Today's post is a guest post by Becky Marie, one of our Blog Connection members. She's got some great tips. Enjoy!
As a blogger, the connections you make with other bloggers will help you grow faster than just about anything else. In 5 years of blogging, I’ve had the opportunity to write for many different blogs as both a one-time guest author and as a regular contributor. Some articles were written for free and some were paid. Some articles were successful for both growing the host blog and for driving traffic back to my blog. Other articles flopped, either for them or me or both. Along the way I’ve learned 6 things to be considered when deciding to write for others.
1. Use Your Very Best Ideas
It’s very tempting when writing for others to hold back and save your best ideas for your own blog. Writing for someone else is an opportunity to be on THEIR stage, take advantage of that and put forth your absolute best writing. Give them a reason to click through and follow you on your own platform.
2. Don’t Duplicate Your Content
It’s really easy to take an idea you’ve already fleshed out and simply rework it. While I think that works on your own blog, especially when updating old posts, it’s a lost opportunity if you do that for others. Readers will think they’ve heard your idea before, and they have. They just won’t realize it was you writing it!
3. Don’t Stray Too Far From Your Blog Focus
It’s really fun from time to time to write about a completely new subject. While guest posting for others, you do have the freedom to go to totally new topics. However, if you are trying to get your message to new readers, don’t go too far off your main topics.
My most successful series as a regular contributor was written for another blog exploring food allergy issues. We have a dairy allergy and I have written extensively about it on my blog. In my guest posts, I explored gluten allergies and grain free recipes. It’s an area that doesn't completely fit into my blog, but still complements it nicely.
This article is a great example of how not to grow your blog! On For This Season, I do not blog about blogging or writing or networking at all. I do not expect readers from Como Blog to find complimentary content there. Unless other homeschool or healthy living bloggers read this, we probably don’t have all that much in common. And that’s okay. My purpose in writing this article was to share tips with other bloggers, not find new readers or drive traffic.
4. Don’t Change Your Writing Voice
Your writing voice, perspective, and passions are all part of your brand as a blogger. Don’t change that to try and mimic anyone else. Readers know you are a guest, they are expecting the post to be different from the typical on the host blog. Show them you! If you change your style too much, when they click through to read more, new readers are likely to be disappointed.
5. Consider Their Audience
While you shouldn’t copy the style of someone else just because you are writing on their blog, you should consider who they are writing for. My regular readers are very used to reading about homeschooling, classical education, and the Montessori method. I don’t have to explain much, I can throw around education specific terms and my readers will understand exactly what I mean. When writing for other blogs, I have to consider if they are used to those terms or not. Articles that I write for non-homeschooling blogs need to have definitions and explanations worked into the post.
6. Promote Traffic to Their Blog
Invite your readers to check out the blog where you are a guest post. Introduce the other author and the things they typically write about. Generally, when you collaborate with other bloggers there is some overlap in the topics you address. This is a great opportunity for growing your blog and theirs.
Have you written for other bloggers? What are your best tips?
Becky Marie is a homeschooling mom and military wife. She has been an active online writer for over 5 years and currently blogs about homeschooling, healthy living, and military life at ForThisSeason.com.