How to be a Gracious Blog Guest

Posted on Feb 16, 2015 by   30 Comments | Posted in Blog · Uncategorized

by Nancy Lee Badger 

Promotion is one of those things an author must endure, after they write the book. There are many ways to promote your work, such as tweeting 140 character spurts on Twitter; posting a newsy spot on Facebook; sending newsletters; buying adds in periodicals; etc. One cheap but-in my honest opinion-productive method is to appear as a guest on another person’s blog.

Blog Tours and Blog Hops are other aspects, but for the newby author, even one not yet published, who might be on the path for name recognition, appearing on a blog is an easy way to get you noticed…as long as you behave like a gracious guest.

Finding bloggers wanting to host you is a whole other article, which I cannot go into, though I invite readers to contact me directly for ideas. What I want is to help you with the following:

1) How to approach a blogger

2) What to offer a blogger to help get you a spot

3) What to look for when they say ‘yes’

4) What to send them

5) How to follow up

6) How to say thanks

How to Approach a Blogger

Let’s say you have made a list of blogs you like, or that others have recommended, or that have requested guests. These blogs usually have a contact me tab and this is where you put your request. If wanting to promote a recent or future release, mention the book’s title and genre. You should also add that you are open to write an article, answer interview questions, make up a character interview, or are looking for a review (that is a whole other article). You should also mention what weeks or months you are looking at for a post. Some bloggers are booked months in advance, so be ready for that as well.

What to offer a blogger

I mentioned that your first contact should offer several options, but only if you are comfortable with them. If you just want somewhere to spotlight your new release, say that. A spotlight basically includes the book blurb, an excerpt, the buy links, the cover photo, and the author bio. Most bloggers want more, so be prepared to fill those requests.

When they say YES

Congratulations! When you get a ‘yes’ with suggested post dates, respond immediately. The blogger should either have included a list of what they require from you and when, or will once you verify the blog date you have agreed to. I suggest taking a wall calendar and posting when this or that blog will go live. It is best not to have several promo dates too close together, or you will not be able to promote them equally. Make a note of the due date! Nothing irritates a busy blogger than to have to scramble after their next guest!

What to Send Them

Again, they should mention in an email what they want. The things that should appear in every blog post AT LEAST are:

The book cover: a jpg in a medium size

The Book Blurb: if you have a short one or the one on the back cover, that’s best

Author Bio: Readers always want to know about the author.

Social Media Links: Your Twitter account, Facebook author page, Goodreads author page, Amazon Author Page, Website, etc.

Buy Links: If the book is coming out the day of the post, or you don’t know the other buy links, you can always include a link to your website’s BOOKS tab. (you DO have a website, right?) That way you can update your own website quickly, and not have to bother the blog host. Some bloggers might send requirements in the form of a document. SAVE IT as a doc, then fill it out. Follow instructions! Again, make sure you email it back before the DUE DATE.

I made a mistake! How to Follow Up

Don’t do what I recently did that ended up screwing up a perfectly nice relationship with a blogger. Believe me, I have been at this for about 7 years and should have known better. I worked on my post, created a free Rafflecopter Giveaway, and sent the document with my photos to the blogger. On post day, the blog was not up. I waited until noon my time, since bloggers could be in different time zones, then emailed her. Her response? (and I quote) “I never got your items so I can’t put up a post if I don’t have it.”

Oops! I guess I should have followed up the day I sent the post to make sure she received it. All I could do at this point was ask if I could resend it and get it posted or could I reschedule?

She never answered me.

I cannot argue with her and say that the emails went through, and possibly ended up in her spam folder. I was in the wrong in her eyes. Another thing is to ASK if a Giveaway is okay, and make sure you do not assume the blogger will chose the winners. I use because my blog will not store emails, so I cannot contact a winner.

How to Say Thanks

Always comment on the blog post once it is live with something simple, like “Thank you for having me as a guest.” Go back and check comments all week, and reply to nice ones. Make a point to show that you are interacting with her guests. This is another reason to spread your blog appearances. I try not to do more than two a week, and once every 7 days is usually my goal. Some authors like to blast away on dozens of blogs. More power to you, but I want to get back to what I love best. Writing!

Book Blurb: My Dark Highlander, a Scottish Time Travel Romance
Plucked from her timeline, and stranded in 1603 Scotland, veterinarian Jenny Morgan is eager to get home before someone discovers her secret ability. Reading auras is a curse, and the rainbow of auras surrounding the villagers at the Highland festival is more than she can bear.
Aided by a powerful witch, she returns to New England. She will miss the North Sea, and the man who stole her heart during one dark night, but danger follows her home.
Laird Gavin Sinclair is pulled in too many directions; a missing brother, a murderous father, and a dark-eyed beauty he spent one sin-filled night protecting. When Jenny returns to the future with a witch and another man, danger follows her. Gavin must set aside his obligations, use his sorcery to follow her forward in time, and protect her. Before returning home, jealousy and lust ravage his dark soul, but his heart lightens when Jenny helps him fight every evil.
More About the Author
2014 NHHG Games 034Award-winning author Nancy Lee Badger loves chocolate-chip shortbread and wool plaids wrapped around the trim waist of a Scottish Highlander. Her stories tempt you with the clang of broadswords, and the sound of bagpipes in the air. After growing up in Huntington, New York, and raising two handsome sons in New Hampshire, she moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time. Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, Triangle Area Freelancers, and the Celtic Heart Romance Writers. Learn more about Nancy Lee Badger:

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30 Responses to "How to be a Gracious Blog Guest"

  1. Nadine Travers
    Comment by Nadine Travers
    February 16, 2015 10:16 am

    Thanks for this. It’s something I want to try and you give me good advice 🙂

    • Comment by Nancy Lee Badger
      February 16, 2015 10:47 am

      Do not be afraid! There are bloggers looking for interesting guests. Once you find one, start a list so you can go back when your next book comes out.

  2. Comment by Kelly Ann Scott
    February 16, 2015 10:41 am

    Hello Nancy.
    Thanks for all the info! And thank you for sharing the good AND the bad 🙂 I’m sure it’ll come in handy for me, in time. And I’m sure it’ll come in handy for many more very soon.
    Annie (aka Kelly Ann Scott)

    • Comment by Nancy Lee Badger
      February 16, 2015 10:49 am

      As the FF&P Blog co-chair and author of a busy blog for authors, I have been on both ends. Chasing guests is no fun, so I hope y’all take these tips to heart!

      p.s. FF&P is always looking for authors to share their craft ideas. Let me know if anyone is interested in posting with us.

  3. Comment by Alanna Lucas
    February 16, 2015 11:11 am

    Wonderful advice- thank you for sharing! I’ve never had chocolate chip shortbread- gotta find some 🙂

  4. Comment by Donna Steele
    February 16, 2015 11:29 am

    Great advice, Nancy! I almost stumbled myself a little while ago and am so glad I contacted the blogger to ensure she had everything (she didn’t) but I did and resent immediately. Promotion is so much harder than writing the dang book…

  5. Comment by Linda Watson
    February 16, 2015 12:43 pm

    Love your lemonade, Nancy, thanks! You are being too hard on yourself though. Given how unreliable email is, she could have asked where your post was when she didn’t get it. And when you explained, she could have just rolled with it and moved on. For those of you who do take guest posts, please remember to give your guests the benefit of the doubt!

    • Comment by Nancy Lee Badger
      February 17, 2015 9:52 am

      I will admit I do not follow up with my own guests as I should. I use my calendar and I print out the website screen shot of where I will be a guest, so I have it in a folder. I will be on an Australian blog in August! That is how far out there were accepting guests, so I better not forget!

  6. Comment by Mickey
    February 16, 2015 5:03 pm

    You are really “paying it forward” by showing others the ins and outs of blogging. Good article.

  7. Comment by Anastasia Abboud
    February 16, 2015 11:35 pm

    Thank you for the interesting and helpful post! I had never thought about being a guest on a blog or what it might entail, so I am now much better informed.
    I am sorry that your last guest spot fell through. It does seem to me that the host (blogger) might have been a little more forgiving.

    • Comment by Nancy Lee Badger
      February 17, 2015 9:56 am

      Anastasia! You are a published author and have not blogged? I would love to interview you. Send my a note at 013vpnancy @ gmail .com (no spaces) after you check out my blog (link is above)
      2015 is my year to pay-it-forward with authors!

  8. Comment by Sheila
    February 17, 2015 12:15 pm

    You had a few difficulties in the learning process, but you
    certainly did something about it. And helped the rest of us too!

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