How to play well with others – blog guidelines

DSC01384We’re about to start a new year, and I’m developing blog theme weeks. As such, I am expecting a lot of guests. 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 openly invite others to write an article for your blog, you should consider creating your own guidelines. And then 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.

My 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




Dealing with writer’s block

Word play

Proofreading or 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). The final decision on picture selection is mine.image (13)

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.

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. And, um, I won’t apologize if you are late.

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, 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.


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?

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


Filed under Blogging

17 responses to “How to play well with others – blog guidelines

  1. Always love your theme weeks, Karen. Looking forward to the waters, both familiar and yet uncharted, you’ll navigate next year.

  2. You set the bar high, Karen, and I’ve always appreciated and admired that. It’s more about common sense, communication, and old-fashioned manners. Love it. Happy New Year to you. 🙂

  3. Thanks for the tips here on blogging – these are key best practices we can use on any article – very helpful.

  4. I’ve hosted a number of guest bloggers over the years and hope to continue to do so in the future. I like your idea about having guidelines established ahead of time and will be doing this for A Slice of Life Writing too. Thanks for inspiring me.

    And Happy New Year!

  5. Great tips, Karen!
    Thanks, and Happy New Year!

  6. I love guest blogging when there are clear guidelines. I have enjoyed guest blogging on your site last year and look forwrad to your guests this coming year. Happy New Year to you and yours Karen!

  7. It makes things a lot easier for both parties when there are guidelines. I have to laugh, though, when people write to me, asking to guest blog, that they LOVE my blog, then they ask if I’ll have guest bloggers. Erm, if you love my blog, then didn’t you SEE the Guest Bloggers tab? 🙂 I am glad you enjoyed guest blogging – fun!

  8. Pingback: How to play well with others – hosting a guest blogger | Karen S. Elliott's Blog

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