I know that the word “query” is a red-hot-icky-button word for many writers. Faggitaboutit!
A great way to expand your exposure and make new friends is to guest blog. But what about the mechanics of a blog query, the acceptance process, or the dreaded turn-down?
Consider a few things before you query and a few things during the query process.
Your blog – Take a critical look at your blog (and your FB, LI, Twitter, Google+). Are you someone that another blogger would welcome? Are your blogs about helping others, sharing experiences, sharing knowledge?
Before the query – Say for instance you find a way-cool blog. You like a post or two and think, “I’d love to be a guest on this blog!” Before you query…
Guidelines? – If the blogger has guidelines, read them. Follow them.
Research – Read a bunch of the blogger’s posts, including posts made by guest bloggers. I suggest at least a dozen. What is that blogger’s focus? How are the posts presented? How are guests presented?
Where to send query – If the blogger wants you to send queries via an online contact form, use it. If the blogger wants you to send it to his email, use the email.
Form letters – Ick. Don’t do it. Most experienced bloggers can spot a form letter query from a mile away.
A blah query – “I’m a blogger, and I want to guest blog for you! I love your blog!” Blah and blech. Be sincere, not spammy.
A brilliant query – 1) Mentions a couple of the blogger’s posts and why you liked them. 2) Mentions one or two of the blogs in her blog roll. 3) Mentions the blogger’s book (if applicable). 4) Mentions what you’d like to blog about 5) Provides a brief preview.
Fear of rejection – Get over it. Send your brilliant query.
Pace yourself – Don’t send out 50 queries on the same day – you might just get 50 “Yes, I’d like to have you on my blog” and then you’re scrambling to write 50 blogs at quantum-leap speed.
No, thank you – You send your query. You think it’s stellar! The blogger turns you down. It’s his blog, his decision. Remember, it might be timing. Make a note to query this blogger at a later date.
Temper, temper – If the blogger turns you down, don’t blast him on FB or Twitter. Send a basic thank you and let it go.
Resubmit – Try again in a few months. Consider subscribing to the target blog and leaving a comment on occasion.
Have you sent a query to another blogger? Was your query specific and personal or spammy? What tips would you add to my list?
“Panic at the thought of doing a thing is a challenge to do it.” ~Henry S. Haskins
Additional source: How to Land a Guest Post Without Fail: 21 Secret Tips on the Write to Done blog, a great blog for writers and bloggers. I especially liked How to Finish What You Start: A Five-Step Plan for Writers and 10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Dialogue.
Photo – By Lishep on Photobucket