10 Things I learned from Hosting a Guest on my Blog

Hosting on my blog is a new experience for me. It's something that I've thought of undertaking for quite some time, but until now I wasn't sure that I could do. Thursday, I hosted friend and fellow adventurer, Diane Amos, who talked about her path to publication with her latest Five Star book, Promise Me Forever. We talked about this for awhile before attempting it.

Neither of us was sure just what was going to happen, but in the end I was happy with the results. We ended up with 27 visitors for the blog and around 10 comments (I think). This may not seem like much, but considering that this is about five times the normal visitors/daily that I get I was pretty darned happy with it. There were a few things that I worked out along the way and I'll pass these tips on to anyone who may be interested in hosting or being part of a blog tour.

1. Decide the topic to be discussed keeping it to something that will be of interest to your blog readers. If you write a research blog, keep it to research. If you write a erotic blog, keep the tone the same.

2. Decide the type of blog post. Interview or general post. Either, will work well, but keep in mind that the interview requires a ton of pre-work and back and forth between the author and then you will need to put it together into a posting that will entice the readers. If you decided to have the guest post a blog on a certain topic then you'll want to find something that will interest the majority of readers.

3.  When to host the blog post. Really, any time will work, but keep in mind that you want to be available to monitor comments and help the process along by encouraging readers to the blog.

4. Which leads me to... mining your contacts. Not all the lists that you are on are going to appreciate it if you post about a guest on your blog for the day. It helps to know the rules of the individual lists and be sure to follow them so that you don't offend any potential readers. If you intend to do this often then keep a list handy.

5. Do as much of it ahead of time as you can. I copied the post into my blog poster and added pictures that I gathered from the author's site. I also added links for all the ways that they could be connected to their readers, either through Facebook, Twitter, etc. And finally, I added links to all the available books the author had available and made sure the links worked. Once this was done I set the blog to post at a reasonable time on the agreed date.

6. Make sure your blog is ready to host. I found this out through trial and error, but one of the biggest things that I realized to late was that my "follow my blog" app was too low on the page. Make it easy for the readers to connect with you and your blog. Give them the Facebook, Twitter and other assorted links at the top. Include the "follow me" app because this means that as you post they will get the chance to see your posts

7. Network Blogs is an app that's available through Facebook. Not part of it? Sign yourself up. This allows your blog posts to show up as a status message automatically when you post. Also, they can set to follow you through the Network Blogs page.

8. Ditto for Twitter. My blog posts automatically feed to my Twitter page and give a link to my blog. Utilize all avenues for getting people to your blog.

9. Check your comments often. Unless you are set for un-moderated messages you are going to have to approve all the messages that post to your blog. Do this often and encourage the author to check them often to comment on what is being posted. These are their potential readers.

10. Have fun with it. It's really not as scary as it would seem to undertake this type of effort. Because Diane is my friend it was a more relaxed experience (at least on my part).

I want to thank Diane for visiting the blog. She really wrote a great article that touched many people. Her books do the same thing and I wish her the best and many, many happy readers. :)


Liz said...

I host regularly now and came up with a theme for my interview which have become very popular. my "across the beer bar with Liz" series is oversubscribed and I gain 100+ hits and on average 15 comments per. finding a fun or relevant theme to your blog or whatever (I also own a microbrewery so that's how mine worked) is crucial I think, helping you break thru the clutter of blog posts out there.

Judi said...

Great information, Teagan. I've tossed around the idea of having guests on my blog, but have been too chicken to even dip my toe in the water. Thanks for the great checklist.

Nina Pierce said...

I have also linked my blog posts on my Goodreads and Amazon accounts. Though I don't see the number of people visiting on those sites I do get comments which tells me people are actually reading on those sites.

And those are all great tips for hosting people. Hope the next time goes easier for you!

I'd also recommend taking off comment moderation on those days so the visiting blogger can see all comments as they're posted and visitors can comment on other's comments.

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