Guest posts have been a part of this blog for some time now. As I keep getting requests from potential guest bloggers, I've decided to create this post explaining my guidelines for guest posts so I can lazily link here whenever someone wants to do one.
Who can provide guest posts?As is usual with policies of this sort, any feedback you have would be much appreciated and please let me know if you have any questions.
The short answer is anyone. Guest posters generally seem to be of three types: people marketing something, people trying to boost the number of articles they've published on the internet and people trying to link to something for SEO purposes. These kinds of posters are all acceptable, provided the other criteria below are met.
What kind of content can a guest post have?
As a general matter, the content needs to be of interest to readers. As an initial threshold, posts that have nothing to do with language learning will be rejected. Beyond that, I'll make a subjective call as to whether it's of interest, including the following guidelines.
If you're selling something, your post should not be on that thing you are selling. You may mention it in the article if appropriate given the context, and you would be expected to mention it in the blurb about the author (both to provide your background and as a matter of transparency). A good example of this is Susanna Zaraysky's guest post; while clearly done as part of promoting her book, Language is Music, she never actually mentions the book in the article itself, even as she outlines some of the arguments from it.
Guest posts will be rejected if they sound too much like advertisements. When it comes to what crosses the line into advertisement, let me borrow a standard that Justice Potter Stewart used for something a bit different:I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it…To give some examples of recently rejected guest posts, (1) if your proposed post's only argument is that your own product is great, that's definitely an advertisement and (2) if your proposed post is just a long marketing-speak build-up to a link, it sounds too much like an advertisement.
This blog tends to go pretty in-depth about language learning, and if your post just scratches the surface with generalities that you managed to scrape up from an hour of Google searching, that'll probably get rejected. I'd recommend reading other similar articles on this website to get an idea of the level of coverage needed.
Posts linking to scammy products or posts linking to misleading websites will be rejected. Posts that are offensive, annoying, confusing or may otherwise make readers unhappy will be rejected.
The post should be original content. However, concurrent or subsequent posting on your own blog, together with a link to the original guest post at the start of the reproduced post on your blog, is fine.
A guest post should reflect the expertise of its author. Susanna's guest post is a good example for that as well. Another good example is this guest post on The Linguist on Language from a Spanish school in Argentina that discusses some of the peculiarities of Argentine Spanish.
How do I submit a guest post?
If you're interested in submitting a guest post, reach out to me via the email listed in the right-hand column of this blog. Include in that email the following information:
Once I get this email from you, the next step is typically a few emails back and forth until we settle on an acceptable topic.
- the topic or topics on which you'd be interested in writing a guest post;
- why you're qualified to write about such topic (this can just be a sentence or two, but links to a website or other things around the web can be helpful);
- why you'd like to write a guest post, in particular stating whether you're doing it for some specific purpose: marketing a product or service, search engine optimization (SEO), etc.
Once a topic has been picked, draft your post and send it over. The post should start with a paragraph introducing the author, similar to that found on other guest posts. My preferred format for posts is plain-text HTML, but I guess you can send me a Word doc if you really must.
When drafting your post, keep in mind that this blog has readers from all over the world (including non-native-English speakers), so the wording should not be country specific. For example, if referring to the U.S., make sure that it's clear that "this country" means "the U.S."
Once I get a draft of your post, I'll typically either reject it for content reasons or edit it for posting. If rejected, I'll typically explain why via email and give you an opportunity to revise it.
Once I move on to editing, edits will generally be light, with my main focus being formatting and any obvious factual issues.
After edits are done, the post will be scheduled for publication and eventually go up on the blog.
Once a guest post is up, the post generally will only be taken down under extreme circumstances, such as discovering the post was plagiarized or otherwise in violation of these guidelines.
I'm free to reject or delay any post for any reason, or for no reason at all, at any stage in the process.
Being a guest poster won't get you or your product favorable coverage on this site. In fact, your post may very well be right next to negative coverage. If that doesn't suit you, don't post.
Providing a guest post does not guarantee links, anchor texts, homepage coverage, or any anything else.