If you’re a blogger, you probably want people to be able to contact you.
However, despite the rise in Twitter and other social networks, good old-fashioned email is still the most universal means of contact on the Web. The problem is that posting your email address online can result in spammers getting adding you to their databases and turning your inbox into a junk-filled cesspool.
So how do you share your email address on the Web without opening the door to every robot and Nigerian prince that wants to email you? Here are five very simple ways to help keep your inbox clear of spam while ensuring that your readers can still get in touch with you.
Simply type in your email address, create a custom link and then give that link on your site, Twitter account or anywhere else that you want people to have your email.
Scr.im works by creating a special CAPTCHA page that a user must click through in order to gain access to your email link. However, rather than having to type the CAPTCHA by hand, which can be tedious and difficult, Scri.im requires users to just click the letter combination from a list of selections, greatly speeding up the process.
Though it is likely spam bots could break Scr.im’s CAPTCHA system, the motivation to do so for just one email address is fairly low. If you want to view a sample of one of Scr.im’s pages, you can get my email address.
It is unclear if visually impaired users will be able to access email addresses hidden by Scr.im.
Rather than having your email address on your site directly, it may be wise to encourage readers to fill out a contact form to send you a message. This hides your email address from the public and still makes it very easy for readers to get in touch with you.
If you run a self-hosted WordPress blog, there are several plugins that you can install to do this. They range from the robust and complex, such as CFORMS II, to the basic and elegant, such as the SimpleModal Contact Form.
Though Spam bots are capable of filling out email forms, and many do, if you set up your form so that you use nonstandard variables or use some other spam protection, a junk mailer isn’t likely to be motivated to reverse engineer your form just to reach one more email address out of millions.
Since spam bots can only read clear text, you can easily hide your email address into an image to make it harder for the spammers to get to. The caveat is that you can not use a regular mailto link in order to make the image clickable as that defeats the purpose.
There are also email obfuscators that can counteract that mailto problem by converting your email address into garbled text that a simple spam bot can not understand.
Please note that the visually impaired will not be able to access an email address hidden inside an image.
10 Minute Mail
Though spam bots that crawl the Web are a huge problem, another common source of spam is all of the services and sites we register for every, punching in our email address every time. Even if we’re careful to not give our email to anyone unscrupulous, accidents happen and privacy policies do change. Emails, once given out, have a way of leaking.
A service called 10 Minute Mail fixes that by giving you an email address that lasts only 10 minutes. That gives you enough time to get the address, register for the service, receive the confirmation email and click the link/reply before the email address disappears for good.
Should your email address leak, there is no danger as the account doesn’t exist anymore. The problem is that, if you need a password reminder or to receive updates from a service, you have to either change your email address, if you can, or register for a new account.
10 Minute Mail is great for sites you plan on only visiting once or twice but are scared that your address might be in shaky hands.
Sometimes the best solution to dealing with spam is to let it come and then filter it out. The problem is that it can be very tricky to do, especially if you’re using your own email server or your ISPs account.
To take the burden off, using a third-party service is often a good idea. Though there is a lot of debate about which service does the best filtering, Gmail works best for most as users can use their existing email addresses (even have Google host them with Google Apps) and there is even a hack to turn Gmail into a remote backup/spam filter for an existing email account.
Personally, I receive hundreds of spam messages per day but only have one or two get into my inbox using Google Apps, overall a pretty good record.
Though a lot of the conversation on the Web has shifted to comment and blog spam, this is largely due to advances in email spam filtering. The truth is that email spam is more prevalent than ever and 2008 was, as predicted, the largest spam year on record.
The fact that we see so little spam in our inboxes is a true marvel of technology to say the least and shows the hard work of those that toil behind the scenes to battle spam, either by developing applications to block spam or working for companies like Google to keep their users relative junk-free.
But even with this technology, spam can be a tremendous headache and it is worth taking a few moments to protect your email address and ensure that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Failure to do so could mean that you spend more time filtering spam than answering email or, worse yet, that your email could become almost worthless.
Your email is part of your identity, it is worthwhile to keep it safe.
Blogging for a Living: Mindset Considerations
Blogging for a living seems fun and freeing. I agree.
I blogged for a bit as a pro. Living this lifestyle of working when, how and where you want to work feels awesome. But mindset plays a chief role in becoming a professional blogger. Few aspiring bloggers know this. I believe successful blogging is between the ears. How you choose to think, feel and act determines your blogging success or failure. Before you decide to blog for a living keep these considerations in mind.
Big Shifts Needed
I made a huge shift from scarcity to abundance to blog full time. You likely need to make the same shift because most folks grow up conditioned with feelings of poverty, scarcity, lack and limitation. Prepare for uncomfortable bumps in the blogging road during early days. Although you desire success and work hard, owning, facing, feeling and releasing fear-pain to develop your abundance consciousness feels highly unpleasant in moments. Be ready to make a huge mindset shift in order to blog full time.
Manage Your Energy Daily
Spend 30 minutes or more managing your energy to vibe from abundance, love, peace, generosity and trust. Pro bloggers vibe stable to become pro bloggers. Manage your energy to maintain a stable, calm vibe. I meditate, do Kriya yoga, do yin yoga and exercise daily. Do whatever vibes with you. Begin meditating with 5 minute sessions to slowly build up your habit. Expand your awareness. Manage your energy daily.
Be Aware of Your Thoughts and Feelings
Hands down, this is the most uncomfortable mental consideration to make because people plow through life on auto pilot. Most bloggers have no idea how they think and feel. Fewer understand how their thinking and feeling affects their blogging campaign or life in general. Blogging seems difficult but discomfort seems to be the culprit. Become hyper aware of your thoughts and feelings. Observe the difference between discomfort and true difficulties. I feel discomfort now because I have 3 hours to get my work done. We meet with friends tonight for dinner. But completing work in 3 hours seems not difficult to me, although finishing the task tests my limits, feeling quite uncomfortable.
Blogging for a living requires intense mental due diligence. Some people seem born with an expanded awareness. Other folks grow up around success conscious people. But the majority needs to practice being aware of their thoughts and feelings to succeed because until you own, feel and release destructive thought and feeling patterns you have a tough time making any headway with your blogging campaign. Being a successful business owner requires complete honesty with self. Example; 2 minutes ago, after enjoying a quick bowl of cereal, I found myself lost in a 5 minute YouTube basketball loop. I scanned a few videos to enjoy. But being honest with myself alerted me to my error; I have less than 3 hours to get my work done, so why do I waste time scanning YouTube basketball videos? Being honest and flat out straight with myself brought me back to here to write this post.
Nobody said this blogging journey guarantees an easy ride, but the fun and freedom of blogging for a living seems worth the mental discomfort.
Do you want to travel the world? Buy my eBook:
1 Often Ignored Factor for Blogging Success
Successful blogging expands on a foundation of trust.
People must trust you before they hire you or buy your stuff. Bloggers must trust you before they give you admin rights to guest post on their blog. Zac Johnson gave me publishing rights 4 years ago. Over 1000 guest posts ago, he trusted me enough to offer me log in credentials and the right to publish posts on his blog. Did earning that trust occur easily for me. No; of course not. Hundreds to thousands of hours of blogging factor in to gaining both skills and exposure enough to land publishing rights on perhaps the top blogging tips blog on earth. But did earning his trust seem worth it? Yes, of course. I circle the globe as a pro blogger, living a life of fun and freedom. Publishing guest posts here factored into my globe trotting lifestyle.
New bloggers often mean well but seem deluded. Newbies believe they can guest post anywhere, land clients any time and attract eBook customers within days or weeks of buying their domain and hosting. Impossible. Why? Newbie bloggers seem highly unskilled and lack massive exposure. Makes perfect sense. If you have 40 hours of blogging practice under your belt, how can you earn any reader’s, customer’s or client’s trust? You cannot because you have no clue what you are doing yet, possessing few skills and virtually no exposure. Do not worry, newbie bloggers; put in the generous effort and time, and you will gain skills and exposure enough to be trusted, and with trust comes increasing traffic and increasing blogging profits.
Time to put my kindle down. Bought 2 books today on finding your writer’s voice. One is by @chrisbrogan and the other is by @RyanBiddulph . Reading them at the same time has been inspiring ideas through the ways they differ.
— Eric Cole (@EricColeBlog) January 22, 2020
Eric bought our eBooks because he trusts us. He trusts us because we both put in tens of thousands of hours practicing, creating and connecting, giving much of our lives to serving people and building our businesses. Note; Chris has been at this game far longer than I. We practiced, gain skills and exposure, popped up on the blogging radar screen, and more awesome folks notice us.
I did not kill myself by working myself to death, to gain trust and to earn credibility, but I had to follow my fun – blogging passionately – and nudge into fears to do enough creating and connecting to the point where I became skilled and known enough to earn credibility. This is the eBook of mine Eric bought:
At one point, this was the highest rated eBook in its category, with 59 reviews, almost all 5 star reviews. Why did Eric buy it? Why did it become the highest rated eBook in its category on all of Amazon? I spent thousands of hours writing, gained skills and exposure, earned trust and success flowed to me. No way could I write this eBook 2 weeks into my blogging career. No skills! No exposure! No trust! How could I teach people how to find your writing voice? I could only write 300 words back then before crying in frustration, LOL 🙂 If I could only write 300 unclear, not too confident, words, nobody trusted my writing or blogging skills. Every single blogger you meet struggles through a similar journey as a newbie.
Never overlook the trust factor. Practice your butt off. Create and connect for thousands of hours. Trust will come. Credibility will knock on your cyber door. Steadily earning the trust of more folks accelerates your blogging success and oh yeah, it’s definitely worth it.
How to Deal with the Overwhelm of Blogging Success
I am no blogging billionaire. Currently.
But some days, as success builds, I feel overwhelmed. How do you devote time and energy to blogging and live a rich life offline too? Do you feel overwhelmed by slow, steadily increasing blogging success? Even though experiencing success feels good, the increased responsibility may feel daunting. I love my gig. But in moments, I fear being up until 1 AM to complete my work day.
Follow these tips to deal with the overwhelm of blogging success.
1: Address the Overwhelmed Feeling as Being Fear
Feeling overwhelmed is fear, plain and simple. Feel the fear. Fear passes. Overwhelm vanishes.
All successful business owners need face, feel and release fears to accelerate their growth. Every successful blogger faces, feels and releases overwhelmed emotions to proceed from a calm, abundant energy. Face your fears. Feel and release overwhelm to proceed from a calm, peaceful energy.
2: Trade Overwhelm for Gratitude
Change your perspective. Trade the overwhelmed feeling for a feeling of genuine gratitude for money flowing freely to you. Even if you love your gig, taking on increased responsibility feels uncomfortable sometimes. But receiving more and more money for your increased responsibility frees you from financial stresses like worrying about paying bills. Dwell on gratitude. Overwhelm dies quickly in an appreciative environment. Making more money and largely enjoying the ride feels fun, good and freeing. Remember this any time overwhelmed, swamped emotions flood your mind.
3: Ask for Help
Hire someone to help with specific blogging tasks. Outsource. Hand off certain tasks to free up your schedule. Reduce overwhelm by hiring someone to help you or by coming to a mutually beneficial agreement which lessens your blogging load. Hire experts to help you in your business. Outsource intelligently to relax, to leverage and to let go the feeling of being completely burned out with your blogging business duties.
4: Simplify Your Interactions
A few folks pitched me sponsored post opportunities today. I responded with 2 sentences. I used approximately 9 words and 8 seconds to respond to each email. Release overwhelm by simplifying interactions. Seven figure bloggers sometimes respond only to 1 or 2 sentence emails. Pros often respond with 1-2 words. Otherwise, pros become completely overwhelmed with the sheer volume of business opportunities flowing to their inbox daily. Use a few words to make your point and to dissolve the swamped feeling plaguing successful bloggers.
5: Reduce Interactions
Iconic, fictitious trader Gordon Gekko said in the movie Wall Street: “100 deals cross my desk every day. I choose one.”
As the sponsored post pitches, partnership pitches and overall work volume builds, you need to physically respond to only a small handful of engagements daily to leverage, to keep increasing your traffic and to keep increasing your blogging profits. No highly successful bloggers responds to 1000 plus interactions daily through email, Twitter and Facebook because you need to give most of your time, attention and energy to creating content and building bonds versus desperately trying to respond to every retweet, at least if you want your blogging business to keep growing.
Surrender. After responding to a handful of emails and retweets, let everything else go, to focus your attention and energy on what brings the greatest scale, what benefits the most people and what benefits your blogging business. Tony Robbins gives most of his attention and energy to inspiring millions through live seminars, through doing TV interviews and by writing books; he ain’t responding individually to 5000 emails daily. Be 100% committed to your blog and business growth by giving your time and energy to what matters most.
Do you need a nudge to become an author? Buy my eBook:
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