The Whys and Hows of Guest Blogging

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author J. A. Allen

Dan Alatorre recently invited me to post a guest blog while he vacations with his family in England. I jumped at the opportunity to fill the opening.

Why?

To newbie bloggers, expending the energy to write a post for someone ELSE’S site can seem like a lot of work with little reward.

So, I’m visiting DanAlatorre.com to talk you through it.

 


 

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I’m still vacationing! – Dan

Writing a guest post is a great way to build relationships with other bloggers.

Forging strong connections with other bloggers/writers is highly beneficial to everyone involved.

I’m happy to write this post for Dan, because he’s a great friend to my site: Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins. And, as a conscientious guest, I will promote this post on HIS site on Twitter, share it on Facebook, stick around to reply to comments after the piece goes live, and re-blog the link on my own site in a couple of days. Driving traffic to DanAlatorre.com will work to repay him for all the instances where he’s promoted and re-blogged MY posts.

But, contributing a guest blog to someone else’s site is oftentimes more advantageous for the guest than it is to the host. (Sorry Dan.)

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As a guest, your work will be showcased to an entirely NEW audience, which in turn will increase your social media influence, and grow the number of people subscribing to your site.

It’s been said that writing a guest blog is FIVE TIMES as valuable as writing a post for yourself. It’s all about product placement. Your post on a peer’s site is a Pepsi commercial in prime time. You have already connected to your audience. If you want your following to grow, it’s important to step out of your own box.

So, how do you land YOUR own guest spot?

Bloggers are always looking for good content to diversify their site. Don’t be afraid to ask if you can submit a post to sites that reflect your niche.


Just remember, you’ll find far more opportunities to write a guest blog by pitching your content as beneficial to the potential HOST than if you phrase your proposal as a favor


Openings to guest blog are everywhere, for those who put in the time to look. On Scribbles, I host a writing challenge where participants vote on one another’s responses to a weekly prompt, and winners are given the opportunity to write a guest post. Check out this link for 500 more ideas on places to syndicate your content.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, when given the opportunity to write for someone else, write WELL.

  • Tailor your post to compliment the general theme of the site.
  • Closely match the length of your host’s entries.
  • Catch those typos.
  • Showcase your BEST writerly self to attract followers to YOUR blog.
  • Invite readers to participate in a discussion at the bottom of the post.

Remember, it’s not about the traffic ONE guest blog brings to your site.

It’s about the traffic that all your guest blogs bring to your site over the next TEN years. Blogging is a marathon. See that link to Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins a few paragraphs up? When you write a guest blog, insist on adding links to your own work. Over time these backlinks will raise the value of your blog to search engines like Google and Yahoo, making YOUR content easier to find. Popular bloggers Chuck Wendig and Kristen Lamb didn’t reach the number of subscribers they have today overnight. They WORKED for it. You’re going to have to work for it too.

What do YOU think about Guest Blogs?

Hit me up in the comments. While Dan’s away, the cat will play, and I’ll be around ALL DAY to answer your bloggerly questions!


J. A. Allen is a freelance writer, popular blogger, and the author of the upcoming novel, Old Souls. Her website, JAAllenAuthor.com, focuses on common writing struggles and boasts over 12,000 followers with a glowing recommendation by author Anne Rice. As co-host of Writers Off Task with Friends, she interviews emerging and established authors, and discusses methods to overcome various writing difficulties.


 

36 thoughts on “The Whys and Hows of Guest Blogging

  1. I think you nailed it when you said that we’ve already connected with our audience and writing a guest post will connect with other’s audiences. I’ve written numerous guest posts and it has always reflected well on my own blog. The same thing goes for hosting guest posts because your guest then drives their viewers to your blog to read their post. But their viewers also hang around to see what you write. Right? Followers will show up over night. However, thousands of followers show up over hard work. Love your Scribble Challenges!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve been enjoying your blog, Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins, and I am glad I caught this guest blog you did for your friend Dan. I’m pretty new to blogging, but I find I enjoy it and it had never crossed my mind to even think about guest blogging (until I encountered your fun contests) and reading this means that it all makes great sense to me now. So, thanks! See you ’round the next corner.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You sure got some wheels turning with this one. I’ll spend time focusing more in bloggers who are similar to me who might want to swap guest blogging with each other. I’m going throw mental list of those I really enjoy. Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve started to write guest posts and to host guest posts just recently. Can’t say I’ve seen a result yet, but I think the idea of guest blogging makes a lot of sence and I hope it will pay out in the long run.
    Besides, I love the sense of community blogging creates, so I think it was only a matter of time before I came to this practice.

    Thanks for sharing this. It’s a great guide 🙂

    Like

    • It depends on what you consider “paying off” and what you blog about.

      For example, if you blog about how to write the suspense and reference your suspenseful book two or three times with examples, and had a link to the book at the end of the post, and were doing a guest blog on a site that encourages people to go buy the book, then you might see some immediate sales.

      If you’re trying to build an author base and build peoples’ awareness of you and build a long-term relationship, you might not sell any books the day you do the guest blog post but as you promote your next book you’ll see more interaction, more reblogs and retweets, and people offering to do interviews with you (or accepting your offer to do an interview), etc.

      Bottom line, most of us need more marketing and a bigger fan base.

      But

      During all that if you can develop relationships with a few key people who can really help you, that’ll pay off big time.

      I’d do anything to help promote Jenny’s book. HOW you meet a friend like that isn’t as important as THAT you meet a friend like that.

      Like

      • Well, I’m not referring to sells. I’ve long since stopped expecting those 😉

        This year, I’m focusing on expanding my ‘fan base’, which is why I decided to implement guest posts, but so far I haven’t seen many people coming to my blog from my guest posts (even if sometimes there had been quite a few people commenting on the actual post), and I haven’t seen many people other then my usual tribe on the blog posts I host.
        I may be doing something wrong…

        Liked by 1 person

        • I couldn’t say if you’re doing something wrong, but I can suggest some things you should do.

          You should reply to each and every comment people make on your guest blog post and in your reply you should thank them somehow.

          You should wait to reblog the guest blog post on your own blog, even if only for a few days.

          It’s a slow process but you also have to consider the blog site where you did the guest blog post. Does it have a lot of readers?

          My own statistics indicate that some people read my blog every single day and about 1/3 only read it once a week or a few times a month. So it can take a while for people to become aware of a post.

          Finally, does the guest blog post do the two things it ought to be doing: is it relevant to the blog site where you are putting it, in other words, does it give to that site’s readers the things they go to that site for? The other thing is, is it written in such a way as to get people to come to your site? Both of those are hard things to do.

          But they’re doable.

          Remember, just by being aware of the need to do this, you are head and shoulders above most writers. And if you want to contact me about doing a guest blog post, have at it! Let’s see what we can do.

          Like

          • I know what you mean. I can’t force guests or hosts to do what I’d expect them to do, but I can tell you that I treat both my guest posts and the posts hosted on my blog as I treat mine own. I give them the same attention in replying to comments and the same boost on social media.
            And i am choosing blogs and bloggers in my niche… although I have to admit it is a very small, specific niche (1920s social history/ dieselpunk). But so far I haven’t seen any change in stants. Maybe I’m just too impatient 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

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