If you’ve submitted a guest post to another blog recently, congratulations. Guest blogging is one of the best ways to build your audience and attract new visitors to your website or blog.
Unfortunately, not every one of your guest post submissions will be accepted. This is especially true of the more popular blogs out there. Some blogs receive tens or hundreds of guest post proposals every month while publishing only a handful of submissions.
If your guest post submission has been rejected, you might be wondering why. The blogger you submitted to probably didn’t provide much specific feedback.
Having recently run a guest post contest that received lots of submissions, I’ve had to turn down a fair number of guest posts. Some of them were good, some not so great. To help you get your next post accepted, I’d like to share the following 10 reasons why your guest post may have been rejected:
- There Was No Benefit For the Reader
If you’re submitting a guest post to a popular blog, there’s a good chance that blog makes a habit of providing value to its readers. One of the most common problems I see with guest post submissions is that the value to the reader is unclear or not very compelling. When you write a post (especially a guest post), think to yourself “what’s in this post for the reader? Why would anyone care to read it?”
- Your Post Was Too Short (or Too Long)
This is another common issue to guest posts I have to reject. Pay attention to the length of posts at the blog you’re submitting to. Is there a common range of lengths? How long are the posts that do best on the blog? Keep your guest post length in-line with standard practice at the blog you’re submitting to, and you’ll have a better chance of being accepted.
- Your Post Lacked Structure (Don’t Ramble)
Some bloggers have a knack for writing unstructured, rambling or humorous posts that are well received. However, most bloggers don’t have that gift. If you’re not known for being a good rambler, make sure your post includes some structure that the reader can follow.
- There Wasn’t Enough Character
If your post reads like an encyclopedia entry, you’ll have a hard time getting it published on any high-traffic blogs. Readers expect a little character, wittiness or intelligence from most popular blogs these days. Again, pay attention to the tone of the blog you’re submitting to. Study the authors’ styles. Adding character doesn’t mean writing about yourself necessarily, but make the language you use interesting or useful.
- You Rehashed An Old Topic Without Adding Enough
Especially for narrowly focused topical blogs (like this one), it’s easy to beat a dead horse when it comes to rehashing old topics. If you’re going to cover old ground, make sure you’re shedding new light on the topic.
One way to do this consistently is to write about the intersection of two topics that hasn’t been explored before. Another way is to write from an opposite viewpoint. For example, instead of writing simply about how to get more followers on Twitter (how many millions of those posts are there already?) you could write about how to get ignored on Twitter.
- You Wrote About Something You Don’t Sound Qualified to Speak On
When you write about something you don’t have much experience with, it will come through in your post, causing it to lack substance and believability. It doesn’t matter if you’re a great writer, either. Write from experience to give your writing credibility and authority.
- Your Own Blog is in Rough Shape
When you pass along a link to your blog along with your submission, make sure your own blog or site is worth sharing. Remember, a link from the guest post to your blog is a quasi-recommendation to check your site out. If your site is not worth recommending, a blogger probably won’t accept your guest post.
- Your Grammar Needs Some Work
If you miss a little punctuation or dabble with “unconventional” grammar once in a while, I might still be interested. If your grammar or punctuation is really atrocious, don’t bother submitting. You will have a hard time getting published anywhere until you improve your grammar.
- The Blog You Submitted To Really Isn’t Accepting Guest Posts
I know, it seems like most popular blogs who say they aren’t accepting guest posts still run guest posts sometimes. Some blogs really aren’t accepting guest posts when they say they aren’t. They could also be backed up for months with submissions they’ve already accepted. Yours might have been rejected simply because of that.
- Other Posts Were Just Better
It could be that your post was well written, your grammar was impeccable, you were funny, you delivered awesome value to the reader, and yet your post was still rejected. What gives?
There are thousands of fantastic bloggers out there, and sometimes you’ll be competing for guest posts against the best. It might be that other submissions were simply better than yours.
The beauty of guest posting is that the post you submitted might be a great fit for another blog, or even for your own blog. So don’t worry about being rejected. Use your post somewhere else, and submit again with something better later.
What do you think? Have any tips for getting a guest post published? Tell us in the comments!
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photo by Ben+Sam