While many bloggers accept guest posts, it’s normally an every-once-in-awhile thing and you just ask to have the post emailed to you, never having to worry about allowing the guest writer access to your blog’s dashboard. But, what happens when you want to allow people to submit stories anytime, or even testimonials? You can set up a forum to collect the info but you’d still have to format everything and insert it into a post editor.
WordPress Plugin to Accept Guest Posts
User Submitted Posts
This plugin is fan-tab-u-lus! It allows you to create a custom form, with options, for guests to fill out. When they submit the post it is automatically sent to Drafts and categorized where you’ve specified. You can even give the guest poster a dropdown with categories to choose from if you’d like to accept posts for more than one category. I currently have this plugin set up on a client’s blog. They wanted people to be able to share their own motherhood stories, so we created a category for guest posts, and also an author to attribute all these posts to. This makes it very easy to sort in the dashboard, or the front end of the site. Another feature that’s pretty cool is you can allow guests to upload a photo with their post.
Another great use for this plugin would be to accept testimonials from your clients. You’d simply use one of the plugins listed below to help you display them in the sidebar and exclude them from your regular blog feed and RSS feed.
- Let visitors submit posts from anywhere in your site. Using a shortcode you can put the form in a post, page, or sidebar!
- Post submissions may include title, tags, category, author, url, post and image(s). This is totally customizeable in the dashboard and you can choose to include or exclude any of these options.
- After the post is submitted you can redirect user to anywhere or return to current page.
Displaying Guest Posts on WordPress
If you’re using the above plugin to accept guest posts that you wish to have in your blog’s feed and to show up along side all your other posts you won’t have to worry about excluding them. But, if you’re using it like my client, to accept stories or testimonials, you’ll probably be getting a lot of submissions and you’ll want to at least keep them out of your RSS feed. This plugin will allow you to choose categories to exclude and you’d just select the category your user submitted posts are being published in.
Category Posts Widget
Here’s a plugin to pull recent posts from one category into a sidebar widget. I love this for displaying testimonials or recent guest submissions!
If you’re using a Genesis (StudioPress) based theme you will not need this plugin because Genesis themes come with their own custom Featured Post Widget where you can select a category to show.