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Writing a Killer Blog (Without Killing Yourself)

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Writing a blog that gets attention takes a long time and is based on consistency, insight, and relevance. One can be successful at blogging if they find their voice, encourage discussions and keep at it.

Writing a Killer Blog (Without Killing Yourself)

  1. 1. Writing a Killer Blog (Without Killing Yourself)
  2. 2. <ul><li>Killer Blogging </li></ul><ul><li>Killer Insight </li></ul><ul><li>Killer Attitude </li></ul><ul><li>Killer Listening Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Killer Consistency </li></ul><ul><li>Time Killer? </li></ul>Today’s Agenda
  3. 3. The Face of a Stone Cold Killer? <ul><li>Early adopter tech geek blogger </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2,500+ posts since 2006 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>First to launch TweetDeck, Socialmedian, many Web services. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Active social media user, especially Google Reader, Buzz, FriendFeed. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Managing Director, New Media at Paladin Advisor Group </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clients include Emulex, Swagelok, Brazen Careerist, My6sense, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Member of advisory boards </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SocialToo, ReadBurner, BuzzGain, Teens In Tech, and YackTrack </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. First: Stalking Your Kill Takes Time <ul><li>In 2006, I didn’t have very much focus, nor an audience </li></ul><ul><li>In 2007, I noticed prominent people aware of my blog, and companies would respond </li></ul><ul><li>In 2008, I became more embedded in social media, predictions around aggregation and lifestreaming came true </li></ul><ul><li>In 2009, visibility grew as I expanded my reach to new social sites, stayed active </li></ul>via BlogPerfume
  5. 5. Killer Insight and Attitude
  6. 6. Why Do You Want to Blog Anyway? <ul><li>Blogs Need Passion and Authority </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If you don’t care about your topic, readers won’t either. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you can’t answer follow-up questions, you shouldn’t be participating. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But if you feel a need to share and have something to say, the door is wide open. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Is the Blog About You or Your Company? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Know the audience and the goal when you get started. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s probably not for the money or the fame. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Always know the consequence of hitting the publish button, especially if what you do has ties to corporate. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Who Are You? Know Your Role. <ul><li>Analyst </li></ul><ul><li>Engineer </li></ul><ul><li>Enthusiast </li></ul><ul><li>Executive </li></ul><ul><li>Finance </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing/PR </li></ul><ul><li>Services </li></ul><ul><li>User </li></ul>
  8. 8. Gaining Killer Authority <ul><li>Unique Content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First to a story or an idea </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Firsthand data or research </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Unique Access </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Speaking directly to a source </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Being the source </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Unique Perspective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is everybody else missing? </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Have You Seen Bad Blogs? <ul><li>Good blogging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Has personality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Has engagement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Doesn’t seem filtered </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Has intelligence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Has data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Uses references, links </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Builds community </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bad blogging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Seems forced </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is moderated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is infrequent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is unfocused </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is siloed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is not believable </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Some Killer Ideas <ul><li>Talk like a human, not like a robot. </li></ul><ul><li>If it’s new, don’t be afraid to explain it. </li></ul><ul><li>Highlight other people even if benefit is not obvious. </li></ul><ul><li>If something works, make it a regular feature. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Ten Tips for A Killer Blog <ul><li>Do Not Expect Instant Success </li></ul><ul><li>Find Your Voice and Focus </li></ul><ul><li>Be Genuine and Trusted </li></ul><ul><li>Be Consistent In Schedule </li></ul><ul><li>Be Unique In Coverage </li></ul><ul><li>Be Positive, Avoid Conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Show Passion, Excitement </li></ul><ul><li>Engage With Your Audience </li></ul><ul><li>Find Conversations Everywhere </li></ul><ul><li>There Is Always Time. Find it. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Killer Listening Skills
  13. 13. 3 Laws for Becoming a Killer <ul><li>Know the Tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Know what blogging and tweeting and sharing is all about. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Listen </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Watch what your peers and competitors are doing. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who is acting in a way you admire? What are they doing right? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Listen to what people say about your company, you and your ideas. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You can be alerted in real time, even if you’re not constantly surveying. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Participate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Broadcasting into the wind doesn’t have real benefits. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You are always a guest online. Act with respect and trade ideas. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participating gains you trust and consistent support. </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Tools to Help You Listen <ul><li>Search Tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Icerocket search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Blog Search </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Comment Tracker </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BackType </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Linkage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Web analytics Tools </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Benefits Of Listening Well <ul><li>You’re a Smarter Blogger </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You can know more about your industry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You’ll find new post ideas everywhere </li></ul></ul><ul><li>You Can See Trends Earlier </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are customers, competitors or partners discussing something that you can take lead on? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>You Can Respond Faster </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To comments, tweets, and other blogs </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Killer Discussions Encouraged <ul><li>Commenters and other distributors of your content won’t always agree. This is good! Engage in a fair way, not argumentative. Encourage discussion and highlight it. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Killer Consistency
  18. 18. What Pace Makes Sense for You? <ul><li>Once You Start Blogging, You Can Never Stop </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Before you start, see if you can keep a pace. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recommend posting 1-2x a week or more. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gaps are Extremely Visible </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If you can’t produce quality content on a frequent basis, then a blog shouldn’t be started. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. A Day In the Life of a Killer <ul><li>Two blog posts </li></ul><ul><li>5 – 6 Twitter Updates </li></ul><ul><li>Skim 1,000 RSS Articles </li></ul><ul><li>Share 20-25 Top Articles in Google Reader </li></ul><ul><li>Like 15 Items on FriendFeed and Google Buzz </li></ul><ul><li>20 Comments on FriendFeed and Google Buzz </li></ul><ul><li>1 – 3 Delicious Bookmarks </li></ul><ul><li>Miscellaneous activity on Facebook, other networks. </li></ul>via TweetStats via Google Reader
  20. 20. Some More Numbers… <ul><li>Blog Frequency </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Engadget (350/wk) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>GigaOM (80/wk) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inside HPC (30/wk) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LouisGray.com (11/wk) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>HP: Around the Storage Block (4/wk) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>EMC: Chuck’s Blog (4/wk) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>HDS: Hu Yoshida (1.6/wk) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If You’re Not a News Site, Don’t Try. Be Realistic. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Other Measures of Consistency <ul><li>Topics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sports and Business? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tone </li></ul><ul><li>Length </li></ul><ul><ul><li>100 words or 1,000? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Timing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Morning or Night </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Graphics or Rich Media </li></ul>
  22. 22. Blogging In A World Obsessed With Twitter
  23. 23. The World of Blogging (2006) Blogging (the old way) Reader Comments And E-mail Links, Blog Rolls And TrackBacks Comments on Other Blogs
  24. 24. But Wait! There’s Much More Now. Blogging (the new way) +
  25. 25. Blogging Is More than One URL <ul><li>Killer blogging means being active wherever the conversation is and embracing the new tools in the right way. No more silos. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Anticipated Benefits <ul><li>Brand and Thought Leadership </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Updates will show the company is delivering consistent activity and listening. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The company can be seen as developing thought leadership. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Web site Traffic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google and other search engines are favoring sites that are updated frequently, and have new content. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thought-provoking blog posts and other social content will increase links to the site. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Visibility and Engagement </li></ul>
  27. 27. Killing Time and Careers?
  28. 28. How I Make Time for Everything <ul><li>High Quality Input </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce noise by subscribing, following, organizing the right people on the right networks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Read Fast, Decide Fast, Act Fast </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make a decision to an action (sharing + liking) quickly, and also skip irrelevant information quickly. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Usual blog posts take about 20 minutes + imagery. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ And” and “Between” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social activity is easy in manageable chunks. I read RSS a few minutes of every hour through the day. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Read feeds AND watch TV. Blog AND listen to music. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn how to do things in parallel with practice. </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Keep Work and Personal Separate <ul><li>Don’t Cross the Streams </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unless you are a sole proprietor, you don’t want to pollute the brand. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work activity is more professional, less casual </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You can seamlessly transition if you are not tied to the brand. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How to Do It </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Work life in one browser, and you in another. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Separate preferences and logins for Twitter tools. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Centralized Gmail account for social information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Second Disqus commenting account for the company. </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Views to a Kill
  31. 31. Where to Find Me <ul><li>Blog: http://blog.louisgray.com </li></ul><ul><li>Buzz: http://www.google.com/profiles/louisgray </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/louisgray </li></ul><ul><li>Friendfeed: http://www.friendfeed.com/louisgray </li></ul><ul><li>LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/louisgray </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/louisgray </li></ul><ul><li>(408) 646-2759 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
  32. 32. Thank you