guest blogging, dave baldwinToday we welcome regular guestblogger, Dave Baldwin for his first post of 2012! Dave’s been blogging at Write From the Inside Out for almost a year–that shows real commitment, staying-power and strategy. Dave talks about the power of guest blogging and I hope you’ll be inspired to seek out blogs to showcase your work so you can expand your sphere of influence and leverage your valuable time.  Heck, maybe you’ll even get a regular gig like Dave!

One of my goals for 2012 is to guest blog more often. Why? Because it just makes sense.

I’ll start with the obvious benefits. When you guest blog for someone else, you gain visibility on their platform, in front of their audience – in other words, people who might not otherwise have heard of you. Most blog owners will allow you to place a short bio at the end of each post, with a link back to your website. This helps your search engine rankings over time.

Those are good benefits, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg. Guestblogging is really about networking. As a bona-fide introvert, I think differently about networking. For people like me, networking is not about winning a prize for having the most contacts in my cellphone, nor is it about shaking hands and saying “What do you do?” Let’s face it; there are plenty of “networking” groups that don’t have much going for them aside from the free food. Guest blogging is a whole different kind of networking, and it’s severely underutilized.

How exactly does one “network” by guest blogging? Let’s take a step back and ask a more basic question: what is the purpose of networking? While the answer to that question differs for each of us, I’m a firm believer that we can all stand to benefit much more from building quality relationships with a small number of people than from handing out stacks of fliers and business cards (most of which will end up in trash cans).

Writing guest posts helps to develop your relationship with the person whose blog you write for. This happens partly because you are helping them by providing content to keep their blog current, but the process also forces you to learn what is important to them. Unlike your own blog, where you likely have too much freedom for your own good, your writing will be held to a higher standard when you write for someone else. If you agree to a fixed schedule, it also creates greater accountability. You can choose to blow off your own blog for months on end if you want; not so when someone else is counting on you for content.

Beyond helping the blog host, you open new doors by guest blogging. After all, blogs for which you guest post have established audiences. You never know who might be reading your posts and paying attention to what you’re saying. You just might run into some of those readers at a cocktail party in a year or two, and they may recognize you on sight. One thing that I’ve learned about the internet is that people pay attention much more often than they respond out loud.

Consider spending one hour per month writing a guest post for someone else’s blog. While it won’t yield instant results, it will pay off in spades over time. If you’re the  type of person (like me) who would just as soon skip the “networking” events filled with people you’ll never see again, you will love this approach to networking. Stay tuned next month for more out-of-the-box networking ideas for introverts.

About Dave:

Dave Baldwin is a writer who has lived and worked in Raleigh, NC since 2007. He has self-published two books: Pied Piper Entrepreneurship (2009) and Get That Book Out of Your Head! (2009).



Your Turn:

Do you guest blog? Share here what you think about it and what suggestions you can offer folks who want to try it in the New Year.