If you’re an independent author marketing your book, you are probably on the lookout for ways to reach a new audience, build your author brand, and get your book more attention. Submitting articles or blog posts to book blogs as a guest blogger can help you all of that – and more.
Why – Benefits of Guest Blogging for Authors
- Reach New Readers – You may have a following on social media and a great email list, but most of us get stuck in a rut when it comes to networking and coming up with new places to promote our books. There are thousands of book blogs out there – with millions of readers.
- Expand Your Network – It’s always a good idea to develop relationships with book blogs. The more the better.
- Grow Your Email List & Social Media Following – Most blogs will insert a link to your social media profiles or, at the very least, to your author webpage.
- Improve Domain and Search Engine Authority for Your Author Website – Without getting too technical, having links to your website from other, high-quality websites helps your site rank higher in searches, which translates to more visitors, which translates to more exposure for you and your book.
- Help Other Authors – By sharing your experiences with writing, publishing, book promotion, you’re helping fellow writers, especially new writers, avoid some of the pitfalls of being a published author.
How – Tips for Getting a Guest Post Accepted
- Show Interest – When writing to a book blog, show that you’ve actually read it by mentioning what you appreciate about the content or why you think you’re a good fit for a particular blog’s niche. Bloggers get a ton of guest post submission requests and the generic ones get deleted fast.
- Network Before Asking – If there’s a particular blog you’d really like to submit to, make sure you’re following it on social media, that you re-post some of its content and comment on blog posts.
- Always Have a Post Idea in Mind – It’s best to have at least an outline or bullet points to send to blogs you’d like to guest post for. Bloggers don’t generally have the time to tell you what they need. Tell them what you’d like to write about and how it will benefit their readership.
- Write High Quality Content – This should go without saying but make sure you write, edit, and re-write. The time you put into creating quality content will pay off both in terms of whether your first guest post is accepted and in terms of the reputation you build. If you’re asking a blogger for a guest post spot and you can send her/him links to other, high quality posts you’ve written for other sites, your pitches are much more likely to get accepted.
- Provide Value – Before you submit a pitch to a site, take a few minutes to see what’s already there. Be adaptable to the site’s tone, content and readership. If you have a topic in mind, use the blog’s search function to see if that topic has already been written about. Before pitching, ask yourself whether your submission will add to the quality of the site. Or, put another way, try to think like a blogger: when he reads your pitch, will he think “this is something I can use”?
- Have Your Own Website – It’s important that you have a website for so many reasons, including the fact that it adds credibility when you’re pitching to blogs. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate site with fancy graphics and it doesn’t have to cost anything, so there is really no excuse for not having one. And no, your Amazon and Goodreads author pages don’t count. If you’re not a techie and you don’t want to spend any money, you can still create a fabulous author website by using one of the many free sites that provide templates for you. (See this chart for comparisons of the most popular website hosting platforms.) And it’s okay to go minimalist with your site but, at a minimum, it should have an author bio, links to your social media profiles and links to your books. Ideally, it should have a media kit as well. (See our article on media kits for authors for how to create one.)
Where – 26 Book Blogs and Other Literary Sites That Accept Guest Posts
Below is a list of twenty-five book blogs and literary sites that accept guest posts. If you’re just starting out as an author, you may have to persevere and keep submitting. If you’re more established and you want to make sure that you’re submitting only to blogs with influence and a sizable readership, there is a nifty tool you can use to gauge a site’s influence called Moz Site Explorer. Type in the blog’s web address and Moz will show you its Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA). A good rule of thumb: try to pitch to blogs with a DA of 25 or higher and a PA of 30 or higher.
- Readers+Writers Journal – This site accepts guests posts from authors and other writers on a variety of topics relating to books, reading and all things literary.
- Matador Network
- The Rumpus
- Micah Ackerman
- Thought Catalog
- Book Marketing Tools
- Alice Marvels
- The Flaneur
- Barnard Book Blog
- Spurs With Bling
- Operation Casanova
- Selling Books
Not sure what to write about? Check out this article for 35 author blog post writing prompts.