I am an Advocate of Guest Posts

2010 February 16
by Grace Boyle

There are two sides of the fence here. Sometimes I feel this way: “This is my blog and I don’t want anyone else soiling the content or what I’m all about.”

I’ve gotten over that.

I advocate guest posting and clearly, if you’re a reader here, you see that I host a good amount.

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There are many reasons why guest posting is a win-win. I like to think of my blog as a destination where people can learn about a variety of topics, include thought provokers and ideas from not just me but other intelligent writers. A mixed bag or medley, as I like to say.

I call blogging narcissist (it is) but I also blog to hear and connect with others. Guest blogging (here on my blog and also when I’m a guest blogger) has been one of the best avenues for me to connect with other bloggers, meet new audiences and readers, learn new ideas, disagree with their thoughts but still create an op-ed environment and to meet new friends and contacts.

Let me paint a picture with a pretty example: When Matt started his guest blog grand tour, I asked him to write about something he has never written about: his relationship and being engaged in his early 20’s. He produced a great post, which drew readers I had never seen before and a lengthy, engaging discussion (win for Grace). Through the comments, people were intrigued with the topic and loved hearing this new side of his life (win for Matt). Dimpled smiles all around.

Sometimes, I disagree with my guest blogger. Sometimes I’m on the exact same page. I’ve hosted people from around the world, my Dad, and started The Inspiration Series, over a year ago, that led way to many friendships and many subsequent series that I was then part of after. Guest posts likely produce a healthy debate, someone walks away having learned or met someone new, subscribed to a new blog or is inspired to write a supplemental post on their own blog.

That is my philosophy for hosting guest blogs and in writing my own guest post for others: there’s always something new to learn.

With that being said, I am cognizant of who guest posts here. Sometimes I will go weeks without a guest post or sometimes I’m too busy and just don’t feel like it’s the right time to include a guest post. I’ve had brands ask me to guest post and write about their product on my blog – I’m not here to solicit and I’ve firmly stood by saying “no” each time.

I do appreciate that readers come to read my writing first and foremost, but I also want to offer work that is well-rounded. Sometimes that includes collaborating. There are times when I do have to say no (to hosting and/or writing). It’s your right to choose. It’s not just anyone off the street, but my ear is always open to hear a guest post idea.

In short, I feel like it adds enriching content and like Ryan Stephens says, “It’s silly of me to think that you could learn everything from me when there are so many smart people out there.”

So what’s your guest posting philosophy? Do you allow guest posts? Abhor them? What are your thoughts?

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  • http://www.owlsparks.com/ Carlos Miceli

    Damn, I should have mad a big announcement before I started doing guest posts (over 25 and counting). Because, you know, I jut love self-promotion.

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Carlos You DID make an announcement: You tweeted it out, I saw it 😉

    Oh yes, self promotion. Well this post is about me loving and accepting other people writing here on my blog to provide a rounded, interesting destination for readers.

  • http://25andtrying.com Beth Oppenheim

    Great post, Grace. I think that I am just beginning to see the beauty in guest posts, and absolutely love them. I have only hosted one, and written two, but I am eager and ready to write and host more. I think they are also a cool way to just REALLY get new perspectives into your blog, which can otherwise be focused (obviously) on what you think.

    I would welcome a guest post anytime from you too! Thanks for a thought provoking post :)

  • http://sydneyowen.com Sydney Owen

    I'm on the fence. I'm on the fence, but leaning towards loving it, and by leaning, I mean, I'm asking all of my awesome friends to tell me (and the world, and my readers, and whoever else stumbles across my blog) why they are awesome. So I'm dabbling in letting other people have content in my little home that is Sydney: Unfiltered. But I haven't fully committed yet. I think there are some people that could produce some bangin' content for Unfiltered, I just haven't figured out if it's going to be some huge tour or if it's going to be a post here and there.

    So there's that. Kind of an ADD response, but that's all I got.

  • andreavlewis

    @gracekboyle I have yet to dive into guest posting. I'm intrigued by it and would be willing to share my blog & contribute to others. Any advice on how to get started w/ the guest blogging process?

  • LostInCheeseland

    It's a great way to share ideas from multiple different niches to readers who wouldn't ordinarily stumble across them. I think it's extremely useful and is a way to support each other in the blogging community. People who refuse clearly have a problem with sharing attention!

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Beth Great, good to hear. It's a really fun way to collaborate (if you're into that). I think it's important to set out guidelines in what you're looking for in terms of guest posting. My blog has become a mixture and I like that. Someone may ONLY want to post themselves, I think that's totally fine too.

    Sure, would love to guest post. Shoot me an email if you have an editorial idea or something you want to hear from me! gracekboyle at gmail dot com :)

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Sydney I totally feel you. I think that guest posting isn't for everyone. Even though I'm an advocate, I don't suggest every single blog out there do it. However, from my own experience, it has been positive “win-win.”

    I suggest, finding those bangin' people, testing it out (let them know they're the test) then see how it goes and what you and readers learn. Thanks for sharing, I like both sides of the fence input!

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Andrea Sure here are some ideas:

    1) Think about the blogging/writing connections you already have established and those that you trust, reach out to them that you're interested in offering your blog as a guest posting medium.

    2) Brainstorm ideas. I like to think of blog post ideas that I haven't written about or a specific experience I can't write about because I haven't been through it. In your case, an interesting advertising/media case study would be fun. Maybe find someone who works in your industry and can share a story for your readers to learn?

    3) Tweet about it. Let the word get out. Ask for feedback.

    4) Include a guest posting philosophy/link on your blog. People may not know you're interested unless you verbalize it. I have a link directing readers to other guest posts I have written and I also say that I am available to write for others.

    Hope that helps. Let me know if you have questions or want me to write something :) or visa versa of course!

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Lindsey Agreed! Thanks for guest posting here and of course, hosting me :) Yay, win-win!

  • http://fiwk.blogspot.com Royce

    Grace I like your guest posts but I also love the Grace thoughts, so a good balance is important. So far so good!

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Royce Thanks :) I appreciate it. I agree, too much guest posting would take away why I have my OWN blog or potentially, readers who come to see what Grace thinks.

  • http://herestothegoldendays.blogspot.com/ Jennifer

    If I were popular enough to where it made a difference, I probably wouldn't mind about guest posting. I read other blogs for the same reason: ideas, thoughts and fun facts about someone's day. Why not ask a favorite blogger to post something, y'know?

  • http://www.thattalldude.com Shawn K

    I completely agree, guest posting is most definitely a win win. I love getting asked to write them (pretty excited about one that's in the queue to be posted), and I love when people want to write for my blog too! Speaking of which, consider this an open invite for you to guest post on a topic of your choice at thattalldude.com

  • http://www.lifewithoutpants.com Matt Cheuvront

    Interesting that you would use Grace's blog as a platform to bash an idea I have. I wonder when we'll start realizing that we can all have different approaches and that's OK. We don't have to all agree on everything, but we can still be friends. We used to be that Carlos, very good friends, and it's sad to see that because you disagree with how I tweet or blog, that friendship has been squandered.

    In the grand scheme of things, how we promote means very little in life. Just as you have made some incredible “real” friendships and relationships – as have I…more than I can count. I love what I do and where I am, I'm sure you can say the same – have nothing against you at all man, it's sad to see you hold such a negative perspective against me.

  • http://www.lifewithoutpants.com Matt Cheuvront

    Well it goes without saying that I'm a big fan of guest posting. I started the “Guest Blog Grand Tour” because 1) I wanted to REALLY connect with new people 2) I wanted to challenge and 3) I wanted to write about things I normally don't – such as the relationship post for your blog. With every single post I've written, I've been able to take the conversation off the blog with each blog's author and really establish some awesome relationships. At the end of the day, that's what it's all about.

    And…you are always more than welcome in my neck of the woods Grace. :)

  • http://www.owlsparks.com/ Carlos Miceli

    Because of how you tweet or blog? Dude, stop telling half the story. It's very easy to look like a people lover when you know that the people you manipulated won't speak up.

  • http://www.lifewithoutpants.com Matt Cheuvront

    Since your comment here, we've spoken in private. But, agree to disagree. You clearly have a negative opinion of me and what I represent. Again, as I said before, it's sad to see this negative energy between you and I, being that we were very good friends.

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    This isn't my place however I encourage debate, ideas, exchange, disagreeing and agreeing in the comments but it seems like this is something that should be taken out of this particular blog post. It isn't related to me, but rather other people's opinions of others…

    Matt and Carlos, thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Jennifer Popularity? Who is counting? Who says who is popular or not? I started guest posting and asking others to write on my blog about 4 months into my blog when only my mom was a regular reader. I really encourage anyone to try it out, see what you can learn and maybe find new readers/ideas/thoughts, etc.

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Shawn I would love to guest post for you. Thanks for the invite. I'm gracekboyle@gmail.com, let's talk there :)

  • http://www.lifeschocolates.com sameve

    I too am a big fan of guest posting. As much as your readers keep coming back to your blog because they like your perspective, it's great to hear what someone else has to say on a topic that you write about all of the time. For the guest, it's an opportunity to expand your horizons and connect with new and different people. The key is creating quality content that says something new and different. I think guest posts lose their value when they start sounding repetitive.

    Guest post series, when done well (see: Ryan's post), are a fantastic opportunity to bring together great minds and unique experiences and perspectives. Excellent post and discussion, my friend :)

  • EllenNordahl

    Though I'm just getting started, I plan on having guest posts. I agree that you have a right to be choosy about the kind of content you let others post – after all, your blog is your own little piece of the Internet. In my mind, there are two situations that seem to lend themselves to guest posting: When someone has a different point of a view on a topic or issue for which you want to present both sides of the story or when you discover someone who has a strong voice that would resonate with your readers.

    I know I've started following a lot of bloggers I probably wouldn't have otherwise been exposed to were it not for their guest posts.

    I do have a bit of a problem when it's clear that the guest author is only writing to try to increase their own “internet celebrity” – but I've only felt like that was the case with a few guest posts I've read (and never on your blog).

  • andreavlewis

    Thx Gracie! I'll hit you up if I have any more questions. =]

  • http://restlesslikeme.com Norcross

    I'm a fan, if for no other reason that I get a chance to hear a difference voice in an otherwise familiar space. That being said, I've had multiple people approach me about doing a guest post, and none of them have actually followed through.

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Andrew You mean that people ask you to write a post or they ask to write a post on your blog? That's interesting. I've never had anyone not follow through…I'm curious to hear more.

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Ellen Great points! I agree about increasing their “internet celebrity-ness.” For example, I had someone email me as they do cosmetic surgery and they wanted to write a guest post. What does that have to do with my blog or readers? It's clearly not a fellow blogger and someone looking to increase their business (in the wrong way). There, I said no :)

    Let me know if you have any questions as you jump into the guest blogging world. I'm happy to write for you too :)

  • http://restlesslikeme.com Norcross

    People asking to write on mine. I've seen folks that I have connected with from various social media outlets write / post / tweet “I'd like to write some guest posts!” I'd respond telling them I've love to have a guest post from them, and to date NO ONE has followed through. I've never put the call out for guests, but when asked, I'm all for it.

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Sam Yes, I linked to Ryan's post that he wrote! Perfect timing with both :)

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Norcross How interesting. I've never experienced that…and I guess in return, I have always written guest posts within the given timeline. That's a bummer. Gives guest posting a bad name 😉 I would feel salty if I were you.

    Reminds me of this: “Those people blessed with the most talent don't necessarily outperform everyone else. It's the people who FOLLOW-THROUGH who excel.” -Mary Kay Ash

  • http://restlesslikeme.com Norcross

    Yeah, I try to get what few guests posts I do (I'm not much of a writer) done in a timely manner. I'm sure I've dropped the ball once or twice myself.

    Since it isn't any sort of grand announcement on my part, I don't get too worried about it. But I DO remember that the person didn't follow through.

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