Guest blogging has been around for years and is a fantastic way for writers to build an online profile and create a platform from which to sell their novels. For self-published authors who are in charge of their own PR and marketing, guest blogging is one of the best free marketing tools out there, and the best news is: It is reliant on you writing great content. Should be a doddle for authors then!
Before you start using guest blogging as a marketing strategy, it is important to have all of your online channels looking as great as they can be. The reason for this is simple: You will be linking back to them via the Author Bio section at the bottom of the blog post.
It could be your website, Twitter account or Facebook page (which are the most popular options), or you could link to your Amazon, Lulu or Barnes & Noble author page, which is a great idea if you want to link directly to your book marketplace, which could increase your chances of getting some book sales.
What Are You Going to Write About?
There’s a big difference between guest blogging and PR. Press releases are designed to promote and sell your self-published works when they are being released, whereas guest blogging is more focussed on raising your profile in the literary world so that you more people will discover your work.
In order to do this, you have to have something to write about besides yourself. For example, you could write helpful and insightful pieces about self-publishing, writing for a specific audience or about marketing yourself as a writer. These are all areas that people breaking into writing want to hear about, especially if there is shared experiences within all the facts and stats. People like to hear specific examples, which means peppering your blog posts with experiences from your writing career will be beneficial to other writers.
Targeting Relevant Blogs
There are hundreds of blogs out there that accept guest posts for writers. The quality of these blogs vary from the sublime to the poor, and there are a number of ways to figure out which ones you should be targeting. One of these ways is to use the free Moz.com Toolbar, which is a fantastic tool for judging the quality and potential of a blog.
The Moz Toolbar will inform you of a blogs root domain authority, which is a clear indication that the blog is actively updated and visited by a sizeable audience. You should also check the social media presence of each blog. If they are active on Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms, there is a good chance that plenty of people are going to see your blog post when it is published on the site.
You should be actively reading up on developments in the self-publishing and writing worlds to ensure that you have the best opportunity to find the biggest audience for your works, and if you are doing this, you are likely to come across blogs that accept submissions from other writers. Take a look through the sitemap of blogs to see if they have a ‘Write for Us’ page if they don’t have one on their menus or link to it from their Home Page.
Using Google to Find Blogs
One of the best ways to find relevant sites to approach for guest blogging is to head to Google and use one of the following search terms, putting the keywords (e.g. writing, self-publishing, etc.) before the terms in the speech marks:
- “submit a guest post”
- “guest post”
- “guest post by”
- “accepting guest posts”
- “guest post guidelines”
This should bring up a long list of guest blogging opportunities that are relevant to your niche, and because of Google’s ranking policy, the sites at the top of the rankings are likely to be of a high quality and will mean more traffic to your website and books.
Here is what comes up when you use the search term self-publishing “submit a guest post” in Google:
What are the Benefits of Guest Blogging?
There are a number of benefits to guest blogging, and the more prolific you are with your efforts, the more likely you are to build relationships with high authority blogs, bloggers and other industry leaders. You might not become a celebrity, but you’ll definitely become better known and associated with quality writing, which is a reputation you definitely want if you want to be taken seriously as a writer.
Guest blogging often has no financial benefits, at least not directly, as many blogs do not pay for your submissions. However, the rewards can come in the form of hundreds of new followers on Twitter, Likes on Facebook and book sales. If those people love your first book and continue to read your blogs, they are more likely to keep up to date with your writing and pick up a copy of your next novel.
Another great benefit of guest blogging is that the more you write, the larger and more substantial your backlink profile is. The better quality the links are that lead to your site, the higher you will rank in Google, which means that a great deal more traffic will be heading to your website and self-published works. This is why it is so important to have a strategy to find the best and most relevant blogs, because relevant blogs result in people who will want to buy your novels.
Use Open Site Explorer to look at your backlink profile. You can also use it to source guest blogging opportunities by using it to look at the backlink profiles of other writers who might be using guest blogging as part of their marketing strategy. Here is what comes up when you put Million Pens into open site explorer:
The issue with guest blogging is that – like any useful marketing tool – it has attracted spammers who have manipulated the potential that it undoubtedly has for their own gain. The good news is that Google’s algorithm has become extremely smart and wise to these spam tactics, and every update that has come in the last few years has been aimed to making Google’s search results as relevant as high quality as possible.
These issues are important to be aware of, but shouldn’t make any difference to your guest blogging strategy as long as you write great content and find the most relevant blogs around for your posts. You should start to see your social media followers increase and hopefully your novel sales will go the same way when that traffic starts to come to your website and self-publishing pages.