It’s a dream of a lot of bloggers: write about something you love and attract a huge reader base, and at one point become notable enough that other writers gravitate toward your site to contribute their own ideas. It’s a win/win in most cases, as the guest poster gets the recognition of the host’s reader base and the blog owner gets some (often) great, free content.

I get it. It’s awesome and it adds flavor to a blog. A guest post now and again, or even fairly regularly as long as it’s a blog with a lot of new posts is cool, and something fun for subscribers. The thing about guest posts is that they can cloud the very reason a reader keeps coming back.

If I am following your blog, for example, it’s probably because it’s got great information and a vibrant voice. Your voice. The very thing that makes it your blog. The more people you suddenly start sharing the microphone with the more convoluted it can become, like going to a concert with your favorite band and realizing half the stage time is someone else’s performance.

A few blogs I’ve followed got really disappointing in this regard. Once the author built some clout in the blogging community and got a whole bunch of volunteers for guest posts it was as if the author said, “Great! With this stream of new content I won’t have to write anything for months!”

Before long it starts to feel like somebody else’s blog. Remember that it’s YOU your readers followed — your own special combination of what you say and how you say it. Changing direction too fast can be give readers literary whiplash (or at the very least a sense of confusion.)

Categories: Musing.

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