I’m often asked why this blog does not have guest bloggers; usually by people who want to write here. I would like to share the answer with you, because I think it may be useful to those of you who are wondering whether to have a multi-authored blog or not.
The first thing to say, is that there is no universal right way or wrong way to run your blog. Single authored blogs and multi-authored blogs can both work extremely well. It all depends on what you want to achieve. Let’s start off with why this blog is a single authored blog.
Guest bloggers: Why I don’t use them here
This site is what’s known as a positioning blog or authority blog. It’s purpose is to help me build a relationship with you, where I give you lots of free marketing and business development ideas. Then, when you decide you would like professional help with your marketing, you already have a relationship with me, where I am positioned as someone that you can trust for effective marketing results. Through the blog, you get to see the quality of my work on a regular basis and also connect with me with comments and emails.
Whilst some positioning blogs DO use guest bloggers, I find that this often makes the quality of the content erratic. Equally, because there is no relationship between the guest blogger and the readership, readers can be left wondering if the guest blogger is qualified to give them advice.
If I go to Seth Godin’s blog, I know exactly what to expect and I trust the information 100%. That’s the model I use here and it works extremely well for me.
Guest bloggers and multi-authored blogs
Most of the world’s best read blogs are multi-authored. These blogs are owned by people with a very different business model to my own. They are not interested in selling the services of the blog’s owner as a specialist. Instead, they have a business model based heavily on the sale of advertising. For these guys, it’s all about page views and click-throughs’. Pete Cashmore’s mashable is a great example of this, as is Michael Arrington’s techcrunch; which was sold to AOL last week for tens of millions of dollars!
Many smaller blogs use a similar multi-author approach, but for slightly different reasons. Whilst sites like mashable and techcrunch need lots of authors, because they report on the news and are updated many times each day, smaller sites will bring in guest bloggers as a way of building their reader numbers and adding variety to their blog’s content. This can be extremely effective and many respected sites use this approach. One very successful example is problogger, which has built a massive, targeted readership using a variety of guest bloggers.
Unlike the big multi-authored blogs, these smaller ones tend to be owned by people who DO sell their services via the blog, but who also offer affiliate products and/or advertising. In order to make their affiliate programs work, they need to get their blog in front of lots of new readers, on a regular basis. This is because only a subset of their readers will buy their affiliate products, and once this percentage has been reached, the blog owner needs new readers. As affiliate fees tend to be relatively small, sites that rely heavily on affiliate income need a regular supply of new visitors.
Good guest bloggers can bring this kind of targeted traffic with them.
Guest bloggers almost always have their own blogs and their own social networks, followers and fans. Typically, when a blogger writes a guest post, they will tell their network, many of whom will go and read it. If the guest blogger is well connected, the traffic they bring with them can be huge. This provides an immediate traffic boost for the person, who owns the blog they are guesting on.
So, the guest blogger gains access to the blog owner’s readership, whilst the blog owner gains access to a subset of the guest blogger’s readers and contacts. This strategy is extremely common and is an alternative to being an associated blogger, for those who prefer to be independent.
As you can see, it’s all about matching your approach to what you feel comfortable with and what you want to achieve. You can use either route very successfully and as I said at the start, there is no right or wrong method.
What works best for you?
Which style of blogging do you use and what do you see as the benefits? Please share your feedback with your fellow readers and myself.
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