How to Be a Pro at Guest Posting

How to Guest Post on a Blog

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.

Briana

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10 thoughts on “How to Be a Pro at Guest Posting

  1. saraletourneau says:

    (*nods her head in agreement with every point*)

    I don’t have much to add, but as someone who’s guest-posted at a number of sites, I’ve really enjoyed each article and having the opportunity to share tips, insights, or experiences with each audience. All of the sites I’ve guest-blogged at before were also sites I was familiar with well in advance, mostly because I was already following them and/or was friendly with the people running each site.

    Also, as a blogger who hosts guest posts from time to time, I can say that guest posts a) drive new traffic to your site if the guest also promotes it on their end, b) offer more variety and something new for your existing audience, and c) are usually easy to prepare, which saves time and energy for you. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved, really. I’m not sure if you ladies will discuss the “host guest blogs” topic in a future post (and I don’t remember if you’ve posted about it already), but I just wanted to include those thoughts.

    On a related note: This post reminded me of someone I’ve been meaning to contact about potentially guest-blogging at my site. I should do that soon.

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    • Briana says:

      I can’t believe I didn’t really mention that, yes, as a guest poster, you want to promote the post! Your regular followers will want to read it as much as the readers of the blog where the post is being published! (And, if you’re hosting the guest post, try to remind the author when the post is going up, so they can spread the word!)

      I actually find guest posts tedious to format sometimes, so perhaps we’ll have to agree to disagree on that one. :p

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Elisabeth says:

    You’re right! Everybody DOES recommend guest blogging to increase readership, haha. I personally love guest posting and am trying to do more of it, but follower conversion really depends on how many people will see the post in the first place. Still, it’s a fun way to meet other bloggers and strengthen relationships. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad experience with it.

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    • Briana says:

      Agreed! In theory, in you’re guest posting partially in hope of getting new readers, you should guest post on blogs that have bigger followings than you do, but my experience is that the biggest blogs often never are seeking guest posts anyway. And a lot of times readers will look at the post, maybe comment on it, but never follow the link back to your blog. I like guest posts, too, reading and writing them, but I’m not really convinced they’re a traffic-driver.

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  3. Nandini Bharadwaj says:

    This will definitely be helpful when the Tolkien Reading Event comes around, I’m sure. 🙂 I agree with everything you said here, especially about the title. I don’t know what it is, maybe people just assume the host wants to come up with one?
    I think guest blogging can be used to express your thoughts on topics outside your niche too. This wouldn’t affect your blog stats perhaps, but it’s just a way to write about things you might love other than what you blog about.

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    • Briana says:

      We get so many guest posts without titles! And I admit that sometimes I do just stick my own on it, but that’s not because I have anything against the author choosing their own. :p

      That’s a good point! Guest posting would be a great opportunity to write about something that’s not books!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Reg @ She Latitude says:

    This is a great post, Briana! I’ve had the opportunity to guest post numerous times before but only went for it ages ago – I feel like at this point in my… hmm, blogging life, it’s a bit more hassle than it’s worth.

    For me, the times that I did just didn’t end up in more traffic to my blog – like the post would get a bit more traction if I had just posted it on my own, if that makes sense?

    I do love the idea, though, and I always enjoy it when people guest post on other blogs.

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