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The pros & cons of guest ‘blogging

Guest ‘blogging is a very simple way of mixing things up, both for you and your readers. But what are the advantages and disadvantages to guest ‘blogging?

Guest ‘blogging is a very simple way of mixing things up, both for you and your readers. But what are the advantages and disadvantages to guest ‘blogging?

I’ll be examining the pros & cons of guest ‘blogging, both as a ‘blogger writing for someone else and having someone writing for you. Which will offer a more balanced insight into the both sides of the guest ‘blogging equation.

As a ‘blogger, there may come a time when you either offer up your writing skills to someone else, or they identify a need of their own, offering you the chance to write for their ‘blog.

Whether this is within your niche, or something complimentary to your niche — maybe even something adjacent or even tangential to your niche — as a writer, you will probably relish the chance.

Guest ‘blogging for someone else

Writing for another ‘blog may require some kind of research, especially if you’re not familiar with their style, range of topics or their niche.

Additionally, you could well be writing for a totally different crowd of people, which is a challenge in its own right.

But if you’re a regular to the ‘blog in question, then it’s fair to say you’re a part of that crowd! So you’re probably hitting the floor running.

The pros

  • The chance to reach out to a totally different audience.
  • You may meet and network with new people who you might not have otherwise.
  • Increase your exposure, help to extend your Personal Brand and build authority for your chosen topic.
  • You may receive an offer of payment.
  • You may be asked to write on a regular basis.
  • It’s possible you could have the chance to write about a topic you wouldn’t ordinarily write for your own ‘blog.

The cons

  • Loss of content ‘equity’ — your article resides elsewhere, so you don’t get to profit from that article, be that monetarily (unless you’re being paid) or in terms of traffic.
  • You may be contributing to subscriber numbers, but maybe not your own.
  • You misjudge the audience / topic and your article isn’t well received.
  • If this is a regular writing position, you’re under a certain amount of pressure to deliver.

Someone writing for your ‘blog

Maybe you’re looking for guest writers, or maybe someone asked to write for you. As a ‘blog owner, you have to choose your writers wisely.

Over the last year, I’ve had a number of people write for Blah, Blah! Technology; with articles such as Why ‘Blogging is like Sex, Face Beats Phone, Beats IM, Beats Email and The business of Social Network Profiles.

So done properly, the benefits can be many.

The pros

  • Planned properly, a guest ‘blogger could fill in when you’re feeling creatively dry, or maybe away or just too busy to write.
  • You’re offering your readership a different perspective with maybe a very different style of delivery.
  • Maybe presenting a complimentary topic that you wouldn’t ordinarily write about yourself, or write with any degree of authority.

The cons

  • Your visitors and subscribers may be so wedded to you and your style that a guest writer proves to be a turn-off.
  • You misjudge the writer and his / her article is poorly received, maybe even fomenting displeasure, eliciting bad comments, which have to be dealt with.
  • They may be very good writers, and as such, command a considerable fee for their time.

In conclusion

The reasons for guest ‘blogging aren’t the primary concern. What matters most is an examination of the issues outlined above and whether the advantageous aspects out-weigh the down sides.

At the very least, it might be worth giving it a try, if nothing else.

I’d love to hear your experiences of guest ‘blogging and guest ‘bloggers. Have you written for someone else, or have you had others write for you? Was this time well spent or a failure?

Feel free to share your experiences…

Recommended ‘blogging resources

By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

6 replies on “The pros & cons of guest ‘blogging”

Interesting overview Wayne, highlighting once again the major differences between professional journalistm and blogging at least in terms of expectations of each side. Any guest experience has to be equitable to both parties in the blogosphere but that doesn’t necessarily mean an exchange of cash, whereas, no professional journalist is going to produce words for an editor without cash payment, unless there is a seriously big potential to gain in some other way…

db

I’ve been really hesitant to feature a guest blogger on my blog. When it comes down to it, I want to present a clear and consistent voice and message. That may bore people and lose RSS readers over the long term, but I’m not experienced enough yet to know.

Your guest blog spots are a good benchmark for what I should expect.

My question is, what do you do when you go out on a limb, ask someone to be a guest blogger and the next thing you know you are completely dissatisfied with the article they turn out? Do you flat out tell them no thanks?

Interesting points about guest blogging. When do you think is an appropriate time to bring in a guest blogger? Sometimes I wonder about getting a guest blogger in, but assumed it was something more suited for an already established blog.

Hi Nick! An appropriate time will depend on your circumstances.

I’ve done well in the past with the guys who’ve written for me. Their topics are well within the remit of the ‘blog, but are a different take on things, which I personally find refreshing.

Like most other things, you can never know for sure until you try!

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