How and Why to Publish Guest Posts and Guest Articles for Authors

How and Why to Publish Guest Posts and Guest Articles for Authors

Greetings, authors and friends! 👋

Joe Walters here. This is my first book marketing blog post with you all, so I’m going to make it real spicy. A cup of chili flakes. A pound of Frank’s Red Hot. A whole heaping pile of marketing advice for you to think about, act on, and reap the benefits of. S-P-I-C-Y.

Today, I’ll be talking about the benefits and processes of guest posts for authors, from benefits to pitfalls to how to get it done. Instead of rambling on for another few minutes (which trust me, I could do), I’m just gonna jump right into it.


The big question is what is a guest post or guest article

In order to make yourself known to a specific publication’s fan-base, an author may choose to write a unique blog post or article so that the publication will publish it on their websites, magazines, newsletters, and more.

When you submit your book for potential review or interview to a publication, you should recognize that you are submitting your book alongside many, many others—including those published by Penguin, MacMillan, and a whole bunch of other publishing giants. It is absolutely one-million-percent worth it to try to get book reviews and interviews, but after submitting for a while, you may start to notice that you’ll either need to research even more potential review outlets or try something new. Instead of spending the time doing that media research for the 5th time, I would recommend writing a guest post or guest article for an outside publication.

Why You Should Do It

You need to expand your reach. Right now, you likely have a set number of people who you can show your book’s sales pages to: social media followers, newsletter subscribers, blog followers, and forum and group members. If you’ve been doing a good job of providing regular and strategic content to those fans, that’s great. But however much they love your new content, they may have already bought your book, so their fandom is great but it is not increasing your sales.

That’s why you need to brainstorm different ways that you can bring new followers to you. Oftentimes, that’s in the form of publicity through book reviews and interviews, but since you will NOT be reviewed or interviewed in each platform you pitch, you’re going to reach a point where you feel like you're grasping at straws. Instead of that, let's give guest posts for authors its due consideration, shall we?

If you write and publish a guest post about a relevant topic on another publication’s website, here are a few things that could happen:

  • The publication may tag you on social media, alerting their followers that they can follow you too.
  • You can leave your most often-used social media link or “@...” in your bio, and readers can choose to follow you if they liked your post.
  • You can leave your book title in the bio, as well as your website link (if allowed).
  • You can link within the post to a post you wrote on your personal website, sending readers clicking to your site
  • You can write a catchy title that is often searched on Google (including a good keyword), and it can appear on the first page of Google for hundreds of people per day. That means new visitors visit that blog post long after the actual publication date of the post
  • In your future bios, you can include any big-name publications that you place a post with. If you say your work has been featured in Buzzfeed, LitHub, etc., the people who read the back cover of your next book will feel like you are a validated (note the capitalization) Writer.
  • You can write a blog post that is related to your book’s content, both fiction and nonfiction, which may or may not actually give you reign to link something about your book in the post itself.
  • While rare, it is definitely possible that a reader enjoys reading your work so much that they see your book in the bio and buy it. But keep in mind that it usually takes more than just one thing for a person to decide to buy a book; that’s where your social media, reviews, interviews, & accolades will help convince them to hit purchase.

Possible Pitfalls About Writing Guest Posts

Before you keep going, you should know that guest posts and guest articles are not sure-fire ways to increase your reach—although, if you keep doing it, it’s pretty darn close to it.

You may spend a lot of time writing your guest post. You may have to do research, find appropriate links, pitch to publications, and realize that people either don’t want to publish your work, don’t want to answer you (most common), or don’t have an audience that will really increase your reach that much. One non-book-buying social media follower for a few hours of work may not feel like a good return on time investment.

But still, if you write enough of these, you will see a return—I’m sure of it.

Hot to Get Started Writing and Publishing Guest Posts

Writing & Publishing Guest Posts

First, you’re going to want to figure out what you can write about. Start first with topics that are at least loosely related to your book’s topic, keywords, and categories. If you write fiction, focus in on reading-focused blog posts or writing-focused blog posts specific to your genre. After that, dig into the topics/themes that your book features prominently and ask yourself if you’d be willing to speak on them. If you write nonfiction, focus first on the topics and subjects that your book features prominently. You should have plenty of directions you could take this, from something you learned in research or something active in your field that you know and can talk about. Book and movie listicles could work in your favor too.

After you’ve assembled that list, try to brainstorm around three blog post titles that you’d be willing to write for each topic. Most blogs and publications are looking for content that includes multiple subheadings throughout (like this or this), so try to include phrases like “10 Great…” “How to…” etc. It might not hurt to consider if the topic you’re writing about would have an often-searched keyword in it either, like “10 Insightful Books About Writing” or “What You Need to Know About George Washington History.”

Once you have your list of potential blog post titles, it’s time to research. Start finding your way around publications that publish material for the audience you’re trying to reach. You can add the platforms who didn’t answer your review pitches, and you can add to your list by pinpointing your audience and going to the websites where they frequent.

How to Send Your Pitch

After you have your list of publications who might be interested in a few of your posts, it’s time to pitch.

But, wait, Joe—you didn’t tell us to write the blog post yet!

Good eye, random hypothetical author. You do NOT need to write the post before you pitch. Matter of fact, you actually don’t want to. You want to email the publication with multiple options they can choose from. Instead of writing a bunch of unpublished blog posts, all you need is a few titles.

Format:

  • Subject line: Would you be interested in a guest post about [Topic/Keyword]?
  • Direct address: Always personalize for each email.
  • Para 1: Greet and introduce yourself as an author. Thank them for being an outlet for [specific audience] to get to know important topics like [keyword].
  • Para 2: Ask them, “Are you open to guest posts at [OutletName]? I would love the opportunity to contribute to your site with a blog post tentatively titled the following:
    • “10 Ways to Be a Better Flyfisherman”
    • “How to Use a [Flyfishing Object]”
    • “The history of Flyfishing in Pennsylvania”
  • Para 3: “Would you be interested in publishing any of those blog posts? Just let me know which one you’d be most excited about, and I’ll get it ready for you within [x weeks you feel comfortable with].” Thank them for the opportunity and let them know that they can ask any questions they’d like.

What to do if your guest post is accepted

Dance! Then write, I guess. Revise. Edit. All the stuff that makes you happy to be a writer.

When you send your draft back to the contact who asked for it, include a separate attachment for your 4-5 sentence author bio that has a link to your website or most often-used social media account. Mention your book in the bio. Also attach an author photo for if they choose to use it.

When the post is published, share that thing on your social media feeds! Pop it into your newsletter. Thank the outlet for publishing it and then add the new publication to your website.

But that's all you're getting from me this time! Thanks for checking out this post on guest posts for authors. If you liked what you read, please check out the following links: 

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About the Author

Joe Walters is the author of How And Why to Publish Guest Posts and Guest Articles for Authors

Joe Walters is the friendly neighborhood marketing guy at Sunbury Press. He is also the founder of Independent Book Review and a book marketing specialist at Paper Raven Books. In his free time, he enjoys working on his novel, taking road trips, and trusting the process. He tweets at @joewalters13.

Mavericks, Mystics, and Misfits Is a Finalist for the NIEA Awards

Mavericks, Mystics, and Misfits Is a Finalist for the NIEA Awards

A big Sunbury Press congratulations to Arthur Hoyle and Mavericks, Mystics, and Misfits, a National Indie Excellence Award Finalist!

Please join us in celebrating Arthur Hoyle's latest achievement in being named a finalist for the renowned NIEA Awards! Only two books in each category get recognized each year (one winner and one finalist) among hundreds of entries, so we're terrifically proud of this accolade.

We're thrilled that Hoyle's amazing collection of American biographies is being recognized the way we knew it would, and we can't wait for this accomplishment to bring his great work in front of more readers.

To help amplify Hoyle's victory, we're reaching out to YOU to share more about the author as a person and more about the book that's been both a #1 Amazon bestseller and now an award finalist!

About the Author

This is an author photo of Arthur Hoyle in front of books

Arthur Hoyle is a writer, educator, and independent filmmaker. His documentary films have won numerous awards and have aired on PBS, and he received a media grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Before becoming an author, he produced corporate communications materials in print and video for a broad array of clients. He received Bachelors and Masters Degrees in English from the University of California, Los Angeles, and taught English, coached tennis, and served as an administrator in independent schools.

He currently volunteers as a naturalist in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, leading interpretive walks on Chumash Indian culture. His biography of Henry Miller, The Unknown Henry Miller: A Seeker in Big Sur, was published in March 2014 by Skyhorse/Arcade. He has also published essays in Huffington Post, Empty Mirror, Across the Margin, Counterpunch, and AIOTB: As It Ought To Be. He lives in Pacific Palisades, California.

Learn more at his author website or this exclusive interview.

About the Book

Mavericks, Mystics, and Misfits is a NIEA finalist!

Mavericks, Mystics, and Misfits: Americans Against the Grain takes the reader on a journey across American history from the colonial period to the present, through the life stories of exceptional men and women who have responded in unconventional ways to the challenges and circumstances of their time and place.

Biographies include:

  • Roger Williams: The First American
  • Anne Bradstreet: The First American Poet
  • Judith Baca: Chicana Muralist
  • And 7 more!

Purchase Mavericks, Mystics, and Misfits - eBook

Purchase Mavericks, Mystics, and Misfits - Paperback

“The Chubbs” #1 on Sunbury Press TOP 100 print books for June 2020

“The Chubbs” #1 on Sunbury Press TOP 100 print books for June 2020

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31 Larry Lehmer – Bandstandland Sunbury Press
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37 John L Moore – Traders, Travelers, and Tomahawks Sunbury Press
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52 Darla Henry – The 3-5-7 Model: A Practice Approach to Permanency Sunbury Press
53 Joe Harvey — If We’re Really Quiet, It Won’t Find Us Milford House Press
54 Jeffrey Geiger – German Prisoners of War at Camp Cooke, California Sunbury Press
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“After the Pandemic” #1 on Sunbury Press TOP 100 eBooks for June 2020

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1 * Lawrence Knorr, et al — After the Pandemic Sunbury Press
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Character Interview: Dr. Alan Gibb, from Franchisement

Character Interview: Dr. Alan Gibb, from Franchisement

Franchisement is a way of thinking, a way of belonging, an outlet to your own identity.

The world has spent 10 centuries searching for potential solutions to maximize the profitability of human interconnection. We have tried everything to resolve our existential malaise and our constant sense of futility, and nothing works.

Over the centuries we have rushed to one organized corpus of thought (like philosophy and religion) in the vain search for clues to find joy. But people have continued to lose that "team feeling" about life, have continued to feel unfranchised.

That is, until Dr. Alan Gibb passed a young boy on the street wearing a pair of Mets shorts, a Red Sox t-shirt, and a Yankees cap, and the theory of human relationships called "Franchisement" was born.

Recently, we had the chance to sit down with the founder, ideator, and chief salesman of Franchisement (Doctor Alan Gibb) to explain this revolutionary concept. And he even agreed to do so without charging for his time.

This is that interview.


 

Interview with Dr. Alan Gibb

Q: Can you explain Franchisement in ten words or less?

AG: The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.

Q: That's the typing exercise for using all the letters of the alphabet.

AG: Exactly. It covers everything. As does Franchisement. No matter who you are or what you are--sex, ehtnicity, and favorite breakfast cereral immaterial--there's a place for you on the Franchisement grid. You belong.

Q: So it's really about togetherness.

AG: That you'd have to pay for us to research. I don't know enough about you.

Q: I mean speaking generally. It's about togetherness.

AG: If I knew what you meant by that, I could answer. But I don't know you. What do you mean by "speaking generally?" That might mean one thing for you and an entirely different thing for your upstairs neighbor. The key to Franchisement is the personal, and you don't exist personally for me. Give me a clue.

Q: I like baseball.

AG: So what? So did Hitler.

Q: I never knew that.

AG: He was a New York Yankee personality with a Philadelphia Phillies PITS.

Q: A what?

AG: PITS. His Positional Identity Trait Sign.

Q: What's that?

AG: What it says--his Positional Identity Trait Sign. You can only have one PITS at a time.

Q: I didn't know that. 

AG: But it's up to you to choose which PITS. 

Q: Oh.

AG: Franchisement doesn't force things on its customers.

Q: That sounds good.

AG: Start telling people who they are and they aren't those people; they're who they say they are.

Q: Not the same thing.

AG: Not at all. You want to be who you are, not somebody else.

Q: Of course not.

AG: Look out any window and you'll see thousands of unfranchised people walking the streets. They don't know where they're going. They don't know where they've come from. Makes you want to keep the blinds closed.

Q: I confess I'm at a loss...

AG: A classic Phillies PITS symptom. Maybe it would be better if you just started off with a Franchisement Unique Number. Your FUN. That usually relaxes first-time customers.

Q: But I'm not a customer. I'm here to interview you.

AG: An identity trait like any other. Give it a try. Your FUN number.

Q: Any number?

AG: After the one on your credit card...No, no, don't say it out loud. There may be hackers listening. Just let me see it...Okay, good. Now what FUN do you want?

Q: Pretty expensive fun.

AG: Go ahead. Your FUN number. 

Q: How about...361?

AG: I don't know. You tell me. What's special about 361 for you?

Q: It's 360 plus one.

AG: So not just everything, but one more than everything.

Q: Not that I want to seem greedy.

AG: Franchisement doesn't judge.

Q: Who else has picked 361?

AG: You mean your Famous Franchisement Folks?

Q: Who?

AG: Your Famous Franchisement Folks. Your FFF.

Q: Oh.

AG: Part of your sense of belonging. Through the ages.

Q: Right. Can't be many in my case.

AG: Off the top of my head I can say John the Baptist, Robespierre, and Ted Williams.

Q: Not the worst company, I guess.

AG: As I said, we don't judge; we just process.

Q: If I want another FFF, can I change down the road?

AG: That's why all those numbers exist.

Q: So I'm really not committed to anything.

AG: One of the first lessons Franchisement learned from horoscopes. You start thinking of yourself as a scorpion or a cancer, say, you eventually get depressed. Who wants to be a scorpion or a cancer every day? You wake up in the morning, and you're crawling or coughing your lungs out before you even get out of bed. That wasn't good for you and it certainly wasn't good for the astrology business. So they created all these half-moons and cusps and crap for more possibilities. That's what we've had in place since the very beginning.

Q: But doesn't that leave you and Franchisement open to criticism?

AG: None that I've heard.

Q: Well, I mean if you can be anything, how can you ever be something?

AG: That sounds like a philosophical question, and we could be sitting here debating it all week. You may have that time, but I don't.

Q: You sound very self-confident, Dr. Gibb.

AG: Thank you.

Q: I mean in a kind of smug way.

AG: I never heard that criticism before.

Q: Really?

AG: I'm beginning to think you might be a New York Mets Personality.


Thank you for reading our interview with Franchisement founder Dr. Alan Gibb!

If you liked what you read, check out the satirical novel Franchisement by Donald Dewey. Dr. Gibb's got plenty more head-scratching, hilarious moments as you'd expect after reading this interview.

Purchase from the Sunbury Store

FREE EBOOK: Bottom Feeders by Jerry Roth

FREE EBOOK: Bottom Feeders by Jerry Roth

From July 2 to July 5, 2020, Bottom Feeders by Jerry Roth is free to download on Amazon

About the Book

Bottom Feeders

Would you recognize the Devil if you met him?

A decaying prison hides a dark secret. Robert Deville, the youngest prison warden in the history of the state, never expected to feel a supernatural connection in a prison. After discovering a diary, Robert learns a prisoner, rumored to be the Devil, was hidden away under his feet.

Was this prisoner responsible for a fire that killed hundreds of prisoners? Did he play a part in the murder of a local family years earlier? Robert must learn the prisoner’s true identity and unravel why he hasn’t aged in decades.

Surviving a relationship with an abusive ex-husband, Jenny Deville is dealing with the pain of her past. Noticing a sudden change in her son’s behavior, and his horrifying drawings of murders, no child should ever witness, she must discover the cause.

As local children mysteriously disappear, there is little time to prove who the killer really is.


About the Author

This is the author photo for Jerry Roth, author of Bottom Feeders in black and white

Jerry Roth is a graduate from The Ohio State University where he studied English Literature. He has written for Ohio newspapers and sports articles for the Disc Golf Pro Tour. His fiction career began as a screenwriter. He currently lives in Ohio with his wife Tricia and his three children Jesse, Lea, and Nick. After reading The Stand by Stephen King, he became passionate about creating his own work of fiction. Bottom Feeders is his debut novel.

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