The etiquette of guest blogging

Guest blogging is an increasingly popular activity with many businesses, and one which has the potential to benefit your online reputation and visibility. However, there are certain rules of etiquette which should be heeded if you want to make the most of your guest blogging strategy.

Rule #1 – Pitch like a professional

Once you’ve found a blog which you feel would be suitable for a guest piece, find out whether they are interested in the sort of content you can write. Most blogs publish content about specific topics, so the first thing you need to do is check whether your material is likely to be a good fit. Approach the blog in question using their preferred communication method, and make two or three suggestions of blog article topics you think could fit in with their existing pieces.

Rule #2 – Stick to the house style and guidelines

In the same way that trade journals and magazines have specific styles and ways of writing, so too do many blogs. Be sure to re-read any available guidelines before writing your guest post. Make sure you stick to topics that are relevant to the blog’s audience, for their sake and yours.

Rule #3 – Don’t promote yourself

A guest blog post is not a place to go full tilt on promoting your business or its services; it’s a chance to share what you know, or share your opinion about industry issues. Any mentions of your business or its activities should be only incidental to the main thrust of the piece.

Rule #4 – Go easy on the links

If a blog allows you to place links to your website or content within the text of your post, don’t abuse the privilege. Avoid cramming in as many links as you can (and pay close attention to any limits set by the host blog), and only include them where they are relevant and fit within the flow of the piece. Never write a post with the sole intent of fitting in lots of links to your own website, as this is not only rude but is likely to read very badly.

Rule #5 – Give it your best

If someone has agreed to give you a guest spot on their blog, return the favour by giving them your best content. If you’re planning to post to lots of blogs with hastily assembled unoriginal content, then the best advice is not to bother. Spreading sub-standard content around the blogosphere will do nothing at all for your reputation, even if your posts are accepted. Well-written, insightful and original content, on the other hand, can do a world of good.

Rule #6 – Proofread your piece

When you’ve finished writing your guest post, don’t just shoot if off to the host blog and expect them to iron out any creases. Proofread your piece to make sure it reads well and remove any typos or errors. For one thing you can’t guarantee that the host will pick out any errors, and for another you’re unlikely to be asked back if you send through a post riddled with spelling and grammatical errors.