Guest Posting: Finding the Motivation to Write

Welcome to Day Five of our series on guest posting. We’ve covered:

  • How to Land a Guest Post Gig
  • Stacking the Odds of a Yes in Your Favor
  • The Attitudes and Mistakes that Blow Your Chances
  • Avoiding Guest Posting Problems that Damage Your Blog

Today’s topic is one that cropped up often in the comment sections of these posts: finding the motivation to write content you’ll give away.

Finding the motivation to write a guest post isn’t easy. It’s a struggle, and guest posting can be hard work. What to do?

Writing for your own blog can often be great. Having a solid post that attracts attention and comments brings a fantastic feeling. It’s victorious. It fills you with pride. How could you possibly feel the same about content you write for someone else? You’re giving it away, after all.

So the situation becomes conflicting. It isn’t as much fun to write guest posts. It creates pressure. It can be a chore. Many writers feel they shouldn’t give away something that good, either – a truly great post should benefit their blog, not someone else’s.

These common problems can easily be resolved: Don’t write guest posts.

Write for yourself and your blog. Write freely and use all your creativity. Make your post perfect. Make it something people will want to share and discuss. Write from the heart and from your soul.

Aim for that fulfilling moment that occurs when you sit back, look at your work and realize, “Wow. This is good. Damned good.”

That’s your guest post. Give that work away.

At first, it’s heart wrenching. Each time I showed Harry a post that made me feel victorious, he nearly cried when I said, “I’m going to send this post to so-and-so.”

“Are you kidding me?” He’d be shocked. He’d protest. “This is way too good, James. This belongs here, on our blog. Come on!”

But no. Posts that good didn’t belong here. They belonged in the hands of people who could offer more. They belonged in places where they’d be seen and read.

The work I loved the most had to be shared – and it wouldn’t be shared enough here at our blog.

It hurt, but I gave some very good content away in our early days. I still do. I always will. I understand that if you give nothing, you receive nothing in return. And I understand that sometimes, you have to give just because it’s the right thing to do.

Make no mistake, though – I have a blog to populate, and every piece of content I write has a home. I write for me first. Yet each week, I hit on an idea, an angle, a tone or style that is more than good. That rocking post I wrote? It just doesn’t belong here.

I never know which posts those will be. I never write with the words “guest post” or “featured blogger post” looming my mind. I never have blog names blinking in my brain while I write. I write for me.

So my motivation is always there. I don’t have to look for it or find it. I write because I love doing so, and sometimes, I write great things. Those posts are ones that Men with Pens will never see – but someone sees them.

And that’s the point. It doesn’t matter that your work is published here or there. What matters is writing for you, putting your work out there for people to read – and reaching them.

That’s all.

Enjoying the series? Good. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post, where we explore one common guest posting issue that many people struggle over. Is that person you?

Post by James Chartrand

James Chartrand is an expert copywriter and the owner of Men with Pens and Damn Fine Words, the game-changing writing course for business owners. She loves the color blue, her kids, Nike sneakers and ice skating.