How to Be a Great Guest Blogger

03 Oct

At the Gem State Writers, we love our guest bloggers.  It’s fun to have someone new come in and share her expertise and a fresh perspective.

Here are some tips on how to be the best guest blogger ever:

Show up. Sounds simple enough, but with so many blogs scheduling their guests months in advance, it can hard to remember. Most blogs will try to remind you a few days ahead of time, but keep your own calendar, just in case. Plan to stop by and answer comments too.

Know Your Audience and Write Something of Interest to them. Every blog is different. Take time to read the blog, discover the special niche it’s trying to fill, and adapt your message accordingly.  Don’t just blog about your book or whatever you’re trying to sell.  Instead, aim to inform or entertain this particular audience.

Learn Good Blogging Format. Reading online is harder on the eyes than reading a book. For that reason, most experienced bloggers know to keep it short, use boldface and white space to separate large blocks of text, and include pictures whenever possible.

Don’t Make Us Cringe. Every blogger has a different notion of what’s acceptable for publication. If you’ve done your research, it should be easy to know which topics are appropriate for the blog you’re visiting. When in doubt, never say anything on the blog that you wouldn’t say at the dinner table with your neighbor’s children present.

Bring Your Friends. One reason we invite guest bloggers is because we hope they’ll bring us new readers.  We’ll promote your blog, and we hope you do too. A guest blogger who brings lots of friends is always welcome to return again and again.

There you have my top 5 tips on how to be a great guest blogger. I would love to hear about your guest blogging experiences. What makes a great guest blog, and how can we help our guest bloggers have a great experience?


Posted by on October 3, 2011 in Idaho


27 responses to “How to Be a Great Guest Blogger

  1. Liz Fredericks

    October 3, 2011 at 6:46 AM

    Thank you for sharing these tips. I always view your blogs as being very successful so I figure you know more than a thing or two about good content and good conduct. Having said that – I apologize in advance for future cringe-worthy posts. I’ll definitely use the ‘neighbors’ children’ rule, but since they’re mostly teenagers or college students it’s probably edgier content than in a younger neighborhood! 😉

    • Clarissa Southwick

      October 3, 2011 at 9:30 PM

      Liz, You’ve never posted a cringe-worthy post. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  2. Janis McCurry

    October 3, 2011 at 7:06 AM

    I enjoy our guest bloggers as well. It brings more diverse perspectives and helps me find new writers to read. Thanks.

    • Clarissa Southwick

      October 3, 2011 at 9:30 PM

      Aren’t we lucky to have them? Thanks for commenting, Janis 🙂

  3. ramblingsfromtheleft

    October 3, 2011 at 8:12 AM

    Thanks, Clarissa. This is a great outline. I never though about it, but it covers many of the criteria I have, although I have never told any of my guests. Perhaps, I’ve been lucky so far. One way I have ensured content is only inviting experienced bloggers, or published authors to review their books.

    I had a summer guest series of writers that finaled in a Write It Sideways contest. All but one generated great response. My other guest series was for writers I knew who had published (or self-pub) at least one book. I have also been a guest on several occassions and the experience was very good. It’s a great way to not only find new readers to your own blog, but to get comments from some who had never read me befroe. Like leaving positive comments when we visit other sites, being a guest is a public exchange and should be handled with respect. I will be guesting again this month on Writers In The Storm, invitation by Laura Drake (some of you might know her).

    Good luck with all your future guests 🙂

    • Clarissa Southwick

      October 3, 2011 at 9:35 PM

      What great ideas for guest participation. We’ve been very lucky with our guests–both bloggers and commenters. Thanks for being such a loyal follower. You always bring something interesting to the conversation. I’m looking forward to your Writers in the Storm post 🙂

  4. ValRoberts

    October 3, 2011 at 8:37 AM

    Oh great, I failed the very first one in August. Clarissa graciously asked me if I would like to be a guest blogger, and I of course said, “Oh yes, please.”

    Then I sent my essay off early and completely (utterly, totally, absolutely) spaced my guest day until two days later after it posted (two whole days!! I still don’t know how I managed that trick since it was on my calendar). At least when I forget something, I do it all the way.

    You could re-title that first section, “Don’t pull a Val.”

    • Clarissa Southwick

      October 3, 2011 at 9:38 PM

      LOL, Val. That’s not how I remember it at all. I remember that you got the blog to me early and I didn’t have to stay up late preparing it to post.

      Replying to comments quickly can be difficult. People have jobs and they can’t stay online all day. We’re happy whenever our guest bloggers can interact with the audience.

      Thanks for commenting 🙂

  5. Gillian

    October 3, 2011 at 9:28 AM

    Great post! I always appreciate reading guest bloggers who respond to the comments. It’s often a great way to learn something new.

    • Clarissa Southwick

      October 3, 2011 at 9:41 PM

      Hi Gillian! I have missed your blog lately. Yes, it’s great when you can ask questions and get a reply right away. I love that personal interaction. Thanks for the comment. 🙂

  6. Peggy Staggs

    October 3, 2011 at 9:40 AM

    I enjoy our guests too. These are great tips to keep in mind for other things as well. I like the one about the neighbors kids. Great to keep in mind.

    • Clarissa Southwick

      October 3, 2011 at 9:43 PM

      Hi Peggy, Thanks for helping me come up with this post. I don’t know what I’d write without your help.

  7. janesevier

    October 3, 2011 at 9:46 AM

    Handy post, y’all! I could have used it Saturday when I was writing my first-ever guest blog for the Rockville 8. Think I hit most marks, but I probably needed more pictures.

    • Clarissa Southwick

      October 6, 2011 at 9:44 AM

      Hi Jane,

      Pictures can be a mixed bag. They look great, but sometimes they’re slow to load. I once tried blogging from Africa and it took me 2 days to load a couple of pictures. Actually, I should say 2 nights because I had to stay up to 2am to get a connection that could handle them.

      I visited your blog. It looked great. Welcome to the world of blogging 🙂

  8. Paty Jager

    October 3, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    Great list!

    • Clarissa Southwick

      October 6, 2011 at 9:45 AM

      Hi Paty,

      Thank you for the comment. Sorry to be so slow in answering. It’s always good to see you here. 🙂

  9. Liz Lipperman

    October 3, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    All great tips, Clarissa. So many people start out with good intentions when they start a blog, then forget the most important thing is to write the darn thing…and write interesting stuff. I think I’m going to print this out to remind me when I do post.


    • Clarissa Southwick

      October 6, 2011 at 9:46 AM

      Hi Liz,

      You’re on a whirlwind blog right now with your new release, Liver Let Die, aren’t you? I love how your humor always comes across in both the books and your blogs. If anyone has a chance to stop by one of Liz’s blog posts, I highly recommend them 🙂

  10. Anita Clenney

    October 3, 2011 at 5:24 PM

    Nice post, Clarissa. There is a lot to remember about blogging. In fact, blogging is sort of an art. Some people are talented at it, some not as much (raising my hand), but we can all remember the basics.

  11. Donna Cummings

    October 3, 2011 at 5:32 PM

    Clarissa, this is great info. I’ve been a guest blogger once, and really enjoyed the experience. I think I did everything you suggested. 🙂 Hopefully when I have other guest blogger gigs, this will be second nature to me, thanks to you.

  12. Carley Ash

    October 3, 2011 at 5:46 PM

    Great post, Clarissa.

  13. Lynn Mapp

    October 3, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    Thank you, Clarissa for sharing this information with us.

  14. Brenda

    October 4, 2011 at 5:50 AM

    Yep. Good tips. I’d add one more and that is that the guest blogger comment on comments about her post. Then it’s more like a conversation for all.

  15. Vonda Sinclair

    October 4, 2011 at 7:55 AM

    Clarissa, fantastic post!!

  16. Mary Vine

    October 5, 2011 at 6:26 PM

    Great idea for a blog (Peggy?) and great blog, Clarrisa. Thanks.

  17. Philip Verghese 'Ariel

    October 9, 2011 at 10:16 AM

    Hi Clarissa,
    Good to meet you via g+
    Good to be here too.
    A wonderful place.
    Beautiful background.
    Thanks again for the
    great tips
    Keep inform
    Best Regards


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