How to play well with others – the guest blog query

DSC01656I know that the word “query” is a red-hot-icky 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, or the dreaded turn-down?

Your blog – Take a critical look at your blog (and your FB, LI, Twitter). 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?DSC01651

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.

DSC01676Pace 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.

See also Blog guidelines and Hosting a guest blogger.

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

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Filed under Blogging

8 responses to “How to play well with others – the guest blog query

  1. I’ve never formally queried another blogger, but these tips sound like some good advice. Now I’m thinking about putting something together in the near future.

    • I’ve queried a few bloggers (successfully). And I have had some smammy queries, like with the “I love your blog!” I usually write back, “What article did you like and why?” This weeds out the spammers.

  2. Hi Karen,

    I’ve been a long-time subscriber of your blog via email and after reading your post today about guest blogging, it occurred to me that I’d like to ask you if you’d like to do a guest post on my blog?

    As you can see from my signature, I’m an indie author and on my blog I often write about my publishing journey, but I also like to feature other entreprenuers who are involved in our industry. For instance, I’ve featured the two people who did my first book trailer, another couple who provided the formatting, and the young lady who did my first book promotion.

    So, if you would be interested in doing a guest post, perhaps discussing why an indie author like me needs a super editor like you (and plugging your business at the same time of course), that would be great!

    Many thanks!


    – Suzanne

    Author of God Loves You. -Chester Blue e

    Twitter: @seakiev


    Tel: 303-679-3583

    “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you areno more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.” Matthew 5:5

  3. Hi Karen!

    This is such a timely and lovely post for me personally. You have a great list of what to do and NOT to do when trying to become a guest blogger…something I did a little of in 2012 and something I want to do a bit more of in 2013…;~)

    Now I have a great check list to follow to help increase my chances of a “yes” reply…

    Thanks for all you do for the writing community!

    Donna L Martin

  4. Pingback: How to play well with others – your guest post | Karen S. Elliott's Blog

  5. Pingback: The latest spammy blog query | Karen S. Elliott's Blog

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