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Watching Out For Shoddy Business Practices

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Anyone that works on the Internet will be able to tell you that while there are virtually limitless business possibilities available for writers and bloggers, there are also a lot of people who do shoddy business on the web and are out to take your work away or pay you nothing for it.

Last year I noticed there were more than a few of these snake oil salesmen out there and even though I’ve learned over the years a few things to avoid, sometimes your only recourse is to cut your losses and start looking for another client when one of these people cross your path.

Hired Guns Without Any Bullets

Although it’s not always the case and you should not take this piece of advice as gospel, it’s quite often true when a company or individual you are working for hires some kind of a consultant or editor to oversee your work, it’s a red flag. Just this past year I lost a lucrative contract in Toronto to somebody whose resume reads like he might be a programmer or a comic book aficionado or some combination of the two, but I didn’t see him as qualified to take over the social media and blogging he did. That happened as soon as I’d got the blogs running for the firm in a professional way. Watch out for these hired guns. They don’t want qualified writers hanging around but they like to learn from you.

That brings me to another point concerning social media and the less than qualified hackers who come along and often convince business owners they can get them the traffic and Google rankings they are looking for. Social media is the latest thing in Internet advertising if only because it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy but it certainly attracts a fair share of people who convince naïve business owners that it’s worth a lot of their hard-earned money. It is, in a way, but unfortunately it has also become the domain of a bunch of scammers who charge exorbitant amounts of money for maintenance on Facebook or Twitter that’s really a lot more affordable when they use a professional writer.

Sample Sorrows

I’d like to be able to sit on the mountaintop and tell anyone who’s ever written a sample blog or article and then never got paid for it, ‘I told you so’ but I’ve fallen prey to the same creeps who ask for these samples and then take off with your work. Here’s a great way to get around those prospects who ask for 200 to 400 words on a subject to ‘test’ your skills:

  • Make sure you have some samples on your website. Understandably, that could be hard since you’re more than likely ghostwriting and the client wants to adopt your work as their own, but there are usually smaller clients who don’t mind you using your work or at least a link to it. Then anyone who wants a sample can be directed to your website.
  • If you’re just starting out and don’t have a good resume yet, the best thing you can do is get the right contact information from the client to check their credibility. Ask for a telephone number and give them a call over Skype or the other VOIP system you use to make sure they have nothing to hide and look for something more than just an email address for contact information.

The Internet is like any other business in that you’ll meet all kinds. While an overwhelming majority of your clients will be upstanding people who pay on time, you do need to be on guard for others who use questionable practices.

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Every Blogger Walks a Different Path

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Neil Patel walks a different path than I. I walk a different blogging path than you. Just like no two snowflakes are alike, no two bloggers walk the same exact path. We take different routes. Different journeys require different strategies, detours, tactics and strategies. Neil walked an SEO-rich path. I do not. I chose a prolific, SEO-free path. No one mimics a fellow blogger perfectly because no two humans have the same experience. We succeed by differentiating. Never believe you need to walk the same path as some blogging pro to succeed. Of course, doing so proves fruitless because no two bloggers walk the same blogging journey. Never try to do the impossible. Stop believing you need to do the same things top bloggers do to succeed like top bloggers. I broke many traditional blogging rules to circle the globe as a pro blogger. Of course I created a blogging course, eBooks and audio books. Content? Check. Connections? Check. I honored fundamentals to succeed but never tried mimicking the same journey as any top blogger.

Walk your blogging path. Take your blogging journey. Your blogging path separates you from the herd. My travel stories and blogging lessons make me different from any blogger. Ditto for you. We all have different experiences to call upon for becoming a successful blogger. Respect your uniqueness. Find your blogging flow. I do not enjoy doing SEO to drive Google traffic. Why would I force a blogging journey trough some strategy I disliked working?  I should just work a job if I did something for money versus working for passion. Of course, I never took a path like Neil Patel because I do not enjoy SEO-optimizing posts. I succeeded through another strategy. Never believe you need to walk the same path as pros to become successful as pros. New bloggers swing and miss daily by believing success is writing 4,000 word, SEO-optimized posts dominating competitive keywords on Google. Are you nuts? Neil Patel dominates competitive keywords on Google after 10,000 plus hours of practice-work-creating-connecting. You have 5 or 10 hours or maybe 100 hours of practice-work-creating-connecting. Relax. Slow down. Calm down. You have another 10,000 hours of blogging work to do before being skilled, creative and connected enough to dominate page 1 of Google for 1 – let alone 20 – competitive keywords.

But you may dislike SEO all together. Take a different blogging path. Find tactics resonant with you. Perhaps building bonds with bloggers and creating helpful content feels fun to you. Take that route. But know your path differs from any blogging path because we each fly solo and learn different lessons for specific parts of our blogging journey. No two bloggers walk in the same blogging shoes. No two bloggers walk the same blogging path. Two bloggers may walk similar blogging journeys. Bloggers sometimes walk similar blogging paths. But nobody walks identical paths because bloggers have different experiences to learn from during our blogging journey.

Respect your path. Honor your progression. Accept how you blog in the perfect place, at the perfect time, now. Do not resist your blogging path. Everything brought you here to this point now. Accepting your present state of blogging growth reduces resistance to future growth. Surrender serves as a powerful concept. Be completely at peace with your blogging growth now. Hug your progress. Walk your blogging path. Of course, note wins. Celebrate success. Avoid comparing yourself to bloggers. Bloggers experience different situations to benefit from different circumstances. We all have different lessons to learn on our respective blogging journeys. Honor this truth. Cultivate peace of mind. Position yourself to succeed. Walk your one-of-a-kind blogging path to experience your greatest success.

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Hobbies Change for Habits to Change

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Over a decade ago, I woke up, watched TV, grabbed breakfast, hit the gym for bodybuilding and returned home to watch a DVD movie. At 2:30 PM I prepared for work. I drove to my security guard job. By 10:30 PM on most nights I drove home. Evening movie. Sleep. Rinse, wash and repeat the following day. I worked a security guard job. My hobbies consisted of lifting weights and watching TV. But my hobbies and habits changed the moment I became a blogger. Morning breakfast vanished. I stopped going to the time-consuming gym. Watching movies every day? Fat chance. My bodybuilding workout and movie hobbies had to change for me to begin the habits of meditating, doing yoga and expanding my awareness daily. Hobbies change before habits change.

New bloggers often struggle because newbies cling to old, worn out, failing hobbies like:

  • watching TV for hours nightly
  • mindlessly cruising the internet for hours nightly
  • mindlessly gossiping on the phone or with family for hours nightly

These low-energy hobbies need to change pronto for you to develop fun, freeing, higher energy habits like meditating, doing yoga, blogging generously and engaging in some form of exercise. Picture those 4 hours you waste on watching TV each evening. How do you find time to engage in different habits? Change your hobbies. Out goes TV, or, TV just consumes 45 minutes per evening. Enter 20 minutes of meditating. Release some hobbies. Fill the time with different, empowering, freeing, sometimes uncomfortable habits. Imagine watching the idiot box for 3 hours nightly. 3 hours pass. Nothing profitable, productive or empowered happens watching the television. But for you to be a pro blogger you need to spend those 3 hours meditating for perhaps 10 minutes and blogging for the remaining 2 hours and 50 minutes. Change your hobbies to create space for changing habits. Changing habits accelerates, colors and influences hobby changes too. My hobbies went from watching TV to circling the globe on meditating more deeply, doing more yoga and spending more time in serious introspection. Life became more uncomfortable but far more fun and freeing as my hobbies and habits changed. I preferred to wander around Ubud, Bali versus watching an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. My hobbies changed for the better. I respect how we all travel different paths but if your hobbies and habits never changed, you are either enlightened, and never needed to change your meditating and yoga habits, or you have been making fear-driven, comfortable, confining choices wasting your life.

I have yet to see a genuinely happy, peaceful, powerful, prospering person who watches more than 2-3 hours of TV every single night. People call TV the idiot box because television makes you an idiot. Mindless, bland, non-stimulating TV watching does nothing for your growth, happiness, fulfillment, peace of mind and overall abundance. Empowered bloggers cannot spend 5 seconds on idle, mindless, dingbat-style activities. Stop spending hours watching TV each evening. Start spending hours blogging and working on your abundance mindset. Buy a blogging eBook. Surround yourself with pro bloggers. Learn from these pros. Mimic their ways. Gain inspiration from their example. Fill time not with garbage but with goal-achieving, fun, freeing and sometimes scary blogging actions. First, the hobbies change. Gone goes watching TV, gossiping and wasting time on low energy actions. Habits change with the hobby vacuum being void. Begin meditating. Start doing yoga. Awareness-expanding activities unearth fears, nudge you toward love, amplify your generosity and accelerate your blogging success.

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Contact Page: Yes or No?

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Should you post a contact page on your blog?

In most cases, yes. In few cases, no. Let’s dive in.

Yes

For almost all bloggers, posting a contact page on your blog allows readers to contact you quickly and easily. Before traffic and business grows you need to connect with readers fast. Seamlessly connecting with you allows readers to grow your blogging traffic and profits. Picture a potential client with questions about your services. How quickly can the person ask questions and get answers to make an informed decision? Publish a clear, easy to see and easier to use contact page to give clients an easy way to get their questions answered. Clear clients who vibe with your services hire you. Making money online becomes easier if people connect with you quickly via contact pages.

No

But in a few cases, not posting a contact page actually grows your business. Incredibly busy bloggers with huge, engaged readerships need to cut down on spam and other non-relevant emails. Removing your contact page instantly cuts down on spammy submissions. Publish a contact page and you waste precious time sifting through emails littered with spam, unsolicited pitches and other time sucks. Even if you have not made millions yet, removing your contact page may be a springboard to greater success. Devote time and energy spent sifting through emails to guest posting, genuine blog commenting and promoting fellow bloggers on your blog. Leverage.  Spend time intelligently. Reach bigger, targeted audiences by releasing time-wasting activities. Removing contact pages works for incredibly busy bloggers slowly being overrun by spam submissions sent via contact pages. Spend this saved time growing your blogging business through leveraging.

Trust Your Intuition

Intuitively, my gut told me to remove my contact page months ago. I became busier but noted a high ratio of spam submissions through the page. Lazy, non-targeting, struggling entrepreneurs mindlessly click on contact pages and send generic emails, wasting my time and their time. Removing my contact page instantly lowered these spammy submissions by 70% to 80%. Most people who email me now seem to be serious entrepreneurs. These people want to work for me. Gone are lazy bloggers and outreach specialists who wish not to do the legwork of finding my email addy on my About page. I want people to work a little bit to contact me. Of course, working a little bit proves individuals genuinely want to connect with you to discuss business, to ask questions or to simply connect. Build posture. Do you want lazy, mindless people to contact you? Or do you prefer serious, genuine people to contact you?

Ultimately, trust your intuition. I suggest most bloggers to publish contact pages because the majority wants to be easily reachable for increasing your blogging presence. But being busier after building your blogging business makes you think twice about allowing people to connect with you easily.

I wanted to add how even though I publish no contact page, people reach me easily via Twitter and Facebook. I respond to DMs on Twitter, I scan @replies and also respond to Messages on Facebook, including my Message Requests.

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