The Best Methods for Rejecting Guest Post Submissions

As guest blogging becomes more and more popular you may find yourself overwhelmed with submissions, especially if you have a popular, high-ranking blog. When you only receive one or two a month it’s easy enough to sit down and write out a nice letter, letting the blogger down easy. But when they start pouring in, day after day after day, you sometimes just want to start hitting the delete button. Here are the best methods for rejecting guest post submissions.

No Response At All

You really might be tempted to hit that delete button and just ignore the submission, but that’s the worst thing you can do. Of course, if you’ve already rejected the blogger once or twice before and now he’s just being nasty, then by all means, hit Delete.

But it’s important to remember why that blogger is submitting that post to you. You’re someone he respects. Yes, he’s essentially asking for your help. But he wouldn’t be if he didn’t admire you. He probably put a lot of effort into that article and you’ll look like a jerk if you don’t respond. Not to mention the fact the he may someday be very influential in the blogosphere as well, and he may be someone you’d like to work with in the future.

A Rejection With A Suggestion

If the post is good, but not quite good enough, you can make suggestions for improvement and tell the blogger you’ll be happy to reconsider once the changes are made.

Chances are, though, you still won’t be completely happy with the article. The blogger will have misinterpreted your ideas or they just don’t sound the same coming from someone else. For whatever reason, if you still don’t like the article, it’s going to be that much harder to avoid hurt feelings. I know, this is business we’re talking about and feelings should have nothing to do with it. But you’re a human being and so is that other blogger.

Rejection With A Form Letter

If you’re just bombarded with guest blog submissions you can create a generic form letter, like publishing houses do, and fire it off to all the bloggers you reject.

The problem with a form letter is that in order to cover all the bases and avoid bad feelings you have to be so general it’s almost insulting. The recipient is left to wonder if you really read his submission or not. Again, you come of looking like a jerk.

An Informal Personal Letter

Unless it’s obvious the article was submitted by a spammer or someone just fishing for links, then it’s best to respond with an informal personal letter.

There may be several reasons why you’ve chosen to reject a guest post but try to focus on one main reason. If possible, make it something that’s non-subjective and can’t be argued or changed.

For example, you might reject a post because it’s poorly written, the spelling is atrocious, and it’s not relevant for your readers. If you tell the blogger you’re rejecting it because of the poor writing or the spelling errors, he can always make changes and send it back. However, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s still not relevant for your readers. So now you’re going to have to wound the poor guy again.

Stéphane Kerwer
Article written by Stéphane Kerwer (1995 Posts)
Bonjour from a french guy. My name is Sté Kerwer and Dukeo is my blog. I do most of the heavy lifting in here but from time to time, you may see some guest posts. To receive updates from Dukeo, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.
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4 Comments (Add one)

  1. George from seekdefo
    George from seekdefo

    I don’t accept guest posts. Fair for all and very easy

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Hey, that’s a lot easier to manage this way ;)

  2. Elaine Fogel
    Elaine Fogel

    Great ideas,Sté. One surefire way to manage ill-fitted submissions is to post blog submission guidelines. If the writer didn’t bother to read them, you can send the link and ask for a re-submission.

    For many, they won’t bother because they wanted to use the content they had without too much effort. For those who have a “real” interest, they’ll be back.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Publishing your guidelines on your blog is essential. In order to filter “bad guest bloggers” I have a very simple system: I have a dedicated email address to receive guest posts, and this email address is written only in my guidelines post.

      If I receive a guest post offer through my contact form, most likely they didn’t even take 2 minutes to read my guidelines, so I just delete the email.