Yesterday’s guest post on Light of Mine got me thinking about networking. It isn’t a new concept; in fact, its been going on ever since the first power structure was erected sometime around 14 b.c. Only then they called it signing a pact or pledging fealty or some other appropriately conspiratorial code word. While the venue may have changed from battle field to work place, the concept remains the same, and it’s a good one.
Put simply, networking is about cooperation. For writers this boils down to our efforts to help one another succeed. We meet at conferences, discuss ideas, critique each other’s pages, present workshops, introduce each other to agents, coaches and other helpful folks, organize retreats, “like” pages and retweet…well, tweets. All of these are great ways to help one another get our respective names and work out there into the wider world. One of the best ways in which we can assist one another is the Guest Post. Such an invitation has several benefits for both host and guest.
A guest post introduces a writer to a new audience; some of those readers may even decide to start following the guest at their own blog. (Yes, I know, it sounds little creepy, but you know what I mean so it isn’t. Honest.) It also adds to the writer’s reputation and plumps up the writing resume nicely, not to mention the lovely stroke to the ego that having your work requested provides.
For the host, a guest post provides a fresh perspective for your loyal readers and will probably bring new readers for a peak at your site. Hopefully, some of them will like your place enough to hang out for awhile and you will gain new followers. One of the nicest things about having a guest blogger is that you get a day’s rest from posting. Not that any of us really want that, but sometimes it pays to take a break.
So, some Dos:
Do introduce your guest at the beginning of the post. You don’t want your reader to be confused as to who is talking.
Do be prompt in getting your post to the person who invited you. Tardiness is rude and may cause them considerable inconvenience if they are holding a page for you. If you can’t be on time, let them know and offer them the opportunity to either cancel or re-schedule.
Do make your post the absolute best it can be: grammatically, mechanically and content-ly. (Yes, I know that’s not a word. I’m channeling Shakespeare. Again.) Your host may be the best editor on the planet, but a good guest doesn’t make a mess and expect the host to clean up.
Do send your guest notification and a link to the post once it goes up.
Do let your readership know that you have a guest post going up and where.
Do agree on a topic and then stick to it. A surprise might make one of you wish you hadn’t agreed to this.
Do say thank you. Works both ways.
If at all possible, do invite the your host to write a post for your blog. Reciprocation is a graceful way of saying thank you.
So, who are you going to invite?