By now, many of you know I have this thing about guest posts and the people who request to leave one on my blogs. Even though I’ve had some on this blog (I think 14) over the course of 9 years (my anniversary was on the 12th; yay me!) and I accepted them for a while on my finance blog, overall I’m not a great fan of them across the board.
Why? Well, instead of just talking about it I think I’ll turn this into a list post of why I probably won’t share guest posts and, well, what might get me to share one somewhere on social media or even to link one to a blog property I own. I think that’s fair; let’s have a conversation about it.
1. Why did I come to your blog in the first place?
Why? Because I liked you, your writing and what you wrote about. That’s usually how the majority of blogs start; we create them, write all the content in our own words, hopefully add a bit of personality and engage with those people who deign to comment on them. That’s the true part of purely blogging; you as the owner creator, the rest of us as the commenters.
2. Why did you start accepting guest posts?
This one is probably twofold.
All but one of the guest posts on this blog over the years came because I asked someone to write about something they had better knowledge of than I did. These were people who were participants on the blog and whose blogs I visited as well, and I’d gotten to know them a little bit and knew that I could trust them to not only deliver something special, but to come back and respond to any comments those posts received. In this case, I did it for my readers; ain’t I magnanimous? 🙂
For my finance blog, I did it to generate traffic so that my advertising would generate income via affiliate links and banner ads. It worked really great I must say, to the extent that at one point it was one of the higher ranked financial blogs online.
This is probably why so many people start accepting guest posts, along with the fact that so many people start requesting to have a guest post that it alleviates all the pressure of your having to keep coming up with content ideas. For me, I started traveling a lot for work, so this helped a great deal.
3. Where does accepting guest posts go wrong?
This one has a lot of answers, but I’m only going to mention three of them; two under this header and the last one under a separate header.
The first issue is the quality of the posts. So many of them read horribly, to the extent that they’re really boring. Just yesterday I came across 4 blog posts talking about content marketing that pretty much said the exact same thing, and two of them were written poorly. I can’t imagine why anyone would want that type of thing on their blog as a guest post unless they’re just being lazy and don’t care about quality.
The second issue is that it’s hard to get those people to come back and respond to comments. Sure, some people are good at it, but more than half of what I see has comments without a response from the writer (although sometimes the blog owner will step in) and that’s an abomination in my eyes.
That was a major problem I had with most of the posts on my finance blog; the people who contacted me about the guest post turned out not to be the people who wrote the article, and the people who wrote the articles didn’t understand what they were writing about enough to come back and comment on it. Those few that did gave one line comment responses of thanks because that’s all they could muster; how engaging does that sound?
4. The #1 sin of allowing a lot of guest posts is…
The blog owner stops writing their own posts… which leads back to #1 on this list talking about why I was coming to your site in the first place. I mean, look at the ratio on this blog; over 1,730 articles with 14 guest posts; that’s 99.2%. On my finance blog, the ratio started out at 25% guest posts, but once I started traveling it probably fell to around 33%, as I made sure to keep writing at least one post a week while posting 2 articles from someone else.
Frankly, that started to bother me because no one else could write in my style, and other than the editing I had to do I can’t say that I understood what everyone else was writing about at least 60% of the time. Almost none of it was either engaging or fun; at least they were educational… if anyone cared to read any of them (which rarely happened).
5. When will I share guest posts on other blogs?
I did say I do it from time to time, right? There are two instances where I’m known to do it.
The first is if I know the writer of the guest post because I’ve visited their blogs previously and know them. In those cases if I’m interested in the article I have no qualms about sharing them, and I might even comment on them because I know they comment back. That’s what I did on this post by Lisa Sicard on Ileane Smith’s blog (okay, I happen to be in it, but still… lol).
The second is if I happen to read an article on Flipboard and decide to share it. I don’t always know if the writers there are the blog owners or not until I click on the link later on to verify the post (I always send these articles to myself via email so I can track down the person’s social media profile) site, since sometimes Flipboard gives you a link back to their site rather than the original source. I also like to give credit to the writer as part of my Twitter strategy; who doesn’t love knowing that something they wrote is being shared?
Yeah, I know; some of my standards seem a bit rigid to some people. Yet, I share a lot of content and promote a lot of people every day, mostly on Twitter but occasionally on other platforms as well. There’s only so much I can consume and decide on its worthiness to share with my audience that if I didn’t set some rules for myself I’d never have any time to write or make a living. Those of you who comment and know that I’ve shared some of your articles can tell the others how fair I am. 🙂
Ah, once again the topic of guest posts on blogs. For all the grief I feel about these things, while recognizing that they can offer some value, it turns out that I haven’t talked about it as much as I thought I had. It seems I mention it and then get away from it like I did with last week’s post on social networking (see #10).
Yet, I have written about it; I’ve even done videos about it. Thus, it’s not my intention to repeat everything word for word again. Instead, I’m going to share the videos and the links of my previously talking about it while griping about a few more things this week regarding the subject.
The first… I’ve mentioned that I have an advertising policy on my finance blog, the only blog of mine that I’m presently taking articles for (although I’m thinking about accepting them for my medical site; no one’s asked about that one yet). These aren’t guest posts; they’re sponsored posts. In other words, if anyone wants to put an article on that site, they’re going to pay for the honor.
Why? I covered that back in 2013 on that blog; it was just so frustrating having to do all that editing all the time, especially while I was on the road consulting in another city. I mean really; if you’re asking if you can put a guest post on someone else’s space, at least make sure your article is written well. Is that really too much to do?
Actually it must be, because I’m still getting email from tons of people who ask if I accept guest posts (it says no on the main page), if I accept advertising (it’s right on the main page) and how much I charge (it’s in the advertising policy, which is on the main page). That’s what led me to write this article in 2012 griping about the problem with people who send guest posting requests.
Too many canned letters, too many people not even visiting the site to see what’s there; sigh… those and the lies they tell about how wonderful the blog is and sending me a link to an article I wrote (or a guest post that someone else wrote when I did accept guest posts), without saying anything about the article. Really; does that work on a lot of people?
It’s not that I’m against guest posting in general. Heck, I even gave some guest posting tips and talked about how to write a guest post, and you saw that my last article was originally a guest post on another site. I even wrote an article talking about using guest posting as a traffic strategy, as it can be a very valuable way to market oneself (though I don’t think it’s at the top). I’m not hating just to hate; I’m fussing because of the goofiness of it all sometimes.
Last week someone wrote me asking what the advertising policy was on my finance blog; sigh… I wrote and told him where to find it, since I happened to be out of town when I saw the email. Then we wrote me back and asked me how much each sponsored post was, which is in the policy. I wrote back saying how much it was and asking if he’d missed it in the policy.
He then wrote me back making me an offer that was less than half the amount I ask for, saying he was willing to send me 8 sponsored posts… which I really didn’t want to see coming from one source I didn’t know. I wrote back saying that was unacceptable and the rate was the rate. Then he wrote me back asking what my final offer was… what?!?! Y’all know I deleted that in a heartbeat.
This is a good time for a video about guest posting so I can take a breath…
Are y’all feeling me? I think I’ve covered about all I want to cover here, and for once you’re getting a relatively short article from me. I gave you lots of links and a video; nothing else to cover on this front for the moment.
I’d really like to know what your opinions are on guest posting requests, because I know I’m not the only one getting them. If you’re someone who uses guest posting as a strategy, do you think what I’m saying is fair or unfair? Go ahead, let me know; I’m out!
Suffice it to say, 2014 is almost over. Last Friday I put out a post talking about my goals for 2015. Those were mainly personal goals, mainly for myself, though sometimes I like to share because they might inspire others to do the same.
This post is a little different, some quick hitters. There are things I’ve seen over the past year, both good and bad, from bloggers all over the place. There are some things I needed to do myself, some I did, some I didn’t. I figure if I’m going to pick on others then I might as well call myself out where I can.
I don’t expect anyone to change a thing because I don’t like it; people will do what people do. Still, at least I’ll be on record once again, in case some people who are doing some of these things wonder why I don’t stop by all that often, or do stop by more often than not. I’m doing 15 since the upcoming year has “15” in it; kind of cheesy but I’m going with it anyway.
Enough of the preamble. Let’s get to it:
1. Stop sending notices to people asking them to subscribe to comments when they leave one. That’s one of the most irksome things in the world to me. I hate when I get something asking me to subscribe to the blog but I can deal with that. Telling me, after I checked the box, that I have to now subscribe to comments to get a response to my comment… ugh. You’re wasting my time because I’m never subscribing; I wouldn’t have left a comment if I thought you could care less if I saw it.
2. Please check to see if your comment notifications work. I comment on lots of blogs. I don’t keep a list of blogs I comment on. Therefore, unless I get an email telling me you’ve responded to me I may never know that you responded, and I won’t be alone.
The way to test this is to either log off your blog or use a different browser, go to a post and leave a comment. If you don’t get an email from your blog then you know it’s not working and should fix it. I test my blogs at least 3 times a year; it only takes a couple of minutes to do.
3. Respond to comments, and not just the new ones. I’m sometimes late to visiting a blog. It might only be a day, it might be a couple of weeks. Either way, all of us who talk about blogging tell you how important it is to respond to comments. However, some of the bloggers who talk about it only respond to comments left the day the post goes live.
If you don’t care about comments after that or the people who leave them why not set your blog up to not accept comments after one day? I can tell you how to do it. What, you think that would make your blog look like an unfriendly place? Same with not responding to almost all comments in my opinion.
4. Leave real comments. Here’s a truth; sometimes, if you know the person, a one line comment isn’t such a bad thing. However, if you’re not known by the blog owner, a one line comment looks like spam. Even a two line comment can look like spam. Sometimes I delete those comments, sometimes I’ll leave them, but if you haven’t really said anything I’m probably not responding to your comment. As always, if the comment doesn’t address anything within the post, it’s probably being deleted.
5. Misleading titles; stop that! In all the years I’ve had this blog, I don’t think I’ve ever left a misleading title just to get visitors. I’m not going to lie; I’m not great at titles anyway, so maybe I have a bias against being mislead.
Still, if you tell me something is going to be shocking, it had better be. If you tell me there’s one thing that’s the most important thing ever, I hope you make your case for it instead of going around the bush, mentioning it once, then going off on a tangent.
6. If you accept guest posts, do two things: write at least half of the content on your blog; read the posts before they’re released. First off, I’m probably coming to your blog because I liked your writing style or reading what you had to say. However, if you’re only writing a post every once in a while and everything else is from someone else, and they’re not regular contributors, I feel cheated. Second, if someone else’s article isn’t up to your writing standard, realize that it can only bring you down eventually, even if traffic numbers stay up because of the new content consistently being posted.
When I was accepting guest posts on my finance blog, I spent lots of time reading those things, editing some of them and sending the rest back to the writer to fix them. Frankly, that was time consuming, but I knew someone else’s bad writing would reflect on me. Please don’t give up quality for expediency and traffic.
7. It’s okay to revisit topics and thoughts you’ve previously written about if they’re timely or evergreen. Above I linked to my post talking about 7 years of writing this blog. Linking back to old posts makes a lot of sense, both because of SEO and because people who like your content will want to check out things related to new articles.
Thing is, as I was looking back through some of my content I realized that there are things I touched upon once years ago that are still pertinent, but few people are going to go searching for those old posts unless I guide them there through a new post. Thus, writing about a topic again, even if some things haven’t changed all that much, can work wonders. If you’ve changed a point of view or added something new you can always link to the old article. I need to do this more often, especially with nearly 1,600 articles here.
8. Your popups are irritating; at least let me finish reading your article. Along with some other gripes I had about blogs I was visiting in 2013, the biggest was pop-ups. I really hated it, as I addressed two versions of it in that post.
I get it; some guru told you that even though they irritate people, you’ll get lots of them to sign up for it and it’s better to care about people you’re probably going to market to and irritate a different way instead of worrying about popups irritating people who actually might want to read your blog; sigh…
Fine. If you’re going to do it anyway, why not at least think about those who are reading your content? Don’t have your popup jump out when someone gets to your page. Don’t have your popup jump up when people might be 30 seconds into reading your article, unless it’s extremely short. Don’t have your popup hiding the X we’re hoping to find as quickly as possible to close it if we’re not interested.
If it’s going to pop up every single time people stop by tell them, instead of the “lie” (misstatement) I’ve been told that it will only pop up the first time I visit. Because it’s either a lie or you don’t know what you’re talking about, and I’m probably not coming back… probably, since sometimes I forget and visit a second time, have that sucker pop up and immediately leave.
9. Learn the difference between fact and opinion. Most of us write opinions on our blog; that’s a fact. lol A fact is more along the lines of a tutorial where you’re telling someone how to do something, or the results of a study you’ve conducted and what your results are. Even then that’s just your fact, since for both of those examples someone might be doing those things a different way or coming up with different results.
Debating whether content is king (which I believe) or not is really more opinion than anything else. Telling someone that writing “butter” 50 times in every single blog post they write will not only hurt their website but will eventually get them delisted from Google is fact because Google told us so.
10. Worry more about your content than about keywords and SEO. This is a tough one for many bloggers but I’m going to clarify my position here. There’s nothing wrong with shooting for keywords in a post, just like we try to go with our websites. But I read many posts that feel “fake” because the writer isn’t writing naturally.
Readability is the biggest thing in the eyes of search engines these days. If their algorithms can discern what you’re talking about, it’s all good. Helping them by adding some keywords or keyword phrases will definitely help, but if it’s the only thing you’re worried about then you’re missing the concept of blogging which, in the long run, is about readers.
11. Being contrarian; don’t always write “for” the readers. I’m going against #10 but only for this one reason. I’ve had conversations with some bloggers where many of them feel their content isn’t worth anything if they don’t write to their audience. This often means condescending 3rd grade level content that either says nothing or repeats exactly what a reader can find elsewhere.
My reasoning here is to look at your writing style, your errors, your misspellings, and ask yourself this question; would you want to read this? Then ask yourself the next question; will you ever go back and read this?
As with my videos, I always go back and read my own content at least once after its published. I’ll read it when comments start to come in, or else if it’s a post that didn’t get many comments I’ll go back to see what it looks like.
This might sound like braggadocio but I tend to like most of what I write and most of my videos. There are some posts and videos that I’m not crazy about and I might go in and change a sentence or two (with videos I might go back and make them private).
One should feel comfortable with their own content; if not, your audience probably won’t be comfortable with it either.
12. Share more of what you read, and offer commentary when possible. Did you read this post? Even if you didn’t comment on it did you share it?
I’m big on sharing stuff I read, especially blogs. I share mostly on Twitter, though occasionally I’ll share on Google Plus or Facebook (rare for blog posts). When I share in other spaces, if there’s room left I’ll almost always make a little comment, whether I commented on the actual post or not. Even if I can only squeeze in a couple of words I’ll do it.
Why? I want people to know that I read it and where I might be leaning as far as my opinion of it. I tend to believe that goes a long way towards encouraging people to check it out. It helps other bloggers and helps to encourage them to write more. Also, it’s a way to get some reciprocation because people know they can trust you and trust what you write. That’s not the reason I do it but it’s a nice side benefit.
13. There are true “ranking lists” posts and then there’s linkbait. I’ve not hidden the fact that I want to be more known for blogging. I’ve started my campaign on Twitter and, in 2015, I’ll be expanding it to other social media circles, as well as making sure I highlight things from at least 3 of my blogs more often.
I also want to be mentioned on more blogs that have top 25, 50 or 100 blogs, no matter the topic. However, I recognize that some of the lists are what we call linkbait, which means you’re trying to get attention from the people who you’re highlighting and pretty much nothing else.
What’s the difference? People who are giving it real attention will say something about those blogs rather than just list them. For instance, back in 2012 I wrote a series of 19 posts on the topic Black Web Friday where I highlighted black bloggers and websites. I didn’t just pop up links to sites without commentary. I gave a bit of explanation for each link and, when possible, something about the writer.
In my opinion that was true value to the readers and not just linkbait which, if that had been my intention I’d have failed miserably because most of the bloggers and websites I highlighted never found out about it. lol
14. Don’t only be kinder in 2015 but acknowledge social issues as well. I’ve got to tell you, 2014 was a tough year for me mentally. Forget the fact that politics didn’t quite go how I had envisioned and go straight to the fact that the biggest issue that could have potentially affected me were all the stories of bad police conduct and black people… okay, black males mainly, although if I were to be fully truthful it was minorities in general.
I was bothered a lot about it. However, I didn’t write about any of it on this blog, though I really wanted to. I did address it once on my business blog and in a couple of my YouTube videos because I had to get things off my chest.
How many blogs did I visit that touched upon the subject? Not a single one. Did I visit any blogs? Lots! That’s a shame people; we can’t fix stuff if we don’t talk about it.
That one scare you? This year I participated in the Blog Action Day project, where the topic was inequality. How many of my blogging friends were a part of it? None. Did I visit any of the blogs I usually visit on that day looking for it? Yes, lots. I at least got to visit blogs of people I didn’t know to see how they wrote about it and enjoyed that, but it would have been nice to talk about the subject with people I knew. Oh yeah; that post only got 2 real comments also, which is a major shame.
I get it; social issues are scary. Here’s the problem; if you stand for nothing you’ll fall for anything. Not only that but if you don’t let people know where you stand on something that’s important for you here and there, you run the risk of being bogarted without knowing it or without knowing who else might support your position or might even be against your position. Taking a stand takes some bravery, and even if your blog is considered a niche blog every once in a while diverting to something else makes you look like a real person.
And yes, this one is totally opinion (see #9). 🙂
Still, we can address issues like these and still be relatively nice. There are lots of very nice people online who complain about this or that every once in a while. I like to think I’m one of those people. I’ll never shy away from an opinion but it’s rare that I’ll specifically call someone out here or anywhere else. That’s not necessary; neither is bad language. You’ll always be safe visiting this blog, even if I touch upon something I know will be truly controversial to someone.
15. At the end of the day, blog because you enjoy it, comment on other people’s blogs because you enjoy the camaraderie, and share because you enjoy helping others. When I started blogging almost 10 years ago (my business blog turns 10 in February), I’ll admit that I had a business purpose for it. Thing is, almost no one was writing the types of things about blogging that I, Adrienne, Brian, Peter (he’ll be getting back to more blogging and making money tips when he has time lol) and a host of other long time friends do or have done. In a way, we were part of the first wave of bloggers writing about blogging; how cool is that?
We’re still at it all these years later. Can’t do that if you don’t enjoy it. I’ve seen lots of blogs that have left the blogosphere, never to be heard from again. Those folks didn’t enjoy it enough to continue, or got into it for a reason other than enjoyment and couldn’t flip the switch.
When it’s done for pure purposes, with other things such as making money in some fashion as a side benefit, you’ll find that writing becomes easier, sharing becomes easier, and reading other blogs isn’t a chore but a pleasure… unless the blog you’re trying to read is written badly or has too many popups.
That’s for reading. For commenting, it’s fun unless the blog moderates comments (I hate that), has captcha (hate that also), or uses commenting systems that try to manipulate you into having to create new passwords (Disqus, Livefyre… nope, not me) or is using you to help promote their blog (by having your comments show up on Google + or Facebook only).
If you don’t enjoy blogging or reading blogs or commenting on blogs… don’t participate at all. That is, unless you’re famous enough to get away with it, like Seth Godin (whose “blog” I still won’t visit), who openly admits he could care less if anyone reads it and doesn’t care what you have to say about what he’s writing. That’s okay; I may not visit his blog for that reason but I have read one of his books and liked it. See, I said something most people might find controversial then ended it with something nice (see #14 lol).
I think that’s enough; I wonder how many people will read this to the end. At least there are pictures. 🙂 These are my wishes; do you have any you’d like to mention? Enjoy your day!
What a last few days I’ve had! Social media is fun and interactive and, well, sometimes it can be good for your ego. Of course, you can’t take anything for granted, which means that I did end up putting a lot of work into the fun. This post is going to cover a number of things, but overall it’s going to contain some lessons in how to write a guest post.
True, I’ve fussed a lot about guest post requests, but this is something different. I was asked by my buddy Adrienne Smith to write a guest post for her eponymously named blog and it went live on Monday. I actually wrote it 3 weeks ago, and I titled it 11 Essentials of Social Networking. It’s an epic post if I say so myself because it was more than 3,000 words on, well, social networking, things to do and not to do to make better connections online. And it seems to have been well received, with at least 130 or more comments so far; that’s after 2 days.
But that was only the last thing that happened. Things actually got started last Wednesday when I had the opportunity to interview a lady named Meloney Hall of Big Uptick Social Marketing, who actually interviewed me and had me give some blogging tips to her readers via a YouTube video. She gave many tips on how to set yourself up for success in social media marketing, including supporting one of my major views that if you’re any kind of business or professional that you should be on LinkedIn. You can view that interview below:
Now, for most people that would be a steal and a nice grab for getting some success tips to help you and your business. But that’s not how I roll. I wasn’t satisfied with that, so I had a second treat for people. That treat was Ileane Smith of Basic Blog Tips, one of the top blogging sites on the internet and she’s one of the fastest rising internet stars we have. I’ve known Ileane for years and even wrote a guest post for her back in 2011 titled 5 Ways Your Blog Might Be Irritating People. That post actually had around 150 comments on it at one time, but Ileane’s been getting tons of spam on her old posts and she’s shut off comments, and for some reason it also had hidden all the comments that post had. Still, it was another pretty good post, coming in around 1,800 words or so.
In the interview I did with her I got the lowdown on how she got into blogging, why it will always be her first love but her second job, and her ideas for how to grow your blog and get people to help promote your posts without you even having to ask anymore. We also touched upon a subject that’s been on my mind for years, but you’ll have to watch the video to pick up any of that knowledge and let me just say that it’s the fastest viewed video I’ve ever had:
At this point, if you know any of the folks above, you’re probably saying “wow, that’s pretty good.” You probably also think it’s over already; nope. On Sunday I led the discussion for my Hot Blog Tips crew as I had the opportunity to interview one of the most prolific bloggers and writers on the internet, Kristi Hines of Kikolani.com, Search Engine Land, Mashable… you name it, she’s probably written for it. Once again, she has one of the highest ranked blogs online, and I knew that having her as our Sunday guest would be amazing, and it was. If you want to learn how she pulls everything together, as well as learn more about her new course on how to market and network yourself online (are you sensing a pattern here?), check out the video below:
See there? I didn’t hit the trifecta, I hit the… well, since I don’t watch horse racing, I have no idea what it’s called if you win 4 times in a row, but with the finale, for now, being the guest post on Adrienne’s blog, I’m thinking that’s some pretty stellar work in one week’s time. It also means that it was time to come back to my blog and put out something strong as well because I’ve played in everyone else’s spaces (well, two of those videos are on my YouTube channel but you know what I mean) and it’s time to come back home for a bit.
Guest posting; I’ve mainly talked about it in terms of having people coming to me or going to others asking if they can write a guest post for their blogs, and how the process often fails miserably, even though some guest posts do make it through. I can honestly say that every guest post I’ve ever written I was asked to write, and in doing so I’ve always followed guest posting tips that I wrote back in 2010 to a large degree. I’m glad I went back to share this post because it reminded me that I had written another guest post I’d forgotten about for my buddy Connie Baum of The Healthy And Wealthy You titled Internet Marketing Scams. I can’t say that one was epic, mainly because her audience was different than some of the audiences I’ve written for lately, and yet I did follow the commandments I wrote about back then.
This is now though, so it’s time to make the list of how to write guest posts just a bit more thorough. This is both for when you’re asked to write a post or when you want to write something for some else:
1. Know the blog you’re going to write for. For the one blog I get a lot of requests for, people write and tell me how much they enjoyed a post on the blog, yet it’s almost always the most recent post on the blog. Man, can we spot a fake request a mile away or what? You can never know what a blog is truly about unless you take a look at 5 or more posts. If you’ve been a long time commenter on a blog then you probably have a good idea of what might work but if not, do your research. After all, it should really benefit the blog owner as much as you hope it’ll benefit you.
2. Know your subject well. I have to admit that many guest posts I get for my finance blog are fairly basic on their topics. Yet I allow them because I’m figuring that many of the readers might not know what all that stuff is, since there are a lot of financial items where I know the terms but don’t fully understand. However, it’s always easy to tell by the writing style whether the person actually knows what they’re talking about or whether they’ve done some research and have basically put together a mini term paper. If you want to stand out and be able to give your post a personal feel, know what you’re talking about.
3. Do an outline; do it! I just can’t believe how many people are scared of writing outlines for what they’re going to write about. I don’t do it for most of my own posts but if I’m putting together something for another person, it’s critical to do. You want to know what you’re going to address and have the opportunity to put it into the proper order; sometimes you want everything to flow in a specific pattern while other times you want to make sure you start strong and end strong.
4. Unless it won’t fit with previous blog content, always try to write more than what you normally might. On my own blogs, I pretty much write like Mozart. That is to say that I write as many words as what my thoughts lead me to write and then I stop; no more, no less. But when I’m putting something together for someone else, I want to make sure I don’t leave anything out, and that every thought I have is thoroughly covered for each point; hence the outline. You can write more and if it’s consistent the blog owner will probably love to print the entire thing. If you’re asked to trim it down some it’s always easier than it is to try to add more.
5. Always give examples for the points you’re trying to make. In the post I wrote for Adrienne, I talked about how some people on Twitter are always posting links to their blogs or sales pages and it’s almost like they’re online 24/7, which means you know they’re automating everything. Yet if it was a TV show would you want to watch 5 minutes of a show and be marketed to 55 minutes to complete the hour? Things like that help to make your points memorable and people can relate to them.
6. Don’t write anything you don’t believe in with your whole soul. If you’re writing something you think people want to hear so you can appease them, you’ve already failed. Don’t ever be fake because everyone will know. If you hate chocolate, say you hate chocolate (and be prepared for me to come to your house to protest lol). If you like puppies proclaim your love for them and tell people why you love them (I love them because they’re just so innocent and cute and want to play). If you’re going to teach someone something teach it all to them, every single step, and don’t leave anything out. Don’t assume what people know; as Ileane said in the interview, everyone’s level of knowledge is different and you never want to leave anyone out.
I’m going to stop there before I make this one too long. Here are 5 tips, there were 4 on my other post, so I’m thinking you now have 9 total points from me and still have Kristi’s video and Ileane’s video to get more, since both of them have written guest posts. I mean, what more could you want? Well, I want you to read this, watch the videos, share all of it wherever you are on social media, comment here and on every video you watch, and above all send me chocolate chip cookies… wait, how’d that get in here? Please, let me know what you think below or somewhere; don’t make me hold my breath! 😉
I’ve often talked about not making any money off this blog. Well, it’s a little different with one of my other blogs. On my finance blog, I get plenty of advertising. I can’t say I’m turning into a mogul on that page, but it’s gotten to the point where it’s doing pretty well, and combined with the Adsense money I make off one of my other sites I’m not doing all that badly.
The thing about accepting advertising, though, is making sure that whatever you accept fits in with what it is you want to accomplish with your blog, or how you want it all to look. I thought I’d talk about this a little bit because you can find yourself gushing with a little bit of pride the first time someone comes to you asking if you’ll accept an ad without thinking about how it might eventually affect the look and structure of your blog.
For instance, when I first had advertising on this blog, I hooked up with Text Link Ads. And I made money; one month I made almost $100 while I was accepting it. Then Google learned about it and I lost my page rank. I wouldn’t have cared except it seems those advertisers stopped wanting to advertise on this blog because of it. And since my Alexa rank wasn’t as good as it is now I didn’t have anything else to keep them interested, so that was that.
These days, I don’t accept link ads on my blog except within a post. I also don’t accept any advertising that doesn’t have anything to do with the topic of the blog or website. That’s actually the most important thing you have to look at if you decide to accept advertising; relevance. Now I know I’ve said this blog will be about almost anything, but I do concentrate on a few things here and there. So, unless I’m popping up one of my own affiliate ads, you won’t see shampoo ads on this blog. I almost said you wouldn’t see Duncan Hines ads on this blog, but y’all know how much I love cake. lol
Okay, maybe not so much for this blog, but for my finance blog if the ad doesn’t concern something financial or business related it’s not going on there. I don’t accept any advertising on my business blog except for my affiliate ads. On my local blog I don’t have any advertising there yet, not even Adsense; I’m going to have to take care of that one of these days.
Then there’s the types of ads one will accept. I don’t accept any text link ads on the sidebars or on the first page, but I do accept banner ads of some type. If you decided to check out my finance blog you’ll see there’s this neat widget at the lower left. I get paid well to run that sucker and it’s finance related, although it’s geared towards a UK audience, which is one of the strangest anomalies for me. Most of the advertisers are from there, but they pay well and quickly and I don’t mind all that much, though it’s still confusing.
I also will allow someone to buy into an article, or write an article and pay for their ads to be in it. That’s one of the best parts of allowing guest posts there, and it’s the type of thing that can bring in cash here and there. For instance, yesterday I had a company ask if they could write an article about their website and their product. That’s a first, and the reason I turned it down was that it wasn’t a company geared towards an American audience, though it was financial. Since the blog is geared towards Americans it didn’t quite fit. However, I’d have gotten paid nicely for that guest article, which would have been a total advertisement, and I’m not above that.
I do allow ads within posts as long as they’re related to whatever the topic is on that post. I allow that kind of advertising on my other websites as well. Though I’m about to remove the links in a week because their contract is up, I have some linked advertising on my anti-smoking site, which ran for a year. Of course, the rate’s going up for anyone else who might want to advertise, but I’d grandfather them in for now.
Anyway, the overall idea is that money can be made on blogs or websites in more ways than one. It helps to think about your advertising rates and the type of advertising you’d like to accept if you’re ever asked. I hope you get asked as well; trust me, it’s kind of cool. 😉