Reading the Online Marketing Obituary Column is a Joke

Death rules the internet

Good thing I own a nice black dress, packets of purse-size Kleenex, and dark glasses. Every time I sneeze, there’s another funeral to attend.

Nothing to do with humans, mind you.

Death rules the internet!

The latest from the obituaries:

  • “Email marketing is dead!”
  • “Guest blogging is dead!”
  • “Video marketing is dead!”
  • “SEO is dead!”
  • “Google Plus is the walking dead!”
  • “Newsletters are dead!”

And then there’s this: “Revive Your Dead Blog”

Can a blog really die? Of course it can’t. You can put your blog out of its misery, if you want, but it won’t just die. Your blog may be suicidal, however, but that’s a whole other Oprah.

I really wish people would stop making these death claims, although they’re sometimes good for a belly laugh — especially if you’re at all savvy when it comes to online marketing methods (and you possess a good sense of humor).

What you’ll usually discover if you click over and catch these posts is the complete opposite of what the title states.

And that pisses me off.

Blog post titles are designed to make a promise to readers — a promise the blog owner is supposed to honor.

If you’re claiming email marketing is dead, then don’t share all the ways you’ve had success with it (along with an affiliate link for the email marketing service you’re using). Pfft!

That’s what’s known as BAD FORM … and the worst kind of blogging etiquette. If you choose to mislead readers, plan on having fewer readers in the future. Or maybe zero readers.

Word gets around fast in the blogosphere — the good stuff and the bad.

Here’s the thing about online marketing strategies:

THERE’S SOMETHING FOR EVERYBODY. Always has been, always will be.

Marketing activities you enjoy most and those that suit your personality, schedule, and budget are the ones you should keep in your marketing toolbox.

  • If you like being in front of the camera, video or Blab-ing is your friend.
  • If writing is your thing, blogging is the way to fly.
  • If you prefer to use your voice, podcasting or public speaking is how to roll.
  • Etc. and so on.

If the marketing methods you’re using are working for you, ignore the death notifications. That kind of nonsense is nothing more than drummed up hype, designed to grab your attention … and sell you something.

I’m not opposed to selling. I’m opposed to deceiving people.

Email marketing, guest posting, podcast interviews, networking, visual marketing, Google hangouts, forums, e-courses, internet T.V., blog tours, virtual book tours, membership sites, ezines, webinars, social media marketing, newsletters

All alive and well.

What have you seen lately in the online marketing obituary column? Are you ever alarmed at the “X is Dead!” claims?

Blogging Is More Fun When You Get a Little Bit of It on You

List of guest posting opportunities

Combine a gallon of guilt and a pound of procrastination and you have the recipe for today’s post.

You know the saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”? I’m guilty of laying more than a few miles of pavement on that hell-bound highway.

For the longest time (you know, like forever), I’ve been meaning to share a list of guest posting opportunities with you. Just wipe off all the moss it’s gathered on my hard drive, along with the dust particles and cobwebs, and it’ll be good as new!

Before I dive in, I should let you know my list of guest posting resources is for you IF:

  • You’re blogging for business
  • You’re looking to get your name, your brand, your biz, and your blog out there in a bigger way
  • Taking the seat of honor on someone else’s blog is one of your key online marketing activities/strategies
  • You’re an experienced blogger who’s been publishing posts for longer than a few short months

If you fit the bill, that’s great.

If not, you’re probably a newbie blogger who needs to pay some more dues in the blogosphere before branching out. (Bookmark this post for future reference)

Dear Seasoned Bloggers:

Ever feel like maybe it’s time to up the ante and spread your wings in this blogging-for-business thing? One way to satisfy that yearning is to cast a wider net by writing guest posts.

A note of caution:

THERE ARE RULES and SPECIFIC GUIDELINES you must follow in guest blogging. Not to mention disappointments (and beer to cry into) if your submissions are declined.

Guest posting is not for the faint of heart.

Honestly, being a podcast guest is easier and a very powerful way to showcase your voice and your personality — whereas writing requires long hours at the keyboard and loads of creative thinking. Tricky business figuring out how to share your personality via the written word, isn’t it?

But, hey, writers gonna write, right?!

Beware: Those who accept guest posts command your BEST work and your BEST writing. I think their expectations are exactly where they need to be … on the ceiling. After all, it’s their blog and they have a reputation to uphold and a treasured audience to serve.

For the love of everything holy, PLEASE proofread and edit your guest posts before you send them off! Otherwise, expect some doors to be slammed in your face, followed by the sad sound of silence and the icky feeling of rejection.

One more thing and it’s a BIGGIE …

Don’t abandon your guest posts. Once your thing of beauty is published on someone else’s blog, remember to take accountability and reply to comments.

Nothing irks me more than guest authors who vanish in the night.

You’re not a “ghost” blogger — you’re a “guest” blogger! So mind your manners and be a gracious guest.

Ready to bang out an engaging, educational, entertaining, enlightening guest post?

Find opportunities here to strut your best stuff:

Slow Marketing

Elle and Company

Freelancer FAQS

My Kind of Monday

Agency Nation

Scary Mommy

Words on the Page

The Write Practice

Kuno Creative

The Work At Home Wife

Simply Stated Business

Shoestring Marketing University

She Owns It

12 Most


Be a Freelance Blogger

My Social Game Plan

The Mogul Mom

Write to Done

Home Notion


Mark it Write

Wondering how much guest posting pays? Uh, that would be $0. The compensation comes in other forms, like broadening your reach online, garnering networking opportunities, and creating a list of writing clips for your website. Not to mention a way to improve your writing skills.

If you’re looking for paid writing gigs, be sure to subscribe to Brian Scott’s Morning Coffee eNewsletteryour daily cup of fresh freelance writing jobs.

Your turn:

Nothing trumps a good story. If you’ve had some experience in the world of guest blogging, head to the comment box and lay the fun times and the faux pas on us. Tell all!

And if you offer a guest posting opportunity on your blog, please share the details.

Makeness Media Bravery Blogging Project

You Can’t Make a Living from Disjointed Thoughts and Sloppy Grammar

To earn new business, good storytelling and writing skills matter

It’s my job to beautify your web copy so you can look sharp and on top of your game. As a copy editor, my take on this topic may differ from yours.

Here’s my [totally biased] perspective:

If I had a nickel for every time a blogger asked me THIS, I could be living in a castle by the sea (with a maid, butler, chef, hairdresser, chauffeur, and personal stylist):

“Is proper grammar all that important in blogging for business?”

Inevitably, these questions follow closely behind:

“The messages in my posts are a lot more important than any writing mistakes I make, right? If everything isn’t grammatically correct on the page, my target audience won’t really mind, right?”

WRONG. (Spoiler alert)

I’m a fun-loving soul so I turn the next part of the conversation into a little game.

I ask the blogger to imagine she’s approaching the entrance to a new local bakery when she notices the word, bakery, is misspelled on a sign in the front window. Apparently someone is dyslexic. (Happens to the best of us)

Then I ask her to give me her immediate gut-level response to the glaring boo-boo.

I usually get responses like these: “Eww, not cool” or “Pretty stupid mistake, isn’t it?” or “Why didn’t they pay closer attention or give closer inspection before hanging that sign?” or “It’s such an easy word to spell, I’m embarrassed for the owners.”

Please lean in and listen carefully, business bloggers …

The same holds true for YOU and your writing.

Pure and simple, it’s a matter of credibility and reputation.

That imaginary bakery will probably still sell some pastries today, even with a blatant spelling error in the storefront window. After all, they make the tastiest and richest double chocolate, chocolate chip muffins in town. (In my imagination, that is)

But they’ve opened themselves to criticism, bad press, and photos of their screwed up sign posted on social media … with silly, sassy, and snarky captions.


NOT the reputation they were hoping to establish as a brand new business — plus points and precious ground lost in building credibility.

Take this advice to heart, business bloggers:

Why not get your writing right and avoid having prospective clients or customers leave your blog thinking, “Eww, not cool”, and possibly never return to read another word.

A few typos now and then are no big deal. However, disjointed thoughts and sloppy grammar won’t help you seal any deals!

Your blog posts need to put you in a professional light and elicit trust and confidence in working with you. If your story doesn’t flow, your thoughts are not cohesive, and your writing contains spelling and punctuation errors, you’re running the risk of losing business.

To earn new business, good storytelling and writing skills matter.

Do you agree or disagree? Biz bloggers, let’s hear your take on this topic.

Makeness Media Bravery Blogging Project

Self-professed Brain Pickers Aren’t Looking to Cut Checks

Unpaid brain picking is not a business model

Anyone ask to pick your brain lately?

This might be a better question:

Solopreneurs, are you in the habit of giving away advice for free?

Then again, maybe this would be the very BEST question:

Are you being too nice, too sweet, too generous, too open, too kind, too selfless, too afraid to say no, and giving away the farm at no charge?

Let’s fix that.

Love this from Norma Doiron of Savvy BIZ Solutions:

Avoid the Sneak Attacks: Beware of the brain-picking sneak attacks — the seemingly innocent questions that turn into a full-on interrogation. Chances are the brain picker has unknowingly crossed the line. Often the sneak attacks start with a simple request for an opinion or an answer to a “quick” question.

Norma says, “My success did not fall in my lap; it is the fruit of my hard labor.”

Sean Wes offers this bit of wisdom:

Call It What It Is — Consulting: It feels weird when a brain picker asks to buy you coffee. While they may not be saying they don’t value your time with their words, their actions are saying your time is worth a $4.78 latte.


Sean goes on to say, “People who don’t pay for your advice won’t value your advice. Yes, that includes family. Yes, that includes friends.”

Alexis Grant gets down to the nitty gritty:

Just Say No: For most of us, it should probably be the default option. You can’t help others if you’re not making enough money to sustain yourself. And you can’t earn a decent living if you don’t spend meaningful chunks of time on your own business or career.

Unpaid brain picking is not a business model

Here’s how Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer responds to the pick-your-brain request:

“Sounds like we could work together on this. My work schedule is tight so lunch/coffee is typically not do-able. Why don’t we get a deliverables or hours need from you, I can wrap some thought around an estimate and we can schedule a working session?”

Jason adds, “That response seems to work. It’s polite, professional, and directs them to the understanding that you don’t work for free without you coming off as a money-grubbing scum bag.”

If you’ve guessed that I’ve fallen into the trap of selling myself short in the past, you’re right.

But I’ve learned to stand firm, set my boundaries, and guard my treasure (all that magical and valuable knowledge housed in my brain).

Remember this the next time someone wants to buy you coffee and pick your brain:

Unpaid brain picking is not a business model, it won’t keep a roof over your head, and it won’t put food on your table.

Where do YOU draw the hard lines in the sand? How have you determined what you’re willing to give away and how much of it?

Makeness Media Bravery Blogging Project

I am Not a Rebel, Radical, or Revolutionary — Just Your Garden Variety Rule Breaker

#braveblogging | Sometimes it's okay to burn the rule book

Some rules beg to be broken.

People like me go out on a limb and break them — not to be cantankerous or confrontational but to simply navigate life differently.

I’m a gal who likes to write my own ticket, make my own rules, freelance my talents, and do a bit of messing with tradition.

Breaking away from the norm is my kind of fun.

I’m a small-town girl at heart, a recovering perfectionist, and a poster child for the introverted. I always cheer the loudest and proudest for the underdog and I love going against the grain.

Yeah, that’s about as radical as I get.

By the way, totally ignore that memo about introverts. We’re NOT anti-social and we’re great at organizing events, closets, presentations, projects, and groups of people.

We just happen to be most creative and do our best work flying solo.

And after we’ve been surrounded by large crowds of people, we need to decompress in a quiet, soothing, safe environment … alone. (With a stiff drink)

So now that I’ve hopefully cleared up some misconceptions, let’s take a stroll down my rule-breaking lane.

Sometimes it's okay to burn the rule book | #braveblogging

I Opted for a Ringless Engagement.

No flowers, no photos, no engagement dinner party, no formal announcements — no hoopla whatsoever and no ring.

What? Huh?! Yep, it’s true.

This summer my sweetie asked me to marry him. I said “Yes” … but “No, thank you” to the whole ring thing.

I’m not a jewelry person, for starters, and I think getting engaged is more about the heart-centered commitment and togetherness factor than a piece of jewelry.

When people ask to see my engagement ring (and they always do!), I tell them it’s really quite extraordinary — it’s invisible.

They usually giggle kinda nervously and respond with, “Oh, that’s different.” And they’re right. It’s different in that a ringless engagement is non-traditional and totally unexpected.

The dough my guy would have spent on an engagement ring could be much better utilized for everyday living and household expenses. You guessed it. I’m a practical-minded individual.

I Don’t Write Long Blog Posts.


This is another area I’ve chosen to break a rule and travel off the beaten [blogging] path.

I know, I know. Posts that are 2000+ words get more social shares. If I read any more stats, facts, advice, and analytics about it, I’m going to vomit.

But guess what?

I don’t write for Mr. Google or for shares, I write to add value to my readers’ lives and to their businesses.

I’ve worked hard to develop my personal writing style over the past decade of blogging.

Short, sharp posts are my signature style.

I like to call them “Pigeon Hole” posts. I zero in and get to the punchline, quickly, and people appreciate the obvious absence of frivolous fluff and filler.

My beautiful readers are busy people. They don’t have time for 2000 words! I respect them by keeping my posts short, averaging 450 – 750 words which, as a matter of interest, they generously share.

I Charge an Hourly Rate for my Copy Editing Services.

OMG!! A unicorn just died.

Nobody in my industry charges by the hour, right?!

All the well-meaning, experienced biz coaches and mentors out there are probably rolling their eyes or heading for my contact form to offer their help and set me straight.

Don’t bother contacting me, coaches and mentors. Your colleagues have already knocked on my door with their pearls of pricing wisdom.

Here’s the thing …

I have happy clients that happily pay my standard fee, which makes me do the happy dance.

And so far, the sky hasn’t fallen because I’m charging an hourly rate.

I’m more than aware I’m breaking a cardinal rule of most freelance copy editors — those who would NEVER trade hours for dollars, not even if hell freezes over!

But it works for me.

And that, my friends, is all that matters.

Please don’t think of me as off-the-wall cuckoo or pig-headed. Just think of me as your garden variety rule breaker.

Break any rules lately? Spill the beans and give me the scoop. I’m all ears. (Introverts are really good listeners.)

Makeness Media Bravery Blogging Project

The Story We Tell Ourselves About Our Work

Tell better biz stories

Candice is a masterful seamstress.

She can design or alter a garment, exquisitely, to custom fit your body. Short torso, wide hips, long arms, square shoulders, thick waist, flat rear — doesn’t matter.

Nothing is a challenge for this sewing wizard.

Whatever your body type or wardrobe issue, Candice’s exceptional talents are guaranteed to solve your problem and make you look and feel like you’re donning high-end designer apparel.

Yeah, she’s THAT good.

And speedy, to boot.

She can hem a fancy schmancy prom dress in record time! Seems she’s called upon for these last-minute [sewing] emergencies every year … and she pulls through with grace.

Same goes for brides and their wedding gown emergencies. Candice has been known to show up at the church, needle and thread in hand, ready to work her wizardry and save the day.

With all the tailor-made miracles Candice produces, she has one BIG problem — her story.

The story she tells herself about her work is borderline dismal and it shows in her marketing.

When you visit her website, her blog and About Page leave the impression she’s a plain Jane who just happens to know how to run a sewing machine. Too bad, cause she’s SO much more than that!

Sadly, she’s been telling herself her work isn’t anything special; just ordinary and uninteresting.

But you and I know that’s not true.

Do you see any part of yourself in Candice? Maybe your story isn’t painting a true picture of your gifts and your worth. Maybe you’re leaving your target audience with a skewed impression.

Would you love to learn how to tell better biz stories?

I’m talking about stories that enrapture your prospective clients or customers, speak straight to the heart of their challenges, and entice them to choose you over your competition.

If that sounds like something you, your biz, and your bottom line can benefit from …

My amazing friend and colleague, Tea Silvestre Godfrey of Story Bistro, is hosting her second annual Storytelling Soiree in Portland, OR, the weekend of August 8th and 9th and I’m nudging you to attend!

Here’s the thing:

If you can’t attend in person, Tea’s got you covered. You can grab a virtual ticket and attend from anywhere — poolside, your couch, home office, kitchen table, or even your bed.

And to make this event extra sweet:

Tea is offering you, my dear reader, 25% off the ticket price when you reserve your spot before July 1st. At checkout, just use the code, MELANIEPAL25, for your exclusive discount.

I’ll be a virtual attendant this year. I was super excited about making the trip to Portland when I got the surprising news of a new California grandbaby on the way. So I’ll have my bags packed here in Arizona and be “on call” for labor coaching duty (and a long drive).

Just hope the baby waits till the Storytelling Soiree is over. It’s a one-of-a-kind event created by a one-of-a-kind storytelling genius and I can’t wait!

Scope out the details today and don’t pass on the opportunity to tell better biz stories. Those stories begin with YOU and an understanding of your primary business story type.