Update: December 2012

The experiment with guest posting has not been successful. I am not accepting any offers of guest posting, for the foreseeable future.

I’ve had to spend too much time back and forth with too many people who are unwilling or unable to meet the terms of the guidelines.

If you contact me about providing guest posts, please understand that I will not be replying or at the most the message will say that I am not accepting offers of guest posts.

Des Walsh

The Attraction of Having Guest Bloggers

Blogging Fun! by Mike Licht NotionsCapitaldotcom CC 2.0 BYOften, especially when I’ve been strapped for time or blog post ideas, or both, I’ve thought how good it could be to have some guest bloggers keeping the show rolling with more frequency of posts.

And in fact I get pitched enough by prospective guest bloggers to make that quite feasible.

The thing is, I don’t want to rush into any such arrangement.

I need to think through the implications. And the expectations on both sides.

Especially I need to think what the implications and expectations might be about the focus, content and style of this blog, all of which have for the most part been for me to decide and execute since I started the blog, about seven and a half years ago.

Especially, I will want to have some idea of how a guest blogger is going to add value to the site.

It’s Not That I Don’t Think There’s Room for Improvement

I really don’t believe I’m being precious about this.

I know that the blog could offer a lot more in terms of content and style.

It’s just that if I am going to set out on the guest blogger path, I want to have thought it through and set out some “rules of engagement”.

And I’ll want to have some reasonable assurance that the guest posts will add value.

In doing that, I would be drawing on both good and bad experiences.

On the good side, I would draw on my experience as part of the team on the Business Blog Consulting site, which has gone a bit quiet just now, but back then was for me both a challenge and a delight to blog for.

A challenge because I was suddenly in the company of some very smart, very fluent and well-established experts in the field, so I was always keen to put my best blogging foot forward. A delight because it was something special to be part of that group and to learn from them. An unanticipated bonus is that some of those bloggers became and have remained good friends and always helpful colleagues.

The experience showed me what might have been bleedingly obvious if I’d thought of it, that a blog with a number of authors with something worth saying and the skill to say it well can sometimes be much more interesting and valuable than a blog with just one, or mainly one, author.

On the not so good side, I’ve found myself more than once starting to read a post on a site I’ve liked and respected and had the experience of wondering just when the author stopped being able to write a coherent sentence or have something useful or interesting to say. Only to find that it’s a guest post by someone evidently not in the same league as the author. I’ve rarely gone back to the site and I’ve usually stopped checking the site in my RSS reader.

So if and when I start opening the site to guest bloggers, I want to be sure that there will be at the very least some broad consistency of focus and a quality of post that is respectful of the thoughtful reader and is of a standard of thought and presentation that won’t embarrass me or irritate you, the reader.

It Would Probably Help to Have Read at Least a Few of the Posts Here

I am alternately amused or slightly irritated when I see from the details provided by my contact form system that someone wanting to provide a guest post seems to have looked only at the home page and the contact page.

Maybe on a previous visit they looked at some of my posts, but I have to wonder. Certainly I can’t recall any such enquirer giving any indication that they had actually read any of my posts, let alone agreed with what I’d written, disagreed, been confused, or had any particular reaction.

Nor do people generally provide links to their own work so that I could get a sense of possible compatibility. And a list of topics someone could write on is not a sample of work.

Time for Some Guidelines?

I don’t actually need another item right now on my To Do list, but I’m including “guest blogging guidelines” and will at some time in the not too distance future put some work into that*. If you know of any existing examples of such guidelines and they are public/shareable, I would appreciate knowing about them.

Also if you have any views for or against guest blogging or any tips you care to dispense, please share.

Image credit: “Blogging Fun!” by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com on Flickr CC BY 2.0

* (Update July 18, 2012: see Guest Blogging Guidelines)

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