Why You Should Guest Post
If you’re the type of blogger who Googles blog advice and frequents large blogs that are solely about how to increase your blogging traffic, you’ll notice a common theme: Guest post, and you’ll get more readers. These people obviously know nothing about the book blogging niche. I’ve said before that guest posting is simply not the key to overnight success in book blogging. When these people advise you to guest post, they’re envisioning you pitching your guest post to an enormous site with possibly hundreds of thousands of followers. Book blogs just don’t get audiences that big, and the biggest of them may not even ever take guest posts. However, this only means that guest posting won’t quickly turn you into the Next Big Thing in books blogs. There are still valuable reasons you might want to guest post.
Reach a New Audience
When you gust post, you’re still reaching a new audience. You just need to have realistic expectations about how large that audience may be. Think of yourself as building connections and starting conversations with new people, instead of amassing minions for your blogging empire, and you might find guest posting very rewarding. It’s just that you may get 5 click throughs to your blog instead of 500, and you may get 2 new followers instead of 200.
Get Name Recognition
If you guest post often, you’ll start to get name recognition for your “brand.” People might not click through to your blog to first time they see you guest post on a blog they already follow, but they may click through if it’s the third time they see you guest posting for a blog they know and trust. By guest posting, you’ll be able to position yourself as a blogger who’s interested in building connections and who has enough interesting things to say about books that other people are happy to feature you on their blogs.
How to Get the Most of Out of Your Guest Post
Once you’ve decided you’re interested in guest posting, here a few steps to help ensure the process goes smoothly.
Include a Title
This is an obvious step if you think about it, but you’d be surprised how many people send guest post drafts without giving a title for the post. If you forget, it’s possible the blog owner will simply send you a quick email asking if you have a preferred title. However, if you’re close to deadline or there are other factors at play, you might find a title assigned to your post. This isn’t the end of the world. Mostly likely it will be titled something quite appropriate and reasonable. However, there’s no need to relinquish control over the title if you don’t have to.
Provide an Author Bio and Blog Link
A guest post is a wonderful opportunity to introduce new readers to your writing and your style, and the first step is telling them who you are. Consider including a brief bio with your post about you and your blog, and make sure you include a link to your blog (or whatever website or social media you want to work on promoting). If you don’t specify what you would like included, the blog owner will probably just throw you a credit line that says something like “Maria blogs at I Love Books.” Again, it’s not the end of the world, but why settle for that when you can tell new readers something fun about you and get them intrigued about your blog?
Write Thoughtful Content
I’ve noticed a recent trend in the blogosphere that some bloggers seem reluctant to share exciting ideas or great content on other blogs. Why give that blog page views for something fascinating you wrote, right? The quick answer: your guest post may be the first time readers have heard of you or your blog. Give them a great impression and show them that if they click through to your blog, they’ll find even more strong content. Don’t miss a great opportunity to find readers by simply tossing a guest post together.
Be Aware of Image Copyright
Of course you want to make sure you’re always following image copyright rules on your own blog, so it’s doubly important to ensure you’re following them in a guest post. There is nothing more awkward for someone hosting a guest poster than having to email them that it would be illegal to include the images they sent in their draft in a published post, and they need to choose another image or just go without. Be kind to your host and head off such an embarrassing email exchange in the first place.
Check the Guest Post for Comments
Again, an obvious step if you think about it, but one that guest posters often forget. Make a note of when your guest post is going live on the other blog, then promote it to your followers on social media and check it the next couple days for comments. The blog owner may try to address some comments if you never come back to the post, but as the author of the post, you’re the one with the best authority to answer. If you’re writing about a topic or book the blog owner doesn’t know much about, they’ll be completely stuck trying to answer your comments for you. Of course, responding to the comments is also a great way to connect with new potential readers.
Vet Potential Blogs Before Guest Posting
If you fall into the camp of bloggers who worry that good content might not be best utilized as a guest post, consider the types of blogs where you would like to guest post. Ideally, the tone of the blog will be one that meshes with yours. You may also want to think about the blog’s fan base and the reasons they’re seeking guest posts. Are they having a specific event? Going on vacation for a week? Or on an indefinite hiatus and filling the blog with others’ content? Do they seem to have active readers and commenters? Are they just starting out or fairly established? Asking these questions can help you find a blog to guest post that will work for you.