As someone who went to a great deal of time and effort to set up a guest blog tour myself in honor of my debut novella, Forsaken By Shadow, I feel that I am qualified to write an instructive post about guest blogger etiquette. Because after yesterday’s call for guest bloggers, I saw a number of violations that compelled me to jot out this post. Note that this is not at all directed to the people I’ve said “yes” to or the people I actually KNOW.
Whether you are scheduling a blog tour yourself or a blogger is making a call for guest posts, always treat this process with the same respect you would a query letter. By this I mean, either way, this person is doing you a favor by allowing you access to their audience. So BE POLITE.
Pay attention to the blogger’s requirements (if they are listed–I made a few in my post that were often ignored). If the blogger requests that you email them, do so. Or DM them on Twitter. Or use the contact form on their blog. Try to keep your request professional and out of public channels (i.e. Don’t just do an @ message on Twitter). Never underestimate the importance of following directions. As a teacher, I’m continually astounded by the general inability of my students to do this.
Put forth some effort into looking at past content on the blog so that you know the content and audience before you say a word. My blog is geared toward writers and readers, so post topics outside those realms are wholly inappropriate.
Make sure you get the blogger’s name right. We tend to find it rude when you obviously didn’t take the time to check.
If you are contacting a blogger you have not already established a relationship with, be prepared to do guest posts rather than an interview. If you haven’t established a relationship with someone, then how are they to know what kinds of questions to ask you?
If you’re setting up a tour and/or wanting to post about a new release, be sure to provide the blogger information about both YOURSELF AND said book: genre, length, blurb, etc. Don’t make us ask for this necessary information. BE INFORMATIVE.
Don’t just ask a blogger to go check out your blog and let you know if they want you to guest blog for them. Especially without following the above rules of etiquette and not bothering to check to see whether your content would be remotely appropriate. Dude, that is rude. You’re expecting THEM to do work and wander around to figure out what you may post because you didn’t bother to mention it? No. That’s not how this works. That’s like the blogging equivalent of a telemarketer. You write up a query listing some proposed topics for them to choose from and link to your blog or something else as an example of your writing style. And again you do this privately in email, not publicly on Twitter.
After you’ve been accepted as a guest blogger, be sure to get your post to the host before their deadline. This is just polite and responsible and allows them ample time to schedule your post and deal with any problems.
Be sure to provide a plug at the bottom of your post that provides a brief one or two line bio, and lists all your links: social media, website, etc. This is the quick and easy way to let readers know who you are and how to find you, which is, after all, largely the point of guest blogging.