Today's Tip: This is an actual life lesson, mixed up in a blogging tip. Ignorance is bliss. One of the more important things you need to know when it comes to managing your time, and your "brand" efficiently.
Many years back the major blogging services figured out that one of the looming problems in the blogasphere was "comment spam" and what a nuisance it was becoming to bloggers. We don't think about it very much now because most of the comment spammers have given up as most of the blogging services have some sort of spam trap that makes it a waste of their time now. The problem is that many of us bloggers don't seem to get the difference between being helpful and being used. I have faced this problem plenty of times in my day to day exploits as a blogger, and this is where ignorance is bliss comes in.
When I finally decided to start posting to communities as well as to my own page (because of the blogging tips actually) the first wave of people came along. Those that thought it was in my best interest to come to their page and help out. This is loosely translated to "come to my page and do my work for me" and I knew this going way back. I can see where the first instinct is to think that it will help you, but it never does. I say this as someone who will guest post for almost anybody, expecting nothing in return and not even promoting my own things very much. My writing and glowing personality will almost always get people to seek me out, so it doesn't matter. Some of the best things I have ever written are on other people's blogs, but they do have to treat me as an equal, and they do have to be a friend, in the end.
Nobody who has ever sought me out to do something for them, has ever been of any use to me. It sounds egotistical, or self centered but guess what? That's what it needs to be in the end, and I would hope that others don't get stuck in the rut of letting their own brand fail, in the hopes that someone else has their back, when they usually don't. Remember this, if someone who doesn't even consider placing a plus or a like on the things that you do, comes to you asking for a favor. They like you are only interested in their brand which is perfectly ok, but you may want to just ignore it so your own work doesn't suffer. Remember this with all of your community invites as well. The first thing I do is see how helpful and involved the community owners are, and then I join.