Friday, January 10, 2014

Build Your Author Platform by Guest Posting

By Dana Lynn Smith

Contributing articles to blogs other than your own is called “guest posting”—in fact, the article that you’re reading right now is a guest post.

Guest posting is a great opportunity to build your author platform and gain exposure to potential book buyers that you might not reach in any other way. As an added benefit, guest posts usually generate links from the sites you post on back to your own website, which helps improve the search engine optimization of your site.

Guest posts are win-wins for everyone. Readers get useful or entertaining articles, bloggers get additional content for their sites, and guest posters build their reputation, get links to their websites, and have the opportunity to sell books.

Author guest posts can take the form of how-to articles, essays, interviews, or case studies, and you can even create audio or video posts. Fiction authors can discuss the writing process or topics related to their novel.

One terrific way to do guest posts is to organize a virtual book tour where you will visit a series of blogs, radio shows, and other venues during a certain time frame. See the article, Promote Your Book with a Virtual Book Tour, to learn more about virtual tours.

To get started with guest posting, look for blogs that are a good match for your book's target audience, then reach out to the blog owners to propose a guest post. It’s best to develop some rapport with the blog owners first by making thoughtful comments on their blog and/or interacting on social networks.

Check with each blogger to see what their requirements are for the length of the post, the topic, and whether they accept previously published content. Some bloggers list their guest post guidelines on their site, so look for that before making contact.

Be sure to include a good “about the author” paragraph at the end of your article, containing a two- or three-sentence bio, a call to action, and a link back to your website. The call to action should include an incentive for people to visit your site, such as a free report or sample chapters. You may want to include a link to your book's page on Amazon as well.

Include your author photo and a book cover when submitting your article, along with a note saying something like “my photo and book cover are attached if you’d like to use them.” Many bloggers will post one or both graphics with your article.

Guest posting can be a highly effective platform building and promotional technique, and I encourage authors to include this strategy in their book marketing plans.

About Dana Lynn Smith

Dana Lynn Smith, The Savvy Book Marketer, helps authors and indie publishers learn how to sell more books through her blog, newsletter, and how-to guides covering topics such as organizing virtual book tours, getting reviews, increasing sales on Amazon, developing a book marketing plan, and more. Get her free Top Book Marketing Tips guide at


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