You may have noticed that about a couple months ago I interviewed Andrei Cherascu, author of Mindguard. It was my first dip into guest blogging and I loved it. The post was almost immediately the most-viewed post on this blog and drove my stats higher than they’ve ever been. The increase to that one post also increased the views to the other posts on the blog and I gained new followers as a result.
Guest posts can start in any number of ways. The way I found Andrei was through a general post on KBoards asking for guest posts. I included exactly what I was looking for, detailing what I expected from the potential guest-bloggers and what would be expected of me.
After conversing a bit back and forth, Andrei and I agreed that an interview would probably be best. He gave me a few ideas that I could discuss and I got back to him with the interview questions. A few days later, he responded with the answers to those questions and as I started to form the actual post, I shot back a few follow-up questions and inserted them into the post. He wanted the post to line up with a promo he was running, so I published the post a few days earlier than I normally would so he could take advantage of the added exposure too.
This could’ve turned out bad. I’ve read some interviews that are just a mess. I didn’t want to make that type of post. In the post on KBoards, I specified that the interview was not for a book blog. The Independent Author is a publishing blog, specifically self-publishing. I wasn’t interested in discussing the book’s content, but how he, as the author, wrote the book and how the book performed. Once that was established, I didn’t just throw generic questions at Andrei. I read up on him. I looked into his book, I read a few of his past interviews, I read his bio. I dug into my journalistic background and put together a nice-looking Q&A with questions specifically for Andrei.
Tips for putting together a good Q&A guest-post:
– research your interviewee (!!!)
– form questions specific to that person
– ask follow-up questions to fill in any holes that might be left
– read over the entire interview for typos (don’t assume they’ve spelled everything correctly)
– write an introduction for them
– ask for any promotional images (author photos, book covers, etc.)
– ask for any links to include with the post (social media, website, book page, etc.)
Another indie author replied to the KBoards post I put out: Sever Bronny. This guy is in a similar boat to me, as far as publishing. He just published his first novel in November and he writes YA/coming-of-age fantasy. We emailed back and forth and decided that he would write a blog post as if it were on his own blog, but send it my way to post on mine. In return, I would be posting on his blog, but wait until I have my pre-order up to capitalize on that and offer a product to his readers. One of the best things to come from having someone guest post on your blog is to have them ask to have you on there’s. Cross-promotional opportunities here!
The guest posting experience has also increased my followers on social media, so hopefully I’ll make a bigger splash once my book comes out. That’s what really matters!