When A Guest Post Just Doesn’t Make The Grade
Editor’s Note: The following is reprinted from the Global Bloggers Network newsletter, with the gracious permission of Janice Waugh.
I was asked recently how I manage a guest post that just isn’t the quality that I want on my site.
And from there, the discussion expanded. We discovered that there are many issues around guest bloggers that can be tricky to manage.
So this article is about:
- How I manage guest bloggers.
- What I offer guest bloggers.
There are two categories of guest bloggers; those I invite and those who ask if they can write for my site. The former is easy. Having chosen them, I already know the quality of post I will receive.
However, I accept proposals for posts as well. When a request comes in, the first thing I do is check their site. If it they can write decently and their subject area is appropriate for Solo Traveler, then I send them my Editorial Guidelines.
The Editorial Guidelines have two fundamental purposes:
They let guest bloggers know what is expected.
They give me a way out if the blogger doesn’t meet the Guidelines.
What’s in the Guidelines
In the Guidelines I try to encourage quality by making it clear that I expect people to take care with their work. At the same time, I try to give allowance for the fact that not all bloggers are writers and English is not always their first language. So, without copying them out verbatim, here are the basics.
According to my Guidelines, a post…
- Must be based on first-hand experience.
- Cannot promote a location or product.
- Must be original.
- Cannot contain embedded text links.
- Must include at least one picture that is XXXpx wide and that is taken by the author.
- Must include 100 word bio that I can adapt to introduce the writer.
- This is what I say regarding quality:
- If English is not your first language, I am happy to help out with proofreading and editing.
- If English is your first language, I will edit, however, if the article has many errors I will return it to you for review.
- I have only once lost a post due to poor quality that the writer was not willing to fix.
What I Offer Guest Bloggers
Despite my strict guidelines, I really appreciate guest bloggers and want to encourage their participation. I don’t pay for posts but I do offer value in other ways:
~ I write a personal introduction for each guest blogger which I run at the beginning of the post – not the end which some readers may not get to.
~ I offer up to three links in the introduction. These can be to their home page, twitter account and Facebook page.
~ When I have a relationship with a high quality blogger, I will support them in their effort to get sponsorship for a trip by providing an assignment letter based on Solo Traveler numbers.
Guest bloggers have been a real asset for Solo Traveler. I hope some of this information helps you gain similar benefits.
How do you deal with guest blog posts that are less than what you expect? Share your advice!