If so many other bloggers have great success with guest authors—but perhaps not to the degree that I just described—why don't I try it? Couldn't I get the same results? No.
Yes, guest blogging has benefits. But obviously, it's not for everyone. Here's why I'll never accept guest articles... well, probably.
I want only high-quality articlesThis is a no-brainer. You probably want the same thing. Unfortunately, the blogosphere is bursting at the seams with crummy content—the stuff I try to avoid. But when I asked for guest articles, that's all I got.
There was a time when I wasn't so picky about quality. In fact, I deleted 17 of my old posts last week, and although that sounds dreadful, it was necessary. I've decided that an "okay" article is never good enough.
I have a particular style I'm looking forIt's obvious. I draw silly post images. I say silly things. I openly admit that I'm a horrible blogger. I can't help it.
This doesn't mean I'm completely opposed to the idea of guest articles on my blog. If somebody ever comes along with a guest article that knocks my socks off, I'll seize it for my blog then and there. In fact, I've always wanted to collaborate with other bloggers, and I would love to have additional authors on my blog, but I would worry too much about them ruining it. So, unless you're a nutcase like me, and you know where to put your commas, you can forget about being a guest author on Template Faerie.
Maybe I just had bad luck with guest articles. But at least I've learned from my mistakes. So, here are some warnings for those of you who are interested in allowing guest authors.
Don't rush into itYou shouldn't start advertising the fact that you accept guest articles until you have a large following. Take if from me—this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Fortunately, I learned my lesson and I'll never do it again. Nobody in their right mind is going to want to post on your blog, because most people who are interested in guest posting want more exposure, and your blog, being in such a sad, lonely state, won't give them that. It would only be a waste of time for them.
From a different point of view, guest posters can give you a leg up by pointing their followers to your blog. But unless the guest poster is some nice person looking to help a little newbie like you, anybody interested in publishing an article on your blog won't be giving you quality content. People who can actually write would much rather publish their articles elsewhere. If you start advertising that you accept guest authors now, you're only going to get the lousy stuff.
So, if you're just getting started as a blogger, you should be the one doing the guest posting.
Be prepared to say "no"When somebody sends you an article, be prepared to say "no". It's only a two-letter word, but for me, it's hard to turn someone down, especially when I know how much work was put into the article. Just send them a nice email and tell them it's not right for your blog.
Don't be afraid to make editsYou should treat guest articles as if you wrote them. That means making corrections. I'm talking about small edits, like spelling, grammar, and punctuation. If you're unsure about what the author would think about you making changes to their article, let them know in advance that you'll be correcting any errors you come across. You can also show them the changes you've made before you publish the article, and ask if they're okay with it. Major changes, on the other hand, such as modifying points and rearranging paragraphs, should first be discussed with the author.
Never publish unless you agree with all the author saysYou're the only one who's responsible for the content that gets published on your blog. That content reflects what sort of person you are and what sort of blog you have, which is why it's important that all your blog posts are consistent with each other, and also with you, regardless of who wrote them.
Never publish unless you're 100% satisfied with the articleWhen you write a lousy article, what do you do? You throw it in the trash, right? The same should be done with guest articles. If you're the least bit uncomfortable about publishing the guest article, don't. The last thing you need on your blog is a mediocre article.
Now it's your turn. What's your experience with guest authors?
P.S. I just installed a feedback form on my blog. I hope you'll take a few minutes to let me know what you think of Template Faerie. (By the way, you feed and email readers will need to visit this actual post page to see the form).