The Power of Guest Blogging: My Foibles and Better Practices

Guest blogging can unleash the full power of your blog - but here's how to make it more...

  • A blogger's dream is to guest post on an influential blog. 
  • As a blogger I haven't attained that dream yet, but I trieeeeeeed. >>> See here.  
  • Next to that dream is for an influential blogger to guest post on your blog. 
  • After that, is for the influential blogger to blog about you. 

But I'm not going to lie, the current state of guest blogging is sooooo superficial. Most of the time, people guest blog on other people's blogs solely for search engine purposes. Now that my friend is sad.

It destroys the whole purpose of guest blogging, which should center around the relationships being built and all the ceremonies and niceties you have to go through before trust is given. It does not develop any form of engagement at all.

But there's a better way and I'll try my best to give you all that I know:

  • Leverage on your own identity. You are awesome. You are special. You matter. Even if you're a garbage collector or even if you see yourself as a nobody - you are truly a magnificent and wonderful thinking being. Your experiences are solely your own and your perspectives cannot be replicated by anybody else. One of the better known bloggers of our time is a taxi cab driver who has made a big splash in New York City. She's been featured in the news and has written a book detailing her unique perspective on things. Meet NYHack
  • Stop posting under fake names. As a general rule, I only add people on my social networks who have real names. Names which can be traced to a real and genuine person. The reason is very straightforward, I don't trust anonymity. Of course, some would say that they'd like to have their privacy so they only post under assumed names. That's acceptable, but with the rapid growth and use of the Internet, anonymous writers are in the danger of being lumped together with everything that is bad on the Internet. After all, if you don't want to stand by the words you've written and if you prefer to be anonymous - there's nothing at stake for you, therefore your words ring hollow.
  • Cite your sources. If what you've said or written is true - it should be corroborated and verified. Always cite your sources. Saying that what you are saying is true, isn't enough for most people to believe in you. You have to strive for the impact of your message by making sure that the foundation of the knowledge you wish to impart is on solid ground. Without sources, you're just making an opinion, a conjecture, a theory - which are also good but don't make too much of an impact. Think like an academic but write like a comedian.
  • Personalize it. The whole gist of blogging is personal perspective. If you wanted to come up with something bland or something thoroughly objective, you should have been a journalist bereft of commentary. Or you should have been an LED billboard, displaying only what has been programmed to you. Make things funky, give it some pizzazz. Give it personality. Give it you.
  • Get to know the blog host or the guest blogger. Some of my more successful guest blogging endeavors are from people who I've met online. I didn't really think about them as just the owner of a blog I wanted to guest post on. I thought of them first and foremost as friends. I know them. I know how to spell their names and I talk to them on a regular basis. It just so happened that they had blogs. The wrong approach would be like this: find a blog on the same niche and then find the owner. Email the owner. Slap the blog post on it. Say ok, thank you and bye. That's not how it should be. Oftentimes, with the desire to make things easier and faster, we create systems to make us more efficient. Interaction on a personal level need not be efficient. In fact, one of the most inefficient things in this universe is communication. Sure, there could be areas for improvement in how we manage to convey meaning, software does this, shorter messages do this, images achieve this - but on a person to person level, you should embrace this inefficiency. Bloggers are also human beings with problems, concerns, lives, triumphs, birthdays, etc. Being professional is different from being cold.
  • Treat the guest blogger or the host as you would treat yourself - but better. Sometimes, right after the guest post has been put up, the host and the guest blogger lose touch. As a person, I am an introvert but at the very least I try to make small talk when somebody does something for me.   This could also be done on a blog, through the comments section. If you're the guest blogger, it would be good to say thank you to the host in the comments. After all, that's his blog you're guest posting on. If you're the host, you could do the same. There's no hard and fast rule on how to do this, but just interact. Be grateful.
  • Share on social networks. This should be pretty obvious, but for some reason there are times when guest bloggers or hosts don't seem to care at all. It's like, I got what I needed, thank you bye. No need for explanation. 
  • Lift each other up. We're all blogging for a reason or for an end goal. Even the bloggers who blog just for the sake of blogging also have a reason. They want to be heard, they want an audience, they want to be read. With millions of bloggers all over the planet churning out blog posts by the billions, staying motivated is hard. Competing is hard. Vying for that top spot on Google is hard. It has to be a mutually beneficial arrangement for it to be rewarding.
  • Do not lie. This post is getting long so I'll end it with this. Lying, be it a white lie or a simple exaggeration could bite you in the ass really hard. Sometimes I don't get it really, since it's far easier to tell the truth rather than to make up stories or reasons which are untrue. Most importantly, it makes you wonder what else that person is lying about. Blogging is about words, and lying is about twisted words. 

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