guest blogging comfort

Guest blogging is becoming a very common trend among many bloggers, especially the prominent ones. Many articles have been written about the benefits of guest blogging for the blog’s owner and for the guest writer, but only a few have mentioned its value for the blog’s readers. What the readers think about the value of guest blogging? How comfortable are they feeling to be in a company of a guest writer on a blog with only one author?

Simonne from RA Project has recently asked this thought-provoking question: “Are Readers Going To Kill Guest Blogging?

“In our rush for readership, are we sometimes involuntarily hurting our readers, making them feel unappreciated, while all we wanted was to show them how much we care? Is guest blogging one of these uninspired moves that chase readers away?”

The questions that Simonne’s article revolved around are still buzzing in my head, so I must relieve all the anxiety associated with it and ask you, my readers, upfront:

  1. Is it True that you, my readers, are used to my voice and my style, you came to read my thoughts, my writing only and not someone’s else?
  2. Is it True that you consider guest posts to be a second-rate quality, and not worthy of your time?
  3. Is it True, that you feel cheated by me taking a time off and inviting others to write for my blog?
  4. Do you think that bloggers would keep the best articles for their own blogs rather than sending them over to other blogs?
  5. What is your Honest opinion of guest blogging?

It’s true that I didn’t have that many guest posts here to make you feel “cheated”, but what if I do start having more guest writers appearing on Inspiration Bit. How would you feel about it?

So far I had three guest writers on my blog:

What did you honestly think of those posts?

I, on the other hand, also appeared as a guest on three other blogs:

Truthfully, I spent weeks, contemplating about those guest posts and days writing them. It’s true, that in Simonne’s and Ronald’s cases I wouldn’t consider publishing those articles on Inspiration Bit because I don’t usually give advice to parents here and don’t rant too often about my pet peeves. However I would’ve loved to have the article I wrote for LGR on my blog, but I wanted to send Lee the best work I could write at that time.

Jan of Circular Communication got some answers from Lorelle about guest blogging in his virtual interview with her. This one particular answer describes my position when guest writing on other blogs:

“When you guest blog, your blog post is a resume you are putting out to the world that publicly states who you are, what you can do, what you know, why you are good at what you do, and why should people come to visit you for more. If you don’t deliver your best, do you think people will follow? And what does that say about the relationship between you and the host blogger?”

I would love to read your thoughts and answers to my questions above. I did dedicate a page to Guest Writers on Inspiration Bit, and being awaken by Simonne, I now dedicate a post to you, my readers, asking you about your opinion of having Guest writers on Inspiration Bit.

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15 Insightful Bits in response to “How Comfortable Are You With Guests?”

  1. Like you Vivien, I have had a few guest bloggers on my blog and if any thing I think (I hope?) that they have added something to the blog, by writing things either I wouldn’t have thought of or they know more about than me. Some of their posts have been very popular too. I have only guest blogged once, but that wasn’t about my niche graphic design. Somethings just don’t fit on your own blog even though you may wish to write about the subject (like you mention you wrote about parenthood). I will be interested to hear what other people have to say on the subject.

  2. Yes, it is true that we are used to your voice and writing. But that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to bring some guests on the stage. Just choose wisely. And no, it is not cheating. And yes, you are allowed to take a break, even a vacation. :)

  3. Oooo! I want to know, too.

    I’ve found that guest bloggers either take their guest blogging seriously, treating it as a resume for their blog, or off handedly, choosing to keep their best stuff for their own blogs. I won’t work with the latter. Why should I?

    As for the “jolt” of having guest bloggers on your blog, I think it can liven things up, generate new interest and enthusiasm. But a poor guest blogger can spoil it for everyone, so you have to take care in who you ask to blog.

    These are my thoughts, but I’m anxious to hear what other people have to say on this issue.

  4. 1. No, I do enjoy your voice and I would not want guest bloggers all the time, but I do not come exclusively to read your articles (I’m not trying to sound mean! I do like hearing what you have to say. You know that, Vivien!). I enjoy the topic of inspiration and it’s fun to see what others have to say, too!

    2. I like guest bloggers and I know that you will make sure what they write is the kind of quality content you would write, just in a different voice and from another perspective.

    3. No way! I don’t feel like you’re cheating when you bring someone else in. Everyone needs a break sometimes and I think it shows your integrity to ask someone else to take over for a day or two instead of just abandoning your blog.

    4. If the articles are on the same subjects as the blog the authors are guest writing for, perhaps they wouldn’t put out their best stuff. But probably they would, I think. If I were guest writing for ProBlogger, you better believe I’d turn out top quality work! And I think that most bloggers would do that regardless of the “list” (A or otherwise) the blog is on. Most of us are a good group, interested in helping others, not out for our own gain.

    5 The thing that I like about guest writing is that it allows me to talk about other topics I like that don’t quite fit into my blog’s niche (like you and Tara said). Should you let anyone guest write for your blog? No! I think it’s the responsibility of the blog author to make sure these articles would be of interest to his/her audience (an article here on tricking out motorcycles would be out of place!).

  5. As this subject is crossing my mind during the evening, I figure out that inviting a guest blogger is not an easy job at all. It is fine to have guests, it is not cheating and readers (well, most of them) would like to read another voice. It benefits your blog, it fresheness it, it makes it more live and diverse.

    But, you have the responsibility. It is like making a good blogroll. You don’t put anybody there. Good blogroll is a set of blogs you love and think that your readers will love too. As a reader, when I open your new post I expect to read something interesting, usefull, thought provoking… And if there is a guest, I expect s/he to do the same to me, and I am interested in your choice. To cut it short, inviting another blogger is a creative thing to do.

    And I guess it is not just about inviting. It is choosing the subject for that particular blogger (some topics and styles are better with some people). It is negotiating and motivating, too. It is even choosing the right moment to publish.

  6. I never used to think that readers can have such opinions about guest blogging. I was a guest blogger only once, and I spent about two weeks to write that article (while I never spent more than one day to write articles on my blog). The article you gave me to publish is great, I’m sure you spent a lot of time to write it.

    Now your questions:
    1. Yes, I come here for your voice and for your thoughts, but guest articles also have your blueprint on them, since you decide what to publish here, so I’d read them with the same interest (not mentioning the fact that they were really interesting)
    2. No
    3. No
    4. Maybe. However, I cannot think this way. When I write for another blog, I read it before, to make sure my article respects its spirit and athmosphere. I also read comments on that blog, to get acquainted with loyal readers. It is like haute couture, rather than pret-a-porter. Blogging is tailor-made fashion, and it is not a question which piece of clothing/writing is better, but which one fits better the one who’s going to wear/read it.
    5. It is good. It strenghten connections between us and it offers fresh perspectives to the readers.

  7. Vivien

    First of all, big thanks to everyone for your feedback. I hope you know how much I value and appreciate your comments and thoughts (in case you didn’t know… well, now you do :-) )

    Tara, I have a very similar to yours position with guest blogging – I’ve asked Lee to write about blog monetization, because I have a very limited knowledge on this subject, that many people are interested in. Lauren’s knowledge of graphic design is amazing and Ronald’s expertise in blogging is masterful. And my motivation for guest blogging is either the opportunity to write in a different niche or promote my skills and knowledge on other blogs and gain a new audience.

    Dandellion, thanks for your “double thoughts”. Blame Simonne for finding and writing such thought-provoking posts :-) “choosing the right moment to publish.” – that’s another thought to ponder upon.
    I am and will certainly do my best when choosing guest contributions on my blog, and be as wise as possible with it.

    Lorelle, it’s encouraging to read that you are not and won’t be allowing second-grade guest articles on your blog. Unfortunately, I’ve encountered several prominent blogs whose guest articles left me thinking that their authors hurriedly wrote a quick post with bunch of typical tips or thoughts and perhaps slightly paraphrased to make them sound original.

    Just because a blogger has achieved a reputable name in the blogiverse, s/he shouldn’t think that they’re allowed to write or allow any guest posts just for the sake of filling in.

    Lauren, of course I know what you mean and I really appreciate your honesty. And no worries, I won’t be inviting Hells Angels to guest write for Inspiration Bit… hmm… On a second thought, maybe I should – I’m sure everyone would be very curious to find out what “Easy riders” think about blogging :-)

    Simone, thanks for your kind words. “guest articles also have your blueprint on them” – this is so true. As I mentioned a few times on this blog – I always try to write articles that I personally would find interesting if I read them later or as a stranger. If I won’t find them exciting and motivational, how can I expect anyone else to like them? So if I honestly find the guest post interesting and useful, I can be pretty certain that my readers would appreciate it as well.

  8. It has seemed like a lot of blogs I read have been in guest blog mode. I am assuming since this is my first summer reaging blogs and being a blogger that it is a common occurence with summer travel and such. I have kind of tiers to the blogs I read. The first tier I read everypost word for word and comment when I have something to say. The second tier I read most of the posts and comment when I have something to say. The third tier of blogs I skim the feed and only read posts I find interesting or timely to me.

    Now when my first or second tier blogs start having more than the occasional guest posts I find myself skimming the feed like the third tier blogs. Now, if you are going to be on vacation or at a conference and you tell me in advance that you will be having some guest bloggers I am more likely to give the guest posts a better look. I have dropped some feeds because the blog began to have too many guest posts and the blog lost the character and style that I was attracted too.

    All that said guest blogging is not bad, but just like cake and icecream it needs to be enjoyed in moderation.

    I am also a person that does not read blogs that are written by more than two people. One of the reasons I read a blog is because I can identify and relate to the writer. If the blog has several writers the message has too many different tones and styles and I just can’t relate or identify with it. Too many guest posts can have the same effect.

    1. yes but also to read the comments from your regulars
    2. No
    3. No, you have been a good steward
    4. I think some do. I write a weekly column for a website and I spend more time writing for that one article than three articles on my blog. But I do struggle sometimes because I really wanted that post for my blog.
    5. Uh, you probably got that from the ‘post’ above.

  9. Vivien

    It was interesting to read about your three-tier system with the blogs you read. I actually have something very similar myself.
    Though I do like reading some multi-author blogs. Of course in that case, I go there mainly because of its content, and not for the personality feel.

    Thanks for the answers and feedback, Joey. Of, course I won’t be having too many guest posts on my blog, though I’m afraid it won’t be always possible to give the heads up on the upcoming guest post, but I’ll do my best.

  10. A very interesting topic, indeed. I hadn’t really given this much thought.
    Personally, I’m more likely to frequent a blog (and more likely to comment frquently), if I feel I “know” the writer–that there exists some “personal” connection.
    I have been put off by guest bloggers before (not here actually), because they tend to interrupt the flow. Like reading six chapters of Gogol, and then discovering that the seventh is authored by Jose Saramago–of course, both wonderfully talented writers, but the transition (well, it’s hardly a transition) would be jarring.

    I visit this blog primarily because it’s Vivien’s blog, and I guess I like Vivien; so, when I visit Vivien’s blog and..oh, wait a minute, who’s this?…where’s Vivien? Perhaps somebody stole her theme; perhaps they’ve stolen her entire blog. Therefore, it can be a little disconcerting.

    I think we just need to choose carefully/wisely. I would also like to see Guest-writer content somehow differentiated from blog-author content, so that the guest posts are asides (little inspiration bits).
    Perhaps I’m not being terribly clear; I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m not a great fan of guest posts “taking the place” of blog-author posts. There is a place for them, but I’d rather see them as add-ons as opposed to having them masquerade as posts. That sounds a lot harsher than it should…I’m going to give this some more thought…

  11. Vivien

    John, thanks so much for your feedback and thoughts.

    I can absolutely relate to sometimes jarring difference between the guest’s and author’s posts. Sometimes it feels like you’ve been invited to a party, but instead of the actual host or hostess, the party is lead by someone else, a guest. However, if that guest was really good, I don’t really mind. I might even invite that person to host my parties :-)

    When suggesting to differentiate the guest posts on the blog, are you suggesting a similar to your Snippet Posts strategy? I don’t think it’ll be fair to the guest writers to place them on a back seat, what do you think?

    You know what? Something came on my mind when reading your comment. How about writing one-two paragraphs to each of the guest posts myself: not only introducing the guest writer, but expressing my own thoughts on the subject matter, and then passing it to the guest blogger to take the stage. This way you were still greated by me and gently switched your attention to another blogger. What do you all think of this idea?

  12. That’s a brilliant idea, Vivien! I like the part where you would explain your thoughts and then pass it to the guest. Then we know someone didn’t hijack your blog ;) You could also explain why you invited that person to guest post (I think you did this when Lee Robertson did his article), perhaps because it’s an area of interest to you and you thought your readers would like it, too.

  13. Vivien

    Thanks, Lauren. I’ll try it out next time I invite a guest blogger here.

  14. Unfortunately, I’ve encountered several prominent blogs whose guest articles left me thinking that their authors hurriedly wrote a quick post with bunch of typical tips or thoughts and perhaps slightly paraphrased to make them sound original.

    This got me thinking – too much. :D

    You’ve said so much in this statement, I just had to expand upon the “unsaid”.

    There are many bloggers I’ve been reading lately that make me think they have forgotten why there were blogging in the first place, as they dash off quick posts – many useless posts – maybe because they think their reader’s won’t notice, won’t care and will love them anyway, or they are lazy.

    Since most guest bloggers are bloggers, it’s possible that they are doing the same and “throwing away” a guest blog post for similar reasons.

    However, I believe that most people who guest blog take their job seriously – if they are serious folk.

    If you risk your blog to bring on a blogger known for “lazy blogging” then you will get “lazy blogging”. If you still want the blogger, then you can set ground rules, and even check and edit the post before its published, to make sure it meets your high standards.

    I’ve found that like attracts like, so bloggers who have high standards pick and choose bloggers with similar standards. As I said, I didn’t invite anyone to my blogging party that I wouldn’t want in my home at a private party. I love being surrounded by intellectual, thoughtful, conversationalists, all willing to share and listen equally.

    You’ve brought up some fascinating issues and I can tell that you’ve attracted some brilliant readers. One of them might make a brilliant guest blogger, least we forget that like guest blog posts, comments are content and mini-resumes. :D

  15. Vivien

    Thanks for your comment, Lorelle. Looks like a chain reaction, isn’t it? First I got baffled by Simonne’s post, then wrote this one, then commented and managed to get you thinking too :-)

    If you ask me, there are not one but many possible brilliant guest writers among my loyal readers. I don’t have to go that far to find the high quality posts for my blog by other readers.

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Hi, I'm Vivien. Thanks for visiting my Inspiration Bit. I often find myself scouring the internet looking for either answers to many questions I have or websites that inspire me, sites that I can learn from. On what topics you might ask — any topics that interest me, anything from web design to typography and art, from blogging to entrepreneurship, from programming to open source.
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When I'm not blogging, I design web sites, teach, play with my daughter and try to balance family, work, friends and a somewhat active social life on