Last week, we discussed the basics of blog hops and memes, and how to make connections with them. This week, we'll discuss making connections by guest posting on other blogs.
The five pointers last week were: 1. Be Interested, 2. Participate, 3. Follow the Rules, 4. Visit Other Participants, and 5. Advertise the Hop/Meme.
Guest posts can expose you to new readers, as each blog already has its own readership. Thus, this is a valuable way to meet other bloggers and possibly build your own readership (as well as bring your readers over to the host's blog, benefiting both of you.)
Some basic rules for guest posting are as follows:
1. Choose a relevant host blog. You want to find a blog that will have a readership that might be interested in what you typically post about. If you are a writer of romance novels, it behooves you to find a host blog that has something to do with romance, reading, writing, or other related topics. You will likely not find the appropriate audience on a hardcore science blog or one that focuses on politics, for instance.
2. Choose a relevant blog topic. You've chosen an appropriate blog, now be sure the post you write up is a topic that is relevant to both your blog and the host blog. You don't want to trick their readers into coming over to your blog, just to discover your post has nothing to do with what they will find there. Don't make an entire post that is just about self-promotion. Your guest post should have valid information and be interesting. Choose a topic and do it justice.
3. Be present and visit the commenters. Know when your blog post will be going live on their blog, then be sure to show up. Respond to comments and questions left in response to your blog. Be a presence and show that you care what they think, and that you weren't just throwing a post out there. And just as you should visit those who comment on your blog, you should visit those who visit your post on another blog. Stop by, read what they have to say, and leave them a nice comment. If you really can't think of anything to say, or are limited on time, at least thank them for stopping by. Your friendly personality might win you more readers than the guest post itself.
4. Link them back to your site. Always give readers a way to find you. The best way to do this is to include a short bio at the end of the post, which should include important links, such as your website, your blog, etc. You may just choose to include a list of contact points/links, or you may include a link to your blog or website somewhere within the body of the post.
5. Thank your host. Be sure to show your appreciation to the host. Thank them in your post, in the comments, with an email, whatever you feel comfortable with. Let them know you appreciate that they were willing to share their space with you. Think of it as them having invited their friends over to their house to listen to you talk. Wasn't that nice of them? Also, as an advance thank you, be sure to ask them what they want from your post and how to format it. Giving them something they can easily cut and paste, and that they will be happy to share on their blog, is the best way to thank them. The thank you at the end is well deserved frosting on the cake.
Always remember that the host is doing you a favor by sharing their space with you, and treat them accordingly. Try to make this exchange as easy on them as possible by having a well written post that is relevant to their blog, and that is formatted nicely, easily, and to their specifications. If you have questions, it's better to ask them, rather than leaving it up in the air whether you're doing what they need you to do.
May you find your Muse.
The Warrior Muse
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Where's the sign-up List?
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