A few weeks back I decided to tackle the question of What Is An Authority Blog Post. That article did pretty well when compared to many of my other recent articles, although it hasn’t done as well as last week’s post in the Limit Login Attempts Plugin for WordPress, which I recommend to everyone with a WordPress blog. Still, it’s helped me come to an interesting conclusion which I’ve been pondering since I wrote the first post on authority.

Authority
I’m an authority on sand people

Actually, I’ve been thinking about this much longer than you might believe. It all started when I read the book Millionaire Messengericon by Brendon Burchard back in 2011. This book talks about how all of us are experts in something because we all know something someone else doesn’t know, even if we don’t know absolutely everything about it. He was also one of the first people I saw use the word “thought leader”; I have to admit I’ve loved that term ever since.

Of course, by the next year this site and all my other sites were suffering from a Google Panda smackdown, and as I was losing my rank and not paying attention I had no idea what was going on. Over the course of the last couple of years I thought my main issue had to do with mobile speed, but it turns out even with that none of my blogs are ever going to be what they were before; sniff!

I’ve always seen myself as more of a thought leader than an authority. My reasoning is that most of what I do is actually opinion based on research and observation, even though I’ll share some statistical numbers here and there. I don’t write a lot of posts that are as specific as the one about Limit Login Attempts or teaching people how to block newsletter popups. Instead, I like to pontificate on things like the pros and cons of professional writing and things I’d do differently if I were starting a blog today.

I give my version of details, and I think I’m being helpful, but that’s not what Google considers as helpful. Helpful comes from people like Neil Patel or from sites like Kissmetrics. It’s not that I don’t write anything helpful; it’s that I could never keep up with the level and amount of content those folk put out on a daily basis, let alone a regular basis. I can brag about being a solo bloggers with almost 1,750 articles on this blog alone, on a multitude of topics, but those folks are putting that much out yearly, if not monthly for the shared sites.

Janice Wald of Mostly Blogging and I were talking about the merits of writing long form content and how it seems to drive higher content on a more consistent basis than shorter articles. My thought was that, though some of my longest posts have received a lot of attention, overall articles under 1,000 have ranked consistently higher as a group.

Snoopy authority
Also an authority on Snoopy

Back to this question of being an authority; what makes it so? I went looking for some answers like I did last time and, oddly enough, the answer came from my last post when I said this: “Others will identify your posts as authoritative…” By extension, this means it’s going to be other people that decide on who’s an authority or not.

It’s really that simple. It’s not long or short posts, it’s people. Sure, search engines can help guide those people to us but if we can’t count on them then it’s up to us to find those people who might help to get us recognized as authorities… if that’s what you’re shooting for… which I am. lol

I called it simple; it’s not really all that simple. It takes a lot of hard work and it takes a lot of directed work and it takes a bit of passion to get it done properly. I use as an example a guy named Marcus Sheridan who used to run a blog he called The Sales Lion which is now pretty much just a website, with all that old content gone (at least I couldn’t find it) because he doesn’t need it anymore. This is a guy who started blogging to help promote his swimming pool business and ended up being seen as an authority on marketing and content and a whole host of other things.

I’ve worked hard over the years at being seen as an authority because of my writing. I know it takes a lot more than just that, because if it only took writing then Jack from The Jack B would be an international superstar… which he still is in my eyes. 🙂

It takes marketing, promotion, branching out, talking to people on the phone, being willing to do speaking engagements… over and over and over again. Whew; I made myself tired just writing that!

At least I’m doing some of these things; still, I wonder if I have enough time and energy to get there. Do you think you can get there? Do you want to? Let me know below, as well as your thoughts on what you think makes people authorities.

(anywhere you see a highlighted blue link on this blog indicates it’s an affiliate product)

 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2017 Mitch Mitchell

This post about the Limit Login Attempts plugin for WordPress blogs was initially written back in 2009. However, at that time I didn’t really talk all that much about how it worked or its settings, nor did I put images on my blog back then.

Limit Login Attempts Admin

This is one of those things where, based on a lot of things I’ve been reading, it’s not only good to republish a piece, since most of the content is changing, but upgrading it so that it reflects more of what I want to tell you about since it’s still pertinent to our needs and security.

As stated before, the plugin is called Limit Login Attempts, and its purpose is to dissuade hackers from attempting to use their nefarious software from gaining access to our blog’s username and password. I keep coming across more folks who’ve had their blogs hacked, including some of the more famous names, and there’s usually two ways their sites get hacked. One is that a hacker’s found a backdoor way of getting in, possibly via old themes you’re not using anymore that you didn’t remove from your Appearance tab. The other is them figuring out your username and password by hitting it multiple times with their bots.

Most of us are too lazy to change our username from Admin, or forget to change it to something stronger when we first create blogs; heck, many don’t even know they can do that.. I used to be bad at this, but I’ve taken care of both that and my password with my newer blogs. Still, against automated software, you need something stronger to protect your property. That’s why I love this plugin so much.

Obviously, the first thing you have to do is install it via the install plugins link. It should pop up pretty quickly, and you should feel pretty safe using it since. One thing that violates my norm is that it hasn’t been updated in about 5 years, but it’s been uploaded way over a million times and people are still using it. I read some of the latest reviews and it seems that most people love it, but nothing’s ever 100%. However, people who are having problems with it either tried to modify it or have already been hacked, which is a totally different issue.

As you see in the image above, the first two things you get are options you don’t have to take any interest in. They’re stats that tell you how often idiots have tried to get into your blog, which I’ve never reset, and how many active bots are trying to get in now. I have to admit it’s freaky realizing that 34 of these morons are trying to break into my account right now; it’s not going to happen in their lifetime. 🙂

Before I go any further I need to warn you that whatever settings you set also apply to you. So, you’ll either need to feel confident in knowing and typing correctly your username and password unless you have it set to automatically put it in on your browser, which you probably don’t have set up if you’re doing it away from home. Just so you know, if you lock your silly self out (because you’ll feel pretty silly if it happens), you can always get back in by FTP’ing into your account on the back end, deleting the plugin, and once you get back into your blog adding the plugin and starting again.

You need to decide how many login attempts you’ll allow before it shuts down for a certain number of minutes. It’s defaulted to 4, but I’ve made mine 3 times for this blog since it’s my most popular. I have it on 4 times for my business blog and all my other blogs 5 times because I’ve been known to forget what those passwords are; sigh! lol

The second is how long you want to make people wait before they can try it again if they get it wrong whatever the number of times you set it for. The default is 20 minutes, but that didn’t feel strong enough for my tastes. I have mine set at 4,500 minutes, which is 75 hours or just over 3 days. I figured that was enough to frustrate the normal hacker who’s not all that bright.

The third is how many times you want to allow someone to try to get it and locked out again. The default is 4 more times and an increase to 24 hours. Since I’d already decided on 75 hours up front, 24 hours would have made it easier for the hackers. Once again I thought that was too generous, so I changed mine to 2 more times and 300 hours, which is 12 1/2 days. At this level the hackers have had just over a month to try to break into my blog; that’s not a bad deterrent I’d say.

This last one is the biggie though. It’s nice of the folk who created it to still give you a chance to have it automatically reset after a certain period of time. Their default was 12 hours; once again that seemed deficient from where I stand. I decided to up the ante and go with 900 hours, which ends up being 37 1/2 days before a reset.

The next two things are the default settings, and I’ve left them alone because, truthfully, I’m not sure what they really mean. Even on their page they don’t really tell you what it means, but they recommend we stick to the default.

The last two are kind of a crapshoot, depending on what kind of information you want to see.

I told mine to log all the IP addresses, and it’s been listing them since I initially added the plugin in 2009. They’re all listed just under the Change Options button, almost 15,000 of them. lol Actually, that’s not quite true, because many of the IP addresses tried multiple times to get in. You get to see all that information, which can be intriguing, but for most of you it’s probably unnecessary.

I also told mine to stop sending me email, which is the default setting. I initially wanted to get email alerts when I first installed it, but after a couple of weeks my stress level was rising and I decided I didn’t want to know. lol After this one, you hit that Change Options button to save your settings and you’re good to go!

I feel that I have an extra layer of protection, and that helps me sleep better. You’ll still want to add a backup plugin just in case someone figures out how to get into your blog and you need to restore it, as well as a firewall plugin just in case something’s already on your blog and you want to block the weasels who got it on there from activating it. This one is definitely a must to have if you ask me… so go add it immediately! 😀
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011-2017 Mitch Mitchell

Yesterday I wrote the below on my personal Facebook profile:

I’ll admit that a bit of this is self serving while being helpful at the same time (since I have a page with quite a few of you subscribed to it who probably never know I’m putting anything out).

social media vision
Do you see me?

If you have “liked” a page here on Facebook and want to be notified whenever there’s something new on the page, what you have to do is go to the page, click on the arrow next to Following, and then go to Notifications and click on it.

If you don’t want to go quite that far, still click on Following and then click on Default. That’ll give you a better opportunity to see that page in your stream without being notified all the time that there’s something new there.

I figure if you’ve liked a page that you might want to see some of the things that show up there from time to time; that’s why I’m sharing this information. That’s also my helpful tip of the day; now back to your regularly scheduled program…

Are you wondering why I wrote that, and why I’m sharing it here? That’s actually the wrong question. What you should be asking is why I had to write it and share it.

When I first created my Facebook business page, it was telling me that almost everyone who had liked it was getting whatever I put on there. That’s actually kind of a misnomer. What they tell you is how many people were reached. That doesn’t actually mean all those people saw it; just that the impression of it showed up somewhere on that many people’s newsfeed. You’d be amazed at how much stuff shows up in our newsfeed that we didn’t see; I’ll come back to that one.

As I was saying, early on the reach for my page was at least 80%. I’m not going to pretend that I understood how things worked then but in my mind that was a pretty good percentage. Over time the numbers dwindled to a point where these days most of what I put on the page gets maybe 10 views if I’m lucky. If it’s just an image with a motivational message they might send it to 100 people, but that’s still less than 25%. These are people who subscribed to the page; what the hey?

I have to give Facebook a little bit of credit though. At least they have a way for us to have the opportunity to be notified that a page we’ve liked has added something new… even if they don’t go out of their way to tell anyone. You don’t get anything like that from Google Plus or LinkedIn; now that’s a shame.

There’s absolutely nothing on Google Plus. You have to visit the groups you’re in to see anything new. Actually, because their feed is hard to keep up with, even if you’ve created specific circles, it might not be a bad thing if you haven’t joined a bunch of groups. If you have… well, you’re on your own.

Group
Creative Commons License Brandon Satterwhite via Compfight

There’s nothing on LinkedIn either as far as receiving group notifications. The best thing I found is that you can allow groups to invite you to join them; no thanks!

Of course they have that second troubling feature, which is that they allow you to follow people and people to follow you without being friends with them. However, they still don’t tell you when they post anything, and obviously aren’t telling anyone when I post anything either since supposedly there are over 1,200 people following me… and I’m only connected to 900 people.

This is irksome because I’m following James Altucher; I just love the way this guy writes. But LinkedIn never alerts me to the things he’s putting out, and since he doesn’t have a blog on his website I miss almost everything; sniff!

I actually stopped posting articles on LinkedIn sometime last year. What I still do is post my latest article from this blog and my business blog, as well as any new videos I create that I think might be business centric. Other than that, I gave up posting articles specific for the page after they shut down the numbers that were seeing them. I can get 10 views on my own blogs (luckily I’m getting more than that lol).

Before I answer why social media doesn’t want us to see what we want to see, I want to go back to what I touched upon about the Facebook feed. Per Facebook themselves, only 15% of our “fans” are even eligible to see our feed without some kind of promotion. You can boost those numbers if some of your subscribers actually come to visit the page and even moreso if some of them actually share something you put up.

It also depends on whether you’re posting something directly there as opposed to posting a link. For instance, links to my blogs or from YouTube usually get less than 10 people reached, but if I upload a video directly it gets up to 35 people, and uploading images will get between 30 and 50%.

In the case of both Facebook and LinkedIn, it’s all about the money. Facebook is a bit more blatant about it. On my business page, they’ll actually tell me how much to spend to reach a certain number of people. They want $5 for my blog post links to reach upwards of a whole 35 people. Frankly, I’m not sure whether I should be happy the dollar amount is so low of insulted that 35 people isn’t even 10% for that 5 bucks.

LinkedIn offers extra things to people who pay for the premium package, but based on what LinkedIn tells us they still don’t do anything to help us see what they want us to see, even though they’re trying to become Facebook. Maybe Microsoft will figure out a way to offer this as a premium service one day but it doesn’t exist yet.

This pretty much means that, except for Facebook, we’re not going to see what we really want to see… whatever that may be. I guess I’ll just have to be happy in not seeing what I don’t want to see on Facebook for the moment; I’ll take what I can get.
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2017 Mitch Mitchell

Ever since I wrote a post two weeks ago talking about being smacked by Google Panda, I’ve been wondering this one particular question: “What Is An Authority Blog Post?” I think it’s an intriguing question to try to tackle, and I did something I rarely do; lots of research! Let’s see what some other people consider and have to say about the concept of authority posts.


Don Yeager is an authority

I decided to go on Duck Duck Go instead of Big G to do this research for two main reasons. One, because my buddy Holly is boycotting them because of a particular site I refuse to mention that they’re advertising with to her dismay. Two, because I didn’t want the G people telling me who they felt was going to tell me what authority posts are.

Truthfully, the Kahuna doesn’t ever tell us what authority is; that’s an issue that most people have against them. What they in essence tell us is that they’ll know it when they see it; isn’t that helpful?

The first post the Duck put up is titled What Is Authority by Chris Garrett. Written in 2007, Chris says “I see authority as a journey, a continuous process. There is no end point. In fact, if you stop working towards it, or feel like you have “done enough”, that is when you are most likely to lose it.” He also says authority covers 3 aspects: personality; expertise; visibility.

I actually like this article a lot, but since it was written before Panda it begs the question as to whether this article would be considered authoritative. I mean, considering it only comes in at 436 words, and these days people are saying we should be reaching at least 1,000 words, does it pass or fail today’s authority standards? I say… it’s complicated. lol

The next article that came up was titled How To Create Authority Content in Any Niche Even If You Have No Clue About It written by a guy named Jawad Khan in 2016. This post is absolutely epic, coming in at 2,192 words and having 12 infographic images (as opposed to one of those giant infographics) and offering 5 ways to put together authoritative posts.

Once again it’s a wonderful post. However, he never quite gets around to telling us what an authority post is. Instead, he tells us different ways to establish authority, which is pretty cool, but it doesn’t specifically answer the question. The one time it’s kind of addressed is when he begins point #5, Write in a Conversational, But Authoritative Tone to Position Yourself Higher, where he states 3 specific short sentences:

The so-called “expert status” is a relative term.

Nobody is going to crown you as an expert.

You need to crown yourself.

Who can be mad at that? Check out the post because it’s a wonderful job, and it’ll give you a lot of tips. Still, it didn’t answer the question; oh well… onward we go.

Next we have an article titled What Is An Authority Blog? on a site that, well, isn’t really all that authoritative (it’s a site in Singapore that’s a street directory; isn’t that was G Maps is all about?), but it came up in the search.


Me being authoritative

The first thing we get is a definition of an authority site: “An authority blog or an authority site is one of the main places people go to for information on a particular niche or topic.” The follow up is this: “One of the main characteristics of an authority site is it has more content or pages than any other site in that niche.” Actually, I don’t think that’s true. I have nearly 500 articles on blogging on this site and 462 on my business site on leadership (I’ve linked to a post highlighting the 12th anniversary of that blog lol) and, as much as I think I’m somewhat authoritative on these subjects it seems the search engines don’t agree with me on this point. Then again, they’re not quite niched specifically enough are they? What about my finance blog where each of 975 posts is on financial topics? Nope, that’s not getting the job done either… heck!

Hey, what about a post on Copyblogger? They’re a pretty big name, right? I’ve got just the article, titled How to Become an Authority Blogger that might be pretty good… even though it was written in 2007 (amazing; two of the articles I found were from the same year, way before anyone started talking about authority and content and Panda penalties). The author doesn’t quite answer the question of independent articles; instead, he gives 3 tips on how to become an authority: check your thoughts regularly; speak with authority; study other authorities.

One again, those are great points and I’m glad to share a link to the article. However, these are more about each of us than the concept of authority blog posts isn’t it? How can this be so hard a question to answer? Maybe the question is too direct; what do you think?

Let’s try one more. This article is titled 5 Lessons Learned from My Failed Authority Blog Project; there’s trouble on the horizon. Written in 2013, Tom Ewer actually talks about authority blog posts and how, for whatever reason, Gesus decided his quality couldn’t top other “quality” that weren’t actually quality at all. He did everything right, but as he shows in what is a very well written and researched post, he just couldn’t break through on his niche even though he was actually talking about it specifically.

I actually agree with what he’s talking about, and I have my own proof. In a post I wrote titled 9 Ways Blogging Can Help You And Your Business, I mentioned that for my main business search term I’m actually listed in the top 5 by the 100 zeros people. What I didn’t mention is that out of the other sites in the top 10 only 2 of them actually do consulting at all. The other sites are all job sites, and when I checked them out they’re not even listing the actual position for the search terms. How are those sites showing authority if they don’t even fit the search term requirements? No idea…

We’re in kind of a quandary aren’t we? Well, I guess that, just like I was the first person to specifically answer the question as to what high quality content was many years ago, it’s going to be up to me to answer this question about authority blog posts. Let’s see how this one works.

1. You have to address something that no one else has and then hammer the point with more consistent content on the same topic.


Dr Emad Rahim is an authority

My main search term for my business is “charge master consultant. When you go to the Duck, you’ll see that I’m listed in position #1 because I have a page that specifically talks about doing that sort of work. However, it’s what’s in the 3rd position where I seal the deal when I wrote a blog post titled What Is A Charge Master?.

Out of the top 20 listings there are only 2 articles on the subject. However, out of all the articles I’ve written on my business blog, 45 of them are on this specific topic, along with adding the “consultant” and “consulting” works in a few of them. This makes me an authority in that particular area; now all I need are more people searching for the information.

2. You have to have “facts”, even if they’re opinion “facts”.

You know that link above about the high quality content? The mallard has me listed at #7 on the topic, which is pretty cool. Do you know where the Seattle owners have me? I certainly don’t, as I’m not in the top 100 (I had to look Holly…), and it’s an article specifically written on the topic! Once again, Tom was onto something; maybe we should follow his very first recommendation: Forget Google! Well… I don’t want to go there to that degree, but it shows that the normal person doesn’t quite have a shot at figuring all these things out doesn’t it? By the way, now there are a lot of articles highlighting the same topic, but back in 2011 when I wrote it I was the only one.

This subject of opinion “facts” is an intriguing one. For instance, when I wrote about 9 ways to identify spam on blogs back in November, every one of those items was a fact… just more apocryphal than researched based. Well, it was my research, but I didn’t go out on the web looking for anyone to corroborate what I had to say on the subject. With nearly 1,750 blog posts here and lots more on my other blogs, couldn’t I be considered as an authority on identifying spam without having to research it? BTW, Quackers has this article listed in the #2 spot, whereas G… not in the top 150 (I’m liking Duck Duck more and more…)

3. Others will identify your posts as authoritative; it could come from anywhere.

This one isn’t all that comforting and yet it’s pretty true. I wrote a post back in September titled 30 Mistakes You’re Making With Your Blog. I promoted it the same way I usually do and it got a lot of attention and comments. Go Duck ranks it #1; you-know-who doesn’t list it at all unless you put it within quotation marks.

You know what? That article had all the earmarks of an authority post… at least what’s recommended by the “experts”. It had almost 5,800 words. It had a lot of images. It had the bolded subcategories. It had internal and external links. It offered a lot of advice. Give it a look if you have time; if that’s not authority then I’m a mongoose.

That’s all I’ve got on what’s considered an authority post. I’ve done my bit of research and I’ve offered my thoughts. Now it’s your turn; what do you consider an authority post to be? Also, do you think this one qualifies, and if not what do you think is missing?
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2017 Mitch Mitchell

No matter what it is you do, you get to consider yourself a professional at it if you’ve ever been paid to do it. For 14 years I was a professional wedding singer, even though I didn’t charge a lot most of the time because I was doing it for friends of mine. I was a professional songwriter because one person along the way paid me for the rights to use some of my music in a one-woman show… which turned out to be bad. lol I’m also a professional speaker because I’ve been paid to do that on a variety of topics; that’s pretty cool. And many of you know that I’m a professional consultant in leadership and health care, as well as social media here and there.

CA2M TALLER DE ESCRITURA
CA2M via Compfight

I’m also a professional writer. I’ve been getting paid to write for other people since 2009. When I started out I was getting paid a penny a word; that didn’t last long. At some point I started getting paid better, but it’s a tough game to play sometimes. It can also be rewarding and intriguing. The best part of it is that you can do it from wherever you want to; home, in a store or coffee shop, while on vacation… with pen and paper or a tablet or laptop, it’s all on you.

In 2015 I talked about the process of writing my 2nd book on leadership titled Leadership Is/Isn’t Easy, and I admitted that it didn’t turn out to be as easy as I thought it would be, yet it felt good when I was finished. This time around I’m going to talk about pros and cons of being a professional writer. Let me know if any of these pertain to you.

Pro – You learn about a lot of things

When I first started writing, most people wanted relatively short posts. You’d think that would be really easy but most of the time it was time consuming. There’s a lot of different topics I took on that sometimes I cared almost nothing about, and others that ended up fascinating me.

I learned about turkey hunting; epilators; weddings and wedding dresses; green products and the ecology; law; personal health; financial things; and lots of other stuff. I still remember a lot of it; that was pretty cool.

However, it took a lot of time to research some of these things. For instance, turkey hunting took a long time because the guy who commissioned the articles wanted 25 of them and wanted the areas to be covered to be in the southeastern part of the country. I spent 5 or 6 hours researching it in the library because there was almost nothing about it online, and it turns out some of those states don’t actually have turkeys, but there are places that ship them in for hunters who want the experience. I mean, who’s ever heard of such a thing?

Actually… I did, since I researched it! lol It’s an interesting way to break out of your comfort zone when you agree to write about something you know little about initially, but you do it if the price is right.

Con – Pay isn’t always commiserate with what’s requested

We might as well tackle this one now, since it’s the 800-pound gorilla in the room. Over my years as a consultant, I’ve learned that people who want your services have no idea what you should be paid, so they low ball you from the beginning. Then they get incredulous when you tell them what you want, or should, be getting paid.

365.021
Michael Verhoef via Compfight

This definitely applies to writing. It’s one of the most devalued services in content marketing, yet most of the people who request writing services hate doing it themselves. I’ve had people want me to write something between 1,500 and 2,000 words and say they’ll pay $50 for it… if they believe it’s up to their standard. That comes to just over 3 cents a word; they’re out of their minds!

Early on I took less just to get in the game and to see what it was all about. Within 6 months, I was asking for at least 10 cents a word for a thousand words or more. That’s when the overall market for my services started to tank to a small degree. Even with Google and their Panda warnings, some people still want to pay you as though you were writing 500 words or less, and they’re finding people who’ll accept it. It’s tough to be in the market when you’re competing with those folks but I figure that the only person who knows my worth is me.

Pro – You get to decide who to write for

Even in a tight market, nothing says you have to write for just anybody. If you’re less picky than me, there are a host of folks out there looking for someone to write their content for them. Some of them are nice; some will get on your nerves. Some topics are interesting even if you know little about them; some will be hard to research or write about.

I’m one of those people who has learned by now that it’s better to be happy than to worry only about money. I’d rather write in my style with few limitations, write more about topics I already know or find interesting enough to put a lot of time into, and of course write about something I have a fair chance at doing a great job for.

I get asked to write a lot of articles for finance companies that aren’t in the United States, and I often have to turn them down because their terminology and the types of services they have aren’t the same as here. Yet I know a lot of writers from other countries will write articles about things that pertain to the United States… and should know that they’re out of their element (I can tell you that from experience). The best thing to do it write about something you absolutely know you can get correct, even if you have to do a lot of research, and that you’ll end up caring about knowing yourself.

Con – Too many formulaic writing requests

I loved you
Jo Andy via Compfight

Last year I wrote 4 articles for this one company. Two of them were over 2,000 words, one was around 1,500 and the last was barely under 900. I got paid $300 for each of them, and I got to write them in my own style. The only caveat I had was the topic I wrote on, which initially was elder care, and later solar power for homes and buildings.

Then… the company decided they wanted to change things up. What they wanted were articles specifically between 750 and 1,000 words, 3 to 5 subheaders with H2 tags, specific keywords, at least 3 links to outside sources, and I had to find them free images that matched up with the content. They wanted to reduce the pay to $35 per article also; sigh…

Many of the requests I see for writing that people like me are expected to bid on ask for things like this. My issue isn’t that I feel above the request; it’s that it makes for horrible writing, and ends up with the kind of content that got sites like About.com and a host of others getting penalized for content that was deemed generic and not all that authoritative.

Some people love writing like this because it doesn’t take a lot of thought to do. Frankly, I find it confining and irritating. I don’t mind things like keyword and keyword phrases; I do mind writing something that reads like pablum.

Pro – You have better control of your output and income

There are real “working” writers, people who have found a way to write 4 or 5 articles a day, at least 5 days a week, and make a pretty good living at it, even if it’s physically and mentally tiring. There are also people like me who can make money in other ways and thus gets to be a bit more selective in what they’ll write about and how often.

Like every other industry, the more you can produce the more money you can make. At least in writing, even if you don’t get to control all aspects of the process, you’re personally in control of what you decide to apply for and how much you’re willing to put out. Try doing that at a regular job.

Con – You don’t own most of what you end up writing

For someone like me, who has a lot of copyrighted material, this is the toughest thing I have to deal with. I have more than 5,000 articles on the internet, but most of them you’d never know that I wrote them. Heck, these days there’s a lot of them I don’t even remember writing.

You have to be ready for others to get credit for your creativity. I’ve done that for the most part. I write for a few blogs now and my name isn’t on almost any of it. Trust me, most of the time that’s a good thing. lol

There’s the other side… which may seem unethical to some but I believe it’s perfectly okay to do. Two years ago I took content from a discontinued blog that was about me and posted it here. That wasn’t the first time I did it either, and I talked about it in the article I just linked to. I’ve taken articles that I remembered that I wrote after doing a Google search on my name (y’all should get into the habit of doing that occasionally to see what’s being associated with your name) that was on a discontinued blog or website and reposted it on one of my blogs… and I have no shame in doing it.

Something else I’ve done is kept some of the articles I’ve written for others that I got paid for. Every once in a while, I’ll open one of those articles that I think might be pertinent to a subject I write about, do a Google search and see if it’s still out there somewhere. If not… it’s mine! 🙂

I will slightly rewrite those articles though, because many of them were fairly short based on today’s model, which of course makes it newer and more relevant to today’s standards. That’s another lesson all of us need to do; keep copies of everything you write, even if it was for someone else.

I could go on with this but now it’s your turn. If you’re a professional writer, what types of things do you come across, and what benefits do you see in writing for others?
 

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