Exactly a week ago, Chris the Story Reading Ape featured my author bio on his blog. A fellow blogger, writer and aspiring author pointed me in his direction and suggested I consider guest posting to Chris Graham’s Authors Hall of Fame.
“But I haven’t published fiction yet,” I meekly responded, focused on the word “story” in his website’s tagline and feeling hella shy about my new nonfiction book, The Aspiring Author’s Guide: Write Your Marketing Strategy (UK | DE | FR) (It’s an oxymoronic, introverted thing…).
“You’re an indie author, you’re exactly the type of contributor he’d feature on his site,” she said with such bold confidence, that my body sat itself at the computer and began to write an author introduction just for his site.
The process had me thinking about the importance of guest posting though, and I thought I would share a few points of my perspective on the topic.
Guest posting is an excellent way to generate new traffic to your website.
I don’t know many bloggers who don’t enjoy knowing that there are readers out there (besides their friends and family) who connect with their posts. But the opportunity to share your story, your message, to new eyeballs is a great way to entice people to visit your own website. So, if another blog invites you to share a story (your story) to their readers, accept!
Also, this is one tactic for having your own website URL and keywords linked into the content of other topic related websites–a must for optimizing your search engine bot-findability (you can see, I’m very hip to the SEO-lingo), since Google rankings weigh relevance a bit more than prevalence.
Guest posting is a great way to generate variety on your own website.
Inviting people to share their stories on your own blog is a great way to keep things fresh for your own readers. One way I do this is by interviewing aspiring, new, and sometimes experienced, authors on my website. Check out some of the guest posts I’ve hosted here.
I know that many of us can get stuck with creating content. “What do I say that I haven’t said a million times before?” Well, maybe have someone else say it on your site, in their voice, from their perspective. It might just be enough for you to start thinking out of the box for your own fresh material.
Guest posting is not copying and pasting your own old already-published blog post.
Please, please, please don’t do this! (Christopher Graham touches on this on his own submission guidelines.) The whole point of guest posting is being a guest–and posting something new and original. If there is overlap in both of your readerships, imagine the disappointment when the subscribers to your own blog are seeing an already-worn post on someone else’s blog. Offer something new and fresh. It’s not about reinventing the wheel. It’s about using a whole new combination of words to share something you presumably love talking about anyway.
Guest posting is about being a lovely guest.
I could probably write a whole new blog post on this topic alone, but the short and sweet version is: if the host blog has house rules, respect them — or kindly decline the offer to have your words featured on their site.
- If there is a deadline, deliver your material on time.
- If there is a minimum or maximum word limit, stay within that range.
- If there are photo requirements, submit photos or don’t–whichever your host asks for.
- If you’re supposed to embed your own links, please do so!
- Make sure the post you submit to your host is the final version and not a draft that needs revising. If you don’t want to see a million typos in your guest post, then get your guest post revised by a fresh set of eyes. (Your blog host is not your editor/ proofreader.)
A lot of the time the host blog has its rules featured on its site. Read them. Carefully. If there’s any rule that you in good conscience can’t abide by, then the guest posting opportunity was probably not a good fit, and wouldn’t bolster your readership significantly anyway. There are other host blogs out there.
Guest posting is about sharing the love…
LivinginCyn.com has its own version of guest posts in the form of e-interviews. Those guest posts that feed the guests’ own blogs are the ones that are shared through social media–not just by the host, but by the guest too!
Other guests tend to be more silent about those times they are featured, and I imagine they don’t cultivate as many new viewers. (I think this is a shame, since everybody’s guest post brings some value!)
So, while you’re at it, visit, follow, Retweet your guest post (while acknowledging your host, of course) via:
On this last point, I am now, finally getting around to doing my part and sharing the post that featured yours truly. Go ahead, visit Chris the Story Reading Ape‘s blog and say Living in Cyn sent you! (Trust me — the exclusive never-before written biography about Cynthia T. Luna (good readin’!) is worth it. I don’t even have this bio on my own websites!)