Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Hosting and Guesting on Blogs

I've heard from various sources that the best way to get noticed and respected in the book industry is to do unto others, and not engage in blatant self-publicity.

To that end, I concentrate on my group blogs more often, instead of my personal one, except when I have a special book promotion.

At my group resource blog, Book Beat Babes, for my day, I often invite other authors to share posts containing information or observations about the publishing industry, or writing in general.

Book Beat Babes

Before a post runs, I include the guest's name and something about that person in my preview column to the right.

In the post for that guest, I start with a small introduction at the beginning about the guest, and follow that with my name in a smaller font. That way, I'm not trying to steal the stage from the guest, yet also show that I had something to do with that guest being there.

On the guest's day, I tweet, I Google Plus, I put the link on my timeline and in author groups on Facebook that are related to the guest's writing genre. I also mention the guest's appearance on various loops, and include a link to the post.

I make sure to leave a comment on the blog welcoming my guest, and send an email to the guest with the permalink.

That's what I do. Now, here's what I expect a guest to do:

  • The obvious, which some seem to miss - Send me an email with everything I've asked for, with enough lead time for me to set it up without rushing. Don't send me a link to get your pictures. Send the jpegs themselves. Make things as easy for me as possible. 
  • On the day of the post, respond to comments. Now, some guests have day jobs, and can't respond right away, but catching up later in the day is perfectly acceptable. Also, stop by the next day to catch the stragglers who didn't find out about the post the first day.
  • Spread the word about the post. At times I get a guest who seems to look on me as a personal publicity machine. Guest blogging is a two-way street. I don't get paid for hosting, and should not be the only one drawing attention to a guest's blog. It's also perfectly acceptable to, in addition to spreading the word about the post on the day of, to also use the permalink to draw attention to your blog at a later date. 
  • Clicking to follow the blog on Google is also a nice gesture to show appreciation.
Now, as far as whether or not my hosting produces any sales results for me, it's hard to say. However, I like to think I'm spreading goodwill and am more respected in the industry by helping others.

Have I missed anything? What are your thoughts?


Experience the diversity & versatility of Morgan Mandel. For romantic comedy: Her Handyman & Girl of My DreamsThriller: Forever Young: Blessing or CurseShort Stories Sequel: the Blessing or Curse CollectionRomantic suspense: Killer Career. Mystery: Two WrongsTwitter:@MorganMandel Websites: Morgan Mandel.Com Chick Lit Faves 



24 comments :

  1. I couldn't agree more! Although I haven't had that many guest spots on others' blogs, or been the host of very many on my own, they and I have always been considerate and provided everything on time, and left responses back to the commenters. Great post!

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  2. Morgan, I'm going through this right now. I even posted my pet peeves about the "direction-following impaired" on my own blog last week. I've just opened April - June for guests on my blog, and I agree -- it's not like a guest post will magically appear with a click. There are reasons for our requests.
    Terry
    Terry's Place

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    1. It's always a joy when someone follows directions, and makes my life easier!

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  3. Great post Morgan. When I was guest of BBB, I got some great comments from your readers. Guest blogging is a great way to meet new folks!

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    1. Jinx, So far you still hold the all time record for visits and comments about your post at Book Beat Babes!

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  4. I've never tried this before. I run my own blog and I've been a "fill in the blanks" guest on other blogs, but never on something like this.

    Do you have a "how to" for authors? I don't even know what to expect, where to go, how to get involved. Most bloggers in your line seem to expect the average author to know all these things.

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    1. If you receive an email from a group mentioning a person is taking guest bloggers, if you want to be a guest, that host will usually mention what to send in. Some do interviews, others want original blog posts which you can make up, or some want something on a particular topic. Also, some want jpegs, some don't. Some want links, some don't. Depends what the host asks for.

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    2. Are you asking about this blog, Anonymous? We have guest bloggers, but only by invitation and to authors we know from various social media sites.

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  5. I don't usually have guest bloggers (though I am open to it). I did have one fellow request that I blog about his book. Not having read it, I told him I needed 500 words on the external or internal conflict layer of his story and what made it unique. I got 1000 words and had to trim it down. : ) I do like paying it forward when I can. I shall keep this information handy.

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    Replies
    1. It's so annoying when they don't follow instructions!

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  6. Love the reasoning behind your inviting others to guest blog, Morgan, and the fact that you do promotion for the author. We may be solitary workers, but writers are a distinct community, and that means community spirit. You're setting a great example in showing that spirit.

    One of these days I'm going to get brave enough to be a guest on someone's blog. :-)

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    1. I'm rarely a guest, because of time constraints. It takes extra effort to get everything exactly right and not let the other person down.

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  7. Duly noted! I think I fulfill all of these requirements. The main thing I usually miss is the day to have everything in. I do appreciate a reminder. Good post.

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  8. Two wonderful examples of getting the right stuff in are Jinx Schwartz and Celia Yeary! Jinx also told others about her post and responded to comments on her day and later. Celia is scheduled for March 12 at Book Beat Babes, and I'm sure she'll do the same!

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    1. Thanks, Morgan. I love being a guest blogger a lot more than posting on my poor neglected blog. Maybe I'll host more:-)

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  9. Excellent post, Morgan. I have been hosting guests on my blog for several years and it is amazing how many of them don't follow through on their end with sharing, etc. Some don't even bother to come and leave a comment, even after I have sent them the perma-link to share and as a quick way to get to their post and leave a comment. I have guidelines for guest bloggers on the sidebar of my blog and often still have folks write to ask for specifics. I send them the link to the page on my blog. LOL

    I do a lot of promoting of my guests, and sometimes do a review of their book the Sunday prior to the guest appearance on a Wednesday. On Sunday, I encourage folks to come back on Wed to meet the author.

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    1. I've had the honor of getting a review from you and being a guest on your blog, Maryann Miller, and you do it up right!

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  10. Just thought I'd add the email I just got. I posted that I was open to guests, and for people to request guidelines. Sure enough, I got an email minutes ago from someone who attached a post that was nothing remotely resembling what I accept for my blog -- a book blurb, undoubtedly sent out everywhere someone said they have openings. Since I don't do promos or reviews on my site, it's obvious this person is "cold calling" anyone she thinks might be a place to tout her book. (Rant over -- doing my taxes is less aggravating than dealing with people who think they're above following directions.)

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    1. It's amazing how some of them act like they're paying us to provide them with a service, when actually we're spending time promoting them. Anyway, it feels good to vent! By the way, I'm not through with my taxes yet either.

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  11. Terrific post, Morgan. You can see results by the number of comments here. Good job!

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  12. Great post, Morgan. And certainly a list of things to do when you're the host of visiting authors or guests.

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  13. When I started my blog, a few years ago, I thought I'd offer a service to Indie writers by doing interviews. I did 101 in total. Of those, about half of the responses required work from me before they could be posted. Some just required a bit of formatting, but many needed spelling and grammar corrections. These were writers, trying to sell their books! You'd have thought they'd have taken a little trouble to get their English right, wouldn't you? These days, I provide a guest post opportunity only to those writers I can trust to give me a post that requires no work from me: I'm too busy to correct the errors of those who can't be bothered to be professional.

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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