I play well with (blog with) others – how to query another blogger

I play well with (blog with) others. Guest blogging in four parts – Part III of IV. You can see Part I, blog guidelines, here, and Part II, hosting a guest blogger, here.

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

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Filed under Blogging, Branding & Platform, Editing & Proofreading, Social Networking

8 responses to “I play well with (blog with) others – how to query another blogger

  1. I laughed out loud on the “fear of rejection” point. I haven’t done the formal query part on a blog. Great tips on what to include.

  2. I’m bookmarking this! thanks for the information.

  3. This is a great, much-needed list. #1 is so important. Look to guest on blogs that have your own blog stats or a little above. If you get 20 hits a day, don’t expect to get a spot on a blog that gets 2000 a day. (Download Alexa if you want to know a blog’s rating.) And just saying “you have a highly rated blog, so I’d like to guest…” isn’t going to cut it. Of course you’d like 10,000 visitors to read your post. You gotta give me a reason to think those 10,000 people are going to be satisfied to read you instead of me.

    I’d also like to add. 1) Comment on the blog where you want to guest. I’m much more likely to accept a person I know is reading the blog. 2) Check the recent guests on the blog. If most of them are NYT bestsellers, and you’re still in the querying-agents stage, this isn’t the blog for you. Nobody likes to send rejections, so do your research first.

    • I appreciate your visit Anne, and your comment, “great, much-needed list,” but disagree on a few points.

      I accept most guests – those who are passionate, those who pay it forward. And to heck with their “hits.” I’m especially cognizant of the little people. I started with a couple of hits and zero comments. I prefer to have a limited number of faithful friends than a huge pile of slush. I may be pocket change (about 80 subscribers) — but I consider every one of my guests and commenters important.

      In your own blog from 12/11, you mention, “Go for quality not quantity.” http://annerallen.blogspot.com/2011/12/how-not-to-blog-beginning-blogging-for.html. I follow your blog and enjoy it. I have learned a lot from your posts. I don’t always comment.

      You mention a “highly-rated blog.” Mine is “highly-rated” among my limited number of faithful followers. I did not know about Alexa (hey, I’m still new at this). I went to Alexa and found I’m ranked at about 7 ½ million. Just today I learned how to tag – did that for my latest post.

      Why should I be afraid of a NYT best seller? I’m happy with my non-NYT people and faithful followers. For now, I’m happy being small.

  4. Pingback: I play well with (blog with) others – your guest post | Karen S. Elliott's Blog

  5. Great post, Karen. I’ll save you the query email and invite you to propose a guest post on my blog any time you have something that fits my theme of Connection. I can think of several intersections between your usual topics and mine, so let’s chat by email. I already know about the quality of your writing since you’ve helped me make mine even better.

  6. Pingback: How to play well (and blog well) with others | Karen R. Sanderson's Blog

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