Guest Posting and Guest Hosting: Best Practices

Last Updated on: June 11th, 2020

an image of person with open arms, with the title of the post in the background

Guest posting. What is it, and why do it? What are the pros and cons?

What is guest hosting? Why host guest bloggers?

What qualities do great guests and hosts have? What are the rules? Who makes them up?

These are some of the questions you may have about guest posting and hosting and, whatever your experience with it—as guest, host, both, or neither—you will have answers to these questions by the time you finish this post. Guaranteed.

Today I will:

1: Define guest posting and guest hosting.

2: Tell you some pros and cons about guest posting and guest hosting.

3: Provide you with some guest-i-quette and host-i-quette best practices (etiquette that guests and hosts should follow).

A Brief Intro to Guest Posting

Guests don’t always follow proper guest posting etiquette, and hosts don’t always provide clear guidelines for guests to follow. As a result, more time is often spent emailing each other back and forth instead of on the post itself, trying to figure out what’s going on, what’s expected of them, and resolving problems.

How can this situation be rectified?

The solution is actually quite simple: Know what is required of you—whether you’re a guest OR a host.

The fact is that there are often many problems that arise simply because many bloggers have not developed their own set of guidelines for their guests to follow and many guests don’t know the best practices of offering someone a guest post.

Definitions of Guest Posting and Guest Hosting

Guest posting is defined as writing a blog post and having that post published on someone else’s website. It is also called guest blogging.

Guest hosting is when you allow someone to write something for you and publish that post on your website.

just words that say guest blogging

History of Guest Posting

Guest posting is a practice that has been around for several years, yet people are still talking about it, writing about it, blogging about it, and doing it.

Some people are even writing books and creating courses on this topic! One example is Peter Sandeen’s free e-book called 7 Key Steps to Guest Blogging Success.

Then there’s Jon Morrow, an inspiring person who teaches a course on this topic.

This just goes to show you how much can be said about guest blogging!

Given that so many articles have been written about this practice, you may be wondering why I’m bothering to write another. Well, there are a few reasons, actually.

First of all, Wording Well is all about helping YOU achieve entrepreneurial success.

Secondly, some of you may not have heard of this concept, may have only dabbled in it, or may want to know more about all it entails.

Thirdly, there is more to guest posting than you may think, and I want you to be informed so that when you decide to be a guest or a host, you will do so following the best practices possible. I know all of this because I have been both a guest and a host… many times! (Look at the list of my numerous guest posts, which is listed in my Portfolio.)

Finally, I want to bring some awareness to bloggers about these “best practices” so that the whole overall experience of both guests and hosts is one of mutual satisfaction and serves the audience well.

What I’d really like to do, though, is create a set of rules for all bloggers to follow. I’m winking, but I’m actually serious. I’m just wondering if I have to be elected into office or be considered a blogging goddess for this to happen. If any of you know, please tell me ASAP! Instead, I’ve created a set of “best practices” that you use.

a bunch of people = a new audience

Why Guest Post or Host? The Pros

Why guest post? Why guest host?

There are many positive reasons for each.

Guest posting allows you to:

1: Reach a different audience—the host’s. By doing so, the host’s readers may become interested in the guest and the guest may gain readers of his/her own.

2: Create backlinks to your site. Most hosts will inform their readers that the post was written by you, for them, and include a short bio at the end of the post with a link to your site.

3: Pass your message along to others and/or gain sales or get new clients.

4: Write in a different way from what you may be used to, thereby helping you develop more skills.

5: Work with someone else and be part of a team.

6: Establish your credibility online and help you expand your network. First, however, you need to build trust. Ramsay Taplin, more famously known as the Blog Tyrant, made a video that exemplifies this point.

Guest hosting allows you to:

1: Take a vacation or a break from creating new content.

2: Introduce your audience to someone new, who has a different or fresh perspective.

3: Be exposed to the guest’s audience since the guest will likely tell their friends to read the post they wrote for you, thereby increasing your traffic.

4: Give your readers a treat and mix things up a bit. Your guest’s voice and writing style are generally different from your own.

5: Guest bloggers can contribute more than you know. In fact, here are 8 Benefits of Having Guest Bloggers (and how to find them).

a silhouette of two people who are both using laptops

Why Guest Post or Host? The Cons

When guest posting, you may:

When guest hosting, you may:

  • Discover that it’s tough to find guests who can write a quality post.
  • Spend more time emailing back and forth with the guest than you had wanted to.
  • Find that your traffic may drop because you’ve featured a guest post and your audience wants only you (which is a compliment, when you think about it!).
  • Have to edit the post and then deal with the negative feelings of your guest when you tell them about it (giving constructive criticism is difficult and receiving it is just as hard for some people).
  • Have to deal with spammers who pose as someone wanting a guest post position.
  • Find that the links the guest included are not relevant or helpful to the growth of your website.
  • Find that the content of the guest post does not meet your expectations.

Guest-i-quette and Host-i-quette: Best Practices

When you are a guest on someone’s website or blog, you should mind your manners and remember that you are a guest.  Act like a guest. Be gracious, nice, friendly, respectable, courteous, and helpful. You may be invited back if you and your post perform well!

Best guest-i-quette practices dictate that the guest will:

  • Write the post
  • Edit the post
  • Provide their own images or include images with proper attribution to the original source
  • Submit the post in the format of the host’s choosing (HTML code is often preferred)
  • Include quality external links relevant to the post’s topic that will help the host’s page rank
  • Include at least one internal link to the host’s previously published posts
  • Include a short bio for the host to include at the end of the post
  • Avoid linking to his/her own website or blog since a backlink is generally allowed in the guest’s bio
  • Promote the post using social media (and on his/her own blog where applicable)
  • Be available on publication day (and a few days afterward) to respond to comments
  • Subscribe to comment notifications and reply to comments left for the host in the future

Best guest-i-quette practices dictate that the host will:

  • Provide the guest with a set of clear guidelines to follow
  • Double-check all links included by the guest and include the best ones
  • Double-check that the post is edited and free of typos
  • Ensure that images are relevant and enhance the post
  • Ensure that the post is formatted properly
  • Will include a short bio of the guest at the end of the post, with a link to the guest’s website or blog
  • Will keep an eye on the comments, moderate where necessary, and delete spam comments
  • Will send notifications emails to the guest of new comments
  • Promote the post using social media (and on his/her own blog where applicable)

Summary

Guest posting and guest hosting can both be wonderful experiences, if these practices are followed.

 

 

4 thoughts on “Guest Posting and Guest Hosting: Best Practices

  1. Lorraine,

    Your post title is inspiring! I loved it. And, good to see you helping others to leverage the best value of guest blogging and guest posting executing it appropriately. Great sharing!

  2. Hi Lorraine,
    I totally agree that guest posting can be beneficial for both: host and guest. I have been on both sides of the table. I did a lot of guest posting when I started my first online business and it worked wonders! I also used to be a guest host – right now we do no longer bother with guest posts on our blog for several reasons.
    I like your list of best practices for both sides – but I would love to add some more 😉
    The guest blogger will open the conversation with an email where he uses the right name for the host.
    The guest will not try to lie his way into getting published. If you add links to previously published guest posts these should be authored by you. I have on several occasions been sent links to content that was not written by the aspiring guest blogger but by people I knew and could ask about it.
    The guest will make some topic suggestions – asking the host for topic ideas when he does not know which topics you could possibly cover will not get you far.

    The host will check the content for plagiarism – I have been sent articles that were bad copies of posts that I could find with a quick check via Google.
    The host will do a quick fact check – even though part of the benefit of guest hosting is to get topics covered that the host would not cover himself, you need to make sure that no wrong information is published.

    And I’d like to disagree with one of your above points what benefits there are in guest posting for the host: Hosting guest posts is a ton of work. I could not take an extra holiday if I accepted more guest posts on our blog…

    Happy guest blogging!
    Susanna
    Susanna Gebauer recently posted…What is Internal Linking and How Can You Use it for SEO?

    • says

      Susanna,

      I actually agree with you. Being a host IS a ton of work and that is why I now charge for “guest posts” (they are now called “sponsored posts”).
      Between formatting the posts, providing a custom opening image, and editing them, there is a lot of work that goes into publishing a guest post!

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