When you start getting guest blogging inquiries more often than quick call requests from clients, it’s safe to assume it’s time to open your blog for guest authors, right? That time has come for me, too.
First, some guest blogging ground rules if you want to get published here
Ideally, each post should be about 800 words for better user experience. I could accept longer blog posts as well but no more than 1500 words and only if they are free of “filler content”.
Each post should be useful. I would not accept generic content which is common sense and lacks actionable tips. Needless to say, the content should be original (not published else-where) and relevant to my blog and audience.
I add a contextual image to each blog post, one image per roughly 500 words. It would help me a lot if you provide contextual images with your guest posts. If you do – please, send them over with source and proper credit to the photo author. If you don’t, that’s ok too. I can find a contextual image myself.
Some “technical details” about your guest blog posts here
I am very particular about formatting for search engines and readers alike – with short paragraphs, section titles, etc.
While I won’t change your content (I am not an editor) I might change formatting if you have not followed the formatting guidelines. You can check them in the free ebook which I give away to newsletter subscribers.
(If you don’t want to subscribe to my newsletter but really want to get your hands on the formatting guidelines, let me know – I will send it over to you if we agree to move forward with your guest post writing.)
Although it’s more work for me as a host, I prefer if I am the one inserting all blog posts in my WordPress. So you won’t be required to do any blog post uploading or linking. All you will have to do is send me the blog post via email (after all other preliminary communication though – don’t send me your posts just yet, read on!)
For better user engagement, I add at least 3 internal links to existing content on my website (blog posts or pages). If you have something against this, better don’t send me your pitch. I will not make an exception for you.
You will get a link back to your website, blog and/or social media properties from your author bio. I won’t include a text link within your blog post unless it is super relevant and exceptionally valuable to my readers to have that external link right there, within your guest blog post.
Please don’t do any of these
If you do any of these, your guest posts will not be accepted and I may even not respond to your email at all…
Don’t pitch me topics which are obviously irrelevant to my blog. Don’t pitch me at all if you are solely after a backlink.
Please, spend some time getting to know me through my content. Read my blog to get the feel of content I publish and what my audience is interested in. If you need help with that – say so, I will gladly send you a detailed audience profile if need be.
But don’t include me in your link-building schemes – believe me, I can tell when you think of me as “just another blogger who might give you a backlink”.
And no, starting your email with my name and including my domain as reference does not count as research and customization of your pitch 😉
Don’t send me your written blog posts. I will not accept guest posts which have not been written specifically for my blog after my approval of the topic, the blog post direction and purpose.
Don’t send me reminders and follow up emails. Once I get your pitch, I will confirm getting it so that you know I received it. Please allow some time for me to look through your pitch. Don’t send me the same email multiple times. Don’t send me a follow up email 2 days after you sent your pitch. I get a lot of emails – it could take 2 weeks before I can actually get back to you.
Don’t demand payment for your guest posts. Unfortunately I don’t pay for guest posts, not yet anyway. For now, all I can give you in return is exposure to my readers, promotion on my social media properties and to my email list, to my network in general.
What’s the process to get your guest post published on this blog
First, send me your topic suggestion via email with a writing brief, so to speak – what’s the purpose of the post, what points it will cover, what the reader will be able to do after reading the post – that type of info. If you want to pitch me more than one topic – include the above info for all topics.
Also, tell me in a couple of sentences who you are and why I should have you as a guest author. Please, don’t tell me the story of your life – I am asking this just so I get the feel what type of person you are and what we have in common.
Remember to give me 2 or 3 links to materials you have written. Don’t give me all the blogs you have ever written for. The best thing to do is give me 2-3 links to specific blog posts which you are proud of and which pertain to the topics you are pitching. This way I can see exactly what type of content (in my niche) I can expect from you. No need to refer me to a post about healthy eating if you are pitching a freelance related topic, right?
Tell me if you have any constrains or special requests – e.g. time you’d need to write the blog post, provided I like your topic suggestion; or you want me to publish the blog post within certain time period due to time sensitivity of the matter. Anything you might have in mind – tell me in this initial email.
If you have any questions – feel free to ask! I love questions – if you have read enough of my blog posts, you know I am an advocate for asking questions 😉
Once I get your guest post request, I will confirm receiving it – just so you know, I got your mail! This doesn’t necessarily mean I will have a look at it immediately. Sometimes it can take up to 2 weeks to look into the details and get back to you about your topic and/or with follow up questions.
Once I look through the details of your pitch, I will get back to you via email. We will then agree on time-line for the blog post writing, due date, publish date, and so on.If you have followed all of these guest blogging guidelines, I believe I will accept your topic suggestion and then – publish your guest post with minimum or none edit requests.
That’s it. Have fun now 😀
You can send me your pitch via my contact form – choose “Guest Blogging Opportunities” as subject. You can also email me directly at Diana @ dianamarinova . com (make sure you remove the redundant spacing in the email address I have given). Please, insert as subject “Guest Post Inquiry – Title of your suggested post”.
P.S. I reserve the right to add more requirements or details to these guest blogging guidelines so if you pitch me more than once, make sure you revisit this page now and then 😉
Jeri Walker-Bickett (@JeriWB) says
Great specifics, of course 🙂 Now I know where to look when I get around to updating my guidelines. I do have a couple of contributors coming on board, so I’ve signed them up as such so I don’t have to import the text myself. The guideline of including an image for every 500 words or so is one more people need to follow. I read a few great blogs, but the lack of images makes everything feel lackluster.
Jeri, i sometimes don’t follow my own guidelines about contextual images – i often post a 1000 words blog post with a single image in the beginning… 😀 I find poor formatting or lack of section titles is what puts me off more than the lack of images.
Love that you are so specific with your guidelines! This can only help in preventing any misunderstanding from the onset. I completely agree about the images. I try to always use (2) even though I try to keep my own posts at 500 words or a bit more. But my content is geared more towards entertaining and I find myself liking longer posts that are more informative or instructional.
Truth is, the specific guidelines didn’t stop spammers from sending me requests. The difference is now i get to tell them ‘sorry, here’s my guidelines – follow them or leave me alone’. They usually don’t get back to me…
Jacquie, i like how you arrange your posts – they are more entertaining but so are your images. Oh, i have not read a ‘where’s the justice’ episode in a long time. I really have to make time and come visit soon! 😀
Max - Midway Marketplace says
Hi Diana; Congratulations on reaching this point. As you said its a good sign of how well respected as well as popular your blog has become. I don’t know that i will have a guest post with our target audiences being so different, but I appreciate your taking the time to make the process understandable by writing this post. I don’t think most blog owners go into this much detail on what they are expecting or how the process will work. Which is why we probably have to have so many blog posts out there on the proper way to pitch a guest post. And I hope the people lucky enough to get published remember that they also have a responsibility to promote their guest posts. I recommend they push it just as hard if not harder than if they had published it on their own site. Thanks for inviting us to contribute to your blog. Take care, Max
You are so right, Max – guest bloggers really need to make an extra efforts when writing as a guest author and promoting their work afterwards. t’s good blogger etiquette, i guess. But what do i know – i have not guest-blogged much 😀
Hey Diana, I feel the same as you when it comes to guest bloggers and the entire process. People need to read your guidelines before expecting to get a guest post published. It needs to be relevant, it needs to be interesting, it needs to be something that people actually can learn something new from. People love to just write boring simple posts and get them slapped up real quick to another blog. But why would you want to be known for an article that is sub-par quality? If you really write an amazing guest post, you’ll actually get a lot more out of it in the long run, so it’s worth it to do an exceptional job and offer some great informational value to the readers of the blog you want to guest post for.
Right, i agree, Lisha – maybe a lot of people are after quick backlink and that’s the only reason for them to gust blog. Which is silly in the context of what;s going on on the internet today an with the whole “is guest blogging dead” madness. I have no problem saying NO to such guest bloggers – i am sure you don’t either 😉
I like the fact you put what the guidelines are for guest posting. I haven’t really gotten into it and this post gives me food for thought. Here different comments about the length a post should be. Do people really read it when it is too long, will it keep your interest if it too short, are the images getting your readers to read more. It is a lot to take in.
You raise an interesting point, Arleen – i have to dig deeper into my own stats to see what MY audience likes… I don;t buy in all that general speaking wisdom how 2500 words is best for SEO and 500 words is best for magazine, but 1000 is best for a blog, etc. etc.
Niche and type of blog matters a lot, even in terms of its length. What is good length for my blog may or may not be good for your blog.
I, personally, hate blog posts which are over 1500 words. No matter how good, chances are i won’t give it a chance if it is that long. MY ideal length (as a reader) is about 800-1000 words. I guess i am the absolute average (or i just read slow hahaha) because i heard recently 7 min. is the ideal length a blog post should get you to read it. If it’s longer – chances are, the reader will go before finishing it. But again – this is another “generally speaking” type of wisdom.
Jeannette Paladino says
Diana – I have guidelines on my website for guest posts. It amazes me that I receive inquiries which are totally unrelated to my subject areas, do not even include the full name of the blogger, no contact information and no links to websites or other blog posts. Then there are the people who “require” back links. You can imagine what I do with all these requests.
I hear you, Jeannette – i still reply to those bloggers with a canned message pointing them to the guidelines but soon enough, i may stop doing it altogether. If they didn’t bother getting to know me, my blog and my guidelines for guest bloggers – why should i spend time to reply and give them a second chance? It’s true what people say – there’s no second chance for first impression 😀