How To Be The Hostess With The Mostest

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A few weeks ago, I wrote a guest post at Mama’s Monologuesย about guest post etiquette, about how one should conduct themselves when they’ve been invited to guest post.

I feel the need now to write about how one can be a hostess with the mostest – basically, how to be an awesome host for YOUR guests writers.

This need arose from a not-so-pleasant experience I had guest posting for someone, which resulted in this post. I was disappointed and hurt by what I considered to be unfair and inconsiderate treatment by my host. I then realized later that I wasn’t the only one she did it to. It wasn’t personal, that was just her style of dealing with guest posters.

That is not to say it is right. Now, I’m not the moral police for blogging. However, as this happened to me, I’m sure it’s happened to many. And it’s just not right. If I can help ONE blogger see their folly, my job is done. And if you’ve been wanting to ask people to guest post and don’t know how to go about it, this should help!

I host guest bloggers here twice a month, so this is just the way I do things. I’m not advocating these as rules, just a guideline and a list of things that work for me, and for my guests (I haven’t had any complaints so far!).

  1. Ask your guest well in advance if they can guest post for youย . 2-3 weeks is a decent amount of time, both for them and you. In the event they say no, you have plenty of time to ask someone else.
  2. Give them as many details as possible: date of guest post, topic if possible (it’s very difficult to write freely for someone without a topic, at least for me), any ‘restrictions’ you may have such as length and language, deadline for submission, where to send the post to, can they include pictures, whether they should reply to comments and so on.
  3. Once your guest agrees to guest post, follow it up with an email of the details, if you’ve only exchanged tweets thus far. This makes it easy for your guest to have something to refer to if they forget the date, for example. This also makes it easy for you to keep track of who you’ve asked, and whether they have agreed.
  4. If your guest has not sent in the post by the deadline, it’s perfectly fine to send a reminder email or a friendly tweet. They may genuinely have forgotten or just need a little more time.
  5. Once you receive the post, do give it a good read. Check for spelling and grammar mistakes. Make corrections. Your guest will thank you, as they can easily miss small mistakes after reading their post over and over again. You don’t want them to appear like they can’t spell or write properly, do you? If you re-paragraph their post because you feel it’s too long, inform your guest as a courtesy. Send your edited version to them and ask them if it’s okay. They may have intentionally written it in that way to convey a certain message.
  6. Do inform your guest via email or tweet exactly when their post is going to be published, and if you’re on WordPress, give them a trackback URL so they can include it in their redirect post.
  7. I do not insist on my guests writing a redirect post, or tell them they can’t write their own post on the same day. I do appreciate if they tell me in advance if they have a post already scheduled on the same day, but they will definitely give their guest post on my site a shout out.
  8. If your guest has made it clear to you that they do not respond to comments for their guest posts, do not insist. Instead, comment in their stead, as you would your own post, if you’re one who just cannot leave comments alone, like me. ๐Ÿ™‚
  9. Write an introduction of your guest. It can be short or long, but by golly, tell your readers who your guest is, as they may not be familiar with them. Do include your guest’s blog link and if you like, their Facebook page and Twitter handle too. Encourage your readers to engage with your guest outside of your blog. Your guest will love you for that!
  10. Promote your guest’s post, like you would your own. Tweet it out, place a link on your Facebook fan page. Mention your guest in your tweet each time. They will appreciate knowing that you care about their post as much as you do your own.
  11. If you do not end up using your guest’s post for whatever reason, DO tell them. Tell them in advance so they’re not left hanging and wondering what happened. If you want to delay the post, TELL them as well.
  12. I always thank my guest in the comments for guest posting. Whether you want to do that or not, it’s up to you. But if I didn’t, I’d feel like a hostess who invites someone into my home and not even acknowledge their presence.

Guest posting, to me, is like being invited into each other’s homes. As the hostess, I want to put out my best china for you. I want to serve the best food and drinks, provide the best entertainment. I want my other guests to love my guest star. I want YOU to love being the guest star. So why on earth would I not do my best to ensure you have the best time?

Do you have any tips to add on how to be the best blog hostess?

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  • September 15, 2011 Carri

    And PS. Everyone come back on Monday to read my guest post!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Carri recently wrote…The Money PitsMy Profile

    • September 15, 2011 Alison

      Don’t worry, I will follow my own rules and pimp the hell out of you ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • September 15, 2011 Carri

        And we all know who will read. ๐Ÿ™‚
        Carri recently wrote…The Money PitsMy Profile

        • September 15, 2011 Jessica

          I will read it but I expect something in return. Maybe brownies.
          Jessica recently wrote…Meet Money and PitMy Profile

  • September 15, 2011 Ann

    WONDERFUL! This is great information! Much of it is common sense, but that is frequently over-looked! I’ve only done two guest posts and the host did EXACTLY what you blogged about. It was a wonderfully fun experience!
    Ann recently wrote…Chicken and Black Bean ChiliMy Profile

    • September 15, 2011 Alison

      Alas, common sense is not that common anymore! See, when your host is awesome it’s a great experience for all!

  • September 15, 2011 Ali

    I think these are really great and very complete tips. I think it’s only fair that there should be a little give and take between bloggers. Being asked to guest post is an honor.

    • September 15, 2011 Alison

      Thank you Ali. I did bust my gut thinking about this post, so glad you think it’s useful!

  • September 15, 2011 Rach (DonutsMama)

    I agree that guest posting is like hosting someone in your home or being invited to another’s home. There are some things we should do as common courtesy both in real life and the blogging world.
    Rach (DonutsMama) recently wrote…Driving Miss BabyMy Profile

    • September 15, 2011 Alison

      Yes, exactly! Sadly, not everyone seems to think so.

  • September 15, 2011 Jessica

    These are all very good tips! I agree that you should treat guest posters on your blog in the same way that you would treat guests in your home. Retweeting their posts, offering favorable intros, and communicating with them on when to expect their post on your blog, etc. are all so important because they show that you, as the host, value their time spent in guest posting and value their willingness to guest post on your blog.
    Jessica recently wrote…When you lose someone you love (For Anna)My Profile

    • September 15, 2011 Alison

      Thank you Jessica! Exactly everything you said!

  • September 15, 2011 liz

    I hate that you had such a bad previous guest post experience! I’m so sorry to hear that.
    liz recently wrote…How We Do Things in TennesseeMy Profile

    • September 15, 2011 Alison

      Aw, thanks Liz. Fortunately it was only that one time, everyone else has been stellar!

  • September 15, 2011 Missy

    This is the 3rd “guest post tutorial” I’ve read today. There must be some rude guest posting going on that I’m oblivious to. (Please God don’t let it be me). ๐Ÿ™‚
    Missy recently wrote…You Can Learn A lot From . . .My Profile

    • September 15, 2011 Alison

      Hah, there seem to be quite a few eh? I think it’s the the pervasiveness of guest posting, I see many people doing it now, more than say, 3-4 months ago. I’m sure you’re a lovely host!

  • September 15, 2011 Jamie

    I want to know who’s writing the manual with all these tips, rules, pointers, ideas, etc!! I agree though, treat the other blog as you would like yours to be treated and all should be right in the blogosphere that day!
    Jamie recently wrote…hey good lookin’, whatcha got cookin’My Profile

    • September 15, 2011 Alison

      The problem is? NO ONE. Hence I felt the need to write this. You’d think it was common sense right?

  • September 15, 2011 Tatter Scoops

    Great pointers. Sorry you had a bad experience. Hope it won’t discourage you from keep on writing and guest postings ๐Ÿ™‚
    Tatter Scoops recently wrote…Welcoming Your First CommenterMy Profile

    • September 15, 2011 Alison

      Thanks Maureen. No, it won’t deter me, if someone asks me, I’ll still do it ๐Ÿ™‚

  • September 15, 2011 Kimberly

    I completely agree. I treat guest posting just like hosting a guest in my home. Love these tips, Alison! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Kimberly recently wrote…Good Night, Sleep TightMy Profile

    • September 15, 2011 Alison

      Hehe, thanks Kim! For the record, you’re a lovely host.

  • September 15, 2011 Elaine

    I guest posted for someone recently who didn’t even get my blog name right. I was a bit baffled. I was a bit taken aback but I was also embarrassed for them. Needless to say I WILL NOT be GPing for them again…

    Great tips, as always, my friend! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Elaine recently wrote…I’m running alright…My Profile

    • September 15, 2011 Alison

      Oh my, that’s just terrible!! And thank you!

  • September 15, 2011 JamieAnne

    Wonderful advice. I have had a few guest posts, and I tried to follow similar guidelines.

    I have a hard time asking people to guest post or if I can guest post, but this is great info to have!
    JamieAnne recently wrote…Sometimes sleep is a dirty word.My Profile

    • September 15, 2011 Alison

      Thank you JamieAnne, glad to be of a resource of sorts ๐Ÿ™‚

  • September 15, 2011 Melissa

    GREAT timing. I am having guests over for the first time next month. I never even thought to ask how they would handle comments. Sorry you had such a terrible guest blogging experience. Thanks for this post!
    Melissa recently wrote…YoinksMy Profile

    • September 15, 2011 Alison

      Glad to be of help, Melissa!

  • September 15, 2011 Rusti

    you are definitely the hostess with the mostest ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve only had one guest post so far, by a twitter friend who hasn’t yet started a blog, but had written some pieces, I offered to share one for her – and while I did tweet it out, I’m not sure it saw much viewing – too many September 11th posts I think… also, was kind of a dark piece… but oh well. I’m going to take notes of your tips so I’ll know how to best proceed next time! thanks for sharing! xo
    Rusti recently wrote…S.H.I.T.-So Happy Itโ€™s Thursday link-up #8My Profile

    • September 15, 2011 Alison

      You’re welcome Rusti!

  • September 15, 2011 Jessica

    Thank you for writing the words I have been to lazy to put to paper or screen I guess in this case.
    Jessica recently wrote…Meet Money and PitMy Profile

    • September 15, 2011 Alison

      Hehe, you’re welcome. It’s the least I could do after copying your Contact page.

  • September 15, 2011 Jessica

    I haven’t yet gotten to the point of guest posting or hosting, but these are great tips. Sorry that you had such a bad experience before, though it’s fabulous of you to let it serve as a warning and help to others!

    P.S. I like how you talked about your evolution as a blogger. I’m still just getting more serious about my blog after just dabbling for a long time. Maybe I’ll learn from your path, skip the blog hops and go for writing prompts! Thanks.
    Jessica recently wrote…IrrationalMy Profile

    • September 15, 2011 Alison

      Thanks Jessica, and glad to be of help – both these tips and giving you some insight into how I evolved as a blogger. I do think you write beautifully, would love to see your pieces based on prompts!

  • September 15, 2011 Sweaty

    Hey host with the mostest ;), you know you’re really good at these blogging tips?? Seriously, you should write a Blogger Handbook, because you are like my go-to-guide when it comes to blogging.

    I’m keeping every single one of your advice to heart, and just realized that my deadline so far (1 week to 10 days may be a bit too cut-throat! eek! blogging-faux pas!)

    Btw, you know I’m reserving YOU, my friend, for my blog’s ONE YEAR anniversary, ok? Now let’s just hope my blog makes it there. And I’m not even asking. I’m taking the liberty on your behalf to say yes to my request. Ha! I can do that. Just because I know Alison longer than everybody else! lol
    Sweaty recently wrote…Thoughtful Thursday and Other Thursday HopsMy Profile

    • September 15, 2011 Alison

      Haha, I will consider that, a handbook ๐Ÿ™‚ I would be happy to guest post for you on your 1st year blogoversary, of course! Just give me 2-3 weeks notice haha!

  • September 15, 2011 Kiddothings

    Great tips Alison. I have nothing to add simply because I think it’s pretty complete. I hope I’ve been a good hostess, though. However with #7, I do think that it’s courteous not to schedule any post or be a guest poster elsewhere on that day you actually have a guest post on your blog – kind of like having a guest over in your home but you’re not there? But then again that’s just my view and it’s the prerogative of the blog owner.
    Kiddothings recently wrote…Picnesday #4 – Scrapbooked BabiesMy Profile

    • September 15, 2011 Alison

      I agree and I usually don’t. I put that in because I’ve had to go ahead with a scheduled post when I agreed to guest post at someone else’s. Simply because I have a regular feature on that particular day that happens on the same day my guest post goes up on that host blogger’s regular feature day (there are only 5 days a week to post, really!). As long as both parties are made aware of that and are okay with it, then I think it’s okay. Which is why now, in my contact page, I say I don’t guest post on Tuesdays as it’s my weekly Tips day.

  • September 15, 2011 Barbara

    I’m sorry you had such a bad experience! These are all great tips!
    Barbara recently wrote…23 weeksMy Profile

    • September 16, 2011 Alison

      Thanks Barbara! From that bad experience, I wrote 2 posts, so I guess that’s the silver lining! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • September 15, 2011 JDaniel4's Mom

    This covers everything! I love it is all here to refer to.
    JDaniel4’s Mom recently wrote…Vehicle Exploration! Fun for Two Generations!My Profile

    • September 16, 2011 Alison

      I hope I covered everything!

  • September 15, 2011 Amanda Austin

    Great tips! I’m guilty of not giving a good deadline, just kind of going “whatever day you want!” but I want to get into the guest posting/hosting thing on Thursdays….so I’ll definitely be taking notes on this ๐Ÿ™‚
    Amanda Austin recently wrote…#PinterestChallenge: Stuffed PeppersMy Profile

    • September 16, 2011 Alison

      Thanks Amanda! Look forward to your regular Thursday thing ๐Ÿ™‚

  • September 15, 2011 Mrs. Weber

    As someone who has yet to ask someone to guest post, this is extremely helpful! I especially like that you included to include a post idea, as I’ve had to make some up in the past and was super nervous the person wouldn’t like what I suggested. Great advice, lady!
    Mrs. Weber recently wrote…10 Simple Ways To Give BackMy Profile

    • September 16, 2011 Alison

      You’re welcome, glad you found this useful!

  • September 15, 2011 angela

    This is a great set of tips.

    Do you send your guest posters some of your cuppycakes? Maybe that should be rule #13…
    angela recently wrote…Read, Sigh, RepeatMy Profile

    • September 16, 2011 Alison

      I would if everyone lived closer ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • September 16, 2011 Lindsey

    Great tips! I’ll be hounding people to guest post for me soon, so you can bet I’ll be coming back here for a refresher ๐Ÿ™‚
    Lindsey recently wrote…The burden of this blessing Iโ€™d never trade.My Profile

    • September 16, 2011 Alison

      Glad that this has helped!

  • September 16, 2011 Hopes

    What a great post! This one tied with your first post on guest posting…I will be all set for when I am a big enough blogger to host a guest, or if I am ever asked to do a guest post.

    Thanks for all the info!
    Hopes recently wrote…Adjustment PeriodMy Profile

    • September 16, 2011 Alison

      You don’t have to be a ‘big’ blogger to host a guest, I hosted my first one month into blogging!

  • September 16, 2011 Elena

    Great tips! I do like the post idea. I didn’t/haven’t done this when I’ve asked people to guest post and wish maybe now that I would have. It just gives them something to go on. One addition I would add – if your guest posters will be replying to comments – is to make sure that in your comm reply that “anyone” can reply and an email is sent. If your guest posters are going to take the time to reply, it’s nice for them to know that your readers will get an email notification of this fact. I only know this because when I had several people (including you) guest at my place when we went on vacay that stopped working just the week before. I was glad to know that info because I would’ve felt awful for my guest’ers who responded to comments.
    Elena recently wrote…The Preschool Diaries: First Day BrowniesMy Profile

    • September 16, 2011 Alison

      That’s a good point, Elena, thanks for bringing it up!

  • September 16, 2011 Lola

    You are becoming the Miss Manners of the blogosphere! I love it! So are you saying that when I approach someone for a guest post I should NOT address her as Biatch? What a faux pas! My face is so red!
    Lola recently wrote…SpeechlessMy Profile

    • September 16, 2011 Alison

      Hahahaha! It depends on your relationship I guess, biatch.

  • September 16, 2011 Kelley

    This is so true! I had someone write a guest post for me and I did all of the necessary things. They, however, printed the same post they gave me on their own blog on the same day. Obviously, none of their readers came over to me. That blogger was in a take-take relationship. Your post needed to be written!
    Kelley recently wrote…Dr. Brown, Dr. Brown, What Do You See? (NOT by Eric Carle)My Profile

    • September 16, 2011 Alison

      Kelley, I know exactly which guest post this was as I clicked over to their site and saw the entire guest post republished over there! And I believe they even wrote something like, “if you can’t be bothered to click over there, read it here”. That’s just NOT nice.

  • September 16, 2011 Jackie

    Hmm… I have a guest post on Monday…. I better get to work!

    These really are great tips. It ensures quality posts and everyone knows what to expect from the beginning.
    Jackie recently wrote…Heelys!! A fun way to get around!My Profile

    • September 16, 2011 Alison

      Thanks Jackie! I think the important thing here is managing expectations, so good point!

  • September 16, 2011 Rach

    I’ve only had a handful of guest posting experiences, but all of them have gone much as you laid out here. I’m so sorry you’ve had bad experiences with this in the past!
    Rach recently wrote…Do You Hear the People Sing?My Profile

    • September 16, 2011 Alison

      Just one bad experience, fortunately. Glad you’ve had good experiences!

  • September 16, 2011 Mama Track

    Ooh, great tips! Love them. I’ve only had 2 guest posters so far, but I’m planning to have more. Perhaps in the late November time frame, if you know what I’m saying.

    I’ll be referring back to this!
    Mama Track recently wrote…His First DayMy Profile

    • September 16, 2011 Alison

      Oh yes, I know what you’re saying! Glad to be of help ๐Ÿ™‚

  • September 16, 2011 Not a Perfect Mom

    I totally flaked once and had two bloggers schedule a guest posts I had written on the same day…oops.
    I felt so bad, but they were cool and I gave everyone ample shout outs…
    Not a Perfect Mom recently wrote…Itโ€™s Just a Blog, Right?My Profile

    • September 16, 2011 Alison

      Everyone’s cool and had ample shout outs? That’s awesome!

  • September 16, 2011 jacqui

    Great advice, Alison! Does this mean that if I show up at your house for dinner, I get the good china?
    jacqui recently wrote…My Open Letter To Lawyers…My Profile

    • September 16, 2011 Alison

      Of course!!

  • September 16, 2011 My Inner Chick

    —Like I said before Mama ALison, You are the Goddess of Bloggers :))) xx Great Tips.
    My Inner Chick recently wrote…Always Missing YouMy Profile

    • September 16, 2011 Alison

      Haha, thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  • September 16, 2011 Jenni Chiu

    I like every single one of these. Guest posters are actually doing a favor by lending their creative talent to your space – for free. They should be treated as such. You sound like a fabulous hostess!
    Jenni Chiu recently wrote…Just to leave.My Profile

    • September 16, 2011 Alison

      Yes, that! And thank you Jenni, you’re so sweet.I do try to be fabulous at some things ๐Ÿ™‚

  • September 16, 2011 Galit Breen

    Excellent tips- I love that last paragraph. I think of our blogs as our places, our homes, too.
    Galit Breen recently wrote…And it All Started at the ElevatorsMy Profile

    • September 16, 2011 Alison

      Thanks Galit – it is our home, we spend so much in and on it, making it nice and welcoming for people, don’t we? ๐Ÿ™‚

  • September 16, 2011 Shell

    Some of this I do and some I don’t.

    I think I promote my guest poster’s posts more than I ever do my own posts.

    I don’t ever say anything about commenting– being on blogger(til the end of the month anyway), it’s very hard for them to reply unless I forward all the emails- and I can only do that with those who aren’t no-reply.

    I don’t think I’ve ever commented on a guest post on my own blog, though I do go over and comment on their post on their blog for the day. I don’t require them to do anything special on their blog, though I do find it weird if someone doesn’t mention anything anywhere that they are guest posting.
    Shell recently wrote…Things They Can’t Say: My Front Porch SwingMy Profile

    • September 17, 2011 Alison

      Thanks for your input Shell, I think you’re a great blog hostess, and you’ve been doing it far longer than me ๐Ÿ™‚ You do promote your guests amazingly!

  • September 17, 2011 Leighann

    As always you have done a great job communicating what should be done and why Alison!
    Now if EVERYONE could read this that would be great!
    Leighann recently wrote…I Won a Tripโ€ฆ didnโ€™t I?My Profile

    • September 17, 2011 Alison

      Thanks Leighann! I do hope to get the word out so no one will be shabbily treated ๐Ÿ™‚

  • September 18, 2011 Robin

    Excellent post! I haven’t had many guest posters yet, but I do most of this. Good tips on the rest – great to have something to refer to. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Robin recently wrote…Genius, Power and Magic: Commitment and a Leap of FaithMy Profile

    • September 18, 2011 Alison

      Thanks Robin!

  • September 20, 2011 Kristin

    I missed this post last week, Alison, and I just wanted to say, “Well done!” All very good advice for guest posters. And I’m happy to see that I’ve been a courteous hostess with the few guest posters I’ve had on my blog (with room for improvement, of course).

    I’m sorry you had such a bad experience on that one guest post, though.
    Kristin recently wrote…Blogging and the All-Knowing GoogleMy Profile

    • September 20, 2011 Alison

      Thanks Kristin! I’m glad it’s a useful post. My one bad experience generated two posts, so I’d say that’s the silver lining ๐Ÿ™‚

  • September 21, 2011 natalie

    GREAT advice Alison! I’m so glad you shared it and I will share it with my audience on Saturday ๐Ÿ™‚

    BTW – sorry it took so long to get over here to read this — two of our computers went out at the same time…needless to say, life without computers has not been easy!
    natalie recently wrote…Have Wine, Will DrinkMy Profile

    • September 21, 2011 Alison

      Thank you Natalie, I’m flattered and thrilled that you like it! And no worries, you made it here, that’s what matters. Sorry about the computers, that does suck!

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