It’s Monday again, so time for another Monday Marketing post. Today, I want to discuss why writers should be taking up guest posting opportunities!
What the heck is guest posting?
For those who don’t know, guest posting is where you are featured on a blog. Depending on the blog’s requirements, these features could be in the form of interviews, author spotlight features, discussions about your books or collaboration articles.
Which means you are putting your name and your words out there on a blog, for all their readers to see.
A strange phenomenon
I’ve been accepting guest posters on this blog for over 2 years now. Yup, from that first panic-stricken message I sent out to someone, asking if they’d like to guest post I am now a wiz at seeking out awesome people I think would be great at guest posting.
I must be doing something right because now more people are reaching out to me requesting slots.
However, in these two years, I’ve noticed a lot of people don’t seem to treat guest posting as a form of marketing… and it really is.
Why should you do a guest post?
There are lots of reasons to guest post:
You gain exposure, which is great if you are a new author or a writer not yet published. The readers of the blog will become familiar with you, they might go to find out more about you and become fans of your work.
You may even be able to arrange your guest posting to coincide with an upcoming launch or a giveaway.
Though it’s a good idea to plan your guest posting early, as many blogs fill up their slots so you want to make sure you can get the dates you need.
It’s great for building confidence. As a severe anxiety sufferer, the idea of guest posting the first time it was offered to me, was nerve-wracking, to say the least. Maybe you struggle with anxiety or lack of confidence.
Guest posting is a great boost for confidence. It is what I consider a safe space, especially interviews where you can make sure you’re comfortable with the questions before proceeding.
Remember, if you want to be a published writer, you need a presence online and you need to build that up. Guest posting can help with that.
Prove your ability
Whatever the type of guest post you do, you can use it to showcase your writing ability. You are exposing people to your voice, your style, your grasp of grammar etc.
Again, depending on the blog in question, you may be permitted to include information about your book and a link to buy.
How to find guest posting opportunities
Most bloggers will have a section on their blog menu that states if they accept guest posters. If not, do a simple Google search to find blogs that accept guests.
It’s important that you are discerning with how you search for guest posting opportunities.
If you find a blog that accepts guest posts, spend a little time looking through their posts. You want to make sure you are a good fit.
I have had a number of requests come through my Guest Posting contact form asking to be included, that was nothing to do with writing, reading, blogging or any of the other topics this blog covers.
It’s not just about finding blogs that accept guests, it’s about making sure you are right for them and vice versa. Don’t waste the blogger’s or your time, pitching an article idea that doesn’t fit with their blog.
Guest posting etiquette
Here are my thoughts on guest posting etiquette, that will make things go smoothly for yourself and the blogger:
Read their Guest posting policy
Make sure you take the time to read through ALL of their guest post policy information. It is there for your benefit as well as theirs.
Often this includes what they will and won’t accept, how to submit your article and what is expected of you. Don’t rush through then ask them tons of questions that are all covered in their policy.
It should go without saying, but following messages I’ve received, I’m going to say it… When you contact the blogger with your submission, be polite.
If possible, address them by name, and supply any information they require (e.g. if their policy asks for a topic title when you first contact them, make sure you supply it.)
For example: Don’t just email them with “I want to guest post. Here’s a 12,000-word story for you to publish on your blog.”
Follow their requirements
Don’t send anything until they have confirmed you as a guest poster and then, don’t send anything they didn’t request.
If they ask for just one link, send one. If they ask for one book cover, just send one, if they give you a word count, attempt to stick to it etc.
Don’t send them your whole press kit assuming they can just “pull out relevant details.” It’s not fair to expect the blogger to do extra work for you.
Make note of the deadline
If you are given a deadline, make a note and try to keep to it. If you think you may not be able to hit that deadline, let the blogger know as soon as possible.
We bloggers often have a specific schedule for our blogs and last-minute changes or a guest poster who just vanishes never to reply to any emails/messages can mess up our schedule.
Please try to make all effort to stick to deadlines when possible. Some bloggers will send reminders (I do… though I’d rather not have too!) but not everyone does so take responsibility for keeping to your deadline.
This is a big one and actually connects back to the point I made about some writers not treating guest posting as a marketing opportunity.
It’s not just up to the blog hosting your guest post to share it on their social media. You should make the effort to promote your article/interview/feature as well.
After all, this is how you drive more interest and build up a readership. So, if you want the extra exposure, put some work in.
Remember to interact
Many guest posts end up with comments and likes, it is important that you schedule a time to revisit your guest posts to reply to these comments.
If you have several guest posts scheduled, which is common during an upcoming launch, make sure you have a record of when they go live and then check back over the following few days, to interact with readers who have left comments.
You may have a book to sell, want to get your name out there, but the main take away from most guest posting opportunities is to add value to the readers.
Unless the blogger’s guest posting feature is just all about your book, refrain from trying to make your post all about that.
Don’t try and use the guest posting for a hard sell. If you don’t get rejected, you sure as hell won’t be invited/accepted back.
Blogs that accept guest posts from writers
Wanda Luthman (children’s book authors only)
If you run a blog that accepts guest posts by writers, please let me know and I’ll be happy to add your blog link here.
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Hope you found this useful. Guest posting is fun, great for everyone. I do hope if you’ve been on the fence about putting yourself out there and requesting guest post opportunities, that you do so.
Check back on Wednesday why a new guest poster will be featured on this blog! 😀