Last week, we talked about the things that blog editors really want from you and what to do to not get on their bad side. So today, let’s flip the switch entirely and go the absolute other way around – talking about the habits and behaviors of blog editors that will drive you absolutely crazy.
Just a short disclaimer up front though. I’m not trying to suggest that the problems on this list are common. However, when they happen to you occasionally, oh they are annoying.
Okay, let’s get the list started with the biggest deal breaker:
1. Editing out your links
We need to be honest here; guest blogging is a transaction based on an exchange. You give the blogger some top-notch content, they give you the possibility to interact with their audience and get some of them back to your site.
The only way to do this on the web is via a link – a link that points to an optimized landing page on your site and with a relevant call to action.
Sometimes, however, blog editors will erase your links for whatever reason, and not let you know about this.
Lesson: Always check if your links are in place after your guest post goes live.
2. Editing your bio box
Feel free to disagree with me here, but in my opinion, bio boxes are sacred.
For instance, when I publish a guest post on my site (occasionally) I don’t touch the bio box at all. Not even when there are grammar issues or typos. (I’m thinking, if the guest blogger wants to have typos in his/her own bio box, so be it, it’s their choice.)
Unfortunately, bio box editing tends to happen at times. Some editors will cut a big part of your bio entirely, edit your links, erase your social media names, etc.
Lesson: Check if your bio box hasn’t been altered in any way after your post goes live.
3. Not letting you know when the post goes live
A short disclaimer. I don’t mean the situation where the editor doesn’t give you an exact publication date once they approve your pitch – only few sites actually work this way.
What I mean here is a situation where the editor publishes your post at some random point but fails to let you know about it.
If this happens, it can actually mean trouble for your brand. That’s because when a post goes live, there will probably be some comments, people asking you questions, discussions sprouting up, etc. If you’re not there to participate, people will think that you just don’t care.
Lesson: Always monitor the blogs you’ve pitched your posts to. Check them at least once every couple of days to see if your post maybe went live by any chance.
4. Giving you a publication date and then ignoring it
Like I said in #3, a small number of editors will give you a publication date for your post. And when they do, it’s great!
However, of that small number, some will then proceed to ignore it.
Granted, this isn’t such an issue in most cases, provided that the post goes live eventually. But there are scenarios where it can have big consequences, maybe even rendering the whole post an useless marketing effort.
For instance, if you’re making the post part of a product/site launch of some kind, you want it to go live on a specific day. If the post goes live too late, the visitors coming to your site from that post can be already too late to get on board with the launch. This will not make them happy.
Lesson: When you have a publication date, monitor the blog closely on that day and follow up right away if you don’t see your post published.
5. Being offended that you want a link
This is mostly a problem with editors that don’t publish a lot of guest posts, or editors of smaller sites that don’t get many pitches in the first place.
Let’s face it, guest blogging has had some bad press with Google lately. This makes many editors not particularly fond of linking to anything from their content. They’re afraid that Google might penalize them, and they see every guest blogger asking for links as a spammer who just wants to game the search engines.
Lesson: If you come across any editor like that, just cross them off your “guest blogging opportunities” list and move on.
6. Never publishing your post even though they said they
This is also known as keeping your post hostage … and it really sucks.
Basically, the scenario is that you get an enthusiastic response to your pitch and even a word that the editor will prepare it for publication right away, but then … silence … nothing for months.
Your post is being held hostage.
What’s bad about it is that you can’t do much to salvage it. For instance, you can’t pitch it elsewhere because if the original editor manages to publish it eventually, they will quickly discover that the post is already online on another site.
Lesson: Follow up with blog editors regularly. Even once a week if you have to. Making them mad is a price you need to be willing to pay.
7. Practically rewriting your post during editing
There’s some editorial process on every site. Even on the smallest, single-person blogs you will still have the blogger look through your posts and do some corrections here and there.
This is fine. This is more than fine.
However, sometimes, the editor will go wild on your post and change it almost entirely, or at least a major part of it. If the edits make the post better in the end, then it’s basically fine. But this isn’t always the case. In some scenarios, you can end up with a post that you wouldn’t have normally put your name on. Painful, but it happens.
Lesson: Always offer your own time to work on editing the post yourself if the editor has any feedback.
8. Asking for multiple revisions and then rejecting your post anyway
I really hate it when this happens. And don’t get me wrong, I’m completely fine with being declined right away on the first draft.
However, if I have to go through three or four revisions, keep including the editor’s tips and paying attention to their feedback, only to have my post rejected in the end … it gets really annoying (to say the least).
Lesson: Unfortunately, I don’t have any go-and-do kind of advice here. Getting out of situations like that or predicting them in the first place is something you learn with experience. After a while of guest blogging, you will start noticing patterns in editors’ behaviors and what those patterns usually result in at the end of the day. So after you notice a couple of red flags, you can take the step to make yourself the one who says “no” and abandons any further work on the post.
That’s it for my take on the topic, but I’m curious to learn about your own experiences with blog editors and the things they did that drove you crazy. Or maybe there’s nothing and it’s just me who’s the unlucky one?
Great post. I agree completely with everything you have said here. These are just basically good blogging practice and doing so shows your professionalism.
The only point that I disagree with editing the bio box for typos. I see those people who are featured on my site as my clients. It is my job to make them look good and if there is a typo in what they have sent me, I will fix it.
What do you think?
I just started following you on Twitter last week and radomly came across this site from Oni’s Twitter and was like, “Hey…that’s…that guy…”
I like this article. I’m just getting into freelancing for individual clients (and NOT content mills anymore), and this gave me some good insight into what to expect once I get to that point where editors are actually responding to my emails.
As for the bio box, I actually have to agree with Laura on that. When writers contribute posts to Pukitz, I come across typos all the time, and I just fix them myself, whether it’s in the article itself or in the byline. I do this to protect their reputation, but in the process I’m protecting Pukitz’ reputation too. I can’t think of any good reason to let obvious typos slide. None.
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