Thursday, January 19, 2017

#WriterTips TOP TEN WAYS to be a GOOD GUEST blogger


Lately I've been getting more questions about writerly things, so I figured it would be fun to do a weekly TOP TEN #writer's tips on different topics. 

This week I'll do one of the first I learned as a published author. Took some trial and error, but this is a list of what worked for me. I find guest posts can be a great way to expose you to new readers. So many give up on doing them because they don't feel there's any point. 

Why? Because they don't get comments. Sales don't budge. It seems like a lot of work for nothing.

What's important when doing any kind of marketing is to consider what you're trying to get out of it. If it's to reach readers a good post will do that. There's a '7 times' rule I've seen repeated over and over again. There's no real evidence to this, but your books do need to be seen if you want readers to give them a chance.

That's the point of this list. Making sure they're seeing the best of you and your books.

Sounds obvious, but as a reader I can tell you a lot of authors are just going through the motions.

If you're willing, here's some tips to help you fix that. ;)

TOP TEN WAYS TO BE A GOOD GUEST BLOGGER

1. TITLE

Seriously, you already know this. When you named your book you didn't go for the most boring title, did you?

If you did then stop reading here. I can't help you.

Good way to know if you have a good title? Are you excited about the post? Does the title show that?

Example:
Bad post title
How I wrote this book
Good post title
Sleepless nights and the STORY that stole my SOUL (My muse is EVIL)

Don't use that example though. I'm totally going to! ;)

2. DON'T BE BORING.

Always good advice, but really important here. You have five seconds to catch most people's attention. More with readers, because they have bigger brains, but they've also got other things to do.

Like read. And read some more.

Maybe get a snack.

Check facebook to catch up on the latest drama, chat with friends in Turkey, and post pictures of goats.


 Be more interesting than a goat. 

3. VISUALS

source: Google search

Your post should always include images. Gifs are fun too if the blog will allow it. You should be careful how you use images you don't buy, but you CAN use an image of anyone you want to share what/who inspired you. One good tip is to credit the source if you can.

A post isn't a book. Lots of words without a break can be tiring. Besides, when your link is shared images will show up on most social media and helps with the being more interesting than a goat.

4. LINKS
You might think this doesn't need to be said, but it REALLY does. Include all links in your guest post. The host blogger should not have to hunt them down. Most won't.

Every post you do should have, at very least: Your website (If you don't have one, GET ONE. This is your home base. Readers need somewhere to check you out), buy links, and social links.

5. PRIZES
Many authors grumble about this. I totally get it. Some people do nothing but hunt around for stuff to win and they don't buy anything.

BUT giveaway posts are shared more and get more views. Don't worry about the few greedy people. Focus on the many who are simply looking for a great read and are tempted by the chance to win something too!

IMO, your giveaway SHOULD NOT be the book you're promoting. Offer books from your backlist, audiobooks, gift cards, fluffy socks, your firstborn...

Offering the book your spotlighting removes some of the urge to buy. Why buy something you might get for free?

6. SHARE
The blogger will share your post, but if you don't you're limiting its reach. Not sure why you'd want to do that. Did you figure your job was done when you sent in the post?

When you share a post, especially if you do it from the blogger's page, the views go up. Encouraging your readers to share as well means more people will see your post. When you're starting out it might just be a few people, but every one of those people is a potential reader.

Nothing is more important than reaching those readers. They won't buy your book if they don't know about it. They won't know about it if you don't share. Kinda like when you write a novel and stuff it in a drawer.

Good reading for the dustbunnies and sock trolls.

7. Q&A
This one is great because it's not just shoving stuff in readers faces with a BUY MY BOOK!

You're engaging. Sharing a bit of yourself. Offering to answer questions in the comments--making this part of the giveaway is a bonus--makes it feel like you're a guest that's actually THERE.

Trapped in a little box where readers can poke you with a stick. A lot more fun than it sounds. <g>

8. PLEASE SHARE
Participate in your own success. This can't be said enough.

9. EXCERPTS
You want readers to check out your book? Give them a little taste.

What kind of excerpt? Well, how about a scene that will make them squirm? Is your book hot? REALLY HOT?

The excerpt should sizzle.

If it's scary make the hairs rise on the back of their necks. If it's emotional, make them feel something.

A good book captures all kinds of emotions. That's why we read. Your excerpt is like a promise that readers will find more of this between the pages.

10. BE GOOD TO YOUR HOST BLOGGER
Most bloggers don't charge a thing for you to take a spot on their blog. They're doing it to give their readers interesting content. Because they love books themselves. Because they want to support authors.

For all these reasons, and more, they're taking the time to set up your post. Make it easier for them. If you know how to do html set up your post yourself and send them a doc with the codes. Also sent them a plain version of your post, just in case their blog doesn't work well with the codes or they need to move things around for a better layout. 

Don't send posts or excerpts not spaced properly. Check to make sure all your links work. If you've been given a list of things to provide for the blog, make sure you have everything checked off before emailing them.

Last, but not least, try to email them once your post if up for a quick thank you. A big blogger or a very busy author might not get back to you after--unless they're choosing the winner for your giveaway--but they'll see the email and appreciate it. And be happy to have you on their blog again.

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That's all for today! I hope this helped a little bit. :)

If you have any ideas for future TOP TEN #WRITERTIPS, let me know in the comments!

Also, if you're looking for a guest spot, check out my WEEKLY GUEST POSTS and grab a date!

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