Talk to most professional journalists, and they are quick to say that the age of "making it" exclusively through traditional media outlets has passed. Wait for the green light from The New York Times, and you're quickly missing your opportunity; download the fruits of your reporting online and comment on the message boards of other writers, and you're on your way to creating a footprint that becomes more pronounced with each post. Blogs, too, have quickly transitioned from vanity projects to the building blocks of large communities.Full article posted here.
Opening up one's site to the work of another writer or expert can build traffic and help form a more multidimensional platform. These "guest blogging" gigs rarely provide a financial solution for journalists -- in fact, many are unpaid -- but can help establish credibility, build up expertise, and increase the public's interest in a writer's work.
Deborah Siegel, author and lecturer, initially began blogging in January of 2007, when she started touring with her first book, Only Child: Writers on the Singular Joys and Solitary Sorrows of Growing Up Solo. More than a way to seek publicity, she intended her blog to be a way for her family and friends to keep track of her whereabouts during the tour. Soon, however, she began including broader feminist commentary, from mothering to popular culture, and saw her page views increase. "I'd get comments from people I didn't recognize, and I knew it couldn't all be my mom," she says.
Besides keeping up her own site, Girl With Pen, that currently gets between 1,000-2,000 hits a week, Siegel guest blogs for The Huffington Post and Majority Post. She doesn't make money from these gigs, but extending her public scope consistently spikes traffic on her own site and helps her draw attention to her other work, including her newest book, Sisterhood: Interrupted. Siegel has also been asked to give a talk on blogging at this spring's Council on Contemporary Families Conference in Chicago.
"I don't think of blogging as separate from my work," Siegel says. "It helps me stay accountable at keeping up with the areas I write about. It also has a real sense of immediacy with an audience, those comments that people post that really make me think."
And here at GWP, Guest Blogger Laura Mazer is up next!