By: Traci Kenworth
Who Will Read my Guest Posts?
“When you’re a new author, you have a fearsome enemy. ANONYMITY. We know this, and it’s our biggest fear. The fear that nobody will read our work plagues most of us, keeping us awake at nights. No matter what some authors say, we published because we want to be read.”― Eva Lancaster, Being Indie: A No Holds Barred, Self Publishing Guide for Indie Authors
Although I had a personal blog,Where Genres Collide, followers on Facebook and Twitter, I was intimidated the first time I submitted a guest post. But I’m glad I overcame my fears and took up the challenge.
There’s a lot to be gained from doing something that initially scares us; it teaches us to bring our best. Here are seven excellent reasons for submitting guest posts.
1. You Establish Credibility
There is no better way to establish credibility with readers and other writers than by guest blogging on popular web sites. Guest blogging teaches you the ropes and gives you direction.
If you’ve recently started your writing career, you need to get out there and show others that you can be part of the existing community on their web site. You might even help others like yourself along the way. Each piece you write, each web site that you can submit to, gives you confidence, a desire to challenge yourself to write better.
Start off small if you need to. Submit to a site that you admire. Perhaps not a huge blog, but a smaller one at first. Take the time and use the opportunity to get to know the editor and how they like their posts done. Study the existing posts and similarly format yours, even if it differs from your usual writing style.
2. Guest Posts Challenge Your Limited Beliefs and Writing Abilities
If you put yourself out there, you’ll learn to blog better for yourself and others. It will get you in the habit of trying new things, risking a little and getting better results.
I remember how fearful I was to take that first step. Who was I to reach out to others, to give them advice?
Especially with my mental illness (bipolar), I feared judgment and criticism. But you know what? There’s always going to be those who don’t like what you say. However, there will also be others that can learn from you.
I’ve made mistakes-plenty. I try and do my best to correct those mistakes if I can. Otherwise, I file a note to do so later down the line. Taking that first step matters for you and for your stories. Each time you’re published, it negates your fears and encourages you to write and submit to more sites.
3. Guest Posts Prepare You for Other Submissions
Each guest blog I write helps me prepare for submissions. Because I can now get out there and talk to readers, I’m not so afraid to talk to editors, publishers, and even agents.
It pushes you to know that you have something to say and makes you realize if you have what it takes. Courage is a must. Without, you will fail.
But each time that you submit a piece, it takes a part of that fear away. Pretty soon, you’re hitting ‘send’ to that magazine or anthology. In my case, I reached out to established authors offering book reviews and interviews as a way to promote them, and myself.
Are you aiming higher? Then send that query to agents. You WANT to get your work out there, and the shyness and fear evaporate as you keep writing and submitting. Just keep writing, learning, failing, and trying again.
4. You Initiate Connections
When you submit, it’s typically through email. Obviously, the editor knows you’re sending a submission if you sent an attachment. Go beyond and started a conversation with the editor. Let them know why you’re sending the guest post to them. Mention reading others on the site, or something that you like about the blog.
Let the editor know:
- You’ve studied the site and believe your guest post is in line with their mission.
- Your followers are willing to share via social media sites to promote your guest post.
- You’ve done your homework by following their submission guidelines.
- You’re open to editing, revising, or reworking the guest post.
Working well with others gives you a step up in the publishing business. Even if you go Indie, you have to work with others. The cover. Formatting. Editing. Marketing. Etc.
You’re essentially building relationships. And perhaps if they need a blog or story written in the future, they will contact you. The more you reach out to the site’s editors, the stronger the connection becomes.
5. You Expand Your Audience
Wherever you submit, whatever you blog, there’s an audience reading. You’ll pick up followers when you guest blog. Some of these followers will become like friends, reblogging your posts, offering encouragement.
In turn, their followers will check out your work.They’ll see if it’s a fit for them. They may even hit the reblog button, and the cycle will continue on and on. Perhaps some of these followers will pick up your stories, pass them on to others.
Often, they’ll give you a review, share, like, or shout-out when you need it. That’s a valuable connection. Without readers, we might be able to write, but we wouldn’t have that joy that comes from letting others join us in our writing journey.
We need feedback.We need those that cheer us to go on with our next story.
6. Gives You Valuable Feedback
Feedback from guest blogging spurs us onward. If you’re hesitant to guest blog, when you get likes and comments, it makes submitting another guest post easier.
All that interaction will have you racking your brain to figure out your next guest post.
Topics will come to you when you least expect. Or perhaps you’re like me and don’t know what you’ll write about till you sit down at the keyboard.
Then an idea comes. Right when you need it. Or you walk away to get a drink. Think a bit. Or take a walk and see it in your neighbor’s rose bush. Come back, and it’s there.
Sometimes, the feedback itself will suggest posts. That is the great thing about a site that has active readers who comment.
7. Elevates Your Writing
My previous blog posts used to be short, like under three hundred words short. While this was a good start for me and got me into constant posting to bring others to my blog, I noticed that guest blogs were longer; many were over 1000 words.
That many words was a challenge for me having written shorter posts for my blogs. I had to challenge myself to make my posts longer. And they couldn’t just be wordier. They had to make sense; staying on topic and expanding with either internal or external links or more research.
Still Scared of Submitting A Guest Post?
Just remember to keep on writing and submitting until you get to a site that values your writing.
Bio: Traci Kenworth
Traci Kenworth writes all genres of YA as well as the occasional historical romance. She lives in Ohio with her son, daughter, and four cats, chasing snippets of whatever story she’s working on at the time.
She has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. Writing saved her during a dark period in her life. She is forever grateful to God for this way out of the darkness and into the light.
That’s the type of hero/heroine she writes about, survivors and those they love. Her writings show others a way back when they think everything is lost.
Her character’s stories give the reader that most welcome gift – hope.
Some other things she enjoys: genealogy, riding horseback, and, of course, reading.
Follow Traci on her adventures of getting published.
Website: Where Genres Collide
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