By Sandra Beckwith
Guest blogging is a popular book marketing tactic because it’s an effective way to reach more readers using one of your best skill sets: writing.
While guest blogging typically involves writing an article on a relevant topic for a blog that reaches your audience, it can also take the form of a Q&A.
Why is it so popular? Here are five reasons:
- It helps you reach readers you might not reach on your own.
- It offers an opportunity to engage with people who could become your readers.
- You can recruit newsletter subscribers by linking to your newsletter signup form in your article.
- Linking to a book purchase page allows for instant gratification for blog post readers interested in your book.
- By adding a link in your bio to your website, you’re contributing to your SEO (search engine optimization).
Novelists Are Less Likely to Be Guest Blogging
Nonfiction authors see the value of this immediately, so it’s a popular book marketing tactic for many of them. They often draw from content in their books, or use it to explore related topics with their target audiences.
Novelists are far less likely to pursue and write guest posts, though. And, even when they do, they usually limit their efforts to their friends’ blogs or those of other authors in their genre.
That’s a good start – but it’s only a start. If you write fiction, you don’t want to stop there. In fact, you want to leverage your inherent writing skills by expanding your efforts outside the author and books community to topic-specific blogs.
Novelists and Topic-Specific Blogs
What are topic-specific blogs? If you’ve ever searched online for advice on how to handle a temper-throwing toddler or the best time to seed your lawn or how to identify publishing predators, you have probably seen links to topic-specific blogs. You might have even clicked through to them to read their articles.
Topic-specific blogs are completely focused on a single topic. (Mine, for example, is about book marketing.
What’s the connection between these blogs and your book? The connections come what I call the “nonfiction nuggets” in your manuscript. Here are a few examples of what these might be:
- Real life locations (a community or region, for example)
- Character professions
- Character hobbies
- Character medical conditions
- Industries that serve as the story’s backdrop
Examples of How This Applies
Here are a couple of examples to show how this works.
My friend Mollie Cox Bryan writes cozy mysteries. Her Cumberland Creek series is about a group of scrapbookers; the Cora Crafts books are craft retreat mysteries. For the Cumberland Creek series, she can guest post for blogs dedicated to scrapbooking because, of course, scrapbookers who read cozy mysteries are the people who are most likely to love her books. That logic applies to the Cora Crafts books, too.
Now let’s look at novelist Monica Bhide’s book, “Karma and the Art of Butter Chicken.” Here’s an excerpt from the book’s description:
“Raised by Buddhist monks in Delhi after his mother’s untimely and tragic death, Eshaan sets out on the challenging quest to feed and nourish the hungry so they do not suffer her same fate…. A sliver of hope appears in the form of a local TV cooking competition. Winning would offer the solution to all his problems….”
Monica can blog about topics from her book for these types of topic-specific blogs:
- Indian cooking
- Cooking competitions
I’m sure that by looking for these types of “nonfiction nuggets” in her manuscript, Monica will find other ideas that she can match with blogs about those topics, too.
Finding Your Nonfiction Nuggets
Try this exercise to identify those nonfiction gems in your book:
- Skim through your novel to find the themes, locations, professions, etc., listed above.
- List them — I’ll bet you can find at least three (and probably many more).
- Look for blogs on that topic (quick tip: type in the topic and the word “blogs”).
This simple process could vastly expand your reach to readers who will be interested in your novel because some of it addresses a topic, place, or thing that they’re interested in.
Of course it’s not enough to identify people who blog about those nonfiction topics in your book. You also have to determine if they accept guest posts, contact them with ideas, and deliver a great article.
Never done this before? I’ve got instructions for finding relevant blogs and advice for “pitching” guest blog post ideas to them in my free report, “Virtual Book Tour Basics: How to Connect with Your Audience and Sell More Books Without Leaving Home.” Download it here: https://buildbookbuzz.com/virtual-book-tour-basics/
I also have nine best practices for guest blogging in my free “Guest Blogging Cheat Sheet” that you can download here: https://buildbookbuzz.com/guestblogging/
Stand Out From the Competition
If you write nonfiction, you might already be guest blogging because you understand how it contributes to your platform and credibility.
If you’re a novelist and this concept is new to you, it’s likely that’s because you don’t know any other fiction writers who are doing it. And that’s exactly why you should be the one who is.
By exploring new audiences with topic-specific blogs, you’ll put yourself ahead of your competition – and you’ll sell more books.
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Sandra Beckwith is an author and national award-winning former publicist who now teaches authors how to save thousands of dollars by doing their own publicity, promotion, and marketing. Feedspot has ranked her website, BuildBookBuzz.com, as #7 among thousands of book marketing blogs globally; it has also been named a top website for authors and writers seven other times. Learn more and subscribe to her free weekly book marketing newsletter at https://buildbookbuzz.com.