13 Guest Blogging Policies: Do You Set Guidelines For Guest Posts? [Checklist]

Guest Blogging PoliciesDo you have a set of guest blogging policies?

Like a hotel or B&B, establish your guest blog post policies. These rules define your expectations for bloggers, both your staff and guests.

Ideally develop your own set of guest blogging policies before you accept posts from outside sources.

To help you to develop your guest blogging policies use these 13 guest blogging policies. Adapt them to meet the needs of your blog. So you avoid problems later.

BTW–Get a FREE worksheet checklist to create your Guest Blogging Policy.

NOTE: The Actionable Marketing Guide does NOT accept guest posts.

13 Guest Blogging Policies Checklist

This 13 point guest blogging policies checklist will provide a structure for your guidelines based on your blog topic, brand and goals.

follow the guidelines

Blog Post Content

  • Do you require original content before it appears on your blog first? Then it can be republished on the blogger’s website with a link back to you.
  • Do you allow the content to be republished on the creator’s site or social media? If so, how long do bloggers have to wait before republishing. Also do you require that they link to the original on your website?
  • Can the blogger repurpose or reprint material? And if they do, do you require that they link to the original on your website. This helps you to attract backlinks.
  • Are there  other content requirements related to the type of information and content formats included in the blog post?
  • Do you have requirements related to the language used? For example are four letter words?

Blog Post Length

  • How long should guest posts to be? They should be similar to the rest of your posts. Otherwise, guest may submit a 600 word post when your average post is 1,200 words.

Blog Post Topic

  • Who chooses the post topic, the writer or your editorial team?
  • If you allow the writer to determine the the post topic, does it need approval? Be aware that many guest post requesters ask about topics you’ve already covered!
  • Do your editorial team need to  see the entire post before it’s approved?
  • Or do you require additional proof of writing ability such as other guest posts, columns and/or blog?

Blog Post Submission: Timing and Scheduling

  • How far in advance of the publication date must the post be submitted? Allow enough time to edit and add handle the technical elements. A month should be your minimum.


While most guest blogger write posts to expand their exposure to other people’s audience, in some cases compensation is involved.

  • Does the blogger pay you to get visibility and access to your audience? If so, what are the fees and does the blogger retain rights to the content?
  • If you compensate bloggers, do you have a fixed rate by the article or the word? 
  • Alternatively, do you get to publish a blog post on their website in return?

Content Formats and Presentation

  • Do you expect the guest blogger to include graphics, photographs, presentations and/or videos? If so, who’s responsible for checking the IP rights?
  • Do you have any specific guidelines regarding the size and other attributes of the non-text content?


  • Will you edit the post further after it’s submitted? Do you allow guest authors have input after the article is submitted? From a blog owner’s perspective, a guest post is a big endorsement. Therefore, the post should be edited in line with the blog’s editorial policy. If there are significant issues, discuss them with the author to maintain good relations.

Guest Blogger Author Bio

  • How should guest bloggers be represented on your blog?  If guest bloggers are allowed to have a personal bio, how many words long can it be?
  • Can the guest author’s bio include links? If so, where should they link to?  Do you also publish an author photo?

IP Rights

  • Who owns the rights to the guest post content as defined in your guest blogging policies?
  • How long does the writer need to wait before publishing a related blog post?
  • Do you require writers to sign a release stating that you own the content? 

Keyword Focus

  • Do you ask guest writers to include specific keywords  and specific categories? Do you provide these or is the writer responsible for their own research?

Links and Backlinks

  • Do you allow writers to have backlinks to their blog or other site in the body of their content? If so, do you limit the number of links or where they can link to? Also, do you only allow “nofollow”links?.

Post-Publication Promotion

  • While in general guest blogging policies state that guest posts shouldn’t include promotion of your organization’s products, if they do mention products, determine in advance who receives the revenue.

Social sharing

  • Do you request that guest bloggers promote their posts on social media, their own blog, their newsletters, and other platforms? It helps to remind them that content mentioning then when their post is going line.


Guest Blogging Policies Conclusion

The goal of guest blogging policies is to set guidelines for content contributed by non-employees.

When you follow this checklist of guest blogging policies, you to provide a framework for working with guest bloggers so that the two of you benefit and start to build a better relationship.

Make sure your guest blogging policies allow you to discuss any points that might be an issue, either now or in the future.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on July 1, 2011. It has been significantly expanded and updated for publication on August 12, 2021.

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies.
You can find Heidi on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.


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