Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Why be a guest blogger?

I openly admit, I'm not the best at blogging, I often forget to publish a new post and I often think that what I posted is more of a rant than anything of use or interest to anyone else (for this, I apologise). I sometimes wish that I was better at it and that I could write interesting blog posts in the same way @thesiswhisperer Inger Mewburn can. I've met her a few times and actually wasn't that surprised to learn that she invites people to contribute as guest bloggers! 

Thinking about it, I've written guest posts for the iad4phd blog and for the iad4learnteach blog (iad4learnteach post is here). Enlisting the help of guests to post on your blog is one strategy to make sure that your blog is filled with interesting for others to read.

 But what is it like being a guest blogger?

I have to say, I'm a bit of a serial guest blogger, having written posts for various other blogs - only yesterday Jo, a colleague from the IAD asked if I would write a post for her blog - woohoo! Maybe I should stop blogging for other people and blogging for myself though. 

As I've said before, I really started blogging as a way for friends and family to keep track of what I was up to when I was in Malawi on fieldwork - there was little or no academic purpose to it. It's only recently I've started to ask more questions around why I blog, what's the purpose and what do I get out of it, other than the chance to tell a story to a wider audience that can occasionally be a little humorous (like this one on my first trip to Malawi).

Sometimes it feels a little odd to sit and write a blog for someone else - I'm always conscious that my blog posts are not up to scratch. I'll draft and re-draft them in a similar manner as I do to my thesis chapters - thankfully the  log posts are significantly shorter! I've now started asking those I guest blog for to link that post to my own blog. No point guest blogging - if the people reading it don't realise you have a blog of your own, where they can read more (if they so wish).

Oh and it also means you don't have to remember to publish it! You only have to write it and give it to someone else - remembering to publish it is their responsibility.  So guest blogging can be good for those who are forgetful too!