Your words are your your living CV, the advertisement of your talents and abilities and I think we should value them and the people that take the care to read them.
But there are lots of people who don’t value them or only value them for what they can do for them, making it a rather one sided equation.
Guest bloggers on commercial sites that don’t get paid and are asked to post duplicate content – why? What does the blogger get out of this? They run the risk of Google penalising their blog for duplicate content and they aren’t getting paid for their time or work. Are they doing it for the exposure or for the traffic right? Both of which are fine, but you need to be able to measure the traffic and exposure – how will you know when this is working for you and if and when it stops working for you.
I’m always suspicious of folk who want to do me a favour by hosting my content. I don’t need them to do me a favour, I’ve a blog, I can host my own content.
Which isn’t to say folk shouldn’t guest blog, but always be sure that you know exactly why you are doing it and to what benefit, sometimes the best benefit is the joy of sharing your words with another writer or blogger you respect.
Voting competitions, these are a bugbear of mine; I’ve written about blogging charts and metrics before and you can apply the same to voting competitions and blog awards. It is perfectly fine to want to join in, but again, please be sure you know why you are joining in and to what benefit. More often than not the plugging away for votes to win means that the only people really winning are the people running the contest, you’re spending your time begging your readers for votes to send them to someone else’s website. If you see me joining in with such things it is as likely as not because I want to see how they work, I’m nosey like that.
What I’d rather see is people taking the time to stand out, hone their blogs and their writing, be confident in who they are and what they have to say. Read and recommend based on what moves you or inspires you, what makes you think or what makes you angry, not on the possibility to have a blog badge and a basket of sex toys.
As your reader I’m worth more than that.