What is Guest Blogging?
Guest blogging is when you are invited (or you invite yourself) to write an article for another person's blog. They may offer you the whole post for the day or a section of that post. An important thing to consider about being a guest blogger is what are you going to write about. Make sure that your subject matches up with the focus of the blog you are thinking about being a guest blogger on. That means you will not always be talking about yourself or your book (there is usually an intro or credit line that mentions your writing credentials). Guest blogging is not an opportunity to write an infomercial but an opportunity to enhance your status in the blogoshere as an expert with valuable information to share with a blogger's readers.
The Benefits of Guest Blogging
Guest blogging, when done right, benefits everyone involved. You should take this opportunity to ensure this is a win-win-win situation. If you do so, then you will find more and more opportunities to guest blog.
* It's a win for the person who has invited you to blog. Blogging takes a considerable time commitment, especially if you are committed to put out quality, useful information on a regular basis. Bloggers who put out useful content to help people become better in one way or another have a lot of work to do. When an articulate expert comes along and says, "I would love an opportunity to share some of my knowledge with your readers," it gives them a needed break while not stopping the continuity of their blog. It also expands their professional network. Finally, it may increase their own readership because the guest blogger may have followers who now are aware of the host's blog.
* It's a win for the readers of the blog you are invited to guest write on. People read blogs because of the information they provide. A fresh voice, an new, unknown writer, and a different take on a subject can be refreshing. The guest blogger can often say something that resonates with the readers of the blog. If you write with the readers in mind, and not just as an opportunity to sell books or promote yourself, you will be remembered for your useful content. Soon, people will start to search the web to see what else you have written.
* It's a win for you. Guest blogging is a wonderful way to build up your own professional network. If you are a reliable, articulate guest blogger who cherishes other people's blog readers, you will find yourself with invites to come back as a guest blogger. It also increases your presence on the internet. The more content you put on the web, the easier it will be for people to find you and the more the term "expert" will apply to you in other people's eyes. It also helps you find more readers by exposing you to people you would not have been exposed to had you not guest written for a blog. This way, you actually increase the sales of your books without having to have written infomercials about your book on those blogs.
How to Find Guest Blogging Opportunities
So, you are sold on the benefits of guest blogging. Great. Now, where do you start? There are a number of ways you can find opportunities to guest blog. Use a little elbow grease and you will have more opportunities than you can use.
* Search blog search engines for subjects you would like to write on. Visit the blogs that are returned in the searches. If the blog focus on a subject you are comfortable writing on, then contact the blog's owner and introduce yourself. Let them know what you like about their blog and offer to guest write for them if they have the opportunity available. Make sure you link to some of your writing samples so they can get a feel of your writing style. Also, ask them if they have a specific topic they would like you address. After a few e-mail exchanges, you may have your first guest blogging gig.
Here are two great places to go to search for blogs:
Technorati: This is the granddaddy of blog search engines. All they do is index blogs and they do it well.
Google Blog Search: Google has a powerful blog search engine. I use this just as much as I do Technorati.
* Follow blogs and comment liberally. If you find a blog you like, follow it and leave comments on the author's posts. This starts to build your awareness in the eyes of the blogger. This can give you a warm contact when approaching them to guest blog.
* Ask for introductions. You can work your network by asking someone you know who has guest blogged to mention you to the blog's owner. This is a great way to get an invite to guest write for a blog.
* If you have a blog, invite someone to guest write on your blog. It may make it easier for them to return the offer and ask you to write for them.
Final Tips To Help You Stay Competitive as a Guest Blogger
Here are a few parting tips to help you stand out as a pro when it comes to guest blogging:
* Beat the Deadline. Nothing can frustrate a blog owner more than having to remind people to turn in their article. Chances are they made room for your content and being late on your deadline may put them into a position where they have to replace your spot with other content. Unless you have a compelling reason of why you missed your deadline, you may as well forget being asked by them to ever guest write for their blog again. And if they are well connected, your reputation as an unreliable writer may precede you.
* Submit Unique Content. If you have been asked to guest blog, don't copy/paste something you wrote for someone else. If the blog owner wanted that piece, they would have linked to it. That's doesn't mean you can't rework a piece you have already written. And by all means, don't submit another person's work as yours. That will do more damage to your reputation than you could ever imagine. I promise, it will never be worth the grave consequences of plagiarizing someone's work.
* Link Liberally. The great thing about blogs is that it allows you to share information easily. In blogging, one of the highest complements you can pay to another blogger is to link to one of their articles in their blog. If you master the art of linking, you can cram more useful information into a much smaller space. You can also create a piece with high value as a ready reference for readers who just may bookmark your article to refer back to later.
I hope these tips help you find ways to increase your presence as an expert in your field. Guest blogging can be a wonderful way to build your writing portfolio while sharing your knowledge with people who need it.
And for the record, I invite guest bloggers to contribute to Marketing Tips For Authors. The first guest blogger is Kat Smith, media consultant for authors and author of two books, on March 10th. I am currently booked three months out. If you have marketing tips that you would like to share with my readers, let's talk.