Category Archives: How to Use PostRunner

Adding and submitting a post

Landing on the Add and submit a post page, the first thing you’ll see is a reminder of which publish location you’ve chosen for your post.

It’s always a good idea to look at your chosen publish location’s Site detail page one last time before writing your post. Clicking the name of your chosen publish location loads its site detail page in a new window.

You can click change publish location to choose a different destination for post, until your post has a status of sent or live.

Get a refresher on post statuses from our article about the Manage posts page.

You also see the site’s word requirement and link allowance above the post title box. The word requirement will stay red until you exceed the word length requirement, and the link allowance will stay green unless you add more links to the post than the site owner allows.

Adding a post title and post body in PostRunner is just like adding them in any WordPress site.

If you’re pasting content into the PostRunner visual post editor, be aware of a few things:

1. You can paste plain text into the visual post editor and maintain formatting.

2. You should not paste rich text (ie from Microsoft Word) into the visual post editor. Pasting rich text into PostRunner causes strange formatting and code in your post – and annoys site owners.

3. You can paste html into the html editor (open it by clicking the html icon in the visual editor toolbar) and maintain any markup you’ve added to the post you’re pasting in. Make sure to keep your markup as simple as possible – keeping an eye on the formatting the site owner uses on his/her site.

You don’t have to paste your guest posts into PostRunner; writing them directly into the visual post editor works fine. Our autosave feature runs every sixty seconds, so you don’t have to worry about losing your work.

To the right of the post editor, you see the Post Status section (we’ve covered post status in detail in this article).

Beneath the Post Status you see the Post Date area. Use the text fields (or click the calendar icon) to choose a future publish date for your post.

It’s important for you to understand that you’re only choosing the date that PostRunner will send your post to your chosen publish location. Once the site owner receives the post, he/she will have 7 days to approve or decline the post.

You can save your post at any time by clicking Save Draft. Your drafts are listed will the rest of your posts on the Manage your posts page.

When you’re finished with your post, click Submit. The Submit button loads the One Last Look dropdown window.

One Last Look allows you to scan back over your post, making sure you’ve formatted properly and corrected any grammar or spelling errors (remember, you want to make a good impression on the site owner who will be reviewing your post).

One Last Look also checks for links in the post and lets you know:

Whether you’re linking to any new websites from the post (a ‘new website’ being one you haven’t previously linked to from a guest post).

If you are linking to new websites, we’ll let you know how many more websites you can promote before reaching your subscription limit.

If the new websites take you past your subscription limit, we’ll let you know that you need to either a) remove links or b) upgrade your account.

One Last Look also gives two notifications about the links you have in your post. If a link points to a new website (as we just discussed), a blue New Website notification appears.

If you’ve properly formed the link, and it points to a live, accessible web page, we’ll show a Good Link notification.

If PostRunner can’t reach the link’s destination URL, we’ll give you a Bad Link notification.

After you’ve reviewed your post and confirmed that your links are formed correctly, clicking Submit again will send (or schedule) your post.

That’s it! Once your post is on its way to your chosen publish location, the site owner will have 7 days to approve or decline it. Once the post has been approved, declined, or ignored, you’ll receive an email from PostRunner and the post’s status will change on the Manage posts page, the Add and submit a post page, and also appear in the Live or Returned column on the Dashboard.

Choosing a destination for your post

The choose location page has nine columns (all of which are sortable by clicking on the column heading):

Post Destination

The list of available PostRunner sites where you could submit a guest post.

PageRank

The home page pagerank of the site.

My Posts

The number of posts you’ve submitted to the site with links pointing to the website you’re currently promoting. This can get a little confusing, so here’s an example: Let’s say I clicked add post next to BigEnoughBusiness.com back on the dashboard. The My Posts column tells me how many guest posts I’ve submitted to the sites in the Post Destination list with links pointing to any page on BigEnoughBusiness.com.

Required Words

The minimum number of words the site requires per post.

Links Allowed

The maximum number of links the site owner will allow in a post. Make sure you review the site’s detail page to see if the owner has any particular linking requirements. For example, some site owners allow multiple links per post, but only allow one of them to be “self-serving.” Other site owners require certain link placements in the post itself.

Rating

This is the average rating given by reviewers on the site’s detail page.

From PostRunner

This is the percentage of posts on the site that originated from PostRunner. If a site has 100 total posts on it, 25 of them having come from PostRunner, the site’s From PostRunner column would show 25%.

Ignore Rate

This is the percentage of all guest posts (received from PostRunner) that the site owner has failed to approve or decline during the 7 day review period. Site owners should do everything in their power to keep their ignore percentage low.

Actions

Clicking select sets the chosen site as the post destination and loads the Add a and submit a post page.

Clicking hide puts the site in the My Hidden Sites list (reachable through the My Saved Filters, or by clicking view hidden sites at the end of the Post Destination list) dropdown menu. You can still submit posts to hidden sites; you’ve simply removed them from your default visible list of Post Destinations.

Filtering the Post Destination List

The standard filters on the page allow you to filter by category and/or keywords. PostRunner site owners can add as many keywords as they’d like to their sites, giving authors a more specific idea of topics they’d like covered on their sites.

Clicking advanced filters allows you to filter the list even more specifically by any of the sites’ traits. For example, you could filter the list to only show you sites requiring between 400 and 1,000 words, allowing up to three links, with an ignore rate below 10%.

Once you’ve filtered a list of sites you find appealing, you can click save filter to keep the list handy for future reference. After naming and saving your filter, you’ll find it in the My Saved Filters list. Once you’re finished with a saved filter, you can delete it by clicking the red x next to the filter name in the dropdown menu.

Sites You Don’t Currently Qualify For

Beneath the Post Destination list you’ll see a message that says “If your author score were higher, more sites would be available to you.” When you click the link to show these sites, the sites (whose minimum author score requirement is higher than your current score) will appear as grayed-out rows in the Post Destination List. Hovering your cursor over the rows will tell you what the site’s author score requirement is so you know what you need to do in order to have more post destinations available to you.

Of course you don’t want these sites to clutter your Post Destination list, so you can click hide these sites to remove them. It’s worth checking out the list every once in a while so you can see what doors would open to you with a higher author score.

Managing your PostRunner subscription

PostRunner has three subscription levels:

  • PostRunner 1: Free, allows you to promote one website (meaning link to one website from your guest posts).
  • PostRunner 20: $50 per month, up to ten websites.
  • PostRunner Unlimited: $200 per month, promote unlimited websites.

Upgrading and Downgrading Your Subscription

If you’re on the free plan and you’d like to upgrade, click the Change Plan button and select a new plan from the list. You’ll need to add a credit card and create a subscription. Once you’ve made your payment you’ll be redirected back to the dashboard. Shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes.

If you’re upgrading from one paid plan to another, upgrading doesn’t require a credit card. Just click the Change Plan button and choose your new subscription level. You’re finished! We’ll charge your credit card a pro-rated amount based on your new subscription level and the number of days left in your billing cycle. Couldn’t be simpler.

If you’d like to downgrade your account, you’ll click Change Plan and select a new membership level. If you’ve already promoted more websites than your downgraded plan allows, you’ll have to delete websites on your dashboard. Once you’ve deleted enough domains, go back to your My Profile page and downgrade again.

When you downgrade, we’ll credit your account a pro-rated amount based on the price difference in the two subscription levels (the one you’re coming from and the one you’re going to) and apply that credit to your next billing cycle(s).

If any of these processes don’t go as described, please contact support and we’ll get you taken care of.

Refund Policy

Our refund policy is simple: if you ask for a refund, we’ll give it. No questions asked and no hassle.

The PostRunner Dashboard

The first time you log into PostRunner, you’ll see three main sections on the page: My Websites, My PostRunner Sites, and Your Author Score.

My Websites

These are the websites you’re linking to from the guest posts you submit through PostRunner.

Each time you submit a guest post through PostRunner, the system will look at each link in the post, adding the top level domain (ie mysite.com) from that link to your My Websites list.

For example, let’s say the following blurb is at the end of one of my guest posts:

Mark Butler blogs about anything and everything relating to small business success on BigEnoughBusiness.com

The link in the guest post is pointed at http://bigenoughbusiness.com. PostRunner automatically pulls out ‘bigenoughbusiness.com’ and adds it to the My Websites list.

We’re only looking at the top level domains in your links. You could link to 20 different posts on one of your sites, but they would all fall under the same website in the My Websites list.

Each website in the My Websites list counts against your subscription. If you’re on the PostRunner free plan, you can only promote one website – which means you’ll only have one website in the list.

If you need to promote more websites than your subscription allows, just click the Upgrade link on your PostRunner dashboard.

The Live Posts and Returned Posts Columns

This column shows a count of all the guest posts associated with that website that have a live status in PostRunner (which means they’ve been accepted and published).

Clicking the number in the Live Posts column loads the Manage Posts page, filtered to show all live posts associated with that website.

The Returned Posts column shows a count of all the guest posts associated with that website that have a Returned status in PostRunner (which means they were declined by, ignored by, deleted from, or failed to reach their chosen PostRunner site).

Clicking the number in the Returned Posts column loads the Manage Posts page, filtered to show all returned posts associated with that website.

Learn more about the Manage Posts page and post statuses.

My PostRunner Sites

Check out our article about how to connect your site to PostRunner, or another one about how connecting to PostRunner benefits you.

These are sites where you’ve installed the PostRunner plugin, allowing authors in the community to send you guest posts. Clicking on the site names in this list will load the Site Detail page for that site in a new window.

Learn more about the Site Detail page.

Clicking the Add a Site to PostRunner link starts the process of installing the PostRunner plugin and getting a site ready to receive guest posts from PostRunner.

Read more about how to receive guest posts from PostRunner.

Status

If your site is properly connected to PostRunner, and we’re able to successfully send you posts for review, your Status will show as Available.

If PostRunner is having issues connecting to your site, or if you’ve deactivated or deleted the PostRunner plugin, your Status will show as Offline.

If you’ve paused your site, temporarily removing it from the PostRunner site listings, your Status will show as ‘Paused.’

You can learn more about the ‘Pause Site‘ feature in our article about the Site Detail page.

If your site shows as ‘Offline,’ and you feel like it should be showing as available, click on ‘Offline.’ PostRunner will check your site’s Status again. If your Status doesn’t change to Available, try these steps:

  1. Deactivate the PostRunner plugin (in your site’s WordPress dashboard).
  2. Delete the PostRunner plugin.
  3. Re-install the plugin.
  4. Reactivate the plugin.
  5. Click ‘Offline‘ in your My PostRunner Sites list so PostRunner will check your site Status again.

If that doesn’t change your Status to Available, contact Support and we’ll troubleshoot with you.

Pending Posts

This column shows a count of how many guest posts are waiting for review in your WordPress dashboard. Clicking the Pending number loads a list of pending posts inside your WordPress dashboard. You may have to log into your site in order to see the list.

Ignored

The Ignored column shows what percentage of posts sent to your site for review were NOT approved or declined within seven days.

It’s important that you keep your ignore percentage as low as possible – PostRunner authors have told us again and again that they dislike being ignored a lot more than being declined.

Find out more about the Ignore % by reading about the Site Detail page.

Manage

Clicking the manage link next to any of the domains in My PostRunner Sites loads the Site Detail page for that site (which is where you can edit all aspects of your PostRunner listing).

Your Author Score

This area of the Dashboard shows your current Author Score. Clicking on the score – or the score details link – loads the Your Author Score page, where you see which posts are factoring into your Author Score.

Check out our article about Your Author Score for more detail.

Your Author Score

The purpose of the Author Score page is to show you exactly which posts are determining your current score.

First of all, how do we calculate your author score?

Each post rating has a score associated with it:

  • Very Good: 6
  • Good: 5
  • Average: 3
  • Poor: 1
  • Very Poor: 0

Your 20 most-recently reviewed posts determine your Author Score. First, we first drop your best and worst ratings. Then we add up the remaining 18 scores, giving us the sum that is your Author Score. Yup, it’s that simple.

Here are a couple tips for improving your author score quickly:

  1. Read the description and requirements site owners publish on their site detail page. There’s nothing that annoys PostRunner site owners more than knowing you didn’t even bother to find out what they want before you sent them a post.
  2. Make sure your content is a good match for the tone and quality of posts on the site whose owner you’re trying to impress. Site owners are normal (biased) human beings – which means one site owner’s trash truly is another’s treasure. Get a sense for what they want, and then give it to them.
  3. Revise before resubmitting returned articles. If you can score an ‘above average’ on an article that originally received ‘very poor’ you’ll see a big swing in your author score. It’s well worth taking some time to revise before you resubmit!

Just a few good ratings will boost your score quickly, opening the door to the most coveted sites in the community.

PS – New members start with an author score of 50. Take extra care with your first twenty posts – secure yourself a high author score and open the door to the most coveted sites in the community!

The Post List: These Posts Determine Your Current Score

Post Title

As on the Manage Posts page, clicking a post title loads the edit post page for that post. If the post is live, you see a small ‘view‘ link next to the post title, which loads the live post in a new window.

Status

The current status of the post, also explained in our article about the Manage Posts page.

Rating

The current rating for the post. If the post is live, the rating is permanent. If the post has a status of returned, the post can be revised and resubmitted, which could result in a different rating (higher or lower).

Points

The value of the post’s current rating.

Revise and Resubmit

Clicking this button loads the edit post page for the post. Revising and resubmitting a post gives you a chance to raise the rating of an individual post (along with your Author Score).

 

The PostRunner Site Detail Page

The Site Detail page makes it easy for authors to see a) exactly what kind of guest posts the site owner is looking for, and b) whether the site site is a desirable place to guest post.

Here’s what the Site Detail page shows:

The Site Title: which is the same title that appears on the blog.

Contact Site Owner link: Clicking this link loads a simple contact form that allows authors to communicate with the owner of the site. Only the first message will go through the PostRunner contact form. Other correspondence will happen by email.

The Site Rating: Authors have the opportunity to rate PostRunner sites on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. The average star rating appears at the top of the Site Detail Page.

Pause Site: The Pause Site button allows site owners to temporarily remove a site from the PostRunner listings. When the Pause Site button is clicked, the site will be removed from the list on the Choose Publish Location page. Posts that are already pending in the site’s WordPress dashboard will stay with the site. If a post was scheduled to be sent to the site, and the send date arrives while the site is still paused, the post will be returned to the author for submission elsewhere.

Edit Site: This button is only visible to the owner of the site. When clicked, this button takes the site owner to the pages that allow him/her to update the:

  • Site Description: This is where site owners have the chance to tell authors exactly what they’re looking for in terms of content style, voice, format, etc. The site description field allows markup, so site owners can add helpful links to their description (possibly a link to a preferred set of topics, or to a more detailed description on their site).
  • Categories: Site owners can put their site in up to three broad categories, which they select from dropdown menus in the edit site process.
  • Keywords: Site owners can use keywords to give authors a more detailed idea of subjects they want to cover on their site. For example, my site might be in the broad categories of business and finance. I could add specific keywords such as starting a business, buying a franchise, or small business marketing. Keywords are helpful in helping authors understand what topics a site owner would like to see covered, and they’re also searchable on the Choose Publish Location page, making it easier for authors to find the site in the first place.
  • Word Requirement: Site owners can set their word requirement as high or low as they want. The default is 300 words.
  • Links Allowed: Site owners can allow any number of links in a post (but authors will expect to be able to put at least one link in a post for author attribution). Default is one link.
  • Minimum Author Score: This is the minimum score an author must achieve for the site to even appear in the list on his Choose Publish Location page. The default is 60.

Site owners can use Word Requirement, Links Allowed, and Minimum Author Score as a throttle to receive more or fewer guest posts. As you make your site requirements more lenient, you’re likely to get more posts. As you make your requirements more strict, you’re likely to get fewer posts.

Of course, the more authoritative and popular your blog is, the more strict you can set your requirements and still expect a decent volume of posts.

Your Live Posts: this shows a count of how many posts the current user has on the site. Your Live Posts is n/a for the site owner.

From PostRunner %: This shows what percentage of all posts on the site came from PostRunner. Authors often want to see that they’re submitting a guest post to site that has plenty of its own content (and isn’t just a kind of article directory).

Posts Ignored: This is the percentage of posts the site owner has failed to respond to within 7 days. Site owners should make it a goal to keep their Ignore % as close to zero as possible. Authors are leery of any site owner who doesn’t respond quickly to every guest post they receive – it makes the site owner appear lazy and unappreciative of the free content he/she is receiving.

Feedback and Reviews: this is the section of the Site Detail page where authors can rate sites and leave feedback for the site owners. Reviews should be positive and constructive. If a review is angry or inflammatory, it will be deleted by PostRunner staff.

Site Owners should try to keep their average rating as high as possible. Average ratings appear in the site listings on the Choose Publish Location. The higher your rating, the higher the quality and quantity of content you can expect to receive.

The Manage Posts Page

The two main areas of the Manage Posts page are the filters and the post list.

Filtering the Post List

All Linked Domains…

This dropdown menu shows all the domains you’ve linked to from guest posts (which means this list should match the My Domains list on your Dashboard).

Selecting any of the domains in the All Linked Domains dropdown (and then clicking ‘Filter‘will filter all other domains out of the post list display.

All Statuses…

This dropdown menu contains the five different post statuses used by PostRunner:

  • Not Sent: Your post hasn’t been sent or scheduled yet. It’s a draft.
  • Scheduled: Your post has been scheduled for submission on a certain date in the future. The post will stay in your PostRunner queue until the schedule date, then be sent to your chosen publish location for review by the site owner.
  • Sent: Your post has been sent to the site owner for review.
  • Returned: your post has either been ignored, declined, or deleted by the site owner; or your post failed to reach your chosen publish location because PostRunner wasn’t able to connect to the site.
  • Live: The site owner accepted and published your post.

Selecting any of the statuses (and then clicking ‘Filter‘) will leave only posts with the chosen status in the post list.

Search by keyword…

Typing keywords into the search field (and then clicking ‘Filter’) will return a list of posts that contain the keywords anywhere in the post (whether the title, body, or links in the post).

You can filter the post list using All Linked Domains, All Statuses, and search by keyword together or separately.

Export filtered list

Clicking ‘export filtered list‘ will create a .csv file from the post list with the current set of filters.

The Post List

Post Title

Clicking on a post title in this column will load the edit post page for the post.

If the post is live, a small ‘view‘ link appears next to the title. Clicking the ‘view‘ link loads the live post in a new window.

Send Date

The Send Date is the date on which the post was sent (or will be sent) to the chosen publish location. The Send Date is blank until a post is submitted or scheduled to be submitted.

Status

The current status of the post, explained above in detail.

Rating

PostRunner site owners rate every post they receive, whether they accept or decline it.

These are the ratings:

  • Excellent
  • Good
  • Average
  • Poor
  • Very Poor

Each rating corresponds to a certain value. The combined values of your post ratings determine your Author Score.

Your guest posts won’t show a rating until a site owner has received and rated them.

Read more about your Author Score.

Links

The links you embed in your guest posts appear here in list format. Clicking a link loads its destination URL in a new window.