Lately I’ve been reading a lot on the topic of guest posting and whether it’s good or bad for both the writer and the blog host. Personally, I don’t think it’s a black and white issue at all. I have had some guest posts on a couple of my blogs here and there and I’ve found that sometimes they turn out to be quite popular. I’ve also found that I seem to get a lot of requests from people wanting to write guest posts for me, and that’s something brand new because I don’t know any of these people and I wonder how they found me or decided to ask me about it.
Since there are no cut and dry answers as to whether it’s good or bad I thought I’d create a top 8 on the good and bad of guest posting. Agree or not, one of the realities of blogging is that people love “list posts”. Why only 8 instead of 10? Because that’s all I could come up with. With that in mind, here we go.
1. Guest blogging gives you the opportunity to reach a new audience that might not know who you are. The first time I was asked to write a guest post I didn’t really know the guy who was asking, but he’d visited my blog a few times and thought I could add something special to his blog. I got a little bit of juice from that post as far as visitors go, and for me, that was a good thing.
2. Guest blogging gives you the opportunity to stretch your boundaries. When you write your own blog, your audience pretty much figures they know what type of thing is coming. When you write for someone else, not only are there going to be people unfamiliar with you, but you might end up writing on a topic that you might normally leave alone, or hadn’t thought about.
3. While we’re at it, we might as well talk about the compatibility issue. Sometimes styles clash, and I’m reminded of the one time that Darren Rowse had another guru write a post for his blog. It wasn’t well received, even though it did get almost 150 comments, and maybe that’s what Darren was going for. However, most of us wouldn’t do well with having someone write something that clashed with our normal beliefs.
4. Asking to write a guest post without ever visiting another blog is a no-no. What’s stranger is having someone ask if they can write a guest post, yet they’ve never left a comment on your blog. Most of the time I’m wary of allowing it, although every once in awhile someone approaches me with a topic and my curiosity gets the better of me.
5. Guest posts can help you fill a gap here and there. I have a finance blog and every once in awhile I get a request from someone who wants to write a guest post there. I often accept that because those posts are generally not in the norm of what I write on, yet they’re still about financial issues and thus benefit me in the end as much as it might benefit them.
6. Don’t accept guest posts for every type of blog. I have 3 blogs, and I’ve never accepted any guest posts for my business blog. The reason is because my business blog is supposed to show my qualifications for what I say I do in business, and if someone else is writing, then how am I showing my thoughts and beliefs?
7. Guest posters forget one important premise most of the time; they need to come back and respond to commenters. That was a mistake I made the first couple of times, and now I make sure it’s well known by the writer, whether I request they write something for me or not, that they’re responsible for answering comments, and I expect them to come back. The best way is to be one of the first commenters, or to subscribe to all comments for that post, so you know when you have something new to respond to.
8. Guest posting allows you to help a friend out here and there. Earlier this year I helped a friend who was going through a difficult pregnancy by writing 3 guest posts for her blog. This week I’ve written two guest posts for DiTesco so he can concentrate on some other things. Guest posts shouldn’t always be about what you can get out of it for yourself. Sometimes, you do it because it’s the right thing to do.