Tag Archives: guest blogging

Guest blog for Lindsay McLoughlin, Dear Loved One

sorrowI am a guest on Lindsay McLoughlin’s blog with one of my favorite epistles on writing and blogging, Dear Loved One. You may have read it before – I have featured it on my own blog – but if not, click here.

Lindsay was a guest on my blog recently with Upsetting the Apple Cart.

Great articles on Lindsay’s blog include Round the guest blogging world in 80 days (about her campaign to reach out to people around the world), The devil’s in the detail, Does this blog look and read okay? (origins of the word “Okay”), and as a guest on Copywrite Matters blog with Twitter isn’t quiet.

Lindsay McLoughlin (2)Lindsay McLoughlin is a mum to three brilliant little girls who are full of life and fun; wife to a wonderfully kind and supportive man with the patience of a saint; proofreader/editor/copywriter for all things marketing related; landlady to rowers visiting Henley Royal Regatta.

Connect with Lindsay on her website, on her blog, on Twitter, and on LinkedIn. To guest blog with Lindsay, click here.

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How to play well with others – your guest post

DSC01091Your guest post

Your blog host accepts your blog idea and gives you a deadline. You are scheduled to be a guest on another blog. Fabulous! Don’t simply drive in, drop the article, and drive away.

Now the work begins. Make it shine!

Deadline – Your host tells you, “Please have your submission to me by January 15.” Make sure it’s in her inbox by that date. Better if you have it to her before the deadline.

Dress it up – Don’t send a slopped-together article. Clean it from top to bottom. Wipe the glass. Scrub the tires.

Check the mirror – Proofread, edit for clarity, adhere to word count, include all the information your host asked for. In addition to the article, your host asks for your bio, a profile picture, and your URLs. Don’t make her come back and beg you for them. Submit these as attachments to the submission email.

The extrasDSC01106

BIO – Your host asks for a 50-word bio. Don’t send a two-page resume and expect her to edit.

PIC – A profile picture – Have one. Have a recognizable profile photo, not you amongst 37 cousins at your last family reunion.

URLs – I keep all my URLs in a list, so I don’t have to retype them every time.

Post Day

Share and promote – Make a post on your own blog that directs subscribers to your host’s blog. Go to the host’s blog page and click all the buttons to share it, tweet it, Facebook it, etc.

Socialize – Visit the host’s blog over the next few days and look for comments. Respond to comments. Be nice. Don’t embarrass your host.

Kenton and ShawnA dud – It your guest post is successful, great! If not, don’t go off pouting or FBing “Why isn’t anyone commenting on my guest post?!” You posted it to your blog, FB, Twitter, and so on. Let it sit for a day. Then consider posting it to your Facebook again.

Send a thank you – Even when I thought Laura’s 10th birthday party was a dud, my mom made me send a thank you note. It’s the right thing to do. Send a thank you to your host.

When in doubt, remember what mom said. Sit up straight, mind your manners, say thank you.Kenton washing car

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See also Blog guidelines, Hosting a guest blogger, and The guest blog query.

This is the last post in the series about guest blogging. Are you psyched to have a guest blogger or be a guest blogger?

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“The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you.”  ~John E. Southard

“Praise the bridge that carried you over.” ~George Colman

“There is no such thing as gratitude unexpressed. If it is unexpressed, it is plain, old-fashioned ingratitude.” ~Robert Brault

Quote Garden

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How to play well with others – hosting a guest blogger

Kenton and boysHosting a guest blogger can be a rewarding experience. I learn, I find new friends, and I expand my reader base and exposure. Variety is the blogger’s spice of life. And it’s fun!

Guidelines – I have guidelines, mentioned in my post of How to play well with others blog post of a few days ago. I explain these are not hard-n-fast rules, simply guidelines. I like to enable my guests to use their imagination, their own voice, and their own sense of humor.

Reach out – I don’t wait around for people to invite themselves to guest blog. I go after people I find interesting. Reach out. Expand your horizons!

Background check – Before I invite someone to be a guest, I check out their blog, website, Twitter, Facebook… Do the same background check if a blogger approaches you. Is this someone you want on your blog?

Posting date clarity – Recently, I messed up. In correspondence with a prospective blog guest, my deadline was vague. The guest blogger thought I wanted her article in February (because earlier I mentioned Valentine’s Day), and I was talking about November!

Deadline – Give the guest a specific deadline. S.P.E.L.L. it out clearly. “I need your submission in my inbox on or before January 22.”

Wiggle room – I normally set deadlines at least a week before the scheduled day. Don’t rely on last minute submissions. What if you plan on posting a blog on Tuesday afternoon and you still don’t have it Tuesday morning?DSC01197

Back-up plan – What if your guest doesn’t follow through? Have a couple of your own draft blog articles simmering on the back burner for these emergencies.

Guest bio – I like to provide a bio and links for my guest’s online pages. So, in addition to the article, I ask for a 1) bio 2) profile picture 3) URLs for their social networking.

Maintain control – Indicate (in your guidelines and in conversations) that if you feel their article is not appropriate for your blog you won’t publish it or you might require edits.

Read the submission – Be sure to read the submission as soon as you get it; don’t wait until posting day. Is it well-written and free of typos? Do the links work? If you feel it needs to be edited, send it back to the writer or advise them that you will edit. Be clear about what you feel needs to be edited.

Just say no – I hate to do this, but I’ve had to say, “No, thank you.” If the guest has broken one of your critical guidelines, ask the guest to edit or tell them you feel it’s not appropriate for your blog.

Learn to say yes! – I have broken out of my blogging-box on numerous occasions. A few times, I have read a submission and think, “Eh, not really my cup o tea.” But I sit on it, give it a half day or so, read it again, and consider it on its merits.

Blogging love – If I have a guest, I ask that they share the link on their blog and/or their Facebook, Twitter, Fan Page.

Think big picture – Nearly every time I’ve had a guest blogger, I see an increase in my comments, and I occasionally get a couple new subscribers.

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Have you had guest bloggers? Do you have additional advice for hosting? What sticky situations have you been in with guest bloggers?

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If you are a host to your guest, be a host to his dog also. ~Russian Proverb

A visitor’s footfalls are like medicine; they heal the sick. ~African Proverb

Quotes from Quote Garden.

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How to play well with others – blog guidelines

DSC01384We’re about to start a new year, and I’m developing blog theme weeks. As such, I am expecting a lot of guests. I decided to go to my own guidelines to propel this first “Blogging with others” blog. Later, I’ll cover “Hosting a guest blogger,” “Querying another blogger,” and “Being a guest on another blog.”

Open and inviting – If you openly invite others to write an article for your blog, you should consider creating your own guidelines. And then post your guidelines on your blog so they are readily available.

My guidelines – These guidelines work for me. I am quick to tell guests that my guidelines are just that – guidelines – not hard and fast rules. I tweak my own guidelines from time to time, depending on my experiences and my blog’s development.

My Guest Blog Guidelines –

I like blogs that are helpful to other writers or something that is fun and/or educational. For instance –

Blogging tips

Writing tips

Social Networking

Branding

Platform

Inspirational

Dealing with writer’s block

Word play

Proofreading or editing

Grammar

Punctuation

Spelling

Vocabulary

Foreign words or phrases

Words, phrases, or acronyms for a specific job or hobby, like hiking terms, cooking terms, hunting terms, gardening terms, scrapbooking terms, and so on.

Flexible – I’m flexible. If your blog post does not cover any of the above suggestions, that’s okay. I look at uniqueness and originality, too.

Opening photo – I always post a picture/photo on top of blog posts. If you have a suggestion for a picture, I’m all ears (or eyes, rather). The final decision on picture selection is mine.image (13)

Quotes – Many of my original blogs have a famous quote at the end of the post. If you have a suggestion for a quote, I’m all ears. The final decision on quote selection is mine.

Style – I like small blocks of text with bolded headers (proven blog winners). I do not like huge blocks or text with no white space.

Word count – If I feel the blog is too long, I will suggest edits. My blogs are normally about a 1,000 words; I may make an exception if I feel the content is compelling. Please do not be offended if I suggest edits or changes.

Headlines – I try to encourage readership with good headlines. I reserve the right to create a headline or edit your headline.

Re-post – I’m happy to post something that you have previously posted (as long as it belongs to you). If you are submitting a new article as a guest blog, I’m happy to include links to content on your blog if it’s pertinent.

Proofread – I’m sort of a nit-picky stickler for punctuation, typos, grammar, but I do allow for casual flair. It’s a blog – not a letter to the President.

The f-word – I do not care for foul language although an occasional use of a body part or slang on a bad word is okay. I will look at each blog post with fresh eyes and take the entire blog post on its overall merits.

Deadlines – I require that your draft blog post be in my inbox a week before the scheduled blog post. This is to allow me to give it the once-over and to be sure I have it prior to its scheduled posting date. My deadlines are firm. And, um, I won’t apologize if you are late.

Linking and blog love – I will link to your blog, Facebook page, website, Twitter, etc. I ask that you mention your contribution and my blog somewhere in your social networking, i.e., on your blog, Facebook page, Twitter, etc.

Guest blogger pic and bio – I like to post a profile picture (yours!) and a bio (yours!) so don’t get shy on me.

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Do you have blog guidelines? What blog guideline is an absolute must for you? What would you add to or delete from my guidelines for your blog?

“Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

www.brainyquote.com

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Karen’s Blog Survey Results

I asked you to participate in a blog survey a few weeks ago, Karen’s blog feedback survey and name a Sock Monkey! 

You had to make a comment on the blog to be entered in a random drawing. The winner of The Hunger Games boxed trilogy is Tonia Marie Harris!

Tonia Marie was a guest on my blog during Romance Week with In a Heartbeat. Tonia Marie is a mother, writer, poet, and blogger who “procrastinates in her spare time.” Tonia is working on a YA ghost story and exploring self-publishing vs. the traditional market. See Tonia Marie’s wonderful blog, PassionFind. You can see Tonia Marie on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Blog survey results

Overall, I think I’m doing okay. The very positive feedback was mostly in the 70+ percentile, the positive feedback often took me to 100%.

Questions and responses

FYI, I have rounded the percentages to the closest whole number.

Do you enjoy the theme weeks like Fright Week, December Holidays Week, Romance Week, North Dakota Week? 73% liked, 18 % said okay. One person said stop. One person commented, “Haven’t read all but what I did I liked.”

Do you enjoy the posts from creative professionals like musicians, artists, book cover designers, and photographers? 67% said yes and would like to see more, 25% said they were okay, one person said not so much.

Are you enjoying the Editor Spotlight series and would you like to see more? 67% said yes, 33% said they were okay. Comments included, “I think it is a correct balance right now … more? No,” and “Not too often, but they’ve all been excellent.”

Do you enjoy the bulk of my guest bloggers? 50% yes, I like the guest bloggers and have found these posts helpful in connecting with awesome new people, 50% yeah, guest bloggers are okay. One comment, “I like a balance with more from you than guests.” (I had been thinking that I was maybe having too many guest bloggers. I’m going to remedy that and write more myself.)

Have you found value in the blogs on writing, inspiration, writer’s block, and general publishing stuff? Split 50/50 under responses, yes, very helpful and yes, usually helpful, I learn a thing or two.

Do you find value in the blogs about social networking like FB, Twitter, and LinkedIn? 33% said very helpful, 42% said I sometimes learn a thing or two, and 25% said yeah, okay, but the market is already too flooded with social networking. (I have had my say – for now – on social networking, so won’t bug you too much with those any time soon!)

Do you find value in the blogs about word origins, language, grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary? 75% said yes, 25% said somewhat. I had two additional comments – “I love to learn more about language” and the other “LOVE THIS!!!”

Do you find my blog easy to navigate and leave comments? 83% responded, yes very easy, mostly easy got 17%. One additional comment was “Google+ button doesn’t let me add a comment (I use Chrome).”

Sock Monkey names  

Jo-Jo

Scary Possessed Ape J

Bobby

Curious Abraham

Mr. Marbles

Somkey

Rupert

Bippy Muffin

Woolis Lamb

Lorenzo St. Simian

I am partial to Lorenzo St. Simian!

Blogs you like

Question #10 asked you to share other blogs you liked. I thought if a subscriber likes it, then I should share the love. The quoted material is from your comments.

Ordinary Courage by Dr. Brené Brown. “She sticks to her theme and always provides food for thought.”  http://www.ordinarycourage.com

August McLauglin – health, fitness, eating disorders and nutrition http://www.augustmclaughlin.com and blog  http://augustmclaughlin.wordpress.com. “post variety, life topics.”

“Barbara Swafford has a blog that she has named “Blogging Without a Blog.” She usually writes once a week on a topic and asks a specific question related to her post, as you do. I follow it because it is very user friendly. She receives a lot of comments from readers who answer her questions.” http://bloggingwithoutablog.com

Joanne Gaskill’s blog. “Because it contains parenting tips, shares a bit of her life, and her journalism career.” http://www.bloggymoms.com and http://www.bloggymoms.com/profiles/blog/list

Descent Into Slushland, Brian Taylor. http://descentintoslushland.wordpress.com. “He’s a new writer on the scene-fresh, honest, and fun material.”

http://www.37days.com. “Patti Digh has been a friend & an inspiration for over 5 years now, and she lays the bread crumb trail!”

Indies Unlimited. Celebrating independent authors. “So many contributors with information, humour and support.” http://www.indiesunlimited.com

Kana Tyler’s, Kana’s Chronicles. “Witty, touching, fun, and very informative re both writing and just living in the Big Bad World.” http://kanatyler.com

So, there ya have it

For those who participated in the survey and made comments – Thank you so much! If you didn’t do the survey, feel free to comment now.

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