August 20, 2019
Note From Rochelle
What! You haven’t signed up for my class on How to Blog a Book? Maybe you need more information. During the class, I will talk about:
+How to create a book from an existing blog
+How to use a blog to promote a published book
+How to blog with the goal of using your posts in a book
Do any of those topics sound like you? If so, think about attending the class. You can sign up here: How to Blog a Book.
If you don’t have a blog, that’s okay. Today’s post is about how to grow your platform through guest blogging!
Build Your Platform by Guest Blogging
By Rochelle Melander
Everyone blogs. Don’t believe me? According to Hosting Tribunal, there are more than 500 million blogs. While these numbers may feel too big to relate to, they do indicate that bloggers have an awful lot of competition.
Agents and editors tout the value of blogging for building a platform. But it can be daunting to launch a blog in this age of over saturation. But you don’t need host your own blog to access the benefits of blogging. Instead, consider guest blogging for established blogs in your niche, even if you are doing most of that writing for free.
Why guest blogging?
You’ll save time!
When you guest blog, you do not have to spend the time and money on designing, creating, and hosting the blog. This is huge! It’s much like working as a guest speaker for classrooms instead of the teacher. You don’t have full control, but you also don’t have the weight of responsibility. That’s awesome.
You’ll grow your audience
Guest blogging allows you to “borrow” the blogger’s audience for a post, reaching more people in your niche. You and your work will be introduced to new people, you will find new readers, and grow your online platform. What a bonus!
You’ll be better prepared to write your book
As a guest blogger, you’ll need to develop a strategy for how your blog posts are going to speak to the blogger and their readers before you pitch them. This is great practice for understanding how your book will relate to its market and how any blog you create in the future can benefit you and your work. In addition, your blog post will be a good test of whether or not the market is interested in your topic.
But how does guest blogging work?
Here are my best tips for guest blogging: connecting with bloggers and pitching your ideas:
Know your ideal reader
Design a marketing profile of your ideal reader: who are they, where do they work, how much money do they earn, where do they shop, what books do they read, where do they hang out, who do they hang out with, and more. If you have a blog or have written a book, you’ve already done this. And if you haven’t, you need to!
Make a list
List the writers, bloggers, and websites to whom your ideal readers pay attention. These are writers who are in your niche, maybe even people you read. These are blogs or websites you visit frequently, possibly to do research for your work.
Study the blogs
What information or tool could you offer that would benefit the site? What topics are missing? How could your work be a helpful addition to the site? How could you be useful to their readers? Make a list of the 5-10 blogs that are the best fit for your work.
Study the guidelines
Does the site accept guest posts? On what topics? What is the process?
Create a list of pitch ideas
Note that most blogs like you to write posts with original content that benefits the reader. Reusing a post from your site can be done, but it is not as likely to get accepted. And creating a post that is all about you and your books is not going to be as welcome as a post that genuinely helps the blog’s readers.
Write a pitch or query
Yup, approach a blogger just like you would a magazine editor. Make sure you tell the blogger how your post will benefit their readers. In other words, let them know what’s in it for them.
Rock that post!
If you get accepted, follow through by writing a great blog post, turning it in on time, and providing all of the extras they need, such as photos, links, and a bio.
When the blog post goes live, share it on social media. Use the hashtags that are appropriate for your niche, the blog, and your topic.
Save and promote
Keep a list of your guest blog appearances for the “MEDIA” page on your website or blog. Check out my media page for an example.
Have you had success guest blogging? Leave your advice in the comments below!