There are thousands of bloggers who offer free advertising opportunities for authors. Each blogger has a following, more than likely different than your own, so each guest post you send off reaches a new variety of potential readers. Playing on the behaviors of internet users, you can turn each blog post sent to a variety of guest hosts into more followers on your website and social media, likes and shares on social media, and potentially sell some books. All for no more than the cost of 15-30 minutes of your time.
Most often, what stops authors from taking advantage of this proven method for extending their realm of influence is 3 things: 1) what do I write? and 2) where are these bloggers? and 3) I don’t have time.
1) What do I write for a guest post?
Where are you in your marketing/promotion plan? If you’re that organized, just put a short post that tells us what’s coming next into a Word document, list out your social media links, website, and sales page URLs copy and paste your book description (short for a post like this) and short author bio from your library of documents. Attach the Word document and two to three images to spice up the guest post into an email and click SEND. Takes 15-30 minutes to prepare this email.
If you’re not that organized, send over the book description and a short author bio with cover and headshot image and your social media links, website, and sales page URLs. Takes 15-30 minutes to prepare this email. It’s all copy and paste.
2) Where are these bloggers?
Here’s one. I’ll post something for you once every two weeks…just send it my way. Bloggers like me want your content to keep their blogs growing. It’s truly a win-win situation when you send an email that says, “Love to take you up on your guest host offer. I’ve attached a post and wondered if you could post it next Wednesday? Let me know and I’ll promote the link to the post also. Thanks!” Other bloggers like me can be found easily by searching Google or Bing with these keywords: book bloggers and book review bloggers and include your genre to get more specific results.
3) I don’t have time.
This will always be a problem. Only you can make that factor not keep you from making progress. Divide the work of writing, marketing, and everything else in your life into manageable bits–schedule it, then stick to the schedule. Otherwise, it’s not manageable and you won’t have time to do everything. You’re probably trying to achieve a completion goal and that’s not reachable. For most, writing never ends and for everyone, marketing never ends. All you can do is determine how you spend your time making progress. If you have 4 hours per day to spend on authorly things around your life, then break that 4 hours into pieces and stick to your schedule. For example: 1 hour for Twitter and Facebook, 1 hour for seeking/following through on new marketing ideas, 2 hours writing. Make to do lists, then prioritize the order things need to be done in, but work those lists in the allotted time and feel good about making progress as you check things off and add new things to your lists. When you manage your time this way, it no longer feels like you don’t have time because you’ve created it for each thing you need to work on, but aren’t reaching for a goal you can never accomplish.
- Set aside 30 minutes.
- Search for book bloggers that offer guest hosting and create a list. (Repeat spending 10-15 minutes once or twice a week on growing this list!)
- Set aside 30 minutes.
- Copy and paste book description and author bio into a Word document. List your social media, website, and sales page URLS at the end. Write a quick opening that tells us what is coming next from Author Your Name. Attach Word document and images for the post to an email. (You can create a library of material to send out to guest posters and simply refresh them over the time–don’t recreate the wheel every time you work on marketing.)
- Click SEND to all the email addresses from that list you created!
- Repeat to as many guest host bloggers as you can find. Change up the material a bit each time as you learn how quick and easy this free marketing opportunity is for you and rotate the list of bloggers so you send something every month or two.
- Watch your SEO and realm of influence leap for joy at the activity you’ve inspired around your URLs.
~~~~> Take it from someone whose been writing and publishing for over 20 years…and send that guest post over. It’s not as big a task as you thought it was and you DO have time to shoot off a quick email that will put you and your book in front of potential readers you won’t reach if you don’t try.