Z is for Zooming.
Welcome to the last day of the A-Z Challenge. Here’s a special treat for you: a guest post by Juneta Key.
Ronel has asked me to talk about Author Spotlights and Guest posts as part of a series of posts in her April’s A to Z Challenge theme. Why is this important and why do I do it on my blog?
When I first started my website, I had no content and no idea what type of content to write. The purpose of the website was to create an author platform, a home to my stories and a place where others could find information about me. I was trying to think big and fan the dream while having fun with it.
I started with a few short story posts I had already written. I knew I wanted to help and support other authors, so I asked a few writer friends who I knew had released a book, if they would like to be in my Spotlight to help build content fast.
- I learned how to interview others.
- I learned how to approach other authors.
- With time, I learned the best questions to ask. I also researched this a little.
- I learned other interesting things to request for the spotlight besides interviews.
- I learned what made a good post and what to include.
- What was readable and what drew the reader’s attention/eye.
Trial and Error, but I learned. I was building skills.
Author Spotlights were not quite the thing they are now in 2011-2012, but it occurred to me that showcasing others was a way to learn and to find fun reads too while offering support. I am a voracious reader. That is how writing started for me. The why I do it.
The Benefits of Author Spotlights:
- I started building community as I interacted with other authors.
- It gave me something to offer other authors in communities such as Facebook, writing forums, and various writing groups in support. Again, building community and relationships or to coin a term networking.
- I have had many authors come back for return visits to my Spotlight over the last seven years remembering the experience and me.
- I made lasting friendships that I continue to interact with on a regular basis as friends and colleagues exchanging emails and chatting in places like Facebook. People I can ask questions, that I can trust. Opportunities to meet face to face also arise.
- I have learned about launching books, writing craft techniques, book covers, events of interest or opportunity, folklore and mythology, craft tips, and so on from those who appear in my spotlight.
- I am rewarded with writing opportunities, invitations to participate in writing events e.g. guest posts, book tours & blitz’s, cover reveals, write short stories and flash fiction for anthologies, blog hops, and recently part of the IWSG Book Club moderator team.
- It has built my SEO hits on my website. I was so surprised when I Googled myself. The posts and titles help search engines categorize you which helps send people interested in the same thing or content to your website when they google you. It is a great reason to fill out that SEO information when creating a new post on your website and pay attention to post titles and subheadings. Another skill I am learning.
This really helped me build my content. My old website if you like to see my content and how that started. In 2017 I switched to a new theme my current website Writer’s Gambit. I am still transferring and re-purposing some content. That is another benefit you can re-purpose and reuse timeless content.
I still use my Spotlight to build new content and carry on a fun tradition.
WRITING GUEST POSTS
Guest post offers many of the same benefits that Author Spotlights do. They make me think. They make me aware of my word choices. They also make me aware of my message because of the previous two reason I listed.
- They also build authority in your niche or genre.
- They give you a voice and showcases your work or knowledge.
- They help build writing skills.
- They encourage you to do research on the topic.
- They give you exposure and practice.
- They build confidence in the writing and in the fact that you are asked, or your pitch accepted.
- They broaden your reach and build traffic to your website through backlinks.
- They can get you noticed. If the post goes viral, they can be the start of making a living blogging and building your list which affects your long-term career.
- The more you guest post the more opportunities will flow your way.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for the spot, but remember to be courteous and considerate. State your need or pitch clearly, and why this will help or fit the one you are asking. Stick to the main points and keep it short. This is networking to build authority and influence.
- It becomes easier with time the more you do it, nerves not so much, but you shrug it off faster. Say yes to opportunity and growth. Challenge yourself.
The benefits of both types of posting are interchangeable. The confidence it builds in you is one of the greatest rewards, also the connections, backlink exposure and traffic to your website.
Thank you so much Ronel for inviting me to be part of your April A to Z Challenge.
[You’re welcome, Juneta.]
Juneta writes speculative fiction. She is originally from Dallas Texas area living in Central Florida. A voracious reader which lead to the next step writing her own stories.
She loves writing about paranormal adventure-mystery-romance, Gothic Space Opera, and fantasy sci-fi, with all the complexity of human nature mixed in, human or non-human, mage, mystic or pilot.
Juneta has four series projects in the works and has written several short stories and flash fiction. You can find some of her stories to read on Writer’s Gambit in the story portal and in the Storytime Blog Hop category on Writer’s Gambit.
She has appeared at Ventura Galleries in a post series about the writing process hosted by author/photographer Chip Etier, The featured post is no longer available since the Ventura Galleries relaunch. She guest posted in The Pay It Forward blog hop started by author/photographer Chip Etier here.
A short story Wild Magic: Episode I in Katherina’s Gerlach 2016 Indie Author’s Advent Calendar, no longer available. All stories from advent calendar made into an e-book for subscribers. A guest post, non-fiction, for Speculative Fiction Author Christine Rains, What makes a good flash fiction piece?
Juneta also wrote a nonfiction article about how to use astrology and personality typing to create more 3-dimensional characters appearing in this anthology 2016, Insecure Writer’s Guide To Publishing and Beyond, scroll to the bottom of the page to locate anthology, and on her blog, her article here.
Do you have any questions for Juneta? What do you think about guest posts and author spotlights? Have you participated in any?