Once your blog achieves a steady readership and minimal amount of niche respect, you will start getting post submissions from people who want to guest star on your blog. This can be exciting at first because it is a sign others are taking note of your blog and want to be a part of what you have created. Then the reality sinks in that you can't post every guest blogger that comes along or your blog won't be a success for long.
You should judge a guest blog post with the same standards that you judge your own posts. A guest blogger should not be allowed in your space without meeting at least these basic requirements:
- The post sticks to a niche-related topic that meshes well with the subject of your blog.
- The content of the post will be appealing or educational to your readers or target audience.
- The text is well written without any typos or grammatical errors. It is obvious they took time formatting it properly and creating a valuable post.
- The post is fresh and unique. It has not been published on other blogs.
- Links to the guest blogger's site are kept to a minimum and contained at the bottom of the post.
- The post does not include anything that could be interpreted as a direct sales pitch and does not feel like an advertisement.
The post covers something new that you haven't covered on your blog recently. Alternatively, it takes a new spin or approach to something you have been talking about on your blog. This shows that they actually read your blog and aren't just using you for the links. It also ensures fresh content for your readers.
If you start reading a guest post and see a lot of typos, run-on sentences, and bulky paragraphs, you know right away that the post should be rejected. If the post comes from a well-known blogger within your niche you know they didn't give this post the effort they give their own blog posts. If it is from someone unknown, then you can question the value of what they have to add to your blog. You are not an editor and should not waste time correcting or rewriting for a guest blogger.
If the copy is clean and well formatted, then read it thoroughly and consider what it has to say. If it is unfocused and makes no valuable point in the end, reject it. If it simply rehashes something you have already covered in the recent past, ask them to read your blog and send in something more original. If the topic or basic idea won't blend well with your blog for any reason or you think it will not entertain or inform your targeted audience, then it has to be rejected no matter how good it may be or how reputable the author may be.
Every guest post you publish should add value to your blog. It should get conversations going with your readers and pull in new readers. If you don't feel a guest post can do that, then you have to turn it down. This doesn't mean you can't communicate with the potential guest blogger and let them know what needs to be done differently in the future.
Open communication will show that you want to help them out, but they have to put out the effort to contribute something of value in return.