While this series started as a forum to share my thoughts on various trends that have me rolling my eyes, raising my eyebrows and in general wondering about the state of book blogging, it has taken off more than I ever expected. This modern-day expose on the world of book blogging has become quite popular, and I continue to accept suggestions from fellow bloggers about various trends they would like to see discussed in future editions. I’ve discussed readathons, giveaways, blog hops, rules and reasons to start blogging, followers and comments. This week’s topic is a suggestion from a fellow blogger about overdoing guest blogging.
Most people start blogging about books because they want to discuss books in some way. This means that they purposely establish a forum that allows them to share their thoughts on the books that they are reading with anyone who will listen. Some bloggers even get to the point where they invite guest bloggers to write on their blog.
Guest bloggers are a bit like memes, they are nice once in a while and help shake up one’s content. Even regularly featured guest bloggers can be a fun way to introduce a new element to a blog. Yet, there is a disturbing trend of guest bloggers becoming the only ones who are writing on various blogs.
I have seen it happen this way: The original owner of the blog will request reviewers because s/he is overwhelmed with review copies and needs help. Yet, somehow, the original owner stops writing. In at least one instance, the original owner then quits blogging, starts up a different blog several months later, only to have the same thing happen.
Seriously? Why start blogging at all if you are only going to pass it off to others? If you are purposely creating a forum to share your thoughts about books, then why hand it off?
I suspect the real issues at hand are two that I’ve already discussed – the reasons one starts to blog and the lure of followers. If a blogger is not absolutely certain about blogging, s/he will begin to see it as a chore. Yet, the lure of followers is always tempting, as is the idea of “free” books, so I can see how someone who is struggling would want to continue blogging in some fashion. Heck, getting people to write your reviews for you is pretty ingenious; you get all the pleasures of blogging and none of the pain. However, let’s recognize it for what it is. Once you do that and it becomes the primary writing source for a blog, it is no longer your blog but a group blog.
In these instances, bloggers who insist on maintaining ownership of a blog even though s/he is no longer the primary writer, are being selfish and disingenuous. Those guest bloggers are the ones who are earning the followers and the respect of the publishers. They need to be recognized in big, bold letters for running your blog for you.
Better yet, if you find blogging too stressful to the point where you need others to write your reviews for you, then blogging probably isn’t the hobby for you. As I’ve said before, blogging is hard work, but we do it because we love it. It isn’t because of the followers or the advanced reading copies. It fulfills a need in us. If it becomes too tedious or strenuous, then you are doing it wrong, or you are blogging for the wrong reasons.
Has anyone else seen this phenomenon out there? What are your thoughts on letting guest bloggers take over a blog completely?