Why You Should Guest Blog
Blogging is hard work. I blog five days a week, just counting my own material. I write other blogs for other people, too, but let’s forget about that for a moment. Running a good blog is hard. It’s not easy to think of great things to say every day.
So how do you rationalize taking the time to write a guest post for someone else? Taking one of your great ideas and putting it on someone else’s blog . . . madness!
Maybe, but it’s the right kind of madness. The best kind. It turns out there a lot of very good reasons to guest post.
Raising Your Search Profile
When people Google your name, you want it to be you they find. I don’t really have that problem; to all appearances there’s one other Connor Rickett in the English-speaking world, and he isn’t a writer. Still, it doesn’t hurt to be on top. That means you need to control the Google results for your name. When Google’s deciding which John Smith is most important, they’re going to be looking at which John Smith gets the most attention, and they don’t just look at how many hits your own site is getting. They look at how many sites are linking back to you. Guest posts build backlinks.
As an added bonus, it looks good to potential clients when they’re Googling you, if you turn up in lots of places.
You know what’s nice? Building relationships between people. Creating a line between one person and another. This is the best way, aside from commenting, to extend your community of fellow bloggers, presumably (though not necessarily) in your areas of interest.
Life is connection, but success is connections. So make them.
Challenges Make You Better
Chances are good that you’ll feel pushed to do your best work when you’re displaying it on someone else’s site, for the same reason you wash your car before you take it to a car show. A whole bunch of people who’ve never seen your work before will be judging it.
More than that, you will have to make an effort to conform to their blogs, to varying degrees. My recent guest blog for Donna Carol Voss involved writing about writing (which is sort of my thing), but within the context of faith . . . which was a stretch for me. It’s definitely my favorite piece of writing this year.
When I was writing a guest blog for Matt Holmes‘ blog, I had to find a way to talk about advertising and how it related to my small business experience, since his blog is all about helping entreprenuers get off the ground. I ended up telling a story.
Basically, here on our own blogs, we have total control. When we surrender a portion of that control to others, we face challenges born of constraint. We leave the bunny hill and we hit the slalom.
Gaining Attention for Your Blog
I can’t overstate how important guest blogging is to raising the awareness of your blog. I just can’t. A guest post means new eyes, new connections, in many cases new friends, and in any case new experience. All at the cost of a little time and an idea.
Seriously, it’s nice to just get out there now and then. If you were writing for your own entertainment, it might as well be in a journal (a theme we’ll be revisiting). The best way to share your writing is . . . to share it!
Take the Plunge
If you’re interested in guest blogging, consider starting here. Take a look at Donna Carol Voss’ post, or BC Brown’s for a view of what sort of thing I’m looking for. I’ve got big plans for Cities of the Mind, but I want it to remain not just a resource for writers, but a place for new writers to gain attention.
If you’d like me to write a guest post, please understand my life is a bit busy right now, but contact me anyway, because I do want to write more guest blogs whenever I have the moments to spare. Whether you want to write for me, or me to write for you, please contact me!