It began somewhat as an ingenious, evil idea to keep a blog chugging along with new posts every other day so as not to lose traffic while the webmaster takes a "blogging break."
Everybody thought that was real cool and like a flock of sheep started to arrange for guest bloggers to post on their sites.
The usual banal statement about planning to go on a short holiday or something to that effect will be posted to invite those interested to "apply for the job."
Since it was seen as a trendy thing to do and with a linkbait thrown in for good measure, there was no shortage of applicants.
If you're a high-ranking blog, more applicants will throw themselves at your doorsteps for a chance to write a post. But if you're not so high on the hit parade, don't ever try to think about it, because I have seen a few guess-blogging invites that just went a-begging with hardly any taker.
How would you feel when nobody is interested to be your guess blogger? Pull down the shutters and hide somewhere?
Now you see, it's not for everyone. Only the big fish will do for some of these guest blogging wannabes.
Let me post a couple of questions:
- Are you a sucker for guest blogging because you need exposure?
- Are you that desperate to get more backlinks?
Kumiko, not one to be shy about calling a spade a spade, describes the senario as such:
When you go to a blog and find that the latest post is guest-written it's like buying a ticket to a Christina Aguilera concert and then when you arrive finding that Christina has the day off and Paris Hilton is singing in her place. If you've heard Paris Hilton sing - you know you'll be wanting your money back!"
I've seen this trend myself at one of my favourite blogs - the famous JohnCow blog - where we used to party and moo until the milk ran dry.
Jokes aside, John Cow's blog has attained a kind of aura about it that makes it so popular with tons of bloggers. I read JohnCow.com because I like his maverick style and I had written a few posts on my own blogs about the goings-on on his site.
But lately there have been too many of these "guest blogger experiment" posts which just took away the real essence of the original cow blog. Suddenly the "heart and soul" of the site seems to have taken a wrong turning.
Whatever the guest bloggers write on Mr Cow's blog, it's not the same as the original writer. Hopefully everything will return back to normal, and we can have a real hoot again!
Let me disclose that I was invited to guest blog at JohnCow.com when the blog was starting a herd stampede. At that time I'd thought to myself "Why not" but I never got round to it. Because each time I wrote a new post I couldn't bring myself to post it over there. I got to have it on my own blog, not for a few backlinks or any kind of exposure over there.
However, I understand some other bloggers will disagree and still maintain that guest blogging can be a winning situation for those involved. They are mostly bloggers who look upon blogging as a kind of profession and making money is their bottom line.
Here's a sensible viewpoint from John over at Finding The Money who feels that having guest bloggers is a double-edged sword. With so many blogs out there, he believes that finding good ones is not that easy.
John has some good reasons why having a guest blogger may not be a good idea: (1) Failure to meet readers' expectations; (2) Guest post may not be good enough; (3) Good blogger, but wrong blogger.
Just as Kumiko has come to realize that guest blogging is not what it's cracked up to be, Matt over at The Article Writer also frowns on it when he posted about how a guest blogger can be more harmful than helpful to your blog.
According to Matt, he's not in favour of guest blogging for one simple reason:
I have branded The Article Writer and I use my blog as one way of pitching my work to prospective clients. I must maintain a consistent voice throughout the blog as this site is one way I showcase my writings."
Matt also suggested that if you choose to use the services of a guest blogger, it might be wise to add in a disclaimer stating that the views of the guest blogger aren't necessarily your own. Good point.
If only we do not lend ourselves as slaves to the link-and-traffic syndrome, then we don't need to worry about posting everyday. As John at Finding The Money puts it, you can let the post frequency slides while you're away. What's so bad about that? Losing traffic?
Yaro Starak over at Entrepreneur's Journey had written about "Pillar" articles that can help to sustain your traffic while you take a break. You can also read it here.
High-ranking blogger Steve Pavlina doesn't write that often but when he has a post it's got quality written all over it. And that post has staying power, and traffic keeps coming while Mr Pavlina is taking a nap.
The bottom line: Stay true to your own blog, maintain quality and you'll get quality and loyal readers.