Guest blogging involves writing a post for someone else’s blog with the goal of spreading your name and expertise around to more readers. Why is this kind of blogging advantageous and how do you get started? Let’s take a look!
Advantages of Guest Blogging
1. Widens your audience
When you guest blog, you reach all that blog’s audience. Those who are interested in your content may go on to find your own blog and follow it as well.
2. Turns you into an authority in your field
When readers see you post on popular sites, providing knowledge or entertaining content, they’ll come to see you as an expert in your field.
3. Increases book sales
In your post, you can link back to your books page on your website or on retailers. Readers may click on the link and choose to buy one of your books because of the great content you’ve already given them in your blog post.
4. Gives you an “in” with popular book bloggers
A popular book blogger may be more likely to accept your offer of guest blogging than they are to accept a request for a book review. Instead of asking them to do something for you, you’re offering them something, but in the end you still get the same exposure on their site.
How to Get Started
1. Find potential sites
First create a list of popular blogs that have a dedicated audience and a large social media following. One way to determine audience dedication is to check out the comments on the blog post and on social media. Is the audience engaged in the content? You also want to be sure that the audience is similar to your target audience. Also make sure the site allows guest bloggers to link back to their website or retailer page.
You can find these sites by specifically looking for book blogs or other author blogs. Another way is to Google a keyword your audience may be interested in, plus the words “guest post,” “write for us,” “become a contributor,” or “submit an article.” Another great way to find blogs is to go to Twitter’s search and type in your keyword along with the words “guest post,” then look through the results to identify sites that accept guest posts. Another way to find a blogging site is to research people who comment on your blog posts—often, they have their own blogs with an audience that’s similar to yours, and they’re obviously interested in your content. Just be sure the blogs you find this way still have a good amount of followers and audience engagement.
2. Let those sites get to know you
These sites will be more likely to post your content if they recognize your name. The best way to do this is to give an insightful comment on a recent blog post or social media post.
3. Come up with topics
Now it’s time to decide what you want to write about. Look at what topics were the most popular in previous posts and think of a different angle you can approach it, or an aspect of the topic that wasn’t covered in the other posts. You want the topics to be a good fit for the site.
4. Create and send your pitch
Make sure to personalize your pitch. Address them by name if you have a specific email address, or address them by the site name if you don’t know who the email is going to. Mention that you enjoy reading their blog posts and add that they may have seen your comment on a specific post. Then let them know that you’re interested in writing a guest post for their site and list three to five proposed topics. At the end, you can include a link to another guest post you’ve done (or one of your own posts if you haven’t done any guest blogging yet) so they can get a feel for your writing and see what you bring to the table. Finish the email with your name. Make sure to keep this letter short and friendly and make sure it is well edited.
5. Write a high-quality post
Once your pitch is accepted, it’s time to write your post. A post should follow whatever guidelines the site has; otherwise, write it at 1,000+ words. At the bottom of your post, write an author byline of eighty words or less and include a link to your books page on your site (or a specific landing page on your site) or retailer books page.
6. Promote the post
Once the post is published, let your social media followers and your newsletter subscribers know about it.
7. Respond to comments
Actively respond to comments on your post that appear within the first 2 days, even if it’s just a simple thank you. After 2 days, you can be more lax about responding, unless the person is asking a question.
8. Follow up
A few days after the post, send the site representative a quick thank you email to let them know you appreciated the opportunity to post on their site.
What is your experience with guest blogging? We’d love to hear your experiences and suggestions in the comments below.