Guest Post Hosting Guidelines:
- Plan in advance. Asking someone to guest post on your site at the last minute is rude, especially when you don't 'know' the person you're asking. I've advocated here on this blog for bloggers to use editorial calendars for planning their blog posts. It can be very annoying to have to change your schedule around just because someone else cannot plan their own blog editorial calendars. [Read more about editorial calendars for blogging genealogy.]
- Set parameters for your guest posters making sure they understand your blog's tone and your audience. Request blog posts have a certain word count [length] and that the guest poster send at least 1 image to be posted with the blog post. [Images are expecially important if you or your readers like to 'pin' your blog posts to Pinterest boards or other image-based sites. And certainly don't be shy about suggesting a topic that guides the guest poster. After all, you know your blog and its audience the best.
- Set a deadline for the guest poster in advance of the proverbial 'night before'. You don't need the stress and hassle of writing a last minute blog post because your guest poster hasn't submitted their guest post yet.
- Make sure your guest poster understands their role in promoting their guest post on their social media networks while at the same time explaining how you will promote their guest post on your social media networks. Let them know that there will be some overlap, but that's okay. Never, ever assume you both have the same audience on any of your social media networks. Also, make sure the guest poster understands they need to respond to comment on the blog to their post. Otherwise, you'll be the one left doing this by yourself.
- If you plan to accept guest posters on a regular basis, you might want to create a page on your blog explaining your guidelines up front. [I haven't done this yet, but I plan to do it on my other blog 4YourFamilyStory.com soon.]
- Don't forget to send a friendly email reminder to the guest poster a week before the scheduled guest post is due to be published. This serves as a gentle reminder if they have not sent it yet. And if they have sent it, then remind them about promoting the post on their social media networks.
- Send another friendly email reminder the day before the guest post is scheduled to be published. If you already have the permalink for the post, then give it to them for promotional purposes. If you don't have the link until you publish the post, then you'll need to hold off on this email reminder until the next day when you publish it.
- Email the guest poster the day after the guest post was published thanking them as well as giving them some social media stats on the responses their blog post received on your social media networks.
It's not hard to host a guest poster, but these guidelines I've created based on my experiences can help to make the process smoother for all those involved. Have you ever hosted a guest poster on your genealogy blog? Are there any other guidelines you would add to my list? Let me and everyone else know in the comments below. Thanks!