You’re a writer, not a marketer. You can appreciate blogging because it’s such a brilliant way to showcase your craft. But what about guest posting? If you’ve been emailed out of the blue by someone begging to write a guest post for you, do you run for the hills or welcome them with an open heart and freshly-baked cupcakes? This one’s for you if writing comes easy but online marketing goes right over your head.
So, what is guest blogging? It’s where you write a post for someone else’s blog or they create one for yours. Is it a good idea? Most of the time, yes. Here’s why.
Creating connectivity in a crowded world
The poor old internet is stuffed with information with ridiculous amounts more added every day. How does it decide what belongs where? Connectivity helps. Guest posting connects you with like-minded, relevant places and people, joining the dots and giving search engines clues about where you belong in the great scheme of things.
Making a reputation for yourself
When you set up Google Authorship (a must for authors and writers) you help Google decide whether you’re trustworthy and find out how popular you are. Because Google Authorship follows you around wherever you write, including the guest posts you create for fellow authors, guest blogging helps spread the good word.
Giving your readers what they love best
Blog readers love variety and guest posting delivers plenty of it, with different opinions, angles and writing styles from the people who join in. If you manage to create a piece of lovely link bait, attracting hundreds, thousands or even millions of readers, you can imagine the positive effect is has on your reputation.
Sharing the love
Because guest posts include links to the originating author’s site they come with a small but perfectly formed SEO advantage. I won’t go into the ins and outs of search engine optimisation. It’s enough to say that follow and nofollow links are both good things, appreciated by search engines whose job it is to ‘understand’ how and where to rank websites in their search results. When someone links to your blog, it’s cool. When you link to theirs, it’s cool too.
Guest posting works well in a marketing context whether you write for someone else’s blog or they write for yours. If they write a post for you they benefit from the links they include in the post, which point at their website. If you write for them you’ll enjoy Authorship exposure and raise your online profile. And both your blogs will become even more of a jolly good read.
What makes an excellent guest post?
It’s no use filling your blog with rubbish. Guest posts reflect on you so make sure they’re accurate, interesting, in-depth, beautifully written and relevant to the art of writing, books, publishing… the kind of things that interest authors and their fans.
Which bloggers accept guest posts?
Type ‘which blogs accept guest posts’ into Google for lists of bloggers who take guest posts. Or start off low-key and personal, asking fellow writers if they’ll accept a guest post from you.
Guest blogging dos and don’ts
Here are a few tips for making the most of the opportunity:
- Do check the site your guest blogger comes from you want links to a reputable, relevant website before you say yes. You should be happy enough with the quality to feel good about associating with it
- Do check your guest posts for spelling mistakes, bad grammar, missing text, poor formatting, mis-spacing and so on
- Don’t give anyone your website or blog’s login details unless you trust them with your life! Ask guest bloggers to provide a Word or text document and upload them yourself if you can
- Don’t accept or propose more than one link in each post and check the links work properly
- Do set up Google Authorship
What if you’re still confused?
You could dedicate precious writing time to learning the intricacies of online marketing from the bottom up. Or have a chat with Mike about how he can help you sell more books to more people. He’s a friendly chap, he isn’t pushy, his services are cost-effective and he really knows his author marketing onions!
Have I been plain enough?
If I’ve said anything that sends you into a spin, let me know via the comments box and I’ll come back with something plainer.