Blogging for guests and hosts should be a mutually beneficial arrangement. Both parties have the same goal: to reach people. A guest author/blogger hopes someone else’s blog site will bring new eyes to his or her book or content, and the host blog hopes the guest’s content draws traffic to the site.
I’ve been both a host and a guest, so I’ve witnessed and experienced good and bad behavior on both sides of the fence. I’d like to offer some rules of blogging etiquette for blog guests and blog hosts.
5 rules of etiquette for guest bloggers
- Send your post on time, by the deadline. The deadline is the date the host says it is. If the host requests the guest blog one or two weeks in advance and you email your post the night before the post date, you are late! If the host does not give you a submission date, use one week in advance as a rule of thumb. If your buy links are going to be late, let the blog host know.
- Follow the host’s instructions. If the host asks for something specific, that’s what you should send. If they want photos, send photos. If they want you to use a form to send in your blog, use the form. If they want a “guest blog,” don’t just send a spotlight post. If they say no more than five links, don’t send ten.
- Tailor your post to the blog. Heat level, length, subject matter should conform to the site. Don’t do a “data dump” and send a 12-page generic “media kit” that includes every minute detail about your book and expect the host to wade through it and extract the pertinent information.
- Submit your post in a Word document not in email. Email contains a lot of wonky formatting that takes a lot of time to correct/undo. Doing a cut and past into email is simple for you, but it is a pain-in-the-ass for the host. (Note: An email is ok if you are sending something short and simple, but if you have a italics, bold fonts, different font styles and sizes in your post, use Word.).
- Visit the blog to thank your host and then share the post on social media with your followers.
5 rules of etiquette for blog hosts
- Don’t stack blogs. Nobody wants to visit a “blog farm,” not readers, not guests. (Blog stacking occurs when a host runs multiple blogs on the same day.) Guests who are 2nd or 3rd or 5th in line are basically screwed. Visitors do not see their blog.
- Give your guest clear direction and instructions. If there is a subject matter, length, heat level, a special format, etc. that you prefer, tell them. Give them a submission deadline.
- Read the post sent to you. Don’t just do a cut and paste. The blogger may inadvertently have omitted something important. Or, he/she included material/instructions not to be published. Or he/she sent you a choice of material, and you are supposed to pick one not run all of them.
- Send your guest a link to the post in advance. This makes it easy for them to visit and share the post.
- Share your guest’s post on other social media such as Facebook, Twitter, etc, Google+–wherever you hang out the most.
Which etiquette rules do you think are most important?
Would you add any others?