Blog Improvement Project Week #21: Guest Posts!

by Kim on November 9, 2009 · 15 comments

2009bip-150x210So this is about a week late, and for that I apologize. As I mentioned in a previous post, last week just got away from me and I didn’t have time to think about the BIP until about Thursday night. I decided to wait until today to post so there was more time to do Random Acts of Kindness, and so we can take the week of Thanksgiving off from BIP projects.

One topic I’ve wanted to do for awhile now but kept skipping over was guest posting. Guest posting is a good way to do a lot of the things other BIP tasks worked on — connecting with other bloggers, promoting your blog, and leaving and responding to comments.

There are two ways to think about guest posting — soliciting guest posts for your blog from readers (or authors, whatever) or offering to write a guest post for another blog. This week’s task is going to focus on how to pitch and write a guest post for another blog, since I think that process can be a little more intimidating than asking for guest post for your own blog.

Articles and Resources

I found a few articles that expand on the basic steps of pitching and submitting a guest post. This piece from ProBlogger, How To Be A Good Guest Blogger, has good advice, and if you scroll to the bottom you can read an entire series of posts on the idea of guest posting.

You can also read How NOT to Get a Guest Post Published on a Blog, which includes 11 mistakes to avoid. Some are obvious (using someone else’s content), but others I hadn’t thought of (writing on ideas that the host blogger doesn’t agree with).

One of the benefits of guest posting is that you can try to convince readers to go and check out your blog. Blog Authority gives these suggestions for how to help get readers from the guest post site to your blog. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has added blogs to my reader after enjoying a really good guest post.

The Task

So basically, pitching a guest post is relatively simple. Here’s the basic process and the task:

  • E-mail the blog author to introduce yourself and tell them what you want to write about
  • If they say they’d like the post, go ahead and write it up then send it back to them.
  • After the post is published, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the comments so you can respond to questions or interact with readers.
  • You should also promote the guest post (on your blog, on Twitter, whatever).

Ideas Where to Pitch Guest Posts

Off the top of my head, I can think of two book blog related sites that I know welcome guest posts: Weekly Geeks and the Women Unbound Challenge. I think Buy Books for the Holidays also does, but I haven’t been able to confirm that. If you’re nervous about this task, those are three book blogger friendly places to try.

Edited To Add: The Really Old Classics Challenge is also looking for guest posts. This would be a great one if you love to read old books and have some suggestions about how to do that.

That’s not to say other places are not friendly, just that these are ones I know about. Feel free to add others in the comments and I’ll update the list with other blogs or sites that are actively looking for guest posts.

Once you’ve pitched your post, leave a comment letting us know how it went or leave a link to the guest post. It’ll be cool to see how many guest posts can happen based on the work from BIP participants!

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Jodie November 9, 2009 at 9:16 am

I did this literally yesterday, can I count it? I can confirm that Books for the Holidays may take guest posts, because that’s where mine is going to go up.

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Kim November 9, 2009 at 9:44 am

Yeah, Jodie, that definitely counts. What did you post on, and do you know when it’s going up?

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Jodie November 9, 2009 at 12:40 pm

I sent them a post about 2 non-profits that would be great organisations for people to buy books for. Not sure when it goes up though, getting Twitter notification.

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Louise November 9, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Ooohhh. I am going to have to think if I dare write others and shove a post down their throats ;)

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Kim November 12, 2009 at 3:39 pm

Louise: Nah, it’s not shoving a post, it’s helping them come up with more content! It’s being helpful ;)

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Jackie (Farm Lane Books) November 10, 2009 at 9:53 am

I’ve found somewhere to guest post and am also trying to get someone to guest post on my blog. This is a great task and hopefully it is beneficial for both sides.

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Kim November 12, 2009 at 3:39 pm

Jackie: Yay! I can’t wait to see how things go.

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Rebecca Reid November 11, 2009 at 8:54 pm

I co-host the Really Old Classics Challenge and we too would LOVE guest post-ers. I’m not sure where to find them, but this post has prompted me to put a post up asking for volunteers!

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Kim November 12, 2009 at 3:40 pm

Rebecca: That’s great, I hope you get some guest posts. I’ll add a link to the Really Old Classics blog in this post. If you end up with some good posts and feel like it, please leave the links for people to read.

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Julia Smith November 13, 2009 at 6:03 pm

Kim, this sounds very challenging. And fun! I’m busy all through November with NaNoWriMo, so I won’t be able to do this until December or more probably January. I’ll be sure to push myself to approach a complete stranger instead of one of the blog friends I already have. They do a lot of guest blogging and that would be too easy.

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Kim November 15, 2009 at 4:38 pm

Julia: That’s an excellent idea. I sort of wimped out and wrote to the Women Unbound challenge, but for my first guest post I think it’s a decent start :) I hope you find a good blog to pitch to.

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Care November 16, 2009 at 6:45 pm

how funny! I was searching for guidelines on this topic just a few hours ago. The Women Unbound is open to guest blogging and I’m coordinating – but I wasn’t sure how many words to specify. I’ve decided 400-800; but I’m sure either side of that will be fine, too. Thanks!

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Kim November 16, 2009 at 9:35 pm

Care: Yay, awesome. I’m not sure there’s a word “requirement” but 400-800 seems like a good blog post length.

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