As an author, you’ve probably started a blog to promote your book or at least considered doing so. However, you’ve probably found that it’s difficult to build a blog readership from ground zero. The good news is, there is a faster way to get your blog posts read by the world—write guest posts for blogs that already have an established audience.
If you can find a blog with a niche and audience that is similar to your own and can create custom, high-quality content for it, this is a win-win situation. The blog author gets a break from creating new content, and you get your message out to readers who may never visit your own blog.
Best Practices for Guest Posting
Here are some general guidelines for writing guest blog posts:
- Do your research. If you want to write an article about how you authored a travel memoir, don’t contact the manager of a blog that specializes in animal photography. You’d be surprised how many guest posters use the “shotgun” approach and try to get their work featured on blogs that are completely off-topic.
- View the blog’s guest posting guidelines. Does a blog manager want to see a completed post or just a pitch? How many words should an article be? Not every blog has a list of guidelines for guest posters, but if they do, be sure to read them and abide by the rules, or you might never get a second look.
- Write to the blog’s readership. Before you write your post, read several posts on the blog you’re reaching out to and make sure that a) your post’s style is in line with other posts already on the blog and b) that it’s aimed at the blog’s target readership.
- Be unique. Never pitch a post that’s already been featured on another blog. Bloggers are looking for original content.
- Fill a need. To make sure your blog post topic is relevant, think about a nagging question or a stumbling block you conquered in the past. Then, write a blog post as if you were addressing your former stuck self.
- Don’t fill a post with links. Links in a blog post or website can be distracting. If the manager of a blog decides to feature your post, it’s doing them a disservice to distract their readers so that they’re clicking off to a different site every few paragraphs—especially if it’s your own site, in which case you’re promoting yourself repeatedly on someone else’s platform. Not cool.
- Include white space. When writing for the Internet, keep your paragraphs short and utilize bulleted and numbered lists often.
- Provide photos. If the blog’s guidelines request it, be sure to include your own high-resolution headshot (for the byline). You may also include relevant photographs that relate to your post’s content (make sure if you use someone else’s photographs that they’re royalty free and full attribution is given to the original creator).
- Always, always edit. Do not send a blog manager your first draft. Make sure you proofread your post and have somebody else read to make sure it’s concise and error-free.
Author Academy Elite is currently accepting guest blog posts to feature on our website. Would you like to be considered? Read on to find out what we’re looking for.
The posts on our blog generally fall into four different categories.
Here are some sample topics that would fit into the writing category:
- Structuring your narrative
- Writing your proposal
- How to start/finish/continue to write your book
- How to improve your writing skills
- Grammar and writing mechanics
- Fiction/Children’s/Young Adult/Middle Grade/Nonfiction/Memoir/Poetry writing techniques and tips
- Collaborating with other writers
This category encompasses a wide variety of topics all centered around the publishing industry:
- Cover and layout design
- Self-publishing, traditional publishing, collaborative publishing experiences
- Literary agents
- Copyright and trademark
- Transitioning from traditional or self-publishing to AAE
- Republishing a previously published book
The marketing category covers any activity you do to market, promote, or advertise your book:
- Social media
- Email marketing
- Using Author Wizards
- In-person networking
- Promotional videos and book trailers
- Finding your target reader
- Building a business around your book
- Advertising (Amazon, Google, Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
- Book signings
- TV appearances
- Speaking engagements
This last of the four categories is pretty self-explanatory. If you’ve enjoyed some success after publishing your book with AAE, we’d love to hear your story of success! This doesn’t necessarily have to be about financial success because everyone defines success differently. For instance, if you’ve had some success at signing a contract to have your book translated into another language, this is something our readers will want to learn about.
AAE’s Guest Blogging Guidelines
We welcome all types of writers to guest post on our blog, so that doesn’t mean you have to be one of the world’s top experts on writing or publishing. Ask yourself the following questions to discover what you might have to contribute:
- Is there a way I can use the concepts in my book to talk about writing or publishing?
- Did I tackle a unique problem when I wrote, published, or promoted my book?
- What have I learned throughout the process of becoming a published author?
- What techniques have I used to define my target reader that I feel will help others become more successful?
- What was my biggest obstacle, and how did I overcome it?
- What advice do I have for other authors?
Here is some information to bear in mind (you can read the AAE blog guidelines in full here: bit.ly/AAE-Blog-Guidelines):
- Your post should be between 800 and 1,000 words.
- Do not primarily write your post to promote your book—write to inspire or help others (selling is serving, marketing is storytelling).
- Write an introduction, at least two main points, and a conclusion.
- We welcome you to include a two- to three-sentence bio, your author photo, and one link to your social media page or website.
- Be sure to edit your post multiple times before submitting it. You should also be open to having your blog post edited as we see fit.
- Don’t get discouraged if your first post doesn’t get accepted—we’ll give you some helpful feedback to guide you to a blog post that is a perfect brand-match.
- Once your post has been approved, we will schedule it and give you a publication date so you can promote it to your friends and followers. (We will also share your post on our social media channels.)
- Have fun and be creative with your post!
Already have an idea for a blog post you’d like to write? Fill out this form to let us know.
This article helped me to write my own AAE guest blog post. Very valuable information. Thank you!
So cool! You’re an action taker.