I welcome guest posts on my blog. Guest posts benefit everyone: you, me, and all the people who turn to this site for help with getting visible to local customers.
Though I accept guest posts (and ideas for them) on a “know it when I see it” basis, maybe you’re interested in knowing some of my guidelines:
My Golden Rule
Read some (at least 3) of my blog posts before suggesting one of yours. This is the best way to know roughly what I’m looking for—and whether your post is a good fit.
Must deal with how business owners can get more visible in the local-search results and/or attract more local customers. Obviously, my focus is on local Google (formerly known as Google Places), but if you have something really good to write about Bing or Yahoo, that’s fine.
Within those boundaries, I’m pretty flexible.
Oh, and one other general (as in not absolutely rigid) guideline:
I don’t want theory. A little is OK. But my focus is on action—what specific steps business owners can take to get more visible to customers. If your post is mostly theoretical, it had better be damn good theory. You should also write largely for business owners, not for people (like me) who spend all day every day grappling with Google.
Abraham Lincoln can explain this better than I can.
As you may know, Lincoln was really tall (6’4), and occasionally drew attention and ridicule.
Someone once asked Lincoln how tall a man’s legs should be in relation to the rest of his body.
Lincoln replied “I have not given the matter much consideration, but on first blush I should judge they ought to be long enough to reach from his body to the ground.”
Or, to use the old copywriter’s rule of thumb, “There’s no such thing as too long: only too boring.”
I don’t care how long your post is…as long as it takes the reader somewhere.
Sometimes you need the equivalent of 9 pages of a Word document to say everything that needs to be said.
If it’s a teensy-weensy little Seth Godin –style post, it had better be short for good reasons—and not because you just glossed over points that you should have unpacked a little bit more.
I’m not too picky. All the body text will become Arial 12pt anyway. I don’t really care how many subheaders (H2s or H3s) you use, as long as your post is fairly easy to read and not too hard to skim.
Amount of “polish & shine”
I am a grammar Nazi. However, I don’t expect you to be the same way. I won’t nitpick you over colons versus em dashes, but I will say something if I think your post needs a facelift.
Please just take a couple minutes to read your post carefully before you send it my way. Typos rile me up. I make them myself from time to time, so I’m a sympathetic audience. Nonetheless, I’ll instantly reject your post if you have more than a couple of typos (unless I’m so enlightened and mesmerized by your insights that I don’t even notice the mistakes).
Please don’t republish on other sites. It’s not good for anyone involved. We live in a post-Panda age—remember? Plus, your post will get plenty of visibility right here on this site.
Linking to your own (or others’) content
Fine, as long as you don’t overdo it. If it’s more than a couple links, I’ll take a good hard look at them to make sure they’re all necessary or useful.
Ideally your post is more or less self-contained. I don’t even like including internal links to my content. Sometimes it’s necessary to do so, but self-contained posts are inherently easier to read and digest, in my opinion. The more self-contained your post is, the more I’ll like it.
I’ll probably have at least a couple of suggestions. All of my suggestions are up for debate. Just don’t take them personally: it’s part of our mutual effort to produce the most awesome local-visibility material possible.
Byline / author’s box
You can have 1-2 links at the end of the post. For instance, if you want a link to your blog and to your Twitter account, no problem.
By the way, all links will open into a new browser tab (having to use the “Back” and “Forward” buttons is annoying).
Done reading all of that? OK, now you can email me your post or idea at firstname.lastname@example.org (maybe include “guest post” in the subject line).
I look forward to seeing what you’ve got!
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Please use your judgment as to whether my suggestions suit your needs. More…