What guidelines should you set up before permitting guest posts on your website?
Nowadays, you can easily launch a website with the help of content management systems like WordPress. However, shaping a thought is not an easy process. Especially in the world of blogging, it is really a long-term and difficult task to establish a reputable website. Most of you may have websites but are running out of thoughts to post quality content. Although you can hire freelancers to manage your content, it will cost you big bills. The alternative option is to accept guest posts on your blog. However, you should prepare comprehensive guidelines for accepting guest posts on your site and notifying submitters to make the process smooth.
Benefits of Accepting Guest Posts
These are some of the benefits you will get with guest blogging.
- Free quality content can save you time and money.
- Develop networks of experts from the same niche.
- Social promotion, since senders will share content on their social profile.
- Improved visibility for your site.
Guidelines for Accepting Guest Posts
To maintain the reach and quality of your website, you can ask authors to understand and follow the guidelines before submitting the article. You can create a guest post submission page and mention the following guidelines.
1 Accepted categories
You can have multiple categories to group the posts on your site. It’s a good idea to only accept guest posts from certain categories to maintain quality. It will also help you focus on writing content in other categories to keep your blog running. Clearly mention what kind of categories you will accept from guest authors and what categories you will not accept.
2 Content Guidelines
The next step is to inform the content guidelines for the acceptance criteria on your site. Below are some of the helpful content guidelines for you to accept guest posts on your site. Remember, these are the guidelines you expect from the sender.
Content Guidelines for Accepting Guest Posts
- Articles must have a minimum length of more than 1000 words .
- Use original essays with quality content and do not submit articles already published on another website.
- You need at least one image to use as a featured image in your blog post. Don’t copy images from other websites and just insert them into your document.
- The article must be submitted in a Word document along with images and videos sent separately via email or via the contact form. You can also send the text content of each article along with images in a zip file.
- Once the article is submitted, our editors will review and inform the author about the status of the publication.
- The review process is manual, so it can take up to a month , so please ask not to submit the same article on another site during this time.
- Approved articles will be published in the corresponding category with your name as the author name (if provided).
- In case the article is rejected, we will confirm the status and never use the content of the article.
- We reserve all rights to modify the content and make the article format suitable for this site.
As you can see, the above guidelines clarify many points for the sender:
- Number if words are required for the article
- Time needed to review the submitted article
- Only exclusive content will be accepted
- You need separate images and text content
- Word documents if the format is accepted
- You have the right to accept or reject without notice.
The idea is to avoid discussions and long email chains to clarify the guidelines. You can add other formats like PDF if you want to accept content in that format.
3 credits and backlinks
One of the biggest problems when accepting guest posts is handling links in articles. 99% of the authors work for some dissemination agencies and send content for promotional purposes. These articles will include backlinks to sites that are not related to your website at all. The best way to handle links in guest posts is to make them no follow . However, you must mention this to the author before posting the received content. On the other hand, you can accept links from reputable sites that are referenced in the article.
Below are some of the linking guidelines that you can take as a reference and inform senders:
Backlink Guidelines for Accepting Guest Posts
- Please avoid copying and submitting someone else’s article in its entirety or submitting your own article published on any other site.
- The purpose of accepting guest posts on this site is to provide a platform for beginners and not for the purpose of linking.
- Any article submitted with irrelevant links pointing to unknown sites will be rejected without further review.
- All links in the guest post will be NOFOLLOW to make sure the article stays on topic rather than relinking.
Many authors will contact you to post with the following links for a fee. Remember that guest posting and sponsored posting are completely different. You must tell submitters that you offer guest posting completely free of charge, which means you do not pay for guest posting or accept payment for posting on your site. This will prevent any misunderstandings that senders may assume.
Note: Publishing articles by accepting payments is against Google’s webmaster guidelines . Google will penalize your site sooner or later for selling links. If you want to accept sponsored posts, be sure to use no follow or the sponsored link attribute to let search engines know that the links are paid for promotional purposes.
4 Reject articles with irrelevant backlinks
Even if you mention the above guidelines, you will still get irrelevant backlinked queries or articles. Therefore, we recommend that you explicitly mention the type of links that you will not accept. Based on our experience, below are some of the links that you should simply reject to protect your site’s reputation. You can make it clear that content will not be published, no matter how good it is, if it contains the links from the following categories.
Guidelines for Unacceptable Links
- Links related to writing essays and submitting assignments.
- Get rich quick schemes and online links to earn money.
- Pornographic, adult and vulgar material.
- Games of chance, casino, bets, fashion design, food recipes, etc.
- Educational and link building.
You can add any other niche that you don’t like to post. In short, ask the submitter to submit content related to your website .
5 Author Details
Another set of guidelines you need for guest posting is author bio details. Most authors want to display their name and social profile in the author bio section. Make sure you can add the author bio to guest posts and connect your social profiles. To avoid receiving unnecessary details in the article author bio section, you can add the following guidelines:
Author Biography Guidelines
- Mention in a few lines what exactly you are doing. You can be a university student or a mother: be sincere and mention it clearly.
- Make sure you have a Gravatar attached to your email so that the profile picture appears in the author bio box.
- You need to be a freelance author. We do not accept articles from SEO companies and site owners who submit modified content with a link to a third party site.
6 Content Alignment
Many submitters expect content to be published as it appears in their Microsoft Word document . You should let them know that the content will conform to the format and appearance (headlines, font, colors, etc.) of your site. Also, please note that, if necessary, all rights are reserved to modify the content of the article at any time.
Sometimes the author may submit the same article to multiple sites and more than one site will have the same content. This will create problem scraping content and your reputation will suffer when readers understand that you scrapped content from another site. Therefore, periodically review guest posts after articles are published for duplication or plagiarism. If you find that the article is copied or posted on another site, please feel free to remove the content immediately. You can inform the sender about the deletion or just ignore the situation. If necessary, set up a redirect from the removed page to another relevant page on your site.
7 Reception of articles
The last step to receive guest articles is to choose the shipping method. The best option is to embed a contact form on the guest post acceptance page with an option to attach articles. This will help submitters to read the guidelines and submit content on the same page. You can also promote a guest post page with all the necessary details available in one place.
If you can’t add the contact form with the attachment option, ask the sender to contact you via email. In either case, you should reply to them via email for further communication.
As you can see, setting up the guidelines for accepting guest posts on your site requires a lot of thought and time. Although setup is a one-time process, you should review each submitted article very carefully to avoid plagiarism or misunderstandings with the author. As a reward, you can get quality content and your blog reputation can improve during the period when you publish content from popular authors in your niche.