to drop into your own editor.
  • Ask that the guest poster help promote the post through her networks on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and anywhere else she's got followers. Also make sure she shows up to engage anyone who comments on the post.

And, in case you're curious, here's where you can see the Savvy Guest Guidelines.



Great advice from my Savvy Sisters! I'll add a few things:

  • Post the guidelines online so all of your contributors have easy access to them. (I know Jamie suggests a Google doc, which I have used as well, but I've come to like a public link.)
  • Think about questions you receive or edits you are always making and include these points in your editorial guidelines.
  • Be as specific about the topic(s) you post on your blog. When following up with a potential blogger via email, I have started to send some of the posts that have wored best so they specific suggestions.
  • Include guidelines on if/how how bloggers can re-use content on the site.

Comments: 56


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