The Gifted Blog

May 21, 2010

Guest Blogging for Beginners: 5 Lessons Learned

There are plenty of great articles out there on guest blogging, but there are some things I had to learn from experience during my first guest blogging stint at Here are my 2 cents, from one beginner to another!

1) Find a great blog host.
Get to know your potential blog host. Read their blog and bio. Do they seem like someone you'd like to know in person? While you can't predict the exact nature of your working relationship, I found that my initial impressions of Chelsea (articulate, conscientious, generous) held true for our interactions as we collaborated.

2) Budget enough time (i.e. more than you think!).
Budget as much time as you'd spend on a normal post, and then some. Chelsea and I agreed we'd do one interview, then highlight a few past projects to make a week's worth of posts. I spent MUCH more time on each of these than I expected! Answering interview questions for the first time and writing about my work for a new context simply took longer than business as usual.

3) Know your audience.
Who's reading? Why are they there? What are they commenting on? Spend time to see what is of interest to your audience, and how you can match your knowledge with what they most want to know.

4) Plan how to promote.
Confession of a first-time guest blogger: I didn't know how to promote my posts! All of a sudden, they were up, and I hadn't planned for it. Don't be like me. Let your readers know what you're up to ahead of time. Give them something to look forward to, then talk up your posts once they're up! If you feel shy, remember that you're benefiting your host blog, too.

5) Anticipate how to get your content from Point A to Point B.
Work with your host to see how they'd like to receive your posts. Chelsea and I e-mailed text, and she pulled most of the images directly from the blog. It didn't occur to me until reading the intro to this post that you can also e-mail your post in html! The recipient can copy and paste the code into their editor. Voila! - they have your post.

Bonus: Learn all you can from your blog host.
You have the rare opportunity to work closely with a fellow blogger. Learn all you can! Two things I learned:
1) Chelsea picked up the idea of guest bloggers posting for a full week from DesignSponge, one of her favorite blogs. (Way to learn from better bloggers!)
2) Chelsea sent me screenshots of each post so I could give any final input before they were published. This was a tremendous courtesy! It had the added benefit of increasing my excitement - there is something really cool about seeing your work on another's blog's layout.
I'm sure some of you are much more experienced than I am. What did I leave out? Anything you can pass on to us from your experience?


  1. so cool to hear about all that you are learning. it's very inspiring.

  2. great post... thanks for sharing your learning curve!

  3. deepblueseadesigns - Thanks so much. I wondered if the post was too long, but each of the things I wrote about is really an insight gained for me. Thanks for your support!


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