Guest Blogger Checklist: Ten Things to Ask Your New Guest

Do you need a guest blogger checklist? Recently, I wrote a post about how to avoid getting spammed by guest bloggers. You might want to take a look at it if you’re getting that kind of spam on your blog. The outcome of that post was that a few of us might need a guest blogger checklist! So here you go.

Who are you?

Check out the potential guest blogger’s credentials. Do a Google search on their name, company, and make sure their email matches up with what they say. You might want to talk on the phone with them, too, if possible. I receive a lot of requests where the email address looks spammy and there’s no real signature.

What topics do you want to write about?

If your topics don’t align with what your potential guest blogger wants to write about, that’s an immediate no in my book. But be creative and see if there’s a way. That’s if everything else about the writer looks legit!


Image by <a href="">StartupStockPhotos</a> from <a href="">Pixabay</a>

Guest Blogger Checklist: Ten Things to Ask Your New Guest | Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay

How many links do you need?

My formula is about two incoming and two outgoing links, maybe one more or less. That’s for a 500-word article. Not 50 links and certainly not 100 links! Also, I wouldn’t add links in silly places. One guest blogger wanted to put links in words like “the” and “an.” Um…no!

Where do you want the links to go?

If the links are spammy, that’s another immediate no. Links should go to legitimate websites, not to unrelated places that would simply anger your readers. Check all the links before publishing and make sure they’re adding value to your post.

Who provides the graphics?

Ensure that the graphics are really in the public domain or create or buy your own graphics for the article. A place like Pixabay has free graphics, but for a guest blog, you might want to go with Shutterstock or another subscription-based site. Also, you might want to take a screenshot (if you use a free graphic and store it somewhere safe in case the artist changes their mind about it being free. It happens all the time!).

Who writes the headline?

You don’t want a click-baity headline. I’ve written about headline writing before: What Happens When You Wtie 25 Headlines Before Choosing One? If your potential guest writes click bait, then they’re not for you. Sometimes I’ll write one for fun, but humor can be tricky.

How many drafts do you need?

I prefer two drafts myself, but maybe three if the subject matter is complicated and needs more research. Beware of anyone who doesn’t want to have their copy checked, researched, or edited. That’s a sign that you’re dealing with someone shady.

When can you write the article?

Is there a specific timeline? Does your guest blogger want fast turnaround? Do you? Spell it out–then tell your potential guest blogger!

How long will the writing take?

Will your potential guest need a week to review each draft? A day? Let the blogger know what to expect. And let them know what you expect, too. For me, the process could take a couple of weeks to review and send back and forth the drafts.

How long will the article be?

Do you have a minimum number of words that you like to publish on your blog? And is there a maximum number, too? Decide upon what you’d like the length of the article to be. Yoast recommends a minimum of 300 words for a blog post.

You have the final say

Remember: it’s your blog and your reputation on the line. Make sure the guest blogger knows that you have the right to change what appears on your blog! Did I leave anything out? Let me know!




  1. I have accepted guest proposals as long as it is original content and can be useful to my audience.

    But yeah. I don’t ask them to rewrite. I edit from their first pass.

    If I don’t like what they deliver, I take that as a sign it isn’t a good fit.

    Generally, I ask friends to guest post and maybe I should do that more.

    • Hi Bridget,

      I think it’s best (and easiest) to have friends guest blog for you, since you’re probably already in alignment with their values. I guess I do the edits as a holdover from my technical writing days, where we’d do at minimum two passes on any document.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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