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

Shareaholic

Be a Freelance Blogger

My Social Game Plan

The Mogul Mom

Write to Done

Home Notion

Heartspoken

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.

Ouch.

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.

OUCH.

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.

GASP!

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

I’d Get Nothing Done If Productivity Wasn’t So Much Fun

Productivity and fun are not mutually exclusive

If there’s no fun involved, please count me out.

I insist on taking my inner child with me wherever I go. We come as a package deal.

Playing dominoes, cards, and board games, outdoor activities like hopscotch, roller skating, and bicycle riding, and creative art projects with paint, clay, and crayons were the lifeline to fun when I was a kid.

Then there was swimming in the icy cold Allegheny River — which tempered me in steel and boosted my immunity to all things bug-ish and bacteria. (Heaven only knows the germs lurking in that river!) But, hey, it worked.

Jumping off the dock was pretty scary but it was also a thrill. Oh, you didn’t know introverts are some of the biggest thrill seekers? Yep. It’s true.

Saturday mornings as a kid meant ONE thing: Cartoons. Yippee! And then weekend household chores to follow. Ugh. Boo.

Here’s the thing:

At about age 7, I learned to kill two birds with one stone. Marrying chores with fun was the goal.

I dusted and polished all the furniture, knickknacks, window sills, and baseboards in my parents’ living room while watching my favorite cartoons. (Plus I made a habit of lifting the couch cushions during episodes of the Road Runner or Mr. Magoo, which usually awarded me a nickel or dime and sometimes even a quarter in tips.)

Once I entered adulthood, nothing much changed. I remained steadfast in my goal to find ways to accomplish tasks while making sure I’m having a good time.

Come to my house on a Saturday morning and you’ll hear music playing before you reach the front door. Is there a party going on? Nope. Clean sheets are going on the beds.

Wondering how I put the Productivity + Fun duo to work in my business?

When I’m writing: I sit down and settle in to enjoy the background sounds of a thunder storm. (I LOVE the rain.)

When I need to edit blog images: I play around with PicMonkey, Canva, iPiccy, or Pablo. Playing is important, y’know. It’s the perfect companion to working your butt off.

When I’m listening to marketing podcasts: I write poetry. You can find some of my poems in the comment boxes at Web.Search.Social. They’ve awarded me the esteemed designation of Poet Laureate.

When I want to develop an idea: I’ll always be a kid at heart. I doodle it out with crayons, pencils, or colored markers. Or I wordle it out. Right now I’m developing an idea for a blog post about how and where I spend my time online (and probably “why”).

Here’s how I’ve wordled out my idea:

wordle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the morning coffee is brewing: I do a six-minute exercise workout. Yes, it’s fun and it doesn’t involve weights, machinery, or pain. I’ve discovered pain and productivity don’t play nicely together. Just ask Tea Silvestre Godfrey to share her broken ankle adventure. She’ll back me up on that.

Where do you go from here?

I’m giving my highest recommendation to this stop.

Being wicked productive doesn’t have to come at the cost of fun. Joy can be had when you’re at your most efficient. Each month, a group of wickedly smart business owners come together for the Word Carnival to discuss a business topic, this month – we’re covering Fun and Productivity, and how both can exist, side-by-side.

The Mainstay of My Business is Not a Tool or Technique or Tactic or Even a Thing

Human kindness keeps my biz turntable spinning

The mainstay of my business is human kindness. (Translation: HEART)

Lots of beautiful heart is the buttress of my business.

No, not my heart, though it beats with conviction through the daily challenges of my work and everything I do.

It’s the endless generosity, undeniable and unsurpassed wisdom, and everlasting kindness of my colleagues — my secret and saucy ingredient for success.

Because …

It’s not by chance that people meet
And the right souls gather together
When such a special bond is formed
It’s bound to linger beyond forever

People fade in and friends fade out
It’s the love and lessons that matter
It’s the memories that we’ll cling to
Everything else is noise and chatter

To say I appreciate the friendship, collaboration, humor, support, and camaraderie of my colleagues would be an understatement. To say I cherish them wouldn’t do my soul justice.

So let me tell you about this distinctive group of characters and you’ll understand why they carry the kind of meaning that can never be measured.

The Heart of My Business

She honors her magic through stories
She’s a Capricorn through and through
Her bold and brilliant creative writing
Will enrapture the very depths of you

A master at anything tricky or techie
He’s got website development wired
I love how he never minces his words
And that his nastiest clients get fired

She can be feisty and argue a point
Bravely challenging the status quo
I’m keeping her in my back pocket
In the event I am attacked by a foe

If they gave an award for diligence
And one for persistence and class
It would go to a freelance writer
Who’s classy and mighty darn fast

I’d compare her writing to a song
One that’s at the top of the charts
Mediocrity isn’t in her vocabulary
She speaks straight from the heart

I can add and subtract and tally
But numbers, I seldom romance
She’s meticulous, smart, and fun
In the realm of business finance

I could rhyme on and on and on
Till I can’t type one more word
To mention every precious soul
Is a notion bordering on absurd

So suffice to say the list runs deep
Of helping hands and listening ears
This poem is a gigantic virtual hug
Sent with my love and happy tears

Make your next stop Mission: Storytelling!

Favorite book, pack of Oreos, lucky rabbit’s foot, four leaf clover, a kick-ass CRM and project management system. We all have our own must-have accessories to complement our day-to-day activities and get to the next level. Here’s a rundown of the things we can’t do without in our business.