Thursday, April 7, 2011

ON BLOGGING ~ Be Our Guest...

BlogAnon: Joy of Confession

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Welcome to our weekly BlogAnon meeting where we confess a particular blogging sin and turn to you for support, suggestions and that blogging bond so we know we're not all alone. Don't be shy. Read along and let us know if you identify with us this week.

I like to talk. With my fingers or my mouth - doesn't matter. That makes me well suited for the blogosphere. Sometimes there are things I'd like to say that don't really suit our little blog here. Which is when guest posts are a great outlet.

When I'm out and about reading your blogs I always jump at a chance to provide a guest post if the blogger is putting out a call for them. Sometimes bloggers will do this when they are planning to be away from their blog for a trip or other important moments in life. Other times they have recurring features that allow bloggers a space to speak out. Volunteering to appear on someone else's blog is exciting, challenging, nerve wracking and beneficial to both parties.

You get to share something with a new audience. The hosting blogger gets to feature a fresh voice rather than taking extra time to advance write posts for the scheduled absence. Win, win.

What I find uncomfortable are unsolicited requests for guest posts on our blog. I'm always open to suggestions. But it is still our space. Not a place that is open for just anyone, anytime to provide material. That's what the comment section is for. In fact, I love inspired comments that encourage conversation and lead to collaborations. I'm not talking about those kinds of solicitations. I mean receiving e-mails from folks I don't know wanting to pitch something. It is never out of the goodness of their heart. It most always requires a return favor. If I let them guest post and link here, then they'll let me do the same there. That sounds more like work to me. Someone wanting to market and promote themselves wherever they can, rather than focusing on their own space and being an invited guest elsewhere after spending the time to build relationships.

Maybe I'm taking those types of messages the wrong way. I generally disregard them entirely if I do not know the blogger at all. Perhaps I am missing out on meeting a cool blogger because of that. But if it feels spammy I'm not taking the risk of wasting my time.

I would love to open up the Friday blogging posts to any of you though. Whether we've spoken before or not. Strangers welcome to solicit this time around. Do you have something that you'd like to share on Blog Tips? Or something you'd like to confess or vent about on BlogAnon? Let us know in the comments or send us an e-mail if you are shy.

Guest posting is a lot of fun and good exposure. And when arranged in the right way, it can also create new blogging relationships that you'll value for a long time. Here's your open invitation. Give it a try!

Have you ever done a guest post or hosted someone else on your blog? Did you use the opportunity to get to know a new audience? Did you know that a guest blogger will bring new visitors to your space as well as introducing your readers to that blogger? Cross pollination at its finest!


Matty said...

It's interesting that your conversation topic is guest posting. Just today, after almost two years since starting my site, I was asked by another person to be a featured blogger on their page. And it was an unsolicited out of the blue email from this person. Although we do have something in common that bonds us....sharing the same birth date although in vastly different years.

I'm in the process of redesigning my blog with the help of someone, and have new ideas and direction on where I want to go with it. Guest posting as well as hosting others at my site is one of the many things on my list. So I find your article a timely piece.

Once my new page is up and ready, guesting both ways will be on my agenda. And you will be more than welcome to come over here and steal the show.

Little Ms Blogger said...

I recently accepted to guest post but it's for a blogger's group. I said yes, but admit, I don't typically want to guest post -- heck, I have enough problems keeping up with mine :-).

I've had people ask if I could blog about a product, but if they don't offer a giveaway for my readers, it's a no-go.

I also reviewed a book for an author last year and was asked if I would do it again for her new book. Initially I said okay, but when her PR agent sent me a link for this long promotional blurb, I told her nope. I explained I wasn't a newswire.

Okay, I just rambled, but to answer your question, I would find it odd if someone wanted to guest blog on my blog without me asking for a guest blogger.

ds said...

Not very long into my blogging adventure, someone who happens to be a good friend to both of us asked to feature something I'd written on her blog. I was honored. I don't know that I was able to do anything for her, but she certainly did a lot for me. I thanked her then, and I thank her again now, most honest and generous soul that she is.

Sandy Nawrot said...

And it was wonderful, ds!!! If I recall, during that same time (when I was out of country) you lovely Bumbles offered to guest post too, and I thought it was great. I've got another Poland trip coming up this June, and I may do something similar...haven't decided yet. I'm further out in my posts now, so I might be able to cover myself. I think you have a corner on the market, Molly, on the social butterfly of the blog universe. You do so much to bring people together. I have a hard time with it all...I want to be everywhere but I am chasing myself most of the time!

Anonymous said...

I can barely keep up with reading enough books to blog about to consider writing a guest post. To be honest I don't even really have time to be commenting! I have about 2 hours before baby wakes up and it's my turn to parent. But to your point, I find unsolicited emails very spammy most of the time too and have never responded to one. Unless it is from an author or their publicist. I will consider and respond to those.

Nolatari said...

Last year my best friend had her first book published, and I chose to feature her on my own blog to celebrate the release. I devoted the entire week to her and featured an author interview, a couple of get-to-know-her quizzes, and asked her to write a couple of posts of her own that fell in line with my blog's themes. Then we had prize packages every day to celebrate her readers. It was great fun and has led to more collaborations and cross-posting since then. I highly recommend it to anyone who can establish a trust and a true spirit of camaraderie in the process!

Margot said...

The only guest posts I've been involved in are with authors who guest post on my blog. It's usually something that is offered with a book tour but I don't usually take an author up on the offer. Primarily it's because if I don't like the book I don't want to feature the author. But just this week a publicist asked me if I'd "guest host" an author I read and loved last year. The book is coming out in paperback and they want to push it some more. In a case like that I'm thrilled. Blogger to blogger guest posts would be fun. I'll have to think about doing that. said...

On Chew & Digest, I don't usually allow guest posts. There was one time an author interview went haywire though....

I love doing them and encourage them on the other blog, That was a big part of the idea behind it, to feature a smattering of funny people talking about life, liberty, decorating, and the pursuit of our own definition of perfection.

As the host blogger, they give me a bit of a break, add some zest, and are a great way to give back a bit to an unknown blogger or one that hasn't found the right audience yet. As the poster, they are a great way to get outside of your comfort zone and get some new readers.