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

image by kalhh

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

image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images

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.

image by ArtsyBee

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?

 

Your Local Book Launch Party, Part 2: Example of a Successful Event

“A launch party gives an author the chance to be surrounded by her village as a book makes its debut.” —Holly Robinson

Volunteers. By Lahtis
Volunteers. By Lahtis

Recently I posted Part 1 with a checklist of tasks to consider for a local book launch party. For an example, here’s mine with some tips.

 Local Book Launch Party for Calculated Risk

My Purposes: Celebrate with my community, get the word out about Calculated Risk, and sell enough books to defray the cost of the party.

Book Selling and Signing by Lahtis
Book Selling and Signing by Lahtis

I expected between 25 and 50 people. Forty attended. My husband sold 42 copies of Calculated Risk. And orders are beginning to come in from those who didn’t attend. We celebrated. All my purposes were met.

♦♦♦

 

Budget and Expenses:                                                

Budget = $300;  Expenses = $245

Expenses:

•  Rescue Squad Bldg.
•  Food & Paper Products
•  Prizes
•  Newspaper ad
•  Gifts for helpers 

Three truck bays in the Rescue Squad Building by Lahtis
Celebrating people warmed the rescue squad building. By Lahtis.

Date, Time, and Place:

Saturday in the Christmas-shopping season from 2PM to 4PM at the community’s place for events, the rescue squad building. The marquee featured the party.                                                

 

My Planners: the two Nancys. By Lathis.
My Planners: the two Nancys by Lathis

Planners. Two women volunteers did 80% of the tasks, including suggesting what worked best in the area, phone calls, and distribution. Perfect for this new-to-the-community introvert.

 

 

Promotion. The best promotion was getting the invitations to the immediate community. In the future, I won’t do the ad in the newspaper of a nearby town.

 

Cake 1

No worse for having a bear in her kitchen. By Lahtis.
No worse for having a bear in her kitchen. By Lahtis.

Refreshments. A book cake made by a local woman. (This’s the woman whose home a black bear entered through the kitchen window while she was sleeping. The bear carried off one of her icing funnels and a casserole dish.)

 

Extra sheet cakes. By Lahtis.
Extra sheet cakes. By Lahtis.

My planners made 4 extra sheet cakes so I could use the book cake for a family visit. They served dips and chips and punch.

 

John hung my banner behind the signing table. By Lahtis.
By Lahtis.

 

Balloons. By Lahtis.
Balloons. By Lahtis.

Decorations. Planners supplied silk and fresh flowers. All tables received tablecloths. My husband hung my banner. We displayed posters in the welcome room and in the bay. Helpers added festive balloons. I made signs for tables.

Table signs and teens. By Lahtis.
Table signs and teens. By Lahtis.

 

Welcome Table. By Lahtis
Welcome Table. By Lahtis

Events. 

The Welcoming Team greeted guests at the door, had them sign the guest book, and gave out tickets to win prizes.

 

My friend and neighbor provide lovely music. By Lahtis.
My friend and neighbor provide lovely music. By Lahtis.

 

 

My neighbor played background 70s music on her keyboard. We paused in conversations while she played and sang “If” by Bread. Hero Nick in Calculated Risk listens to 70’s music.

 

 

 

Zoe talking with guests
By Lahtis

 

A five-minute talk about the story behind Calculated Risk. By Lahtis.
A five-minute talk about the story behind Calculated Risk. By Lahtis.

I gave three 5-minutes talks:

•  A welcome and how John and I came to the community.

•  The story behind Calculated Risk.

•  How items in my giveaway basket related to the story.

 

 

Drawing of a copy of Calculated Risk. By Lahtis.
Drawing of a copy of Calculated Risk. By Lahtis.

We interspersed five drawings during the party.

•  Christmas ornaments for the two who’d driven the farthest

•  Two copies of Calculated Risk

•  One Basket of book-related goodies, including a book

 

Napkin Folding
Napkin folding. By Lahtis

 

Folding a bird-of-paradise napkin. By Lahtis.
Folding a bird-of-paradise napkin. By Lahtis.

Teens gave lessons in folding book-related birds-of-paradise napkins and gift-wrapped books.

 

My husband sold and I signed copies of Calculated Risk.

 

Sisters. By Scott Lahti.
Sisters. By Scott Lahti.

My sister and brother-in-law took lots of photos.

 

Freebees. By Lahtis.
Freebees. By Lahtis.

 

 

 

From the freebee table, guests took home Calculated Risk bookmarks and adhesive note pads, and bookmarks and pens of fellow authors.

 

Gift bags for helpers. By Lahtis.
Gift bags for helpers. By Lahtis.

 

 

I thanked each helper with a small gift bag.

 

A live example and tips for your local book launch party. Click to tweet.

 

by Scott Lahti
by Scott Lahti

 

By Lahtis.
By Lahtis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Lahtis.
By Lahtis.

What other things did, or would you plan to do, at your book launch party?