Happy Friday, Word Nerds! And happy five year anniversary to our “Five on a Friday” series! Last week, I took you behind the curtain to talk about the submission and publication process for these articles. This week, I want to talk about why guest posting is such an awesome opportunity. Because the truth is, guest posting is a win-win that can hugely benefit your writing career. Here’s five reasons why.
1) Guest Posting Gets Your Name Out There
Are you trying to build your social media presence? Do you already have a blog or website, and are looking to engage more with other writers and readers? Do you have a book to promote? It can be difficult to build a readership alone. Even if a website has great content, people need to be able to find it in order to engage with it. Guest posting puts your name in front of a new audience.
2) It Helps Build Your Brand
I recently read an excellent article on this topic recently. The author, Nichole Severn, advises being strategic about it from day one. “Branding,” she writes, “is getting your readers to recognize your name and automatically know what you write so they don’t second-guess buying your newest release.” And, as it turns out, this article itself was a guest post! In it, Severn wrote about her own personal brand. It is a really effective example of how you can build your own brand–in her case, romantic suspense–through guest posting. Are you an historical fiction writer? Writing about that market, or techniques for writing in that genre, or any number of historical-fiction-related topics can build your brand while providing valuable insight to other writers. It’s a great way to build your reputation as a notable voice in your genre.
3) It Can Help You Promote Without Sounding Market-y
We talk a lot about marketing at DIY MFA, and how hard it can be! Many writers are quiet by nature, and don’t want to be seen as pushing their books or themselves on other people. But the truth is, we need to market ourselves, and writers have found a lot of creative ways to do this without it feeling or coming across as slimy. Guest posting is a way of engaging with readers, sharing useful information and also putting your name out there at the same time. That’s marketing that doesn’t feel like marketing. For example, a lot of “Five on a Friday” posts are book recommendations, and a lot of times they’re from writers who write in the genre or category they’re recommending. Technically, that’s marketing, but it’s also just one reader telling other readers what books he loves. It’s something we’d do anyway!
4) It Builds Relationships
Writing is a solitary endeavor, but writers don’t have to be solitary. Having writing friends can make the whole process a lot more fun! The internet and social media in particular have made it easier than ever for writers to find each other. Guest posting is a great way to build new relationships with prominent writers in your field. You’ll be engaging with an already existing audience and talking about something we all have in common–writing!
5) It’s Fun!
We spend a lot of time working on the same stories with the same characters, and running into the same kind of problems. Sometimes, it can be helpful to take a break from writing fiction and work on something different. For example, last year, I wrote a post on decorating a writing office. I love interior decorating, so the article was a lot of fun to write. It was also encouraging to realize I’d actually learned a lot about the topic, and had valuable information to share that could help other writers. It gave me a little boost of confidence right when I needed one!
If you’ve been a reader of DIY MFA, I want to encourage you to consider guest posting for us in the #5OnFri series. Shoot me an email at email@example.com! I’d love to hear your ideas and voice on this site!
Bess McAllister writes epic books in expansive worlds from a tiny town in the Midwest. Previously, she lived in New York and worked as a fiction editor at Tor Books. Now, she spends her days telling stories and helping other writers tell theirs. Her work is represented by Brooks Sherman of Janklow and Nesbit Associates.