Is Guest Blogging the best way to grow your author platform?
I’m not sure about the best, but important? Absolutely! I can testify to this because this week has brought more traffic than any other. I think it’s safe to say that Guest Blogging has been the number one reason for this.
There are two types of Guest Blogging. First up is the kind where you visit someone else’s Blog. The other is when someone comes to you and it’s this I’ll discuss today.
Welcome back to the How To Build An Author House Series. I’m excited to talk about having someone Guest Post on your site today because I’m still fresh from all the goodness Joanna Penn brought to this very site. There are of many good reasons to invite others to be your guest, but some of my favourites are:
- Increase traffic (my best day was after Tuesday’s post with Joanna)
- Increase in Social Media activity (22 new Twitter followers in 2 days)
- Interactions with new readers
- Interactions with a fellow Writer/Marketer/Blogger etc
- Adds a new voice to your Blog
- Adds new opinions to your Blog
Starting your author platform from scratch is tough, and all the author marketing in the world will only go so far. Ultimately you need help and this is arguably the best way to get it. This links very closely with an earlier post of mine (Author Marketing: How To Find Experts and Become Friends With Them) so I suggest you go and familiarise yourself with this and see what was discussed.
I can’t see too many people arguing with the idea of inviting others to Guest Post on your site. Going out and getting these Guests is another thing however, and I suggest following these four simple steps:
Don’t Be Too Picky!
We all want A-List Bloggers to come and be our Guests, but the fact of the matter is you’re still a small fish in a www. sized pond. Building an author platform takes time so build your friendships and look to forge relationships with as many people as you can.
Invite people from your online community to be Guests, even if they’re new to Blogging and the followers they‘ll bring will be minimal. In twelve months time you could both have successful sites, and the affinity created will set you both up nicely.
I also suggest placing an invitation of some kind in your Blog; possibility in the About Me section. Don’t be too picky though and ask for the world. I come across certain sites asking for specific font, size, heading types, etc etc. Although this is understandable for large Blogs (they of course need to limit the entries they get), it’s simply suicide for an up and comer. This doesn’t mean lower your standards. By all means make sure the Blogger to be can write and is aligning with your existing content. Be inviting though, and be open to anyone approaching you.
Begin a relationship, ask some questions and try to come up with a situation that is great for both parties. Picky is not the way to go. Be open to new things and look at the results flood in.
Befriend The Guest
Would you go up to a stranger and ask them to write a reference for your job interview? I’m pretty sure you’re shaking your head; so let’s assume we take a similar stance to approaching Guest Bloggers. By now your author marketing should be taking shape (if you’ve been following The Millionaire Plan so far), and you should have a list of Experts, Agents, Writers, and Bloggers to interact with.
Interact with these fine folks. Tweet them, comment on their site, and ask questions. Joanna became my Guest because I’m an active follower. She knew who I was, and to an extent felt her time was worth posting something. Don’t just read a post and send an email straight away. Have some manners and be a fine human being first.
Also connect with authors you come across. Read a book you like? Send the author a message about how you loved it, write a review, and generally become a fan. I did this with Rick Chesler, and guess what? He has also posted on this site and it was a great article too.
Don’t Be Demanding
I have plans for several Guest Bloggers in the coming weeks, and what I’ve found is they’re very busy individuals. These are people with jobs, Blogs of their own, and books to write. Chances are they don’t have time to spend half an afternoon on your post, so be as flexible as you can.
This doesn’t mean on the content necessarily, rather the manner of getting it from them. You may want a detailed Blog Post delving into great things, but if they are unable to commit to this offer a simple Q&A email instead.
Remember, these people are helping you build your author platform so be as approachable and flexible as possible. Other Bloggers are generally very nice and want to spread their own platform and help each other. Time is everyone’s enemy though, so don’t be too demanding and stuck in your ways.
Actually Ask The Question
So you’ve followed them, commented on their posts, and re-tweeted every day. Yet they still haven’t been your Guest! Well, did you ask them if they’d like to be?
Ask the question because you may get the answer you desire. The worse that’ll happen is a No’, but you may find the reply saying ‘Not right now, but give me an email in a few weeks time’.
Whatever you do approach them with great manners and open arms.
Be nice – don’t be pushy!
Have manners – don’t be rude!
Be welcoming – not overbearing!
Simply explain your circumstances, state your intentions, and ask them if they’d like to get involved. Like I say the worse that’ll happen is a ‘No’, and I’m betting a few surprises occur along the way.
It really is that simple folks. More often than not fellow Bloggers love the opportunity to spread their wings and befriend some new followers. You may have to start small, but soon you’ll be hanging out with the web’s coolest.
Next time on the How To Build An Author House Series I’ll be focussing on Blog SEO and getting some Guest advice from Jeff Goins. I’m really excited to see what Jeff has to say, and I really hope it helps everyone enhance their author marketing.
Turndog Millionaire – @turndog_million