How to Be a Successful Guest Blogger

By Alanna Parke Kvale

Guest Blogging is a great way to promote your online business and in the case of authors, it becomes a Virtual Book Tour. This is the perfect way to let the world know about your book, why they need it and why they should buy it. It’s an especially good way for authors of e-books to promote their work, since we must do all our marketing online.
So, how do you get the word out to those who need your book? Social Media is the answer, however, you can’t just set up a profile and start hawking your books to the world.

It’s essential to join with others in your industry or niche and begin building relationships. Joining groups on LinkedIn is a great way to start.  In an effort to promote my book, I joined two writer groups, a social media group and a book marketing group. It’s not enough to just join, and lurking won’t get you anywhere. You need to join in the discussions, ask questions or answer questions if you can. Talk about your book everywhere you go online and let it be known that you’re available for guest posting.
When someone invites you to post on their blog, don’t keep them waiting, answer them right away, find out exactly what they need and make sure you get the necessary materials to them asap. If you delay, they just might forget about you or they might figure you’re not serious about the event. Make sure your post has been checked carefully for spelling and grammatical errors. Be a professional!

Most blog hosts will provide you with a precise link to your post, on their blog, if they don’t, then ask for it. It’s to your advantage and theirs, since you’ll want to make announcements all over the internet about this event, and they want to pull more people to their blog, using your post. You should announce the event in every group you belong to or forum you hang out in. Send the announcement to your list of friends, family, fans, clients, etc. If possible, ask them to forward the announcement to their own lists. Word of mouth is very important in book promotion. In my case the second invitation came about because of the announcements I sent out to groups and forums I participate in.

Once your post is live, check in often to see if folks are posting responses, and answer them as soon as possible. The personal touch is important. Thank them for visiting your host’s blog and responding to your guest post. It’s not enough to check in only while your post is live (the day of the event); posting online means your words are out there forever and people could be finding it any day. Don’t make them feel you’re ignoring them.

After the event, don’t forget to send a personal thank you email to your host. It’s good business, but more importantly, it’s just good manners. If you discover, as I did, that your host is going over and above when it comes to promoting you and your book, show your appreciation. Do whatever you can to help them out as well.
I discovered that Virtual Book Tours are more than just good business, they are wonderful fun too, so enjoy! At the end of the tour, you’ll need some downtime from the constant cyber connectedness. When you begin to think in sound bytes and hot links, it’s time to step away from your computer and its virtual world and go interact with real people in the real world. Then come back refreshed and ready for the next promotional event.

All the good business practices and fun aside, the best part of the Virtual Book Tour is making friends. In the process of promoting your book, you’ll meet people from all over the world, some who will help you and some who will need your help. That’s what it’s all about, after all.

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Alanna Parke Kvale has been a writer for over 25 years, turning out fiction and non-fiction alike. She’s done business writing, ghost writing and articles, as well as short stories and novellas. http://www.alannaparkekvale.weebly.com
In February of 2004, she lost her husband of 35 years to a sudden heart attack and found herself alone. She decided to put that experience on paper to try and help other women going through the same painful problems. That’s how Widowhood Is Not Funny came about. It’s a guidebook for the new widow and is intended to help women make it through their grief, find their new purpose and step into their new future. This is an e-book & available for all e-readers.

Alanna can also be found at: http://www.widowhoodisnotfunny.blogspot.com where she welcomes your feedback.
You can also find her articles on this subject at: http://www.ezinearticles.com

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