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.
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?