Have you ever felt envious of how many readers other blogs attract? If so, you aren’t alone. As an author it is normal to imagine how much easier it would be to gain exposure and sell more books if only we had a larger audience.
Unfortunately, growing your blog audience takes time. Most successful blogs are active for years before they can be considered high traffic generating. If you have already published your book(s), you may not have the luxury of time.
Thankfully there is a solution: guest blogging.
If you are not familiar with guest blogging, it refers to the practice of writing blog posts for other blogs. Ideally, you will be writing for those high traffic generating blogs you are envious of.
In this post we will discuss the benefits of guest blogging, how to secure guest blogging opportunities and how to use guest blogging to sell more books.
Why Authors Should Write Guest Blog Posts
There are several benefits of guest blogging, which include:
1. Exposure to A New Audience
Guest blogging on blogs that have a larger audience is certainly a benefit, but exposure to a new audience is even more important. When you are able to guest blog on a website within your niche, you immediately are exposed to hundreds or thousands of new people.
The problem with only blogging on your own site is that your content is often seen by the same loyal blog readers. Your goal should be to continually grow your reader base.
2. New Readers For Your Blog
Growing your own blog is another benefit of guest blogging. When you write a great guest blog post, readers will head over to your website to check out more useful content. When done right, you can secure dozens of new blog subscribers very quickly thanks to guest blogging.
Make sure that you focus on writing high quality posts and include an interesting bio about yourself with links to your website and social media accounts. When you give away helpful information for free, people will come to your website for more.
3. High Authority Backlinks To Your Website
Backlinks help with search engine optimization. Let’s not get too technical here. When you search something on Google, you see results in an order of relevance. One of the major criteria for pages that rank high on Google is backlinks, meaning other websites include a link to your site.
When you guest blog you are able to include a bio with a link to your website. Over time guest blogging can result in a lot of different websites having your link within their blog. This means Google will send more free traffic your way!
Not bad, huh?
4. Forms New Relationships With Influencers
Never underestimate the importance of forming relationships in life. Knowing the right people can make all the difference. This is especially true when it comes to selling books.
Due to the plethora of books available, most people choose books to read based on recommendations from people they trust. Many of the people who run the blogs you will be writing for are trusted and have a large following.
Make sure you take time to build relationships with these people. One of the biggest mistakes guest bloggers make is forgetting the importance of relationships. Sure, there are plenty of benefits of writing the post and moving on, but you will be missing out on possibly the biggest benefit if you squander the opportunity to gain a lifelong advocate for your books.
Consider sending them a free copy of one of your books as a gift once your post goes live. This will help you stand out and may lead to an endorsement from them.
5. Builds Authority
One of the main reasons blogging is so popular is that it builds authority. When you are able to share your expertise, people start to consider you an expert. Being seen as an expert makes it much easier to sell things, including books.
How Authors Can Secure Guest Blog Posts
Now that you know the benefits of guest blogging, you are probably eager to get started. So, how exactly do you find guest blogging opportunities?
The first thing you will want to do is make a list of your favorite blog sites. Starting with websites you are very familiar with is best because you will already know the type of content they accept and post. Once you create that list, you can add other websites that interest you. It is important to pinpoint websites that you think your target audience will be reading. Otherwise your posts will not be seen by people who will be interested in you and your books.
It is very important that you are organized when it comes to your guest blogging opportunities. I have found that creating an excel spreadsheet is the easiest way to keep myself organized. I create a spreadsheet with the following columns:
- Website Name
- Contact Name
- Link To Guest Blogging Guidelines
- Date of Outreach
- Accepted or Denied
- Topic For Post
- Link To Published Guest Blog Post
Once you have your spreadsheet set up, you are ready to start reaching out to the sites on your list. Most websites have a portion of their website that outlines their guest posting guidelines. Make sure you look through these guidelines prior to contacting the website.
The rest of the process is fairly straightforward: follow the guidelines and secure your opportunity. If the website does not have a blog guideline section you should make contact and include 2-3 potential topic ideas.
How Authors Can Use Guest Blogging To Sell More Books
Now that you have several guest posting opportunities you are probably wondering how to make sure your posts help you sell more books. I have a lot of experience writing guest blog posts and I can tell you that simply writing the post isn’t enough. Here are a few tips to increase your odds:
1. Optimize Your Own Website For Sales
Is your own website optimized to be a sales machine? Most author websites actually are not. Make sure that your website makes it easy for visitors to learn about your books and buy them. You also want to make it easy for visitors to subscribe to your email list so you can continue to engage with them moving forward.
2. Include Call-To-Actions In Your Post
When you guest blog you do not want to be overly promotional. The quickest way to get your post denied is for it to be blatantly promotional. This doesn’t mean that you can’t include something about yourself or your book. Find subtle ways to mention one of your books or include a link to your website/blog.
3. Write An Intriguing Bio
The bio is your best friend. This is where people will learn who you are and how to connect with you. Make sure your bio answers includes:
- Who you are
- What you do for a living
- A link to your website
- The titles of your most popular book(s)
4. Monitor The Comment Section
I cannot tell you how many guest bloggers make the mistake of thinking their job is over once the post goes live. They couldn’t be more wrong. Once your post goes live it is so important that you monitor the comment section and respond to every comment. When people take time to comment on your post, they are significantly more likely to become a fan of yours. Take time to solidify the relationship!
5. Promote The Posts Like Crazy
The final thing you need to do is promote your guest posts like crazy. Post them on your social media accounts, email them to your blog subscribers, create a section on your website that lists all the guest posts you have written, etc. The bottom line is you cannot rely on the website to do all the promotion. If you are able to drive significant traffic to a post on someone else’s website they will want you to write for them again and again.
Guest blogging is a proven way to grow a business, and as an author you are running a business. The reason guest blogging is so powerful for authors is that we are great writers. Writing is something that comes easy, so there is no reason for authors to not be pursuing guest blogging opportunities.
Have you written a guest blog post? If so, let me know your experience below!