I play well with (blog with) others – blog guidelines

I play well with (blog with) others. Guest blogging in four parts – Part I of IV.

I decided to go to my own guidelines to propel this first “Blogging with others” blog. Later, I’ll cover “Hosting a guest blogger,” “Querying another blogger,” and “Being a guest on another blog.”

Open and inviting – If you are going to openly invite others to write an article for your blog, you should consider creating your own guidelines. Post your guidelines on your blog so they are readily available.

My guidelines – These guidelines work for me. I am quick to tell guests that my guidelines are just that – guidelines – not hard-and-fast rules. I tweak my own guidelines from time to time, depending on my experiences and my blog’s development.

Karen S. Elliott’s Guest Blog Guidelines –

I like blogs that are helpful to other writers or something that is fun and/or educational. For instance –

Blogging tips

Writing tips

Social Networking, i.e., blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.


Dealing with writer’s block

Word play

Proofreading or copy editing





Foreign words or phrases

Words, phrases, or acronyms for a specific job or hobby, like hiking terms, cooking terms, hunting terms, gardening terms, scrapbooking terms, and so on.

Flexible – I’m flexible. If your blog post does not cover any of the above suggestions, that’s okay. I look at uniqueness and originality, too.

Opening photo – I always post a picture/photo on top of blog posts. If you have a suggestion for a picture, I’m all ears (or eyes, rather). Pictures must be clear and crisp. The final decision on picture selection is mine.

Quotes – Many of my original blogs have a famous quote at the end of the post. If you have a suggestion for a quote, I’m all ears. The final decision on quote selection is mine.

Style – I like small blocks of text with bolded headers (proven blog winners). I do not like huge blocks or text with no white space.

Word count – If I feel the blog is too long, I will suggest edits. My blogs are normally about a 1,000 words; I may make an exception if I feel the content is compelling. Please do not be offended if I suggest edits or changes.

Be nice – Please do not slander or defame anyone in your blog article.

Headlines – I try to encourage readership with good headlines. I reserve the right to create a headline or edit your headline.

Re-post – I’m happy to post something that you have previously posted (as long as it belongs to you). If you are submitting a new article as a guest blog, I’m happy to include links to content on your blog if it’s pertinent.

Proofread – I’m sort of a nit-picky stickler for punctuation, typos, grammar, but I do allow for casual flair. It’s a blog – not a letter to the President.

The f-word – I do not care for foul language although an occasional use of a body part or slang on a bad word is okay. I will look at each blog post with fresh eyes and take the entire blog post on its overall merits.

Deadlines – I require that your draft blog post be in my inbox a week before the scheduled blog post. This is to allow me to give it the once-over and to be sure I have it prior to its scheduled posting date. My deadlines are firm.

Linking and blog love – I will link to your blog, Facebook page, website, Twitter, etc. I ask that you mention your contribution and my blog somewhere in your social networking, i.e., on your blog, Facebook page, Twitter, Google+, etc.

Guest blogger pic and bio – I like to post a profile picture (yours!) and a bio (yours!) so don’t get shy on me.


As a final note, I’ve revised my blog guidelines about a dozen times. I’ve also revised my blog quite a few times – to accommodate my audience, to accommodate my feelings about writing and publishing, and so on. A blog is like a jellyfish – ever changing, ever moving.


“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.” –Albert Einstein

“Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Do you have blog guidelines? What blog guideline is an absolute must for you? What would you add to or delete from my guidelines for your blog?


Photo – Photobucket, Cutegirl3



Filed under Blogging, Branding & Platform, Editing & Proofreading, Social Networking

19 responses to “I play well with (blog with) others – blog guidelines

  1. An excellent summary of blogging etiquette. I’ve printed it out and will refer to it often.

  2. I’ll be dishing more etiquette in the week to come! Glad you found it so helpful, Ray

  3. I think rules help everyone – the host and the guest. Having said that I don’t have any written rules. I do like how blogs are fluid. In newspapers, it seemed like it took months to change a style issue or a feature in the paper. On a blog, you can change it for a minute, hour or day. If you don’t like it, you can try it.

    • My blog face has changed a few times, and a huge change was the special weeks I now include every month – which opens up opportunities for others. Love my special weeks. They are so much fun!

  4. Great post, looking forward to the rest in the series.

  5. These are great guidelines. I wonder if I could *steal* them? I’ll email you about it.

    Thanks, Clar

  6. Thanks everybody for your kind comments. I’ve developed these after working with guests and from blogging on a few other sites. Clar, will wait for your email! I find if you post guidelines, then you dispose of the chaff that comes a-knockin’.

  7. Hey Aussie Moose – thank you for subscribing!

  8. Love this! And I so need this as I delve more into having guests, and being one. Thanks for posting…def bookmark material 🙂

  9. Great idea, Karen, and I think your guidelines are clear a flexible. I’m looking forward to the other parts of your series.

    I found that having guest blogger guidelines saved me a lot of repetition. Also when I find a blogger I think is compatible and want to invite them to submit a guest post, my invitation can be short and include the link to my guidelines if they’re interested.

    My guest blogger guidelines are here: http://www.heartspoken.com/guest-blogger-guidelines/.

    Since I also invite guest bloggers if I come across someone whose area of writing is compatible with mine, I keep a spreadsheet that lists the folks I’ve invited, when I invited them, what I think their topic might be, and their email and URL. It also includes the URL to their post after I’ve published it. Having this saves my neck if the instance that someone responds a long time after my initial invitation and I don’t recognize their name. I also save emails that give me permission to use their blog or use a picture.

  10. don’t forget to list your blog on the guest blogging networks such as http://www.guest-blogging.org so you can have extra filtered guest bloggers

  11. Elizabeth – I like how your guidelines reflect the essence and feelings of Heartspoken! Very nice.

  12. Pingback: I play well with (blog with) others – hosting a guest blogger | Karen S. Elliott's Blog

  13. Pingback: I play well with (blog with) others – how to query another blogger | Karen S. Elliott's Blog

  14. Pingback: I play well with (blog with) others – your guest post | Karen S. Elliott's Blog

  15. Pingback: How to play well (and blog well) with others | Karen R. Sanderson's Blog

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