Guest Posting: After You Get the Yes

We’ve reached Day Eight of our Guest Posting series, and the second installment of FAQs. You don’t want to miss the rest of the series, and you can find each post here:

Landing a Guest Post Gig
Stacking the Odds in Your Favor
Throwing Away Your Chances of Success
Feedback Red Flags to Watch Out For
Finding Motivation for Guest Posting
Common FAQs on Guest Posting

Today’s post covers what to do when writing your guest post, as well as your responsibilities and managing the situation once your post goes live. Enjoy.

What’s the rule of thumb about linking to my blog in a guest post?

Good question. I have two opinions for you:

My opinion on links is that when you guest post, you already receive credit (your name in lights), a link to your blog, and a byline that should also include a link to your feed. That’s enough, really.

However, my friend Sonia Simone has a different take on links – and a good one. Sonia adds one link to a relevant post on her blog that adds to the conversation in her guest posts. Why guest post if your content isn’t useful to readers? She also links to an especially relevant post of her own in her bio instead of linking to her home page.

Sonia and I both offset our links by linking to cornerstone content on the blog in question so that we never take more than we receive.

I’ve submitted a guest post and never heard back on approval. What should I do?

Not everyone replies to their email immediately, and some don’t reply to certain emails at all. You sending a request does not guarantee a reply. It’s nice when it happens, but no one is under obligation to answer.

First, don’t panic. Be patient. A week in real life isn’t that long, even though it may feel like forever in the virtual world.

Follow up on your request. Send a simple, “Hey, I sent you an email about a week back. Did you receive it? Let me know.” That’s all.

Still no answer after another week? Send a brief and VERY polite note to say, “I just wanted to let you know that I’ll be using the guest post I submitted to you elsewhere. Thanks anyways.”

What are my responsibilities after I submit a guest post?

I’m glad you asked. Yes, you do have responsibilities, unspoken as they are. When you submit a guest post, you are entering into a mutually beneficial agreement. If you don’t uphold your end of the bargain, you won’t be invited back.

On the day your guest post goes live, it’s a good idea to write a post inviting your readers to go visit the blog and welcoming readers from the other blog who click through to visit yours.

Even better is writing a post that relates to your guest post so that there’s more than just a welcome to read. It creates a good flow and gives people a double-whammy of content and comment opportunities.

Be present. Your day (and often the days that follow) will involve fielding comments on the blog where your guest post is located. Get in there and answer those comments. Address questions. Discuss. Interact. Don’t just post and walk away; that’s a cheap cop-out. Don’t just drop by to give one or two general thank-you comments to the crowd, either. That’s even cheaper.

Give your guest post some social media love at the blog that posted your content. Stumble your post, Digg it and Twitter to the crowds. Don’t just wait for traffic to come to you – help drive it to your post and to that blog.

People hate my guest post. The comment section is full of complaints. What do I do?

A guest post gone wrong is never fun. Yes, you may want to run screaming into the comment boost with a big stick to beat your point into people in some vicious defensive action. You might want to quit your job, leave your home and go cry in a box somewhere for three weeks.

I wouldn’t advise either. Yes, it’s disheartening when people publicly mention they didn’t like what you wrote and yes, it hurts. Does it really matter in the big scheme of things? Is it a reflection of you and your self-worth?

I don’t think so. You can’t please everyone all of the time, and writing is extremely subjective to personal opinion.

Stay calm. Stay positive and cheery. Thank people for their comments. Avoid any debate situation or veiled snark in your replies. Don’t get defensive and be Zen. It’s tough, but you can do it – and you may actually make people like you because you could take the hits and roll with the punches.

How often should I guest post?

The more exposure you have, the better. If you submit one guest post only and readers never see your name again, they’ll forget you. You’re invisible. You’re just another face in the crowd.

But when readers see your name crop up repeatedly and at different blogs, they start to notice. They remember seeing you before. They get curious. “Just who is this James Chartrand anyways? That’s the fifth time I’ve seen his name this week.”

They click through to learn more about you from your site – and voila. Conversion. Success.

Guest posting is free content. Shouldn’t I be working to earn income instead?

Yes and no. Yes, your financial needs should be met and you should never invest more time in guest posting than you can realistically afford.

However, focusing on short-term income and neglecting long-term potential is a common mistake. It’s easy to get wrapped up in keeping money coming in and setting aside steps to take that ensure longevity, more passive income and business growth.

In fact, the job versus business issue can be like a treadmill that you need to jump off. The more you focus on now, the less you can break away to devote your attention to the future. Do work on bringing in cash and making ends meet, but be prepared to sacrifice a little money today to invest in better long long-term potential.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post. It covers whether you should accept guest posts on your blog, what approval factors to consider and the biggest problem, how to say no to requests.

Post by James Chartrand

James Chartrand is an expert copywriter and the owner of Men with Pens and Damn Fine Words, the game-changing writing course for business owners. She loves the color blue, her kids, Nike sneakers and ice skating.