*This is a guest post by one of our beloved MyBlogGuest moderators, Gerald Weber*

Chances are if you’re reading this you allow guest posts on your blog. I do because I think it’s a great way to provide readers with quality content while building connections with other bloggers in (and sometimes outside of) my niche. But I do have some rules I follow when accepting guest posts.

Needless to say, I don’t accept and publish every post that comes my way. If I did, the quality of my blog would suffer, and I’d start to lose readers.

When should you decline a guest post?

  • The post is an obvious link grab and nothing else. Look, it’s no secret that guest blogging is a commonly used link building strategy, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. The wrong way is to throw together a sloppy post (usually very short and full of typos) littered with links back to the blogger’s website. Anyone who wants to contribute a guest blog needs to make sure they have something of value to add. They should be able to write a post they’d be proud to host on their own blog. If you get anything less than that, feel free to politely reject the post.
  • The content goes against everything you preach. I recently had a blogger send me a guest post that was talking about how wonderful flash website design is and how everyone should love and use flash web design. Now, as an SEO I could never endorse or publish a post on my blog supporting the use of flash web design because we all know it’s absolutely terrible for SEO. It was a clear case where if I’d allowed the post to be published I would’ve been doing a disservice to my readers by giving them bad information. I had no other choice but to reject it.
  • The blog post is a sales pitch. Sure, one of the main reasons people submit guest posts is to increase their visibility by positioning themselves as experts in their field. However, that doesn’t mean the guest post should be treated as an advertisement for their products and services. If a guest post feels like a thinly-veiled sales pitch, it’s best to reject it.
  • The post has been syndicated across the blogosphere. This is another real life example that happened not too long ago. A bloggers submitted a guest post to one of my friend’s blog and a quick Google search showed this same post had been plastered across the blogosphere. I don’t think I need to explain this one much. This is just wrong on so many levels. Guest blogging is NOT articling marketing. Nuff said.

To summarize, we as members of the blogosphere have a responsibility, in order to preserve the integrity of guest blogging to reject those guest posts that should be rejected.

Have you ever rejected a guest post? What was your reason?

Gerald Weber is a moderator at MyBlogGuest and also the founder of a Houston SEO firm.

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27 Responses to “Guest Blogging: Sometimes It’s Best To Just Say No”

  1. Christian Bennike

    Sweet post, but, wouldn't it be more right to actually post the flash comment and then comment on it yourself? and then give some qualified arguments why flashsites is not such a good idea?

    Reply
  2. Gerald Weber

    Christian,

    Not really, going off into why flash is not a good idea, is not really the topic if this post. The point is there are times when it is not only appropriate but a good idea to reject guest post.

    Reply
  3. Andy @ FirstFound

    Great post Gerald. I think most of the points you raise can be boiled down in to one question: "Is the contributer showing you any respect?"

    When I submit a guest post, I'm respectful. I make sure it's high quality, relevant and that any links I add are kept to the byline. I make sure I ask politely, and that the post is as well formatted as it can be.

    If I sent an email demanding my scraped, inaccurate, link crammed article be posted on someone else's blog because it's too poor to be featured on mine, I wouldn't be showing the blogger any respect.

    And that's what it boils down to for me. If you want someone to do you a favour, you'd sure better be polite about it.

    Reply
  4. Gerald Webe

    Andy,

    Excellent synopsis! That's exactly what it boils down to. It's usually very easy to see if the guest blogger is sincere by looking at the post they have written.

    Thanks for commenting. :-)

    Reply
  5. Alisa Bowman

    I've been thinking about this a lot lately because I've been getting requests from all sorts of people to guest post on my blog. I would also add that you probably should not accept it if the content does not match your audience. Also, for me, if the content has no personal touch and just reads like generic tips, I don't accept it.

    Reply
  6. David @ seo-writer.c

    Great post Gerald. When I was filling in the guest posting quiz recently, I was struck with the following dichotomy: there might be many different reasons to guest post (The main reason might be to build links or to develop reputation or to open up markets or to increase blog readership or one of many others), but once the writing begins, job-one is to write a high quality post that the host blogger will feel comfortable sharing with readers and beyond. Clearly the examples you share today show how sometimes the guest blogger is too self-focused when writing, and "No" is a good response.

    Reply
  7. Emory @ Clickfire

    Glad you brought this up, Gerald. As guest blogging becomes a more widely used practice, I expect that we'll need to put the foot down more often. This is making me realize I should have said no to a few in the past instead of going back and forth editing and revising posts that never quite seem to work.

    Reply
  8. Gerald Weber

    @Alisa,

    Exactly. The post should match your blog/reader interests. Otherwise what's the point?

    @David,

    Of course I agree with you 100%. Post quality should always be priority #1

    @Emory,

    Guest blogging is starting to grow a lot in popularity, which is a great point. If quality standards aren't put in place by bloggers it could end up giving guest posting a bad reputation down the line.

    Reply
  9. Kristi Hines

    I have seen some posts that fit into these categories, but I also have had requests from good bloggers who just don't send posts that really mesh with my site / topic. I find it hard to say no, but you're right – if you don't, you're simply hurting your own site's reputation.

    Reply
  10. Cori Padgett

    Definitely all great points Gerald. And it is hard sometimes to say no to a great post that just doesn't fit with your topic because it is on it's own a great post. But it has to fit your demographic otherwise you'll leave your readers going "huh?"

    And when submitting guest posts myself, I always try my best to tailor each guest post towards that blog's target market, and that should be something you always do when requesting a guest post slot. After all, the blogger is being kind enough to allow you valuable space, so you should respect that and make it the best you absolutely can.

    Reply
  11. Danusia

    I see guest posts on other sites that agree with your advice above, and wonder why no-one has accepted the offer of guest posting on our pest control blog ;-) I wish I had the problem of having to turn away guest bloggers.

    Pest control impacts everyone on a daily basis if they like it or not… From the fly trap in your favourite local sandwich shop, to the tamper resistant bait stations at the pharmaceutical manufacturers that supply the asprin you need for a headache, to the pest identification training provided at hotels you stay in for business or pleasure, right down to the DIY prodycts you buy to get rid of ants in your garden in the Summer.

    Reply
  12. Yum Yucky

    Yep. I'm going through this right now with people submitting to me. Good to know I'm making the right choice to reject these.

    Reply
  13. Kim Luu

    Successful guest blogging can be beneficial when it's done right. Kristi is right in saying that it needs to fit with your topic/niche.

    Getting people from unrelated industry to post on a niche topic can be very useful for readers because it breaks up assumptions of status quo and brings a fresh perspective to the same old issues. However, the guest poster needs to get some familiarity with the blog and custom the article to fit the audience and focus of the blog. If it doesn't match, the tone can be jarring to the audience.

    Planning is also key. I have five authors on the sideline with articles to supplement my blog but we won't be putting them on until we have laid a foundation to introduce them. I don't want to lose the impact of providing high level expertise because we rushed to fill content. It's not fair to the guest authors and it wastes all the time and efforts that I spend in real life to line up those experts.

    Reply
  14. Jackbid

    Hi Gerald,

    I recently turned down a guest post on my blog, coz the blog post was a duplicate, and was already posted on many other blogs online. At first, I didn't notice it. The blog post went online. Only later, I decided to copyscape it, and then I found out that this same post is on many blogs, verbatim. So, had to take it offline…

    You can never be careful enough… ;)

    Cheers!

    Reply
  15. Cheryl from thatgirl

    Anytime I've "rejected" a post, it was re-worked and re-submitted. As of right now, I haven't had to say no.

    There were two instances when I should have said NO. Both came back to bite me in the butt. Both men had similar reactions: I changed the title and added an introduction – first man's reaction was as if I had harmed his first born. I deleted his post. Second man's reaction to me changing the wording to tie his post to a holiday was as if I had personally insulted him. Very strong reactions. Lesson learned. His post was swiftly deleted.

    I should have discussed the changes with them first.

    Even so, I do think their reactions were over-the-top. Unbelievably over the top.

    I keep them in mind when I receive guest posts from people I don't know. Both men submitted "work-topic-related" posts to my ThatGirlisFUNNY blog – emphasis on funny – wrong fit, really wrong fit.

    Reply
  16. Condo Blues

    I'd like to add that if you are submitting a guest post please use correct punctuation and grammer. It seems very basic to expect correct use of the English language but I had to reject a guest post for that very reason. The guest post was from a nonprofit agency. I think it might have been from an intern because not only was the guest post exactly what I asked them NOT to do (offer big scary sounding facts and figures without any information on what to do if you find yourself in that situation)but the sentences with the big scary facts and figures where copied and pasted from throughout the organization's Web site and crammed into semi-paragraph form. I explained to the person why I had to reject the post they gave me and what they needed to do to fix it before I could run it. I haven't heard from them since.

    Reply
  17. originalwriter

    I agree completely. Guest blogging has become a trend- you scratch my back and I scratch yours. They are not checking to see if the back scratcher has claws or chipped nails. The scratch can give you an infection ;)

    Reply
  18. Asheesh Mani Jain

    I fully agree with this post. Blogging is a great way to connect but people have now started using it as a tool for indiscriminate link building. Links should be a byproduct of the effort for sharing valuable information and not the sole objective. No person can deny the need and importance for links but using guest posts just to get back links is not ethical and should be discouraged.

    Reply
  19. Anushka

    Great post! :) Mine is a fashion blog and I recently had another fashion blogger write me, asking to guest post. As a habit, I decided to check her blog before I replied and I'm so glad I did! Her blog has it all – bad writing, shoddy layout, horrible picture quality and worst of all, terrible taste in clothes!
    Nowhere close to the standard I strive for in terms of language, content and picture quality!
    She is a sweetie though and I'm worried about how to say no. Any tips? I can't exactly say I'm not doing guest bloggers right now since I am, but only those who are on the same page / level as i am in terms of all the specifics i mentioned above. Help please!

    Reply
    • Ann Smarty

      Just try to tell her that your blogs have different styles. A style is something very unique – you can't be offended to hear you have a "different" one.

      Reply
  20. Nate

    Gerald,

    You should have posted the guest post about flash web design and done a bit of editing (ie. "How You Know You're Web Designer Doesn't Know SH#$ about SEO")

    I love web designers that try to talk SEO with people. The only lingo they really know is title tags, meta keywords, and linking…

    Thanks for the post!

    Reply
  21. Danko

    Very good article indeed. I feel it should be about the community as a whole. Karma is such a wonderful thing; it is so awesome to be a team volunteer just knowing you've helped make this world a much better place for all humankind.

    Reply
  22. Amy Fowler

    Some of you are saying that you would feel guilty saying no to a good quality article that just didn't fit your niche.

    As someone who writes guest posts a lot: don't!

    If you tell the writer you think the article's great and would love to publish it, but it just doesn't fit with your blog, I can't see why they would be offended. I wouldn't be.

    You could always then suggest some topics to them that you would be happy to accept a post on if they wanted to do something else…

    Reply
  23. @onlinetaxpros

    Dear Gerald,
    Guest posting is indeed gaining popularity, and people doing the posting should have to answer to a few guidelines as well. Examples are asking yourself, "Would I post this on my own blog?","Does this look like shameless promotion?", and "Will anyone else want me to post on their blog after reading this?"

    Keeping all this in mind will help you to build a great relationship with your blogging community. Making your posts as good or better than the standards you set for your own blog will go a long way in turning your one-time opportunity into a great way of gaining exposure!

    Reply
  24. owenhyde

    Hi,
    Here is owen hyde, I’m very interested in guest posting at your sites/ blogs.
    I discovered you by your site. I have gone through your site, I was really impressed and wanted to get involved. i am having a unique content for ” Fashion store” to share as a guest post.I am mailing you my few ideas which you might be enjoyed.
    My title is ” Maurices is latest fashion and saving money”. This is the destination where they are selling fashionable, traditional wear for everybody at lowest prices with high discounts. They provide various coupons like Discount Coupons , Promo/Promotional Coupons with their codes
    I kindly request you to mail me, I can send you my guest post . let me know what you think, I hope all is well.
    With thanks and the best regards,
    Owen Hyde.

    Reply
  25. Marie @ MDesign Media

    Overall we’ve had good luck with the guest posts offered. Once in while even though the story/content is interesting, the grammar is bad… It is a little tricky to explain why you have to turn them down.

    Reply

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