A Fine Line Between Courage And Irritating

A couple of posts ago I talked about promotions and marketing and how it can be a challenge to get more notoriety so you can either get more readers to your blog or get more people buying things from you. I looked at all the responses of course and I continued to think about this one because, well… let’s face this fact.

M.G. Kafkas via Compfight

All of us want “more” something. If we didn’t want something we wouldn’t bother writing our blogs to begin with. I’m of the opinion that if all you wanted to do was vent without anyone commenting or bothering you that you could go the old school way, as I used to do, and just journal things. That way you not only put all your thoughts down on paper, thus clearing your mind, but you can throw it away later on and never look at it again or keep it for posterity when you have the guts to look at it many years later and are either amazed or scared of what you wrote at that time.

So let’s just go off the premise that we want something, and we want more of it. I’m throwing one more thing out there to think about; that’s the fine line between the courage it takes to try to get more recognition or going over the line because you don’t know what you’re doing or have no shame and irritating people.

Here’s an example of the first one. I have a finance blog and I take guest posts there. I have a policy that tells people how they need to contact me and what I need to see. I also make sure everyone knows that if the post isn’t financial I’m not taking it.

This one lady wrote me and she was representing a college. She said the college had a financial program and that she’d like to write an article and link to that site. I’m all about education, so I went for it. Suffice it to say that I had to send it back to her 4 times because it didn’t have any flow. She’d written a term paper; how many of you want to read term papers on a blog? Yet every time I sent it back she was gracious enough to accept what I was trying to say to her and would make changes.

Because of that I went against my own rule and decided that the topic was important enough and the link important enough for me to do more edits than I normally would. I made it flow, made it at least readable for the general masses. Then I told her I’d accepted it but made massive edits and that I’d like her to read it when it went live. She did that and wrote me to say she now understood better what I meant and that she liked what I’d edited much better. Very gracious lady and she was courageous to keep coming back for more in a gracious way.

Then there’s irritating. Another guy wanted to put a guest post on the blog but in his first 3 emails, I knew he hadn’t read the guest posting policy. Eventually he did and then he sent me something that I found totally unacceptable and I told him why; no blatant advertising. Then he asked if he could see the advertising policy, which I sent. Immediately he started offering me less than what the policy stated. I told him twice that I wasn’t accepting anything less than what the policy was, and in my second email back to him I said I wasn’t writing him again.

This precipitated a barrage of emails over the course of the next few days, always offering new terms, a couple of times sending me an article I didn’t ask for, before I finally got tired of the guy and blacklisted his email address; that was that from him. There wasn’t anything courageous in what he was doing because he wasn’t even trying to follow any of my policies, and trying to undercut my rate when it’s cut rate to begin with… please!

The truth is that every once in a while we don’t have the time to promote, promote, promote. We might have to ask someone for some assistance. However, no one should ever ask for anything without first doing something or offering something in return that looks like it’s benefiting the person they’re asking a favor for more than what they’re hoping to get out of their request.

For instance, on this blog I’ve had 14 guest posts over all the years I’ve had this blog. Almost all of those folks were participants on the blog beforehand; the first guy wasn’t, but I was new to the concept then. And I don’t mean a few comments here and there but many comments on many blogs, unless I asked someone to write a post for me, which happens from time to time.

I once asked Guy Kawasaki if I could have a place on his Alltop for my business blog, Mitch’s Blog, and he said yes. However, what I’d done for him first was help him edit his book Reality Check, and I wrote a review on this blog and on Amazon to help him promote it. And I did it all for free, just trying to help. By the way, if you ever see that book in the store look at the acknowledgements and you’ll see my name in the book; that’s so cool! 🙂

What are you willing to give to someone who you respect and who could possibly help you move up higher on the ladder of success? And will you be able to determine whether you’ve gone too far or not enough?

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8 comments on “A Fine Line Between Courage And Irritating

  • Jeevanjacobjohn says:

    Hey Mitch,

    Interesting post 😀

    I am not a fan of wants, especially because wants/desires are the reason why many among our species fight among each other. I believe in converting my wants to needs – of course, we have to evaluate whether a particular want is really necessary for our “survival” (might be hard because of our bias).

    Anyways, I have converted some of my wants (relating to my long term goals) into needs. This helps me to invest more energy into it, without thinking about it (since it is a need!). Plus, I am more motivated to accomplish these needs, rather than wants.

    As for irritation and courage, great examples here. When we write on others’ blogs, or do anything relating to others, we might want to ask them first, make sure it is acceptable to them. Never assume that others will behave according to our expectations, and at the same time, never give into others’ expectations completely. Sure, it is nice to be helpful, to be what the society wants you to be, but always keep our dreams in mind 😀

    Anyways,thank you for sharing your experience, Mitch 🙂

    • Thanks for your comment Jeevan. I think wants and needs are pretty close to each other because we will do extraordinary things for each of them, though hopefully we’ll spend more time working on the needs than the wants. So many people try taking shortcuts to what they want; it rarely works in the end.

      • Jeevanjacobjohn says:

        Of course, but don’t be too greedy 😉 (Too many people today are too greedy!).

        Agreed, people are always looking for shortcuts, aren’t they? I remember the time when I looked for shortcuts to make money online (I remember watching sales videos on making money in one day/one week. All nonsense). Some systems do work, but they require a lot of time and effort – just like a normal job.

  • Some people will always be just about themselves Mitch! It’s really a sad fact but that’s just how they are. I can’t believe you put up with that guy as long as you did and he had the nerve to keep coming back not having followed your policy. I mean it is there for a reason.

    I know that for the most part I do some nice things for people not expecting anything in return but then again sometimes down the road that does turn into something. Kind of like you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.

    I have a friend fixing to come out with her product and because I have a bigger following then she does I’ll help promote her and she’s helping me with my product. I think we both would have had to pay someone to help us either way so in the end we’re helping each other. Now those relationships I really like.

    Hang in there my friend and I bet it is really cool to see your name mentioned in that book.

    Adrienne recently posted…5 Bloggers That I AdmireMy Profile

    • It was very cool Adrienne, although I could slap myself for not noticing it years earlier than I did. lol As to that guy, he was irritating but he was also easy to set up to go to spam and I never had to deal with him again. So many people want something for nothing don’t they?


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