Kay, it's always tricky to strike a balance when it comes to the blog. I do want people to write for it but I don't want the blog to become a promotional tool where people sign up to post some re-hashed content from elsewhere as an excuse to stick a link to two in.
A lot of people have suggested writing for the blog - I've had numerous discussions with "established" members by PM and (and non members by email). I'm sure that many of them could come up with some great content (especially those who already write on the subjects we discuss).
But mention any requirement to not link back to their own sites and they suddenly lose interest i.e. they want to create posts just to they can get links/drive traffic. I'm a bit uncomfortable about that, it's the wrong motivation. It could also attract marketers, SEOs etc., registering and posting just to link to their latest venture, review their own ebooks, or make recommendations for a site/product without disclosing their association. They don't see anything wrong with such "subtle" promotion - and maybe there isn't, it's allowed in most blogs - but our blog section could end up looking a lot different to the rest of this site where self-promotion and advertising gets quickly picked up by a mod and deleted.
At present members can create blog posts but can't link out from them.
I'd waive that for moderators. Anybody who's a moderator here is one because they've demonstrated their commitment to the ethos of this site - so they're safe. I'd also make an exception for specific members who've built enough posts and have acquired the Thanks and Rep to prove that people value what they say. Such exceptions would have to be on a case by case basis if the member contacts me by PM.