The Guest Post Not-Contest


They say the pen is mightier than the sword. Show me how deeply you can cut.

For the first time in the 19 months I’ve been running I’m looking for guest posts. If you’re interested you have to read every word on this page and then follow a few very important instructions.

I considered making this a contest with prizes and whatnot, but then I thought, “No, I only want submissions from writers who don’t need to be enticed beyond the promotion they’ll already receive.”

So this is a Not-Contest. There are submission guidelines and rules, and your prize is being the first guest blogger here, with all the exposure, link love, and traffic that may come with it. You’ll also earn my eternal gratitude for being a bad ass.

Here’s the deal, I’m not going to talk about why I’m doing this (not just yet anyway), but I’m looking for guest articles for the dates of March 31, April 7, and April 14. These will likely be from 3 different people, but if you’re on fire maybe you’ll get more than one of the available slots.

It doesn’t matter to me if you have a blog or website. Obviously if you do you’ll get free promotion, but if not, I welcome your article anyway.

The Rules

1) No opinion pieces.

I’m looking for fully thought out, well-researched, actionable articles. I write enough opinion pieces here for the both of us.

This does not mean you can’t include your own personal stories or information about yourself that pertains to the article. In fact, this is a good idea.

2) You must read the two following articles:

Those are very long articles and I will immediately know if you submit an article and didn’t read them.

3) Types of Articles I’m Looking For

Focus your article on one of the following topics.

  • Health
  • Wealth
  • Happiness

That’s very broad which gives you room to work, but make your article very specific, tangible, and actionable. Have I said that already? ;)

4) Submission Guidelines

  • I don’t want article pitches with excerpts (like in Ramit’s guidelines above). I want the full article, ready to go in both WordPress HTML (in a .txt file) and .txt (so I can read the article without HTML) formats. If I have to spend time formatting your article then you could be Stephen King and I’m still trashing it. (Great learning opportunity if you don’t know how to submit WordPress HTML!)
  • Article length doesn’t matter, but 500 – 2000 words is more likely to get published. Write as much as you need to get the point across and then edit at least 20% of it.
  • Grammar is important. Spelling is most important.
  • Be sure to include your byline (author info) at the end of the article with a link to your blog (if you have one). Read Ramit’s guidelines for info. Also include “This is a guest post from [Your Name] at [Your URL].” at the top of the article. Your URL should be a live link in the WordPress HTML.

5) If I know you you’re still eligible, but you don’t have a better shot than anybody else.

No playing favorites. If we’re friends or if we’ve had contact in the past you are eligible. If we’ve never interacted you’re eligible. It doesn’t matter what our relationship is, I want great work.

6) Submission deadline.

March 3, 2011 at 10am EST. That gives you 3 weeks to write and submit an article. Knowing the human psyche as I do, if you don’t begin writing now you probably won’t submit at all. Or you’ll e-mail me after the deadline. Neither situation will get you published. Send the articles to KarolGajda AT Gmail with “Guest Post Submission” in the title. If you need to contact me otherwise please use this form.

7) Questions?

Please ask in the comments below if you have a question instead of asking via e-mail or twitter. That way everybody else can benefit from the Q&A.


Thanks! I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with. I don’t know if I’ll ever do this again because I write more than enough stuff to keep this blog busy. I’ll explain exactly why I’m doing this in the future. March 28 to be exact. ;)

Odds & Ends

1) Luxury of Less is finally being re-released next Monday at 10am EST! If you’ve read it I would appreciate a testimonial or a review on your blog. If you haven’t read it, you won’t have to wait long –> :)

2) Chicago meetup is next Wednesday (Feb 16) at 7pm. Gold Star Bar in Wicker Park. (No food there, so I’m up for changing the venue if you want to eat.) Get in touch if you’re in.

3) Would you share this not-contest on Facebook/Twitter? It doesn’t increase your chances, but it makes you instantly 73% more awesome. ;)


  1. I am interested to see exactly why you are doing this? Very cool! I follow some other blogs that have regular guest posts and it does bring a different flavor to the blog from time to time. Obviously the guest bloggers have great content and points of view. I hope I am dedicated enought to submit something. It would be way cool. Not sure if you are giving feedback on submitted posts…obviously would take a lot of time. However I know that I would love feedback…just a thought.
    Take Care,Paz

    • Thanks Paz. Yeah, giving feedback might be too overwhelming so it depends on the number of submissions I receive. :)

      Looking forward to your submission!

  2. Thank you so much for putting this content out there. I already started blogging the wrong way, but with your article here I may be able to turn it all around. Thank you for the new direction, and instructions.

    I will finish reading the two articles, and scan your blog history to get a feel for what would be valuable to your readers and fire a few submissions off to you.

    Best wishes and continued success.


      • after reading your guidelines, I realize how infinitely under qualified I am to submit to at this time. I am too green as a blogger to offer you all that you require for a guest post in three weeks.

        Thank you for the links.

        I look forward to developing my blog by using some of what I’ve read, and look forward to reading your posts, and the guest posts that you choose.

        Best wishes.


  3. Tempting. Very tempting :). I might just have to do this.

    p.s. I’m gonna be in Chicago this weekend…might be able to finally track you down :).

  4. Karol, thanks for the challenge…I’m going to work on this simply for the practice of doing something besides opinion pieces. I have a lot to learn and wrap my brain around before I can consider actually submitting something, but I appreciate having a good place to start and good sources to learn from. :)

  5. Guest blogging is always a good exercise, if intimidating.

    I do have one technical question. I’m a bit confused about the difference between two .txt files you want. To clarify, is this it:

    (1) .txt file with all the formatting, ready do copy and paste into WP
    (2) .txt file with plain text

    If so, would you like any links or formatting indicated in the plain text version (URLs in paranthesis, etc.)

    Thanks for any clarification. Best on the non-contest results.

    • Hey Alison! The .txt is the article without HTML formatting, no links, in easy to read format. Just text. The WordPress HTML .txt should be formatted ready to go into WordPress.

  6. I’ve been planning to get active in guest posting, and this couldn’t have been better timed. I’ve spent the whole of today writing an article for you so it’ll be on the way to you from the email address on this comment (after 1 final check through).

    Thanks for opening your doors and making it so easy to approach and submit them to you.

  7. This is a very intriguing non-contest! The idea of posting on my favorite Internet hero’s blog – the very one that convinced me to lead a rad life is pretty mouth watering.

    Yet, I feel as though my writing isn’t bad-ass enough to submit to you. I fear you might actually regress after reading something I wrote (note: I am getting a lot better though – starting to find my voice – apparently that takes practice). Wait, didn’t I just read something about fear of extraordinary experiences somewhere…

    Either way, thanks for pointing me to those two articles on guest posting. One of my goals for 2011 was to write three guest posts and I’ve been sort of wondering about the specifics (plus everything Ramit rights is awesome).

  8. Hi Karol!

    I am confused about the ” no opinion pieces” rule. It seems to me that even how-to articles may include an opinion (after all why propose one how-to method instead of another?). So could you be more thorough in your explanation and/or post links of a couple of articles that are representative of the opinion articles and of some that are not?

    • Hi Maria, if something worked for you then it’s no longer an opinion piece. I’m not looking for untested theories. If you figured out how to juggle 6 tennis balls I want to see that, not how you think it could be possible to juggle 6 tennis balls even though you’ve never done it. Does that make more sense? :)

  9. Awesome Karol!! How I wish I could be the one that “make it to the final” and be the guest post on your blog. :D
    Yet I’m still a new blogger with quite some grammar errors to learn from, I will try my best to get a quality posts to submit. :D

    One question I would like to ask: Can the guest post include images? But if some of it from Google images, which I send a link back to them as credit in my post, is that allow on guest post on your blog Karol? If yes, how to include it in WordPress HTML and normal txt file?

    • Sorry for double comments, I read Ramit Sethi’s Guest Post Guidelines after I leave a comment here, in which I found this:
      “When you submit the final guest post, it should be fully ready to be inserted into WordPress and it will just magically work. This means you should write your byline, format your post, add images on your own server (but also attach them to the email), and otherwise make it 100% ready to go.”
      So it somehow answer part of my question. :p

    • Google Images aren’t creative commons licensed so you shouldn’t use them. (In other words, they’re not all free to use.) Use flickr and make sure to check these boxes when doing a search:
      – Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content
      – Find content to use commercially

      • Wow, thanks for the info, else I wouldn’t know where to get photos that is allow to use freely. Previously I thought I need to contact each of the owner in Flickr or anywhere to grant authorize for me to use those images. :p
        As a new blogger, learn something important here,Thanks Karol. :D
        Freedom Fighter~~ =D

  10. Hot-diggity-damn. A challenge. Why do I always have to take the bait? Oh yeah, I’m an Aries. And one of those guest post release dates is my birthday. Could it be fate tempting me?

    Thanks for raising my bar. I’ve just started guest posting and I’m still getting my feet wet with it. I’m off to read those two posts and then I’ll be formulating the “perfect” guest post in my mad scientist laboratory. :)

    Health. Wealth. Or Happiness. Hmmm.

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