But I confess: I spend as much—or more—time preparing guest posts as I do the posts I write myself. Upwards of eight hours per post, in many cases.
For Amy’s post, 20 Ways to Use Videos in Your Social Media Marketing (Without Being a Professional Videographer), I did some light editing, designed graphics, created a demo video, and crafted a lead magnet (a free download sent to people who opt in to our mailing list) called the “Video Brainstorming Bonanza Workbook.”
In addition to editing, formatting, and prepping the articles for publication, I crafted a bunch of social updates and have been promoting the articles.
All of these time-consuming tasks were starting to drain me, particularly since my blog is one of several blogs for which I write content (the others belong to clients).
I started asking myself:
“Why are you spending hours creating freebies for guest posts?”
“Why are you so picky about making sure your guest posts meet the same quality standards you set for your own writing?”
The only answer I could come up with was, “Because that’s the kind of person I am. I can’t help myself.” (And yes, I have just a tiny streak of workaholism and perfectionism in me.)
So much of what we do as bloggers feels as if we’re laboring in vain, doesn’t it?
We pour ourselves into our articles (and, in my case, our guest articles), and our posts get only a handful of comments. Or a handful of readers.
We blog consistently, week after week, year after year. Not because we assume blogging is the magic bullet that will instantly send scads of customers our way (any serious blogger knows that is the unlikeliest of scenarios). But because we love it. We feel compelled to blog. And mostly, because we care about our readers, no matter how few or how silent they may be.
And perhaps, one day, something different happens.
- A well-known podcaster invites you to guest on her podcast.
- An industry professional you highly respect leaves the comment, “Your blog is a staple of mine!”
- A client sends you a hand-written note that says, “Thanks for all your expert advice and assistance. I value you as a friend.”
- Your blog gets featured in the e-newsletter of one of the world’s best-known online marketers.
All these things happened to me during the past week.
This attention and these compliments are flattering. And the spurt of new signups to my email list makes me very, very glad I spent the time creating lead magnets for those two guest posts.
But what really moved me, at the deepest place in my soul, was the email I received yesterday. The message came from a woman who found me via my blog five years ago. At the time, her husband had just passed away, and she hired my team to build a website in memory of her husband.
She asked me not to publicize her website; she wanted to reserve it for family and friends and others who might stumble across it during a search.
“I want to tell you how much this website has meant to me over the years. I appreciate so much your tenderness and understanding as I wept my way through the design process with you. I truly appreciate the wonderful work you and your team did to put together the perfect website for me.”
Messages like this, from a single person whose life I have positively impacted, make it all worth it.
Share your story
Have you ever felt like giving up on blogging? How did you battle through those feelings? What encouragement did others give you to keep going?
Don’t miss the followup to this post, where multi-published humor author, Karen O’Connor, shares how blogging builds her brand.