I have decided to call my new Guest Post Competition Write Club – it may not be that original, but it’s snappy and it makes me laugh 🙂
When I announced the competition on Twitter one of my followers asked me for some ideas for things to write about. While it wouldn’t be fair for me to help some people and not others, it’s true that getting the brain into gear can sometimes be a little bit daunting. Writers often use writing prompts, which are words, phrases or pictures that inspire ideas and get you started (although your finished piece may end up being something quite different). I have therefore come up with a few things that may get you thinking along the right lines – but don’t feel you have to go with something off this list.
- Visitors to this blog love reading about edible and useful plants. I have readers from all over the world, so climate is not much of an issue – some people will be able to grow plants, and others won’t. But they might like reading about your favourite plant and how you use it, or perhaps a story based around where you first saw it growing. Or you could try a straightforward plant profile that gives all the relevant details.
- We also all love peeking into other gardens, and posts about garden visits are always good. They don’t need to be photo-heavy; if you read travelogues then try thinking of a garden visit post as more of a travel piece than a gardening piece.
- I cover various issues on the blog, but you may have a personal favourite or current events may bring one to mind – bees, social harmony and climate change are all big news this year, and I have been writing an entire book about avoiding the use of peat in gardens.
- I have been posting a little bit more about food this year, but it’s not a well-trodden topic on this blog and it might be one that’s up your alley – people always want new ideas for using their garden produce and food posts appeal to people without gardens as well. Tried and tested recipes, and ways to process more unusual ingredients could be winners.
- Got a favourite gardening book? You could review it. New books get reviewed on a regular basis, but the classics worth keeping on your shelf can sometimes be forgotten. Or maybe you’ve discovered a self-published author with no marketing budget, and want to introduce them to a wider audience?
- Wildlife is always good. Bugs and beasties are not usually as popular as cute, furry creatures and baby birds but maybe you enjoy a challenge.
- Or maybe your life has been blighted by a particular pest? Slugs, snails, badgers, deer, cats and pigeons are common foes, but perhaps you have one that is more unusual? Tips to save your crops, or humorous stories of your war against pests, could all be popular topics.
- There are many worthwhile projects worth highlighting. I have mentioned the Millennium Seed Bank, Sowing New Seeds and Bake Your Lawn, but there are plenty more and you may know about a local project that hasn’t caught my attention.
The only general piece of advice I will give to everyone is that it’s helpful to read your ‘finished’ piece aloud – if it doesn’t sound like you then you have some polishing to do. Blogging is a less formal medium than a newspaper or a magazine, and there’s more room for your personality to shine through.
I shouldn’t have to say this, but it’s the interweb so I do. If you’re submitting a guest post to this blog then it has to be your own work, and it can’t have been featured anywhere else online before (Google frowns on duplicate content). DO NOT COPY other people’s work; I will be checking for plagiarism and pre-existing work before I accept your entry. If you want to quote or reference someone else’s work and you don’t know how to do it properly then ask and we’ll figure it out together.