Guest blogging works because there are incentives on both sides. The writer gets the exposure and an opportunity to get in touch with people she considers her target audience. The publisher gets the content without having to go through the process of writing another story. This two-way incentive structure forces both the writer and publisher to do their best work. You eliminate this structure and you will potentially get a lot more content that serves nobody. This is what Tech in Asia did and it’s exactly what Pro Pakistani is doing with ProBlogs.
I am not totally against it. Common Good is a thing apparently but I have found it to be a myth more than reality. At least in the realm of tech businesses. What’s more perplexing for me is the motivation behind it. From the announcement by Talal:
Over the past few months, the amount of requests we’ve gotten from passionate readers who want to contribute have been overwhelming. To provide our readers with a platform where their opinions, on any topic, can be heard, we’re happy to introduce ProBlogs.
High demand for contributions? What a wonderful thing to have. Here is what could have happened.
1. Pro Pakistani to figure out topics they don’t normally cover but there is high demand for? Cricket is one. Politics? Big yeah too. Alternatively, you could have just asked for submissions and take cues from the supply.
2. Pro Pakistani announces that they are making it more formal to reach out to their audience. These are the topics we are open to right now. Every piece will go through some basic editing. The tone of the article will be preserved.
4. Once the post is up, Pro Pakistani will keep up with the writer by providing her the analytics and feedback from the editorial team.
5. Writers who don’t have access to big media companies and feel like they have a voice are particularly encouraged.
6. If a writer starts to get enough traction, Pro Pakistani will help her build her own blog and an audience for herself. When a writer wants to do that is up to her. Pro Pakistani will take 20% cut.