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“Is he a good dude who deserves a chance?”

That was the question posed by Jerod Morris — VP of Marketing for Copyblogger Media — to Demian Farnworth — Copyblogger’s Chief Copywriter.

I had just submitted my very first guest post to one of the largest, most well-respected copywriting blogs online and — as crazy as this may sound — that question was the question everything came down to.

Wild, right?

Not, “Do you like the article?” Not, “Is it a fit for our readers?”

Not even, “What’s the payoff?”

Now, of course, all those questions weighed in. But what it finally came down to was, “Is he a good dude who deserves a chance?”

I’ve written about my love of Demian before — “Build Relationships: The First of Four (Self-Revealing) Case Studies on Growth and Success.”

Today I want to pull back the curtain even more and show you exactly what happened behind the scenes — the nitty-gritty, straight-from-the-horse’s-mouth email exchanges — that lead to this amazing opportunity.

Let’s start with the back story …

Early last year, I connected with Demian Farnworth. After a few months of Twitter banter, link sharing, and emails, I finally mustered up the courage to submit a guest post to Copyblogger.

When I did that, I sent the article both through their online submission process as well as a direct email to Demian himself.

From the first — their online process — all I got back was a “Thanks for submitting … but we aren’t accepting unsolicited articles at this time.”

Door = Shut

It was the second route — the relationship route — that swung the whole thing open.

After about a week, came the response.

Actually, what came was way more than just the response.

Somehow, Demian and Jerod’s entire email chain — their whole back-and-forth about me and my article — got included in the confirmation email.

Here’s Demian’s first take.

And Jerod’s relpy.

Notice what he said:

I like it, BUT … “we’ve hit it many times” and “there isn’t really anything new in.”

So why move forward?

“I think there is value in it. Is he a good dude who deserves a chance?”

Demian’s answer?

Simple. Straightforward. No fluff.

“He seems standup, and he’s got a pretty good blog.”

Amazing, right? Who knew that’s what it was all gonna come down to?

Here’s the post that eventually went live: “6 Steps for Writing Simple Copy That Sells.”

Let me boil this down to two takeaways:

1. Focus on the relationship.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the difference between “yes” and “no” isn’t the pitch, the product, or the price … it’s the person. Connection, consistency, and trackrecord will make or break your career, not to mention your personal relationships as well.

2. Nonetheless, what you’re selling can’t suck.

A better way to say this might be: “Write [bleeping] amazing content.” Sure the relationship might be strong, but you still have to cover the basics: is it actually valuable?

So … my question to you is: are you a decent freakin’ person?

I’d love to hear your own anecdotes in the comments.

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