November 21, 2013
Chris Ducker is an entrepreneur, and Founder/CEO of Virtual Staff Finder and Live2Sell. In 2010, Chris ventured into blogging, and quickly became the outsourcing authority. In this interview, we talk about how he amassed a large following, the biggest blogging mistakes and more.
You’ve been very successful in business, most notably with Live2Sell, and it wasn’t until 2010 that you got serious about blogging. Were there tips/best practices that you applied from the business world?
Being original is number one in business. If you want to do anything in business now, you’ve got to be as original as possible because it’s becoming more and more complex. The second thing is just be consistent in what you’re doing whether it’s a podcast, building out a YouTube channel, or creating a blog.
I decided to make a quality design of the blog (Virtual Business Lifestyle) apparent from the outset. I didn’t want it to look just like any other blog out there. I wanted to try and stand out, and be as original as I possibly could. When I first started Virtual Business Lifestyle, I was blogging three times a week pretty religiously for almost a year, and it certainly helped to drive more traffic to the site, increase opt-ins, and overall get the blog in front of as many people as possible. read more
October 24, 2013
John Pettitt is the founder and CEO of Repost, a content syndication platform that allows you to easily republish content without it losing attribution, advertising and more. A veteran of the tech space, John has successfully lead two companies into an IPO, including CyberSource which was acquired by Visa for $2 billion.
What makes Repost a great tool for content creators?
Repost means you don’t have to create all the content yourself, and your original content can serve you beyond your own site generating audience and revenue. There is a very clear relationship between posting more and getting more traffic. In fact, traffic scales pretty linearly with the number of posts you make. Repost gives you a way of adding more content easily and quickly. Some examples – a hyperlocal site could add movie reviews from Fandango or a news site could add analysis from the Christian Science Monitor or The Economist. Sports sites can add national coverage from Fox Sports, SB Nation, FanIQ, and Bloomberg Sports.
On the outbound side, the best ad for your content is your content. Every time somebody embeds one of your articles it generates ad revenue, traffic, and brand exposure. Readers of embedded articles are 95%+ new to that publisher’s content. Where else can you get that exposure and great CTR’s with an asset you’ve already paid for? read more
October 4, 2013
Creating great videos may not be easy, but Amy Schmittauer makes it look easy. President of Vlog Boss Studios, an agency specializing in video content marketing, Amy has also created a following on YouTube where she talks about social media, marketing and more.
What advice would you to give to someone starting video, and getting over the fear of being on camera?
It’s so much easier to talk to people directly right? Stop thinking about the lens, and start thinking about your audience. Picture one person that you would be sharing this information with, and speak to them. It’s a completely different feeling when you have the mindset that you’re helping someone with your content versus just being another recording on the Internet.
Your videos on Savvy Sexy Social are very entertaining. How do you keep people’s attention in an age when attention spans are spread so thin?
I inject a lot of personality in my videos. That’s the best way to start. If you think you can grow in this medium by being just another talking head, you have another thing coming. So people know exactly what I’m like in the real world because I’m not putting up a rouse for my videos. I also pay a lot of attention to my analytics, and my audience retention. Anything I can do to keep my video flowing quickly with non-stop information, and entertainment so they are only watching as long as they need to, increases my ability to build a relationship with them. You’ll rarely hear a pause or an “umm” because I do a lot of cutting, so we’re constantly going from point to point. There is no downtime in my videos. read more
September 27, 2013
Called the Chuck Norris of branding, John Morgan has worked with Fortune 500 companies, celebrities, and entrepreneurs. Also an author, John’s book Brand Against The Machine currently has 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
A lot of people see a brand as a logo or design, but it’s actually more than that. What is, and what makes up a brand?
A brand is certainly not a logo or color scheme or marketing campaign. It is people’s perception of you. It represents the level of trust people have with your company. What makes up a brand is quite simply, everything. Everything you do is branding. Your attitude, clothes, service, systems, and so on, all make up your brand. That’s why so many businesses fail to build a lasting brand. They believe that their brand is based on the product, or the logo. They forget the little things. Every great brand is made of tiny little things they do well.
I’m sure there are some people reading this who never seriously considered what their brand exactly was. How do you come up with a brand? Where do you even begin?
Everyone already has a brand because everyone you’ve met has a perception of you. You might not have considered how you’re positioned in the marketplace, but it’s not too late. I recommend beginning by focusing on what you do that your competition doesn’t. It’s an instant way to stand out. In addition to that, give your brand room to breathe and grow over time. Apple was once defined as a computer company, yet today their brand is perceived differently than that. read more
September 20, 2013
Chris Reimer is a longtime Twitter evangelist, and when not posting far more than 140 characters, he’s got his game face on as VP of Social Media at Falk Harrison.
Why is Twitter a great platform, and how is it different from other social networks?
Twitter is brilliant. It allows for direct, one-on-one engagement and outreach to anyone on Earth (who uses Twitter). Humans love to communicate, and want to be heard. There are countless case studies of people using Twitter to move mountains – to launch products, to gain exposure via someone famous, to sell products, to reconnect with old friends, to build something out of nothing with no ad budget whatsoever!
This is a dumb example, but I was watching Piers Morgan interview Kyra Sedgwick. I can’t remember what they talked about, but it was a great discussion. I was able to tweet “Hey @kyrasedgwick, I really enjoyed your interview on @piersmorgan.” In this case neither responded, and yet I still was very pleased to be able to say this to them. I don’t know why – it’s just how we as humans roll. I hope to be a guest on Piers’ show some day (seriously, why not). Could it help even a little bit that I tweeted him about his Kyra Sedgwick interview? I don’t know, and herein lies the problem for people. read more
September 6, 2013
People like to say content is king, but how important is design in the overall process?
If they can’t read your content, then it doesn’t matter how great your content is. Many blogs a few years ago, in trying to make a full-time living, got cluttered with ads, and images that made the reading experience horrible. I think the internet has grown to where there’s a great balance of content, and other items that help pay the bills. Ultimately, we’re seeing a trend in going back to simpler designs because a simple design gets to the point, and that point is good quality content.
Through years of owning a blog, a lot of bloggers have taught themselves how to do basic design, and many how to code. Do you think everyone should learn or do you think it requires a certain kind of person?
Everyone CAN learn how to code, and it’d probably save some bloggers some money in the long run to read up on some basic HTML and CSS skills. I say go for it, but always keep in mind the tasks that you are passionate about. If editing your website layout isn’t your thing, then leave that up to someone that is driven by creating, and editing design elements for the web. read more
August 30, 2013
Facebook is the world’s largest social network, and breaking through the noise is harder than ever. How do you get past the images with quotes, and reshares of funny photos?
I think it all depends on your goals for Facebook. Often times we fall into a pattern of just copying what everyone else is doing because that “worked”. But just because posting idiotic memes works for George Takei doesn’t mean it will work for me!
You have to be yourself and be consistent with that message. The challenge however is avoid the temptation to always post links to your product or company, especially when you’re in the online marketing world. Be human and interact with your followers/friends, and then every once in a while mix in a link or two. And yeah, sometimes posting a silly cat video is needed! read more
August 23, 2013
Before you founded WP Site Care, a premium WordPress support company, you offered consulting to small businesses, and were even the VP of Marketing for a home care company. What intrigued you so much about WordPress, and diving into it full-time?
I learned about WordPress when I was exploring options for our company’s website almost 5 years ago. It was still really immature but I loved how it put control in our hands when we wanted to launch new stuff. We didn’t have to wait on web developers, or edit 1,000 lines of code, etc., for the majority of the stuff we wanted to do and I loved that. We could come up with an idea and move ahead, which is how marketing on the web should be. read more
August 16, 2013
How did your writing career first get started?
I got started when I left a job I was terribly unhappy at. I was working myself to death, and had no respect or recognition for my efforts. I had no real goal in mind when leaving, other than I wanted to be happy again. I just wanted to live life and not feel beaten down by “the man” all the time! I started writing for a small Android gaming site for fun, and people liked my work. I was doing it for free (which anyone who is serious about blogging or writing should do), and really learning how things worked. From there, I saw that Android Authority was looking for writers. I sent my “elevator pitch” to those who are now my bosses, and the rest is really history at this point. read more
August 9, 2013
David Risley got a very early start in the blogging world at a time when Google was a promising startup, and AOL CDs were still sent by the truckload. He’s managed to build a six-figure business, and currently shares the tools of the trade over at Blog Marketing Academy.
When did you first start blogging?
I started about 15 years ago, before blogging was even a word. It was a very manual process back then. Raw HTML files and the whole thing… but it was still the essence of what blogging is – writing and publishing articles. I got started as a technology blogger, and was motivated by a magazine article on how to build a website in 20 minutes or less. I thought that’d be cool, so I set up a basic site on my ISP’s free 5MB of web space they gave me. The rest is history.
What moment did you realize you could make money from blogging, and possibly generate a full-time income?
Back in the day, the idea of web advertising was kinda new. But, I began to see people with tech sites do it. For example, I had a chat with Anand Lal Shimp, from Anandtech.com, way back before he was a big deal in the tech space. He was beginning to host some advertising on his site. At the time, I was on Geocities (remember them?), but I made the decision to move my site over to Pair Networks so that I could get rid of the Geocities “no advertising” rule. From there, I decided to pursue some advertising revenue with the site. read more