Think of Guest Blog Posts as a Collection of Essays

I’m cranking up the marketing machine for the upcoming launch of Baby Grand this month, and I have already been asked to write several guest blog posts as part of my promotional campaign (thank you!).

I take writing guest blog posts very seriously. I treat them as I would any freelance writing assignment. I do find, though, that there’s a tendency among guest bloggers — particularly those who are trying to promote a product or service — to rehash what they’ve already said in other blog posts or to treat that guest post as an advertisement. As a blogger, I know what it’s like to try to write posts regularly, to try to make each one unique and totally stand-alone, and it’s difficult. It’s virtually impossible not to repeat themes or ideas, or even a sentence or two. But I think it’s important to make an effort, to try and provide the blogger you’re writing for with an original and thoughtful post that will be helpful to THEIR READERS as well as your OWN publicity strategy.

I’ve featured many, many debut author interviews and guest bloggers here at Making ‘Baby Grand,’ and it’s very easy for me to tell how much effort went into an interview or post. I do have to say that the vast majority of the authors and writers I’ve featured have gone above and beyond and sincerely shared their stories and insights with my audience, and for that I’m truly grateful. But there have been a few whose efforts seemed as if they were just looking to check me off a list, whose comments felt like I’d heard them before. And I wondered if that was because they were truly tapped out and couldn’t think of anything else to say or if they were just bored and taking the easy way out.

To keep this from happening, my plan, as a guest blogger, is to consider each guest post that I write as if it were featured in a collection of essays — each one fulfilling the overall goal of promoting my work and platform, but also meeting the needs of each individual host blog and finding a new angle with which to convey my message or journey. This way, if viewed all together as one work, there will be a uniqueness — and a cohesiveness — about them.

So when I’m asked to “just write about the publication of Baby Grand” in a guest post, I’ll already have figured out a variety of angles (the journalist in me) from which to write based on what the host blogger is looking for, such as my experience with:

  • The writing of Baby Grand
  • The editing of Baby Grand
  • Working with an agent
  • Trying to find a traditional publisher
  • The decision to self-publish
  • The importance of a book cover

You get the idea. Break down the publishing process for your book — or whatever it is you’re going to be writing guest posts about — into a bunch of different, finely focused essays that can be written in 500 to 750 words, which is the usual word count for a guest post. Do that now before you even begin your promotion. This way, you will not only provide your host bloggers with something original and targeted to their readers, but you’ll have maximized the impact of your publicity campaign without having to repeat yourself ad nauseam.

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10 thoughts on “Think of Guest Blog Posts as a Collection of Essays

  1. Brilliant, Dina. I hope you will write a guest post for me. Just let me know…I thought I was prepared and organized when it came to marketing. I am still amazed at how much work it is and how much time it takes. Try to enjoy each step, it goes by so fast.

  2. Dina,

    I was so honored to be featured on your debut author blog in early 2010. Your prompts and questions helped me realize the journey I’ve taken as a writer. Thank you again for that amazing opportunity. I still share that post from time to time.

    Good luck with Baby Grand.

    Kathleen

  3. Agreed – this is absolutely brilliant and well planned. Thank you for the idea as I’ve been meaning to go “on tour” but never seem to have the time to. With this it’s easy to prepare in advance and then to shop your topics around for the perfect fit for readers and bloggers alike.

    Best of luck with Baby Grand and all of your writing endeavours.

  4. Great advice Dina, I’m currently trying to do something entirely different on my new blog, which is all about having fun and showcasing the creativity of my guests. I agree with your sentiments 100%. Look forward to having you on the blog too, I will get the questions across to you later this week – :)

  5. This post is extremely helpful. My new book, A Real Mother: stumbling through motherhood came out in March 2012, timed specifically for Mother’s Day. But I continue to search for ways to market it (learning the marketing side makes the writing look so easy). Being a columnist does not prepare you for the marketing side of the writing business at all. I like the idea of guest posts, perhaps we can exchange posts sometime – let me know if you might be interested.

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