Welcome to edition 1 of the Wordsmiths’ Cafe! This is a section of the Ladder to Rooftop Blogging Academy, started by my dear friend Jami Amerine. You can access this amazing resource filled with hundreds of tips from other bloggers here.
On the first day of each month, I will be offering tips on blogging and the craft of writing. I will share things I’ve learned in the process, time saving strategies, and resources I’ve found helpful. My hope is that these tips will help you progress in your projects and save you some frustration.
Hosting Blog Series and Guest Posting
Do you ever wonder how bloggers keep up with posting two, three, sometimes more times per week and constantly have fresh ideas? I have. My idea mill is usually running and I can find inspiration in the strangest of places, but often I don’t have the time to put these ideas on the keyboard.
As a mom raising two young children and a schedule packed with other activities, my time to write is limited. Not only that, but I like to work on other projects such as book proposals, guest posts, and freelance articles.
Consistency is important to blogging. Whether you blog two or three times a week or less, it is important that you readers know what to expect.
One of the biggest tools I have found to help me maintain this consistency is hosting blog series with guest posts from other writers. Here are a few tips for how to going about doing this:
- Find other writers in your niche. Whether your niche is fashion, faith, or food, you want to find other writers who blog about or have knowledge of this area. Even if they are not bloggers, you can easily interview them for a guest post. My blogging community has been a tremendous source of encouragement to me and has kept me moving forward on this journey. You can connect with other bloggers on link-ups, online blogging and writing courses, Blogging Facebook groups, etc. Here is a list of a few you many want to check out:
- Compel Training
- Hope Writers
- Tribe Writers
- Blogging Boost
- Rise Up Writers
- Outline your expectations. I have found that the more specific you are, the better. If there are grey areas in your email, your guest writer will more than likely not know what you want. Specify word count, when you need the post (make sure you give yourself time for formatting, etc.), whether you want a teaser post on their blog, whether or not you want them to respond to comments, if there is a graphic needed with their post and what size, etc. Make sure you also ask them to include a bio and headshot.
- Send an email or message inviting your fellow bloggers to guest post. Make sure you give them plenty of advanced notice. I like to give my guest posters at least a month to prepare. Give them general details such as the date and the theme or topic and if they’re interested, you can follow up with another email with specific details about what you need from them.
- Create a format you will use for your posts and be consistent. I usually create a common graphic which I place at the beginning of each post in a series. This graphic will include the name of the series and my site. Your guest writers can share this graphic on social media to promote the series. You can also have your guests create their own unique graphic for each post with a quote from their post or something pertaining to it. Lately, I have been putting my my guest’s headshot and bio at the bottom of each post, but you can place it wherever you want. Just pick a layout and stick with it, so each of the posts in your series have a fluid look.
- Have fun and be generous. Promote your guest writers’ posts on all of your social media outlets. Interact with the readers and let them know you appreciate them. This is a perfect opportunity to expand your network and your guest’s so be gracious in your interaction and don’t simply disconnect for the two or three weeks when you don’t have to constantly be producing content.
Hosting series and guest posts have become a crucial tool to help me work on other projects, expand my readership, and keep up with producing consistent content. I hope this strategy will become useful for you too as your progress in your writing and set new goals.
If you’d like to check out a guest post in my most recent series, you can find it here.