Now we’ll discuss transitioning into guest posting – and how to avoid being a greedy content consumer. That couldn’t be you… right?
We bloggers are real people beneath the gleam and gloss of fame. We eat, we sleep, we go to the bathroom, we get discouraged, we get tired. If we had “real” jobs (and I say that with sarcasm), we could even take a vacation for a recharge-the-batteries holiday.
Well, not bloggers.
Readers bask in the creative content or the stunning personality of their Beloved Blogger, and they take no prisoners. They appear to be understanding, but they love with a steel hand.
“A small break? Oh, certainly. Take a weekend. Maybe a week or two, even – if you really need to. But you will come back. Or I will leave you.”
It’s a problem.
Some blogs begin as single-writer affairs. The writer develops a readership, a community and a following. People fall in love a little and idolize their favorites. Come on, admit it. You know you do. We all do.
And it’s all good. Putting a blogger on a pedestal is fun for everyone. The blogger gets continual adoration, praise and makes plenty of friends. It’s the big times. The readers converse, talk and get chummy with their favorite celebrity. Blogging allows that personal connection.
There’s a problem with that, though, and it’s one that many bloggers start to realize after they achieve popularity. Two hands. One brain. And usually, some other projects that actually bring in money besides blogging.
Bloggers can’t shut down, but they can’t continue to maintain the pace they have. They’re stuck.
So Beloved Blogger takes on a guest poster. Maybe that poster becomes a regular. The workload eases, the blog is nicely populated, and projects set aside come back to life. It’s peace at last.
As it should be.
Most blogs serve a purpose, and that purpose is usually money. Blogs are built to sell, are monetized heavily or they become gateway blogs to attract clients. It makes no sense that a blogger be chained to the responsibility of free content when he or she needs income as well.
Bloggers are like anyone else, though. They want to grow their business and achieve more. They want to expand and offer new projects to readers.
But they can’t. They have to blog. So sometimes, they turn to guest posting. A weekly post here, a regular there… maybe they even take on a blogging partner or two.
Readers are cruel. They unsubscribe when they miss their Beloved Blogger. The rumbles ripple through the blogosphere and discontent grows. People complain. They tell two friends, and they tell two friends, and so on, and so on…
Readers aren’t very forgiving with a Beloved that replaces content with guest posters. Fickle people, you.
How to Avoid the Gilded Cage
If you’re a blogger, be careful with your branding. When you brand yourself personally instead of branding your business, you jam yourself in a cage. If you grow and achieve success, you’re screwed. Your readers aren’t going to accept change easily and you will have a rough time of it.
Multi-author blogs are a good answer to blogger burnout. Having more than one poster helps maintain consistent quality – and make sure it’s the same quality you provided, or better.
Another option is a regular guest poster, someone who consistently returns on a specific day or two per week. This person has to be one whom readers can develop a relationship with and whom they can get to know.
Find someone who can offer great work and on a regular basis. Make sure the person is someone that both you and your readers enjoy. Begin slowly, warn your readers and introduce the new blogger.
Listen to feedback, too. You can’t please everyone all the time, but if most of the crowd aren’t happy, find out why – and do something about it.
How to Be a Kind Reader
If you’re a reader of a blog undergoing transition from personal to business branding or moving from single to multi-author format, be understanding.
Don’t play into that selfish, spoiled brat behavior, demanding stellar quality and frequent appearances from your Beloved. If you do, you’ll become just another greedy content consumer, uncaring about the person behind the writing. You’re just waiting for the machine to churn out more.
Speak up. If you don’t like specific guest posters, say so. Be specific. Some people do speak up, but most don’t. Send a private email. If your Beloved Blogger doesn’t know what you don’t like, how can change occur?
Be respectful. This isn’t your blog. Blog owners can and should be allowed to take decisions for themselves and their best interest. Blogging should never be a job unless someone is paying you for it.
Be open-minded. Are you complaining just because you’re pissy that your Beloved isn’t around as often as before? Have you truly given the guest posters a fair shot to see if they offer true value? Most do. They’re just written in a style and tone that is unfamiliar to you – for now.
Ask questions. The guest poster is there to answer your thoughts. Speak up and discuss. Build a relationship. You may find that you like the person after all. You just didn’t give him or her a chance.
Know the glamour and the garbage. Does our life here at Men with Pens look shiny and easy? We’ll be the first to say that what we do isn’t easy at all. The work is hard and wearing. Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes before saying the person shouldn’t make changes.
Some of you may think that I’m speaking of one particular blog. I’m not. I’ve seen many blogs move from single writer to multiple authors in the past six months. I’ve seen many of my friends burn out and walk away. It’s a struggle sometimes, as seasoned bloggers juggle their business, their blog and their life.
I support each of these bloggers as they try to reestablish balance. After all, if Beloved is tired, there ain’t no lovin’ goin’ on at all, now is there?
Speaking of business, blog and life, we’re not quite done with this series on guest posting. Stay tuned for next week, where we answer your questions on guest blogging (drop them today in the comment section!) and discuss our stance on guest blogging – amongst other good things.