Guest posts are not just a way for the blogger to take a day off. They are an integral part of creating an interesting and effective blog.
As a blogger you have a platform to espouse your ideas, beliefs and spread information you believe might benefit others, specifically the people who read your blog (or whom you HOPE will read your blog.)
This is all well and good in theory, but in practice it takes time to build an audience. Obviously you can use social media to help promote your blog, but this is time consuming, especially when you are already spending a good portion of your time producing your blog.
Guest posts, either provided for your blog, or provided by you for someone else's blog, are another great method for promoting your work. It is highly unlikely you are the only one writing about your particular topic, especially when you consider there are hundreds of thousands of active blogs and even more bloggers producing that content.
That's why guest posting is a crucial tool. It gets your name in front of a new and different audience, and does the same for anyone who guest posts on your blog.
Besides, it is great to provide a different point of view for your readers every now and then, no matter what your topic might be. This isn't about competing. It's about coordinating. Sure, there will likely be a number of times when a subject you are covering in your blog gets covered by other bloggers. Just as multiple newspapers cover the same stories, but they all still get read. The thing about using a guest blogger or being a guest blogger is the unique perspective you (or they) bring.
Just as Saturday Night Live rotates it's guest hosts, so should you rotate your blogging schedule to include guest bloggers. And find time to provide a guest post every now and then. Let's face it, blogging is the most time consuming portion of any effective social media network. It takes time to research a topic, produce a post, edit, re-write, whatever. But blogging is also the best way to produce fresh, new, daily content.
No doubt some other blogger is in the same predicament as you when it comes to finding time to produce a blog. They would likely welcome any post you provided, as long as it fit their subject, was well-written and in line with their style. That's not to mean you need to write the same as they do--but rather, be conscious of the style they use (scholarly, humorous, introspective; whatever) and try to keep with it.
When it comes to soliciting a guest post, don't be afraid to put a call out there and see who is interested:
If you'd like to guest post for Social Media Maven, please don't hesitate to drop me a line.
That's a great way to start. Now we'll wait and see if anyone is interested in reaching a new audience and adding their perspective to mine.