Update 8-15-12: Either people are not reading this post or they are not reading to the end. I can't do anything about the former, but I can the latter. Just to save you from reading further, here's the summary (as I said below): I'm not accepting guest posts from anyone on any topic for any reason. Unless you have $1 million to pay me. Then I might consider it. ;-)
If you email me asking to do a guest post, you will not get a response. It's not that I'm trying to be rude, but seriously, people, read the instructions!
Every once in awhile I go on vacation and ask other bloggers to submit guest posts to fill in for me. Other times I simply get requests from others asking me if I'll run a guest post from them and, if so, what they should write about, how long should it be, etc. (By the way, I'm always open to receiving a submission to review.) So I thought I'd write a post and put all the details in one place where I could direct people in the future.
So here are my thoughts on writing a guest post for Free Money Finance:
1. Anyone can do it -- readers of the blog, other bloggers, etc. I take submissions/post from everyone.
2. The post can't be from a strictly commercial site and especially one touting their great services (in other words, no self promotion.) That's called advertising. Likewise, the post can't be from bloggers who simply state "here's how great I am, please come visit my site." The piece needs to deliver value to the readers here -- something that will help them think, help them with their finances, etc.
3. What sort of stuff do readers like/get value out of at Free Money Finance? Read the site and find out. Or check out my top posts for 2008 -- these should give you an idea of what "works". If you're wondering what topics I cover, check out the list here (scroll down).
4. Your post does NOT have to agree with my line of thinking. I like posting pieces with different points of view. For example: Should You Buy More House Than You Need?
5. If you have a website, you'll get one link from me as an introduction to your post. The link will be to your homepage and use the title of your site/blog -- not some selected "key word(s)" that you'd like highlighted. Don't include five to ten (or even one) additional link to your site in the post. Otherwise, it will be rejected.
6. Posts need to be original, written by you, and not previously published on any other sites (including your own). 30 days after I post it here, you can feel free to post it on your site, offer it to others, etc.
7. Write your best stuff. If you write a good, interesting, useful article, people will click through and visit your site. If you don't, they won't visit. It's that simple.
8. Length doesn't matter. It needs to be long enough to add value and develop the point fully. If it's too long, I'll simply break it up into several posts.
9. I'm not your editor. If it's not good from the start, it will be passed over. I wish I could help but I simply don't have the time.
10. Once you write something, email it to me in Word or notepad (text) format. I'll get back to you on whether or not I think it works for the site.
For reference, here are some examples of successful guest posts from the past:
I'll add to these thoughts as time goes on (and issues arise), but for now this should get us 90% of the way home.
Update (4-21-10): I'm getting a lot of submissions that are short in length, poorly written, don't offer any useful tips, and are written for those who do not know much about personal finances. So let me be clear about what sorts of articles work here:
- This is supposed to be your best writing (so readers will like it and visit your site.) If you can't put the time and effort into doing a good job (or if you are simply writing to get a link to your site), don't waste your time.
- Tips, tips, tips. Readers love lists of tips. And not tips they have heard before. We all want new, useful tips to make the most of our money. Give us these and you'll have a good post.
- The readers here did not just drop off the potato truck. They know a good bit about personal finance, so writing basic, entry-level posts on any personal finance subject (investing, budgeting, debt management, etc.) is going to be too simplistic for the readers and will thus be rejected.
Update (3-2-11): I'm suspending guest posts for now. I'm getting bombarded by commercial sites that simply want to write for "free links/marketing." I'm not interested in this. If a legitimate personal finance blogger wants to send me something UNIQUE, REFRESHING (not the same old stuff), and WELL-WRITTEN, then I'll consider it. Otherwise, I'll pass.
Update (3-25-11): Obviously, I wasn't clear enough since I'm still getting lots of guest post requests. So I'm updating my policy. As of now, I'm not accepting guest posts from anyone on any topic for any reason. Unless you have $1 million to pay me. Then I might consider it. ;-)