I receive a number of requests to write guest posts. Generally speaking, I will only allow guest posts if I know the person who asks or if I specifically ask someone to write it because that person has more knowledge about a topic. I’ve been offered a decent amount of money to write reviews or post articles, and I’ve declined.
That being said, I saw Jeremy Shoemaker’s “Free Shirt Friday” offer, and it gave me an idea. What if I blend the two concepts together, and instead of making money, I have it donated to charity?
Once a week, likely on Fridays, I would allow a company to write a guest post on my blog. The post would have to be domain name or Internet-related, so the product or service could benefit readers. In exchange for this space, the company would donate a set amount of money to a non-profit organization of my choice. The posts would clearly be marked so visitors will know it’s a “sponsored” post and that the company donated money to have the space.
I would need to flesh out the details first, but I am interested in hearing feedback about the idea. I hate the thought of paid posts, but I do like the idea of being able to help great organizations I support simply by giving up some space on my blog once a week.
Please let me know how you feel about the idea.
Sounds like a reasonable idea.
I don’t have a problem with it as long as it’s not one giant advertising piece, but at the end of the day it’s…your blog, your call
It would be up to the sponsor’s discretion. One thing they would need to consider is that if the post goes up at 8am and there’s a big news story at 11am, then the article won’t be the top story.
BTW, I agree that it’s my blog and therefore my decision, but I am interested in learning how people might perceive this.
‘My’ opinion on this, and this goes to all blogs that need/want to use guest posters, is that once in a while g-posts are fine as they offer an enlightened view from a credible source. But when one has developed a following and brand around their blog, and goes to multiple writers or regular g-posters, than that blog/blogger should probably also change their site titles to reflect that type of blogging course. So (and just using your title as this is your site/query), instead of ElliotsBlog, it should read ElliotAndFriendsBlog, or Domain___AndStaff, etc. It really appears, to me, that this type of change to a blog shows that the writer is either getting bored or running out of things to say; or wants to capitalize off their brand with less work on their part. One reads a blog for that persons ‘take/perspective’ on things, not just to read whoever’s posting there that day. Nothing against you or others, and you can/will do what you’d like, JMO on this type of ‘blogger changes’.
There’s no need for me to do this because of lack of interest/materials on my part. It’s answering a request while being able to help a non profit org.
I just hope that you’ll be picky… I come here to learn new things, and it’s a great blog you’ve built. If the post is actually informative and well-written, I won’t take much issue with it. If I find myself reading a sales pitch, I’ll likely be annoyed. I think you should proceed carefully. Don’t put yourself in a position where you can’t say “I’m not running this, sorry,” without difficulty.
Ah… a profit deal.
The entire point is that it’s a non profit deal 😉
It sounds interesting. Sugestion;To maintain and even increasing the traffic, these companies could link your blog at their private advertising campaigns too.
Good luck Elliot.
It sounds like a great idea Elliot.
You should maybe poll the domainer community for which charities should benefit from this or would you / the guest post decide which charity get the donation?
can’t say I’m a fan..
I come to your blog to read you, Elliot.. not someone else..
I think by having them on your blog you provide an at least implied endorsement of their product or service, so you might want to curate the submissions pretty thoroughly
sounds good but I agree with Pete
that was a line from “The Jerk”. i had actually thought of doing my own blog with guest posters six out of seven days
’cause i don’t have enough to say about domaining to do a daily blog. but helping the poor is a good idea too. 🙂
In my mind, guess post or paid post are like infomercial. Doesn’t matter if the money goes to you or to a worthy cause. At the end of the day, that post is intended to advertise a product, a service or a company. Nothing is wrong with it. But it is what it is.
Why don’t you just pocket the money and give it away or keep it? If you hate the idea of guess/paid posts then just don’t do it at all.
I read your blog because it is informative, well-written, relevant to the domain space, and written by a credible authority. I think that guest posts that have they same qualities would be well received.
this is a great idea as long as the topic is relevant.
It would nice if the paid pieces had something to incentivize the reader rather than just unsolicited (by us) advertising. The charity idea us nice (though causes tend to be personal) but consider the importance of your readership. If the reader could have a chance at winning (via comments, trivia, random draw) the ‘advertiser’s’ product or service then I think it could be a win all around for everyone involved.
I dont see any problem with it, if its marked as sponsored or whatever then its all fair play and could be beneficial to whichever charity you choose. Just maybe keep an eye on the text and make sure there are no outlandish or untrue contents and it will be fine Im sure.
Sounds like a winner if they stick to the domain related or internet related theme, especially if it is about their specific business.
“I have it donated to charity”
Dead set against this.
The part about donating proceeds to charity.
If you want to take a portion of your income and donate it to charity then do that (as a separate thing at your discretion).
Make as much money as you can then do what you want with it.
But to somehow link a paid guest blog post (which as I’ve said before I think is a fine idea as long as it’s marked as that) and specifically donate the money to charity I don’t like that at all. I’m assuming you aren’t swimming in money. Are you? Are you set for life? Don’t just think about today. You will need money in the future. If you can make money and not loose readership or whatever else your goal is then do that.
I hate to hear all the comments on blogs dictating to the blog owner what they should and should not do. This is a blog about making money (with domains) or at least that is why I read it. So make money if you can.
By the way Fred Wilson at AVC as well as other VC’s and Paul Graham’s news.ycombinator.com regularly pump up portfolio companies. There is no disclaimer (although regular readers do this). Arrington does this as well.)
By the way I have no problem with this either: “I’ve been offered a decent amount of money to write reviews or post articles”.
Start a separate section of your blog (or simply note) titled “people have paid me to review their products. I’m getting money but I get the money regardless of what I say”.
Then I can choose to read it or not.
Correction: Fred Wilson states when he is writing about a portfolio company. But it’s not marked that way on news.ycombinator.com
As much as a charitable person you are, from the readers perspective, I am indifferent to you giving the money to a charity or keeping it for your own use. Domainers are looking for profits and therefore won’t resent you for making money.
There are lots of great people with stories relating to your business and a guest blog would freshen up your blog and you can certainly add your (good or bad) take on the sponsored post so your readers can hear what you have to say.
I say “pass”.
Either do guest-posts and charge for them or don’t do guest-posts. You are free to do whatever you like with your blog revenue – including donating to the charity of your choice.
Much rather you do regular post on friday called: “Friday Froaway a Domain Name”.
Where you giveaway a domain name of yours to the highest bidder via your comments section.
The money then goes to a chairty under your name. win win situation.
Or the private company provides the domain name on friday and you give them a link back to their website in the post as a way of thanks.
I think it’s a great idea, Elliot, whether you do it as advertising or a donation. Looking forward to hearing more and signing up for a spot.
Good be good … or not so good; depending on the value/ usefulness of the proffered content.
I’d give it a try on a test basis to see how things go and how it’s received by your readers.
You’ll know soon enough whether or not to continue.
That’s an interesting, but transparent, perspective. You clearly have some ideological ax to grind against charities and/or charitable behavior. Worth noting that while there’s nothing wrong with making money, there’s nothing wrong with supporting a cause, either. Whether he facilitates a donation or channels it to his own account first, then to the charity, is irrelevant (save for maybe some tax related stuff) yet you’re presenting it as though it were some grave issue. I sure hope my kids don’t grow up to be like you.
“This is a blog about making money (with domains) or at least that is why I read it. So make money if you can.”
Spoken like a true corporate beancounter. There’s this weird thing… can’t quantify it on a balance sheet. Can’t inventory it. Can’t draw a straight line between it and anything in your operation, yet it may be the single most important dynamic of what you do. It’s called ‘consumer goodwill’. It’s always tempting to trade goodwill for cash, since the critical importance of goodwill can be rationalized away while cash is immediate and tangible.
Cut a corner here…
Make this part a bit cheaper…
Make that design a bit simpler…
Cut a corner there…
Change this, modify that for the sake of cost or profit….
Make this mistake and you’ll definitely come to realize how important the goodwill of your customers (or in this case, readership) is, but only once its too late. The downfall of Alta Vista is a classic example of killing the golden goose of consumer goodwill for the sake of “PROFIT, PROFIT, PROFIT!”