Guest Posting Etiquette – What You Need To Know

Whether you’re a new blogger or a seasoned one, chances are you will guest post at some point during your blogging career. When you’re a new blogger, getting asked to guest post is like a right of passage and something you look forward to being asked to do. When you’ve been blogging awhile, you look at it as a way to be introduced to an entirely new audience.

Either way, it’s an honor to be asked because it means somebody respects your words enough to invite you over to post on their blog; treat it as the honor it is!

Just like there is certain etiquette to follow when you are invited over to someone’s house, there is also guest posting etiquette to keep in mind.

If you are a blogger and new to guest posting on another blogger's blog, these tips will help make your experience a successful one for both you and the other blogger!

Guest Posting Etiquette Guidelines

Last month, I sent out the following tweet: “Okay The Twitter…I need your opinion…when someone guest posts for you, what do you expect from them? Links?Mentions? Respond 2 comments?”

Natalie (@MamaTrack) says: “When I GP, the only new content on my blog refers readers to the GP, and I visit all of the commenters’ sites”

Leigh Ann (@latorres) says: “…you know how you dress really nice and try not to drink too much when you’re at a new friend’s house? That’s guest posting.” She also added “I know that when I guest post, I put my best foot forward. I REALLY think about what I am writing, because I really want to please you and your readers, but I also want people to like me and come see me too! I think I work harder on guest posts than I do on my own, honestly.”

Tim (@sogeshirts) says: “Guest post etiqutte is important to me. Why do a guest post and not promote it or answer questions?”

Someone who wanted to remain nameless said: “Lay out if they may repost it and when…I ask not to repost for 30dys”

Jenn (@midwestmomments) says: “I expect a shout out, and some promo-ing on their part.”

Gigi (@akludgymom) says: “on guest posts? How about that they drive traffic to YOUR site, not to their own site for their “I’m guest posting” post?”

Tracie (@fromtracie) says: “I think if you are doing a guest post, you should share your best and be proud enough of your words and work to promote it.” and “I would expect a post pointing their readers to the guest post.”

Melissa (@adventuroo) says: “I expect them to respond to comments (not all but at least some), meet deadline and promote it.”

Rusti (@rustilyn) says: “I check their style, so I don’t offend their readers…”

Jessica (@fourplusanangel) says: “A link to the post on their blog and a few tweets mentioning it too.

Based on all of these responses and opinions about guest posting, these are some things to keep in mind when you are asked to guest post…this is what bloggers expect, and deliver, whether they are the guest poster or guest postee.

And yes, you might make a mistake or two when you first start guest posting, and that’s okay! Here are some forgivable and not-so-forgivable mistakes to avoid when you are guest posting.

Forgivable

Double Posting: Okay, sometimes it’s unavoidable: you have something that you have to post on your blog on the same day that you are guest posting somewhere else. This happens to me occasionally when someone asks me to guest post on a Monday when I have my Mommy Moments feature here. When this happens, I always, ALWAYS still include in my post for the day that I’m guest posting and help get people over to read it by tweeting about it…with a link directly to the other blog, NOT back to my own blog.

Not Responding to Comments: This is sometimes forgivable if, let’s say, you are on vacation when the guest post goes up. Or maybe the blogger is responding to them. Either way, make sure you understand the blogger’s expectations so that you know how to properly handle.

Being Yourself: Totally forgivable. While you really should understand the blogger’s audience and style, realize that the blogger knows yours as well. Don’t change your style completely — the people that read your blog everyday will wonder what the heck is going on!

Tacky And Pretty Much A Guarantee You Won’t Be Invited Back

Double Posting Without A Shout Out: Don’t get me wrong, putting up a post on your blog to let readers know you are guest posting is fine, otherwise how would they know where you are?! But posting a regular post like it’s any other day on your blog without even acknowledging the guest post you’ve got somewhere else? A huge no-no and a total slap in the face to the person who asked you to guest post.

Not Helping Drive Traffic To Your Guest Post: Why guest post if you aren’t going to help get your readers and audience there? If you aren’t going to tweet about it, or tell readers about it on your blog, then don’t guest post!

Tweeting About Your Guest Post, But Sending People To Your Site First: I and many other bloggers have been noticing this one a lot lately; a blogger will tweet “I’m guest posting and so-and-so’s place” and include a link. The link goes back to their own personal blog to a post that again tells you they are guest posting somewhere else and then you have to click another link to get to the guest post! This is absolutely ridiculous, and the only reason I see for doing this is so that they get page views on their blog.

Here is how I handle tweets when I guest post but when I also am posting on my own blog (like if I guest post on a Monday but also have a guest poster here on my blog sharing a Mommy Moment): I tweet out separate tweets about both posts! I’ll tweet out about my guest post with a link directly to the guest post. I’ll also tweet a separate tweet about the guest poster on my blog with a link to that post.

blog community

And if you are looking to grow your blog community and become more involved with  other bloggers, check out my guest post at SITS about How To Build A Blog Community.

This was much longer than I expected it to be, but I hope it’s helpful! What to-do or not-to-do guest posting tips did I miss? Share yours in the comment section below!

 

Comments

  1. All good guidelines! I don't think I could add more except, would you expect a guest poster to respond to comments if they do not normally do so on their own blog?
  2. Thanks! These are great tips. Blogging is like a whole new universe. I feel like Lindsay Lohan - I mean in the movie Mean Girls when she goes to the new high school, not all trashed and showing my parts to the world. Michelle
  3. love all these tips!
  4. I don't guest post often, but I have to admit I have been guilty of double posting when I already had another post scheduled for that day. I do send out numerous tweets, though, with a link directly to the guest post. I also direct my readers to it through my fan page. I thought that was enough, but now I know to work it into the schedule, too, if at all possible. Cus, you know, the blog posts at my own site are just SO important, heh.
  5. Excellent compilation! I don't think I've ever seen someone do a post on this (I know there have probably been tons and I've just missed them), but there are so many points listed here that seem to go completely over gust posters' heads... don't ask me why. Thanks for listing them out!
  6. since I have guest posts once a week now with Proud Mommy Moments, I am learning and learning and learning about how to promote other people's blogs. I have learned how to celebrate the things my guest poster is doing on her own blog and spotlight them along with welcoming new people to my blog. when I guest post, I try my very best to do all those things in accordance with the person hosting me, tweeting, facebooking, drawing attention to the person who has been nice enough to ask for my words. I am always HONORED and touched when someone asks me to write for them and their blog...so I don't treat it with anything but respect. this was very very good, although I think that I am guilty of tweeting that I am guesting with a link back to my blog...while I thought this was the "acceptable" way, I understand how it's a PITB for people who just want to read my guest post...so if I ever guest post again I'll remember that. A great tutorial.
  7. Awesome tips. You covered a lot of things I haven't seen covered before!
  8. This is great advice! I have been trying to make sure I do things to help out the person guest posting for me as well as when I am guest posting. Thanks for the guidelines!
  9. Those are great points! I've only guest posted a handful of times, but I've hosted a few as well. After reading the suggested etiquette I think I've done alright!
  10. I love this and am glad to know that (even though I am seldom asked to guest post...anywhere>>LOL) when I do, I am following the rules!LOL
  11. These are great pointers and guidelines to share, Natalie. Thank you for sharing it :D I'm gonna go Pin it now!
  12. I guess I feel like if someone is asking me to guest post, to essentially be a "guest" on their blog that day, then my post should be plenty ample and doing nothing beyond that should not be considered tacky. Of course I usually tweet or FB a link to the post and will link to it on my blog only if it fits, but I do as is appropriate for that time. But I don't think guest posters should be expected to write another post on their own blog about it. Just my thoughts on it! Steph
    • I agree that you shouldn't be expected to write a post about your guest post! I think a lot of us do it so that our readers know where to find us if we don't have a new post up of our own ;)
  13. This is a really great primer on GP. I'm a newb to them and I;m sure I've made a mistake here and there.
  14. Fantastic tips, Natalie! Sometimes I think people are afraid to ask what is expected of them, but also afraid to lay out what THEY expect from the guest poster. And since guest posting is one of my very favorite bloggy things, I better make sure I follow all these rules so I can get invited back!
  15. Okay...now I am going to play devil's advocate here. I think if you are guest posting somewhere that you SHOULD have another post on your own site and then at either the bottom or top of your post, direct them to where you are guest posting. That way if you get new readers coming from the site where you are guest posting, they will get a taste of who you are and not just a post saying, "Hey, I am guest posting over at____ today". Do you see what I am saying? No do I always do this? No, because sometimes I don't have time to write 2 posts. But I don't think having another post is bad. As long as you promote BOTH posts & use the correct link. Duh....
  16. How much is too much to drink at someone's else's blog? Stop after a six pack? I've only guest posted 3 or 4 times. I never double post. Whatever I write for someone else stays there. It's like bros before hoes but with blog posts. You know what I mean, right? Tweeting or promoting only the blog where the guest post is going is not only polite, it's right. Good post. Did I drink too much in my comment?
  17. I appreciated the tips! I'm still learning. :)
  18. defintiely great info.! do people really not link to the person they are guest posting?
  19. Oops, I'm a rule breaker! :D I will tweet/Facebook post saying that I'm guest posting and then link to my own blog because that's where I have the chance to tell my readers about the great person I'm guest posting for. I know that my readers are awesome and will read my stuff no matter where I write it, but if someone is hosting me, I want to let my readers know why they should stick around and check out that blogger's stuff too. I don't think of it as boosting my own stats-- I think of it as making a proper introduction. :)
    • Interesting...and I "get" where you are coming from! Thanks for explaining!
    • I agree. When I guest post I link back to my blog because I know my "regulars" will click on the link. It is an extra step, but I think it is a worthwhile one. Since there is no other post on my blog that day, I figure they will want to then take the extra step, which is really a 1/2 a second, and go read the guest post. Thanks for the other advice! It's excelllent:)
    • that's what I do too! I never thought about linking straight to the guest post because I DO tell my readers a little about the person I'm guest posting for and why they should follow them... you said it so much better than I did in my comment though! :)
  20. yeah, its' just plain rude to send people to your site first. I can't believe people do that! I always put up a little something that lets people know I'm over there, but I link the crap out of my guest blog. I also never tweet the link to my own post.
  21. Thanks for the great tips and advice Natalie.
  22. Great points! Guest posting can be fun but definitely need to follow some guidelines. Out of respect. That's how I see it anyway.
  23. Excellent tips, and thanks for the timing (just arranging my first). The link-to-your-own blog thing baffles me! I have such limited time to read during the day, I get irritated when it takes a billion clicks to get me to the right content:(
  24. These are so important to read. I have had amazing guest posters that supported their posts. It made a huge difference in their posts exposure.
  25. I liked this post and you have some good tips but I have to disagree with you on the 'double posting' thing. Just because you guest post somewhere doesn't mean that the person for whom you guest post gets to control what you post on your own personal blog. I agree that its nice to promote the guest post but I don't think that it has to be on the day the guest post runs on the other person's blog. And I also don't think that the its bad if the person who wrote the guest post for another person doesn't promote their guest post. Its nice but not a must. Wow, talk about your long comment. Who knew I had so much to say about guest posting. ;)
    • Ha! Love your comments, long or short ;) I "get" what you're saying, but I just don't even see why anybody would guest post if they weren't going to promote the post. They are your words, you want to share them with people...why NOT promote the post? Otherwise, why not just put it on your own blog?
  26. Great advice, Natalie. I was worried to discover I've been blowing it, but I'm relieved to see that (for the most part) I've had decent GP etiquette. My question for you is about Blogger posts. As a guest, how would you reply to each individual comment when there isn't a REPLY thread? I'm assuming you can't unless the host forwards the comment emails...
    • I have a Blogger blog and what Ive seen most of my guest posters do is respond in the comment section.
      • So do they just try to catch the comments as they come in and then maybe include a block of replies if there are several comments in a row? (Sorry to keep asking. Because we all have so much time on our hands to answer questions, right? ;-))
        • Hey Julie! That's how I do it too...I will reply to several comments in a row just by doing something like this: @Julie - Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! @Jessica - Thanks for responding to Julie's comment! Of course, the comments wouldn't say that exactly, but that's how I would reply ;)
  27. Being new to the scene this was such a great post! I've hosted a few great people and I had no idea what to expect, so far so good but this will make it even better!
  28. Excellent tips, Natalie. Thank you so much for writing this and for including lots of great insight from frequent guest posters. I know a few people who could learn a thing of two from this... no one that's ever guest posted for me, per say. ;)
  29. LOVE this post!! Its so needed. I just began hosting guest posters and so far no one has done any of the unforgiveables. Thanks for sharing!
  30. Love these tips. Especially the one about which site to direct people to. I thought I was crazy for sending people straight to the actual post, rather than my site. I just think it's too easy for the extra click to get in the way.
  31. Great post! Thanks for sharing...always wondered as I never really did a guest post. Been too chicken to do one
  32. Great points. Everyone has slightly different ideas about guest posting and just being honest and forthcoming solves a lot of grief down the road. And thanks for the shout out, much appreciated. So far so good with my guidelines.
  33. Great tips! I guest posted today so this was good for me to read. I always go to the site where I'm guest posting and share it on twitter and FB. I want to promote the post I wrote, not me. If people are following me on twiter and FB, I just assume they'll read a post on my page if the title intrests them. How do you respond to comments? I've had a hard time with that one since the emails go to the owner of the site not me. I've gone to their blog a few times, but it is very time consuming.
    • mommyofamonster says:
      It is time consuming, I agree. But if you aren't posting on your own site, it's really not any more work than responding to comments on your own blog (except you have to reply to them individually on a WP blog)...if it's a Blogger blog, I reply in groups ;)
  34. I've only done a few guest posts, and each time I've put up just a small post on my own blog, thanking the person I'm guest posting for, introducing that person TO my readers and encouraging them to follow the blog if they're not already, and of course - linking to the post. HOWEVER, I have made the mistake of linking to MY post about the guest post when I tweet it out. I don't pay attention to stats or page views, so that wasn't it - I just didn't think about sending people directly to the guest post. I'm still new at this, but I'll be sure to correct that in any future guest post tweets I'm lucky enough to have :) thanks for the great tips!!
  35. Great tips, Natalie. I wrote a post about guest posting - as a guest post! Some of what I wrote is here. About the tweeting of link back to own blog first, before guest blog: I do that ONLY on the first tweet, and only because I usually have a short intro about the person I am posting for. After that, all tweets link directly to my guest post. I also post that guest post link on my FB page. Basically, I treat my guest post as I would my own. Because in a way, it IS my own. I also believe in responding to the comments, especially if the readers have never 'met' you before. It's like someone saying hi and you not saying hi back. Even if it means having to go back throughout the day to check on new comments. Or on Blogger blogs, I do the way you suggested - I usually reply within the comments to every 5-10 comments. It's extremely tedious but worthwhile. I actually have a lot to say about etiquette for the person hosting guests too, so I think that might be my next post :)
    • I totally agree, Alison. It's so important to acknowledge the people who have taken the time to read your guest post and comment. They are all potential new readers and bloggy friends!
  36. This might be addressed in the comments, but I am not able to read through them all. I've been sitting on this ever since you wrote this post and have wondered if bloggers do this...I do not blog anonymously. My family and Friends are invited to read my blog. However, there are sometimes when I would really like to do a "vomit" series and just let some things out. I cannot do that though. So do bloggers do guest posts without the guest informing their followers on their blog? I would love to offer this on my blog and maybe even make it a weekly guest slot. If bloggers do it, are there some who do it well you might refer me to? Further, regarding commenting as the guest blogger...for those with blogger, replying to comments is a joke. Can only be done privately via email, or writing another comment which may or may not be seen by those who have already commented...thus my move soon to wordpress. I want to comment! :) Thanks for the post.
  37. Thanks! I found this as part of Fadra's Blogmas list. I'm going to be doing my first guest posts soon, so I found this to be extremely helpful!
  38. Thanks for this post, Natalie! I realize now that I haven't had the best guest blogging etiquette and your tips will make me a better G-blogger! Amelia (Eating Made Easy) recently posted..Peanut Butter Pancakes and Recipe Contest!My Profile
  39. Thanks for all the wonderful tips! I've only done a guest post 2 times now, and I never thought of going to the sites of those who commented. Don't know why... I left a comment, I tweeted it, I sent people to the site, but next time I will definitely visit sites of those who comment! :) OneMommy recently posted..Thankful for “Me Time”My Profile
  40. I followed your link on the SITSGirls, and I'm glad I did. I just had a guest poster, and am getting ready to invite another guy to post for me. Some helpful tips, here!
  41. Guest Posting Etiquette - What You Need To Know - Mommy of a Monster & Twins
  42. Thanks for the tips on guest posting - they are very helpful since I'm just getting in to it. Question for you: As a food blogger, what is the protocol on submitting the recipe to "food porn" sites like tastespotting, etc. Do I do it and link directly to the guest post or to my site? Laura @ The Rookie Cook recently posted..Caprese Panini + Tasty Food Photography eBook Giveaway!My Profile
  43. I'm a very new blogger and recently had my first opportunity to guest post. I was curious, do you re-post your guest post on your site? Is there a time table to follow? or is it a no no to post it to you site after you posted it on someone else's?

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