Is It Still “Your” Blog if You Don’t Post on it Anymore?

I began blogging around the same time as some of your favorite “A-List” veterans. They were my heroes too and each day I visited their blogs to learn new tips for monetization, blogging, social media and writing.  We’ve all gotten a little busier lately and I can’t check out those blogs as often as I used to.  However, when I do have some time to sit down with my iPad and read the feeds, I don’t see my favorite bloggers anymore at all. I see a variety of guest bloggers, which I have mixed feelings about.

Expecting something that isn’t there anymore

Here’s the thing about these extremely popular blogs where their extremely popular bloggers don’t post anymore…the blogs gained popularity because readers enjoyed the bloggers’ voices and advice. We’d still like to see that same voice and good advice, but it seems now these bloggers only post when there’s something to sell.

So let me ask you this…now that the blogger is too busy working as an Internet marketer on his own projects outside of blogging, is it fair to use the same name and brand on a blog featuring guest posters.  I realize, and totally get, that we’re receiving free content and advice from these blogs but let’s be honest.  Sometimes visiting a blog and expecting to receive serious advice, but hearing instead from someone who is just starting out and hoping to build up backlinks, is akin to going to a five star restaurant where the chef has been replaced by someone who flips burgers at a fast food restaurant for a living. It can be a little disappointing.

Is it fair to offer “pro” tips when beginners are guest posting?

The reason many of these early bloggers became famous or well-known authorities is because they were good at what they did and showed us how the pros did it. So is it fair for us to expect “pro” advice and discussion but receive posts that might not be quite accurate, or the same thing we read 100 times before,  from someone who hasn’t been hanging out in his respective niche for very long?

Don’t get me wrong. These bloggers don’t owe us anything. They should be out protecting their interests and getting rich, they earned and deserve that right. It just seems to me that it can’t be considered “Chuck’s blog” if  “Chuck” hasn’t blogged there in years.

So when a blogger gets too busy to blog and has moved on to the next big thing should he sell or re-work his blog’s focus to reflect the new writers? It’s something I think about and it’s one of the reasons I sold my blog network. I no longer had time to work on it, how could I pass it off as mine?

Would you rather read sporadic “pro” posts or daily guest posts?

Now, these “top bloggers” I speak of.  You  still clamor for their advice.  I can tell this by how you pack their session rooms at conferences and retweet their blog posts. Would you rather they posted less frequently, but still posted on their own blogs, or would you prefer the daily guest posts by a bunch of people you never heard of.

What happens when popular bloggers become way to busy to blog. Can we still call them bloggers?

Discuss…

  • http://www.abbyhasissues.com Abby

    I’ll be honest and say that although it’s nice once in awhile to find a different “voice” on a blog I regularly read, I go to that blog for the familiarity and expected expertise I’ve come to expect. Something–someone–drew me to that blog, and the absence of that voice is often disappointing.

    I understand that people get busy, but I prefer quality over quantity. If they can only blog half as often but still blog with passion, I would prefer that to filler in an attempt to please the masses. I would never tell them to quit blogging–it’s their blog, after all– but if they don’t have the time or passion, I’ll just cut my losses and move on.

  • http://www.home-ec101.com/ Heather Solos

    I quit accepting guest posts once it became abundantly clear that more than half the submissions were churned out by VAs writing from a template. I wrote better three prong essays in eighth grade. My time is worth more than sorting through that garbage; my community is worth far more than posting sub par content.
    I am, because my site has a topic that can be bigger than a single voice, bringing on writers. They are paid and I take the time to edit their content. I know some personality blogs are able to make that jump, but I’m not sure how many it will work for, without a serious brand overhaul.

    • http://kommein.com Deb Ng

      This?

      “My community is worth far more than posting sub par content.” And that’s what’s happening with certain blogs. Sub par content regurgitated by people who have no business giving advice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000335414121 John Charles Hewitt

    I understand what you mean. I’m down to one blogger who really covers marketing and monetization, mainly because the other ones  have gotten so focused on hawking expensive ebooks and “systems”. There are two real problems. The first  is that there is a limited number of things that can be said about web monetization, and the good bloggers have already covered it all. The second is that most of the monetization people are trying to make money off of monetization blogs. It has that whole “get rich quick” vibe. I’m far more interested in bloggers who made (and continue to make) their money off of sites that don’t have marketing and monetization as a topic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/carleenp Carleen Pruess Coulter

    There are several well known blogs owned by very popular bloggers that I no longer read because they have gone to primarily being guest posts. Some of those guest posts have been good, but they were not why I read there and, in all honesty, some of the guest posts looked good on the surface but actually contained wrong information. That was what really killed it for me with those sites. 

    • http://kommein.com Deb Ng

      Agreed. And a few times I’ve seen these bloggers speaking at conferences and they talk about all the time they set aside to blog and I think, “Wait a minute. No you don’t. You haven’t blogged in months” and that’s when they lose credibility.

  • http://twitter.com/allison_boyer Allison Boyer

    This is one of those things that drives me nuts! I don’t mind guest posts now and then, but there are plenty of blogs in every niche…I visit the ones I do because I like the guy or gal who owns it. If it’s 90% guest posts, I won’t be back.

    This sort of thing happened to me recently when a blogger I like announced they were starting a new blog. I got super excited, promoted it to my friends, subscribed, joined the Facebook page….and after an initial few launch posts, was regretful. It’s almost all guest posts. Why start a blog if you don’t actually want to…you know…blog? Maybe it was just in the marketing. If it would have been marketed as a community thing, featuring posts from lots of different people, I wouldn’t have been so disappointed.

    • http://kommein.com Deb Ng

      I’ve been disappointed in launches like that as well, Alli.  I think it’s a let down. We invest a lot of time in our favorite bloggers. To have only guest bloggers, except when the time comes to sell something, is a let down. Also? Once the blogger who grew and built the brand ceases to contribute, he’s no longer being loyal to his brand. At least that’s the way I see it.

  • http://www.smilingtreewriting.com Dava Stewart

    It depends – if the blog has always had guest posts, then continuing the practice, even if the blog owner is getting rich doing other things is fine. Also, if the blog owner is seeking out and posting really excellent posts from authors with something valuable to share, then that’s great, too.

    On the other hand, if the owner is just throwing up any old post that gets pitched to them, and not curating especially for their audience, it’s a let down. I also prefer to hear from the blog owner at least sometimes. It’s disappointing to go back to a blog time and again over the course of several months and never see a post from the person who captivated your attention to begin with. 

  • http://www.danieldessinger.com Daniel

    I think it’s time we come to grips with the fact that most people can’t devote their entire lives to a single niche. Either they burn out, there’s nothing left to be said, or they simply don’t care like they used to. It happened with SEO blogs (now accurately referred to as “digital marketing news blogs”).

    The reality is that most subjects are finite. And our understanding of the subject is finite. And our interest in the subject is finite. We either allow ourselves the freedom to relocate to another domain, we bring in guest bloggers, or we just simply start writing about something else on our “niche” blog.

    There WILL be change, however. Only a very small percentage of blogs will avoid this. Blogs based on news will always have news to report (including celeb gossip). Blogs based on sharing experiences can live on because experiences keep happening. But blogs based on tips and tricks and strategies and tactics are not inexhaustible.

    So which do we prefer? That the blogger relocate, change topic, or allow guest posts?

    My choice is to allow the blogger freedom to change topic, although the marketing tips and how to blogs will suffer the most because their main draw isn’t just their personality… it’s what they can do to help the reader succeed.

    • http://kommein.com Deb Ng

      Thanks for the perspective, Daniel.  After owning and writing for a freelance writing blog for five years I simply didn’t have anything more to say about the topic. It happens. Plus,  everyone in the niche talks about the same thing so it’s not like anything new is going on.

      Now, I don’t mind different voices or experts coming on and sharing. But when a blog turns into nothing more than an backlink generating machine from a bunch of people who are writing the same things everyone else has been saying for years, it gets boring.

      I don’t mind a blog’s refocus as long as it’s honest and it’s not a blogger trying to sell something all the time.

      • http://www.danieldessinger.com Daniel

        BTW, I wasn’t addressing you specifically. I was talking to blog readers in general. Just realized that might have come across wrong.

        • http://kommein.com Deb Ng

          No offense taken, Daniel. I get it.

  • Dawn D. Bengel

    I subscribed to various blogs when I first entered the blog-world because they were recommended.

    Kommein is the only one I read with regularity.  The rest are delivered to my email, sorted into folders and there they sit.  It’s on my to do list, but they don’t scream at me to “read now!”  And yes, it turns out that they mostly want to sell me stuff.  Or the posts aren’t from the blog “author.”  Or they want to tell me things that are common sense.  Which makes one think, “maybe I’m better off on my own..” 

    And by the way, I’d much rather see a post from a blogger I like once a week instead of guest blog posts everyday.

    • http://kommein.com Deb Ng

      Thanks, Dawn. I do except guest posts now and then but hope I always stay true to this community.

  • http://twitter.com/CatsEyeWriter Judy Dunn

    I’ve given this considerable thought lately, Deb. You know, it used to be such a huge honor to get a guest post accepted on these top blogs. But now I see a fair number of mediocre posts and it’s kind of disappointing.

    I really get that there are only so many ways to find fresh angles for topics that have been done to death. But I believe (maybe I’m still a newbie with just three years under my belt) that if can approach a topic in an entertaining, interesting way, tell my own personal story, I can attract and keep readers. 

    Now ask me this at year 5 and I’ll probably have changed my tune.    : )

    • http://kommein.com Deb Ng

      Guest posting on a blog made up of only guest posts doesn’t really hold much weight. It seems to be a that point the blogger is looking less for quality and more for free content.

  • Anonymous

    I appreciated this post because it made me stop and think about why I read blogs. The ones I read strictly for information – how-tos or new trends, for example – I don’t care who writes them as long as they are informative and readable. The others I follow because of the personality, the opinion, the distinct voice of the blogger. If you have built a brand around YOU, which most bloggers do initially, you have to be there. An occasional guest post is OK but if you want to use guest bloggers more than (say) 10-20% of the time, you need to find a topical niche that isn’t about you and very clearly re-brand/re-position yourself that way.

    • http://kommein.com Deb Ng

      And isn’t it the personality that makes the blog? When there’s a different post by a different person each day the community becomes just as transient and the blog loses its distinct personality. Fail.

  • http://www.theantisocialmedia.com/ Jay Dolan

    I read a blog because I like that author’s point of view and voice. I accept guest posts once in a while because we’re all human and need breaks and have better things to do with our lives than write online for free. But if I stop seeing the original author, I get very bored, very quickly.

    • http://kommein.com Deb Ng

      I know. And I don’t mind guest bloggers if they offer the same good advice and level of expertise. But when a blog turns into amateur hour with bad content, I’m not so sure I’m into it anymore.

    • http://twitter.com/rewirebusiness Shane

      Very well said Jay!  That’s what I was thinking as well :)

  • http://twitter.com/Gaelen2 Pat Steer

    I’ve been following some blogs for awhile – and have stopped reading a couple of them where the original blogger posts less than once a month. I was reading the blog for the original blogger’s perspective and opinions, and in the beginning there would be one guest post/week. Now the original blogger is there so infrequently it’s as though he’s the guest poster. One of the blogs I’ve stopped reading is now totally reader-user driven and anyone can guest post. Not helpful. The blog I’m about to cut loose was very helpful two years ago when I decided to gear up my own blogging from a personal blog to something bigger – but now, most posts are from a motley collection of people who don’t necessarily have any more experience than I do – again, it’s losing its helpfulness to me.
    I get needing an occasional break, and even deciding you’ve said enough on the topic and want to move on. But presenting a blog that was formerly in your voice as the same thing once you’ve moved on just doesn’t work – at least in the instances I’ve been reading (and dropping.)

    • http://kommein.com Deb Ng

      You know what else I think about, Pat? How new bloggers are missing out because they’re not receiving the same quality of tips or advice. They weren’t there “back in the day,” now they’re just going by what they see on a popular blog.

      • http://www.home-ec101.com/ Heather Solos

        Or they are seeing the watered down, *new* **improved** version of the advice that leaves out the more subtle aspects of the original. After a while the advice no longer resembles what originally worked or the advice is unchanged, but the environment has changed.

  • http://twitter.com/rewirebusiness Shane

    Deb, wow! You literally took the thoughts right from me!!! I was just thinking about this yesterday and wondering to myself how some blogs get so big that they are all just guest posts…and I had to wonder about authenticity.

    When someone builds up great content, we get to know ‘them’ in a certain way and we see that content as authoritative and authentic.  The occasional guest post is great because that adds in some differing perspective but still on topic.

    But then, when it’s all guest posts I feel people are a bit let down in a sense.  Now I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing and that bloggers can choose to run their business how they want, but here is the key:

    If the blogger has approved those posts to fit his/her style and level of writing, then perhaps the articles will be just as valuable (and a lot of them definitely are) but if they simply just stop blogging altogether and the entire blog is filled with guest posts then it becomes an article directory and nothing more.
     

  • http://newdaynewlesson.com/ Susie @ Newdaynewlesson

    Like someone else had said, if the blog was always primarily one of guest blogs, that is fine. If it wasn’t and what attracted me to the blog was the person behind it and their blogging, then I will lose interest.

    Sometimes if a blog has info I like and it is positive and uplifting, then I will still continue to enjoy it.

    Found you through a RT on twitter.

  • Anonymous

    To use the example of the 5 star chef, many step into the executive position and are no longer on the line but the restaurant continues to serve up great food under their direction. I don’t really mind who posts as long as the quality does not change. If the advice is solid and still valuable, I h0nestly do not care who writes it…well unless it was someone objectionable for other reasons, like they were on the terrorist watch list or stalking little girls on twitter.

    On another note, when I read the headline you should have seen the look on my face, lol. I thought,uh oh Deb’s outed me I have not posted in so long (no guest posts either) is it sill my blog?! So thanks for the discussion and the laugh. :-)

    • http://kommein.com Deb Ng

      Hi Karen,

      Sometimes it’s not even the tips I miss, but the voice and the interaction with the community. What happens when that’s gone?  Can the blogger still be considered someone who is a great community builder if he/she is no longer around to interact with said community. Moreiver, is it misrepresentation for a blogger to bill himself (in his/her books, conference sessions, etc.) as the blgger behind (insert name of popular blog here) when he only shows up with it’s time to pitch his/her latest project.

      Or am I just cranky at how blogging is evolving?

      • Anonymous

        Hi Deb, your questions are good ones! I think it depends. If the person truly built their own community and has continued to leverage that skill on behalf of clients (even if they have delegated their personal site to others) it’s valid for them to represent themselves as a community builder.  I do believe you are right about things evolving in that “blogger” no longer means “writer of blog” but could just be the brand behind the blog. I can see how it would be irritating to have a blogger only write content when it’s a sales pitch but I hesitate to declare it wrong – just a different strategy than I would use.

      • http://tiffanymonhollon.com/blog Tiffany Monhollon

        Such an interesting topic, here, Deb. It’s particularly interesting to see how this discussion also digs into the evolution of the career path of the professional blogger. Dissecting that somewhat leads to other interesting questions: Solo blog/unique content & perspective => readership/community building => book/speaking gigs/side projects/guest fueled blog => ? 

        That is, what’s next after you’ve reached that point? 

        I think the next few years will be very interesting to see how this evolves. 

        Also, as a side note, it makes me wonder about how we throw around the nature of “influence” in this space, especially in light of personal power brands. One thing is for sure, I have the utmost respect for those who make  it a point to remain present on their blogs and communities. 

        Attention is not easy to scale, but that’s why it’s so valuable, no?

  • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

    Good post, and I’ve seen a few previously solo blogs go this way. One turned into a multi-author blog almost overnight and I found the best thing for me was to unsub the main RSS feed and just subscribe to the one author’s RSS feed that I wanted to keep reading.

    In other cases I’ve unsubbed entirely and just wait for their best material to surface in social channels.

    The third scenario is I just stay on the RSS feed and skip most of the guest posts that don’t grab my attention in the headline or opening sentences.

    I actually think a 50/50 author/guest ratio on some of these blogs would be really good if the guests were all writing substantive, actionable posts.

    • http://kommein.com Deb Ng

      I think that’s what most of us do now, Paul. Which brings us to another question – do we still care about RSS when we know the best stuff will be shared on Twitter and Facebook anyway?

      • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

        In some cases thats what I do. But even good stuff has such a short lifespan on social networks now that for bloggers *really* want to keep up with I either stay subscribed to RSS or make sure I’m on their list.

        Which I guess only supports your view that its the blogger, not the blog, that a lot of us connect with :-)

  • http://twitter.com/BrandSprouts Joellyn Sargent

    Great points – especially about bloggers on named blogs checking out and being practically replaced by guests. I do expect that the majority of the content on a marquis blog will represent the blogger’s unique POV, which is why I read that blog in the first place. I don’t mind an occasional guest, but they’ll lose me when their own voice goes silent.

    • http://kommein.com Deb Ng

      I also find it kind of misleading, Joellyn. I invest my time in a blog because of a particular blogger, if that blogger is no longer around it should be noted somewhere that the majority of posts are created by guests.

  • http://damariasenne.blogspot.com Damariasenne

    Oi! This post made me think about the evolution of my own blog. I started out as a solo blogger, and then after 5 years, I invited another writer to co-blog with me. The initial response from my readers was dead quiet, even though I had explained the move in detail. They have since warmed up to my co-blogger, but I make it clear that I am still the primary blogger as well as owner of the space.  For me, that’s very important, as the blog is about my life as a writer and therefore, if the focus changes and I’m replaced by tons of guest bloggers or even co-bloggers, my readers would no longer get the voice they initially came to hear.

  • http://SavingsLifestyle.com Andrea Deckard

    This is such a good topic. I read many blogs and don’t see the creator’s voice as much. Honestly, they do have some good stuff still but I wanted to read them.

    I actually rebranded last year because of this (and a few other factors). I wasn’t able to post every single post and needed support. However now, I am able to post more of the personal stuff that was falling away since my posting schedule was so busy (deals/coupon/saving niche).  Each author has their own login so people know who is posting. My Welcome page has their bio’s on it too. I guess that may be a different topic but I felt it was important that if I stayed with the site, I needed to be able to still be there. It didn’t grow to where it is without me and my voice. It will only continue to grow because of *my* vision too.