I’ve been hanging around the internet a few years now. I’ve been hosting people, visiting blogs and just generally making a nuisance of myself. But in the process of all of that running around, I’ve learned a few things about being a gracious guest and I just thought I’d share a few of the things I’ve learned. (Keep in mind this is faaaar from a complete list and only my perceptions):

1) Be prompt: Regardless of the platform your host uses, it takes time to upload a guest blog. If there are links, bookcovers, and excerpts even more to set it up so it looks appealing. Be sure to get your interview questions or blog post to the host at least a week prior to your visit. Everyone is busy. When you do this you respect the host’s time.

2) Be yourself: Whether you’re answering interview questions or offering a guest blog the visitors want to get a feeling for who you are. If you have a snarky sense of humor, let it shine through in your answers. If you have an interesting day job that lead you to the world of publishing be sure to share that. Readers of blogs are interested in the little details of your life they may not know. That being said …

3) It’s not all about you: Okay, what I mean is … it’s not all about selling your book. Readers get really tired of the “ME ME ME ME, BUY MY BOOK” posts. Engage the reader. Talk about an interesting antecdote or how your character screamed at you the whole time you were writing the book. Visitors are more likely to be intrigued by personal facts rather than the buy link. Why would anyone want to comment on a book cover, blurb and excerpt? Ask them something. Remember, this is about engaging visitors in conversation. They want to like you and talk to you. Give them something to chat with you about.

4) Hosts are busy too: I’ve had guests that were so excited about a blog tour that they sent me daily emails with DETAILED instructions of what they expected me to do for them including running their contest. Ummm … no. I’ve offered a corner of the internet and hopefully introduced new readers to their book. Other than being available to interact with visitors, I don’t have time to babysit a guest blog. This goes back to #1 … respect your hosts time and efforts. I will promote you and your post, but in turn, I want you to promote my blog.

5) Don’t abandon ship!: A guest blog isn’t a lone post just hanging out by itself. Commenters want to know someone’s actually there and they’re not talking out into the cyber universe. Make time at least twice (if you can) to visit and respond to commenters. If your day job or other obligations makes that impossible, take time to visit at the end of the day and respond. Remember, it’s about making connections with new readers.

6) Engage the Readers: When you write your post try to leave it hanging. Ask a question of the readers at the end of your post or make a statement that visitors can comment on. It keeps them from visiting without taking time to comment.

7) To giveaway or Not giveaway: It’s always difficult to decide whether you want to give a gift to commenters. Readers love to receive gifts from authors, but sometimes it’s cost prohibitive to offer a prize to each blog in a blog tour. Try offering something from all the commenters of ALL the blogs you visit? I’ve found this to work very well. But remember, readers don’t always need prizes and big giveaways, your interesting post and an intriguing excerpt are enough to make their day.

I love introducing people to writers they may have never met. I love going out and visiting other blogs to meet new people. This list isn’t complete by any stretch of the imagination. I’d love to hear what intrigues you? And what drives you completely insane when you’re reading a guest blog or interview. Because you know me … I’m always looking to improve my blog. 😉

And it’s been awhile since I’ve had a sexy guest, so I in honor of beach weather arriving a little early, I thought I’d share…enjoy your weekend!


10 Responses to Are You a Thoughtful Guest?

  • This is perfect advice! Thanks for reminding writers. 🙂

    Yummy guy. I suddenly feel the need to take a dip!

    • Amber – I think there are a lot of authors who don’t do a lot of visiting and a little advice to how to do it well I thought might help.

      Glad you enjoyed one of my cabana guys 😉

  • Hi, Nina. I’ve only done less than a handful of blogs, but I love commenting on each persons comment. After all they’re talking to me. I’m a guest today on someone elses blog and I feel it imperative to check in through out the day. One blanket thank you doesn’t cut it.

    Nice post.
    Cora Blu

    • Cora – I totally agree with you. There’s nothing more fun than having a discussion start on one of your blog posts. Of course the only way for that to happen is respond to visitors.

      Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope your guest blog is fun and successful.

  • Those are all great suggestions…I think more people need to read this. It surprises me how sometimes people just brush it off and don’t reply or even say a word to people who come by to show support. I always try to thank everyone even when I’m hosting a guest on my feature, and it has nothing to do about me. They took the time to come by and it means a lot.

    • Savannah – I’ve seen guest blogs that are nothing more than a blurb and an excerpt. It’s hard for visitors to respond when there’s not really anything to talk about. It’s times like that when I find there’s not much happening between visitors and the author.

      And I like what you said about visitors. It certainly is nice when they hear from both the owner of the blog and the guest since they did take time from their busy day to stop by and comment.

  • Words of wisdom, Nina. Hey, wouldn’t you like to be the woman who patted the sand on him?

  • Hi Nina,
    Very interesting blog, and one that is well worth reading. I can’t imagine leaving a host hanging in the air waiting for the blog to come in. I get very nervous listening for an expected phone call, much less waiting until the last minute to post someone’s article on a blog.
    Loved the pic with the little guy and his pooch! He almost beats out the hunk with the sand!
    June, the dull side of Sophia!

    • Sophia – Authors are busy so it’s understandable. (Been there myself.) But I did once get the post on the day it was supposed to post … yeah, that one didn’t work. LOL! Thanks so much for stopping by.

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