Many book bloggers love inviting authors to “pay a visit” to talk about their hot new read. But if you treat a guest blog post opportunity like a megaphone to shout “Buy my book!” at unsuspecting visitors, you’ll lose your audience fast. The key to writing an effective promotional guest blog post is to find the sweet spot between blatant marketing and casual blogging. We’ve got the tips you need!
Just For Authors: How To Write A Guest Blog Post For A Virtual Book Tour
Tell a true story about yourself that relates to writing your book. While readers don’t necessarily want to hear you drone on about how great your book is, they DO want to hear about you as a writer. By sharing something true and emotional about your writing process, you avoid offending readers with flagrant promotion, you draw attention to your book in a natural, honest way, and you let readers into your life a bit so they can relate to you.
Here are some guest blog post topic ideas:
- Where you got the idea for your book
- If your characters are based on real life
- If your setting is inspired by a place that has meaning to you
- How your writing space influenced your writing process
- How writing a book changed you
- How books you read as a child affected your goals
- What music you listen to when you’re writing
- Why your book is dedicated to a certain person
- What you believe a good book should do
- Why reading matters in your life
- What’s your favorite genre—and why
- Which books are on your keeper shelf
- How you manage your TBR list
- The most surprising thing about publishing a book
Include no more than one or two paragraphs about your actual book. At some point, a good guest blog post connects the author’s true story with the story of the book itself. Use a segue to work a very short synopsis of your book into the blog post (sort of like what you might use in a traditional query letter synopsis). Then, quickly transition back to talking about yourself as a writer.
Keep it short. Most book bloggers have recommended word counts. If you haven’t been given a word count target, ask for one!
Get visual. Send your host an author headshot in 300dpi, as well as a photo of your book cover, so that the blogger can post them as needed. Learn more about how to create a writer headshot.
Don’t recycle blog posts. If you’re on a book blog tour to promote your book, make sure you don’t repeat yourself too often. All of your guest blog posts will have some elements in common: They fundamentally include a story about you and a synopsis of your book. But the auxiliary information and spin on your posts need to change from one blog to the next.
Give something away. Bloggers (and readers) love content that generates buzz. Ask your readers a simple question like, “What’s the earliest book you remember reading?” Then, encourage them to post their comments to enter to win. Learn more about how to host a blog contest for book promotion.
Thank your host. No blog post is complete without a nod to your host, who was so gracious to invite you to post on his or her blog.
End with your linked bio. Include a short third-person biography at the end of your post, with a link to your author website or to a retail site where readers can pick up your book.
Remember To Cross Promote
One final note about writing a successful blog post: When possible, use your own social media networks to promote your guest appearances. Share links, pictures, and contest opportunities. Not only will your own social clout rise, but you’ll also throw a little bit of promo in your host’s direction. It’s a win-win!
Question: Have you written a guest blog post to promote a book? Tell us about your experience and leave a link to your post in our comments section. We’re all about cross promotion too!