Guest Post: What in the Hell am I Doing Here?

Hi. Just in case you didn’t realize it, this isn’t my blog. I don’t own it. I don’t run it. I didn’t even make a dollar for writing this post. I even have a blog of my very own.

So, what in the hell am I doing here?

I’m contributing a guest post. Brandi and I recently swapped one post for another during the 2010 WordCount Blogathon and we decided to keep the door open for occasional future guest posts. That’s why you’re reading my words instead of hers right now.

You might be wondering why we’re doing that. There are only so many hours in a day. Wouldn’t it make more sense to concentrate on building more content for our own site own site? Not necessarily.

Brandi and I get along very well, but I’m not writing this purely out of the goodness of my heart. There are some big advantages to doing the guest post thing.

Reaching Out to a New Audience

Brandi has an audience. I have one, too. We both work in the same industry, so you might see a little overlap between the two groups if you drew up Venn diagrams. However, I can guarantee you that many of the folks who visit this web site don’t make a point of stopping by mine. As much as it pains my ego to admit it, they may not even know that CarsonBrackney.com exists.

By posting here, I have a chance to talk to you, Brandi’s readers. I get to reach out to a new audience. Some of you will visit my website after reading this post. That makes this post a way to attract some new traffic in my neck of the woods.

Even if you don’t visit my site, I still have a chance to talk with you and to discuss the virtues of guest posting. That has value, too.

Increasing Credibility and Exposure

It’s an honor to post here. Brandi is willing to give me this space because she trusts that I have something worth saying and because she trusts me to treat her readers the right way. She’s willing to give me access to you because she thinks something good will come from it.

That’s a vote of confidence, isn’t it? It’s also proof of credibility. If I were completely insane or incompetent, she’d politely decline to let me through the doors.

If you choose your guest posting spots correctly, you get more than a few readers. You get something that’s probably more important–validation. The post at my own site may speak for themselves (I hope they do), but their imbued with an added level of credibility when my peers are willing to extend a guest posting opportunity to me.

Having my name and my thoughts at various outposts increases my “reputation,” so to speak. It gives people a reason to trust what I’m saying. Any nutball can build a blog and start spouting weirdness. When your ideas have enough merit that other folks are willing to share them, it separates you from the loonies. If you can snag a spot on a quality site, it provides nearly incontrovertible evidence that someone might want to take you seriously.

When someone Googles you, what do they find? Wouldn’t it be nice to see SERPs peppered with various posts at quality websites in your field? Of course it would be.

Networking and Collegiality

Going through the guest post process allows you to build a relationship with the blog owner. You get to know one another a little bit. It’s a form of networking that goes beyond the usual “nice to meet you” and a handshake.

Networking, most of us would agree, is powerful stuff. I get to know Brandi better. I’m going to get to know this audience a little better and may meet a few new people because of it. My network expands.

That means I have new resources to tap when I have a question, new sites to read to expand my knowledge base, new people with whom to exchange ideas on Twitter (hint: follow me here), and more folks I can approach when a job doesn’t fit my needs and a client needs a referral (or vice versa).

Guest posting also gives you a chance to share things that matter with people in your industry. Sure, on some level we’re all competing with one another. However, developing collegial relationships and supporting one another is a good thing. We can compete for work and reach out to help or inform one another at the same time.

Grabbing New Links

Backlinks are the heart of successful off-site search engine optimization. You want links to your site. More specifically, you want links from good sites. Ideally, you want links from good, thematically-related sites to your own. Guest posting is a great way to get them.

I didn’t write this post purely for sake of a link. I’d be a liar if I said the thought didn’t cross my mind, though. Guest posting is a solid component of a smart SEO strategy.

That’s why I’m here.

And this is a win/win proposition. Brandi is getting a free post out of the deal.

She also knows I’m going to mention it to my network when it goes live. I’ll Tweet it. I’ll probably blog about it, too. She’s going to get to meet some of my audience because of it.

For what it’s worth, the fact that I’m interested in posting here is a vote of confidence, too. All of that good stuff about credibility and reputation runs both ways. Plus, she’s building a network, being collegial and is collecting a link of her own out of the deal. Not too shabby.

That’s why I’m willing to extend the opportunity to others, too.

I’ve successfully used guest posting strategies to help a number of my clients. Now I’m making a point of swallowing a few tablespoons of my own medicine by being more active in my outreach. I’m ready, willing and able to host or write guest posts when they “fit.”

How about you? Are you getting your message out in other venues or are you still focusing exclusively on your own little chunk of virtual real estate? Are you running guest posts for others or are you keeping the drawbridge to the castle closed?

Carson Brackney. Who is he? He’s the copywriter/consultant/web content/marketing whiz that I’ve admired from afar. Why? Because he’s not just enviously talented, but he’s pretty cool too. And who am I? I’m just a fellow 2010 WordCount Blogathoner, who was lucky enough to score another guest post from him! Thanks Carson!

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