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Guest Post Host

Are You a Bad Guest Post Host?

I recently came across a site whose guest posting policy, while thorough, was discouraging at best and downright scary at worst. Why accept guest posts if you’re going to be mean about it?

I understand the need to put spammers and link-seeking trolls in their place. But there are ways to accept guest posts on your site without going into fascist mode. My thing is this: it’s my site. I don’t have to be overly defensive of my guest post policy. It is what it is, and there is no need to go over the top.

The site I’m referring to was one of those sites that doesn’t even appear to be run by a human being. Boxy, template-looking, with author bio boxes that didn’t even have any content in them! Not surprisingly, the site didn’t have many guest posts – or posts at all. And yet under the inviting looking “Write for Us” menu link was a dissertation-like guest post policy that, between the lines, screamed, “Don’t write for us.”

I’ve long held the belief that guest posting is good for the host and good for the guest. If it is not a win-win situation, it’s not worth it. And for those of us who host, the “win” we offer is not simply real estate on the blog. If that’s all we’re offering, that’s not good enough. As a host, I try to go out of my way to ensure that my site is a good place to publish.

But not all site owners see it that way… Here’s how to avoid those who are really just looking to use you. Watch out for these signs.

guest post host

Signs that a Site is Bad for Guest Posting

1. The site owner blatantly tells you that they are not going to let you know if your post is published or not.

I understand not telling you if your post will NOT be published, but it’s simply common courtesy to let a potential guest blogger know that their post will be published. I let them know in either case.

Simple fix for the lazy or busy: Install a plugin that will alert contributors when their posts are scheduled to be published. Now, the caveat is that your site needs to be structured such that guests are set up as contributors. In my case, I have both situations frequently. When guests are not set up as contributors, I simply let them know when their post is published AND I send them the link to it.

Is it really that difficult to go out of your way to do that, as a host?

I loved the line on the blog I referred to earlier that reads, “Due to the high volume of guest posts that we receive, you will not be notified if your guest post is accepted and published on [site name].” High volume of guest posts? YEAH, RIGHT.

2. The site requires you to promote your guest post on your own blog.

So let me get this straight. This host is chastising guests from desiring a link/SEO benefit from guest blogging, but requiring the guest to give them a link. Sounds like a double-standard to me.

Again, guest blogging should be win-win. As a host, I don’t need a guest to link to their post on my site. Sure, it’s great if they do, but what goes on my site is mine to promote, and I take responsibility for that. I don’t require guests to give ME a link for publishing their content on my site. To me, that’s over the top.

3. The site’s bio boxes are deserted.

If the site is set up to display bio boxes, and there’s nothing in them (and ‘admin’ has no gravatar), move on. This site is most likely on auto-pilot. The owner doesn’t care about it enough to even give themselves credit, so don’t kid yourself into thinking they are going to give you any credit.

To me, it is a huge red flag when the owner has gone to the trouble of generating an extra long guest post policy but can’t be bothered to make sure the other more important features of their blog are set up properly. They are simply in it to receive, rather than to give.

4. The site owner tells you they are going to delete your email if you write to them with questions.

Seriously, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried. This host (the one who inspired this post) is completely off her rocker.

If you come across a site that tells you that if you write to them asking about your submission, they are going to delete your email, move… on. Forget about them. Only a jerk (in my opinion) would say something like that. Now, I may not be the best at getting back to people, but I haven’t made it a policy (in bold lettering) that I will delete their emails if they try to contact me.

Pssshh! Onward.

If you are a host and you can answer yes to any one of those scenarios, you are a bad guest post host. And if you are a blogger and you come across a site with those ridiculous guidelines, run. Do not waste your writing on that blog.

To me, these four things are complete red flags and showstoppers. I wouldn’t publish a post on a site like that. Would you? What are your non-negotiables? What have you done as a guest post host to ensure your guests feel comfortable blogging with you?

Tia Peterson is the founder of bizchickblogs.com.

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{ 38 comments… add one }

  • Emma September 18, 2012, 10:38 am

    Oh my gosh!This article is literally been a form of therapy! I try to be as polite as possible but sometimes I do find myself wanting to scream…” YOUR A RANK TWO BLOG NOT THE FINANCIAL TIMES!” I had an Australian blogger be rather curt with me recently so rather than send through the articles I just signed off and said I would continue to support them…no point arguing…I am sure they may get a few useless posts through from spammers but when someone is transparent and honest there is never an excuse to be rude…esp if your a mummy blog, then I fully expect you to be more polite than anyone else, otherwise why am I reading about you raising your kid when you don’t do the practice yourself? :) manner cost nothing!

  • Abhi Balani January 26, 2012, 6:35 am

    Ohh, how a host can deny queries/questions by their guests. It’s RUDE. I’ll not guest post on any site like this.
    Abhi Balani recently posted..Good Blogger And A Good Blog: What Are The Signs?My Profile

  • Nadeem Khan January 21, 2012, 7:29 pm

    Hey

    I just allowed guest posting on my blog and got around 70+ posts which I published within a week with each having 2 external do follow links. My question is does it hurt my SEO effort? WIll it make difficult for my blog (which has a current PR 3) to attain PR 4?
    Nadeem Khan recently posted..What Can You Learn From These Independent App Developer Success Stories?My Profile

    • Hesham Zebida January 22, 2012, 2:25 am

      Well.. you could save a few and expand the publishing process into a month instead of one week! however, I don’t see anything that could hurt your SEO effort!

      I can’t tell about Page Rank, you will know once Google update it’s PR!

  • Anthony November 5, 2011, 4:04 pm

    Ok Tia, so I am not going to ask “are you serious”? but that is exactly what I am thinking after reading your post. I’m just beginning to put my ‘guest posting feelers’ out there, so I have not come across blogs with those roadblocks just yet. Thanks for preparing me though!

    workathomeguy

  • MsKatrina October 14, 2011, 4:52 pm

    What a timely post. While changing over domains on several blogs, one thing that I am taking advantage of are guest bloggers. I am searching hard for a good plugin that makes it easy for the poster and myself. What do you think of the plugin that I used called uCan Post?

    I must admit that the thought of guest posting on someone else’s blog makes me a bit nervous. I much rather make videos on youtube.
    MsKatrina recently posted..uCan Post on AmaBloggerMy Profile

  • Mira September 11, 2011, 1:13 am

    Why do blog owners put stuff like “Never re-publish again as this will hurt your SEO”? How can anyone even think that re-publishing will hurt their SEO? Re-publishing will not hurt your SEO, in fact blog owners should encourage guest bloggers to republish and link back to the original guest post as this will mean more backlinks and traffic to their blog.

  • Gonzalo Chagas August 30, 2011, 9:48 pm

    Wow! You got me with this one. I was thinking about starting to accept Guest Posters on my Blog.. but I guess I need to go touch up “MY BLOG” a little bit first.

    I think that it needs to be win win situation for everyone involved: the site owner, the guest poster and most important the readers.
    Great tips.
    Not a pro Blogger yet but I’m trying to learn.
    Gonzalo
    Gonzalo Chagas recently posted..Creating A Great E-Book CoverMy Profile

  • Missy August 18, 2011, 12:40 am

    Hi, Tia:

    As someone who writes a lot of guest articles for myself (and for clients) some of my BIG pet peeves when it comes to guest hosts are below:

    1. Taking forever to respond to an initial query about a guest article
    2. Taking forever to approve and or publish a guest article
    3. Requiring a personal photo in Gravatar for BIO area (this is not necessary)
    4. Not allowing the BIO in body of article as opposed to profile box, especially if I guest write for clients and wish to guest again for different topic and or different blog
    5. Requiring a length of 1,000 words (as a minimum)

    As a guest blogger, I should be afforded some courtesy just like a guest in your home. I too have my guidelines to follow such as adhering to guest host rules, but they should be within reason.

    I love to guest write and hope (with time) more blog owners ease up and see that accepting a guest article on their site is a true win-win for both parties. Plus it can be fun, too.

    Cheers,
    Missy
    Missy recently posted..Grab A FREE Copy of The BIG FAT List of Guest Blogging Opportunities (66 Total Mentioned)My Profile

  • Nishadha August 17, 2011, 4:16 am

    Interesting post, I do accept guest posts from time to time but I’m a bit picky about the subject matter of the blog posts. I don’t get much post submissions because it is never advertised in the website. It can be a bit cumbersome to get the guest post exactly how you want it for your site.
    Nishadha recently posted..InfoLinks Review and How to increase your InfoLinks earningsMy Profile

  • Hesham August 17, 2011, 3:47 am

    Tia,

    First of all, I would like to thank you for the post, really good one!

    You are going to hear now from a good host and a very bad host at same time, hopefully the good is more than the bad :)

    I am a good host because:

    1) I have a WordPress plugin called Post Status Notifications it notify authors when their post goes live (approved) or declined (set back as a draft), I personally tweet it to them as well letting them know about it.

    2) I never ask anyone to promote their posts, I do it by myself.

    3) Unfortunate, my English is still bad, and 90% of bloggers who writes here have worst English than I do, this is why FB have an editor who check the posts before it goes live, so basically each blog post cost me money to prepare it. (Most people don’t know about this, and sometimes they delete content of their posts without letting me know!).

    4) I spend from 30 minutes up to 2 hours formatting the post and picking images, and other stuff.

    5) I allow related links, if the blogger didn’t add any, I go ahead and visit their blog and search it, if I find something that has a connection with he wrote, I like to it.

    6) FB is one of the first blogs that has a customized author info box with profile links, I require bloggers to update their profiles.

    7) I am always open for discussion and make friendship with bloggers who writes on the blog.

    I am a bad host because :

    1) I don’t notify bloggers if there post are accepted, I know they expect from me to read and email them back if the post is good or need edit, I don’t have enough time to read all posts on the blog, (Yes, I got what I think is a Huge volume of posts, there are from 10 to 30 pending posts all the time on the blog), this is why I have an editor who check them and give me notes. I really apologize for that!

    2) I cannot publish more than 1-3 posts a day (for two reasons, first because posts will not get enough chance on the front page, second I don’t have time! What to do?!)

    3) Some posts stay pending for more than one month, I cannot solve this issue till now! :(

    I really want to apologize for everyone submits a post and I took long time to prepare it and publish it, I wish my day is 48 hours!

    Thanks again Tia for giving me this chance to express myself!

  • Michael Aulia August 17, 2011, 1:38 am

    I just recently opened my blog for guest posting and I can be a pain the butt at times, maybe because I’m too protective of my blog :D

    Too many article marketers who just want some free SEO links for their clients, that’s why. If one of you guest post though, it’d be much easier to just say “Approve!”
    Michael Aulia recently posted..July 2011 Traffic and Income StatisticsMy Profile

  • Nicole August 17, 2011, 12:32 am

    Interesting post! Good point here: ” I’ve long held the belief that guest posting is good for the host and good for the guest. If it is not a win-win situation, it’s not worth it. ” I totally agree.

  • Vijayraj Reddy August 16, 2011, 3:42 am

    good tips, will remember when i post any guest posts on other blogs…
    Vijayraj Reddy recently posted..Top 5 Best Android Apps for BloggersMy Profile

  • Jane August 15, 2011, 9:33 pm

    Tia, seems that you have just met one of the scariest host blogger. All these are seriously stupid stuff. Honestly these kind of blogs are either on autopilot, or the host simply wants some free content without any respect or recognition for the guest blogger. Being a busy guest blogger and a (hopefully nice) host blogger too, I agree with you 200% on everything :)
    Jane recently posted..Blogging Action Plan Is HereMy Profile

  • Hugh Kimura August 15, 2011, 4:11 pm

    Wow, those are some weird blog owners. On my blogs, I let people know when their guest post will appear. I have turned a few guest posters down because they were writing pure spam. However, if someone has taken the time to craft a quality post, I have no problem giving them links back to their site or I even offer to put their affiliate links in the post if there is a quality product that they mention.
    Hugh Kimura recently posted..How to Check Keywords in 5 Minutes or LessMy Profile

  • PCTechBytes August 15, 2011, 3:44 pm

    Yeah, we try and spell everything out and work with our guest posters as much as possible. If the person knows what to expect up front, both parties are happy. There have been very few occasions were we’ve had to reject a guest post.

  • Mark August 15, 2011, 1:51 pm

    Wow. I have never seen any guest post host say any of those things. Those are brutal.

    :)

    Mark
    Mark recently posted..Email List Building – Post-Panda SEO Requires Lead CaptureMy Profile

    • Tia Peterson August 15, 2011, 3:29 pm

      I agree. It was brutal enough to inspire this post! :) lol

  • jimmy August 15, 2011, 12:53 pm

    I can´t that I disagree with you, although I kinda fail on number 2. ;)
    But like everything else it´s learning by doing, and I hope in time I can get more users to guest post on my blog.

    But the rest is totally out there.!! :s
    jimmy recently posted..So you finally ran out of idea for topicsMy Profile

    • Tia Peterson August 15, 2011, 3:35 pm

      Hi Jimmy! Right on. It’s definitely a learning process, and I think that if you’re getting what you want out of guest post hosting, then keep up what works, you know? These are just my 2 cents. :)

      I’m off to read the post you put in commentluv. Seems interesting!

  • Tia Peterson August 15, 2011, 12:44 pm

    Hey Dave!

    I don’t think registration is necessarily an issue, but jumping through hoops is another story. I do feel that it’s an honor to publish guest posts. First because it saves me a significant amount of time. Second because they bring a lot of traffic, especially ones in my Style and Food sections. So I’m absolutely the biggest benefactor and realize that.

    For our site, there are two ways to submit. Not everyone is required to become a contributor, but they don’t get the benefit of the author bio box or the opportunity to be a featured contributor. They can just submit a regular post with a regular byline and that’s fine, too. But they don’t discover that unless they email me. :)

    I do try to make it as painless as possible. I’m sure a lot of people are turned off by the need to become a contributor but it suits the blog well.

  • Nelly Rodriguez August 15, 2011, 12:30 pm

    Definitely a great list and sites like that deserve not 2 seconds of your time! Guest posting is a great way to share ideas and reach a completely different audience than your regular one! Plus, you get to meet great bloggers as well!
    Nelly Rodriguez recently posted..EatSmart™ Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale ReviewMy Profile

    • Tia Peterson August 15, 2011, 3:46 pm

      I agree. The relationship aspect of it is pretty sweet, especially if you go to a conference later and meet them in person!

  • Paul Castain August 15, 2011, 12:27 pm

    Excellent post!

    I can’t say that I understand those types of crazy policies but there’s an even bigger problem that transcends beyond not making the site “guest post friendly” . . . it doesn’t do much for building community on ones site . . . unless of course, you’re trying to attract other unreasonable folk!

    Thanks again!

    Respectfully,
    Paul Castain
    Paul Castain recently posted..Gravitating Towards or Retreating From Experts?My Profile

    • Tia Peterson August 15, 2011, 12:33 pm

      Hi Paul! Thanks for commenting. You’re right. Basically, I think hosts that do these things are trying to build article directories of sorts… they have no community to speak of, and we all know that’s probably the biggest driver for people looking for a guest host.
      Tia Peterson recently posted..Is He Ready for a Relationship or Easily Overwhelmed?My Profile

  • Dev August 15, 2011, 11:23 am

    Hey Tia,

    Interesting post and you made some great points.

    I always treat guest bloggers with respect and make sure they get notified when their post is published.

    Thanks for sharing this great post with us. keep up the good work, Tia.

    ~Dev
    Dev recently posted..Friday Tip: Host a WordPress Blog for DevelopmentMy Profile

  • Ileane August 15, 2011, 8:07 am

    Hi Tia! I’m surprised anyone ever guest posts on that blog :) Sounds like a nightmare.
    I treat my guests with respect and let them know when and if their posts will go live. What plugin are you using to notify your guests about the status of their posts? There are times when I get too busy to notice that a post is waiting for my approval (only a day or so).
    Ileane recently posted..Guest Blogging: 10 Benefits of Accepting Guest Posts on Your BlogMy Profile

    • Tia Peterson August 15, 2011, 12:35 pm

      Hi Ileane!

      The plugin I use for that is called “Collaboration E-mails.” It works really well for bizchickblogs, since some of the editors do their own approving of contributor content. It helps spread out the responsibility.

      You are probably one of the best possible guest post hosts! :)

  • Edgar August 15, 2011, 8:02 am

    Yes, believe me when i say that i had a lot of those so called “firm guys”. I remember once a blog owner who wasted a lot of my time into editing the article with a lot of DOs and DON’Ts (her write for us page was so long that you need to take a break many times to complete it), and finally i got rejected for no reason (i though that the blog is about space physics, which it wasn’t). I mean if you don’t want guest posts, then why do you ask for them.
    Edgar recently posted..Improving your-blog with web hostingMy Profile

    • Tia Peterson August 15, 2011, 12:39 pm

      Hi Edgar!

      lol I admit that one time, I did ask someone to edit an article and then I still did not publish it. However, it was more an issue of the fact that even after editing, it just would not work as a post on our site.

      However, ugh, your experience sounds like a nightmare. I understand how frustrating it can be. You, too, can come up with your own set of guidelines and you can always tell the host that you are just going to find another place to publish it rather than doing a whole lot of editing.
      Tia Peterson recently posted..If You’re Gonna Be Self-Employed, Charge for These Two ThingsMy Profile

  • Dave Lucas August 15, 2011, 6:33 am

    If you want me to write a guest post for you, ask me.

    I agree with your article 100% —- there are also bloggers who invite others to write guest posts but FIRST you have to ‘register” on their site and/or get a password — there’s NO reason why it should be so darned complicated! I shouldn’t have to write and submit a guest post only to have to email the host blogger back and forth ten times because I haven’t followed all the ‘rules’. If neccessary, just ONE email should suffice.

    This blogger DOESN’T jump through hoops just to be a guest blogger on your blog!
    We need to band together and IGNORE such blogs — even if they are “awarding prizes” —
    Dave Lucas recently posted..Twitter This and Tweet ThatMy Profile

    • Tia Peterson August 15, 2011, 12:45 pm

      Whoops I replied to you but for some reason the reply ended up at the top of the comments section. :)

  • Jason August 15, 2011, 6:03 am

    That’s very sad to hear that such blog hosts exists. I’d personally receive any decent guest poster with open arms…

  • Ming Jong Tey August 15, 2011, 5:18 am

    Some of the things that we can look out for great guest post are:
    1. To check the about page of the blog. It should be decent and provide some information about their site (not the typical 2 lines)
    2. Check the blog comments. At least some interaction between commentors and the blog owners.
    3. Does the blog worth your time to guest blog? Eventually, it is a win-win so people who guest blog would like to gain some new readers.

    Cheers,
    Ming
    Ming Jong Tey recently posted..Keyword Research With Google In 7 WaysMy Profile

    • Tia Peterson August 15, 2011, 12:46 pm

      Hi Ming – I agree with all of your points! It’s a total win-win and hosts should realize that.

  • Blazing Minds August 15, 2011, 3:09 am

    I don’t think there is any excuse for your first point, every blog Admin should take those few minutes to say, “thanks for the post, got it scheduled for…” or “Your post is now live”.

    With a stack of people now using Wordpress you can even get a plugin to email the author when the post is scheduled for or posted.
    Blazing Minds recently posted..See The Light by Bob Evans – Music ReviewMy Profile

    • Tia Peterson August 15, 2011, 12:48 pm

      Exactly. It takes almost no time at all, and if you think about it, this is about developing relationships, too.

      I’m okay with not being told a post won’t be published, especially if they say something like, “If we don’t get back to you within X number of days, it’s not going to be published” or something like that. I believe that Twitip has a policy very similar to that. At least at that point you know where you stand.

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