I fairly frequently receive e-mails asking if I accept guest posts for my blog. Almost always these requests are from people with something to sell or promote: people who want to take advantage of the fact that your eyeballs and minds will be on the blog. As far as I am concerned, you guys are not for sale. I'm not in principle opposed to guest posts, and if someone has something to contribute I will give them recognition, but I have standards for what I accept. I'm writing this post not as a solicitation for or warning about upcoming guest posts, but to give my readers a chance to comment on the idea that I might accept them, and so I can simply link to it next time someone asks me if I accept them.
A guest post must be on a topic linked to aviation. If it is a technical topic on which the writer has considerable expertise, that link may be quite tenuous. For example I'd accept a technical post on the production of the multi-layer aluminum sheeting used aircraft skin, on petroleum fractionation, or on the transport of materials to Uranium City for construction of the runway there. It should be well- written and go beyond what I could produce on the same subject with a little research. If it treats a less technical topic, then I would prefer you write a first person account of an interesting aviation experience, something that gives an insider's view. It could be something you'd put on your own blog if you had one, or something you don't want to put on your own blog because it's too embarrassing, but that you'd like to share anonymously.
I'm not interested in posts about ordinary passenger experiences on large commercial aircraft, how to get first class upgrades, exciting places to go on vacation, or the benefits of going to a particular technical college, or anything that reads like an infomercial. I'd welcome a post from a crewmember or controller about an emergency situation, from a customer of a Canadian bushplane operator, from a student describing a first solo or an AME changing a cylinder in the field. If it's a well-written personal account with technical details by a woman in Canadian aviation, then it's probably a homerun. You may include links in the post as necessary to tell the story. Length isn't really important. If it's super short I may throw in a related story of my own or a YouTube link. If it's really long but worthwhile I might split it across more than one post.
I will introduce the guest post, stating my relationship with you, and then at the end I will link to the website you wish to promote and/or to the author's personal website. You keep the copyright, and I don't mind if you simulpost the story to your own blog. I will maintain your anonymity if it's that kind of story.
If you have an idea for something that would fit here, please e-mail me with a specific description so I can give you a go-ahead before you go to any trouble. If you have a product to sell, please include a link to a sample of your writing so I know you don't write like a comment robot. If you're just sharing an experience with nothing to sell, but you happen to write like a comment robot, I can probably fix it up for you.
Personally, I'd rather not see guest posts on your blog. I come to your blog daily to read your stuff. I like what you write and how you write, and you consistently provide me with the "aviatrix" fix that is part of my web routine. I think guest material would detract from that. I don't see why people who have something to say can't just set up their own blog and post there and you could then link to them when they have a post that you think fits well with what you do.
In the end, of course, it is your blog! Do what you want with it. I expect I'll still be checking in every day whatever you do. Thanks for writing...
Arf: If the comments on this post are overwhelmingly in agreement with you, then this post will still stand as a very good answer to people asking to write guest posts. That answer being NO.
I definitely appreciate the input.
I'd be happy to see guest posts here, particularly in the periods where you are too busy to be able to post regularly yourself. I think it would also be interesting to see your comments on another's aviation thoughts.
On the surface, I'd have to agree with Arf, I've been frequenting this blog on a daily basis for the last four years, from twinkle-in-the-eye to working-commercial-pilot. I come here because of Aviatrix's fantastic writing style and skill, as well as a frequency of posting that defies belief. On the other hand, I love a good story, and the examples posted I'd be very keen to partake. If our tireless hero needs a break from time to time and wants to fill in a few blank spots, I'd trust her editorial skills.
Like 5400AirportRdSouth said, I also come here daily (or whenever google reader gives me good news) for Aviatrix's interesting and well written outlook on life, aviation and whatever takes her fancy.
That said, I'm fairly confident that if the guest post were something that 'trix found interesting to read, it would most likely be interesting to the people who come here too.
So I'd suggest the quality standard Aviatrix use be "Would I be interested in reading this on one of the blogs that I read". If yes, it's probably suitable.
What "Arf" wrote...
I've seen guest posts on other specialised/specialized blogs - a "policeperson's" blog - and it doesn't seem to work.
If you're on holiday, or building houses in some out of the way place, I can wait a few days for "normal" service to resume.
BTW, thanks for your accounts of flying around BC recently, and providing real locations. I "fly" around there a lot in my M$ F$. Not as good as the real thing, but...
I have to say that I also don't like guest posts on blogs unless they link in very closely with main blog. E.g., I know this probably wouldn't apply with your current client but if, say, your camera operator wanted to chip in with their view of the operation or whatever then that might be fun.
Charlie Stross currently has some guest posters on his blog. I'd rather it was just quiet while he's away. My feed reader will tell me when he's back - I won't go away. If the guest posters have something interesting to say it'd be better if they put it on their own blogs and Charlie linked to them.
Hello and thank you for honoring your readers and their email boxes. I hioe that the outside posts remain a minimum and that you screen them carefully. Ahem! One mention of the guest author's link is plenty and so help me, I hope I don't see any 'expert' posts fro that guy who sells sunglasses. (He could not write his way out of a light mist, but he loves to offer Guest Posts.) Please be careful and thanks for protecting your flock. Shall we now address you an Mother Goose?
More seriously, why not just say, "Thank you, No." This reader is quite happy reading just your words. I read other blogs as well and each has it's own special place. You don't need filler. If you need a break from your very regular posts - take it. In the end, reviewing and editing a Guest Post to meet your personal standards wold probably take more of your time than writing your own post for a given day. As much as this is a very open, permitting and welcoming space, it IS STILL YOURS. Let's keep it that way. If the guesters need a space to speak, they too can open and write a blog - to share information or to sell sunglasses. -C.
I trust Aviatrix's taste.
If it fits her (pretty strict) guidelines, and if she likes it, probably I'll like that post too.
I'm not a long standing reader of this blog having only recently discovered the world of the blogosphere, however, my two penneth:
I'm in favour of a link, an example of this is Aviatrix's recent mention of a sudent pilot whose blog I viewed and quite enjoyed. Similarly I found Aviatrix's blog via her association with FL390.
So basically I'd be happy with "I found this the other day *link* and thought your guys might enjoy it".
I thought people could use the comment section if they wanted to contribute?
Ultimately this is Aviatrix's blog and I'm just happy that she finds the time to write it so whatever you decide is fine by me.
Keep up the interesting and varied posts and I do enjoy the interactivity.
All the best,
Dave from the UK (EGHI)
I have some mixed feelings about guest posts. On one hand, I trust your judgment and expect that you would choose only high quality postings. Guest postings would also provide a way for you to take a well-deserved rest every once in a while.
On the other hand, I really do enjoy your writing. I know that some readers have commented that they would like you to keep your subject matter aviation-related, but I love the way your topics vary from day to day. Just a couple of days ago, your blog compelled me to increase my knowledge of Canadian history by a factor of ten. Before that, I got a lesson in Alberta/British Columbia geography. (And I now know where Whitecourt and Slave Lake are!) No other blog writer does that.
I like Aviatrix's writing. If she has to be away for a bit, I'm okay with that. I vote "no" on the guest posts.
I'm not particularly in favor of guest posts. If someone has something worth saying, let that person maintain his or her own blog or web page, and Aviatrix can link to it. But as others have pointed out, this is Aviatrix' blog, and she can do with it what she will. I will remain a faithful reader.
You know I like this blog. I don't comment much but this seems like a good time.
I totally trust that if you found something interesting enough to put on your blog that I would too, so I'd be fine with guest entries, subject to your editorial, from time to time. That said, I also hear what the others are saying. I enjoy reading your writing.
In the end this is your blog! We don't pay you to write this, but I appreciate your concern over our opinions. None-the-less, being your blog, I think you should do what you like. We'll all be okay with it! Besides, your prolificacy wont allow a ton of guest posts anyway I'd bet!
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