April 12, 2016 Written by Judy Cullins
Guest blog posts help expand your author name and book recognition, reputation, and message – IF you have a strategy.
Marketing a book can be daunting for an author and is the essential chore we writers like to avoid more than our in-laws. Fortunately, guest blogging provides a tactic that mostly requires the one thing we love to do – write! You need to rub a few elbows along the way too, but it will be with fellow writers (bloggers) and you will be reading more about the topics you’re passionate about. In fact, you may have already come across quite a few great blogs while conducting research for your book. Maybe you already connected with those authors as well? Your work is halfway done!
Awhile back, after much research and practice, I started my guest blogging adventure and thought you’d benefit by my tips here.
When Not to Guest Post
1. Don’t guest post until you build a body of work surrounding your expertise on a particular topic. This could mean up to 50 blog posts at your own website that relate to your book. Remember, you need to present yourself as an authority on the issues you will be covering.
2. Don’t guest post on low traffic or inactive blog sites if you want a bigger audience to see you. Review the amount of comments a blog receives and other social activity on the site. Check the number of the blogger’s followers on Facebook, Twitter, and their other social media pages too. Make sure they follow way less people than who follow them.
How to Market Your Guest Posts
Develop a strategy and do some action every day on this project.
1. Aim your information at prominent bloggers in your field.You can find them on Twitter and other social media sites. Do a search, follow them, see what they want, and then contact them to see how to submit a guest blog post.
2. Study your target blog sites and plan to write on their focus.Know the kind of blog posts they and their audience (and your potential audience) crave! If you already know them, they will accept you easily, so try to establish rapport beforehand. Connect with their social media accounts, share their updates with your network, and even link to their relevant blog posts from your own website.
If you find yourself unable to gain their attention through conventional channels, and if you know their site strongly engages your ideal book audience, you will need to send a powerful query that convinces them your post will serve their audience’s wants and needs. Think benefits. Ask for the writer’s guidelines to know if they have a word number limit too.
Prepare Well Before You Submit Your Guest Blog Posts
1. Make sure you write your very best, even if it takes hours.Know that savvy author guest posters make many sales by driving traffic to their book. When you do post on the bigger sites, you get a big opportunity to show your stuff and make your book business thrive.
2. Submit guest posts to smaller venues to get in practice before you pitch the big shots.
3. Consider your first guest blog piece carefully.This is your introduction to that audience. It’s gotta be great, so people at that site will become your fans and start following your work. When I sent my LinkedIn Marketing for Authors piece to a large self-publishing site, I got all kinds of inquiries about my book coaching, and book sales too.
4. Engage your audience in each blog post.From a marketer’s point of view, you need to engage your blog readers with a great hook in the first sentence. That means asking where are they now? Problems? Concerns? You need to establish rapport with them, so they know you care. So many of my writing clients rush into the post and “tell all” that doesn’t get readers’ attention. Without engaging them, they won’t read the whole post and won’t leave a comment, connect with you online, or buy your book.
5. Think easy to read lists and tips.What does your ideal audience want? You must speak to them. So often, experts think from their point of view. This lecturing or telling misses the mark. Tips and numbered how to’s work wonders. Hence, many of my blog posts follow this plan. Compliments come regularly for well-constructed blogs.
6. Be patient with the process.While some sites are really organized and have plenty of Virtual Assistant help, others are slow to share your gems. Just send a friendly reminder to your target people when they are slow to post.
7. Make sure you subscribe to these sites, so when you get a comment, you’ll be able to respond right away.You need to be on the ball for this or you will lose opportunities. It takes a lot of interacting before any book sales take place.
8. Schedule new guest blog posts regularly.The more you are seen, the more traffic will come your way.
BONUS #9. Use material from your book as guest blog posts.If you own the rights to the contents of your book (if you self-published, you certainly do!), then you can use short excerpts from your book as blog posts. You may need to reformat them a bit beforehand. At the end, tell your readers this information came directly from your book and if they wish to learn more, they can find your book HERE. A perfect and easy lead-in for you without needing to feel too sales pushy.