If it ain’t broken, PLEASE don’t fix it!

I am seething with rage right now and the object of loathing is Gmail!!! Recently, the Google gods decided to “improve” Gmail – and right now, I’m regretting using the service.

I don’t know who I’m more angry with at the moment – Gmail for “fixing” something that wasn’t broken or my stupidity (and blatant disregard of my own “standards”) for expecting something of value for nothing.

The new Gmail interface – to put it politely – SUCKS!!!!

I’ve composed the same email THREE TIMES over the past 90 minutes.  I’ll be in the middle of composing this same email and suddenly the screen will “refresh” and my reply will be GONE!!! Admittedly, I’m multi-tasking.  I’ve got 5 other things going at once so the reply is happening in “spurts” –  but still – COME ON GMAIL!!!

The first two times it happened, I tried to tell myself that my Higher Power wanted me to revise this email.  Maybe that’s still the case. I’d love to hear your two cents on this situation.

Is this my Higher Power protecting me from myself?

Here’s the deal: I’m actively seeking guest blog posts for a new blog I’ve launched: Divorce Recovery Advice.

(If you’re a coach who specializes in divorce recovery,  consider yourself invited to guest post on the blog.)

The blog is REALLY new and yet it’s already getting some nice SERPS on a couple of desirable keyword terms.

Today I got a GREAT post from a divorce coach.  This woman is a NATURAL born communicator and in the course of just one blog post, she had no trouble gaining my trust.  She knows her stuff and it SHOWS!  It’s a GREAT guest post – so, I head over to her website to grab a head shot to include in her author’s bio box. (This guest post is scheduled to appear later in the month – thanks to WordPress’ ability to schedule posts to publish in the future!)


Oh my – what a DISASTER!  Her website F-UGLY.  However, the good news is that according to Alexa – no one is seeing it anyway.

Remember – my first impression of this woman was her guest post.  Her guest blog post was great – and her website is BAD!

Here’s my dilemma –

I can help and she obviously NEEDS my help.  However, she didn’t ASK for my assistance.

It was the email to her to tell her when her guest blog post will “air” on the blog that I have lost 3 times.

On the one hand, I could invite her to be a repeat guest poster  to my blog.  She would be building content on my blog and putting Adsense money in my pocket.  I could tell myself that she would benefit because my blog after 6 weeks is doing MUCH better traffic wise than her website.  However, if someone clicks through, they’re not going to stick around.

On the other, I could offer to help her.   Which is the horns of my dillemma.  She didn’t ASK for my help – and I’m afraid that offering to help might cast my invitation to guest blog as a filthy marketing whore tactic.

What would you do?

Guest Post Guide

Because this blog is written for my clients, I’m going to start at the beginning.

What is a Guest Post?

gues post opportunityA guest post is simply a blog post written by someone who is NOT a regular contributor to a blog. The person writing the guest post doesn’t even have to have his or her own blog to write a guest post.

Usually, guest posts are written by people who want to introduce themselves to another blog’s audience. These guest posts are done with the hope of attracting new readers to the guest post author’s blog or website.

The blog that features the guest post also hopes to benefit as well. Usually, when a blogger lands a guest posting gig, they promote it on their own blog, including a link to the guest post. The guest post blog’s readers are then introduced to the blog where the guest post is published.

This is known as a win/win situation. Both blogs are introduced to new audiences and as a result, both win.

The blog featuring the guest post wins in another way. The blog which features the guest post also gains some valuable content which is the currency in which blogs trade.

Oh, and yet another “win” for the blog owner is a sweet, brief respite from posting duties on the blog.

Men with Pens has a GREAT informative series on Guest Posting. James openly shares that guest posting is one of the keys to the success of the Men with Pens blog. In Guest Posting: Finding the Motivation to Write, James Chartrand shares how the guest posts that you write should be the absolute BEST posts you can write. Instead of posting these “gems” on your blog, you post them on someone else’s blog. By posting these gems on someone else’s blog is how you build an audience.

In Dispelling the Myth that Guest Blogging HAS to Be Time-Consuming Charles writes:

Sure, there are other downsides of guest blogging. There are risks associated with it if you don’t fully understand your audience (although some would argue that controversy is far from a bad thing), but the benefits – visibility, enhanced reputation, high quality links, relationships – far outweigh the disadvantages.

In Landing a Guest Post Isn’t That Hard, James outlines the pros and the cons of guest posting. If you’re interested in guest posting – either for your blog or being a guest post contributor, read every installment of the Guest Posting Series.

Guest Post Case Study

James Duthie from Online Marketing Banter wrote two guest posts for the Tad’s SEO 2.0 blog. It’s a follow up to a naughtier previous guest post which I won’t name here because I just wrote a post “Sex Sells- but you already knew that” and I don’t want to even try to compete with Naomi over at Itty Biz for the title of sex marketing queen. (She has the title wrapped up and I hear she’s wearing the accompanying glittering crown and sash to all her public appearances.)

Anyhow, James promoted both of the guest posts on his own blog. The first guest post written by James resulted in Tad’s blog gaining over 100 subscribers overnight! (James also confesses that he saw a much smaller increase in his subscriber base.) The second guest post, The 7 ingredients of a wildly successful blog post, dissects the reasons why James thinks the first guest post was so successful.

Barriers to Guest Posting

Despite success stories like the one above, bloggers don’t seem to be hungry for guest posting opportunities. I think fear has a lot to do with that.

Monika Mundell put out a call for people to guest post on her blog The Writers Manifesto a while back and only got a few responses. I suspect the reason is that many of her readers are afraid their content can’t stand toe to toe with Monika’s incredible content. Fear of rejection is a powerful inhibitor on both sides of the equation.

One the blog owner’s side, there is the fear of how the content will “fit” into the blog’s overall content. When you get contacted by someone who wants to do a guest post, some fears that come to mind are:

  • Will this content fit into my blog?
  • Will this content cause me to lose readers for my blog?
  • What if this content offends my blog readers?

Of course, fear of rejection on the side of the potential guest post writer is also high, and the fears above are echoed on the potential guest writer’s side as well.

Strategies for Guest Posting Success

Guest posting is a form of marketing your blog. You should view guest posts in the same manner as you would submitting an article for publication in a magazine.

First, be sure your blog and the blog for which you’d like to guest post are a good “fit”. For example, if yours is a blog on diet and exercise, then a guest post from an RD or an MD would be a good fit. A guest post from a marketing expert on a diet and exercise blog would not be a good fit.

Next, subscribe to the blog’s feed and watch the posts. For example, this would be an exceptionally bad time to contact the Men with Pens blog with your guest post on guest posting because that series is wrapping up over there.

If you have an idea for your own series, pitch it to the blog’s owner. That’s what Joshua Clanton did over at Daily Blog Tips. His series of Star Trek Blogging concluded with Star Trek Blogging: The Borg Way

and landed
As a blog owner, here’s what I’d like to see from prospective guest bloggers.

  • A synopsis of who your current blog readers are.
  • An idea of what this blog post could offer my readers.
  • The actual blog post you’d like to feature on my site.

If you’re looking to test the waters of guest posting, check out Blogging Web 2.0 where you can get your feet wet in the guest posting waters under the watchful eye of Monika Mundell and Terry Didcott.