How to play well with others – hosting a guest blogger

Kenton and boysHosting a guest blogger can be a rewarding experience. I learn, I find new friends, and I expand my reader base and exposure. Variety is the blogger’s spice of life. And it’s fun!

Guidelines – I have guidelines, mentioned in my post of How to play well with others blog post of a few days ago. I explain these are not hard-n-fast rules, simply guidelines. I like to enable my guests to use their imagination, their own voice, and their own sense of humor.

Reach out – I don’t wait around for people to invite themselves to guest blog. I go after people I find interesting. Reach out. Expand your horizons!

Background check – Before I invite someone to be a guest, I check out their blog, website, Twitter, Facebook… Do the same background check if a blogger approaches you. Is this someone you want on your blog?

Posting date clarity – Recently, I messed up. In correspondence with a prospective blog guest, my deadline was vague. The guest blogger thought I wanted her article in February (because earlier I mentioned Valentine’s Day), and I was talking about November!

Deadline – Give the guest a specific deadline. S.P.E.L.L. it out clearly. “I need your submission in my inbox on or before January 22.”

Wiggle room – I normally set deadlines at least a week before the scheduled day. Don’t rely on last minute submissions. What if you plan on posting a blog on Tuesday afternoon and you still don’t have it Tuesday morning?DSC01197

Back-up plan – What if your guest doesn’t follow through? Have a couple of your own draft blog articles simmering on the back burner for these emergencies.

Guest bio – I like to provide a bio and links for my guest’s online pages. So, in addition to the article, I ask for a 1) bio 2) profile picture 3) URLs for their social networking.

Maintain control – Indicate (in your guidelines and in conversations) that if you feel their article is not appropriate for your blog you won’t publish it or you might require edits.

Read the submission – Be sure to read the submission as soon as you get it; don’t wait until posting day. Is it well-written and free of typos? Do the links work? If you feel it needs to be edited, send it back to the writer or advise them that you will edit. Be clear about what you feel needs to be edited.

Just say no – I hate to do this, but I’ve had to say, “No, thank you.” If the guest has broken one of your critical guidelines, ask the guest to edit or tell them you feel it’s not appropriate for your blog.

Learn to say yes! – I have broken out of my blogging-box on numerous occasions. A few times, I have read a submission and think, “Eh, not really my cup o tea.” But I sit on it, give it a half day or so, read it again, and consider it on its merits.

Blogging love – If I have a guest, I ask that they share the link on their blog and/or their Facebook, Twitter, Fan Page.

Think big picture – Nearly every time I’ve had a guest blogger, I see an increase in my comments, and I occasionally get a couple new subscribers.

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Have you had guest bloggers? Do you have additional advice for hosting? What sticky situations have you been in with guest bloggers?

If you are a host to your guest, be a host to his dog also. ~Russian Proverb

A visitor’s footfalls are like medicine; they heal the sick. ~African Proverb

Quotes from Quote Garden.


Filed under Blogging

14 responses to “How to play well with others – hosting a guest blogger

  1. Great tips and you are a great host and guest! Love the pix. What bicycle fun. Really like those quotes today too.Happy New Year.

    • Thanks, Stacy. You haven’t been a guest for a while…? I have been trying to use more of my own photos with my blog. They are more fun than posting pics from strangers, and there is no litigation danger from using my own pics!

  2. Great tips as always Karen! I too enjoyed the pictures.

    • Thanks, Darlene! Two more ‘blogging with others’ coming. I think I might make these my new year’s opening blogs every year. They are good reminders for me as well as others.

  3. Karen, enjoyed reading your great tips. I have done interviews, but have not hosted guest bloggers — something I’ve been thinking about doing this year. Nice to have your guidelines.

    • Feel free to copy/change/edit my guidelines for yourself. Guest bloggers are so much fun. Though, don’t expect it to be a piece of cake – I still proofread and sometimes edit articles, pick opening and embedded pictures, re-work titles once in a while, make sure all the links work and then set up hyperlinks. So it’s not just copy/paste. But it’s fun! Try it. If you would have a guest blogger, what sort of articles would you be looking for?

      • I have been receiving some communications from individuals and families about books I review on special needs, military families etc. Many have their own blogs on these subjects. I reviewed a recent book about Helen Keller that was beautiful and a parent cotacted me many week later. Her youngest son is blind/deaf. Once I read her blog, it occurred to me to invite some of the individuals do guest blogs and share their stories or work. Other families might find it inspiring. That’s why your blog was so timely. Thank you for the advice. Before I always interviewed. Again thank you!

  4. I worked in the Deaf community in NM for five years and learned a lot about their culture. American Sign Language is beautiful! I was also able to work with a Deaf/blind individual and found it challenging and rewarding. I’ll keep your blog in mind! Thanks, Patricia!

  5. Pingback: How to play well with others – the guest blog query | Karen S. Elliott's Blog

  6. Pingback: How to play well with others – your guest post | Karen S. Elliott's Blog

  7. Great tips. Sometimes it can get difficult to weed through the spam emails just to get to the real people who are interested in guest posting. These are some good ideas to help weed through the problem folks out there.

  8. Pingback: The latest spammy blog query | Karen S. Elliott's Blog

  9. Pingback: Blogger Goal of the Month: Host a Guest Blogger

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