Last week turned into an interesting demonstration on the benefits of guest posts. We’ve heard the typical reasons for allowing guests or agreeing to guest post:
* increased traffic
* and marketing.
We bring in guests and hope their readers will stay at our blog for a while, becoming regular visitors. We do favors for each other, cover during vacations, exchange posts, and share links. And we market our brand by spreading our name to new readers or market our new releases with blog tours.
But there are other, less obvious benefits to guest posts:
- Inviting others to our blog allows us to examine topics beyond our knowledge and understanding.
- Visiting other blogs as a guest poster exposes us to new readers with different approaches to subjects, which can inspire new ideas.
For example, Thursday’s guest post from published author Jody Hedlund opened a great discussion on a topic not often covered in the writer-blogosphere. Her experience as an inspirational historical romance author brought insight I don’t have into some ways to prevent an author’s beliefs from turning into preachiness in our stories.
And the guest post I wrote for the Writers In The Storm blog in the first half of the week is a great example of the second bullet above. The readers of that blog had fantastic questions about how to deal with different writing issues.
Introducing the “Ask Jami” Blog Feature
Their questions got me thinking about a new feature I could start here at my blog: Ask Jami. Clever name, right? *smile* Okay, maybe not, but I’m running with it anyway.
Yes, I’m just a nobody, as-yet-unpublished writer, so who knows if my “advice” is any good. But I research a lot, I have a teacher’s heart for sharing and explaining what I’ve learned, and my brain doesn’t work like everyone else’s. If nothing else, I should at least be able to provide a different perspective and make us think.
To give you an idea of my ability (or lack thereof) to answer questions, here is one question and answer from the comment section of the Writers In The Storm blog:
Kristin Nador says:
Some of my stories have what you might call a monotone voice if you could hear it out loud: all dark and dreary, all snark or all happiness and kittens; it’s hard for me to mix in the less serious with the more serious aspects of a character. Any advice on rounding out the voice or tone of a story to make it more multi-dimensional without losing the original feel of the piece?
I’ve suffered from a monotone voice in one of my stories as well. The problem ended up being related to not writing in deep-enough POV. The POV character wasn’t letting me into her thoughts, so I was reporting the external (which was all doom and gloom). It took me a long time to break through her shell, but once I did, I got her voice down better, with all of its sarcasm, heartbreak, honesty, and rationalization. So maybe this is a case of needing to get deeper?
Wasn’t that a great question? If you have writing, marketing, publishing, social media, etc. questions of your own, go to my Contact page and ask away. (I finally found the place my email program was hiding those messages, and yes, I owe some replies now that I found the emails. *head slap*) Put “Ask Jami” in the Subject, and I’ll collect questions for blog fodder.
This isn’t a round-about way of begging for more email (so says the woman with thousands of unread messages) or showing off my knowledge (I don’t know all the answers). Instead, it’s a way to pay back all of you for your support. And if this turns into something helpful, it will be another example of how guest posts can benefit us in unexpected ways.
Have you guest posted before? Do you roll out the red carpet and allow guest posts on your blog? What benefits, if any, have you noticed from that decision? If you don’t allow guest posts, why did you make that choice? Do you have more suggestions for Kristin on how to round out her voice?