As I sit here responding to comments on Natalie’s post, I am reminded why I love Guest Blogging and Guest Hosting. For me, there is no better way to build community.
It all began with Jill Weatherholt’s blog. This past Spring, Jill extended an invitation for writers and artists to Guest Host on her site. Knowing absolutely nothing about Guest Posting, I raised my hand, took a leap…and wrote my first piece as a Guest Author. Shortly afterward, I received a request to write a Guest Post for ‘The Month of Happiness Series’ at Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond.
In both cases, Guest Blogging strengthened my relationship with the Host Author, brought out different writing than I would have written on my own site and gave my posts a broader reach. Hanging out in the comment section on Jill’s and Sue’s blogs was like being at a party with both new and familiar faces with whom to mingle. A light went off and my missing piece of blogging was found.
Two years prior to leaving my career, I began searching for information on the non-financial aspects of retirement. It was difficult to find what I was looking for. When I did finally stumble upon a couple of retirement bloggers who appeared to address what I was seeking, it took me a long while to find a community of bloggers with whom I could find inspiration, motivation and challenge. As soon as I found this, I wanted to extend it, and to share.
I’ve since gone on to write eight additional Guest Posts (two not yet published) as well as to host twenty-four Guest Authors. Some experts would argue that this equation should be in reverse. Ultimately, each host needs to determine what balance works for his/her site.
Those twenty-four bloggers helped to create a much richer and varied picture of retirement/lifestyle than I could have provided on my own. I am grateful that they have so generously offered their time and voices to share their different retirement experiences as a guest.
Why Should You Consider Writing a Guest Post?
• New audience.
• Challenge – writing outside of your comfort zone.
• Deepen your relationships with fellow bloggers.
What Should You Look for when Selecting Guest Bloggers?
• Bloggers whose writing is a good match for your niche.
• Those who have a track record of writing quality content that benefits readers.
• Writers who engage fully and meaningfully with comments.
• People who enjoy collaboration and working as part of a team.
Should you Consider Hosting Guest Bloggers?
Ultimately, it all depends on what you want to create for your blog. There isn’t a right or wrong. For me, I want my site to be like my favourite coffee shop where regulars and newcomers alike can browse, share, discuss, inspire, encourage and challenge. I want it to be a place where frequent commenters are recognized and missed in their absence. I also want it to be a dependable place that offers quality, thought-provoking content… which continues even when I am away without internet (another very helpful aspect of Guest Blogging).
What is your experience with Guest Blogging and/or Guest Hosting?