Blogging 24/7 – Should bloggers have guest bloggers when they are too busy?

So you’re away on holiday! This happens! You get sick – it happens, too! How do you keep the blog posts up? How do you not let your readership down?

Well, guest blogging is one option that the itinerant or holiday making or sick blogger has. It brings new talent, new points of view, may attract new new readers from the guests’ own blog. For the guest blogger, it will provide extra exposure for themselves, drive more traffic to their own blogs, and challenge to reach new readerships.

However, for the blog’s readers you need to analyze if the situation will benefit your readers carefully. I was watching John Chow’s blog over the past few days while John was over here at Computex 2007. Now, naturally, he couldn’t blog as much as before: he was busy! So he invited Alex Shalman, Jane May and Michael Kwan to guest blog for him.

I think that it may have been a bit of a mistake, oddly enough not because of the quality of the blogs or the bloggers themselves. In fact, their posts were of a high standard, a very high standard. It’s just that page views and comments seem to have declined while John Chow was away from his website.

Alexa graph

I can’t quite tell but it’s much easier to get in the comments top ten than previously. Also a quick look at Alexa’s page shows dropping page views. Comments per posting have decreased too. They used to be in the 60’s but now many are in the 40’s or so. And many of the guest blog comments are the ones50 and under.

I think the results may reflect something of a downdraft in John’s audience figures as he has drifted from posting his own thoughts to posting lots of posts about Computex, beer, babes and so on, that are less relevant to his readers’ interests! Perhaps his readers are tiring of his postings as much as they are not warming to the postings of the guest bloggers. Of course, this is John’s blog: he can do whatever he wants… but he may need to get back on topic. The good news is his RSS readership is still expanding. So perhaps the Alexa and comments don’t tell the whole story.

But what is a busy blogger to do to keep her or his readers happy? Suggestions.

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