Monday, July 20, 2015

Guest Blogging Steps and Tips

I just finished a three month blogging tour for my book, Dragon of the Stars. There were twenty-eight stops total, which meant a lot of planning. And a lot of writing! Coupled with the fact this tour was for my fourth book, plus I do a lot of guest spots for the IWSG, and I’ve racked up a lot of guest blogging miles.


I’d like to pass on to you a guideline for getting the most bang out of your guest posts.

Select blogs to approach – You want to hang out at the right sites. Whatever you are promoting with your post, the people you are trying to reach should read that blog. It helps if it is a popular site – look at the followers and comments.

Become familiar with the site – Follow and comment. Interact with the blog owner. If it’s a personal blog, you don’t want to look like you’re just looking for free advertising and that’s it. Get involved and become a friend.

Check their guidelines – Many bloggers post guest post guidelines. This will tell you very quickly if you fit with what they seek. Plus you’ll know if you can actually deliver the goods.

Send a proposal – Send an email. Let them know you are interested in doing a guest post and why. From their guidelines, suggest a couple topics, or let them know what you’re open to doing. Be sure to send a link to your site and to whatever you are promoting.

Confirm date and topic – Assuming they say yes, of course! They might have a word count, so check that as well. And don’t forget to ask when they need the guest post.

One stop per day – Try to keep your followers from being torn between two sites, Sometimes it can’t be helped, but one a day is fair to your hosts. They are counting on you to bring traffic to their sites.

Follow guidelines – They want snark? Give them snark! Follow those guidelines. It makes it easier for everyone. Ask how they want to receive the post – html formatted, with hyperlinks, or with full web addresses. Send it before the cutoff date and don’t forget jpg images plus your bio and links.

Post tours – If you’re doing a full blog tour, post it on your site.

The day comes, now tell the world – Post it on your blog, Tweet it, and share on other social media sites. Spread the word! Let people know where you are that day and why they need to visit your guest post. This isn’t just for you – you owe your host the courtesy.

Visit often and respond to comments – Interact! Your guest post isn’t a freebie. Check back many times that day and several days later.

Send an email of thanks – Just a comment won’t do. Send the host an email. You’ll be one of the few.

Those are the basics. Follow them and you’ll have a great experience!

Any other tips you would like to share?

33 comments:

Just Keepin It Real, Folks! said...

Excellent advice! These tips are always so helpful.

Murees Dupé said...

Thank you for the great advice, Alex. I'm doing my first guest post and I was wondering if there were any rules involved.

randi lee said...

PERFECT advice.....which I shall be following! With all the baby madness I never promoted the book I published in May, so this'll be a great guideline for me!

Yolanda Renee said...

Thanks Alex, great guidelines for both author and host! Congrats again on all your success!

Gail said...

Wonderful suggestion.

Hope your vacation was wonderful.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - great succinct points ... and well worth our taking note of - good to read and see ... cheers Hilary

Karen Lange said...

Excellent tips, Alex. So glad your tour was a success!

Christine Rains said...

Fantastic tips. I learned the hard way that one stop a day is enough. Another way to show your gratitude to the hosts is to offer to host them in return. My most viewed posts on my blog are guest posts. Those get views from my readers and the other writer's readers.

Nicki Elson said...

Thanks for the tips! Sounds like making it easy for the host is key - and courteous. I also like Alex's advice to target blogs that appeal to our genre & style of writing - doesn't do much good to reach out to people who arent' interested in reading what we write.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Those are great tips, Alex.

Pat Hatt said...

Great tips indeed. Yeah doing 2 or 3 stops in a day can sure stretch it, 1 is the best.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I like the one about returning and responding to comments. I've hosted a few guests who never checked in on their post. I believe it was inexperience. Great tips.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Great tips, Alex!

cleemckenzie said...

This is a great check list, Alex!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Excellent advice Alex, I always love hosting you on my blog. Waiting eagerly for your fifth book now :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Good addition, Christine!

Rachna, no pressure!

Glad this is helpful to everyone.

Patricia Lynne said...

Great advice Alex. Thanks for sharing.

Charly Marlowe said...

Do you recommend approaching blogs that you like, or waiting for them to approach you? (Of course I'm speaking of blogs similar to what I'm writing, not radically different.)

Olga Godim said...

Very informative. Thanks, Alex.

dolorah said...

I've invited a few authors to guest at my site and they did not show up for the post. That was frustrating, as the host blog. I like guests at my site, but I don't have a large following that shows up regularly (thanks for your consistent patronage).

All good point Alex. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Anne R. Allen said...

These are such great guidelines, Alex! I'm going to link to them from my blog! Thanks!!

Heather M. Gardner said...

Great list of tips and info, Alex! As usual!

Heather

Haddock said...

Good advice, especially checking the guidelines. Its always good to know if you can actually deliver the goods.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Charly, best if you approach them first. Sometimes blogs will reach out to you for a post, but most of the time you have to ask.

Donna, that's just rude.

Tamara Narayan said...

I've only been a guest once and I got almost everything right! Next time, I'll be even better, so thanks for the info!

Nadine_Feldman said...

Looks like some great ideas! I will be looking into this very soon, as I plan to promote my next novel soon.

Once someone contacted me to be a guest on my blog. She said we were a perfect fit but didn't say why. I looked her up, and I couldn't see any common threads in our work. So, I would echo your tips about doing your homework and getting familiar with blogs you might want to target.

Michelle Wallace said...

Such a great post!
Lots of good advice.
Thanks Alex.

Joanne said...

glad your tour went well. Indeed, these are great tips and the underlying theme is courtesy. Show up on time, do your job, and be grateful. Publishing is a team effort.

Stephen Tremp said...

Go Alex go!!!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nadine, I guess that wasn't a perfect fit then...

Fundy Blue said...

Great tips, Alex! I'm nowhere near ready to host guests or be a guest, but your tips are good advice should I do so. btw, I was reading your recent posts to make sure I caught up on them all, and I found your info on how often one should blog very interesting. My only hope to get predictably regular is to get tons of blogs ahead like Pat Hatt. If you're still looking for an October or November co-host, I can help out. I commented very late on the post requesting help, and you probably didn't see it.

Toinette Thomas said...

Great tips. You can't imagine how many people forget the step of sending a thank you, even me when I first started. Thanks for sharing.

J Q Rose said...

Excellent advice on blog tours. You certainly did travel lots of blog tour miles. That's a workout. Best wishes on your new release!