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I Want To Write A Guest Post On Your Blog!

I’ve probably written over 15,000 blog posts in my day. Who knows. Maybe more. The point is, I’m pretty good at this blogging thing. :) How’d you like to have me write a guest post on your blog? It’s pretty easy.

Just ask!

Contact me using my form on this site. Include your blog url, and I’ll put you on my summer schedule for creating content for you. Oh yeah, also include what your blog is about and any specific niche or industry you cover so I can tailor make the blog entry for you. I’ll be creating content for you starting in July. Looking forward to it!

Gratitude Blogging is a Road to Success

“How do you know you’ve built a community? When one person is listening.” – Gary Vaynerchuk – Crush It.

Me with Gary VaynerchukGratitude Bloggers. Do you know any? Who are they and what makes them a Gratitude Blogger? I define Gratitude Bloggers as people who care about their community by giving the community incredible amounts of content, help, information, motivation and inspiration for free on a consistent basis. Gratitude Bloggers care about the conversation and know that they may be the catalyst but do no have to be the focus. Gratitude bloggers consistently shift the focus from themselves to others in their community, they promote a spirit of collaboration. They are known for shining a spotlight on someone in the community who is doing things right. Here are a few people that I consider Gratitude Bloggers.

Gary Vaynerchuk is certainly a Gratitude Blogger. I had the opportunity last week to see Gary Vaynerchuk at a small bookstore in Madison, CT. Before Gary took the stage he was in his car responding to tweets and e-mails and a myraid of other things that he does to engage his audience. He even saw one of my tweets about the talk and he retweeted it. Gary was introduced as being motivated by his humble roots. When Gary took the stage he said that it was not so much his humble roots that motivated him because, when he took a good hard look at it he was “completely driven by gratitude”. For a guy who gives away an obscene amount of content many wondered why anyone would buy his book. Gary says that he made more money on bets that his book would hit the New York Times Best Seller’s list than he did on his advance from the publisher. Why is that? How did Gary know that his book would be a New York Times Best Seller? Gratitude.

What do I mean that he knew it would do well based on Gratitude? Here is my personal experience in helping Gary’s book Crush It make it to the New York Times Best Sellers List. I watch Gary’s Wine Library TV and catch his TV appearances and also subscribe to Gary Vaynerchuk.com. I get his message all the time and in many free forms. He even posts all of his keynotes on his blog. So why would I buy his book if I could pretty much get his entire message for free online? To express my gratitude for all of that free content and all of Gary’s hard work. That is why I would buy his book not once but four times. I purchased three copies for gifts, one for a family member, one for a friend and one to give to my readers. The fourth one I bought for my myself on my Kindle (which Gary Signed for me). I think my experience is very close to many other people and this is why the book did so well. Gary understands this, he understands the importance of Gratitude.

When you give your best stuff away and provide value to your readers then they know that you care. To be a Gratitude Blogger you need to do this consistently over time. Gratitude blogging is in it for the long haul and it is hard work. It is staying up to 2:00am to respond to every e-mail, comment and forum message. It is engaging your community where they are and by doing this you bring that community closer to where you are. It is seeking out new people and new ideas. I was reading a post the other day by Chris Brogan (I also consider him a Gratitude Blogger) and in his post A Crash Course in Comments he states that he is the #1 commenter on his blog. That rang so true to me personally because I respond to every single comment that comes in to my blog. My blog has nearly 16,000 comments and I know that at least 8,000 of them are mine. Why? Because I care that people take the time to leave me a comment. And as Gary says in Crush It, “If someone takes the time to reach out to you, it’s your obligation to reciprocate.”

Why do I respond to every single comment? The first thing I do every morning when I go to my e-mail is I check for comments on my blog and I respond to them. It takes a little while but it is one of the most worthwhile things I can do each day. Responding to comments does a few important things:

  • Responding to comments shows that you care about your readers
  • Responding to comments furthers conversation and communication
  • Responding to comments validates each person who takes their time to read your words
  • Responding to comments gives you the opportunity to express gratitude to your readers

Responding to comments is just one of the key actions of a Gratitude Blogger. Gratitude Bloggers are also known for solving problems and directing readers and followers to useful information. I think of our host, Jim Kukral, when I think of a Gratitude Blogger who solves problems. Jim has dozens of free resources that you can use to help improve your blogging. From the $7.95 Marketing Plan to the Online Video Toolkit, Jim gives away such great information totally free. Jim is also very giving with his time as well. Gratitude blogging at the core is all about showing how much you care. When you show people that you care and you prove it with validation, information and conversation then you’ll be on your way to becoming a blogger people are grateful to have around.

My friend Ed Gerety is new to blogging but he is in no way new to Gratitude. Ed is a youth motivational speaker and one of his core messages is of Gratitude. I would expect big things coming from Ed over the next year as he builds his blog and expands his community online. He just posted a video about Gratitude on his blog Ed Gerety’s Dream Big Blog that I think explains very much the core of what it is to express true Gratitude.

How will you work to become a Gratitude Blogger? Do you have a differing opinion, I would love to talk about it.

About the author: Andrew Bennett aka BenSpark is a husband, father, blogger, photographer, wired kayaker and an old school Transformers fan. He takes a photo every day and blogs about it on BenSpark.com. You can follow BenSpark on Twitter.

Social Media Is About More Than “Friends”

I once wrote that “Nobody’s a blogger anymore, we’re all publishers“. The point is that at some point in the last few years of blogging growing up, and social media grabbing hold of us, that the reasons we started blogging became different. It wasn’t only about expressing our thoughts… it became more.

jfk_sbIt became a business. Ok, you know what I mean. You start a blog today because you’re looking for something. Either to build your brand, or generate revenue, or to get publicity, or get a new job, etc… Therefore, since your intentions have changed, you no longer are a blogger… you’re a publisher.

A publisher is someone who’s looking to get something by producing content. A blog is just a tool you can use to do that. Same with Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc…

Now, what’s interesting to me is that we’re seeing the same shift happening in social media now that just happened with blogs. Albeit, we’re several years early for mass adoption of this meme, but I feel the trend happening. More and more people are getting into social media with a goal in mind.

The goal could be figuring out how to make money, or build their brand, or find a new job… whatever. But it’s more than just “socializing” as the intent is my point.

Why is this happening? Well, it could be that people have finally realized that it’s possible to “do something more” than chat with friends. People are now beginning to see that these tools can be used to help them accomplish something, and frankly, I don’t think that’s such a bad thing.

Why shouldn’t we have goals?

How long will it be before more and more people begin to become aware that social media is more than a glorified chat room and friend finder? Time will tell. But in my opinion, that trend is moving faster than you think.

This Is A Business, Not A Hobby

It’s interesting that this post from Copyblogger came out today about the ‘3 fatal diseases that kill good blogs‘. Why? Because I’m currently writing a book right now called ‘Attention!’ and one of the themes I’m working on in the book is…

This is a business, not a hobby.

Social media, blogging, email marketing, affiliate marketing, online PR, you name it… This is a business. We’re doing this to make money, or leads, or get publicity. Not for fun. Not for “friends”. Until you flip that switch in your head where you understand this, you’re going to continue to find it very hard to find success on the Internet.

From the Copyblogger post…

If you are serious about blogging, you need to treat your blog like a business. You are the CEO of You Inc., and you’ve got to weigh every single decision as if there were millions of dollars on the line. Yeah, it would be great to blog in your underwear and sleep in every morning, but the reality is that most of us can’t afford to do that.

Measure the day’s work in results, not in hours spent typing on Facebook or Twitter. Absolutely, fostering relationships is important, but every action needs to be treated as an investment of your time.

This is especially important if you are a solo blogger, as there is only so much work that you can get done in a day. You’ve got to be efficient with your time. This means measured action and measured results — not just going with the flow.

I wrote the first eBook about how to make money from blogging back in 2004 called Blogs To Riches. When I wrote it and released it, I was getting hate mail from people saying things like “You shouldn’t use blogs to make money you jerk” and “You’re ruining the Internet, F#$% you”. These people didn’t believe that blogging was a business, or could be.

Of course, a few years later people like Problogger came on the scene and proved that you could buy a house with the money you make blogging. Now, today, we all realize that blogging is in fact a great way to do business. Yet, still so many of us treat it as a hobby still.

Here’s why. Because “regular people” are the people who start blogs. They’re not marketers. They’re not entrepreneurs. They are people who have a passion about something and they want to share that passion with the rest of the world without having a gatekeeper tell them they can’t.

But things are changing, yes they are. We’re no longer bloggers anymore, we’re “publishers”. The majority of people don’t start blogs anymore just to waste time. They want something out of it. It may not be money they want. It may be fame. Whatever it is, they want something for their effort, and that makes them a publisher.

What happened to me in 2004 is the same thing that is happening now to social media. We’re all being told we shouldn’t try to make money with social media. It’s pure, they say. Leave it alone, you’ll ruin it.

This is ALL a business, not a hobby.

Blogworld 2009 Monetization Track Summary

As you may or may not know, this is my 3rd year as the organizer for the Blogworld “monetization” track. That means that I get to create sessions for the show that revolve around “making money with blogs”. The past two years have been extremely successful, with jam-packed sessions and thousands of happily informed people walking away with tips and tricks and motivation… oh my!

This year I’m at it again. The final schedule is up now and you can see the panels that I’ve put together.

Are you coming? Because it’s going to be the best track yet! Over the next few weeks leading up to the show I’m going to feature each panel I put together and talk about why you NEED to be in attendance.

Here’s a run-down of the sessions I’ll be talking about here on my blog over the next few weeks. Note: I’ll be personally moderating a bunch of these panels.

Friday, 11:30 AM
Panel: Are You Getting The Most Money Out Of Your Blog As You Can?
Description: You may think your blog is earning well, but what if someone showed you how you’re leaving money on the table and could be earning much more? Well, this panel will show you how to extract those extra revenues out of your blog that you’ve never thought of. Ready to make even more income next year? We’ll show you how.

Panelists: Dave Taylor, Tim Jones, Chris Pirillo, Chloe Spencer

Friday, 12:45 PM
Panel: Affiliate Marketing Blogging Secrets
Description: Top bloggers already know, and have proven, that affiliate marketing is a top three money making tactic for their blogs. Now is the time to learn from the affiliate marketing experts about how to incorporate high-converting affiliate marketing efforts into your plan of attack.

Panelist(s): Angel Djambazov, Brian Littleton, Ben Huh, Kim Rowley

Friday, 3 PM
Session Title: Making Social Media Make Money – The Top Ten Strategies
Description: Social Media has become our first choice for communication with friends and for business. Most of us start our online sessions with Twitter or Facebook. Social Search poses the first real threat to Google’s dominance. This presentation will explore practical applications to deliver real bottom line profitability for business and leading strategies for building your personal brand online.

Panelist(s): Jay Berkowitz

Friday, 4 PM
Panel: Did I Miss The Online Video Boat?
Description: So what happened? Last year everyone told me I should be making Web videos and I’d be rich. I didn’t do it because I was too busy and didn’t know how to start. Did everyone get rich besides me? If so, who and how and is there still time for me to jump on board?

Panelist(s): Steve Rosenbaum, Gary Rozenwieg, Vincent Everts

Saturday, 11:30 AM
Panel: The Money Making Potential of Continuity Programs
Description: The business case and money making potential of creating and maintaining continuity programs.

Panelist(s): Tim Kerber, Ryan Lee

Saturday, 12:45 PM
Panel: How to Earn A Big Ole’ Pile of Money By Making Lots of Killer Blog Content
Description: One way to make money on your blog is to create tons of high-quality content. But how do you do that if you’re a one-person shop? Learn from the experts about how they create massive amounts killer blog content that helps them earn like Web rock stars.

Panelist(s): Rosemary, Warren Whitlock, Dan Gray, JB Glossinger

Saturday, 3 PM
Panel: Blogging Super Panel Live Feedback Site Reviews
Description: Is your blog optimizing its potential to make money? Find out! This panel of the top money making bloggers of all time will spend a few hours reviewing your blogs live. So get there early and step up to the mic and be ready to have your blog picked apart by the pros who know.

Panelist(s): Darren Rowse, John Chow, Zac Johnson

Saturday, 4:15 PM
Panel: How to Make $60k a Month with a Membership Program?
Description: Learn the secrets of how to take a niche topic and turn it into a profitable membership program from scratch, capable of earning $60k a month or more. It wasn’t always easy either. Learn about the early days and the problems we ran into, as well as the mistakes we made in the process. Also learn how to turn on the marketing machine to attract new members.

Panelist(s): Timothy Sykes, Adarsh D. Pallian

Bonus! She’s not in my track, but she is speaking.

Session Title: Facebook & Twitter Fortunes: How To Strategically Grow Your Business Using the Top Two Online Social Networks
Description: Facebook is the largest online social network and Twitter is the fastest growing online social network. These two giant sites have changed the landscape of online marketing with significant implications for business owners, marketers, and entrepreneurs. Facebook boasts over 200 million active members and is growing at a rate of over one million new members per week. Twitter has grown 2300% in the past 12 months. Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites are extremely powerful marketing mediums through which to exponentially grow your business.

Panelist(s): Mari Smith

Testing Something New: CopyTalk

So I’m trying out this new system called Copytalk.com, and I’m trying it out because I’ve been blogging for almost 10 years now and writing blog posts to me is a lot of work. That’s the main reason why I want to try this out. Because what this is going to do is transcribe what I’m saying right here. I’m actually talking this into my phone right now at my desk and this is going to transcribe it and send it back to me via e-mail. Then I can post that onto my blog.

So that’s the first thing that this is going to do for me. It’s going to save me time of having to sit and type out my thoughts. Now, I like to type out my thoughts because I think I can get them out a little more clearly; however, I also like to sometimes just be on the road or place where I can talk into the phone and just have those things sent back to me. So I think this is a neat service.

The other reason I’m trying this out and the other reason I think you should try this out, or try things like this out, is that they expand your horizons. They make you more productive. They give you more chances to be creative. When you take shots at new software and tools and things that are out there, you should always, always, always try them out and always see if they work for you because you may never know how they’re going to change the way that you do business or the way that you earn revenue or get publicity because usually they do.

Now, this may not work out. I may not find this useful. I may get this transcript back that you’re reading right now and think that it’s not good; but, I may really like it, and it may increase my productivity as a blogger, which is one of my goals, to blog more. So, we’ll see, but at least I’m trying. If you’re not trying, you’re dying.

So go out there and play around with new tools. Work on things. Find things that are free or even things that are paid like this and determine how much they can help you improve your business in the end. But if you don’t try, you’re never going to get there. Remember, Wayne Gretzy, one of my favorite quotes of all time is, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”.

BlogworldExpo 2009 Monetization Track

Note: BlogWorld attendee discount pricing expires 9/14! Pass pricing and link to register is here: Use my DISCOUNT CODE by 9/14 to take an additional 20% off! DISCOUNT CODE: JK20

Also: Hotel Discounts expire 9/14! This is the best hotel pricing in the history of BlogWorld, with partner hotel rooms at $69, $79 and $89/nt. 2 even include FREE INTERNET! :) Hotel pricing and link to book rooms is here.

This will be the third year of BlogWorld and New Media Expo 2009 (wow, really?), and will also be my third year of being in charge of putting together the monetization track. That means that I get to pick the speakers and panels and topics that focus on making money with blogs. The last two years have been great, but this year is really going to blow those last few years away.

Why? Because the lineup is truly amazing this time. Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting about each speaker and session and explaining why I think you’re going to enjoy their presentations and information. If you haven’t bought your tickets for the show yet, I highly suggest you do so now.

Learn from top bloggers, podcasters, and social media experts at BlogWorld and New Media Expo 2009

Win Dinner In Las Vegas At BlogworldExpo With Problogger

Want to enjoy a fancy, schmancy dinner with some of the top bloggers from around the world? Marketleverage.com is sponsoring a dinner for three lucky winners at the Blogworldexpo.com event.

To enter, you have to be present at the panel and you must sign up using the form below. Three winners will be picked from the audience during the session and will join me, John Chow, Shoemoney, Copyblogger, Problogger, Zac Johnson and the Marketleverage team for dinner at the Envy Steakhouse.

Panel info: Saturday, Sept. 20, 2008: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM, 222.

Enter using form below









Name:
Email:

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