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Marketing for Introverts – Part 4


By Donna Schlachter

Reaching Readers Without Leaving Your House

Guest Blogging

So far this year we’ve covered three topics related to Marketing for Introverts—Reaching readers without leaving your house. They are: Connecting with readers where they are (February); Facebook and other social media (April); and Newsletters (June). Hopefully, you’ve had the opportunity to engage each of these opportunities, one at a time, building on each to propel you forward to the next outlet to reach your readers. Please leave a comment if you have, and how things are going for you. Have you seen an increase in followers, subscribers, readers, or sales?

If you haven’t, go back and take a look at each of these posts. I know, putting ourselves out there and talking up our books can sometimes be daunting. This is where I remind you about the difference between marketing and promotion. Marketing is providing a service or a good that your purchaser wants/needs. Promotion is where you convince them they want or need what you’re selling. See that subtle difference?

As we explore guest blogging this month, I hope you’ll think about how you can incorporate that into what you’re already doing. None of us can implement every good idea into our life—there’s just too much to do, too many choices to make, and not enough time, energy, or resources.

One neat thing about guest blogging is that you control how much time you spend writing copy for others. When you sign up to blog for me, for example, you can choose one or more slots, depending on your availability. You’re not committing to write forever for a blog host, either.

So why might you want to guest blog for others? Here are several reasons:

  • You have extra time on your hands – probably not the reason for most writers.
  • You have books releasing frequently, and you want to share the good news.
  • You want to expand your reach – blog hosts might have readers that you don’t have access to, so blogging for them increases the number of people who hear about you.
  • You want to help the blog host out – maybe somebody you know is just starting a blog, and needs some material. Blogging for them gets you in on the ground floor with them, and pays kindness forward. We can never have too much of that!
  • You are swapping blogs with another blog host – I often do that when I have written a book in a multi-author series, and we blog for each other when our book releases. This keeps the series in readers’ minds, reaches their readers with our book and our readers with their books, and usually results in a higher-selling series
  • You write a blog post because your book fits into the niche of another author – for example, I write every month for a blog that features heroes, heroines, and history – right up my alley. The bloggers write about all sorts of topics that are in their books. The posts are non-fiction, even though the authors all write fiction. So think about the topics in your books. I write about American history, Colorado, the Pony Express, stagecoaches, mining, recipes, cooking, and more, and I’ve done guest blogs on all those topics.

No doubt, there are more reasons to guest blog for somebody, but the real information you probably want is: how do I go about that? Here are suggestions:

  1. Check with your friends and see if they have a blog, tell them you’re interested in writing for them, then commit to doing that. Ask for guidelines, as some are specific as to length, PG rating, and structure.
  2. Post on FB groups you belong to (make sure these kinds of posts don’t break the group rules) that you’d like to host guest bloggers and be a guest blogger. Ask them to Direct Message (DM) you their sign-up link or blog link, or your link(s) if they want to blog for you. I do this on a monthly basis.
  3. Post on other groups, such as the Main Loop for Pikes Peak Writers and other groups you belong to that you’re looking for guest bloggers and for opportunities to guest blog for them.
  4. Find out the deadline to submit, and don’t be late. In fact, be early if you can.
  5. Include at least one interesting picture related to your topic, as well as a good-quality headshot and cover image. Also, include link(s) to your book.

As you can see, guest blogging or hosting guest bloggers isn’t as daunting as it might seem. But how do you organize all of this?

I use Sign-Up Genius, one slot per day, every day of the year. Some authors like to have themes for the days of the week, or only take guest bloggers a few times a week or a month. Me, I’d like it if guest bloggers would cover most of the days for me, although I do post 2-3 posts around release date for my books. Sign-Up Genius is free and easy, and once a month I go in and delete the dates from the past and add new ones in on the end.

I also keep a spreadsheet, in which I have a column for date, date due (7 days prior to scheduled date), author name, date they contacted me (date of email I received from SUG after they sign up), date I sent them my guidelines (see note below), date I received the blog post, date I set it up on my blog, date I send the author the URL, whether there is a giveaway (see note 2 below), and the URL so I can easily copy and paste it into promo posts on social media platforms.

Being a guest blogger or hosting guest bloggers doesn’t need to be a tiresome drudge. Instead, look at it as a short vacation where you’ll meet new friends without having to travel. If you’d like to guest blog for me, or you have openings you need filled, be sure to contact me.

Note 1: Guidelines – I tell authors that the guidelines are just that, apart from PG-13 or G rating; headshot; cover image (if they are published, which they don’t have to be); and sending it to me at least 7 days before the scheduled date. Other than that, they can pick and choose what they want to do. I provide questions, suggestions such as devotional, spotlight, interview, and they can mix and match. I suggest 300-500 words, but I do accept longer.

Note 2: Giveaway – giveaways of a print or ebook, or something related to the topic or setting of the book, are fulfilled by the guest blogger and chosen randomly by me from comments left on the blog. In recent years, giveaways are less of a draw for readers to leave a comment than they used to be. I’ve seen blogs that are super popular that don’t do giveaways. And not every author has something they want to give. I usually suggest including (US only, please) in the post mentioning the giveaway to keep costs down, unless, of course, you and most of your guest bloggers live in another country. In that case, mention that country (Canada only, please; etc.)

A hybrid author, Donna writes squeaky-clean historical and contemporary suspense. She has been published more than 60 times in books; is a member of several writers’ groups; facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes; ghostwrites; edits; and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, traveling extensively for both, and is an avid oil painter. She is taking all the information she’s learned along the way about the writing and publishing process and is coaching writers at any stage of their manuscript. Need a writing coach? Learn more here.  Check out her coaching group on FB here


Visti Donna’s website to stay connected so you learn about new releases, preorders, and presales, and check out featured authors, book reviews, and a little corner of peace. Plus Receive 2 free ebooks simply for signing up for our free newsletter! Find Donna on Social Media at these links: Blog : Facebook : Twitter : GoodReads

Buy her books at Amazon and Bookbub.


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