If you are a blogger, you must guest post at some point. That’s not a generic statement. I say that from my experience.
There are so many benefits of guest blogging apart from bringing in extra traffic. More importantly guest blogging hones your writing, and if you guest post on a regular basis, let me tell you how you become a better writer.
When you guest post on a different blog, you write for a totally different group of people. The niche might be the same and you may also write on a similar topic as the host blogger. However, the readers of the host blog are used to a completely different style of writing. Your guest post should fit in there.
For this purpose, you need not change your own voice and style, though. However your style has to be compatible with that of the host blog.
I’ve experienced this to be challenging when I write for really big blogs like Problogger, Search Engine Journal etc. But once I get past 2 or 3 guest blog posts where I push myself beyond my limits and limitations, I find a great improvement in my writing style.
I see a lot of flexibility with myself. I can see this difference quite obviously when I write for my own blogs.
You surely do check grammar when you write a blog post for your blog. But how do you check for grammar when you write a guest post? Well, I have a tab with Cambridge Dictionaries Online open when I write a guest post. I mean, I am more cautious about grammar mistakes when writing a guest post when compared to writing on my own blog.
I am not saying that you can publish crap on your blog, but you see with extra-careful eyes for grammatical errors when you write for others. It is like how you behave at your own house and how you behave when you are a guest at someone’s house.
Writing to suite guidelines
When you write guest posts you are normally given guidelines – A set of rules provided by the host blogger. Your article should be written in such a way that it complies with those guidelines, in order to be accepted.
This means that you are writing with some constraints on hand. And, sometimes the rules can influence your writing pattern, style, the length and the quality of the post (the information in it).
Guidelines give you an idea about the styles and the quality, thus you are not left hand-cuffed in a forest. You are free to write out your ideas and thoughts, but still you have to follow a guideline; the important point is that the guideline is not set by you but by someone else. Trust me, this is great for your writing.
Again, just like grammar checking, you are extra careful about the information you share in the guest post. Things like the information you share, the images you use, the ideas and everything in that guest post have to be unique, original and have to be written by you. You cannot do a copyright infringement of the information and the items in use.
Further you cannot use the information anywhere else; the guest article is only for that particular website to which you wrote it for. If you intend to use it, you can quote a part of the idea with appropriate reference to the original content.
Guest posts are usually longer than the average posts you write on your blog. For the extra length you just cannot blabber space filling words or sentences.
You have to provide in-depth information. You therefore do an extensive research for writing a guest post. You take extra time and provide as much information as possible.
And you make it really great in quality because you cannot afford to lose the opportunity to set up a fan base outside your blog!
As I just said, your guest posts are usually longer than the posts you write on your blog. You can also write short articles; it is not a strong rule that you write longer articles. However it is because you normally guest post at a blog which is either an A-listed blog or at least a blog which has audience size quite larger than your blog or of the same size as your blog.
Again, as I said, extensive research is required to write longer posts. At the same time you have to be extra careful about grammar, guidelines and the quality. This is a challenge to some extent and if you continue writing such posts in the long run, your writing will get improved every day.
In summary, apart from the numerous benefits of guest posts, your writing improves a lot when you write guest posts regularly. It is like putting you on a hard training mode where you learn at the same time, you cannot afford to make mistakes; because your post goes online on a blog which is already famous and has large number of audience. Further, your guest post is very important for your own blog or website, so you cannot compromise on the quality.
Given all the restrictions your writing gets a great shape. Try guest posting, it is a cool thing.
PS: Don’t forget to check out my guest posts.