Tag Archives: guest posts

Why Entering Contests Can Be “Fierce” For Your Business

I’ve put in a few “guest posts” over the last month and frankly, I’m tired:) But, people have been so generous at these awesome sites, that I’m working on another. Until then,I thought I’d gift myself with another of my guest posts don’t you love contests? Me too…

Suffice it to say I’ve been entering contests for a very long time, can you say, Sweepstakes Clearing House? Now that you have an idea of just how long I’ve been entering contests, let’s talk about how contests can increase your online presence and open the gateway to your business.  When entering contests, be selective.  Okay, so, through trial and error, I learned the Clearing House thing wasn’t exactly the way to go.

Ask what’s in it for you? Seriously, you’re just reversing the “contest protocol’ because contests are designed with the idea of self promotion in mind and you should know up front what your benefit will be.

 The more people participate, the more people will want to know who is behind the greatest contest ever! To be clear, the ruse/rule above applies to contests and not to your business.  Every entrepreneur knows that the client is always right and if they’re not, be tactful in your response in soling the problem. To be a success in business, you must be steeped in integrity and trust.

Now that we’ve gotten the preliminaries out-of-the-way, I’m going to provide a few important dos and don’t when offering contests and how the right approach to your contest will add fierce traffic and awesome clients to your  business Rolodex.


  1. Don’t get all big-headed and think you’re the only fish in the sea with an idea for contest promotion: Businesses are competitive and contests are great incentives to keep abreast of the competition and gain more clients.
  2. Avoid another book giveaway:  I’m a reader and I love books, but, with the onslaught of available down loads of ebooks from people sites, I’d pass up entering your contest.
  3. Don’t overwhelm with details: Entering contests should be a breeze for the contestants.
  4. Don’t charge an outlandish fee to enter your contest: I know this is business, not a writing competition, but, it is not cool to milk your contestants and take the ‘fun’ out of submitting.
  5. Do not avoid answering questions about your contest, as you might have forgotten something of importance to the contestant.


  1. Be original: don’t copy what Ms. Coffee is offering on her site. Do your research and come up with an original- make it their ‘must’ have.
  2. Snoop: Okay, I said not to copy, I didn’t say not to check them out to see what you’re not going to offer as a great prize winner.
  3. Advertise: How else are people going to know about your awesome contest? This is the time to use every social media outlet online and if you’re really proactive- offline as well.
  4. Post a deadline and stick to it: When people are given instruction, they don’t like change. If you say the contest ends at the stroke of midnight, a week from whatever, darn it let it end on a week from whatever!
  5. Have fun with it: Contests are meant to invoke happy endorphins-make it a fun and memorable process.

These are my experiences as an avid contest entrant and sometimes winner. Use them and your business and finance pockets could become a “fierce” force to be reckoned with!

That’s one of my pic taken on vacation-think it will place in a contest?
Photo credit: Clara Freeman-author

Whatcha Doing Clara54!?!

I hope everyone had a wonderfully safe and hydrated Independence Day! It is a scorch/er these last days. Hopefully, ComEd can get folks power back on. It happened to me for 6 hours last month & that was torture:( Today, I awakened early,wondering “what”s in store for Clara54?” It’s always a party,people! Let me get right to it. 

Guest Posts:

5 Tips For Branding Your “Niche” When Guest Blogging- Guide and News  can be viewed at http://wwwguideandnews.com/  Eshan, the site’s owner is an 19 year old (going on 40) problogger and a stickler for responding to comments- admire that:)

Stepping Into Your Season Of Greatness (blog contributor) here http://theceomamma.com/blog/stepping-into-your-season-of-greatness/


One Woman Marketing- http://wp.me/p2tole-26R

Angie’s Diary-  number 1 online website for writers and authors and where I have work published.

Awesome sites,dubbed the number one in online writing sites and seen on notable news, magazines and media networks- so, I’m grateful to be a small part of the fold.

Okay, people, a lot has been happening for me and I’m open and receptive to the Good Lord’s blessings. I received an email confirming that my short story “Technicolor Love” has been included in the Independent Author Index IAI for its Short Story Compilation ebook publication- woo hoo!!!!!!!!! I’m still numb with excitement, ok, you can tell:)

I’ve been getting back to the story of late and brushing off some of my old works to submit and writing new stuff as well. I’m busy as a queen bee-

As you know, the submission period has ended for contributing to my book Stepping Into Greatness and I’m working on the selecting process for stories keeping with the book’s theme- achieving through obstacles & setbacks- great stories. I’ll be sharing snippits in upcoming post for you guys.

June has been an incredible month of highs and lows. I’m looking forward to the possibilities of a thang:)

How was your June?

Whatcha Doing Clara54?

Happy Monday! I love writing the “Whatcha Doing” segment at clara54 so much:)  I’m soooo glad to wake up this morning and NOT feel like I gotta do or be somewhere:) It’s heaven to bask a bit in the warmth of contentment. I’ve done a few things I’m proud of and I’ve also failed at a few more things this year. Hey people, life is like a crapshoot;sometimes you win- sometimes you lose!  Anyhoo, I recently entered a songwriting/lyric contest at www.songoftheyear.com. I didn’t even place- but, no worries, I did place in their 2005 competition as ‘selected artist’ so I’m not discouraged.

My celebrity/gossip/entertainment blog with a focus media out of Chicago, is doing very well…it’s only been in production 5 months max and already surpasses clara54’s traffic! In a word, the g-mogul is flourishing-without the stigma of negativity that folks seem to associate with everything “gossip.”  Beverly Johnson, the first Black supermodel to grace the cover of Vogue, along with other celebrities became Twitter followers … Published a couple of guest posts over at Anne Wayman’s About Freelance Writing.

I’ve also made a decision to not write for free unless it’s for a great cause/organization in efforts to make a difference in people lives-I am open to guest posts to bring awareness to the people. My decision to end my writing relationship at city-connect. org’s online magazine as their American Correspondent in entertainment news was a hard & sad decision to make; oftentimes it’s not always about prestige and Alan? City Connect’s Editor is a great gem to work for!  

Authentic Woman, my motivational website is making awesome connections. Women with stories of struggle and triumph are shining their light and making their voices heard by sharing  their stories. Experts in every field for encouraging growth & development in others, have come aboard to help motivate folks to find passion, purpose & truth on the journey to awareness… feel free to read  today’s “From The Experts” post here:  http://authentic-woman.net/guest-post-from-the-experts/

I’m considering offers of collaborations on future writing projects and getting testimonials from established businesses who can appreciate my efforts to bring awareness to others working to make a difference. I’m preparing to attend my son & daughter-in-law’s wedding as they’re planning to re new their vows- I have to let go of the jeans & tee”s and be fitted for a proper dress for this one- classy chick? I can do that:)  hmmm, If it wasn’t for love…

Finally? I’m taking 2 weeks off from Clara54!

 I’m hoping you guys read my last interview with Mahru Ghashghaei, author of NINE RUBIES.? If you haven’t picked up the book, checkout the interview and please purchase a copy. I’m an expert in these book things:)  

So readers, whatcha doing?

In 2 Weeks: Guest post from a Marketing expert!

Guest Post: Marcie Hill

10 Ways to Keep Your Freelance Writing Mojo Going

In 2008 I left my human resources career to pursue my passion of writing. I was published in a local magazine the following month. That was a great start to my journey, which seemed very promising. I thought that one success was going to get me published in my “dream” magazines without having to query first. I was wrong.

I submitted a few query; received either rejection letters or no response at all; got discouraged; and gave up freelancing completely. During that time, blogging became the “hot” thing to do, and I was drawn to it like a magnet. That was a blessing and a curse. While it helped to improve my writing skills, it took my focus away from what I should have been doing all along – freelance writing.

To keep you from making the same mistakes I did, I would like to share 10 things ways you can keep your freelance writing mojo going. These tips apply whether you are a full-time or sometime writer.

1.      Write out your story idea. Flush out your story as much as you can during your first few drafts. Be sure to identify the central point. This will make it easier to select audiences.

2.      Who is your audience? Think of all of the audiences that may be interested in your story. Some will be more obvious than others, but after a little brainstorming, you will have a pretty full list.

3.      Which online and print publications cater to these audiences? To find print publications, use Writer’s Market. You’ll find information categorized by topic, genre and name of publication. They also detail the audiences served, topics accepted, and the best way to submit your story. Conduct a search for online magazines or visit Twitter to find online publications.

4.      Review the writer’s guidelines for each publication. You will find these guidelines by doing a general Google search or going to the websites of the individual publications. Be sure to write and submit the story as specified. Sometimes publications want the entire story, but query letters are preferred in many cases. You may even be asked to mail your submission.

5.      Write query letters. When writing query letters, share your idea and tell editors why their audience would care about the story. To get better results, specify in which department your story would fit. If you have an editor’s name, use it. If you don’t have the editor’s name, find it. Also, keep your query letter to one page.

6.   Be sure to submit your query letter. This may sound obvious; it isn’t. If you second guess or doubt yourself at ANY time, your dream of seeing your name in a byline will continue to be just that – a dream.

7.      Wait. But don’t wait too long. Some magazines will tell you when you should hear from them if they are interested. Others won’t say anything at all. If you don’t hear anything within a month, follow-up.

8.      Follow-up. You want to do this for two reasons: 1) to confirm that your story had been received, and 2) to let the editor know you are serious. If you don’t hear from the publication at all, move on. There are more audiences waiting to read your story. Continue to submit future stories to that publication, though.

9.      Have a tracking system. Keep a log of the date you sent the query letter, the title of the story and the name of the publication. This makes it easier to follow-up on your submissions and to see additional opportunities with other publications and audiences.

10.  Keep on moving. Laugh in the face of rejection. Keep submitting stories to the publications in which you’re really interested; they will notice you. Also, continue to build clips and credibility by submitting your work to smaller, lesser-known publications.

If being published is your desire, keep on writing, even if you only have a little time. This will build your confidence and credibility.  Most importantly, though, writing often will help you keep your freelance writing mojo going, which will ultimately increase your visibility and profitability.

Marcie Hill is a gifted writer and blogger who loves sharing stories, educating her audiences with little known and unknown facts, and giving people a platform to tell their stories. Find her at www.marciewrites.com.

Clara54’s “Whatcha Doing!” From Colleague Mark Anthony Hall

Barack Obama Text Message Marketing Screenshot 1
Image by DavidErickson via Flickr

Let’s see,

in 2009 I published a book titled, “Human Solitaire – The Dirty, Dangerous & Deadly Game of Internet Dating.”

in 2010, I published a book titled, “Secret Romantic Memos & Private Love Letters – Straight From The Heart.”

For 2011, I will be releasing a book about President Barack Obama that is sure to rattle the literary world. It will give a unique insigt never seen or never told. Needless to say, I am very excited about this project.

Clara, I’m glad to see that you are still making efforts to enhance the worls through your own efforts. Stay strong and keep writing.

Sincerely and with love. Your friend,

Mark Anthony Hall

Thanks to my friend and former Chicagoan, Mark Anthony Hall for answering clara54’s shout out to “Whatcha doing?!” for my readers update. Trust me, there will be a series of such responses, along with touching sentiments from friends and creatives in the biz of writing down their authentic bones this Holiday season…Peace and blessing to you all and thanks for all you do! 

P. S. If you’d like to become a part of my Whatcha Doing Series this month, hit me up with a response here, DM via twitter or email me directly!

Welcome To My World!

Hey all! I’m Clara and I’m a woman in transition. What you’re about to let yourself in for is going to become one heck of a ride, views from the perspective of one woman writer whose sole intent is to encourage, inspire and impassion women of a certain age to go for the gusto in this, the 2nd phase of life! I’m also going to digress a bit at times and speak on entertainment, politics and just everyday stuff from time to time, why? just because I can!

I’m a writer. A seasoned, professional nurse. A self-published poet. An online columnist. A divorced mother of two and grandmother of 5… I love men of substance, eloquence, wit, compassion and a strength clothed in spirituality. I decided several years ago after my divorce and a traumatic ending to love on the rebound, that it was time I found my ‘destiny’…Think, Forest Gump when he asks, “Mama, what’s my destiny?” She replies, ” Forest,Life is like a box of chocolates. You NEVER know what you gonna get.” I invite you along, as we discover what we’re gonna get!

Happy Sunday All! It’s also my 4th year  @ Clara54!!!!!!!!!!. This was where it all began:) Sending out heartfelt appreciations for all you’ve given via your comments, emails, twitter follows and just some darn good blogosphere community:) Sonya,  my Washington bud,you’ve been the best of the best!

Shine On!