July 20, 2013

Guest Post Etiquette

This isn't my first post relating to virtual etiquette, and while I certainly do not aim to become the Emily Post of the blogging world, there are nevertheless some dos and don'ts I'd like to share, based on both my experiences and common sense. I hope you will find them useful!

When Hosting Someone On Your Site:

  • This might be the most important one: Spell your guest's name correctly!
    • Not only is misspelling your guest's name rude, but it also demonstrate a lack of caring with regards to both your guest and your own website. 
    • Quadruple check if necessary.
  • Provide clear instructions to your guests:
    • Don't make people guess about word count limits, subjects, or vocabulary you do not welcome, whether you require exclusivity with the material posted, etc. 
    • Make everyone's lives easier by letting people know your preferred formats for material.
  • Provide a specific posting date and a deadline for receiving all material.
  • Respond promptly to questions, and confirm receipt of material.
  • Do not alter the post without permission of your guest.
    • Do not alter wording, remove paragraphs, etc. 
    • Pulling out quotations to highlight is acceptable, if done in a way that does not alter the content or message of the post.
      • If your guest has a problem with this, though, make sure to respect any preferences.
  • On or before the date of the post, provide a direct link.
    • Not only is this a nice courtesy, but it will also make it easier for your guest to drive traffic to the post, and therefore your site!
  • If, for some reason, the post will not be going up, let your guest know as soon as possible.
    • If this is not due to the fault of your guest, offer a new date within a reasonable time frame.
  • If any mistakes are pointed out to you by the guest, fix them promptly.

When Posting as a Guest:

  • Be professional and polite when contacting a potential host. No one owes you space on their blog or website.
  • Read any instructions provided, whether on the host's site or via email.
    • If you have any questions about the instructions, ask in advance.
    • Make a good faith effort to follow instructions to the letter.
    • Do not ask or expect the host to make an exception. 
      • Particularly for your first time being a guest on that page.
  • Proofread your work!
    • It may be going up on another person's site, but your name is still attached. 
    • Authors of poor-quality posts may not be welcome as future guests.
  • Provide all of the materials necessary, in whatever format necessary, on or before the deadline your host provides.
    • If you cannot provide the post by the deadline, contact the host as soon as possible.
  • Promote your appearance—this benefits both your host and you!
  • Thank your host after your post goes up.

What other pet peeves or best practices have you noticed from being or hosting a guest? Share them in the comments!

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