Return to Contributor Welcome Information
Please contact us for a Contributor Application Form
How should we decide which set of tips to write for?
In some cases, it will be natural for you to make the choice, e.g., if you are a professor, I hope you write tips for professors. As you well know, college and university faculty want to know that the people who are writing tips for them either are professors or have been professors and that the author of the tips "gets it" because he/she knows what the professor's needs are.
If you are an executive or life coach, then you very likely have ideas that will be ideal for the TTPT for Coaches. Same with teachers, principals, and so forth.
With that being said, I also know perfectly well that there are some topics that cross the various series. Let's just use meetings as an example.
Pretty much everybody goes to meetings. We could all use tips for either running a better meeting or making a meeting that we are attending better. You might come up with an excellent set of tips that you think would work really well for entrepreneurs - you're an entrepreneur yourself - and then you think, You know what? All I would have to do is tweak these just a little bit, change the language somewhat and I could also make them a Top 10 Productivity set of tips for women. This is one option you have.
In essence, you are using the same or similar tips but you've just customized them a little bit so that they're going more toward one particular target group.
Who is the audience for each of these different series of tips?
It's important for you to know this because that way, you can determine which series to write for, if you are wondering about that.
Top Ten Productivity Tips (the original series): Although this series is not one that I am actively recruiting for, if you have a set that would apply across the board, you could submit them to me and I can include them. I am not averse to adding contributors to this series although in the past, I was essentially the only contributor.
Top Ten Productivity Tips for Coaches: The audience is life coaches, executive coaches, expert coaches, etc. People who either coach full-time or have that as a part of the services they offer - either as small business owners or as part of a larger corporation or agency.
Top Ten Productivity Tips for Entrepreneurs: The audience is solopreneurs (one-person businesses), people who are looking to start their own companies, individuals who own a small or large entrepreneurial enterprise, and the like. The subscribers may be people who are full-time working for themselves or who are engaged in a side business as an entrepreneur.
Top Ten Productivity Tips for Principals: The audience is K-12 principals (or other administrators, such as assistant principals, deans of students, and the like). With the roles and responsibilities these folks have, they will welcome your tips and suggestions.
Top Ten Productivity Tips for Professors: The audience is college and university faculty members. They are likely to be involved in teaching, service, and scholarly work and they need LOTS of tips on how to be more productive in their work.
Top Ten Productivity Tips for Teachers: The audience is K-12 classroom teachers - both new and experienced educators.
Top Ten Productivity Tips for Women: The audience is... uh, women. That will be the common factor. Our subscribers may be CEOs of companies or home CEOs. They could be mothers or child-free. They might be in relationships or not. This is a very broad group and will have the widest range of professions represented. I see that the tips will go across this range and some weeks, the ideas may not apply to a particular portion of the readers - but they will KNOW someone who could use the ideas. For example, if you write a set of tips for mothers - if they are good tips then the subscriber who is NOT a mother will forward these on to her friends that ARE mothers.
Top Ten Productivity Tips for Writers: The audience is writers - of many different types. We will have professors who write, professionals who write as part of their jobs, full-time authors, people who want to write more (and better and more easily), college students who write, and more! I expect to have many fabulous contributors to this series and because writing is something that many folks struggle with, this is going to be a popular series.
Is one person responsible for ALL the tips for one of the series?
Yes... me! I'm responsible overall for the entire project, but I won't be writing all of the tips. That's where you come in. I am sort of the chief facilitator.
Within each series, we may have as few as five or we might have as many as 30, 40, or 50 different people who write sets of tips under one of the series, that is, categories (e.g., coaches, entrepreneurs, principals, professors, teachers, women, and writers).
What if the tips we write seem like they could fit into more than one series?
That is going to happen - and it's a good thing! For example, imagine that you start out writing a great set of top ten productivity tips teachers about working with colleagues. But then, as you start to write it you think You know what? These are good practices for women in general. So, you either decide to slant it more one direction or the other - ORRRRRR, you finish the set for teachers and then do a revision/rewrite where you change some wording, making it less specific for teachers and more specific for women (and maybe changing a tip or two, if needed) and you submit both sets.
I am expecting that there will be a number of instances where contributors realize that with minor adaptations on your sets of Top Ten Productivity Tips, you could actually create two.
Would you ever just take something we wrote and include it in another series?
It's possible. All that will happen is that you are getting additional exposure to readers.
I won't just make these editorial/publication decisions willy-nilly, but if there's one that I think You know what? This one is fabulous for this category and yet I need it over here or I also think it would be appropriate there, then it's not that I'll pull it out of the category you wanted it in; it's just that it might show up in another one as well.
And I guess if somebody just said, "Under no circumstance do I want this to show up in anything else but principals," then I would make sure that it only showed up there.
Is it OK to submit only one set of tips?
Yes. You could submit one, and only one, set of tips - ever. However, what I think is going to happen is that most of you, once you start to do this, will think Well, this is pretty nifty. I think I'll submit another set. Part of why I think this will happen is because it's essentially a *free* way for people to learn about you.
When people begin to see your name show up several times during a year, they'll think Gosh, this isn't just a fly-by-night kind of person. Here she has more ideas about writing (or whatever the series is). Or a reader might think, Oh good, here is Beverly's name again. I remember her name from one of the earlier weeks. I hope she keeps having Meggin include her tips about writing.
This is how you build some familiarity and you start to build relationships with the people who are reading what you've written.
So is it OK to submit more than one set of tips - even for more than one series?
Yes. I intend to write for several of the different series and you can, too. As long as your ideas are content-rich and serve the subscribers, then I welcome your submissions!
Will subscribers be reading several different series of tips?
Mostly, people will be signing up for one series of tips for two reasons:
However, let's say we have someone who is a woman and an entrepreneur (not an unusual combination). She could very well sign up for both of those series, but the tips that were written by the same person and are on a similar topic (using our meetings example from above), aren't going to arrive in her email in-box the same week. So I don't think we need to worry about anything like that, i.e., with anyone thinking they are getting repetitive material.
- That's what I'll encourage them to do since they need to choose the series that is most closely aligned with their perceived life/work category
- Most people know that they don't have time to read 5 or 6 sets of these and implement them.
How long will each series of tips last?
That's another very good question (from one of the participants in the recent live Q & A call). The regular Top Ten Productivity Tips run for just over a year. When I first advertised it, I told people there will be a year's worth of these tips (so I felt compelled to create 52 weeks' worth - which wasn't hard to do, really).
With these new series, I don't know. I don't know if a particular one will run for 20 weeks, if another one will run for 37 weeks, or how that's going to work. It's really going to depend on how many you and your colleagues submit. The way that the shopping cart system (www.TheShoppingCartMegginRecommends.com) works, I can have up to two years' worth in one series. So heavens, if we ended up with 104 good submissions for one of these, then I am willing to load them up and do that.
I am not going to promise subscribers a certain number, however. If a series has run its course in half a year, then that is okay. I am hoping for at least a half-year's worth, and I really would like to have a year's worth for each of these series, and I think we can do that.
Will People Only Have One Chance to Sign Up for a Series of Tips?
Heavens, no. Using www.TheShoppingCartMegginRecommends.com, I will be setting up what are called "auto-responders" for the new Top Ten Productivity Tips series. In the current Top Ten Productivity Tips, there are 54 messages that go out over a year-long period to the subscribers. Every year I revise the messages a little bit, but mostly they are the ones I originally wrote several years ago. For example, I check to see if I need to update software references or add another link for Here's a good book, but in general, they are the same ones I wrote a while back.
The way it works, people subscribe, receive the Top Tens and sometimes at the end of the year, immediately resubscribe and get them a second year in a row. At the same time, I have new people each day who are just now signing up - and starting with message #1.
At the end of the series, I always say, "Now, you can re--subscribe and receive these again or you might try..." and what I've recommended in the past are other ones of my series, such as Keeping Chaos at Bay or Just Whelmed.
Now that we will have these new Top Ten Productivity Tips series, I will say, "Okay, you've now gotten Top Ten Productivity Tips for Women for 52 (or however many) weeks, and you might enjoy the one for writers," or, "You might want to check out the one for..." _____ or _____.
What we will all work to do is to keep people in the cycle. The good news is that the Top Ten Productivity Tips brand, which is really what it's become, is one of the most - I guess for my list, it's essentially the most loyal group. People get in to the TTPT group and because every week they are reminded Oh yeah, I want to be productive and Meggin is sending me these things that are helpful, most of the people who sign up for Top Ten Productivity Tips remain.
In general, the subscribers to the TTPT stay with it. It's not something they receive for a couple of weeks and then unsubscribe. Professionals around the world find the tips to be practical and beneficial for their situation.
Will you send out "Teasers" about the various series to those who subscribe to another series?
That's a really good question and good idea; I will make sure to do so. The promotion of the Top Ten Productivity Tips is going to be a big part of the role that I'm able to play, i.e., not only letting people know about the whole concept, but also, once somebody signs up for the one for teachers (for example), we know that those folks know people who are women and they know people who are life coaches and people who are principals (and so on). So if they are reminded of the other series, they are more likely to think, Oh yeah, I need to get my principal signed up for some of these productivity tips.
So yes, I'll use cross promotion (and will expect that all the contributors will take various opportunities to let their lists know about the various Top Ten Series that they can subscribe to - for free).
Do you have some ideas for helping us generate and collect our tips ideas?
As far as generating ideas, a couple of these things I have already alluded to but here is a listing to help you get going:
- I want you to take a good look at your previous content. What have you already written? And whether you wrote it as a Top 10, if you wrote it as A Dozen Ways To... or Six Good Ideas For... take a look at reformatting it - either lengthening it a little bit or combining a couple of ideas or just taking some things out if you have too many - and make it into 10. It's not that I'm unwilling to give people a bonus tip at the bottom, but in general, I want to really stay with this whole idea of 10, so look at your previous content.
- Then think about what you know and like to talk about or like to tell people, whether you're talking to a colleague, talking to a mentor, talking to a client. What are the ways that you try to help the people you know be more productive? Remember, we're using the definition of "productivity" as being able to do what you need to do - easily, peacefully, and predictably. So think about what it is that you're always sharing with other people that assists them in doing what they need to do more easily.
- Then you might want to think about questions that people often ask you. Maybe you are forever having people say, "I admire the way you... always seem so organized when you go to class. How do you do that?" I believe that's a Top 10 series just begging to be written: The Top 10 Productivity Tips for Professors to Get to Class Organized.
- Think of other questions people ask you about what you do. For so many of us, we often take for granted what we do that is productive. We think, Well, who wouldn't do this?
- Create an Excel spread sheet with ideas. Just populate it as you think of things.
- Create a mindmap (www.MyFavoriteMindMappingTool.com or any of the many free ones - or just use a piece of paper!) Capture your ideas and spur yourself on to create more by mindmapping.
- Carry around note cards or Post-It notes - and see what bubbles up. That way, when you sit down to do the writing, you maybe have already generated 8 ideas, and when you being typing those in, you think Oh yeah, well then there's this one and then there's this one, and before you know it, you have 10.
- I'm going to be doing some calls soon where we will generate content right on the phone... so stay tuned (be sure you're on our LIST to get notified).