Justin

Two Little Known Secrets To Strengthening Your Email List

This is a guest post by Shaun. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

When it comes to building a successful mailing list, there are a few standard things everyone knows you should do: Give out a free incentive, have your opt in box in a highly visible position, and don’t annoy your subscribers.

Today however, we’re going to look at a couple of the lesser known things you can do to strengthen your list. So read on, and feel free to add any additional tips in the comments.

1. Giving The Reader Something More To Do

If you send relevant emails to your subscribers, you should hopefully peak their interest and get them excited about what you’re talking about. If you do this successfully but then don’t give your subscriber anything more to do once they finish your email, you are effectively losing out on a big opportunity. This person has just been warmed up and is ready to go, so not giving them anything more to read or interact with is a big waste.

One thing I like to do is link to a relevant blog post at the end of each of my emails. Let’s say for example I’m giving a tips on how to increase your subscriber rates in one of my emails. At the end I’d then add a link to my post with further information on this topic, and entice the reader to read on.

There are three main benefits to doing this:

  1. Building a stronger relationship with your subscribers. You can offer a lot of value using this method without sending overwhelmingly long emails. You’re basically introducing people to a subject in your email, and giving them all the details in your relevant blog post. Giving this much value will mean people learn to trust your emails, and stay responsive to them for a long time to come.
  2. You get more visitors back to your site. This will increase your site’s page views and get people finding content they otherwise wouldn’t have known about. This can build life long fans, and mean your older blog posts still get regular views.
  3. You will make more money. If these blog posts you lead them back to have affiliate offers or your own products for sale, you will get a percentage of people buying them if it is a topic they are interested in.

I like to include this strategy in my autoresponder series, as it means people will always have new things on my site to look at. When people first visit your blog and subscribe, most of the time they don’t go through your archives or look at any posts past the first two pages. This strategy will allow people to see your older and lesser known posts that are still as helpful as ever.

It also allows you to set out a clear path, and gets people to view your content in a order it’ll benefit them the most.

2. Delete Non Responsive Subscribers

This may sound like a weird thing to do, but at times it can be beneficial to delete some of your subscribers. I know this goes against what many bloggers recommend, but there is a reason behind this logic. Many bloggers feel that the bigger your list is, the more successful you are. This however couldn’t be further from the truth, as having a list of thousands isn’t worth anything if they don’t interact with your emails. Not only will they not benefit your business in any way, they will actually hinder your business and lose you money.

Think about it, if you’re using a email marketing service such as Aweber, having more people then necessary on your list is costing you money. As most of you know, the more people on your list, the higher your monthly Aweber fee is. Similarly, the less subscribers you have, the less you’ll pay to keep their service going every month.

So let’s say for example you have 3,000 people on your list. You will be paying $49 a month to keep your mailing list up and running, according to Aweber’s current price plan. But imagine 1,000 of your subscribers never open your emails and never contribute to your business in anyway, this will be 1,000 subscribers you could easily delete from your list without it having any negative implications on your business. It will have positive implications however, as deleting these 1,000 subscribers will bring you down to a lower price band. So instead of paying $49 a month, you’ll pay $29 a month and have better list statistics (A higher open rate, more link clicks etc).

So how would you know which subscribers to delete? Well luckily, most email marketing services keep these sort of stats for you. You should easily be able to see who never opens any of your emails, and doesn’t click any of your links. These stats are usually rounded up to give a general rating for each person on your mailing list, and anyone with the lowest rating should be deleted.

Got More Tips?

Both of these methods can help you streamline your email marketing campaign, savings you money and building a stronger relationship with your subscribers. As I’m sure you know though, there are a whole heap of other things you can do to get more subscribers and keep them interactive. So, what email marketing techniques do you use to strengthen your list building efforts? Let us know in the comments below.

About the Author: Shaun is the author of Ultimate Mailing List, a site dedicated to help improve your email marketing campaigns.

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When Should I Quit My Job To Work Full Time Online?

questions and answersThis post is part of the Friday QA section. If you want to ask a question just send it via the contact form.

Sharninder Khera asks:

I have a tech tutorials blog and would want to make working on it my full time job. My question is when (and how) should I decide to do this? The blog makes me about 1/12th of my income right now, so what should be the level when I decide that I should leave my current job and work on the blog only and grow that?

Interesting question, and one that I think many people share.

The answer depends on your current situation. If you are young (e.g., up to 30 years old) and don’t have many financial responsibilities (e.g., no wife, no kids, no mortgages) then you could consider switching as soon as your website starts making half of your current income. Perhaps even less if you already know the ropes of Internet marketing and know your site has potential.

When I quit my full time job I was 22, and my sites were making only 10% of my salary, but I was completely sure the income would grow if I started putting more work on them. And in fact within the first year my sites were already making more than what I earned with my previous job.

If you have a wife, kids and other financial responsibilities, however, the picture changes. In this case I would recommend to wait until your website is making close to what you make with your regular job. On top of that I would also encourage you to diversify your income sources on the web.

For example, consider launching a new website on a different niche and with a different business model, or launch an email list and promote affiliate offers to your subscribers. Making money from a single website is a risky situation because things change very fast on the Internet. One day your traffic is booming, the other it might be gone.

Finally, it’s also a good idea to create a financial cushion before you make the switch. That is, save money to cover around one year of your expenses, so even if things go really wrong you’ll have one year to figure it out.

What about you guys, how much were you making when you jumped to work full time on the Internet (or how much are you planning to if you still need to do it)?

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4 Responses to “When Should I Quit My Job To Work Full Time Online?”

  1. I left my office job in late 2007 to travel around the world on savings, but after that was gone, I was back to a few grand in the bank, living with my parents.

    11 months later I left the US and returned to Colombia, supported solely from my 2 travel blogs and membership site. I’d earned about $2,000/month for the previous 6 months and knew that’d be enough to support me in South America.

    It felt like a huge risk, but my income rose steadily for the next 6 months after that. Definitely easier to do this kinda thing when you’re single.

  2. Interesting post Daniel!! Actually, after finished my college last year (October to be exact) i have no single doubt to take my path to become a blogger. I know that my blog hasn’t produced me such a tremendous amount of money right now, but i really love this job, and reading your blog here really opens up my mind even further and encourages me even stronger for not landing my foot to be an employee. Furthermore, i haven’t had any big responsibilities right now such as wife, mortgage, or anything.

    But what really makes me optimist for being a blogger is because my blog have helped me pay my college and buy me a netbook, so i’m really positive about my future to become a blogger.

    Daniel Likin

  3. I’ve written blog since 2007, and quit my job in 2009, though earning nearly nothing until 2010 Spring.

    During those without-incoming days, I had spent nearly all the money from my previous job, but luckily I get paid from the advertisement before I had to beg for life.

    It is a risk to quit a job and be a full-time blogger, just as you can see from Daniel’s suggestions, but it is also excited to have a try, that’s what I think.

  4. Thats a great advice Daniel.
    Also we need to think about backup and long term plan while switching to full time blogging.
    Especially when we have family responsibilities, whats the backup financial income if anything happens to me(blogger) or my websites?
    Current full time jobs will have some kind of insurance or retirement plans or Employment funds.
    We need to setup or save money for that too.

    I hope you will agree with my points.

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You Can Have WordPress.com Features on Your Blog Now

As most of you guys probably know WordPress.com is the hosted version of the WordPress software. You can sign-up for a free account there and get a blog with an address like yourblog.wordpress.com.

While I don’t recommend the hosted version (because by hosting the software yourself you have much more control and flexibility), WordPress.com used to offer some exclusive and very useful features. The good news is that Automattic just released a WordPress plugin called Jetpack that will bring all those features to self-hosted WordPress blogs as well.

Here is a list of the features:

  • Stats: Simple, concise site stats with no additional load on your server.
  • Twitter Widget: Display the latest updates from a Twitter user inside your theme’s widgets.
  • Gravatar Hovercards: Show a pop-up business card of your users’ Gravatar profiles in comments.
  • WP.me Shortlinks: Enable WP.me-powered shortlinks for all of your Posts and Pages for easier sharing.
  • Sharedaddy: The most super duper sharing tool on the interwebs. Share content with Facebook, Twitter, and many more.
  • LaTeX: Mark up your posts with the LaTeX markup language, perfect for complex mathematical equations and other über-geekery.
  • After the Deadline: After the Deadline helps you write better by adding spell, style, and grammar checking to WordPress.
  • Shortcode Embeds: Easily embed videos and more from sites like YouTube, Vimeo, and SlideShare.

There are more features coming soon, so definitely keep an eye on that plugin. The decision to release that plugin to all WordPress users also signals Automattic’s care about the whole WordPress community, not just those using the hosted version, which is a very positive thing.

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7 Responses to “You Can Have WordPress.com Features on Your Blog Now”

  1. Self hosting is the best..you always want to have control over your content..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  2. Awesome, I love plugins that do so many useful things at once to keep the number I install down. Stats and sharedaddy alone make this plugin worth using.

  3. I always liked the WP.com stats better than Google Analytics for a quick overview. It’ll be nice to have.

  4. Thanks for sharing the useful WordPress plugins with us. It’s easier when someone experienced recommends them yo us.

  5. Its definitely a very useful plugin (saves installing a lot of separate ones) but I think their motives are partly down to wanting to sell more premium services. All the features at the moment say free which suggests that future ones may not be…

    • And legions of people will gladly pay for them. They make good products. Why shouldn’t they charge for some of them?

      • I’m not saying they shouldn’t – I pay for some

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Why Your Business Should – And Shouldn’t – Have A Blog

This is a guest post by Ross Hudgens. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

There’s a common opinion that your businesses should blog. And that’s true – a lot of them should, but that doesn’t mean you should blog just to blog. Many businesses do the blog thing wrong, and apply it for the wrong reasons. This can create productivity gaps and areas where resources are allocated improperly. Blogging shouldn’t be done just to blog – there should be a clear focus, goals, and actionable metrics applied to it. It shouldn’t be done just because people do it – for the same reasons that Facebook and Twitter accounts shouldn’t be created because you heard “social media’s good”.

Blogging for SEO purposes. Business blogs can help you rank elsewhere in a few fashions – but they have to be used this way to matter. First, if you have a few products that remain pretty static, having a constantly updated blog can be the quality signal that indicates to spiders that they should frequently return to your site, which is always good. Secondly, by using intelligent internal linking practices, you can help improve the crawling process to deep links on your site, and also help indicate some relevancy with internal anchor text.

HOWEVER, if you have a pretty shallow site with only a few product pages, the benefit of this is negligible, and the benefit is really almost none. If you have a domain with pages in the multiple thousands, however, the benefit from this is real – if done properly.

The best benefit from this practice is interweaving the deep, internal linking practice with actually obtaining links – but this part can be difficult, especially for business blogs. You have to create truly great content to do this consistently. I would go as far as to say that blogging that creates real ROI needs to have someone almost dedicated to it full time – if not from one person’s full 40 hours, from the combined effort of a few.

Blogging to show expertise. For service providers, blogging is one of the most critical activities. Even if many leads come from referrals or networking, starting that spark and ensuring expertise can be guaranteed with a strong blog. Many service-based businesses thrive by creating great content revolving around their vertical, content that sets them apart from the crowd. Again, if you simply create throwaway or average content, it’s likely that the ROI you see from blogging would be better invested elsewhere – especially with limited resources.

It shouldn’t surprise you that creating standout content, here, would also obtain you more links – helping you on the SEO side as well.

Blogging to attract traffic. This is best utilized on the software side, because you can talk about one-offs in the industry in an interesting way, and by doing it compellingly, many will end up signing up for your service and hanging around. Similar with service providers, but with likely signups further down the line – and more sporadically, so conversions are low. In E-Commerce, it’s more difficult, and it’s my recommendation that you most likely avoid blogging – because the point of purchase is later down the line, it’s hard to retain users (because there is no real “interest” segment generally in the blog category), and the amount made per customer is almost always incredibly low.

For this reason, I have difficulty citing even one e-commerce blog that utilizes blogging effectively to primp their products. However, these sites sometimes also have incredibly large

The Ultimate Checklist

When we look back at the three points before, you can ultimately boil it down to a checklist of whether or not you should consider blogging for your field. You don’t have to hit every point – besides the great content part – but I would suggest only not checking one, if possible. If you hit them all, what are you waiting for? Get to blogging!

  • Ability to write unique and revolutionary content
  • Business in service/software industry
  • Exists on a large website (1,000 pages)
  • Exists in a somewhat social-friendly vertical
  • Exists in a large enough vertical to obtain an audience
  • Website has a clear SEO strategy/need for SEO

Can you think of any more points that might make a business want to start a blog? Add them in the comments!

About the Author: Ross Hudgens is the Marketing Manager for BI.org. He enjoys content, but BI does not have a blog.

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3 Responses to “Why Your Business Should – And Shouldn’t – Have A Blog”

  1. If your really looking to grow..then you should have a blog if you want people to response to your offering..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  2. With new Google PANDA update things changed. It’s really hard to get to the TOP of SERP. I cannot understand why sites like ehow.com are preferred now. In my eyes it’s full of crap.

  3. To be able to get Feedback from Customers, possibly get ideas for Product improvements, or even for new Product Ideas.

    All the Best,
    To your Happy – Blogging – Inspiration,
    HP

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What Happened to DoshDosh.com?

I would guess that most of you guys have been to DoshDosh.com in the past. Maybe not recently, but certainly a couple of years ago. The Internet marketing blog was authored by a friend of mine called Maki, and it was one of the most popular around. In fact if you check the lists with the best Internet marketing blogs you probably find it mentioned.

Around 18 months ago Maki got tired of publishing content on the blog, and decided to take a break. We exchanged some emails about it, and he told me he would focus on his niche websites and on finishing his Psychology degree. Despite that the blog kept received a large amount of traffic from search engines, and given the amount of useful content already published it remained a good resource for people wanting to learn about Internet marketing.

I am guessing that even without any updates the blog was receiving some 200,000 monthly visitors and probably making $2,000 monthly from AdSense and affiliate offers (though it could be more than that). Not a bad asset to have, if you ask me.

Then a couple of weeks ago I typed DoshDosh.com on my browser to see how the site was doing, and to my surprise I found a blank page (that is why I am not linking there, as Google wouldn’t like it). I figured it could be a normal downtime, so I checked again on the following day, and it was still giving a blank page. I checked the domain name, but it was not expired. I checked the web hosting, but it seems that the the website is up, only displaying no content. It looks like someone uploaded a blank HTML page and left it there.

I tried to email Maki, but got no answer, so at this point I don’t know what is going on. I don’t think he would just erase the website, as he could easily have sold it for $100,000 or so if he didn’t want to keep it anymore. I also hope nothing happened to him, but it could be the case.

Anyway I just figured posting about it could help solve the problem, in the case someone knows him or what is going on. Do you?

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16 Responses to “What Happened to DoshDosh.com?”

  1. Oh my God! You read my mind.

  2. Well, I’m so new to blogging that I’ve never even heard of DoshDosh.com. Mysterious though. The html of the site only says this:

  3. html
    body
    !– default –
    /body
    /html

  4. I was wondering this same thing a little while ago. I remember reading his blog regularly a few years ago. He had some great content. You are right though, if he choose to sell he could do well. Hope the mystery gets solved with a happy ending.

  5. {Laughing at myself for getting that you can’t simply paste html code into a comment box}

    • Yeah I saw the source code of his page too. That is why I said it’s like someone just dropped a blank page there.

  6. I also went to DoshDosh.com a few weeks ago and was surprised to find a blank page.

  7. I remember going to his page for advice on selling direct advertising a few years ago, and that it wasn’t actively being updated. Mysterious!

  8. I’ve also been wondering where DoshDosh went – and Maki too! He used to post on friendfeed and it’s been a long time since I haven’t seen anything.

    That’s the thing with the internet: you could technically leave no trace.

  9. I have tried to email Maki a few times – noticed thios a while ago, and havent had a response.

  10. I too have been on DoshDosh a million times… The stuff was simply brilliant and his style was unique (the manga cartoons too)… God knows why he stopped blogging. Though there might be other reasons which were pressing I dont see why a guy like Maki should kill a blog of this caliber….. I guess its high time Maki pops up back and answers where the hell is he !!!

  11. Interesting post I used to read Dosh Dosh all the time, Maki even commented on my site a couple of times. Hope he is OK.

  12. Ohhh you just reminded me of DoshDosh! I had visited DoshDosh many times during 2009-10. His Twitter a/c is active till June 30, 2010.

  13. So basically you could start a website, write some good content, and then leave it alone, and you would still make some money. And he just closed up shop.

  14. He was on Twitter for awhile but I don’t know if he still tweets. I remember because at one point he had said he was going to return to blogging but never did. I hope nothing happened to him either. He was a cool person.

  15. That is strange. I had not noticed. The links on my site still pointed to his site…..but as you said it is blank.

    He has not Tweeted since June 2010.

    Hoping all is well.

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Now You Can Use Facebook To Power Comments on Your Site

Last week Facebook released a new social plugin that web publishers can use to power comments on their websites. Here are two benefits of using it, according to the official Facebook Comments page (which is where you can get the plugin as well):

Social Relevance: Comments Box uses social signals to surface the highest quality comments for each user. Comments are ordered to show users the most relevant comments from friends, friends of friends, and the most liked or active discussion threads, while comments marked as spam are hidden from view.

Distribution: Comments are easily shared with friends or with people who like your Page on Facebook. If a user leaves the “Post to Facebook” box checked when she posts a comment, a story appears on her friends’ News Feed indicating that she’s made a comment on your website, which will also link back to your site.

Some large websites and blogs are already testing the plugin, including TechCrunch. In fact they started using it right after the official release, and today the have a post summarizing the results and feeling so far. You can read it here: Facebook Comments Have Silenced The Trolls — But Is It Too Quiet? (by visiting the post you’ll be able to see the Facebook comments in action too).

In the past couple of years we have seen at least half a dozen comment systems and plugins emerging on the web, but I don’t think any of them became the de facto standard. Facebook Comments might.

Why? Because the previous plugins and platforms only offered small benefits to the web publishers (e.g., easier logins, connection with Twitter, etc), while the Facebook plugin has two big advantages which might swing the pendulum in its favor: a) it reduces the number of trolls around because people need a real identity to comment and, most importantly, b) using it might actually increase your traffic because every time someone leaves a comment on your site that comment will also be published on the user’s Facebook stream.

Have you guys spotted the Facebook Comments plugin around? Are you considering to use it on your site?

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8 Responses to “Now You Can Use Facebook To Power Comments on Your Site”

  1. I just don’t like the idea of giving Facebook even more power. Besides, we cannot export the comments to any other platforms. Another disadvantage is that it does not support mobile devices. Techcrunch still uses disqus for mobiles which no one comments on now that they have moved to FB on their main website.

  2. I for one will continue to pledge my allegiance to disqus.

  3. Agree with Deceth, Disqus all the way. I still can’t believe some website do not use it

    It’s a great way to create community (community box, you can write your interests after the name…), visitors have much more options to share and login ( facebook, twitter), their support is really great…dozen of other things.

    By the way, I would like it if Facebook makes it available to increase the font size and width of the column…

    • I think you can change the width of the column while creating the widget for your site, but not sure about font size.

      • To bad fonts bother me the most…By the way, your “Facebook Comments” link isn’t working.

      • Thanks for the heads up. Should be working now.

  4. It seems like it will be a big hit..but it just another piece of software i will have to mess with..but I will check it out..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  5. Can’t afford this plugin yet to make my site more slow.

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How to Build Your Blogging Credibility – While Getting Paid

This is a guest post by Ali Hale. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

In your first months – or even years – of blogging, it can feel like you’re shouting into the wind.

Your traffic is almost non-existent. Your subscriber numbers are still in the double digits. Readers never email you. Bloggers never link to you. And you’re pretty sure that the “nice post, honey!” comment was left by your mom.

And you try to get some momentum going. It just doesn’t seem to work. Maybe you email a bunch of of big-time bloggers, but no-one writes back. Or you send out a guest post, but it gets turned down. Or you ask for retweets, but no-one’s listening.

The thing is, you’re a good writer. You just need a way of getting your name out there.

Well, that’s actually not too hard. In fact, you can:

  • Build up your blogging credibility
  • Improve your writing every day
  • AND … get paid at the same time.

Sounds way too good to be true? Here’s how.

Write for Big Blogs – for Money

Most large blogs use a team of paid writers to produce regular, quality content. Although Daniel doesn’t have paid staff here on Daily Blog Tips, he’s got hired hands working on Daily Writing Tips. There are thousands of blogs which pay writers – and you’re probably already reading several.

Pay rates vary, though you can certainly find plenty of gigs paying $40 or more per post. The thing is, though, getting paid to blog isn’t just about the money.

As well as getting a steady income from your writing, you’ll get some amazing exposure and experience:

  • You’ll have your name on every post you write, on big sites – and many will let you have a link back to your own blog on a “writers” page. Instead of being a complete nobody in the blogosphere, you’ll start to find that people know your name.
  • You’ll get to flex your writing muscles in front of a huge audience – often tens or hundreds of thousands of readers. Scary? You bet! But it’s also hugely motivating, and you’ll quickly learn what works and what doesn’t.
  • You’ll learn from the best. The bloggers who can afford to pay writers have build up great blogs that generate plenty of money. By studying what they do, you’ll learn how to make your own blog stronger.

Plus, you’ll have a lot of fun. My first paid blogging gig was three years ago this month (and I’m still writing for that blog, too!) It’s been a fantastic journey that led me to quit my day job, sell advertising, create ebooks and ecourses, and make a living as an entrepreneurial writer.

The only problem is, it’s pretty unlikely that anyone’s going to email you and say “Hey, I’ve got a blogging job for you.” You’re going to need to do a bit of work.

Get On Course for a Blogging Job – Today

Landing a blogging job isn’t too hard. There are a couple of key ways to do it:

#1: Build Up a Relationship With Blogs that Pay Writers

Let’s say you read FreelanceSwitch – and you’d love to write for them.

How can you tell that they use paid writers?

Well, for one thing, you’ll see the same names cropping up again and again. For instance, Thursday Bram has posts there pretty much every week.

And there’s an even bigger clue, too: the Contribute page (which tells you they pay $50 per post)

Not all blogs tell you that they use paid writers – but if you see the same name coming up every single week, it’s a fair bet that they’re being paid.

If you demonstrate your writing skills to the blog’s owner – probably by sending in a guest post or two – then there’s a good chance that they’ll be more than happy to let you know when a vacancy opens up. Current writers move on, and blogs grow, so you’ve got a good chance of scoring a blogging job this way.

Of course, you can’t normally be certain that a particular blog is looking to hire. So you might want to use the next method instead – or even better, as well.

#2: Use Job Boards to Find Blogging Jobs

There are several great listings of blogging jobs, but the two best (in my opinion) are:

Both have new jobs every day – Problogger only lists jobs which are specifically sent to them, and Freelance Writing Jobs compiles different leads from all around the internet.

It’s up to you to make sure that a job is worth your time. Some blogging jobs – particularly for big “content mills” like Demand Media – don’t pay very much. You may well need to sift through quite a few low-quality jobs to find some good ones.

When you apply for a blogging job, remember that there may be dozens or even hundreds of other writers applying too. You can maximize your chances of success by:

  • Following all the instructions. If you’re asked to attach your resume, for example, make sure you actually do so. If you’re asked to send samples of your writing, send them.
  • Proof-reading your application. Editors are looking for a way to reject unsuitable candidates, and if you look careless or sloppy, they’re not going to give your application a second glance.
  • Tailoring your application to the job. I know it’s tempting to just copy-and-paste paragraphs from a previous application – but you need to show that you’ll be great for this job. If it’s obvious that you’re just sending a form email, the editor will give the job to someone who seems to care.

You might need to apply for quite a few jobs before you get one – but trust me, the rewards are well worth it.

In six months’ time, you could be a well-known name in the blogosphere, with dozens of great posts to your name – and hundreds of enthusiastic comments from readers. Give freelance blogging a try – today.

About the Author: Ali Luke has just released The Blogger’s Guide to Freelancing, a fully-updated and expanded version of her popular Staff Blogging Course. Grab your copy today for just $29 , and put yourself on the path to blogging fame and fortune!

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9 Responses to “How to Build Your Blogging Credibility – While Getting Paid”

  1. Thanks Ali for this post,

    you’ve opened my eyes to certain things for sure

    Cheers,
    Togrul

  2. Or #3, write for the Blog you read. That is what I did when I saw MakeUseOf.com looking for writers. I need it for almost a year, and in that time, they also bumped me up to PDF editor.

    I made a couple of thousands with them, they pay is great, and you learn heaps. Plus, you are also exposed to other workers of the site, and you help each other promote each others personal blog.

    Basically, you work together, and help each other out personally.

    • Wow, thanks for sharing that, Jack! Writing for the blogs that I read has been a cornerstone of my own success, and it’s great to hear how it’s worked for others too.

  3. Good tips! I was going to try HubPages. I write articles for Suite101. But they are not on subjects that my blog is related to. At least not yet. Suite101 lets you write on anything. I’m testing the waters to see if any income is generated. I’ve heard of ProBlogger’s Job Board. But I’ve never heard of FreelanceSwitch,com. I’ll check it out!

  4. Thanks for your post,

    I really like the idea to combine getting ‘exposure’ for my Blogs with also getting paid for actually writing. Especially the link you provided with the info about how to contribute is definitely interesting, especially since you can even keep republishing articles offline and they make their payments with PayPal making it easy to work with.

    All the Best,
    To your Happy – Blogging – Inspiration,
    HP

  5. Hi Ali

    Nice piece of advice, it certainly works and can bring in some extra income. What is way more valuable however, is the exposure you get for your brand.

    Elias

    • It depends a bit on your goals, and what you’ve already got to sell (if anything)! I agree that the exposure is great, but for a lot of folks starting out, the money is pretty important too

  6. It is great info about writing for other blogs and earning some money too in the process. I have been looking for such opportunities and wondering where to start. I will sure take your guidance and try some of the leads provided by you.

  7. Hi Ali,

    Wow, what great tips… I never really thought about this but have had people approach me and offer to pay me to write articles for them. Just didn’t really think I had the time and I’ll admit, the money they were willing to pay me just wasn’t worth my time.

    I considered at one time to write blog posts for others but never knew how to approach this. Now I know, thanks for this information.

    Adrienne

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A New A-List Blogging Bootcamp Is Coming Up Next Week

In the past I already talked about the A-List Blogging Bootcamp, which is a virtual training event created by Leo Babauta (from Zen Habits fame) and Mary Jaksch. The bootcamps take place every four months or so, and there’s a new one starting next week, titled “The Art of Blog Seduction.”

I participated as a guest speaker in a previous edition, and I must say that the training materials you get as an attendant are packed with value. There are four master classes where you can watch live and ask questions, and you also get to download reports, podcasts and ebooks that complement the learning environment.

The current bootcamp will run from March 6th until April 2nd, and it focuses on how to make your blog stand out from the crowd and on how to gain subscribers. Here are some of the topics covered:

  • How to create a blog that seduces new readers
  • The ‘how behind the wow’
  • The crucial must-know design elements of an attractive blog
  • How to create supreme usability on your blog
  • The art of creating an irresistible brand
  • How to use videos and podcasts to attract readers

Mary told me that over 3,000 students enrolled in previous editions, and that the feedback was very positive. That is why I think you should check it out if you are looking for a training program to improve your blog. Here is the link to the official website where you can get all the details and sign-up.

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1 Response to “A New A-List Blogging Bootcamp Is Coming Up Next Week”

  1. In my opinion, building seductive blog is about building a psychological attractive blog. It takes time and effort. No short cut.

    But recently I stumbled upon this interesting service that could make your blog attractive, active and popular through a psychological approach, in no time. I had mine made, and frankly it’s awesome. It’s called xtiveblog dot com.

    Check out yourself and you’ll be impressed

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The Best Methods for Rejecting Guest Post Submissions

This is a guest post by Broke Professionals. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

You open your email and see a guest post submission. You get excited because you recognize the submitting site or the person. Maybe it is another blog whose work you respect, or an alleged “fan” that has commented on your blog several times. However, your excitement quickly turns to fear, when you open the word document and are faced with a difficult situation: the guest post is no good. At this point in time, you need to go into your arsenal, and dig out the most appropriate method of rejection you have. If you are anything like me, you should have a vast menu to choose from, having been on both sides of the equation at various times.

Cyber-Rejection v. Real-Life Rejection

In my “real” job as a young professional, there are times when I am tasked with “firing” current clients or “rejecting” prospective clients. Being put in such a position is never easy, but I always manage to get through such occasions because I know that such decisions are at the behest of competent and experienced partners and rendered almost entirely outside my sphere of influence.

“I am simply following orders”, I tell myself, and then I try to let it go. It is easier to reject or fire someone in my job because there are almost always clear reasons why such a decisions had to be reached, such as the client would not cooperate or stopped paying their bills.

With my blog, it is different. When I receive a request for a guest post, I cannot “hide behind company orders.” I am the company. What makes things even tougher, as pointed out in this prior ProBlogger article , is that the decision-making process is oftentimes so subjective. Sure there are times when I receive guest posts that are easy to reject, such as guest post submissions that are clearly spam or not aimed at my niche.

However, there is an even larger contingent of guest post submissions that fall into a nebulous gray area, the type of area where as a blogger you are left with no other choice but to make a tough call. Sometimes, that means having to tell people “no.”

Different Types of Guest-Post Submission Rejections

A. The Semi-Rejection
If the submission is close to being acceptable, perhaps you may want to make some suggestions rather than starting out with an outright rejection of a submission. The benefit of this is that in the end you will hopefully receive a decent article for your site, without having to possibly burn any bridges along the way.

The downside is that in most instances you will not be in love with the article despite the tweaks. Worse yet, you will likely be forced to expend valuable time and energy trying to bring the submission up to your standards.

B. The Formal Rejection
As a failed novelist, I can tell you that just about every major publishing company has virtually the same rejection letter. A publishing companies’ catch-all cover letter is brilliant in its muted, institutional simplicity. The benefit to implementing such a letter is that you will save time.
However, such a letter is also impersonal and not likely to win many fans. It tries so hard to be innocuous that it is almost offensive. Unless you have a large site with many guest blog requests, it may be better to move on to option “C”, the Informal Rejection.

C. The Informal Rejection
The Informal Rejection is the most honest form of rejection. If done correctly, it can also be the most beneficial, to both blogger and prospective guest blogger. In my day job I am taught that the rejection of a client should be honest but not personal. Another tip is to stick to somewhat easily correctable and if at all possible, factual reasons for the rejection. Nobody wants to hear “your blog is awful,” even if it is hidden beneath flowery language.

For example, when responding to a recent guest post that I ended up rejecting, I mentioned that the post was too political for my site. This was an honest assessment of one of the reasons why I rejected the submission. I did not mention that the article would have been rejected anyway because it was poorly written.

For one thing, I do not want to potentially shatter another person’s dreams. Nor do I have the time or ability (judging from my success as a “novelist”) to assist another person in greatly improving their writing ability. I am not usually a fan of white lies, but there is a difference between being honest and outright hurting another’s feelings. A lot of it comes down to putting some “spin” on the rejection, and focusing on using the proper language.

Most people respond favorably to an honest tailored rejection. You may even receive a thank you note down the line, letting you know that your advice made a positive change in the course of their blogging careers. I know that I think back favorably on the two or three editors who took the time to give me a tailored letter of rejection. I appreciated the advice and it felt good knowing that the submissions were actually read by somebody.

Of course, there is the chance that engaging another person in such a way may lead to you getting the other individual’s hopes up, which could lead to more communications. There is always a slight chance that you may offend the submitter, no matter how delicate your response. Unfortunately that is one of the hazards of blogging.

Finally, it should be noted that even if multiple communications do not often occur as a result of this method, the semi-formal rejection method will take up a lot of time compared to more automated rejection methods. Therefore it may not be feasible for a blog that receives a lot of traffic and guest post submissions.

D. Total Silence
In my opinion no response at all is the worst blog submission rejection method, unless you have already rejected a submission and the applicant is getting pushy. It is important to respect the fact that the blogger is waiting on a response so they can pitch it to another site or post it on their own blog.

Conclusion

One of the benefits of being a blogger is that to some extent it can simulate problems found in management or business ownership that an individual may not otherwise have a chance to experience. I one day hope to have my own office as a professional, and I know I will be better at handling some of the human resource type tasks that go along with running a small business because of my experiences as a blogger.

Although setting up an area on your blog where you list your Guest Post Submission Guidelines can help reduce the number of ill-fitting submissions, the fact remains that at some point or another you will have to reject guest posts or risk adding less than stellar content on your site. At this time, it is important to review the situation and apply the appropriate rejection method.

You won’t be able to make everyone happy no matter what methodonable people, and at the end of the day you can’t ask for much more then that.

About the Author: Most other Bloggers in the field of Personal Finance discuss their “Goal of obtaining one million dollars” or their “journey to financial independence and freedom.” After seven years each straight of “higher” education (and all the student loans that go along with it), our husband/wife blogging team goal is to simply get back to broke. Join us on our journey at BrokeProfessionals.com.

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8 Responses to “The Best Methods for Rejecting Guest Post Submissions”

  1. I am yet to reach to that level to reject a guest post. But it was an interesting read learned how to tackle a few of the difficult situations like “rejecting” someone’s work.
    I think an informal rejection with a brief reason (as why it is rejected), may help both the publisher and one seeking guest post.

  2. I often use informal and total silence. Most guest posts I receive are too promotional and I reply to them the real reason why I reject their submission although I point out to them that correcting this and resubmitting their article might help it get published.

    I use total silence when the articles submitted are non-compliance of my submission guidelines, it only means they are not reading what should be read. I am also a guest blogger and I see to it that before shooting an article thru the email, I make sure that I comply with the submission guidelines.

  3. All methods are acceptable apart from total silence, i find it arrogant. You do not need to say much at the rejection anyways, couple of words are enough.

  4. If the guest post is good – but needs editing, I make that a condition for posting.

    Always run the post by the original author.

    There is a school somewhere which has a teacher who seems to make getting published on a blog a condition of passing a class. Wish I knew who it was.

    I got at least one post a month from his or her her class. Most are really off my topic – and mostly pretty lame.

    I do answer these telling them they don’t fit. I hope she or he counts that they at least tried.

  5. If I hear back from the blog I submitted to, then I am elated. Not responding to someone who submitted, in my opinion, is simply wrong.

    Truth is, getting guest posts rejected is a part of the submission process and every blogger who does guest posts often *should* be pretty immune to it.

  6. Hmmm…. interesting tips here. I’ve had a few handful of people ask to guest post on my blog but I always told them I’m not currently accepting guest posts at this point, so I haven’t had the opportunity to go over any actual posts.

    I agree that silence is the worst form of rejection. No matter how bad it is, the writer deserves an answer.

    Thanks, going to keep this info in mind for future reference.

  7. Nice tips . I think the total silence is not the good way to reject guest post submission.

  8. “Thank you for your unsolicited post. I will not be publishing it at this time.”

    Unless you want to cultivate someone to publish future posts, I don’t see any reason to explain a decision to reject one.

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