There’s hardly any blog out there for which guest posting can be a bad idea.
But managing and adding posts from authors outside of your site can be a bit of a headache, especially if there are a lot of writers interested in writing for you.
You need a quick and easy way to add user submitted posts to your blog, and maybe even charge guest authors for it without investing in a bunch of extra tools.
In this article, we’ll show you how to allow users to submit posts easily to your WordPress site from the frontend, streamlining the process for both you and your guest authors.
In This Article
How to Allow User-Submitted Posts on Your WordPress Blog
We’re going to show you the easy way to accept blog posts on your site. If you’d prefer to have your visitors add events, jump over to this guide on how to let visitors add user-submitted events to a calendar.
We created this video to show you the basic steps to allowing users to use a WordPress form to post articles on your website as guest authors.
For a written tutorial on accepting WordPress user-submitted posts, see the instructions below.
Step 1: Install and Activate the WPForms Plugin
With WPForms, you can easily create a WordPress form to accept guest posts. And because you can map the form fields to the fields on your blog, you can publish user-generated content on the frontend quickly and easily.
To do this, stay in the WordPress admin area. On the left-hand side, go to WPForms » Addons.
Next, find the addon labeled Post Submissions. Click Install Addon and then Activate.
We’re all set. Let’s make our post-submission form next.
Step 2: Create Your User-Submitted Posts Form
Now we’re going to make a form we can publish on our website to accept guest posts from visitors.
To start, click WPForms » Add New.
Type in a name for your form at the top. Then scroll down a little and click on the Blog Post Submission Form template.
If you don’t see the Blog Post Submission Form template, you’ll want to go back a step and check that the Post Submissions addon is activated.
When you click on the template, WPForms will create a form with 2 sections:
- Author Details – Your visitor can type in their name, email, and author bio here.
- Create a Blog Post – This is where they’ll type their post title, post content, and excerpt. There are also fields for a featured image and category.
This template is completely customizable. You can add more fields with different types of validation. For example, you can easily add:
- Rich Text field: Replace the Post Content Paragraph Text field with a Rich Text editor so writers can style their posts and include images.
- Content field: Place a notice on the form to remind your writers how to format their posts.
- Captcha or challenge question (Custom Captcha): Stop spam submissions on your form.
- Payment fields: Charge money for each post submission using secure online payment integrations like Stripe, PayPal, and more.
It’s also easy to edit any field for customization. Go ahead and click on the field in the form preview to open up its settings on the left.
We can show you how this works by editing 3 important fields.
Add User Submitted Images to Media Library
The Blog Post Submission Form template includes a File Upload field for featured images.
The featured image is the image that’s displayed next to the post in WordPress. Sometimes it’s shown as a thumbnail image.
When accepting user-submitted WordPress posts, your users can create and upload their own featured images for their posts. If you store them in the Media Library, they’ll be easier to use.
To check this setting, click on the Featured Image form field on the right. You’ll see the field options open up on the left-hand side.
First, you can use the field Description to specify the size requirements for the featured image.
You can see in the screenshots below that we also limited the Allowed File Extensions to png. You can use other file extensions here or leave it blank.
Next, click on the Advanced menu to see more options. You’ll want to make sure the setting labeled Store file in WordPress Media Library is turned on.
Similarly, if you’re using the Rich Text field to accept post content and want to let users add images to their posts, you’ll want to open its field options and turn on the Allow Media Uploads and Store files in WordPress Media Library options.
Ready to move on? Let’s look at categories next.
Let Guests Choose a Blog Post Category
The blog post submissions form template automatically pulls in the list of categories on your blog. This makes it super easy for your guest blogger to pick their own categories.
To explore these settings, click the Category field in your form preview. Then click on the Advanced tab and look for the Dynamic Choices and Dynamic Taxonomy Source options.
These settings let WPForms pull in a dynamic list of categories from your site. It’s a lot easier than typing them all in, and it means the list of categories on the frontend will always match the categories on your blog.
If you want to let users add tags to their posts as well, you can add a Checkboxes field and set the Dynamic Choices option to Taxonomy. Then choose Tags from the Dynamic Taxonomy Source dropdown.
Using a Checkboxes field for this will allow writers to select multiple tags to add to their posts. You could also create a multi-select dropdown in WordPress if you prefer.
OK, now we have our categories and tags set up, let’s move on to the form settings.
Step 3: Set Up Your User-Submitted Form Notifications
WPForms can send emails each time you get a form submission.
Let’s click Notifications to see what the message looks like.
By default, WPForms will create a generic email notification that will let you know when you have a new user-submitted post on your WordPress site.
You could also send a thank you email to the user when they submit their blog post. If you’d like to set that up, check out our documentation on how to set up form notifications in WordPress.
OK, we’re done here. Click Save before we move on to the important part: mapping your form fields.
Step 4: Map Guest Post Form Fields to WordPress Post Fields
Now it’s time to make sure that your form fields are correctly mapped to your post fields.
This will automatically send each field to the right place in your blog post so that you don’t have to copy and paste.
To start, go to Settings » Post Submissions. Make sure the Enable Post Submissions toggle is set to the “on” position.
The default settings here will suit most blog posts. Let’s look through them one by one:
- Post Title — Defaults to the title that the user types in.
- Post Content — The main body of the blog post that your visitor submits.
- Post Excerpt — A short summary of the blog post.
- Post Featured Image — Get featured image uploads from your writers. We’ll show you how to store them in the Media Library.
- Post Type — You can choose whether to add new user submitted posts as blog posts or pages. If you have custom post types on your blog, you can select one of those here too.
- Post Status — You can choose to publish each post immediately if you want to. Alternatively, you can choose Require Approval so that you can check the post before you publish it.
- Post Author — Choose the author that will be automatically assigned. If you require users to log in before accessing the form, the user who submits the form can be assigned as the author.
Let Authors Fill in Custom Fields
Do you have custom fields that you want your writers to fill in? It can be time-consuming to paste the content into the fields each time they submit a new blog post.
With WPForms, it’s easy to use custom fields in user-submitted blog posts. That way, they can share the information on the frontend of your site.
For example, you may want to enable authors to share their websites so that readers who are interested in your guest posters can easily find their other content.
Custom fields require a little more work on the backend. You’ll also need to check that your WordPress theme supports them. For a full tutorial, jump over to this guide to using custom fields in user-submitted posts.
When you’re done, click Save.
That’s it! We’re ready to go live.
Step 5: Publish Your WordPress User-Submitted Post Form
After you’ve created your custom form, you need to add it to your WordPress website.
WPForms makes it easy to add forms to any location on your website, including:
- Footer widgets
- Sidebar widgets
You can use a shortcode if you want to. But we’ll show you an easier way.
At the top of the form builder, click Embed.
Next, click Create New Page.
Finally, type in a name for your form and click Let’s Go.
WPForms will automatically create a page and embed your form into it. When you’re happy with the way it looks click the blue Publish button.
Here’s what your form might look like on the frontend.
That’s it! Now you can start accepting WordPress user-submitted posts.
If you want to notify your readers each time you publish a new post, you can easily use PushEngage to send a browser notification. Browser push notifications are a great way to keep your audience engaged.
User Submitted Posts in WordPress – FAQs
Since the release of our Post Submissions addon, we’ve received some general queries about making the best use of the functionality for accepting user submitted posts. We’ve summarized the most common of these below.
What’s the Benefit of Accepting User Submitted Posts in WordPress?
User-generated content is a powerful tool when you’re growing an audience for your website. You can use WordPress user-submitted posts to:
- Publish more content on your website – Posting user-submitted content can help if you’re struggling to find the time to blog.
- Increase your keywords – Accepting guest posts in your niche can help you to rank for keywords that you might not have thought of yet.
- Increase your readership – Get a different perspective on important topics so that you attract a wider audience.
- Engage your community – Give people a voice by publishing their posts on a multi-author blog. A community blog is a perfect space for everyone to share their thoughts and ideas.
How many WordPress posts can a user create?
A user or guest author can create as many WordPress posts on a site. However, if you’re receiving guest posts using the WPForms Post Submissions addon, you can reserve the right to publish these posts to yourself only. That way, you can ensure that only the posts that perfectly match your guidelines and are relevant to your site get published with your approval. You can approve and publish as many WordPress posts as you want by your guest authors.
What types of posts can I accept (e.g., articles, reviews, images)?
With the WPForms Post Submissions addon, you can accept articles, images, and even reviews and testimonials from your users.
Can I require users to register before submitting a post?
Yes, you can require users to register before submitting a post. WPForms Pro includes both user registration, access restrictions, and guest post submission feature. You can combine all of them to make your post submission form accessible to registered and logged-in users only.
Can I edit user submitted posts before publishing them?
Yes, you can edit user submitted posts before publishing them. The WPForms Post Submissions addon gives you the option to set the status of all the posts you receive to Draft, Pending Review, or Publish (though we don’t recommend letting guest authors directly publish posts on your site). Once you receive a post, you can simply find it in the drafts inside your WordPress dashboard, where you can review and edit them before publishing.
Next, Set Up Your Multi-Author Blog
Now that you’re ready to accept user-submitted content in WordPress, you’ll want to make it easier to manage your authors and posts.
Ready to build your form? Get started today with the easiest WordPress form builder plugin. WPForms Pro includes the Post Submissions addon and offers a 14-day money-back guarantee.