Peace and welcome,
Today, I’d like to talk about guest blogging. After all, that is what I am here for. So, let’s chat.
Why is it worth it to Guest Post? Why is it beneficial to write articles on someone else’s blog? Can’t you just write it on your own blog? Surely, the people will flock to you, right?
Your blog home is equivalent to your real home. It is your house, your rules and you can pretty much do what you want. Well, I hope you aren’t getting crazy (we’re still on the World Wide Web) but it is your domain. Naturally, you are going to behave differently on your own blog.
On the other hand, writing articles on other blogs, preferably ones more established than yours, gives you the chance to showcase your work on a larger scale. Whether you are writing an article, an inspiring post, or excerpts from your work, it’s a great way to put yourself out there as a writer, to network with fellow bloggers/writers, gain exposure, and polish your writing skills. (Since you will most likely want to submit only your best work for publication on someone else’s blog. I hope that I have done this so far).
It also helps to establish your authority in the community. It is a free networking opportunity.
“It gives authors the opportunity to prove and demonstrate their writing talents are not just limited to the books and stories they’ve already written. It gives them something to show potential Agents and Publishers when asked what THEY are doing already to promote themselves.” – Chris Graham
Some ways to get the most out of guest blogging is to target blogs that can best fit your writing style and your writing goals:
Does that blog have more followers or views than you do?
- Is there lots of traffic on that blog already?
- Are they influential in the blogging community? (for bloggers)
- Are they influential in publishing? (for authors)
- Do they cater to your subject matter?
It’s not bad to guest post for blogs with lower numbers but it can make a greater impact if they at least have a following greater than yours.
Blog Traffic / Views
I am not saying it’s a bad thing if the blog does not have much traffic but we’re talking about impact here. If your purpose is more exposure does it really make sense to guest post for a blog that does not have much traffic?
The purpose of guest posting is for you to get more exposure for your work either as a blogger or author. You want to get the most from this experience as you possibly can. Large blogs are already established. They have dedicated readers who tune in daily and share the material. guest posting helps the host blogger just as much as the Guest Blogger.
Guest blogging also helps the host blogger just as much as the guest blogger. Guest blogging, then, is more like a partnership and we must remember that partnerships benefit both parties. Guest posting for another blog helps that blog to grow. You want it to help you in some way too.
If your goal is to stop smoking but you surround yourself with smokers, then you will eventually start to smoke too. If your goal is to make money but you surround yourself with broke people with no vision, then you will be just like them. If your job is to be a better blogger/writer, but you surround yourself with people who don’t know much about either, then you cannot expect to grow in the way that you may want to. This isn’t about right ways or wrong ways. This is about getting the most out of the experience. Look to guest post on blogs that have some influence in the subject matter of which you are writing or blogging about. Don’t settle for guest posting for just anyone. You want the best. For instance, the Ape that let me borrow his computer and post this article in exchange for a bag of bananas and a book, is a great start.
Engagement – Don’t just look at the numbers because they can be deceiving. Engagement is also part of influence and goes a long way. A blog with high engagement (comments, views, feedback, social sharing) is also a plus. They may not have many followers but it’s a good sign if the subscribers they do have are dedicated, loyal, and consistent in their feedback. This means more sharing of your guest post. I’m not saying it’s bad to guest post for people who get little to no feedback on their own blog post but….
Look to guest post on blogs that cater to your subject matter. This can be the genre of your books, blogging, or whatever you have knowledge of that you can impart to others. Mostly, it should have something to do with what you write about and I am guilty of not fully taking advantage of this myself. I plan to guest post covering more topics on Black History, Women, and Young Adults in the future since this is the Target Audience to which my books center.
Content – What should you guest post about? This article was originally split into two parts but I decided to merge it into one for this exact reason. I want to start posting more of my stories here so that I can attract readers who are interested in the subjects that I talk about.
Guest post on subjects related to your work. I am passionate about many things. I have come to enjoy blogging, encouraging and inspiring others, and of course, I love history. Naturally, you’ll often see me talking about these things: Blogging, Inspiration, and Black History. As an author, you want to guest post about things relevant to what you write about or what your books are about but that’s not all.
You want to also guest post on things that are relevant to the host bloggers content. This means thinking critically about who you are guest posting for and whether that audience is a right fit for you. If it’s a travel blog or blog about cats and dogs, then they may be looking for someone to post about going to Europe for the first time or that day the dog really did eat their homework.
Follow the Blog You are Wanting to Guest Post For
This helps you to discern that blogger and whether they are legit or are just looking for an easy way to build up their blog. It also helps you to become familiar with their content so that you don’t stray too far from what the blogger normally talks about (unless it’s an interview or situation where you were approached by them). This means that you want to actually follow the blogs you are wanting to Guest Post for AND read their material. Get a feel for the kind of content they already write about. It only makes sense to want to invite guests into the house who already know the rules.
Respond to Comments!
Even though this is someone else’s blog, as a guest you get to greet the people in the house and it’s never fun being a wallflower. This party is for you! Eat some cake….
Be sure to like and respond to ALL comments coming in on your guest post. Don’t just like them. Respond. Be vocal. Interact. You don’t want to appear disinterested. This is your time to shine! (And that’s not being arrogant. It is what it is. It’s OK to acknowledge the good you do! Life is too short.)
Check the ‘notify me of new comments’ box
When your post goes live, comment on it and check the notify me of new comments box. Even if it’s just: “Thank you!” Write something so you can check that box. Checking that box will subscribe you to the comments thread and send you notifications of new comments. This way, you don’t have to keep checking your phone like a crazy person (Oh, wait, we do that already).
Some of us add the link to our featured post to a new blog post. That’s cool. Another way is to reblog the post you were featured in. In my experience, it is more effective and attracts more attention. People don’t usually click links but they will follow the link to a reblogged post.
When sharing your article to your own blog, instead of copy and paste the link into a new post, reblog the entire post.
Then go into your WP dashboard after reblogging, and add tags to increase the visibility of the post. Also, put it into a category. Reblogged posts will automatically go to your default category (probably the uncategorized) and it won’t include tags. When you put it in a category (which acts as a tag) and add tags as you would if you wrote it on your own blog, it increases the likelihood of other people seeing it.
Finally, this is optional but I love it. Turn off comments to your reblogged post.
It’s all about coming out our shells and being social (this is social media, right?) Disabling comments on your reblogged post encourages people to respond to you on the host bloggers post. The host is, of course, the person who gave you the keys to the house and bought all the drinks. Bringing everyone over to one place makes it more fun. I don’t want to just sit in the circle of people who already read my blog. My husband is always telling me not to limit myself and I don’t intend to. While I won’t drink from every cup of opportunity, I am not going to box myself in with a circle either. They are also known as clicks and become easily identifiable.
I want to mingle with others depending on how the spirit leads me. They may just find me interesting enough to follow my blog. You also help the host blog which is an unofficial way of thanking them for opening their space to you as they will get traffic too.
To disable comments, switch to improved editor (if you aren’t there already):
Scroll down to Options > uncheck allow comments
(Special thanks to the blogger who showed me how to do this last year!! She knows who she is!! I don’t want to say her name!! Because I didn’t get permission first!! 😊)
And finally, share it. In addition to reblogging on your own blog, share the post across your social media like you would a post from your own blog. You will help the host blog as well as your own.
Share it more than once! There is no rule that says you must tweet or post your featured article on the day it is published only. To get the most out of your guest blog posts, share them periodically and make it exciting and special. Don’t irritate people by spamming them, but share it more than the one time that it was published.