Tuesday, September 6, 2011

How Guest Posting is Like a Personal Loan

“How Guest Posting is Like a Personal Loan” plus 2 more

Link to ProBlogger Blog Tips

How Guest Posting is Like a Personal Loan

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 01:07 PM PDT

This guest post is by Frank Angelone of SocialTechZone.com.

Have you ever lent a friend money? If so, was this someone you thought you could trust? If you answered in the affirmative, as they say in The Social Network, than you will want to keep reading.

The thought may already have crossed your mind, “how does lending money to a friend relate to blogging?” Well, I’m glad you asked because when it comes to guest blogging, the blog owner is lending you their blog just like when you lent money to your friend.

Let’s start off with a story and we’ll bring this all together later on.

The perils of lending property

Let’s dive right into this personal story of mine and I’ll show you the best practices to take when using my experience in your guest blogging ventures.

A friend of mine, who I once considered my “best friend” had been in multiple financial jams when it came to paying rent, bills, or (let’s be blunt!) anything with a due date.

So, like any friend would, I decided to lend him the money to help pay his half of the rent and any other bills.

Little did I know that this pattern would continue down a path of destruction. What started out as me helping out a “brother” turned into me supporting him.

There are two things to point out: I shouldn’t have been so oblivious that he was taking advantage of me, and I’m not the only culprit on his list of lenders.

My friend swindled me out of about $1,000. It became so bad that it was starting to affect my financial situation and the best thing that happened to me was finding a way out of that terrible situation by returning home.

When a friend takes advantage of multiple people who lend their resources, they’re obviously not a friend, but someone who gets by through manipulation. The bottom line, as the saying goes, is “If you want to lose a friend, lend them money.” It’s safe to say I don’t talk to this individual anymore.

Guest posting? You’re borrowing a blog

I mentioned in my story above that I loaned money. Well, when it comes to guest blogging, you need to be aware that the blog owner is lending their blog to you. Their resources, whether that be their audience, their reach in the blogosphere, or even their own reputation, are made available to you when you share your voice on their property.

The resources the blog owner gives to you are like a personal loan. You need to pay the blog owner back for giving you the opportunity to share your insight with his or her audience. Obviously you’re not paying back a monetary value, but you should still be looking to give back in some way.

I know most people are going to feel that you “pay back” the owner of the blog by writing a high-quality article for their audience. That’s not enough. It’s too generic a way to give back. Writing a great article should be understood as a basic part of the exchange, not an added bonus.

The last thing you want to do is disappoint the owner of a blog after they decide to publish your article on their site. This can ruin the relationship and ruin your personal reputation, just like my friend did by taking advantage of many of his so-called friends. Also, if you don’t return the favor of the individual who lends your their blog, that news can spread like wild fire among the popular bloggers—especially if you have an article published on an A-List site.

I want to pay back the blog owner. What should I do?

First and foremost, I always email the blog owner directly after seeing my guest post go live and thank them for the opportunity. I know it sounds like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised by the strength of the the emotional connection you will hit with the blog owner in doing this.

They are expecting that you are using the guest post as a marketing strategy to bring traffic back to your blog. That’s understood because that’s what everyone is doing when it comes to guest blogging. However, you can take it a step beyond the publicity that you are being given, and work on continuing to build the relationship with that blog owner.

A personal email would be like the old-school version of mailing a letter. People like the written word, not a “thank you for the opportunity” message on Twitter. That’s not showing the effort, nor are you “paying” the owner back.

The personal email means more. Just think how you feel when someone emails you and thanks you for commenting on their blog. It sends a powerful message.

You can also ask the blog owner in the email if there’s anything you can do for them! Maybe they have a new product or post coming out and they need help promoting it. They may even have a service that they’d like you to test out. Anything of this nature that shows you are trying to make an effort to “repay your lender” is great, but do it in a genuine way—not just because you feel you have to.

Gain opportunities and build the relationship

There aren’t enough people who give back, in my opinion. My friend never gave back the money he owed me, nor did he really ever do anything to show our friendship meant something. The blog owner is looking for this same feeling of being your friend.

Everyone always wants more friends, and to develop new relationships. When you give back to them after they lend you their resources, then it can strengthen the friendship or business relationship.

You run an almost 100% guarantee of ruining the relationship if you screw over the blogger by not responding to comments left on your guest post or refraining from continuing to keep in touch with that blog owner. By doing so, they will know you were “using” them for one thing … one-time self promotion.

My friend used me and I was gullible enough to allow myself to be taken advantage of. Hopefully these insights along with the integration of my personal story paints a clear picture of how to give back to those who help you out.

What have you done after having a guest post of yours go live to “repay” the blog owner? What were the outcomes of those actions? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Frank Angelone provides social media strategies and tech tips through personal stories on SocialTechZone.com. His goal is to help and give back to people from his own experiences. He would love to exchange personal interactions with you, so please subscribe to his newsletter and receive his free blueprint to improve the speed of your computer.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

How Guest Posting is Like a Personal Loan

Boost Your Blog #8: Incentivize Your Email Opt-in

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 10:02 AM PDT

Continuing our discussion of things you should be doing right now to improve your blog, today’s tip is:

8. Add an incentive to your email opt-in

Chris Garrett suggested this one on Google+ when I raised the topic of this post, and he’s a guy who has seen real benefit from doing it.

Chris offers a couple of ebooks when you subscribe to his list, and from what I can tell it significantly increase the opt-in rates to his lists. Of course, increased opt-ins can lead to many benefits over the life of your blog.

Have you incentivized your list subscription? Can you do it today?

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

Boost Your Blog #8: Incentivize Your Email Opt-in

7 Steps to Setting Blogging Goals that Stick

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 07:03 AM PDT

This guest post is by Tim Brownson of A Daring Adventure.

I suspect that all the technical information you could ever need to be a successful blogger is out there in the public domain. If that is the case, why do the vast majority of blogs fail when it comes to providing the owner an income they can live comfortably on?

Dreaming goals

Copyright Mark Aplet - Fotolia.com

Firstly, I think many bloggers grossly underestimate the psychological side of blogging and what is needed to get their heads right in the first place.

Secondly, few bloggers that I speak to start off with any real plan or goal to keep them on track if and when things don't go according to expectations. They simply dive into the process with no real idea of where it will take them.

Today I want to show you a seven-step process for goal setting that will exponentially improve your chances of succeeding with your blog.

You may well be familiar with the SMART method of goal setting because it's been around for decades. Bear with me though as I expand on that process and make it way cooler and more useful for you—and far more likely to help you succeed.

Just in case you aren't familiar with SMART, let me give it a quick run through.


Is your goal specific enough that somebody else could read it and know exactly what you mean? A goal of having a popular blog misses this aspect because it's too vague and subjective.

I have a popular blog, but if I gave my readers to Darren and took his in return he'd be pretty unhappy with the deal—he has about 40 times more than I do.

“Owning a blog with at least 5,000 subscribers that earns $500 per month from AdSense” is the kind of goal that nails this element.


Using the last example, you can see at any point in time where you are in your plan. If you have 2,500 subscribers, you are half-way there. If you are earning $400 per month, then you're 80% of the way toward that goal. Having a measurable goal is important to keep your motivation going and for you to know whether things are working or not.


Any goal, if it’s to be a real goal, requires input in some form from you. In other words, you have to act and actually do something to make it happen. Lying in bed hoping people are buying your ebook that you haven't promoted properly isn't a goal—it's wish or a dream, and it’s almost certain to fail miserably.


I'm not big on this aspect of the SMART method, because unless something is physically or scientifically impossible, then to me it's still realistic.

If Darren had told people eight years ago that he intended starting a blog called ProBlogger and by 2011 he'd have 150,000 subscribers and be one of the top 2,000 websites in the world according to Alexa, people would have been lining up to tell him he was being unrealistic.

He wasn't, so don't worry too much about being realistic. Understand there is a huge difference between something being very difficult and being impossible. Landing on the moon was very difficult; landing on the sun is impossible (unless you go at night!).


This is probably the most under-appreciated element of SMART goals. Without a timeframe, goals have a habit of slipping.

Most people are busy and, as such, are responding and reacting to events. Therefore, without an end game in sight there will always be more pressing issues for you to attend to.

There is a great reason why people work more efficiently up to deadlines. It's because the brain kicks off a mini fight-or-flight response, which allows them to focus more efficiently.

Okay, so that's the traditional model and it's all well and good, but I want to help you make your goals even more effective by turning SMART into SMARTER.


When you’re setting goals you have to be aware of the effect they will have on you and those close to you. So you want to be a problogger and intend spending as many hours as necessary to achieve that?

How will that affect relationships with your loved ones? How will it impact your social life and your health? How will you pay the bills as you build up your following?

The answers aren't reasons not to try, or to quit before you start. But they are things that need to be taken into consideration now, so they don't trip you up further down the road.


This is the really big one as far as I'm concerned, and it’s the thing that so many people miss out on or just don't get.

What is your reward for having a successful blog?

I'm not talking about money here: I'm at a deeper level than that. We are talking about values and what is fundamentally important to you at the level of your identity.

What really drives you? If you think that's money, what does that money give you? Maybe it's freedom, peace, security, significance, or maybe you want to leave a legacy.

It doesn't really matter what it is, as long as you know. This is what's going to motivate you if and when things get tough.

If you can't come up with a reason that will get you out of bed at 5.00am enthusiastic about the day ahead, then there's a high probability you will burn out sooner rather than later.

As an example, I am a Life Coach because I love helping people. I don't earn as much money as I did when I worked in sales, but I'm way happier and, more importantly, I know why I'm doing what I'm doing. Do you?

Tim Brownson is a Professional Life Coach, NLP Master Practitioner and published author. He runs the A Daring Adventure blog where he writes about self development. If you would like a free copy of his book How Do I Set Goals That Work? Click the link.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

7 Steps to Setting Blogging Goals that Stick

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