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Anne R. Allen's Blog


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Anne writes funny mysteries and how-to-books for writers. She also writes poetry and short stories on occasion. Oh, yes, and she blogs. She's a contributor to Writer's Digest and the Novel and Short Story Writer's Market for 2016. 

Her bestselling Camilla Randall Mystery Series features perennially down-on-her-luck former socialite Camilla Randall—who is a magnet for murder, mayhem and Mr. Wrong, but always solves the mystery in her quirky, but oh-so-polite way.

Anne lives on the Central Coast of California, near San Luis Obispo, the town Oprah called "The Happiest City in America."

Anne blogs at Anne R. Allen's Blog...with Ruth Harris 
and at Anne R. Allen's Books

Sunday, May 6, 2012

How to Blog VI: 15 Tips for Guest Bloggers

by Anne R. Allen

Guest posting on blogs is a great marketing tool. The frenzy for blog tours seems to have quieted down a bit  recently, but whether you’re launching a new title, promoting an editorial service, or simply building platform, providing content for other people's blogs is still an effective way to reach potential new readers or customers in a personal, interactive way--and hey, it's free!

For writers who aren't comfortable with keeping a blog of your own, it's also a fantastic way to get yourself known in the blogosphere.  

If you’re currently marketing a book, you've probably been urged to line up some guest blogging gigs. If you’re with a big publisher, you may have a publicist who will book a blog tour for you.

Guest blogging can be a lot of fun. You can meet fascinating new people and reach out to readers. I’m so grateful to the wonderful bloggers who have hosted me. I didn’t know all the ropes at first myself, so have to admit I’ve learned some of this stuff the embarrassing way.

Unfortunately, a lot of the information on the Interwebz about guest posting isn’t specific to publishing/ writing blogs. You may hear that you should search for blogs that contain certain keywords and mass query them—or only approach bloggers with a high traffic ranking. This advice can end up wasting your time.

And, um, make you look like a doofus.

You wouldn’t believe how many emails I get like this: “Hello Blogger: I see your blog, ANNE R. ALLEN’S BLOG has an Alexa rating under 150,000, and you once wrote a post on topic X on ANNE R. ALLEN’S BLOG so I (or “my client”) would like to guest blog on ANNE R. ALLEN’S BLOG next week. We’re offering this content free of charge, Blogger.”

Do I really have to explain why that gets our hackles up? The assumption is that we don’t have enough good content of our own, we don't plan ahead, and we’ll take any old content out of the blue, sight unseen. And—try a little Golden Rule stuff here, publicists—who do you know who likes to be addressed as a generic nobody by some robot?

We want posts from people who are familiar with our blog and have something valuable to offer you, our readers—not something to throw on Blogger so Ruth and I don’t have to write a post this week.  And because we only post four times a month, every piece has to be fresh, hooky, and content-rich enough to keep our audience coming back. We also book our guests way in advance so we can drum up interest in the visit.

Here are some tips on how to avoid annoying the bloggers and get the most out of blog touring and guest-posting:

1)     Don’t judge a blog by Alexa rating alone. 

You’ll only get a small piece of the picture.

Alexa is a Web analytics company that rates websites globally according to traffic. (You can download your own rating icon by going to Alexa.com.) Google rates a 1. Amazon has an 11. Ours hovers around 125K. Most author sites are in the millions.

But if you’re an author with a southern vampire saga, a blog with a small readership of Sookie Stackhouse fans can reach more actual readers than a major blog that focuses on something like Action-SciFi or Christian romance. I learned that on my own blog tour: the guest post that generated the most sales was for the blog with the “worst” stats. But the readers were in exactly the right demographic for my romantic comedy/thriller  Food of Love.

On the other hand, if your own blog has an Alexa rating of 12 million, it’s not a good idea to approach somebody with a much better rating—especially a stranger—and expect them to welcome you with open arms. If you don’t have a blog following of your own to bring to the table, you’ve got to have some spectacular content to offer. 

2)     Don’t expect a blogger to be impressed with “free.” 

That isn’t going to impress a blogger any more than it would impress the staff of the New Yorker. Most successful blogs have a very specific style and audience and not everybody is going to be a good fit. Most author blogs are not monetized, so we’re ALL working for free.

3)     Don’t offer “content” that’s just an advertisement

Offer something of real value to the reader. This is the #1 thing we run across in guest blog offers. If we monetized, a small ad on a site like this would easily cost $25 or more per day. Professional publicists know that, so when they breezily ask for what is basically a free, week-long, full-page advertisement, it’s insulting.

4)     Make a strong pitch.

Show that your content is up to the expectations of this audience. Our blog is getting up to 80,000 hits per month, but one mediocre post can permanently lose some of that audience for us. You’re asking us to take a risk. Convince us you’re worth it.

5)     Address the blogger by name. 

And, um, if the blog is called “Anne R. Allen’s Blog…with Ruth Harris” this shouldn’t strain anybody’s brain cells. 

6)     Make requests by email, not Tweet or FB DM. 

Those get lost and people can’t find you again. A quick pitch in the blog comments is OK with me—as long as it’s on-topic—but be careful because not all bloggers feel the same way. To me it shows you read the blog and engage with other readers, so a dynamite (short) comment pitch might get a request for more info.

7)     Um, VISIT THE BLOG! 

Read a few posts and comment. This should be no-brainer, but most of the people who query us don’t seem to have a clue what the blog is about.

It helps a lot if you’ve commented a few times, too.

NOTE: Commenting on blogs may actually be an even more effective tool than guest posting—and it sure is easier. Social Media guru Bob Mayer  said on his blog last week:

 “One of the best networking tools is to go to people’s blogs and leave cogent comments.  People tend to read the comments on their own blogs.  If you make sense, you will get noticed.”

8)     Conform to the blog’s tone. 

This blog is lighthearted and fun. Doom and gloom and a “boot camp” mentality will totally annoy our readership. So will posts that tell them to spend a lot of money on services they don’t need.

9)     Don’t offer off-topic content. 

Just because I once made a joke about airport security doesn’t mean we want to run a blogpost on the evils of the TSA. The blog header says “Writing about writing. Mostly.”  If you don’t have content for writers, you’re wasting your time.

10) Always follow the blogger’s guidelines

Some bloggers are very kind and post them. Alex J. Cavanaugh has a great set of guidelines here. We don’t post ours, because with four posts a month, we take very few guests and we don’t want to be swamped with offers we have to turn down. Make sure you find out how soon they need the material (I like a long lead time, so I can pimp the post.) Also find out what the word count needs to be. (This varies widely, so always ask.)

11) Include pictures, bio and links and send your copy as an attachment

Don't make the blogger look up your buy pages, or go to your website for your publicity package. Your copy should contain live links, and you should attach a .jpg of your book cover and your author photo. You can also include a short blurb for your book, if you’re promoting one, but make it short and sweet. The blogger may not use your blurb, but it’s worth sending one along. NOTE: It's best to send your copy in a Word.doc (Word 2003) not a .docx, since .docx files can be incompatible with a lot of programs. 

12)  Offer a giveaway of your book.

Not every blog does give-aways (we don't do them often) but it's common practice, so be prepared to offer one.

13) Plan to be available to respond to comments 

And check in for several days after.

14) Promote the guest post on social media

Tweet, FB, and link from your own blog. You want people to read it, right?

15) Remember to thank the blogger

Either in the comment thread or a follow-up email. They are giving you free advertising, so a little gratitude is in order.

The rules for queries are actually pretty much the same whether you’re querying an agent, a reviewer, a blogger or a potential boss: find out who the person is before you take up their time— then take up as little of it as possible.

Personally, who am I most likely to invite to guest post? Somebody who comments regularly and has interesting ideas, not just a product to sell.

Ruth and I love our guest bloggers and we’ve had some of the best: The legendary Lawrence Block , Golden Globe winner Terence Stamp, Amazon #1 seller Catherine Ryan Hyde , uberblogger Nathan Bransford, Molly Greene, Jami Gold, Nina BadzinSamuel Park , Janice HardyJeff Carlson , Elizabeth S. Craig , Roni Loren , Kim Wright , Michael Brandman , Michelle Davidson Argyle , agents Danielle Smith, Laurie McLean and Pamela Van Hylckama Vlieg, publisher Mark Williams—and of course NYT million-seller Ruth Harris (who was such a popular guest I wouldn’t let her leave) –thank you all!

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Blogger Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

I booked my blog tour by myself in March and just started it this Friday. I have no idea what the Alexa rating thing is but I'll google it after I finish commenting.

I basically just asked people that I'd been networking with for a year. Some have big blogs. Others don't. I solicited some advice and people generally agreed "the bigger the better".

I had one good bloggy friend say no to me simply because she runs a religious blog, and my book features gay people doing rated-R things in a science-fiction universe. She was embarrassed and said, "Mike I feel really bad about this because I feel like I know you, but if I allow you to post on my blog, it might confuse a lot of my followers as to why I'd have a guest that writes this kind of stuff."

I thought it was funny and said, "No problem. I'll go find another bloggy friend who isn't as word about gayness in literature.

Oh these are such contentious times!

May 6, 2012 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger Laura Pauling said...

You're so right about watching the information on the web. Even with marketing - a lot of that info is for businesses not authors. Can't wait for your post on Tuesday! It's queued and ready to go! :)

Thanks for the mention!

May 6, 2012 at 10:56 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Anne—Your usual on-the-mark, helpful post. As in most things, courtesy & common sense rule the day--it's amazing—but true—people still have to be reminded.

"Dear Blogger" indeed! lol

May 6, 2012 at 11:35 AM  
Blogger BooksAndPals said...

All excellent advice, Anne. Especially the part about comments. I'm much more likely to entertain a guest post idea from someone I'm already familiar with. I use the delete key to file the generic form email and the offers from someone obviously not familiar with my blog.

May 6, 2012 at 11:39 AM  
Blogger Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Excellent spot-on advice! (And thanks for mentioning my very specific guidelines.) And the thank you really goes a long, long way.

May 6, 2012 at 12:15 PM  
Blogger Charley Robson said...

Another awesome post! Thanks Anne! :D

May 6, 2012 at 12:21 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Michael--Congrats on your first blog tour! Sorry to hear you ran into bigotry, but it's not unusual. It's amazing what's considered controversial these days, as I found out with my Amazon review post drama. Always best to test the waters and read the blog (and the comments) first.

Laura--I'm really looking forward to the visit! And thanks for inviting me.

Ruth--It's pretty funny when they address me as "Dear Ruth" too, since they're sending it to MY email address.

Big Al--Hey, thanks for visiting! (Books and Pals is a must-read review site, scriveners--pay attention to what he says. Also, read his review this week of Ruth's LOVE AND MONEY!!) I'm sure you get way more spam than we do, so the delete file probably fills up pretty fast.

Alex--You taught me a lot. Your guidelines are great. Loved guesting for you. You get more comments than any other blogger I know. Your blog is a model author-blog, so I recommend people check it out.

Charley--You're going to be guest blogging one day soon, I'm sure.

May 6, 2012 at 1:00 PM  
Blogger Elaine AM Smith said...

This was great advice, I found it easy to read and informative. I didn't know about the Alexa Rating.
I knew there had to be some way I could get to be a millionaire ;)

May 6, 2012 at 1:38 PM  
Blogger Anne Gallagher said...

This is a great post. I've only done one guest blog post, which was a lot of fun. Funny, I always thought other people ask you, and not you asking them. Maybe that's why I've only done one. I feel funny asking.

May 6, 2012 at 1:40 PM  
Blogger Cathryn Leigh said...

Anne - if Charley guests posts I"ll have to leave two comment - one fore her and one fore you for having her guest post *giggles*

Anyway to be more on topic, Guests post are totally cool, especially when they follow the rules you just posted. It's all sound and sage advice.

Unfortunately, I can't speak to whither blog tour sell books or not as I have no books to sell, yet.

:} Cathryn

May 6, 2012 at 2:04 PM  
Blogger Alicia Street said...

Great post, Anne! My experience so far with guest blogging has also included making new friends with some wonderful people who love books.

May 6, 2012 at 2:51 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Elaine--I'm glad it was helpful.The Alexa thing isn't talked about that much in writing blogs, but it's a big deal with marketing people, so it's good to know what it is so you can nod and act knowledgeable :-)

Anne--People do get invited sometimes, too. I was lucky enough to be invited by Laura Pauling, who's doing a whole new kind of blog tour--bringing the guest bloggers to her blog. I'm going to be very interested to see how it works, so stop by. Lots of romance writers will be there.

Catherine, after I wrote that I realized that Charlie HAS guest blogged and done very well. She's blogged (more than once?) for Mark Williams international. (Alexa rating 566K.)

Alicia--for me that's the best part. I've met so many great people through guest blogging!

May 6, 2012 at 3:36 PM  
Blogger Donna Hole said...

I've gotten a few of those Alexia solicitations - I relegate them to spam. I haven't had anyone specifically ask me to guest on my blog, I usually ask only people I know well.

Alex's guidelines do set a good example.


May 6, 2012 at 11:47 PM  
Blogger Judith Mercado said...

Thank you again for giving context and guidelines for something most bloggers probably recognize but don't completely understand. I had a guest blogger once, and he went on and on. I made at least two mistakes in retrospect. I did not stipulate a word length, and I did not feel free to wordsmith (read cut) his post. It was one of my least read posts.

May 7, 2012 at 4:37 AM  
Blogger Chris Ward said...

Thanks for the info, sounds interesting. I'd never even heard of guest blogs or blog tours until about a week ago. I'd like to do one to promote my book but I'm not sure I have anything worth saying that hasn't already been said and I have enough trouble coming up with stuff to write on my own blog.

May 7, 2012 at 5:57 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth Ann West said...

Audience is SOOOOO important. I see so many authors guest post on a reviewer's site a piece about...writing! Ugh! The audience wants topics on reading, or topics about you the human, not the nuance between two adverbs or why adverbs don't belong in dialog tags. LOL.

Oh, and offering to guest post on a topic that does fit the audience is a GREAT way to get in front of a book reviewer's audience if they have months and months of backlog (which most do). I've written on everything from how reviews are important to readers because it helps a website pick the books they suggest to online book clubs to ways I protect my ereader when I really shouldn't be reading just must finish a chapter. :)

Great post, Anne. But then again, I KNOW you're smarter than the average bear! :)

May 7, 2012 at 6:27 AM  
Anonymous Sue McGinty said...

Again, such good, common sense stuff. Guest Blogging 101--common sense good manners. Thanks, Anne.

And thanks for taking the time to come by our Central Coast Sisters in Crime launch at Coalesce yesterday. I know every minute is precious these days.

May 7, 2012 at 7:28 AM  
Blogger Jacqueline Howett said...

Hi Anne. Great post as usual with some interesting comments and links.

Have a great week!

May 7, 2012 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger Jacqueline Howett said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

May 7, 2012 at 8:32 AM  
Blogger fOIS In The City said...

I was out all day Sunday.Sorry I am so late. Just lost my comment.

In short, I loved the post.

About No. 7 I love to leave comments and do so on a reg. basis with those I sub. to and to others that I vist without a sub.

About hosting guest, I get it. About those who do not responde to reader's comments ... I think it's rude. I rarely leave comments on major industry blogs; I mean Nathan can get over 100 comments a day, Jane Friedman and Porter Anderson often the same. But when I do comment or ask a question, both Jane and Porter are kind enough to respond, Mr. Anderson actually tweets my responses.

It helps to widen your base with different guests, but I think it's also important to respond to readers. It let's them know you value their opinion.

Thanks for another stellar post :)

May 7, 2012 at 8:49 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Donna--Alex J. Cavanaugh definitely does blogging right. I think he has the right balance of guest/personal posts.

Judith--I should have added that! Don't object to having your post edited. It's just like submitting to a magazine. The blogger may edit for content or for length. And definitely a wordy guest needs some editing. So many people, especially if they don't blog themselves, don't know how to write 21st century prose, which is designed for skimming.

Chris--Blog tours are the new book tours, and they're a great marketing tool. Topics can be anything that will work for the blog, as Elizabeth Ann West says. If you've written a book set in South Carolina, look up some SC bloggers and maybe blog about how you used a particular historical event or landmark in your story. Ditto hobbies, sports, whatever. Don't just approach writing blogs.

Elizabeth--You'll see I mentioned your advice to Chris above. Looking for non-writing blogs is very smart. You're trying to reach new people, so thinking outside the box is essential. Just make sure the content is relevant to the blog you approach.

May 7, 2012 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Sue--Great book event at Coalesce Bookstore yesterday--I bought your anthology and I'm looking forward to reading it! You're right that most of this stuff is common sense, but in the e-age sense doesn't always seem to be that common.


Fois--I see your comments in most of the blogs that are on my "must read" list too. We move in similar circles. :-) I have to say Porter is one of my favorite blogger/Tweeters because he's so gracious with his responses and thanks. Having a polite online persona goes a long way in establishing a strong platform.

May 7, 2012 at 10:12 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Prue Batten posted this, but for some bizarre reason, the spam elves ate it. I think they like to block posts from other continents (Prue's from Australia) I've also had the experience that generous blog hosts have become great cyberfriends. And thanks so much for hosting me in your BIG RED CHAIR series. Here's her comment:

Anne, I had no idea what 'alexa' was when you mentioned it. I just look at my blog stats and I'm always happy with the numbers and whomever comes my way to read about people like you in the BIG RED CHAIR and any other eclectic stuff that might appear.

In terms of me as a writer guest blogging on a nifty blog, it's such fun because every blog is different and one adapts accordingly. I think a large percentage of readers of my books might have come from such endeavours.

Some of the blog-owners (to distinguish from those who comment on blogs) have been very kind, very supportive and to be frank, as a writer who wants to reach more and more readership, I cannot do without their generosity. They are to be respected and your post goes a long way to making sure such respect is their due.

May 7, 2012 at 10:40 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth Ann West said...

I forgot to add, PUT IT ON YOUR CALENDAR!

Never be late with a blog post. And absolutely go into with the attitude of the blogger is doing YOU the favor.

As far as topics, this is a trick from my nonfiction days. Pick a subject. Let's pick ereaders. I'd give myself 5 minutes to jot down everything I could possibly think of, especially questions, and write them down. I do this all the time and have documents full of questions and topics I keep meaning to write blog posts on...

But ereaders:
How do I clean and maintain my ereader?
Is it better to run my ereader all the way down once a month (battery conditioning)?
Organizing books on my ereader (can be ereader specific)
Anatomy of an ebook....
Where should i put my review
Why should I bother to review
Who's going to read my book review
How do I get a book someone emailed me onto my ereader
I've heard about sites that have bestsellers available to download, should I use them?

and on and on (Feel free to steal any of the above) :)

May 7, 2012 at 11:39 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Blogger is being REALLY irritating today. Not only did it eat Prue Batten's comment, but it's just refused one of mine--twice!

Elizabeth--I wanted to say many thanks for that tip I shouln't have forgotten. Missing a guest blogpost is a big no-no. A couple of guests have been no-shows here and they're not getting invited back. And I'm less inclined to want to read their work. At least write and apologize when you realize you screwed up!

Those are fantastic tips for brainstorming blog ideas. Thanks so much for all the great ideas!

May 7, 2012 at 3:14 PM  
Blogger FrancescaTerzano said...

I really love number 3 because most of the blogs i read is because I read blogs for what the reader has to say, not for who is paying them to write something. It is the reason why websites like youtube which is supposed to be about free video viewing are starting to have advertisements for every video that has over 1,000 views. I just want to watch a video or read a blog for the enjoyment and seeing the world through someone else eyes.

May 8, 2012 at 1:34 PM  
Blogger marta chausée said...

Excellent points. Thank you, Ruth.


May 8, 2012 at 2:48 PM  
Blogger marta chausée said...

It must have strained my brain cells, after all. Thank you, ANNE!

May 8, 2012 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger Rebecca Kiel said...

The guest posts I have done have been so enjoyable. I have also been fortunate to host a few different kinds of creative folks on my own blog. It is like having them over for tea. I'm always grateful they stopped by!

May 8, 2012 at 5:25 PM  
OpenID ninabadzin.com said...

Yes! Great tips for getting gigs. I started my blogging "career" as a guest poster long before I realized I should probably start my own blog. I've continued to guest post here and there and I recently started hosting guests once in awhile as part of a specific series on the blog.

Another stellar "blogging" posts. They are my favorite!

May 8, 2012 at 8:13 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Francesca--There are definitely two kinds of people who use social media--the direct sales kind and the "get to know your neighbor" kind. I don't think direct sales work that well. But I may be wrong. I often am. :-)

Marta--Ruth and I both thank you!

Rebecca--I love your image of having people over for tea. That's exactly how it should be. Your blog is your online "home" and when you invite someone in, it should be a friendly, warm experience.

Nina--Great to hear from such a successful blogger. You have a blog that does everything right. You made it be about your interests and personality and turned it into a kind of salon for smart discussions of lots of interesting topics. Love that you're embracing your talent and identifying yourself as a "successful blogger" not an "aspiring novelist." Not everybody has to write novels. :-)

May 8, 2012 at 9:04 PM  
Blogger Stacy Lyn said...

This post could not have come at a more opportune time for me...I've just signed up to do my first guest blog on Author! Author! This is sound advice which I will use wisely. Thank you!

May 9, 2012 at 7:09 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Stacy--Congrats on getting a spot on Author! Author! I'll look forward to your post!

May 9, 2012 at 10:00 AM  
Anonymous SK Figler said...

Here's why this is such a wonderful post: So much of it is common sense which, being wrapped up in our own stuff, too often we forget to consider. Your posts (with Ruth) are always valuable.

May 10, 2012 at 3:40 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

SK--Many thanks. I've just been making the rounds of publishing blogs today and I have to say that common sense seems to be harder to find all the time. I'm glad if you've found some here.

May 10, 2012 at 4:01 PM  
Blogger Kittie Howard said...

Thanks for these really great tips. Anne above is so right about the common sense.

May 11, 2012 at 11:43 AM  
Anonymous Wendy Van Camp said...

This post was very timely. I have a relatively new blog and wish to interview authors. Some of the tips you've mentioned I've had to learn the hard way! I will rss your blog. Take care.

May 12, 2012 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Kittie--Glad they're useful.

Wendy--I'm so glad this post helps. Author interview blogs are great and I'm sure a lot of authors (and readers) will be interested in visiting. I'll check it out!

May 12, 2012 at 11:20 AM  
Blogger E.J. Wesley said...

Lots to chew on here, Anne. Not sure how many bloggers are like me, but basically all you have to do is ask (politely is cool). I'm into supporting authors, and my blog is very ... fluid. :) So I always welcome outside content.

Granted, I'm no super blogger or anything, and I'd be too afraid to even look at the analytics. So that probably opens me up to the idea of guest blogs a little more. Maybe another bonus of going after the small guys?

How would you feel about syndicated posts (meaning the author has run a similar post on another blog before yours)? I know there is quite a lot of reader crossover amongst writing blogs. Just curious.

Great post, heading off to Tweet it now. :)

May 18, 2012 at 8:16 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

E. J. Thanks for the tweet. In answer to your question: I think most authors on a blog tour write variations on the same theme for most of their blog visits. But I'd say you should personalize each guest post for the particular blog you're visiting--don't just cut and paste.

And I should add that some of the requests I get aren't from authors. They're from editors, designers and other service providers looking for customers. That's when you need to be very careful they're not just looking for free advertising or your readers may go away mad.

May 18, 2012 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger Brenda Harris said...

Hi Anna,very informative post. I'm a rookie at blogging and have a question. I read someone's post; it was thoughtful and offered a new bent on some writing topic. Everyone of her commentors raved & gave positive feedback. I didn't agree and kindly gave my view & explanation. The comments after mine were defensive and extremely supportive of the blogger. (I felt as though the blogger had some sort of disability or was extremely young and needed protection.) Question: Is it alright to politely disagree with the blogger? I thought it was healthy to hear different view points. I've always enjoyed that on my blog. www.drawacircle.net

May 18, 2012 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Brenda--Great question. For me personally, the answer is always: YES! I love it when people point out another way of looking at things, or set me straight on something I'm mistaken about. I've learned a lot that way.

And a differing opinion can spark discussion, so it usually works in the blogger's favor.

I even leave up comments by snarky anonymice who call me names, although I do delete the death threats :-)

But not all bloggers are like me. Some can be very defensive. And if somebody seems depressed or otherwise not in control of their emotions, it's better to post your rebuttal in general terms on your own blog rather than in the comments.

I read a blog recently that was full of nasty misconceptions about romance writers and it raised my hackles, big time, but I didn't comment when I realized the writer was a newbie and depressed after a bunch of rejections.

May 18, 2012 at 11:54 AM  
Blogger Julia Fellows said...

I think the concept of guest blogging is really cool! I'm a young writer just getting started and this seems like a really good way to put myself out there before I begin my own ventures. It seems like a good way to work on a following for your own blog.

Personally, I really enjoy reading guest posts on my favorite blogs. It seems like a good way to network with other bloggers and to add a little variety to your blog.

Thanks for the tips!

May 30, 2012 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger Julia Fellows said...

Thanks for the tips! I'm a young writer trying to get started with my own blog. Guest blogging seems like an excellent way to network with other bloggers and to build a following. Writing on others' blogs allows you to flex your muscles and help you decide how you want to write in your blog.

I love reading guest posts on my favorite blogs. It really adds variety. Most of the guest posts that I have seen have a short bio of the writer or a link to their blog. It's a great way to learn about new blogs.

May 30, 2012 at 11:55 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Julia--I'm glad to hear you like to read guest posts and that you're open to doing them. I think it's smarter than jumping in with your own blog and having no readers but your mom and your cat. It can be so disheartening. Much better to make friends in the blogosphere as a guest first.

May 30, 2012 at 3:07 PM  
Blogger Genta Sebastian said...

Oh Anne, I'm sure you realize how much help you're offering to newbies and confusedbies, but let me just add my thanks.

I'm so new to this stuff my keyboard squeaks. And blogs such as yours are giving me a fabulous, in depth education I could never have found in any institute of learning.

June 2, 2012 at 7:18 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Genta--Thanks so much! Can I quote you? All this info is put together with a lot of great wisdom from Catherine Ryan Hyde in the book we've written together "HOW TO BE A WRITER IN THE E-AGE". Preview e-books available in three weeks. Official launch on July 14.

June 2, 2012 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Genta Sebastian said...

Feel free to quote me anytime. I'll be looking for "HOW TO BE A WRITER IN THE E-AGE" e-agerly.

June 2, 2012 at 9:50 AM  
Anonymous Katherine said...


My name is Katherine, a freelance blogger and author. I found your blog interesting
and refreshing and I wanted to ask if you might be interested in a unique, quality guest post on any topic you like with a length of 800 words? Some prior guest post topics I've done include:

1. Careers in Digital Publishing
2. How to Publish Digital Products With PayLoadz?
3. The History & Types of Digital Publishing
You can just tell me what topic you'd like and I'll do my best to write a catchy and interesting article on it. I am a Journalism Major and like to think I can write fairly good quality articles.
It will take me a few days to do the research and writing, but I'd try to get back to you with the completed article as soon as possible. If you don't mind me including a single link somewhere in the author bio data - that would be most awesome :)

If you might be interested in a 3-way link exchange, that would be great too. Just drop me a line at friendslover_2@yahoo.com if you're curious about it.
Best regards,

June 5, 2012 at 4:43 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Katherine--I did mean that about people needing to be regular posters on the blog before they ask to guest post. If you were a regular reader, you'd know our previous guests are well-known, bestselling authors with cutting-edge news about the industry. It's great for a college student to be aiming high, but it's better not to query a top rated blog unless you're an established follower or have specialized experience to share that's of particular interest to the blog readers.

We prefer to write our own posts, so we offer very, very few guest spots. But best of luck in your career and I'm sure you'll do very well since you're off to such a great start.

(Also, for general knowledge for readers: When I said it's OK to make a quick pitch in the comments, I meant a sentence--one that's on topic--and never a full query letter.)

June 5, 2012 at 5:26 PM  
Anonymous Mike at GuestBlogPoster.com said...

This is all excellent advice. If I could recommend something, it would be to add additional links within your post that link internally to their other posts/page. Doing this helps the webmaster, but also shows you have read their other material.

June 21, 2012 at 2:59 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Mike--Thanks for the suggestion. I usually do the links myself, but it is very nice to have them all done for me. :-)

June 21, 2012 at 3:03 PM  
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July 13, 2012 at 2:12 AM  
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July 16, 2012 at 1:11 AM  
Blogger Anne Fischer said...

Thanks, Anne!

I've read a few posts of yours, and have truly enjoyed them. You have answered questions I hadn't even thought of!

August 26, 2013 at 8:37 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Kindle--Thanks for all the kind comments. Glad you enjoyed the blogpost.

Anne--Great to hear you're enjoying the blog and that the post is helpful. I hope you'll keep coming back!

August 26, 2013 at 8:48 PM  
Blogger Susannah Cyrus said...

I am so grateful for your informative articles but also your delivery! You are funny and real and gosh, I like that. The "interwebz" as you refer to them, can be so maddeningly dull and vast and shallow. You have given me hope as a blogger, a writer and a leg up in my new job at an independent publishing company. I also find your insights into the activities of the "Zon" captivating. Thanks!
Susannah, new subscriber.

February 6, 2014 at 6:20 PM  
Blogger Susannah Cyrus said...

I find your articles absolutely entertaining and already your insights into the activities of the "ZON" and how not to loose my humanity in the "interwebz" have contributed greatly to my sense of hope as a writer and in my new job with an independent publishing company. Thank you so much for such quality. You are funny and real and gosh, I like that.

February 6, 2014 at 6:23 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Susannah--Thanks so much. Sorry you had to write two versions. That's because I moderate comments on anything more than a week old. It's the older posts that attract the ads for Ukrainian porn and male enhancement pills. :-)

I'm so glad you're liking the blog. I'm actually writing a new post on guest blogging as we speak. There's been a lot of buzz about it in recent weeks.

Congrats on your new job with an indie press. An exciting place to be these days. Catherine Ryan Hyde (author of Pay it Forward) and I have written what we call a "self-help book for authors" called How to be a Writer in the E-Age. A new version is coming out next week. We try to keep this same encouraging but humorous tone. Maybe you can recommend it to some of your authors.

Thanks for stopping by!

February 6, 2014 at 7:04 PM  

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