5 Problems With Guest Posting/Writing Requests

Yeah, I’m revisiting this topic again. I’m doing it because I know that there’s a lot of us that accept guest posts somewhere (I don’t for this blog but do for my finance blog) that try to be accommodating to those who ask us if we’ll accept it. I know that it not only helps them but helps us because we don’t have to write everything for those particular blogs. In my case, those guest posts are helping me to earn money from that blog, so I’m not overly mad at the process.

Go ahead; make my day
Nora Arias Loftis via Compfight

But some of the writers themselves are getting on my nerves. I also have to add those people who ask me to write a post for them and include their links in the article now, which is something I do for a fee (you’d be surprised how many people are willing to pay me to to that… sort of). I will be including that in my little list of gripes that I’ve already titled above, and thus I’m not going to repeat it again… oh, who am I kidding, of course I’m going to repeat it again. Here’s 5 problems I’ve had with guest posting and writing requests.

1. I have this in my guest posting policy on my finance blog:

I do accept guest posts geared towards financial issues on this blog, and by having a guest posting policy, it means in your query you don’t have to ask me about it, you don’t have to have all that extraneous stuff about how it will help this blog work better or have better SEO; please, I get that and your letter looks canned, which it obviously is since most of the requests that come aren’t from writers but from people marketing for someone else. If you’re supposed to be some kind of writer then write something original; give it a shot, it won’t hurt.

You’d think people would get that message, but no. At least 70% of the requests I get are those canned letters; sigh…

2. I have this in my guest posting policy:

When you write me, give me an idea of what you’d like to write about so we can start from that point. I have to review the site being linked back to and then determine if it’s a site that should be paying for advertising or one that I allow a free link back to. If you’re actually reading this then please send the link to the site you want your article going to; I’m always having to tell people that I need to see their link first and that’s wasting a lot of my time.

Nope, people who aren’t reading the first part aren’t doing this either. This includes those people that I know have read the policy, and I’ve got it highlighted just like you see above. Now, how do I know the difference between people who are actually reading the policy?

3. I know because of this:

To request a guest posting opportunity, or to ask questions about advertising or anything else on Top Finance Blog, write to Mitch. If my name isn’t in the email, I’m not reading it and you won’t hear from me (unless you’re willing to pay for it); I don’t have the time.

This is true; 90% of the requests I get are to sir/madam, webmaster (really?) or just “Hi” or something like it and nothing else. And I don’t respond to any of them; I delete them immediately.

4. When I have to send people my advertising policy, they don’t get it.

I’m not going to post that here because either people ask me for it up front or I look at their site & determine it needs to be paid for and then they ask me about it. At that point I sent them a standard email with the policy already typed up. The policy specifically says two things. One, no blatant advertising for their company unless they want to pay me twice the rate it costs for me to write a post. Two, if I write a post, I’ll use your keywords unless their blatant advertising, in which case the twice as much as writing a regular post thing kicks in.

Someone asks me to write a post for them at the individual post rate. I do it, add their links, set it up to go live, and expect them to pay me when it goes live. No one sees the post before it goes live; sorry, but I was burned once and that’s never happening again. Anyway, they finally see the post, then they write me and ask if I’ll include the company name in the post. I refer them back to the policy and say that if I do that they have to pay double. Then they get upset; well, a couple of them do. And then they don’t pay and I dismiss them forever.

You’re probably asking why I don’t charge them something up front so I don’t get burned. I don’t do that because I write articles for the blog as well, and in a way they get credit for giving me a topic to write about, so I’ll take it, but I don’t like not getting paid my fee for writing it. Why? Because it’s in the policy!

5. People who don’t come back to address comments.

I wrote about this one on another post on guest posting. I’m not the only one that’s written on this subject, although right now I can’t remember where I read someone else talking about it. No matter; if you write a guest post you have to be willing to address comments or questions because the owner of the blog just might not be qualified to respond to everything. And even if that person is, you’re losing the chance to establish yourself in the eyes of others by doing a posting hit and run, so to speak.

Those are my main 5 issues at this moment. If I write this same post 2 weeks from now I might have different gripes, but you won’t see that one coming from me. All I’m looking for is a little bit of courtesy, a bit of professionalism. By the way, I also share this little funny video in my guest posting policy; for those of you who get requests, I’m betting you can identify with this:


 

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Following Others In Social Media As A Growth Strategy… Let’s Talk

I’d actually like this one to open up into a discussion of some sort because I’m wondering if someone can convince me that I might be wrong. Yeah, it’ll be hard to do I know, but if someone has other ways of thinking about it that make sense, I’m open to hearing it.

The Glamour Of British Summer
James Kendall via Compfight

About six weeks ago I wrote a post titled What Will You Do For More Followers, and I added a video to the mix. First, although I ended up getting probably the appropriate number of comments to views of the video, it’s only been viewed 22 times; come on people, I ain’t making these things because of my good looks! lol Go ahead, watch the video; I know it’s 10 minutes long so watch at least some of it, okay? Don’t make me beg.

Anyway, on Sherryl Petty’s blog Keep Up With The Web, she had a guest post almost a month ago where the writer’s topic was How To Grow Your Google+ Followers. One of his recommendations stirred something in me, which happens often. It was to follow people at random and try to follow people in your niche.

Me being me, I commented, and since I wrote it I’m going to quote a small part of it here:

I always end up asking myself this question whenever someone makes it a point in an article and now I’m going to ask you this… what’s the deal with following people in one’s niche? I mean, I know the expectation is that if you do this those people will get to know you and you’ll make connections with those people.

However, experiments have proven that most of the time people in your niche don’t want to connect with you because they’re worried you’ll take potential customers away from them. In the area of leadership, which I write a lot about on one of my blogs, I’ve found only one person who seems to not be threatened by my visiting his blog, as he visits mine often as well. The others… well, half the time they won’t even approve the comments, and other times they never respond, and don’t ever visit my blog.

Of course some of you remember my post talking about commenting on similarly niched blogs and how it seems to be a failed concept. However, this is something a bit different. The question here is in growing one’s connections on Google+, and you might as well add Twitter to this conversation because it’s almost the same recommendation I’ve seen on other blogs.

Here’s the question. How do you feel about following a lot of people with the intention of trying to get more people to follow you? Here’s my take on it, just to establish a baseline.

I think when you first get to a place such as G+ or Twitter, the first thing you do is look for people you already know that are there. That will help you at least get established to some degree. What I did after that when I first got on Twitter was see who they were connected to and if I knew any of those people, I followed them as well. It wasn’t until much later when I started following some people who were talking about things I was interested in, but I still can’t say 4 years later that I’ve gone out of my way to find people in any of my niches, if you will, that I follow, or went looking to follow.

When I got to G+ it was pretty much the same thing. I went looking for people I already knew first, which I knew a lot more people in 2011 than I did before, and few of them were local. Then things started to take off, but it was mainly people following me and my connecting with them later on. And the only niche, if you will, that I really have is that many of the people I’m connected with are bloggers. That’s it; they aren’t even mainly people in my fields of expertise, but bloggers in general.

So I have people I’m connected with, but the numbers are relatively small. As I received a request to connect with someone a few days ago on Twitter that is in one of my niches, someone with 75% fewer tweets than me but is following and has followers around 25,000, it got me wondering if, as I wondered before, are my social media standards too strict for what I’m trying to do? Yes, personally I’m very comfortable with doing things my way, but does business suffer in some fashion because I’m not “everywhere” for “everyone”?

And there’s the conundrum, and thus why I throw the question out there. I know some of you have fewer connections than I do, but some of you have way more as well. Hopefully this will be an interesting discussion, and I ask you to see what others have to say on this topic as well when you come to comment (I know you’re coming lol). I’m really interested in knowing your thoughts; someone go get Marcus Sheridan and tell him to get into this discussion as well (heck, while you’re at it, go get Chris Brogan, as I bet he’ll offer some great perspective also).
 

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September 11, 2001; 11 Years Later

I wasn’t sure I was going to have a post on this tragic event this year, but decided I wanted to add something special that I found back in June that I had on my other blog. See, that day was horrid, and we’ve seen so many things that happened on that day, and the planes hitting the towers (Flight 11 and Flight 175) in NYC and hearing about the plane that hit the Pentagon (Flight 77) and the one that crashed in Pennsylvania (Flight 93) was horrible. Seeing people jumping out of buildings to their death and seeing other people running once the towers started coming down and feeling inadequate and mad and empty and angry and hateful and scared…

Yes, even now some of those things still come up. Not as much anymore because there’s something in that spot now, something replacing what was there and something that’s honoring that day and those people who died and the heroes that sprouted up and did what they had to do, felt compelled to do, even if for some of them it wasn’t their job to do.

And then there’s the people in the video below, some unsung heroes that I just heard about this year. This was truly amazing, and if you have an ounce of decency you’ll watch the video, which was narrated by Tom Hanks, and you’ll feel something good deep inside. That is, if you have an ounce of decency; yeah, I’m calling people out. This video is that good, that special, and it deserves to be shared and seen by as many people as possible. The only reason I’m not putting it out separately on Facebook and Twitter is that I did so back in June. Now it’s your turn.

Never forget tragedy, but grow from it and try to make things better, be better, and never let terror win. With that, please watch this video:


 

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I’m Black…

I just thought I’d get this out of the way: I’m black. I know you probably didn’t notice that from the picture over there on the right but yup, I am. At this point you’re probably wondering why I wrote that; you know I’m going to tell you.

photo of Mitch Mitchell I'm Just Sharing
See, black: photo courtesy
of Custom-Photogenics

Just about two weeks ago a young man named Christian, definitely an up-and-comer, wrote a post titled I’m gay. The fact that he typed “gay” with the small “g” was interesting and probably poignant in its own way. Frankly, I’m not typing anything in my titles with small letters, especially “black”.

Anyway, it was a very personal post, and by its tone I’m thinking that somewhere along the line he must have taken some heat from someone who probably made a comment based on his look, since I can’t figure out any other way they could have made the determination. I knew he was gay (don’t ask how) but my thought was “who cares”. That’s always my thought; if a person isn’t racist or hateful I could care less what they are.

Anyway, he put some of his feelings out there, basically stating his case that he is what he is, other things that he is, and that’s that; you either liked him or you didn’t, but that was that. I thought it was an interesting and powerful post, and it got lots of comments that, unfortunately, he didn’t respond to. Probably too close to him in a way.

So, what’s my explanation for my statement? Because it’s the political season, a presidential political season, and President Obama is going for a second term as president of these United States. And, well, those folks who didn’t vote for him are of two minds. One, he doesn’t really count as black, and two, black people only voted for him because he’s black.

I’ve heard it over 4 years, and it’s starting up again. I could make the argument that all things being equal Obama just might be way more qualified than Romney for the job, but it wouldn’t make much difference. Frankly, I hate getting into those types of political discussions because neither side is going to convince the other, and it won’t be long until either I’m being accused of voting one way “because” or I’m having to say their voting against “because”.

And then a friend of mine wrote something on Facebook Friday night that made me feel good. So of course I’m sharing it here:

For those of you who are proud of having Obama as the first African American president don’t allow people to make you feel bad about it. You have every right to your feelings. Stop letting folks make you feel like you are wrong for doing so. Stop letting folks pigeon hole you and try to attack your intelligence because you like Obama. Don’t allow folks to try and make you feel that you are incapable of making informed decisions because you like Obama. Especially don’t let anybody insult your intelligence by saying the only reason you voted for him is because you are black. Your intelligence and ability to make decisions runs much deeper than that.

We still live in a time where black folks are still having firsts after what over 400 years in this country. The first black president, the first black mayor in a town, the first black governor in a state, the first black legislator in a state and the list goes on. We are still having firsts. Having a love of your own does not mean you hate someone else. Be proud of who you are. Peace

Yes, that’s how I’ve been feeling since 2008. I wasn’t going to vote for Obama because he was black; I was a Hillary Clinton fan. But when all was said and done I wasn’t voting for McCain – Palin and that was that. But the accusations… I don’t back down from those kinds of fights in person but online, it’s an argument that makes no sense to have.

So it’s been stated, I fully agree and feel vindicated, and that’s that. If I don’t have to deal with any stupid mess from this point until the election I won’t be talking politics here. If I do, as I had to do late in October 2008, I’ll do it, but man, please let’s hope I don’t have to go there again.

Yeah, I’m black. With some Cherokee & some other southern tribe as well; none of us are totally one thing, right? 🙂
 

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My Top 10 Twitter Social Recommendations

There are a lot of lists around that tell you who’s the top this or that. Most of the time you see the same names over and over with no real imagination or forethought on just what those things mean.

Day One Hundred Twenty Nine
Dustin Diaz via Compfight

Yes, I’m trying to get onto some lists; I’ll tell you that right now. I’ve said on more than one occasion that influence helps you get places, but if people are overlooking you, even if you’re doing well, then it’s interrupting your opportunity to play the real game of life.

It was with this in mind that I saw another top 50 list last week of people you should be following on Twitter. I knew many of the names but I checked out many others. Sure, they have high Twitter follower counts, but they don’t talk to anyone; what fun is that? With 5 blogs and a host of social media outlets I could be posting something different probably every hour of the day for close to a year without repeating myself. It might even boost my influence to a degree but would that make me a great social media or Twitter person to follow? Don’t you see Twitter as a place where it might be nice to talk to someone here and there and know that they’ll talk back to you?

That’s what I’m bringing you today. The 10 people on this list aren’t all the most loquacious folks in the world, but they talk to people, share conversations, and in their own way get involved. I’ll tell you up front that all of them aren’t for everyone, but all are intriguing in their own way and will talk to you. And yes, I’ve talked to all the people on this list, and some of the names will stun you but hey, today’s my day for name dropping. 🙂

By the way, I’m not hyperlinking the Twitter links, but if you use Firefox did you know that you can highlight the link, right-click, then tell it to either open the link in another tab or window? The things you can learn from blogs!

In no particular order, along with their Twitter links:

Beverly Mahone http://www.twitter.com/bevmahone – I’ve written about Beverly often here and even did an interview with her here. She’s a marketing person who’s talked to some very famous names, including a name that’s on this list, and I’m in two of her books.

Frank Woodman Jr http://www.twitter.com/kstaxman – Frank is an accountant based in the Midwest, but he not only shares lots of links, he’ll talk to you, and real conversations. We’ve had some interesting conversations that have lasted hours.

TS Meyers http://www.twitter.com/warweasel82 – I’ve known this guy for almost 15 years; ouch! We met through Usenet and did email conversations, ICQ and other chat programs, and now talk all the time on Twitter. He works the overnight shift at a facility in Nebraska, and since I stay up late he’s almost always around. And he’s brilliant; you won’t put anything over on him.

Bev Thomas http://www.twitter.com/kaijuisme – I’ve known Bev since I got into the internet, also meeting her in a newsgroup back in 1996. She’s wonderful but very political, and very liberal. She pulls no punches so if you’re on the other side you won’t like it much. She’s also brilliant; lawyer, IT, accounting… multiple degrees, been on both sides of the country, karate… If I could only get her to eat more. lol

Kathy Ireland http://www.twitter.com/kathyireland – Yes, that Kathy Ireland! She followed me first, which was nice and uplifting, and I had to tell her I had her calendar and pictures from when she was a Sports Illustrated cover model. She’s really taken off and has made her money in brilliant ways as well. Very smart, and she’ll talk to you as well as promote causes on Twitter; just ask Beverly about it.

Jenn Pedde http://www.twitter.com/JPedde – Jenn is a local lady who now lives in NYC but I consider her more of one of us than them. She works as a community manager for 4 large universities on both sides of the country and is really into social media and has given me some interesting perspectives from a younger person on privacy and other things. She runs a weekly Twitter chat for community managers along with…

Kelly Lux http://www.twitter.com/KellyLux – Kelly, another local person who works for Syracuse University as the community manager for the iSchool, whatever that means. lol But she experiments with lots of things social media, travels across the country representing the university in its social media exploits, and what’s really cool is that she was at NASA Headquarters when Curiosity landed on Mars, as she tweeted the event.

Mariel Hemingway http://www.twitter.com/MarielHemingway – Yes, that Mariel Hemingway, and once again I had to tell her I’ve loved her career from way back when she was a little girl… I love Twitter! She also followed me first and has talked to me and a lot of other people and she has her causes as well.

Kelvin Ringold http://www.twitter.com/kelvinringold – Kelvin will be shocked if anyone tells him he’s on this list but he’s a real talker, especially to the ladies. lol He’s all about positivity and motivation, has a daily newsletter on positivity, and will talk to you if you reach out to him.

Randolph Harris http://www.twitter.com/RandolphHarris – I have to admit I don’t know Randolph all that well but he’s another young guy who will talk to you about almost anything. He’s in Cali which means he’s another late night guy I can talk to; I really need to learn how to go to bed earlier sometimes. lol

There you go. You can follow many other people who will never interact with you or you can talk to some people who will talk to you and you might actually learn something. “And that’s all I have to say about that” – Forrest Gump
 

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