Guest Writers Best Practices, Your 5 Guest Posting Duties

As a guest writer, there are a variety of actions required of you. While they vary from blog to blog, based on personal preference and blog needs, you can count on a few standard procedures. Before and after your blog post, blog owners expect multiple things from you, and it’s important to keep a good guest blogger reputation by doing them – every time.

Follow Guidelines

Each and every blog has its own set of guidelines; these spell out what is expected of you. Because blogs have different needs, target audiences and linking preferences, it’s important to read through them before creating your next great blog post.

guest blogger checklistThere are a number of rules you should be on the lookout for.

  • Word count: Many blogs prefer a specific length. Don’t give the editor more work by ignoring this. That is a surefire way of getting your blog nixed before going live.
  • Link rules: The point of guest blogging is to increase traffic and gain visibility. Be sure you know how many links they allow, and where you can place them. This will help you decide if it’s a blog worth pursuing. You will also avoid having the wrong link used in the case that they take one or more out.
  • Topic suggestions: Most blogs simply suggest you keep in line with their general blog theme. However, there are many that outline the categories or ideas they’d like you to explore.

Check Live Post

Once the post has gone live, you should head to the site to check for any errors. With a busy posting schedule, it’s easy for an editor to misspell your name, miss a link, or make an error in your post itself. To avoid any of these problems, do a quick read through.

  • Copy: Check the copy for any drastic changes you may not have known about. It could have been a genuine mistake and easily fixed.
  • Bio: Be sure that your name, blog, Twitter, etc. are all spelled correctly.
  • Links: Check that the links provided are working and active. A broken link will defeat the whole purpose of your guest post, and your host will appreciate it too!

Thank the publisher

guest bloggingAfter you’ve checked the live post over for errors, be sure to thank the blog who published the article. In a large, but tight blogosphere, you want to keep on good terms with anyone who is willing to publish your work. It could lead to a working relationship in the future or great recommendation.

  • Email: Send them a quick one line email, “The post looks great. Thanks for publishing!” Acknowledge that you’ve seen it and everything is okay.
  • Twitter: You can thank them via Twitter as well. Following that blog looks good on you, and shows you are truly interested in the blog for more than publicity.


Commenting on your post is the most important aspect of guest posting. Blog owners are trying to build a community, just as you may be trying to do with your blogging ventures. You are the expert on the article topic, and need to be available to the readers.

  • Thank every commenter: No matter what the comment, always thank people for reading your post. You never know what could come from that interaction.
  • Answer questions: Address any concerns expressed. Answer any question proposed. If you don’t know the answer, look it up. You are an expert and readers are relying on you fill in any blanks.
  • Be thoughtful: Writing a great comment is a topic all on its own. The brief: Write thoughtful, comments that provoke further thinking and bestow additional credit upon you as the expert writer.

Spreading the Word

guest blogger dutiesWhether a blog spells this out in the guidelines or not, it is generally assumed that you will get the post out to your circle of social networks. You want to get the publicity, and the blog does as well. Whether you Tweet it out, put it on LinkedIn or create a status on Facebook, blog owners are looking for you to do this.

It is important that you cover all your guest posting duties fully, every time. If you’re a frequent guest blogger, it’s good to maintain a professional, yet friendly relationship with all the editors and commenters you come in contact with. If you are new to all this guest blogging thing, grab this free blogging book and you may just learn a thing or two.

By following these basic rules of guest posting, you can be sure to get the best writing opportunities.

Jessica Sanders

Jessica Sanders is an avid small business writer touching on topics from social media to merchant services.

19 thoughts on “Guest Writers Best Practices, Your 5 Guest Posting Duties

  • I know a lot of guests posts are not really aware with these information here…I am sure this can help a lot…Thanks for this!

    • Thanks for reading, I’m glad you found it helpful!

  • I am just enter into blogging arena and don’t know much about Guest posting. But soon i will start it and will follow your all tips Jessica.
    Thanks for sharing the tips with us.

    • Amit, that is a great idea. These tips are pretty basic and will definitely start you down the right path to being a successful guest poster! Thanks for reading the article!

  • Some good points. I’ve only done a little guest posting, but keeping up with comments and posting about them socially is very important to me. There’s a definite benefit.

    • Stephanie, absolutely there is a benefit to keeping up with comments, etc. As a frequent guest poster, it’s a great way to connect with other bloggers and those who like your writing. You never know who you’ll meet in a comment thread. Thank you for reading the article! πŸ™‚

  • Hi Jessica,

    Commenting and sharing across social networks are 2 biggies. Extend the courtesy of commenting on a post you penned – and responding to each comment – to the blog owner. You have the keys to their blog, for a post. Treat it with care.

    Same deal with sharing. Treat the post as you would one of your posts, on your blog, because it is your post. Share aggressively across all social networks, spread the word, give you and the blog owner a nice boost in traffic.

    Treat the guest post like your post and you naturally engage in best practices.

    Thanks for sharing Jessica, and DiTesco πŸ˜‰


    • Ryan, thanks for adding that. Blogs create a sense of community, and having conversations within the comments makes that come alive. Thank you for reading, it’s much appreciated! πŸ™‚

  • Jessica, I so love this post. Being a busy guest blogger myself and being a host blogger who gets a lot of submissions, I’m somehow feel an inner peace when reading this post πŸ™‚ Put very straightforward!

    • Jane! Thanks so much πŸ™‚ That makes me very happy, I’m so glad you liked it!

  • Guest Writers Best Practices, Your 5 Guest Posting Duties via @ditesco #blogging

  • What a clear, helpful post, Jessica. It seems simple and straightforward, doesn’t it? And yet, not everyone does these things. I often tell aspiring writers, as much of this also pertains to manuscript submission, that being able to follow directions greatly increases your odds of publication. You don’t have to write Pulitzer-worthy prose every time. Just be professional about it!

    • Holly, what great advice! That’s absolutely right! Blogging isn’t about being the next great novelist, it’s about giving readers something to take home, and interacting with the post, the blog owner and the commenters. Thanks for adding that in, it was very insightful πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading!

  • Great tips!

    Guest posting is one area I still need to cover, and am actually gearing up for that as well. Guess I need to finish doing up my writing blog and be in a relaxed frame of mind to get started!

    These are wonderful and simple tips to get started, and always keep in mind. I guess it’s after-all all about creating relations with the blog owner, readers, and co-bloggers- isn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  • Guest Writers Best Practices, Your 5 Guest Posting Duties via @ditesco

  • Harleena, absolutely! If you can approach the blog owner in a way that shows them you have something to offer, you’ll be successful. Guest posting is a great way to get traffic back to your site, build relationships within the blogosphere, and help others learn from the knowledge you have. It’s so simple, if you just know the correct steps to take! Thank you for reading, I appreciate your comments! πŸ™‚

  • Great list, Jessica. I agree these are best practices to follow. The big one that I didn’t pay enough attention to when I first started guest blogging was commenting. I would get a notification that the post was published, check it out once or twice, then never return. I’m used to getting notifications of comments on my own blogs, so not having notifications set up for my guest posts made it hard to keep up with. I’ve got a process in place for this now to ensure I check posts; I just set a reminder and follow up with each one. Some publishers also set guest authors up with an account or use a plugin in order to notify them of comments. This is the ideal, in my opinion.

    • Melanie, yes that is definitely the one part that really takes a conscious effort. I’m glad you’ve gotten it worked out, because some editors get very upset when you are not present in the comment conversation. Thanks for reading, and all the best to you! πŸ™‚

  • Hi Jessica. Love the post. Guest Blogging is in the “in thing” these days, and for good reason too. It has the benefits of bringing new content to the site, which in turn will attract a new set of readers. It helps develop as a writer as well. So all in all, it really is a great thing.

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