18.8.07

Rumblings About Guest Blogging

It's getting a bit tiresome and boring when you start to see more and more blogs lending themselves to guest bloggers.

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?
Guest blogging has become more than a joke. That's how the lady samurai Kumiko at CashQuests sees it now. According to her, more than 10 of the blogs she had visited have gone into "guest-blogging mode" and you can rightly guess that the blog owners are having their siesta.

Kumiko, not one to be shy about calling a spade a spade, describes the senario as such:


BlockquoteWhen 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:

BlockquoteI 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.

Think Before You Blog


7 comments:

Matthew C. Keegan said...

Mark, thank you for citing me. I recently visited a blog where the owner is away and realized that this person had used guest bloggers to fill in for her while she was gone. Although the quality of the bloggers (and the writing) has been good, the voices are different.

Maybe it would be best for bloggers who need some time off to let their blog take a rest for a period of time.

No postings for a week or two isn't likely to kill a blog, but in some cases guest blogging will detract from the site.

Markk said...

> Matt: Thanks for your comment and I see you're staying true to your own conviction about guest blogging. I've been tempted when I first started to see other blogs moving in that direction, but somehow I just couldn't do it. My blog is my voice, period.

DayJobNuker said...

I would never have a guest post on my blog. I'd just rather work a little harder and write the articles ahead of time.


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Sindhu said...

I was invited to write; and I did too, since I was new to blogsphere; but every time write I felt I could post that well in my own blog since the content they expected is the same as my own blog. In fact I was also asked to post the same posts in their site too! I felt it too ridiculous. I very withdrew from guest blogging siting some personal reasons.

thanks Markk! wonderful post!

Markk said...

> dayjobnuker: Thanks for your input.

> sindhu: You're right there,mate. Thanks.

Sam Chan said...

Hi Mark,
I agree with you! We all ought to stay true to our own blog so that we could maintain its quality and we'll get quality and loyal readers.

Anyway, the nature of blog - always need to have new post makes it difficult for a lot to persist blogging.

Best Wishes to you, Mark!

aksn1p3r said...

im into blogging, not as a guest but as a real blogger, who genuinely wants to view your interesting posts, whoever you may be.

Some people arent noticeable and try those guest-blogging tactics jsut for the stats etc. I dont even know what my page rank or pagerank is...

Some people ive noticed are genuine bloggers who do read others' blogs, eg. on blogcatalog "Pinoyskull"


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