In the past few months I have written guest posts for a variety of blogs such as Lifehack, Pick the Brain and Dumb Little Man. It has been a good experience, helping the development of my blogs but also improving aspects of my writing.
These are some of the things that I learnt through writing guest posts.
Titles Do Matter
I have written quite a few articles for Pick The Brain, John would often change the title to something more appealing and eye catching. For example, I wrote an article “How To Meditate” John changed the title to “4 Powerful Reasons to Meditate and How to Get Started“. I would never have thought of using this kind of title, but it did very well on Digg and Delicious. Now when I write articles, I think carefully about the best title. Note, this is most important for long articles you hope will be popular on social bookmarking sites. However, this does not mean every title should be written with Digg in mind.
See also: 7 Tips for eye catching Titles
Grammar is Important.
Sometimes I would write 2,000 words and some commentators would pick up on a small grammatical error, 3/4 of the way down (e.g confusing their and there). Previously, I had seen this as not particularly important. But, when people pick up on these errors it encourages you to proof read an article several times, especially when it is for a big audience. You could take the attitude that you should ignore these grammar pedants; but, my philosophy is if you are going to write an article, it is best to make it as good as possible and give as little scope for criticism as possible.
Write From Personal Experience
The articles which have done well, tend to be those where I have written from a certain personal perspective. Some topics have been covered many times on the internet. The thing is to find topics where you have a specialised knowledge and can offer some personal insights. This is the case for my articles on meditation and a recent article on 10 Effective strategies for writing
Guest Posting is an Excellent way for new bloggers to get established.
When I first started blogging, I would write some lengthy articles and then get a bit demoralised that so few people read them. Writing for a popular blog means that your article can be appreciated by a much wider audience, it can enable a boost in traffic and enable new RSS subscribers. Also, I still get traffic from my guest posts at Pick The Brain, lifehack and Dumb Little Man because they rank well in Google. There is a cumulative benefit of writing guest posts; each time you write a guest post you are building up links and new traffic sources; over time these become significant.
Raise Your Game
Writing for a popular, well read blog encourages you to try and impress. Rather than just churning out quantity you try to write the best to optimise its chances. This variety is a good experience for any writer.