Hosting Guests on a Subject-Specific Blog – Benefits & Quality Control

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Your blog provides topics, tips and teachings for a specific subject, such as pottery, writing, or home decor. Others in your field ask for a guest post spot on your blog. They offer to write content about your subject. In exchange, you are to include their promotion piece at the end of the post for their pottery shop, a book, or remodeling service.

Your blog may not be stellar but you want to protect it from slapdash and erroneous posts.

With this concern, you may ask why you should host others and how you can avoid posts that don’t at least live up to your own standards.

Before you respond to requestors, you could take a look at posts they’ve written on their blogs. But they may have a different type of blog, so this may not show the quality of their content. What can you do?

Tips to help guests live up to your standards

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Develop a guideline sheet to help guests know your expectations. The sheet could address such items as word count limits, where photos must come from, and the language rating, e.g. family or G-rated.

Ask guests for the topic and title of the post they plan to write. This helps them think ahead and not come up with something at the last minute.

Suggest a type of post you’d welcome, such as tips, techniques, or pitfalls.

Invite the guest to visit your site to see the kinds of posts you publish.

Tell them you reserve the right to make minor edits to their posts and to ask them to make changes.

Require guests send posts at least a week ahead of the post date so you have time to ask for changes.

There are benefits to hosting guests.

Reasons to host others on a blog

Readers may enjoy a different prospective.

Guests may have more expertise than you do in certain aspects of your subject.

You will broaden your reach for new followers when guests promote their posts on your blog.

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Guest posts can give you a break from brainstorming a blog idea, researching it, and writing it.

Guest posts can fill a spot while you’re on vacation.

Guests can become valuable contacts in your field.

You can build a list of the accomplished guests for future guest posts.

You can return a favor, pay forward, or simply help another person in your field.

Why guests posts on a subject-specific blog are beneficial and tips to encourage their quality.  Click to tweet.

What benefits and tips to improve the quality of guest posts do you have?

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Suddenly unemployed, Allie Masterson returns home to Cary, North Carolina where she caddies for her father on the PGA Seniors Tour. There, she encounters a man who possesses an alluring gift of reading the contours of the green. Fascinated with his uncanny ability, Allie is excited to meet the Green Whisperer—until she discovers that the easygoing caddy is actually Shoo Leonard, the boy who teased her relentlessly when they were kids. Despite Allie’s reservations, when Shoo is faced with having to overcome a hand injury, she agrees to use her sport science degree to become his trainer…and then she falls for him.

 Shoo Leonard is grateful to Allie for her singular determination to get him ready for the PGA tour, but he isn’t ready for anything more. Still raw from a broken engagement and focused on his career, he’s content to be her fist-bumping buddy…but then he falls for her.

What seems like a happily-ever-after on the horizon takes a turn when Allie decides she’s become a distraction to Shoo’s career. Is it time for her to step away or can The Putting Green Whisperer find the right words to make her stay?

 

Diary of a Book Marketing Plan-Final Entry-Reviews & More

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This is the final series post in which I share tasks and progress on my book-marketing plan for my second book. Gift of the Magpie came out August 15, but all my diary posts share my activities from two weeks in the past.

Among other activities, my prior posts covered my setup, recruiting influencers, guest posting, a book launch party, a newsletter, blog interviews, Facebook parties, Ask David Tweets and a Goodreads Ad.

Today, I share all my promotion activities and my evaluation of each thus far.

Influencers

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Two thirds of my fifteen influencers posted reviews so far. I’m told I need 100 influencers to “gain any traction.” Wow. I’m still asking my faithful few to promote events, such as the multi-author Facebook party. About 25% of my influencers have been super active.

Announcements

Newsletter: A better than average rate of subscribers opened my email (52.5% mine vs. 23.6% industry average). Clicks for the industry average is 2.6% clicks; mine were 4.9%. Hard to track sales.

Email list: I’m working on growing my 280 with people I know are readers. 

Authors Cross Promotion/Reviews

I’ve received requests from 17 readers/reviewers for my book through this service. I sent preliminary emails to make sure the people wanted the Kindle e-book version, and 53% responded. So far, 5 wrote reviews. I’m confident I’ll receive a few more reviews. I like this service; I’m building my email list and relationships with these readers.

Vessel Project

I purchased this service, which keeps my book in front of readers in my genre for a year. Hard to track sales.

Ads

Facebook, Goodreads, and Amazon ads are exposing my book to many people. I don’t know how effective they are for sales, though. My ten-day-old Goodreads ad has had 36 views but 0 clicks. Not so good. But I only pay for clicks, and readers are viewing my book. My publisher has placed an Amazon ad, but results aren’t in.

Ask David Tweets

I’ve published half my 60 tweets. On my evening tweets, I’ve received 0 – 7 retweets and 0 – 2 likes. Ask David suggests I retweet and like my tweets after they post them. Using good hashtags for my audience is important. Hard to track sales.

Guest Blogs/Interviews

Five blogs have hosted me, and two more are scheduled. I enjoyed interaction with commenters. Hard to track, but one sale was verified. My influencers promoting these posts helped me reach more people. Choose blogs that have high traffic. I prefer to do interviews because they better expose the book.

Giveaways

I signed up for the October giveaway for Sweet Romances with Authors Cross Promotion. This will significantly grow my email list with more readers. I’ll give away three e-books. 

Facebook Party

I’ll host a half-hour slot on a multiple-author Facebook party. So far, 48 people are going and 39 are interested. Although its hard to track sales, this gives me an opportunity to build relationships with readers.

Book Signing

After concentrating on online promotions, I’ve now scheduled a book signing at the local bookstore. I sold 11 copies of my first book there, which is around average. My basket giveaway signup grew my email list. I’ve also scheduled a spot at a retirement center’s craft fair.

Book Launch Party

I mailed 120 invitations to my book launch party this week. I’m looking forward to sharing my talks and visiting with my friends and acquaintances.

Conferences

I’ll lead a workshop at the Virginia chapter’s American Christian Fiction Writers Annual Conference – another opportunity to pay forward the help I’ve received, meet people, and expose my book.

Talks

I plan to schedule talks with women’s groups. I’ve scheduled a library workshop for 2018 to promote my non-fiction book on writing, but I’ll also offer this book.

Book Marketing Diary–Final Entry: Reviews & other actual promotion activities. Click to tweet.

Authors, how do you encourage reviews?

Amazon Link

Amanda Larrowe’s lack of trust sabotages her relationships. The English teacher and award-winning author of middle-grade adventure books for boys has shut off communication with friends and family to meet her January 2 book deadline. Now, in the deepest snow accumulation Richmond, Virginia has experienced in years, Camden Lancaster moves in across the street. After ten years, her heart still smarts from the humiliating aftermath of their perfect high school Valentine’s Day date. He may have transformed into a handsome, amiable man, but his likeability doesn’t instill trust in Amanda’s heart. When Cam doesn’t recognize her on their first two encounters, she thinks it’s safe to be his fair-weather neighbor. Boy is she wrong.

Diary of a Book Marketing Plan-Entry 7-Goodreads Ad & More

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This is the seventh in the series in which I share tasks and progress on my book-marketing plan for my second book. Gift of the Magpie came out August 15, but all my diary posts share my activities from two weeks in the past.

Among other activities, my prior posts covered my setup, recruiting influencers, guest posting, a book launch party, a newsletter, blog interviews, Facebook parties, and Ask David Tweets.

Tasks Performed This Past Week

Announcements 

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This week, my second book released and I’ve announced it several ways, some of which are below.  It’s hard to know yet how effective my announcements are, especially when for the past three days, Amazon’s Author Central experienced a delay in updating my Author Rank.

Newsletter

I published the newsletter I wrote on MailChimp three weeks ago.

Ask David Tweets

I’m publishing two tweets a night, rotating pairs of six popular hashtags with the tagline: “Ten years ago, Camden crushed her heart. Guess who just moved in across the street.”

I added the e-book price reduction to my scheduled tweets for the duration of Amazon’s sale.

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Email List

I sent 280 emails using the addresses I’ve collected since promoting my first book. They’re from friends, family, and people who provided their addresses at signings, workshops, and fairs.

I kept the announcement simple.

Ÿ• For people’s privacy, I sent emails under “Undisclosed recipients” and blind copies.

Ÿ• Email subject: Gift of the Magpie Book Release

Ÿ• Attachment: Large Book Cover

Ÿ• Content: Back cover blurb

Ÿ• Call to action: “Order your copy today by clicking on the Amazon button below!”

Ÿ• Amazon button: links to Gift of the Magpie’s Amazon purchase page.

Influencers

I emailed my influencers the information they need. I’ve started to see their honest, voluntary reviews on Amazon, my publisher’s site, and Goodreads. Those active on Facebook and Twitter began posting on their feeds and liking and sharing my announcements.

I asked them to announce Amazon’s sale on Gift of the Magpie for $0.99.

My agent announced the release to her client base.

Guest Blogs

Three of my guest blog posts published this week. Hosts shared my cover, bio, blurb, and purchase link.

Online Promotion

Facebook Party

I’ll host a half-hour slot next week on a multiple-author Facebook party. I sent invitations through Goodreads.

Program for Possible Reviews

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I purchased Authors Cross Promotion’s Elite option. They post books to their review/readers. These readers can ask me for a free e-book. I can develop a relationship with them, and hopefully, they’ll write reviews on Amazon.

During Amazon’s $0.99 sale of my Kindle version, I bought several gift codes to use with Authors Cross Promotion.

Facebook Boost 

I boosted another Facebook post, using the audiences of the limited authors available in my genre.

Goodreads Ad

Goodreads accesses readers. It allows me to target the exact authors who write books similar to mine. My ad runs until my budget runs out. My budget is reduced every time a reader clicks on my link. They email a daily report of views, clicks, and amount spent.

Book Marketing Diary – Entry 7: Goodreads Ads & other actual promotion activities. Click to tweet.

Authors, what has your experience been with Goodreads ads?

Amazon Link

Amanda Larrowe’s lack of trust sabotages her relationships. The English teacher and award-winning author of middle-grade adventure books for boys has shut off communication with friends and family to meet her January 2 book deadline. Now, in the deepest snow accumulation Richmond, Virginia has experienced in years, Camden Lancaster moves in across the street. After ten years, her heart still smarts from the humiliating aftermath of their perfect high school Valentine’s Day date. He may have transformed into a handsome, amiable man, but his likeability doesn’t instill trust in Amanda’s heart. When Cam doesn’t recognize her on their first two encounters, she thinks it’s safe to be his fair-weather neighbor. Boy is she wrong.