Good Day, Class,

Although it’s been awhile since we had a substitute teacher (guest writer) here, today that’s changing.

Some of you may have heard of him. Some not.

Please join me in welcoming fellow blogger Bamboo Forest, from the fabulous blog, Pun Intended.

Bamboo has chosen a topic we haven’t discussed before; “guest posting”.

On that note, I’ll grab a seat and join you in listening to this great lesson.

The floor is yours, Bamboo.

Hello Class!

As you’re reading this you may recognize that I’m guest posting on a blog about blogging even though my blog is definitely not in this niche; it’s a blog about humor and inspiration.

Is it foolish to guest post on a blog outside of your niche, putting all your energy into drafting a post that will be published on a blog that covers a subject different from your own?

My answer is no and I’d even go a step further: There are definite advantages to guest posting outside of your niche.

For starters, our ideas are finite. Don’t get me wrong, there are some beasts who can churn out good posts like an overly enthusiastic factory worker. That being said, our ideas still reach a finite number. Further, not all our ideas are equal.

Today’s Lesson

Every time we guest post on a blog within our niche we’re giving away some of our finest ideas and some of our best posts. Once this is done, your loyal readers won’t see that material on your blog. So by posting outside of your niche you lose nothing and gain a great deal.

Another strategy to maintain great content for your blog, even while guest posting within your niche is to share material that simply wouldn’t fit well on your blog. In fact, I’ve done this. I’ve written personal development posts that though could pass on my blog, really fit better somewhere else. This is a great way to guest post within your niche while not really losing out for your blog.

The obvious criticism of guest posting outside of your niche is that people who click through to check your blog out are less likely to be interested in what you have to offer.

While I agree this is true to an extent, I don’t believe it’s enough of a factor to render guest posting outside of your niche a waste of time. Far from it.

For example, my blog is about humor and inspiration. Who among us doesn’t like to laugh and be inspired? Many interested in blogs about blogging will, nevertheless, find a blog on humor and inspiration to be a real winner and worthy of subscription–hopefully. Will you please prove my theory correct, you know you wanna. 😉

Guest posting outside of your niche can create traffic, gain subscribers and raise your profile all while taking nothing away from your own posts on your own blog.

That’s quite the deal, no?

Today’s Assignment

Ever guest posted outside your niche?

What were the pros and cons?

Considering guest posting outside your niche?

Why or why not?

Bamboo Forest writes for Pun Intended, a blog that blends humor with inspiration. To ensure you never miss a good hearty laugh or a good dose of inspiration, subscribe here.

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Look Who's Talking
  1. LoriNo Gravatar says:

    This is great food for thought, Bamboo.

    I don’t guest post often, and when I have, it’s usually by request or to help someone out (e.g., while he or she on vacay, etc.).

    This article is timely, as I’m considering adding my “chips” to another blogger’s site as a once-a-month blogger/team member. I haven’t committed yet, because I’ve been considering EXACTLY these points (e.g., will the visitors be disappointed/not interested when they click over to my site? etc.).

    I’ll be really interested to see the comments here.

    Thanks for a great guest, Barbara, and thanks to Bamboo for writing about an intriguing topic!
    🙂
    .-= Check out Lori´s awesome post: The Harvard Psychedelic Club: Another Piece of the Puzzle =-.

    • @ Lari: Glad you found the post worthy. For the next two months I plan on submitting a guest post once a week, to various blogs all across the blogosphere.

      While I’ll concede you’ll get the most conversions when guest posting on a blog similar to your own — I just don’t feel that enthused about it. I like to give my fans my best stuff. Furthermore, since the majority of my blog is humor — I wouldn’t even know who to guest post for on that subject.

  2. Well Barbara, I’m afraid I don’t have a niche, I love to write, meet people, spoil their comment sections 🙂 and have fun. Benefits? Well, having a conversation with someone who looks like “people”, not a book.
    .-= Check out Miguel de Luis´s awesome post: =-.

  3. Kelvin KaoNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, I’ve guest posted outside of my niche. It didn’t really fit the blog theme, so I might as well post it somewhere else. As for other people clicking over, I would say that you never know what people are interested in. People usually aren’t interested in just one thing anyway. So I don’t think that particular criticism is that valid.
    .-= Check out Kelvin Kao´s awesome post: The End of an Era =-.

    • @ Kelvin Kao: Good point. People aren’t usually interested in just one thing. You’re right. And, perhaps… sometimes they aren’t even aware of what they’re interested in until they get a chance to see your blog and what it offers. Only then can they truly know whether they’re interested in it or not.
      .-= Check out Bamboo Forest – PunIntended´s awesome post: North Dakota Doesn’t Exist =-.

  4. I have only ever guest posted within my niche (humor), but I would love to guest post outside my niche. I’m always looking for people who might not visit a humor blog very often. I’d consider it a challenge to see if I could rein anyone in 🙂
    .-= Check out Junk Drawer Kathy´s awesome post: The Trouble With Naps =-.

  5. “Who among us doesn’t like to laugh and be inspired?” Great point! Humor will always be a hit.

    I have been interviewed outside my humor niche (if one could call what I do part of that niche,) on inspirational blogs, and it has always gone well. Actually, even once here at Barbara’s! Remember the rap post, Barbara?? Nuttiness does seem to be infectious.

    I am working on a little something for ProBlogger, just the seeds of the idea really, something tentatively called “How To Write 3 Easy Posts A Week.” I’ll see how it goes!
    .-= Check out Jannie Funster´s awesome post: (And I Thought “Leaven” Was Just A Bread-Baking Thing!!) =-.

  6. Avani MehtaNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t guest post much but have posted both within and outside my niche. Guest posting outside the niche is a great way of testing waters as well – if you are considering starting a blog on a different topic.

    One plus point I had read about in a article on guest posting is that for people in the ‘other’ niche, you might become the go to person for their queries in your niche.
    .-= Check out Avani Mehta´s awesome post: 10 Fabulous Motivators That Inspire You To Take Action – Part II =-.

  7. Alien GhostNo Gravatar says:

    Hi there,

    I’ve never guest post but I agree that it is a great idea, not only to protect the content for your blog niche, but also as a good mind exercise so not to get rusty when it comes to talk about something else outside you area.

    Maybe people going to your blog after reading your writing in a different subject could be a little confused, but I agree that shouldn’t hurt to try and be in a wider area; wouldn’t that be just growing?

    Raul
    .-= Check out Alien Ghost´s awesome post: Good Days and Bad Days =-.

  8. FriarNo Gravatar says:

    Nobody’s ever asked me to guest-post.

    Surprisingly. 🙂

  9. This made me think that I haven’t guest posted in a while. Hmm.. I’ll have to think about it. 🙂
    .-= Check out vered | blogger for hire´s awesome post: Thoughts on the Important Subject of Showing Cleavage =-.

  10. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t usually guest post. I usually find it hard to write my articles in advance. I tend to follow the flow of what is happening and if there is time, post my thoughts on my blog. However, I certainly see the advantages of guest posting outside my niche. Maybe I’ll try it someday!
    .-= Check out Evelyn Lim´s awesome post: Attitude of Gratitude versus Appreciation =-.

  11. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Bamboo,

    First, I must say, it’s a real joy to have you here. It’s been awhile, hey?

    I’ve only guest posted once and that was on Cath Lawson’s blog. I wrote a post regarding diversification in business. I had a lot of fun with it as it is something I know a lot about, but it wasn’t something that would have been suitable for this blog. What we did was guest post on each others blogs at the same time.

    I actually found it nerve racking as I didn’t want to let her nor her readers down. But, all in all, it went smooth.

    • @ Barbara Swafford: Has been a bit. Exchanging guest posts with another blogger can be very effective because then you’re getting material from someone else in return for giving them something. A good deal across the board.

      Thanks again for giving me this great opportunity to guest post on your blog. Your community here is amazing.
      .-= Check out Bamboo Forest – PunIntended´s awesome post: North Dakota Doesn’t Exist =-.

  12. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara and Bamboo Forest – I can definitely see the advantages in guest posting – as long as it doesn’t upset the rythm of the blog site.

    It’s definitely something that’s mulling around in my head – but too many other important matters to deal with .. so it’s one of the layers to explore in due course.

    It’s good to see guest bloggers around the blogosphere, we meet new people get new ideas and if we have a look at their blog learn how they approach ‘their blog world’.

    Good thought and good to meet Bamboo Forest –
    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
    .-= Check out Hilary´s awesome post: Haggis, Whisky and Poetry .. means only one thing "Robbie Burns" =-.

  13. Hi Bamboo and Barbara (sounds like a comedy act!) – Seems like a great idea to me. Particularly as a way to bring in a new audience. I’ve never guest-posted in or out of my niche, but who knows? Perhaps I will one day.
    .-= Check out Patty – Why Not Start Now?´s awesome post: Why Self-Help Bores Me =-.

  14. CharleneNo Gravatar says:

    Good post. Gives me food for thought and in the end, an action item I’d not thought to add to my business ‘new things to do in 2010’ list.

    My first thought was the same as Friar’s “nobody’s asked me”. Then, of course, I caught the “boom shacka-lacka” from Barbara 🙂 I think it would be good for me to post on someone else’s blog, refine my skills a bit. I’ll be sending you a note, Barbara, to raise my hand…soon!

  15. Hi Barbara and Bamboo,

    I have done many guest posts and usually I just went with what felt right. Sometimes a piece will work better at another site than on my own site. Also, a big factor was that I really do not consider my blog to fit a particular niche since I just go with the flow in terms of writing and what is happening in my life. I have not narrowed down my focus which I think is a good thing because it allows for more options.
    .-= Check out Nadia – Happy Lotus´s awesome post: The Human Body: The Coolest Machine in the World =-.

    • @ Nadia: Leo Babauta of Zenhabits has said that having too narrow a niche can actually be a disadvantage because then you’re limiting the spectrum of people who you could attract to your blog. While this obviously wouldn’t work with everyone, it can be a very effective course for others… like it has been for Leo Babauta.
      .-= Check out Bamboo Forest – PunIntended´s awesome post: North Dakota Doesn’t Exist =-.

  16. This not something I had really thought much about. But it’s an excellent idea and I will have to add it to my bag of blogging tricks to try. Makes perfect sense, giving yourself a wider stage to promote yourself and your blog from.
    .-= Check out Blog Angel a.k.a. Joella´s awesome post: Online Hosted Profile Pages – Alternatives For A Blog About Page =-.

  17. Hi Barbara,
    I’m currently guest posting and asking for others to be guests on my blog on Wednesdays. I’ve not had anyone turn me down yet either way. It’s time I spread my wings. I’ve had good response from my readers as well. Oh and thank you for having me…you were my first!
    .-= Check out Tess The Bold Life´s awesome post: Green Living – Made Simple =-.

  18. Barbara — thank you for sharing Bamboo and Pun Intended with us. I’ve visited this site many time in the past and probably need to check in with Bamboo again:~) Also, I love the new LOOK…well, it’s new to me!!!

    Bamboo — WOW, I’m impressed with this post. Having known you for your humor, it’s nice to also appreciate your wisdom. You made some excellent points in this post.

    In answer to your question, I really haven’t even thought about guest posting outside my own community…actually, I’ve only done a guest post once, so I don’t really have a lot of experience in this area.

    However, I do like what you’ve said and think it makes sense for us, as bloggers, to step outside our comfort zones. It’s challenging and as you said, it is a way to create traffic and gain new subscribers

    BTW: I still LOL when I think of your post about the snot rocket:~)
    .-= Check out Sara B. Healy´s awesome post: The Mistake =-.

  19. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve guest posted on this blog actually; on the subject of forums. Quite enjoyed writing about something different. Guest posting outside of your niche is a great way to connect with different people. Plus I learned something from researching and writing about the topic.
    .-= Check out Davina´s awesome post: This Effortless Brilliance =-.

  20. Hi. Enjoyed your reasons — and agree with them — for writing outside your niche. (That wouldn’t be difficult to do if you have a hard time defining your niche. As I do. Thoughts and conversations over coffee — that’s my niche. People meeting people, liking what they see, sitting long enough to have a chat. Ponderings life’s moments. That, along with some art-related stuff.)

    But I have lots of interests and think it would be fun to venture forth. Hadn’t thought a lot about writing for others. You’ve raised the question with me though. Thanks, Bamboo.

    No North Dakota? Really? (I got a kick out of the clippie tie too.) Hahaha.

    Barb

  21. Lori HoeckNo Gravatar says:

    I have guest posted mainly outside my niche because I have an odd niche, plus it’s easy to use the metaphors of the martial arts or self defense and apply them to anything.

    I’d love to do more, but I’m not a fast writer, and I have a blog, newsletter, and ebook promo to deal with right now.
    .-= Check out Lori Hoeck´s awesome post: Ebook on narcissism is narcissists’ Kryptonite =-.

  22. Thanks Barbara and Bamboo as always for the interesting lessons.

    The only thing I don’t agree with was when Bamboo said our ideas our finite. I do believe in the laws and power of infinity. Please don’t be offended. I just don’t agree.

    I’m a Jr. High School teacher. As I was leaving the class the other day my cute, sweet and smiley students were saying goodbye.

    I said my usual, don’t forget your homework lines. But this time I added an additional ‘Don’t forget, no matter whatever ANYONE tells you, don’t forget to dream’. I actually got really big smiles and one audible sigh of relief.

    My first guest post is slated for next week at http://website-in-a-weekend.net/about/guest-writers/.

    Julie
    .-= Check out Julie Angelos´s awesome post: Blog and Grow Rich =-.

    • @ Julie Angelos: I love disagreement. Really I do. So, please… always… share your thoughts! 🙂

      In one sense I believe our ideas are not finite but in another, when writing for our blog, if we’re adamant about posting every day, it’s probable that some of our ides won’t be quite as excellent as others.

      To put it another way, I think it’s likely that if someone posted only twice a week–the quality of their posts would be better than if they posted every day.

      Thank you for your comment.
      .-= Check out Bamboo Forest – PunIntended´s awesome post: North Dakota Doesn’t Exist =-.

  23. I feel the need to clarify my last post. It looks like I went off the topic. What I was trying to get across was that we can all push ourselves to try new things outside our zones of familiarity and learn from the new experience.

    Thanks! : )

    Julie
    .-= Check out Julie Angelos´s awesome post: Blog and Grow Rich =-.

  24. I yet not done a guest post, may be because I don’t like to give my child to another. I always love to write in my blog whatever I have in my mind. But I always feel if I do a guest post I will definitely do it outside my niche, even I love to comment on blogs which are outside my niche because I think this actually give valuable readers who will refer your site to others where niche blogger always refer their own site.
    .-= Check out Arafat Hossain Piyada´s awesome post: Free tool to create and edit Sony Ericsson Walkman Media Player Skins =-.

  25. suzenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara! I think I am actually scheduled for my very first virgin experience guest posting this MONDAY. I will let you know how it goes – I’m going to sort of mommy blog territory – it’s me and Millie – hope its fun!

  26. @ Suzen: Very cool. Good luck with your first guest post.
    .-= Check out Bamboo Forest – PunIntended´s awesome post: North Dakota Doesn’t Exist =-.

  27. George AngusNo Gravatar says:

    Bamboo,

    I’ve guest posted on other, not necessarily writing sites and the experience has been wonderful each time. It’s a great opportunity to expand your sphere of influence and to have a little fun as well. Also, I always learn something new whilst researching the topic.

    Great to see you here!

    George
    .-= Check out George Angus´s awesome post: Flash Fiction The Good Knight =-.

  28. HulbertNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Bamboo, I used to think guest posting out of your niche would be difficult to do, or maybe people wouldn’t want to read your blog once they clicked through. But you’ve provided some great points on why it would a good idea to do so. My question is: how do we know where we to find blogs that will let us guest post on there?
    .-= Check out Hulbert´s awesome post: Trust Your Intuition – How I Almost Joined a Pyramid Scheme =-.

    • @ Hulbert: Here’s what I recommend you do:

      1. Find a blog that you believe you could write something valuable for.

      2. Write a post and email that post to the blog’s author. In that email tell the author you’re submitting it as a guest post and that you would appreciate them considering it for publication.

      Before you submit, though, ensure that blog does guest posts.

      Good luck.
      .-= Check out Bamboo Forest – PunIntended´s awesome post: My Crazy Experience at Open Mic Night =-.

  29. A BishtNo Gravatar says:

    Irrespective of the category one blogs about, blogging as a dynamic activity, created multiple thoughts in the mind of a blogger. So as the writer has mentioned, guest posting among other things, is a great way to show the world the ideas which don’t fit in one’s own blog.
    .-= Check out A Bisht´s awesome post: What will smartphone market look like in 2010 =-.

  30. RalphNo Gravatar says:

    Good stuff.

    I’m just getting into guest posting and I think that going outside of your niche is a great way to do it. It get me to think outside of what I usually try to write for my blog.