Every element of a website should clearly communicate a purpose, and the guidelines for guest posts should be no different. In some regards, it’s easy to just reword someone else’s ‘write for us’ page, but why not take an extra minute to create an informative guest blogging guidelines page that effectively communicates your expectations? Overall, the better your guidelines are laid out, the more likely you will receive higher-quality posts from writers.
Not much is written about how to write an appealing ‘write for us’ page, so I’ve analyzed some of the betters pages that I’ve come across, and put together a list of some of the best practices below.
1. Summarize the indirect purpose of the website. Take a minute to really think about your audience, and the type of content they want to see. Even though the direct purpose of your site might be lead generation, affiliate or e-commerce, your visitors are there for community, information, entertainment or education. The last thing you should be doing is accepting guest articles from writers that don’t understand this indirect purpose.
Here are some things to consider mentioning:
- Audience demographics
- General visitor metrics
2. Guest post guidelines. This is the meat of the ‘write for us’ page, which should be both informative and direct, and leave no room for misinterpretation. Spell out your guidelines in short, bulleted sentences, and make sure to cover everything about a post that you would approve, and everything about a post that you would reject. If you receive a guest article that deviates from your guidelines, you can refer back to this page in your correspondence with the writer. I sometimes come across websites that don’t have their rules and regulations for guest posting clearly spelled out, and wonder how many writers end up rewriting their posts because expectations weren’t communicated right out of the gate.
Explain the following points:
- Minimum/maximum length
- Linking guidelines
- Author bio
- Relevant topics
- Post format
- Writing samples
- Original content
- Submission formats accepted
3. Explain the benefits of guest posting. Fame! Fortune! Well, maybe not. But there are a few benefits to writing for your blog, right? These writers have a chance to get their articles in front of x number of visitors and y number of social media followers. If their content is exceptional, and it should be, they will be rewarded with the many benefits that come with legitimate guest posting. But it doesn’t hurt to list some of these benefits on your “Write for Us” page.
AuthorRank is going to be a part of Google’s ranking factors moving forward, so it’s prudent to cultivate a community of guest bloggers that are apt to write about sub-topics within the umbrella of your blog’s main theme. While some are quick to knock down guest posting as a crappy form of linkbuilding, but I believe that, if done properly, guest blogging is still a legitimate portion of a well-balanced strategy.
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