Writing a guest blog post
Scott Nesbitt has asked a number of technical writers, and I’m one of the privileged, if we’d like to write a guest post on the DMN Communications blog. So I did: What makes a technical writer tick?
Writing for someone else’s blog is fun! It’s also interesting.
You suddenly have all sorts of new considerations. You don’t know exactly when your post will be published. Potentially, you don’t know your audience as well as when writing on your own blog. You’re not sure how much editing the blog owner will do on your post after you’ve submitted it. You don’t have hands-on control of the formatting and you can’t make final tweaks just before publication.
Publication date arrives
I waited with bated breath. Seeing my post appear: Fun — almost as if reading it for first time. Surprise — the format is unfamiliar. Even though I’ve visited DMN Communications often before, it was still odd to see my words up there in that format. When writing on your own blog, you write in a WYSIWYG editor. You craft the appearance along with the words.
Hmmm. That’s the way most of us operate in our day jobs too. This made me think again about the trend towards content reuse and single sourcing, such as via DITA, where you need to write format-agnostic content. It’s difficult!
From the point of view of the blog host
On the subject of inviting guests to blog on your site, Scott has written some interesting notes from his perspective.
Scott added some headings into my post. That was a good editorial decision. He also let me know that he had done it before he published the post. He added the image at the top, and then added my fish image at the bottom when I emailed it to him later. Awesome to-ing and fro-ing. Scott also let me know how much extra traffic my post had generated. That was cool. Thanks Scott!
Comments from readers
I’m thoroughly enjoying the comments other technical writers are leaving on the post. Who can resist the “fish called Rhonda“? Bring on the puns, guys and gals! And if you want to add more serious stuff, well, that’s OK too 😉
Technical writers are simply the best. Better than all the rest. With another bow to Douglas Adams: It is a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mind-bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance.