Checklist to Follow before Approving or Rejecting a Guest Post

Guest Post Approval and Rejection ChecklistSince introduction of Panda and Penguin updates from Google, lots of traditional link building techniques have started backfiring. Internet marketers and bloggers are now more inclined towards guest blogging for building targeted and niche specific links for their own or client websites. You would also have noticed increase in guest blogging requests on your blog if you were the owner of a popular blog in any niche. It is also true; guest post approval ratio compared with the submitted one has also decreased in the recent time as everyone is running after guest blogging.

Read: How you should change your guest blogging strategy after Google Penguin Update?

So there should be some checklist in your hand or your blog that you would be following before making decision about a submitted guest post. I use to keep a checklist in mind before making decision about a guest post on my blog as described below.

Big No to Guest Posts on other Niches

Since my blog is about blogging and SEO related topics, I would never accept a guest post on health or insurance related topics. As I see a guest post sent to me does not match with my blog niche, I would not think much about how well that particular guest post is written, I would instantly reply back to that guest post as Not interested in this guest post.

Not Accepting Duplicate Guest Post

Before spending much time in looking at the guest post quality, you need to make sure the submitted guest post is unique and should not be used in whole or in fractions earlier on internet. To find out whether a submitted guest post is unique or not, you should pick a random line and place it inside double quotes on Google search. You should not get a single website using the same line as such on Google search results. You should repeat this process 3-4 times at least for each guest post. Apart from this manual process, you can use type of tools to filter out duplicate guest posts submissions on your blog.

Read: Duplicate Web Content: How to Prevent It

Not Following Minimum Word Length

Gone are the days when guest post of any length were get published on even top blogs in any niche. These days no blog owner wants to publish too short guest posts on their blogs. As a guest blogger, you should be ready to write guest posts carrying 800 words plus or even more. However, lots blog owners would expect you submit a guest post carrying 500 words at least. If you want to publish your guest post on my blog, your guest post need to be around blogging niche and should carry 800 minimum words at least.

Asking me For Too Many or Keyword Driven Links

Since more and more SEO’s and link builders have started using guest blogging as a mean to build keyword based backlinks for their targeted websites, so you should be getting some guest posts where guest poster is expecting too many backlinks or 3-4 keyword based backlinks for their single attribution. I would suggest you ignore or reject such submissions. You should avoid adding too many keyword-based backlinks for your own or guest poster website.

Read: Have Your Heard about Google Over Optimization Penalty?

If you end up adding too much SEO optimized anchor’s on your blog, that may result in excessive back linking using the same anchor text. It may force Google to place some form of penalty on website as you are linking to a bad website or links within that guest post will be counted as paid links by search engines.

Read: 5 Link Building Mistakes that Can Backfire Your SEO Efforts

If your blog were about blogging, you would love to add links for similar websites only. If someone asks me to add link for furniture website from my blogging niche website, I won’t love doing that because it that case I would end up adding link to a unrelated website from my blog post. I would suggest don’t accept such links or even guest posts.

Had the Habit of Not Replying to Comments

If you are getting guest post from a guy who had already published some guest posts on other blogs, you should check few of his earlier guest posts. You should notice how good he is in replying to incoming comments on his published guest posts. If you find, that guy does not have the habit of replying to comments and he is on your blog to grab some quick links only, you can say no to his guest post on the basis of his past history. Replying to comments have become very important in today’s web world and there are some blog owners even who won’t hesitate in deleting your whole guest post if you are not replying to comments after certain level of communication.

You Haven’t Proofread Your Guest Post

If you are getting a guest post which contains too many spelling and grammatical mistakes, you could easily ignore such guest post or could ask its submitter to proofread it for all kind of mistakes. Decision about ignoring and asking for proofreading a guest post may solely made on the basis of number of guest post submissions you are getting on monthly basis on your blog and how you much guest post you want to publish on your blog in a given time frame.

Not Matching with Blog Content Quality

There must be some content quality standard, you as blog owner have been maintaining on your blog for years. If a guest blogger submitted post is not matching with that standard, you would never want to include that person into the list of contributors or authors for your blog.

Not Linking to my own and other Trusted Domains

Gone are the days when we as blog owner don’t want to link out to any external website in our blog contents. But these days it becomes a necessity to link out to other websites that are having good authority and page rank. Apart from other websites, we should interlink our blog contents with the intention add more value and to send targeted traffic to older blog posts. If a guest blogger is not in the habit of linking to other well-known websites and blogs, you could ask him to do so.

In today’s web, you should link out to good website to make a strong outbound profile for your blog and should interlink your blog contents to pass on the much-needed back links to linked pages.

Received a Simple Plain Text Guest Post

Sometime you may receive a guest post carrying just few paragraphs only. I hate such guest posts. Personally, I want guest posts that are well formatted and well organized. I want guest posts, which contain some headings, lists, bolds, and italics etc. used. No one loves to read a 1000 word long post carrying no headings etc (correct me if I am wrong).

You could easily create a guest blogging guidelines page on your blog based on checklist that I shared. Having a proper guest blogging checklist published on your blog will help guest bloggers doing less number of mistakes. Looking for more reasons why I will not be accepting your guest post, check this post.

Are you following any checklist or keep certain points in mind when making decision about a guest post on your blog, do share your views in this matter in the comments section.


  1. Deny Saputra says:


    You have to always apply that strict guidelines to keep your blog in the right road!

  2. Jeet says:

    @Anil: I guess every blogger should copy this checklist (only subheadings would do) and use it as a reference when approving posts.

    I would include a couple of other things that force me to reject guest posts, I am guessing you will agree with me.

    1. Not including an author name in byline. I get posts that say ‘Author works for so and so company’. That’s one of the worst thing guest bloggers can do.
    2. Lame titles – Unless the title can make the reader lick the screen, I may not be very keen on publishing the post.
    3. Highlighting keywords – Yeah, I am sure you have received these. Some people actually bold the keywords they want to optimize for and be sure that the whole content would be geared towards including the keywords as many times as possible – I rarely get to second paragraph on these guest posts.

  3. Joe says:

    This is a very good checklist. I allow guest posters quite often so this is a big help to me.

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Sam@Book cheap trips says:

    When any blogger don’t have much time to make new post for their readers then at that time this option will prove amazing for him/her because guest post is allow to stay with touch to others. Beside that these are the some best secrets which can make guest post more attractive.

  5. Cameron Conner says:

    This is a wonderful list. I just had someone try to submit a spun article to one of my blogs. Not only was it one of the lowest quality posts I have ever seen it also linked to several irrelevant websites. I tried to be as kind as possible to this guy when I rejected his article, but he actually got mad at me. He told me it was ridiculous to expect 100% original guest posts.

    Any advice on how to respond to a rejected guest post?

    • Anil Agarwal says:

      You cannot do much about such guys. You have to very clear whether you would be accepting a particular guest post or not. They can always submit the same guest too other blog owners if you are not accepting it. As a guest blogger, if you are just starting out, you should target small size blogs to increases chances of your guest post approval.

    • Jeet says:

      @Cameron: I guess you can’t really help a blogger who says it’s “ridiculous to expect 100% original guest posts.” You can just hope that they don’t waste more of your time in future 😀

  6. Dean Saliba says:

    Anil, when I read the title of this post I was going to leave a comment saying “how do you deal with guest posters who write a post and then disappear without replying to comments” but you answered my question in your article. 🙂

    If someone approaches me with a guest post and the link they have placed in it isn’t related to the topics I cover on the blog then I immediately reject it, I think Google likes this new stance I have taken. 😛

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