I love guest blogging and I’ll happily write posts for most sites, with few exceptions. Just ask, and let me know what you are looking for and I’ll do my best. If I can’t do what’s required, then I’ll tell you – no harm/ no foul, right?
I was talking to a client yesterday, he’s been with me for a month now and he’s just starting to guest blog. We’ve planned his strategy, listed the communities he’s going to target, crafted his pitch and he’s steadily made progress contacting bloggers about guest posting and even have a few published, making him very happy.
The responses back from the pitches have been interesting. One insisted there should be no links in the post or in the bio. How can the host blog’s audience find out about more about the guest poster? Another asked why they wanted to guest post as they’d had offers for guest posts from people with “less than pure reasons”. I was soooo tempted to ask him to follow that one up and find out more
Others sent a list of requirements / guidelines and another sent an 11 page pdf full of dos and don’ts, which might sound like overkill but was actually well thought out and made sure all the particpants benefited from guest posting.
He also got a response back asking for a sample post, which we duly sent off. The reply came back that the post was similar to another post he’d (the host) recently written so could he have another one. My client happily wrote another post and submitted that too and the response was that this post was like a post that he had planned for next week… this happened 6 or 7 times before my client got fed-up – every idea and every post was already done according to the host, and he’s such an easy going chap!
We decided to move on from the idea of guest posting for that blog and look at some more and check what the status of the other posts. All good except for one. One site owner took exception to a call to action in the bio and deleted it. No request for amendment, or any communication, just a deletion of the line that suggested if you were interested in more tips from him then join him on Twitter.
I have to confess this annoyed me.
Writing isn’t free, guest blogging isn’t a free post.
Guest bloggers are not breakfast! Guest blogging always costs someone, something.
Someone gives up their time, their precious time (which they can never get back) to write a guest post, which the host blog has agreed to. The payment (and I use that term loosely) for the writer is their bio, where they are usually allowed a link or two and exposure to the host blog’s audience.
I rarely see spammy bios, I see well thought out ones and I see not so well thought out ones. I don’t think I’ve ever deleted a call to action and I don’t recall ever deleting a request for Facebook likes or Twitter follows in a bio. I’m all for educating would be guest posters about what I allow and what I don’t, but deleting a call to action to join someone on Twitter seems more than a little petty to me. Perhaps I’m too easy going and I should be telling people “just the facts” in their bio and links to their website / blog only?
It’s not just bios that cause problems
I’ve seen a client reduced to tears as the introduction to her guest post was rather spiteful and in some places accusatory! Yes, the introduction to the community, written by the host blogger was spiteful. I have to admit I had a sharp intake of breath as I read it, and I am starting to develop a thicker skin!
Words are powerful, use them with care
These experiences mean that my client’s guest blogging guidelines are going to be issued at every opportunity, and he understands as a publisher he has to keep control of the editorial content, but to be respectful to his guest bloggers as well. If he understands it with a months worth of blogging experience, how comes 3 and 4 year blogging veterans don’t?
I’d like to hear your thoughts on this – is a call to action too much in a bio of a guest post?
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