Last week’s sessions of the the Social Media Success Summit 2013 included two great presenters who discussed blog marketing:
- Marcus Sheridan, discussing ‘How to make your blog stand out in a noisy world’
- Jeff Bullas, talking ‘How to create blog posts people love to share’.
Each presenter took a slightly different angle (and style — Marcus’ presentation was full of adrenalin and his energy infectious, even over the internet; and Jeff was classic laid-back Aussie). Here are some of the topics they each discussed in their presentations that that I think make for some great advice:
Thoughts from Marcus Sheridan:
Speak properly: Write your blogs in the same language your customers think, write and say.
Share the lot: We’re afraid to put out what the consumer wants (e.g. service/product price) because we are afraid of the competition — so become ostrich with head in the sand. If price can vary, or depend on e.g. order size, location, complexity — say so.
Never make a marketing decision based on competition or those customers who are a bad fit for your company — Marcus Sheridan
Think outside the box: Just because it has always been done that way doesn’t make it right.
Google it; tag it: Check what the most common question is that people ask Google about your topic by doing a search — what are the suggested phrases? That is what people want. Use tags, and make them relevant.
Don’t be all things to everyone: It is ok to say if a product isn’t right for someone — because you want the people who want you, who will pay your money and your bills — the actual customer. Focus on the customer who will buy from you, who you want to do business with — not the others.
Thoughts from Jeff Bullas:
Takes some to make some: If you want to write a lot, read a lot. Tune your antenna to find inspirations.
Be generous: Need to give away as much value as you can — for free — until it hurts.
Keep it simple stupid: Simple and shorter is often better. Also, your blog is talking to a global audience, where often English is a second language, so keep it simple. Don’t use acronyms, big words or corporate speak.
If you blog about something you are passionate about, easy to get up early and stay up late — Jeff Bullas
Audience is everything: MUST understand audience because people have preferences how they consume, so mix it up with video, PowerPoint, podcasts, screen shots etc
Marks of quality: Must have structure to blog — a good intro, pithy paragraphs, bullet points, sub-titles. Good copy often looks fluffy rather than dense. And do learn how to write headlines.
Persist in publishing: Ideally publish posts 4-5 times per week; but at least once a week. Need to show that blog is active and content is up to date.
Getting shared: Just some of the things that people like to share are: lists, negative headlines (e.g ‘What no to do’), how-to, research, case studies, images (usually the most often shared), reviews (anything that saves time for your audience), and solving problems.
Do it for love, not money: If just blogging for money, that is hard — passion is important. is engine for your journey.
It’s not all about you: Don’t talk about yourself — put self into customer’s and prospects shoes. When blogging, you need to add as much value to people’s lives as possible. The categories that add to people lives are informing, educating, entertaining, inspiring. That means giving away free content until it hurts as that is what builds trust and credibility. It will take time. Persist.
Hold that thought: When you have an idea — just write notes about it on iPhone so as not to forget. (This is one I do often — thoughts have come to me on train, waiting in queues, making breakfast, watching TV, walking in a park — my phone is usually with me so it is a great was to store the thought).
Make time: Set aside time to blog based on when suits you — early morning, late at night — but make it a regular thing.
Fail to plan, plan to fail? Jeff Bullas said he plans his blog content intuitively as new ideas and issues appear each day. So it is good to have a plan for content, but be ready to be responsive too.
Motivating yourself: Just start. Start every day. Each post needs to just start. Turn off Twitter and Facebook and just start. Nothing will take place of persistence — just persist.
The Social Media Success Summit runs for one more week, concluding on 23 October.