Guest Bloggers: Do This At Your Peril

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It’s a wonderful feeling when someone writes to you and they ask if they can publish a guest blog post on your site.

Why do I say that?

There are a number of reasons:

1. It means I have a break from having to create a blog post myself

2. I and my readers get to find out about a new blogger and a different perspective on the subject of the blog post

3. The guest blogger hopefully gets some new visitors to this site

4. The guest blogger gets some link love from my site and I feel I’m helping them

However before I accept the guest post I do have some rules/guidelines:

1. The post must be a minimum of 400 words. Anything less than 400 words makes it harder to optimise the post for SEO.

2. The post must be unique, original and not be published anywhere else on the Internet… especially important with the latest Google algorithm changes.

3. You agree not to publish the post anywhere else (i.e. on your own blog or as a guest post in other blogs). You can refer to the guest post from your blog, if you wish. This point is connected to the point above as I want the guest post to be unique and original.

4. You can include up to two links in your bio, which will be displayed at the bottom of the post. I think two links is generous enough and the links should be linked to non-sales type pages/websites.

5. A guest post must be grammatically correct and on a subject which is relevant to my blog.

6. The guest blogger agrees to come back and reply to all comments.

So these are my reasons for feeling good when another blogger would like to publish a guest post here.

And my rules/guidelines are pretty standard.

This is what normally happens:

1. I get the e-mail from the prospective guest blogger asking if they can publish a guest post on my site.

2. I reply saying, “of course”…pointing out the rules/guidelines.

3. I receive the guest post and I check for uniqueness using CopyScape. 99 times out of a 100 the post is unique.

4.  Sometimes there are some small changes required to the grammar which I change.

5. I tell the guest blogger when the guest post will be published and can they please respond to all comments.

6. I publish and provide a link to the guest post for the guest blogger… again reminding them to respond to all comments.

7. The guest blogger responds to the comments.

We all live happily ever after.

However sometimes the guest blogger is nowhere to be seen when it comes to replying to the comments.

I think the guest blogger is losing out by ignoring the comments.

Their reputation as a blogger and authority is at stake, don’t you think?

So what do I do in these situations?

Do I remove the post?

Do I just remove the links in the bio so my blog still get gets the SEO benefits of the published post?

Do I ignore it and let it be?

What would you do?

I would really love to see your comments.

Please share your views in the comments below.

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51 Responses to Guest Bloggers: Do This At Your Peril

  1. Tara April 8, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    Hi Andrew,

    Wow that’s a difficult one, before I got to the end of the post I was thinking she just wasn’t aware of the comments, but if you have emailed her several times she must know. I wonder if she still actually works for the company she wrote the post for. I would try emailing the main email address for the company and see if you get a response first and then if you still get no response remove their link.

    Have a good weekend

    Tara

    • Andrew April 9, 2011 at 8:02 am #

      Tara

      I think you are being too nice!

      That sounds like a lot of chasing on my behalf…when I shouldn’t have to!

      Andrew

  2. Vickie April 8, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

    Hey Andrew

    I have experienced this issue myself. I just step in and answer for them. My leadership requires that someone communicate with my reader even if that someone is me. Good luck

    Vickie

    • Andrew April 9, 2011 at 8:03 am #

      Vickie

      That’s exactly what I have done.

      What is your view on the links…just let it be?

      Andrew

  3. Corinne Edwards April 8, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

    Dear Andrew –

    My experience is that people love to respond to the comments. And do it immediately.

    I would add one more thing to your requirements.
    Want to see some samples of their work.

    Also, I ask for the right to edit. I do send it back to them for approval before publishing.

    But that’s me. I am a compulsive editor. A result of all those English comp nuns I had all through school.

    • Andrew April 9, 2011 at 8:04 am #

      Corinne

      I like your idea of seeing some examples of work.

      And I also edit…if it needs it.

      Andrew

  4. Corinne Edwards April 8, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    PS –

    If someone did not reply to comments, I would go Vickie’s route.

    I would not disrespect my commentators.

    • Andrew April 9, 2011 at 8:05 am #

      And the links? Leave them in?

      Andrew

      • Corinne Edwards April 9, 2011 at 2:42 pm #

        Yeah, I would probably leave in the link to the author. One.

        I am surprised that no one is suggesting CALLING THE AUTHOR ON the TELEPHONE (remember that?) and say get going and to forget my URL.

        • Andrew April 10, 2011 at 6:42 am #

          Corinne

          I suppose there comes a limit to how much effort you put into chasing the author.

          Andrew

  5. Evan April 8, 2011 at 11:32 pm #

    I’d respond to the comments and point out that the author had agreed to but hasn’t done so.

  6. David April 9, 2011 at 7:49 am #

    Came here on a tweet from @GrowMap.

    It’s hard to see why a guest blogger would not want to capitalise on their post by replying to comments.

    But if then the world isn’t always built on logic and I think you make a valid point about setting the guidelines first.

    I have guest posted, so I have been the one responsible for answering. I never thought about it the other way around though.

    I guess if the guest blogger is just being bloody minded, then you could always change the backlink to arrive at this article…

    Seriously, I personally I would really hesitate to do anything to spoil the hard work that someone put into writing the article in the first place, and if they didn’t join in on comments, I would put it down to experience.

    Not sure though how I would feel if it was a highly technical article or very personal article that only they could reply to.

    Good question – I guess ‘know your guest’ is the answer for me.

    • Andrew April 9, 2011 at 8:12 am #

      David

      I understand exactly what you mean…replying to comments is fundamental if you are gust blogging.

      I have subscribed to all my guest blogs and I am informed whenever there is a new comment.

      I go back and reply.

      In fact, I still get comments on some of my guest posts that were published over a year ago.

      Andrew

  7. Joe April 9, 2011 at 5:43 am #

    regarding point number 1. you say if the post has less than 400 words it’s hard to optimize it for search engines. but you forget one thing:) you should write for users, not search engine bots. i’ve seen a lot of articles, over 500 words, that were actually hard to read and were over optimized… and guess what, I don’t read those blogs anymore

    • Andrew April 9, 2011 at 8:08 am #

      Joe,

      I wouldn’t say I forget…I do write for my visitors but you also get SEO benefits as well.

      Andrew

  8. tonyknuckles April 9, 2011 at 6:40 am #

    The last of your comments box is the main reason why I keep this box checked by default. If someone comes and leaves a comment whether on a guest post or admin post, an extra step has to be made to not be aware that there are comments that need replied to.

    • Andrew April 9, 2011 at 8:09 am #

      Good point, Tony…however I feel keeping it checked COULD be class as spamming?

      What do you think?

      Andrew

  9. alamin April 9, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

    Andrew, you made the rules really hard to follow. But I really liked this because it will ensure that all of your guest post will be quality

    • Andrew April 10, 2011 at 6:43 am #

      Alamin

      Really hard to follow?

      You really think that?

      What is hard about them?

      I believe 99% of blogs that use guest bloggers have the same rules.

      Andrew

      • Dennis Edell April 10, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

        I do. 😉

        • Andrew April 13, 2011 at 8:00 am #

          Dennis,

          “I do”

          Have the same rules or find them hard to follow?

          Andrew

  10. Dennis Edell April 9, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

    Right up my alley! A pet peeve to say the least.

    1. I contact them 1-2 more times depending on mood.

    2. I keep the links, but they become no follow…delete them and you will deal with who knows how many emails asking for the links, plus, others wondering why and you might lose other potential guests accidentally.

    3. They no longer guest post for me.

    • Andrew April 10, 2011 at 6:44 am #

      Dennis,

      I like points 2 and 3 – great advice.

      However, I feel I have done enough chasing!

      Andrew

      • Dennis Edell April 10, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

        I feel the same. One email isn’t really chasing though and they may have had a legitimate oversight. You don’t wanna lose a legit guest over a misunderstanding. 😉

        • Andrew April 13, 2011 at 8:01 am #

          Dennis

          I contacted this guest blogger 3 times via email and no answer.

          I feel I’ve done my chasing.

          Andrew

          • Dennis Edell April 13, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

            And then some…

  11. Alex April 10, 2011 at 11:15 am #

    Hmm, I think you should let the links but make them nofollow and the comments should be answered by you, because even if the post isn’t your the blog is and your readers expect you to take notice that they commented and not so much the guest poster.

    Maybe you should remind him, that he has comments or have a features that automatically subscribes any guest poster to his posts comments…

    • Andrew April 13, 2011 at 8:03 am #

      Alex,

      I have replied to all comments, myself.

      I like your idea of “have a feature that automatically subscribes any guest poster to his posts comments.”

      Nice.

      Andrew

  12. Kamil Ali April 10, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    Hi,
    I write for how to become successful online via marketing and branding. Can I guest post articles on that?

    • Andrew April 13, 2011 at 8:03 am #

      Kmail,

      Yes you can…you happy with my rules?

      Andrew

  13. Glynis Jolly April 11, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

    If I were you, I’d leave it the way it is and try to answer the comments myself. I had one guest like that. I felt that I still had to show that I was a ‘good guy’. At least I don’t have any guilty feelings.

    • Andrew April 13, 2011 at 8:04 am #

      Glynis

      I have replied to all comments.

      I think I shall just put it down to experience and not allow them to guest post ever again!

      Andrew

  14. Debbie April 11, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

    Ok, Andrew. Me being me, I would contract them once. If that didn’t work I would write a blog about the guest post and aplogize to my readers for making a error with this guest post. Not putting them down in anyway, but just being honest.

    People can do a lot of funny things. I am not sure but there are people out there that learn about blogging, think it is cool and they are pretty good with it, but then they get bored, because it is just to much work.
    So to cover my bases I would just be honest with my readers in what is going on. That’s me anyway.

    • Andrew April 13, 2011 at 8:05 am #

      Debbie

      The ‘honest’ way is always the best way.

      I don’t see it as a mistake on my behalf…I cannot MAKE guest posters reply to comments.

      It’s just a shame they don;t as they lose out.

      Andrew

  15. Phil April 12, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

    Keep the post I say, but like some other people here have mentioned, make the link no follow so that you “sever the ombilical chord” so to say. I chose to take it down altogether when it happened to me because I was annoyed by my guest poster when she failed to reply.

    • Andrew April 13, 2011 at 8:07 am #

      Phil,

      I shall leave the post (it was good!).

      And I won’t allow them to guest post here again.

      Re: Links. I am swaying towards making them ‘no follow’.

      Andrew

  16. David April 13, 2011 at 4:27 am #

    Guest blogger should be responsible and be there to answer comment, I will just reply the comments myself and never accept his/her blog post anymore in future.

    • Andrew April 13, 2011 at 8:08 am #

      David,

      That’s the approach I am taking.

      Andrew

  17. fazal mayar April 13, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    I agree Andrew! When your post is love on the blog, the guest blogger should reply to comments .:)

  18. Music Diva April 14, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

    I don’t have guest bloggers but because we are a neighborhood concert site, we allow people to post their upcoming event on our site. Very clearly we state ONE LINK only and often times they put a bazillion links in the post.

    I either delete all but one link or just don’t post it, depending on how busy I am.

    Your situation is a bit different. At the risk of sounding petty, if they don’t keep up their part of the bargain, I probably would go in and delete the links back to their site…

    • Andrew April 15, 2011 at 8:24 am #

      I think that is the decision I am coming to…delete the links.

      Andrew

  19. Bruce April 14, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

    Andrew, they broke the contract when they did not handle the comments. If they don’t inform you beforehand of some problem in doing so, then as you did do – answer them yourself, delete the link.

    • Andrew April 15, 2011 at 8:23 am #

      Bruce,

      I like what you say…’they broke the contract’. That is true and a great way to look at it…it provides me with a different aspect. Perhaps a “harder” approach…let’s delete the link!

      Andrew

  20. Felicia April 16, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    Hi Andrew,
    I think if one is guest posting, then it is common courtesy to reply back to the comments made on their particular guest post, unless it’s not part of the deal with the blog owner. There are times some guest posters do not get to reply back to the comments immediately, but if it takes too long, then I guess the blog owner should take care of that.

    • Andrew April 17, 2011 at 8:02 am #

      Felicia

      How should the blog owner ‘take care of that’?

      Andrew

  21. Luis Posselt April 17, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

    Unless it is not stated to necessarily reply back to comments, I won’t worry about that. But definitely if the Guest Blog Post Policy states that I will need to reply back, I will make it happen.

    I don’t agree too much on the SEO part which is point 1 because I will prefer give information to users first and the optimize for the Search Engines.

    Of course I do SEO for some blog post but first I optimize for users and then for Search Engines. I will say I go 50% – 50%

    Thanks for the guidelines Andrew, I am planning to open soon my guest blog post and start doing some guest post on other sites.

    • Andrew April 18, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

      Luis

      I understand exactly what you are saying.

      I hope the guest posting goes well.

      Andrew

  22. Jimmy/Life Architects September 17, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    Hi Andrew,

    What I would do is continue to be the nice guy and drop them a short personal email requesting for their replies to comments on the guest post. If they fail to respond, than by all means you are entitled to remove their post or you can do other things. At least you have given them another chance.

    But what is the typical time frame you give your guest blogger to reply to comments? That could be a factor why they are not replying. Too many things to do.

    BTW if you could do drop by my site and have a look at the Hopes and Dreams Fulfilled post. There is a challenge there to help spread some inspiring love onwards. Appreciate if you could spread the message to your readers.

    Cheers

    • Andrew September 21, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

      Jimmy,

      I always tell my guest posters when their blog post will be published. If they are away at that time, I would expect them to tell me.

      I expect guest bloggers to reply to comments within 48 hours at the max.

      Andrew

  23. Kelvin Entrepreneurs Discuss January 13, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    Wow this is another post i have read today that is just right timing for me.

    I’m preparing to do my second guest post in a well known blog and these tips here are going to help me a lot. I’m so glad to have read this because I’m going to do my guest post like a pro… Thanks Andrew

    Kelvin Igbinigie

    • Andrew January 16, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

      Kelvin,

      I’m glad the post was timely and good luck!

      Andrew

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