For the last year or so Guest Posts have made up the majority of content on Spice Up Your Blog.A guest post is a post submitted by a blogger, webmaster or content writer representing one of the aforementioned.We have covered the subject of guest posts previously, we even have guest posts about guest posting ehh…But a short description is the guest author gets valuable links to their sites in the author section and the publisher gets quality content from a new voice.
But while the majority of content on Spice Up Your Blog is now written by guest authors I don’t just accept and publish every post submitted.Even though I have published 103 guest posts so far in 2012 you will be surprised to learn I actually reject about 85% of posts submitted.
So what are the key factors that make the difference between posts been accepted and rejected.
What Publishers Want
First up you must remember most publishers like myself will have to review a number of posts daily so you need to grab our attention quickly.Within seconds I can tell how much effort has been put into writing a post.
- Has the post been formatted with sub titles and headings.
- Has the author included relevant images.
- Have they used lists.
- Is the content broken into paragraphs.
- Has the author linked to reliable sources.
These are just small things but when I review a post these are the factors that make a first impression and you know what they say about first impressions.
Now I have to admit when I first review a post I do not take the time to read it word for word.It’s a known fact that when we are online we scan content rather than taking the time to read.This is why sub titles and headings are so important.If after quickly scanning a post I feel it does not fit that’s it I send the reject Email.If after a quick scan I think the post has some potential I will take the time to read it in full and make my decision.
What Publishers Don’t Want
So lets look at some of the reasons posts are rejected after the first scan.
Content is off topic – This is one of the most regular reasons, I have had posts on everything from Insurance and Credit to Firearms and Fitness submitted.
Content Looks Spun – This really is the scourge of guest posting.Spun content is basically an author writes a post then either manually or with the aid of software make minor changes.This way they can have what is in essence the same post published on a number of sites.
Author links in the body – On Spice Up Your Blog and on most blogs the author will be allowed to add a set number of links in the bio section.I do not allow ‘Self Serving’ links in the body of the article.
Just a rubbish post – Finally we do get a lot of posts that lets be honest are just rubbish.
Learning From Posts That Made The Cut
Finally some posts are great but we have already covered the subject.As the number of posts increase the number of topics we have covered increases.So take the time to check if a site you are submitting content to has already published content on the subject of your post.
So that’s the main reasons posts are rejected lets look at what gets accepted.Using examples from Guest posts I have published these are
Short, Sweet And To The Point – In January 2011 I had only published a few guest posts when Edward Stern sent in “Anatomy Of An Engaging Blog Post“.This post covered what I think are really the basics of blog posts writing.I get similar posts submitted every week now but of course it’s now been covered.If you have a simple post with the basics try submitting it to a new less established blog as established blogs will surely have covered it previously.
Heart Stopping Post Titles – We do judge books by their cover and posts titles are the covers of blog posts.When Maria Rainier send in a post about post titles she made sure to show the proof is in the pudding.Yes “6 Tips To Heart-Stopping Post Titles” is a little over the top but it will grab your attention.Alyse Ainsworth also used an eye grabbing title in the post “4 Things You Need To Do (if you don’t want your blog to suck)“.
Clever Writing – I was very impressed when Heather Smith sent in the post “The Four P’s To Blogging Success“.As above the post is Short, sweet and to the point and also has a good title but it was obvious Heather put some thought into the writing.Check out how she focused on ‘P’ words through out the post, this looks clever and adds some humour.
Events and Seasonal – Stand up comedians say if they tell a joke about current events it will always get a laugh.A few weeks back Andrew Bart looked at how you could use the US Presidential election as inspiration for your social media in “The Social Media Election What You Can Learn From Candidates“.And last week just in time for Halloween Rachel O’Riordans post “Things That Go Bump On Your Blog – What Bloggers Can Learn From Horror Films” was a popular read.
So these are just a few thoughts on how I review the ever growing guest posts submissions on Spice Up Your Blog.
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