Photo by Tsururadio
So, it’s no secret I’ve been on a bit of a guest posting kick the last several months, and it was renewed with even more vigour this past week when several guest posts I had recently submitted went live.
With that said, I figured it was a good idea to let you in on exactly WHY I have become such a fan of guest posting. (Besides, I did promise a longer post the next time around and all…)
And while this usually might be thought to just apply to the blogging niche, and this isn’t exactly a ‘blogging’ blog per se- the reality is that guest posting is a form of marketing and promotion… and it can be a great promotional method for just about any small business or entrepreneur that uses a blog to connect with their clients and customers.
But first, let’s talk a bit about why it’s so great for bloggers and blog owners, even if you’re not a “business owner”.
OK fine… why I think it’s so great for bloggers and blog owners.
Lots of Fish in a Very Big Sea- Blog Owners Take Heed
The first thing you need to realize is that there are lots and lots and lots of blogs out there, and perhaps double or triple as many readers. (No, I’m NOT kidding!)
And even when you think (and you most probably are you kick ass writer you!) you’re good at creating premium content for your own blog, chances are good you could still use a bit of spicing up here and there, and your readers would appreciate a fresh point of view every now and then.
And just what is a blog owner to do when they find themselves thinking thoughts such as this?
Well if you’re what’s (often) called an ‘A-List’ blogger, then your modus operandi is to experiment with guest posting, and feature the work of other bloggers on your site, in exchange for a brief bio and link to their blog.
And you want to know something that other, less resourceful and forward-thinking blog owners haven’t figured out yet?
Just like the friend who can’t quite keep their trap shut when they’re with you, and that drives you batty sometimes (even though you adore them of course!); so can you by turns enthral and drive bananas your readers on occasion. (Hey, truth hurts right?)
Therefore mixing it up a bit by throwing another person’s chatter in the mix can be a good thing.
Seriously, I’m not kidding.
You can write amazing content every day, deck your blog out with images and visuals that captivate, and be so insanely useful to your readers it makes us average folk green with envy (freakin’ over achievers!) but the simple truth is this… people can get bored with you too, and featuring a guest or two here and there can help you keep things lively.
And yes, I realize some of you are probably control freaks like me, and have a hard time letting someone else take the stage on YOUR blog… after all, your readers are there for YOU right?
But you’re gonna have to get over it.
See, here’s the thing. And listen up because this is important.
It’s not all about YOU!
You don’t have a monopoly on the marketplace of ideas. And your blog isn’t a platform to tell the world how amazing you are. (I hope!) A blog is nothing without an audience, and you can’t get an audience by being a narcissistic jerk that doesn’t give a fig about the people visiting you.
At least not an audience with any staying power.
So let me reiterate.
Your blog isn’t all about you—it’s about what you can offer your readers. (And no, I’m not saying it can’t EVER be about you… just not always, k?)
It’s really about how crazy useful and informative and helpful you can be to the people who take the time out of their day to visit you.
And hopefully when they visit, they’ll take off their shoes and sit a spell, because of all that crazy useful info you’re providing them.
Here’s an analogy for you…
Think of your blog as a restaurant and your content as the menu. If you keep serving the same dishes over and over, eventually even your most loyal patrons will get sick of the fare and try out other places where the food is always fresh and the menu is regularly updated.
In fact, I’ve had this very issue lately… I only have about 3 restaurants in my area that I enjoy eating at. And at my favourite place, the menu never changes. Like ever.
So despite it being my favourite place… I get sick of going there! Because I know that even though I love my egg salad sandwhich and French fries… I’ve had it every other day for a month and now I’m burnt out.
You’ve simply got to spice things up now and then.
The Skinny on Why So Many Bloggers are Soliciting Guest Posts These Days
Honestly, it all boils down to two words.
Like I said earlier, while you might be an expert in your niche, people can get bored.
If you’re a site owner and you think you have your readers in the palm of your hand, and that they adore you and only you… I suggest that you get off your high horse and start considering who you might be willing to share the stage with every now and then.
Smart site owners usually welcome guest bloggers with open arms and that’s the truth.
And why the heck wouldn’t they?
Provided they are only accepting quality work- it’s a great contribution of fresh content, a little extra blog promotion (since likely the writer will have their own networks they’ll help promote to) and a nice little “writing vacation” all rolled into one!
That’s 3 freebies for the blog owner, with very little work on their part to make it happen.
Featuring a guest blogger is like featuring a friend and an alternative voice, and letting the blog owner take a mini vacay.
We all know that maintaining a quality blog can be hard work. Sometimes a breather simply has to happen, and allowing a guest on your blog here and there is the perfect way to get it.
Not to mention the branding and “authority” building benefits. Featuring guest bloggers tells your readers that other people are interested enough in your site to contribute to it, and that they trust your site enough to contribute some of their best works as a way to help promote their own site and talents.
That’s a compliment in and of itself in my book.
As to Bloggers, Business Owners and Shameless Self Promotion
While allowing guest posting on your own blog is great to cater to your readers and give them a little extra pizzazz now and then…guest blogging yourself on other blogs is a pool of opportunity you’d be a little crazy not to at least dip your toes into and test the waters.
The moment you land the opportunity to blog at another, mayhap more high profile blog yourself, you also throw open the doors to drastically increase the traffic (and readership) to your own site.
It’s kind of like show business and landing your big break. Landing a guest post spot on a kick ass blog with an active readership can quite literally drag you out into the limelight and make people go “Whoa… where’d that person come from? I like them!”
And yes, I know that you might be churning out really great stuff all on your own, and building your own blog up to epic proportions… but really… if nobody’s reading it, what’s the point?
It doesn’t matter whether you’re blogging because you love it, blogging as a business itself, or blogging as a way to connect with your current clients and customers… without readers and people interested in what you’re saying it’s just a waste of time that could be better spent making a difference elsewhere.
Here is a real simple breakdown of the benefits you can gain from guest posting on other blogs and spreading your best content around the blogosphere.
1. Increase the traffic to your site via the link in your bio that sends people to your site. Added benefit is the “link juice” you can currently reap, although my goal is more about the “building a readership” benefits.
2. Gain pretty big exposure (depending on the blog) and be associated with some big players in the blogging community. And if it’s not a huge, well-known blog… you’re still building a valuable relationship with a fellow blog owner, and accessing new potential readers, which is the whole point of the exercise anyway.
3. You get to subtly advertise your talents, ideas, and “voice”, without actually taking out a full page ad and blasting how cool you are from the rooftops.
4. You get to know a bigger, wider audience of readers you wouldn’t otherwise ever “meet”.
5. You can increase your network of contacts, clients, friends, and like-minded people exponentially.
6. You just might connect with someone who can possibly write on your site in the future.
7. You get to try your hand at new topics and new writing styles, which I think is so much fun. Sure you might already be passionate about your own blog and niche… but getting out there and writing for other niches that may or may not be related in some way to yours is a great way to stretch yourself and fire up your creativity.
8. You get to build your reputation as a blogger and an expert in within your niche, if those are your goals, as well as build your rep as a writer with something cool to say.
9. You get to beef up your online resume, or “portfolio”, and use it as a way to show potential clients or partners just what you’re capable of.
10. Plus you often can get an inside view to how other bloggers operate, tactics they use, and turn the whole experience into a learning tool to better yourself and your own blogging efforts.
Believe me… this is really but a short list of everything that guest posting can do for you and your blog, should you choose to try it.
I’m sure there are many other benefits to it that I’ve not thought of, so if you’re a fan of guest posting and there are other benefits you yourself have experienced, feel free to share them in the comments below.
For me though, the bottom line is that it really can’t hurt you to give guest posting a shot. How do you think some blogs have gone so quickly from obscurity to relative “fame” in the blogosphere in a fairly short amount of time?
It’s simple folks.
But they did it on someone else’s site.
And when done right, it can really reap a lot of rewards. (And no that doesn’t mean you’ll become an overnight rock star people. Don’t get it twisted.) But it does mean there is massive potential, and it’s a win-win for pretty much all involved… so…
Why the hell not?