Platform Essentials: Blog
Okay, so we are going to round out this segment with something I call your publishing platform so really everything we've talked about today and a lot of ways is leading up to this you know, identifying your ideal client getting your value proposition kind of the customer journey figuring out the customer journey and then using content to power that customer journey now we actually have to give that content a home we have to put it out there in ways that people that we're trying to attract I can find it can access it can use it and so I'm going to talk about kind of my really my three favorite tools for doing that and then we'll add a couple miscellaneous ones on just for good measure two number one that I think has become the really the foundational content tool for anybody in marketing on that is a block the blogged really my entire website is really run onward press so you know, I think this the days when blogging was looked at as a journal or some sort of place where people would w...
rite their personal rance I mean it's really just gone by the wayside some of the largest websites that you could name are run completely on blogging software new york times is run completely on wordpress blogging software copy blogger which is another sight that if you're not familiar with you should be familiar with in terms of putting out great kant marketing content is run completely on wordpress my sites run completely on wordpress so we kind of have to lose this notion that blogging is some sort of add on thing or some you know, some kind of tool that that you used just to write your personal thoughts on and share them with the world it really has just become the foundational content software for publishing content and so if you assuming you're still here so you by at least a little bit of what I've shared you know earlier in the throughout the day this is really how you're going to get that content out there and how you're going to it's it's the easiest tool the simplest tool for you really published the amount of content that I believe is necessary to really get your story out and tell your story so first off let's start what is a blogger? I know that many people have a perception or an idea of what a blogger is and some of that's accurate some of it's inaccurate I mean I'm not suggesting that you become bloggers you know, like you like the world talks about, you know, the blogging is dead or that you know, this blogger is famous for this you know, this website you know, these bloggers or controversial I'm not really talking about any of that stuff that you read about I'm really just talking about using software that allows you to build authority because it just makes it so darn easy for you to publish content. We can never use the word blawg again. And hopefully that you know, that concept of produced, easily producing content that is search engine friendly, that is easy for people to share, and access is really all we're talking about. And that's, what you really need, every single one of you need to do. So tell me again, how many of you have a block? Okay, so how many of you are going to add a blogged tio? Okay, that's all I really want that's that's what I really had to get after, okay? Because otherwise, I mean, if nobody wanted to add a blot, we could just skip this topic, right? So and I put that question out to the internet is as well that tell me about your blawg. Tell me what your blogger has meant to you. If you have a regular practice of blogging, or at the end of this, you know, tell me that you're you know, you were going to pledge on that set of steak knives that I offered earlier, that you're going to start blogging. So I'm gonna ask you, why is a blog's important, convince me or us, that it's important to have a blawg and feed it because I have to say I never read blog's and I'm not a lot I mean, I do a lot of stuff on the net and social media and I never spent time on block you ever do certain you ever search for information online tons okay? And then I would suggest you read a lot of blog's because you can't search for an answer online without finding about half of that content on the block, right? You didn't set out to read bob's famous fitness blawg, but you found yourself there, right? Right sometimes use the blog's that's, right, our veterans and that's, right? And so any time somebody tells me they don't read blog's, you know, I would suggest that's probably not true, because most of our a great deal of the content particularly we ask a search engine, a question, a great deal that content is coming up in educational, valuable information that somebody has written that just happens to be in the block. So so that's the first half of that equation of the second half is that do you, at least by the idea that you need to be producing valuable content? Sure. Okay, well, this is just the simplest tool to do that more than facebook oh, absolutely, because you know what you know who owns facebook mark zuckerberg, facebook you don't you don't own the content on facebook any time they decide that you no longer get to have that or that they want to use it in some way to sell advertising that's where that's where your content goes, you're you're you're not a customer of facebook you're part of the product so you prioritize blogging over you have to have your own home you have to have this asset that and again, you know, maybe somebody someday can come take that away from you, but essentially if you have a home with your domain name on it, all of your branding all of your links are going back to that that's an asset that over time is not only portable but his door it's going to increase in value on dh anytime somebody says, oh, I can just do it here, I can just do it on this free tool there, you know, I get nervous because, you know, the reality is that could go away tomorrow, everything that you've done, all the comments, all of your entire community that you've built there, the terms of service say we own it so the ownership is what you get really is I mean, I talk about using facebook as an important way to extend your home, you know where to create other outpost or create a tool that that does allow you to build some community, but but not, you know, not at not at the sacrifice of having your own content on your own home, and so really I'll go back to that thing again. I'm not telling you all that you need to be bloggers, you know, let's, throw that sort of I'd love to throw that term out. I used to I wrote a block post um years ago that said let's, stop using the b word, but people people misinterpreted my point, but but but it really is true, I think that that idea that I'm going to be a blogger is actually holds people back more than anything, and all I'm suggesting is you need to be producing educational content that people see you as an expert, that they confined in the search engines, and this just happens to be the tool that makes it the easiest to do it's just software you're building authority, it gives you really kind of flexible interaction. It is out of the box at least the tool I use, which is wordpress, is search engine friendly. You know, every time I write a new block post, it's pushed out to all the search engines they know, you know, immediately, they don't have to come find it. S o so the software itself I mean that's really? Why the software I think took off so much is because you know once the site is set up, the theme is set up anybody who can type now can produce content because you don't have to do any html coding or open up a web page or get your web designer to you know, to create something new for you. It's it's once it's set up really anybody multiple anybody's you know in your company now can produce content what would you say the absolute minimum? Because that's where I want to start, I don't want to start it so I have to do this three times a week so we're the trade off you know comes really in is trying to side you know, how do I use my precious resource is how do I use my time? Is the pay off? You know our people finding me now because they go out and search because I'm right, I've written enough content, you know that is valuable, so I'm avoiding answering your question because I want to set the table for it. There is no minimum really because what you know again what we're trying to do is build this body of work that is significant enough that kind of draws enough people to you start getting search engine results based on your business a model but you know if if you're not producing something about once a week in my opinion you know it's hard to keep it's just hard to keep the habit of it I mean for some people if you know if you go for a month and then you know you look up and six weeks has gone by and you haven't written anything you're probably not going to get, you know, much interest from the search engines you're certainly probably not gonna get much interest from anybody that might find it to read it but it's a long term game so if at the end of a year you know you've published twelve or twenty block post, you know you have at least that amount of content I mean, I I write one almost every day, but again I have you know, I have a different need for a different reason too right content everyday so when you're a new company and you don't want to be no, pass yourself off as somebody who is new to the market and you want to show yourself to be an experienced person but you have one post on your block because is, you know, only just started it is there a way that you know is that okay for people to see that your new are in order to see like an authority should you be patting it a little bit with maybe six blood post to start so it seems like you aren't the new kid in town yeah I I mean you probably all gone to him I mean again we're not thinking it right off the bat people aren't just gonna wake up and say oh, I'm going to go read that great bog right like you were saying but what we're trying to do is establish some amount of readership but also know that we're trying to establish people just finding us organically because we wrote about the stuff that they're looking for so which somebody shows up to your site is one block post or there hasn't been one for six months then you know, I don't think that that really sends a very good signal so really when people are getting started I always liked you know tell them you know, six, eight, ten block post just you know, cure him up right? I'm ahead of time que um up the software actually allows you to say set the date in the future when you wanted to publish so you you know you add it and it'll it'll publish one every two days or three days if you want you can actually backdate those if you want so that you know it would publish them it would look a cz though you publish them you know, weeks ago maybe, but yeah, I mean having a little bit of a rolling start rolling momentum I think is is a good thing for getting started okay, so as someone who probably you know I didn't raise my hand when you said do you like to write actually I don't mind it I find that I get caught up in that it takes me so much time till I'm satisfied to post something and I'll admit I'm probably at once to twice a month most of my leads air coming through speaking at least I'm I suppose I'm building my base of content and I do send it monthly newsletter is it just you know you would recommend get get better and more in the habit of doing it? Is it enough? I mean, you know I'm time constraint I mean, you have it's obviously hard to think in terms of this is a long term game sometimes it's hard to think in terms of in your case if you're getting enough lead you're keeping his busy as you I kind of want to right now so then the idea of oh I have to write blawg content that might someday payoff it's hard you know, if you're having choose priorities I would say okay, go out and do that speaking event however one of the things that I think most of us want, you know when we think about this blogging thing instead I mean think about what would be the most useful content that you could produce? Okay, do you ever go out and do a speaking gig or even go out and see a client or a prospect who then ask you a about? Well, how would I do this social media thing? How would this work for me? So what if you had ten block post that you could actually say? Well, you know what I wrote about the exact routine on how you would do that? Let me send you the link, you know? And so you don't have to always just think about this as content that people are finding because you're publishing on a regular basis, it could be water. You know what? Air ten logged post that if you had them, they would be valuable to you in other ways that makes sense. It doesn't actually part of what I'm doing is starting to use screen cast to do to create some online content that I can share with se my constant contact customers as additional resource is for going deeper with their tools, right? And those could be blown post, right? I mean, you know, you can embed those in a block post, so so that's I mean that's, another way to think about it, like you might mean, a lot of people think. Well, there I need these six or seven pages on my site because they explain our services or explain how to do something well, you can create those is block post too I mean just you know, sometimes when people will come to me and say, well, I just don't know what to write you know what would I possibly right? I mean it's a look one of the last six questions that that prospect or client asked you just, you know, write two hundred words about that it doesn't have to be you know, warren piece that you've written and I think that's when if you're trying to get something role and you're trying to get in the habit of it just just do that you know, that might take you and don't you know don't worry about if it sounds incredibly academic and has been thoroughly researched I mean itjust khun b hey, the other day I was talking to a client and they asked me this and I thought maybe other people might want to know the answer to this too there are back there and then if you have somebody record you like video when you're doing these, then you can send it out to transcription service and there's fifteen blood posts right there and then you can shop that video uh pinto little two minute segments and then you've got ten vlog posts you can use also and that was that was a great example of that point that I made her more than one use kind of idea you're right if there's something you're already doing you know, very practical you're going out speaking, you get somebody to record the thing and then have a transcribed and you've you know, breaking into chunks you know, break that you're getting break the video, you know, if you're going to do say, seven steps presentation, which is one that you know, you guys do break that into seven videos and put him out, you know, over the course of three weeks I just googled hira blogged writer yes there's a web site and there's a bunch of them right? So I just found content development, prose, twelve dollars a block post I actually had that slide in here with a bunch of resource is for that and it's in the syllabus still, I you know, I hesitated to share that well, partly we were I was cutting some things out because I felt like I had too much, but there are half a dozen blawg writing services I the reason I say I hesitate that particular when people are just getting started I like to use I like to think about using those services as fill in they're never going to write your point of view they're never going to really have your voice, I think down that could be it could be a great way so let's say you're you're publishing one a week and you want to get another two, you know in there and you can give them a list of content I mean, I'll give you since you opened the can of worms, I'll give you that I'll give you kind of my spiel on that, you know, blah gma is probably the best one zehr ease is another's e r y s I think it's eye how you spell that and they're pretty good because they both of those services actually allow you to say, hey, here's my topics and then they writers actually submit an article I mean, you could it's best if you give them like, here is the headline almost or here is kind of what I wanted this article as much information as possible, they will see a couple of writers may submit articles and then you get to pick, you don't have to take him all you can say I don't like any of them. What I typically tell people do, then is realised that you should don't you base that thing and, you know, realized that you should add it a little bit, you should put your own voice in it, you should make sure that you agree with the points, you know, because you don't know sometimes where some of this is coming from, and if you find a writer because you get to identify the individual writers, if you find a writer that seems to get your industry or you seem to like the way they write no, then start going and working with them directly. So that's my, there are definitely ways for you to help get some of that content produced. All right, so let me let me talk about what we've covered a little bit of what you need to do in in blogging again, go back to that, be opinionated, I mean, have a point of view. What do you what do you trying to get across in your block? I do think that one of the things, even though I've talked about it's, not you're not really a blogger, one of the things that I think people expect is for you to you know, you're not selling in this content you're educating its valuable it's you can be opinionated, it's not marketing speak. I'm not saying that you couldn't write, ah blogged that that was that way, but I think that most people expect, and I think the search engines probably value content that that really is mohr educational in nature. You should have we already talked about that point you should I believe you should have your own domain you know with whatever your brand or your your your company name is as much as possible and that that's where that auto live I I used go daddy to register domains the software that I use there are a dozen or more that you can use the one that I use is called wordpress there are two versions of wordpress there's one that is what's called hosted so you find that a wordpress dot com you just sign up for an account on dh pretty much start blogging away the other one is self hosted and that you find at wordpress dot or ge the that's my preference because you actually download the software you get hosting you upload wordpress so it's really all on your domain you own it there's no kind of in between service that might shut down someday and take all of your content with it I use wordpress specific hosting this is probably not an issue for you there's some really low cost if you're just getting started you don't have a huge amount of traffic there are lots of options for low cost hosting bloo host is one that I know a lot of people talk pretty highly of I use this hosting called synthesis but again it's it's I have a pretty high volume site and it's specifically hosting forward press and then the other component that adds a little confusion is that word press is just that's just the software, I mean, that runs the database, so to speak, that that makes it all kind of come together and work, and at allows you to add pages on block post seamlessly. But the look and feel of it is driven by what's called a theme and that's just the word press vernacular, I there are lots of theme developers actually, wordpress comes with a couple out of the box themes that you probably don't want to use just because they're the kind of default themes that ever, you know, everybody else has the ability to use. But this is where you add your branding and you add your colors and you add your graphics and images, and so the header and what not is really in line with kind of all of your other branding, I use studio press for really kind of all mind block themes you confined really, with one search, you can find lots of people out there that will customize themes for you. So you don't. I have to feel like you have to figure it all out in fact, you can there's a great website called w p beginner dot com that if you really want to have the tutorials that walking through, you know, really in depth about wordpress and how it works and how you would find themes and install themes, I mean, you could actually do it all yourself that way. But and I think that even if you're going to hire outside expertise, I think you should at least know enough toe by outside expertise to be ableto buy outside expertise. So you may find that you want to get somebody to to help customised that it s o that you, khun, you could get working. I mean, I can in the course of this programme, I could tell you all the things that you should know and the things you should consider. But if you're really going to take this to heart, you you probably want to get some expert help. So how do you make your blogging practice pay consistency we talked about in the last segment. We also talked about these themes and creating kind of your monthly calendar of thieves. Well, the way that you make long term make blogging pay is you come back to those themes. You have this list of ten or twelve things that you that air your foundational landmark themes and you write about, you know, those themes on a continuous basis and you come back to them, and if you kind of find yourself thinking, well, I want to do another block post this week. What should I write about? You know, that's, your that's, your short list of themes that now that you know you could go deep into a theme? So if my one of my generic topics or landmark topics really is referrals, well, obviously there's a dozen pretty easy categories, you know, our subcategories of the of the topic of referrals. So then I just, you know, I break that down, I never really run out of content, but I know that I'm always focused on the most important themes. Networking is actually extremely important way for you to get your content found, and when I say networking, I'm not talking about going to the chamber of commerce event, I'm talking about networking with other bloggers, people that that are writing content that you like, that you're reading, start making comments on their blog's start linking and sharing their content. That is how you actually generate links and sharing back to your content does that make sense? I and we're going to talk about it in the social media section, but I have a habit of sharing about fifteen pieces of content every day and only a small fraction of that is my content. I share other people's content frequently, and not only do I believe that my followers appreciate that it definitely generates interest from those people who content I routinely share, they want to share my content, then they want to link to my block posts. And so, you know, that's kind of the new currency of of online networking is, is that idea of sharing content you want to? And I'm going to get a little technical here, so I'll try, and I'll watch for the glaze over factor. But you know there as you write bog post content there's some things that you can do to actually make it show up more to make it be more valuable. We talk in terms of in the online world, we talk about optimizing your content and there's some technical elements involved in that, but the probably the most important thing after having this proper set of themes is your headline. You want to write headline, which is basically the title of your article or title of your block post you want to spend? I spend more time on that some days to on the entire five hundred words that I might write, because I want to get something that is clearly is going to pay off in terms of the search engines. In other words, I want to make sure that I'm using words that I want to show up hi and search engines, foreign people search, but I also want to make sure that I'm writing something that piques people's interest that maybe is controversial that maybe uses, you know, adverbs and adjectives in a way that it really has them say I you know, I need to go, I need to go see this ii you know, you could I could do an entire I could do an entire segment just on headlines, but I'll give you the example of the the most popular headline I've ever written. It was seven insanely useful ways to use twitter to search twitter for marketing on dh I wrote that five or six years ago on distill today the most shared a piece of content I've ever written and great. The reason I know that that headlines is part of the driving force is that I tested that headline against another headline when I put I actually put that content out and shared that content in two different places using two different headlines and the seven insanely useful ways headline got ten times the traffic of of the other headlines, so the only real difference between those was the headline and so you know, spending time on, you know reading other people's headlines reading other people's content looking at the content that's really popular popular on other sites you will begin to see patterns in in ways that you can write more provocative headlines using images in your in all of your block post you and actually optimizing those images and again this is where a site like w p beginner will really help because it will walk you through this idea of how to write descriptions howto add keywords to your bog post how to add or how teo attribute the images in your block post of the one of the easiest ways that you can really get familiar with this is there's a plug in that I talk about there at the bottom here this ceo wordpress ceo plugging by joost that just is the name of the person that created it wordpress has something called plug ins which is basically a way to extend the functionality of wordpress and there are thousands of them anybody can write them you could find them most of them are free ondas some great ways to really add some functionality the in fact I'll just flip over to this next slide because the this list of plug ins are what I would recommend the word press plug in seo plugin by joost allows you to really do somethings toe toe automatically optimize your content so it's going to show up better in the search engines because of things that you do I also use and these are all tools that I use I also use contextual related post what this plug in does this one doesn't have a lot of value to you've written a fair amount of content, but what this one does is it actually searches through all of the block post you've written in the past and it based on the topic of today's block post it automatically adds, if you liked this block post, here are five others that you might like right? So that are related to that and and I have to tell you that it does I've written a lot of block post over a long period of time and so I have the benefit of that, but every time I write a blogger post those ones that it surfaces people click onto because they come through and if they liked, they read my original block post there's a good chance that they're going to want to dive deeper and read some of the related ones. One of the things that you want to make sure that you were doing is capturing email addresses so people that find your block content from the wild you know, from seo from, you know, some fashion you want to give them the opportunity to just, you know, say hey, you like this block post don't miss out on any others on and sign up for to receive our updates every time that we ride a block post and so I use this tool called w p subscriber that actually allows people it actually puts a little subscribe box at the end of well, you can put it anywhere you really want, but I put it at the end of every block post so that because a lot of my blood posts and you'll find this to be true as well, once you start blogging, are found individually. So in other words, people didn't come to my page click on my block and say, ok, I'm going to start reading everything that's here they did a search for some topic or some idea or question that they had, and it brought himto one single block post that I may have written years ago on dh what what this tool then does w p subscriber is it really try? It really says, hey, if you like this one, give me your email address and now every time I publish a block post, you'll get a notification that says, hey here's, some news content come and get it so it's almost like subscribing to a newsletter that way on down the last one is something that I call her that is called sociable. One of the things that's, extremely important is that once people start finding your blood content that they have a way to share, so what sociable does? It automatically puts all of the links, too, sharing, liking, tweeting all the things that we do, publishing the link in all the things that we do in social media. Now, it just gives them a one button click to say, oh, I really like this article, I'm going to share this on twitter, or I'm going to share this on facebook with my friends, and so that sociable plugin kind of does all that automatic stuff behind the scenes. Two other pieces in the in the in the blogging kind of the last piece of the blogging, is that there's, another tool, another plug in that I like using called click to tweet, and so, if again, we're trying to make things more terrible, right? And so this is a plug in that you can actually take any headline or any comment in your block post, and you can actually kind of call it out, and it will put it in a nice little pretty box for you. So if you've written some pithy quote that you think would make a good tweet, it'll put it in a box for you, and then all the person reading has to do is click on a button and it'll automatically send them to their twitter account and they just hit that could just hit tweet on gittel retweet that comment with a link back to your block post s another great way dead sharing and then we already talked about this earlier but this idea of you know, adding visuals to your bog post on dh using that tool like word swag that I guess a couple of you have already downloaded since during the break to do not just add a picture but to actually think in terms of adding you know these this this visual content so this isn't just a picture this is actually in this particular example I mean this is this might be the primary concept of that entire block post andi I now have people that have the ability to take that and share it on instagram or share that on pinterest and with a link back teo the the site that I'm promoting in this particular case the book duct tape selling but I don't have they don't have to share the entire log so it gives them it gives them the ability to share the block post or to just share the image which actually then has some branding value a long term because it links back to my side so that's the that's the blogging category what questions came in I know we've been kind of well, maybe we answered a lot of them because we were hitting him as we were going there but anything from the internet yeah, we have some here somewhere just about like the platforms one quick question from tough tootle they asking about tumbler any opinions on tumbler over wordpress well, tumbler falls into one those categories where you don't own it right and so it is free it's great tool a lot of particularly under thirty year olds you know really dig it a cz you know, kind of their choice but I think if you're thinking you know long term what's my home you know what do I own what's my asset I still go with wordpress great zaza is asking what's the length of the block of block posts that you find work best that's a really tough one because there's a lot of research that suggests really long block post actually get shared mohr get linked to mohr get tweeted more they're obviously more work so I'm talking about twelve hundred toa twenty, five hundred words even but if you're just trying to get started you just trying to develop a habit don't beat yourself up over doing anything like that think in terms of you know, three hundred to five hundred words is usually enough to get a point across it doesn't have to be this thoroughly researched and lots of examples and I mean the stuff that people end up the search engines end up liking the most of course, are these ones that thoroughly describe something I mean that they're almost like a tutorial on dh those air probably posted you like finding to write when you're trying to solve you know that that that idea but but initially I'd rather see you get in the habit of writing five block post that air three hundred words than to stress over this one great killer post you talked about how people should sort of keep up to date with their block post regularly, but this question comes from in credit gem, and they say that I've noticed post with maurin post with no dates recently supposedly this is better for more evergreen content think about not having a date yeah that's really so when blog's first came along there was that whole crime in a logical aspect to it and you'd see most block post I still have it on mind today you know that will show today's date or whenever the block post was published and that was really just the way we all did it that's how the software was built I'm not sure there was any real rhyme or reason to it necessarily, but now is people have kind of transition to using these is just there website that's just content right? There's there's kind of a growing thought that if I find an article regardless of how relevant it is or not, but if I find an article that I c o the date was two thousand I thought that can't be up to date right? And and in some cases certainly it can't be but a lot of cases it certainly couldn't be as well, so there is a very, very big trend moving towards removing date based links or date based titles or having the date based on there at all on guy I would say that I would lean towards that removing that now there are some instances I mean, you can also make a case for saying that if I find I mean, there are things that the fact that somebody finds it and knows that it's six or eight years old is probably a good thing because a lot of the contents changed it's not accurate anymore on dh you get I think, a little more forgiveness than somebody just thinking, well, this person don't know what they're talking about, you know, look at that picture of facebook it doesn't even look like that and I won't write and so there's a little give and take, but the person used the word evergreen and I think that that's really an important concept so there's a lot of the content that we may write twenty five percent of its say that is really just a you know, a broad topic or foundational topic related to our business and it's, not anything that was necessarily go out of date. Eso. Eso having that as kind of staying, you know. So somebody doesn't think that's old and not relevant anymore is probably a good thing.