Dear Writer-Friends,

I've been self-publishing since 2011, and I've shared the knowledge I've gained in two books: the Indie Author Survival Guide, Second Edition, and For Love or Money. I'm not an indie rockstar or a breakout success: I'm one of thousands of solidly midlist indie authors making a living with their works. These books are my way of helping my fellow authors discover the freedom of indie publishing. Write on, writer-friends!

S.K. Quinn, Independent Author of Science Fiction

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Tips N Tricks: Using HTML to Guest Post

Previous Tips N Tricks

(neither a tip nor a trick, but worthwhile nonetheless)

If you blog, you've likely had guest posters. Or you've guest posted for other people. Or both. If so, you can understand how tricky it can be to assemble all the information you need from the guest poster, including cover art, links, and author photos. Any special formatting can fly out the window as you try to copy/paste from a Word document or email.

My general philosophy in life is: MAKE IT EASY

This goes double when someone is doing a favor for me, like hosting me on their site for a guest post or giveaway or book announcement.

This spring I discovered the easiest way of all to transfer this information: HTML

Before you gag in an automatic reflex against any kind of programming, remember: THIS IS EASY

Here's How to Use HTML to Guest Post (Blogger)

1. Use your own blog to create the guest post/announcement/etc. DO NOT PUBLISH IT, but check it out in preview to make sure all the formatting, etc. is how you like it. Put whatever images you want in there.

2. Hint: If you're guest posting, put a small bio at the end. Something like this (note, I just copied this HTML from one of my previous guest posts):

Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the bestselling Mindjack series. You can find all her books on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and iTunes. Susan's business card says "Author and Rocket Scientist," but she spends most of her time writing, because she loves it even more than shiny tech gadgets. When she's not writing, you can find her wasting time playing on TwitterFacebook, and her blog.

3. Once you have your post ready, click the HTML tab at the top of your editing screen for your post (Hint: it's right next to the "compose" button). This will show you the HTML code that corresponds to the post you just created.

4. Copy/paste this HTML into an email and send it to the lovely person hosting you on their blog.

5. Give them instructions on how to use it: basically, copy the HTML back out of the email, click the HTML tab at the top of their "new post" screen, and paste. When they go back to the "compose" screen, the post should appear as you created it.

6. WARNING: sometimes, in the transfer, some white spaces may be introduced. The person hosting you can delete these, or make whatever other changes he/she wishes, to clean it up.

7. You. Are. Done.

The awesome thing about this method is that it preserves your formatting, and it couldn't be easier for people on the receiving end. AND EASY IS GOOD.

Here's How to Use HTML to Guest Post (Wordpress)

Actually, I have no idea how this works. BUT I do know that bloggers who use Wordpress have successfully used my HTML code and generated their own. So it works. I'm just not the person to ask how.

This is the last Tips N Tricks! 


  1. The biggest problem I have with this is image widths and line breaks. Nearly every blog has a different width, so I try to guess how wide the images will need to be before I code.

    Also, many people don't know the difference between the use
    setting and simply using enter for line breaks.

    Otherwise, you make a great point thought. Making it easy for your host is professional.

    1. It’s certainly an imperfect system, but I think starting with the HTML helps. I’m not sure I know “the difference between the use setting” – but if people know some HTML, then you’re ahead by leaps and bounds already.

  2. Just knowing where the HTML tab on Wordpress is, and what it does, is helpful to me. Thanks for another great tip, Susan!

  3. In my past job, I had to use HTML to post info and correct the errors of corp content writers in formatting. It's confusing to those not familiar with it.

    I've had that experience of my post not coming out the way I formatted it. C'est la vie. But making it easier is a good idea. In another two guest posts, everything was fine, so the determining factor may be the ability of the receiving party to use what is sent.

    Great of you to offer the option, though, Susan.

  4. Hi Susan,

    I love your Tips N Tricks! I think this is a great idea, especially if you're not code-savvy. What also works really great is using Google Chrome's Inspect Element. For example, I really liked Laura Pepper Wu's bio on her blog. I right clicked, then Inspect Element and the code pops up. Then, I tweaked it and replaced her info with my info.

    Thanks for the tip!

  5. The new blogger HTML does not accurately code paragraph breaks. I find that I get the best results hand-coding those either on blogger or in notepad, using the paragraph command (letter p between <>; your comment system flagged as an error when I tried to use the actual command).

  6. Interesting tip I hadn't thought of. I don't really like HTML though. It looks like a bunch of code. I just paste my interviews/guest posts into compose and add spaces if needed and it worsk find.

  7. This works in Wordpress, too, folks. But a key point is to watch for some of the nasty things, like the "strong" or "em" tags. It isn't always flawless. But it usually isn't that bad!

  8. Wow, I never thought of this! And the best part is: You don't have to know HTML! Yay!

  9. My scissors kept cracking the screen, and the glue just got everywhere.

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