Segment 9 - Platform Essentials: Blog
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 confined 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 blogger really my entire website is really run onward press so you know, I think this the days when you know blogging was looked at as a journal or you know, some sort of place where people...
would write their personal rance I mean it's really just you know, gone by the wayside some of the largest um 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 if you're not familiar with you should be familiar with in terms of putting out great khan 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 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 I'm 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 you know 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 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 you know, that set of steak knives that I offered earlier that you're going to start blogging so I'm going to 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 spend time on blood do 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 gets the blog's articles 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 great deal 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 a block so so that's the first half of that equation of the second half is that do you released 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 helen's 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 book 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 is going to increase in value on dh anytime somebody says oh I could 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 you're 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 termed out I used to I wrote a block post years ago that said let's stop using the b word but you know, 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 it 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. Would you say the absolute minimum because that's where I want to start I don't want to start so I have to do this three times a week so were the tradeoff 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 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 it kind of draws enough people to you start getting search engine you know results based on your business 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 have 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 contents 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 um so when you're a new company and you don't want it you know pass yourself off as somebody who is 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 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 block 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 no because we wrote about the stuff that they're looking for so you know 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 like to you know tell them you know six eight ten block post just you know queuing up right I'm ahead of time queuing up for 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 you know, 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 in monthly newsletter um 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 yeah 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 busies you 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 to 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 prospect who then ask you a question 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 log 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 say 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 s o that's I mean that's another way to think about it like you might mean a lot of people think well that I need these six or seven pages on my site because they explain our services or you explain how to do something well you can create those his 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 what is 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 day there are back there and then back up or a suggestion which is if you're gonna 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 that you can use also and that was that was a great example of a that point that I made you know more than one use kind of idea but you're right if there's something you're already doing you know very practical you're going out speaking you know 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 you know videos and put him out you know, over the course of three weeks for I just google hire a blogger 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, right? 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 they 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 too you know in there and you can give them a list of content I mean um here 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 zachary's is another zr why asked I think its eye how you spell that and 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 can it's best if you give them like here is the headline are most 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 from what I typically tell people do then is realised that you should don't cut pace that thing and you know he 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 it seems to get your industry or you seem to like the way they write you know then start going and working with them directly so that's my there are definitely ways for you to help you 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 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 too you know that you're not selling in this content you're educating its valuable it's you can be opinionated it's not, you know, 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 used go daddy to register domains the software that I use there are you know 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 um I 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 and that allows you to add pages on block post seamlessly but the look and feel of it is driven by what's called a theme nothing that's just the word press vernacular I there are lots of theme developers actually wordpress comes with a couple you know, out of the box themes that you probably don't want to use just because they're the kind of default themes that ever 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 you know, graphics and images and so the header and what not is is really in line with kind of all of your other branding I use studio press for really a kind of all mind blawg 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 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 fine 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 to buy outside expertise to be ableto buy outside expertise. So you may find that you want to get somebody to to help customize that, so 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 themes 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 of themes that now that you know you could go deep into a theme so if my you know, 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? Ice? 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 whose content I routinely share. They want to share my content, then they want a link to my block post. And so, you know, that's. Kind of the new currency of online networking is, is that idea of sharing content. You want to and I'm going to get you know a little technical here so I'll try and I'll watch for the glaze over factor but you know they're as you write blawg 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 that too 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 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 eye 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 way is to use twitter to search twitter for marketing and I wrote that five or six years ago on distill today the most shared a piece of content I've ever written and a 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 ways that you can write mohr provocative headlines using images in your in all of your block post used 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 yost thatjust is the name of the person that 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 confined them most of them are free on gets some great ways to really add some functionality the in fact I'll just flip over to this next slide because thie well this list of plug ins are what I would recommend the word press plugin seo plugin by yost allows you to really do somethings toe toe automatically optimize your content so it's going to show up better in the search heard engines because of things that you do I also use and these are all tools that I use I also use contextual related post and what this plugin 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 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 you know 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 block 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 teo say hey you like this block post don't miss out on any others and you 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 post 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 him tto one single block post that I may have written years ago. And 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 blogger post, you'll get a notice vacation that says, hey here's, some new content come and get it so it's almost like subscribing to a newsletter that way, andan 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 block content that they have a way to share it. 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 share a bowl 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 khun just hit tweet on gittel retweet that comment with a link back to your block post so another great way dad 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 wth 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 on guy now have people that have the ability to to take that and share it on instagram or share that on pinterest and with a link back teo 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 block post 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 long term because it links back to my side 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 platform is one quick question from tough tootle they asking about tumbler any opinions on tumbler over wordpress well tumbler falls into one of 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 you know 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 block post that 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 now 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 as people of kind of transition to using these is just their website it's just content right there is 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 five that can't be up to date right 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 lynx 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 anymore, right? And so there's a little give and take. But 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, a core 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 that's, old and not relevant anymore is probably a good thing.