I've found Blog Blazers to be a gold mine of instruction. That's why I'm recommending it to my students in one-on-one and classroom settings. Stephane Grenier quizzed 40 fantastic blog authors on how to create a high-profile, high-traffic, and high-profit blog.
This week, I'm sharing some of my findings
One of the things I love about a book like this is that I can also answer the questions (and so can you), allowing me to define and refine my purpose. Today, I'll share my answers to some of the questions:
What makes a blog successful according to you? Is it traffic, reach, revenue, etc?
I think it's a combination of things. I've long thought about coming up with some blog-a-metric system to measure what I consider the most important numbers: incoming hyperlinks, incoming comments, feed subscribers. If these numbers grow consistently, your efforts will always prove successful.
When did you decide you finally reached success with your blog?
I've had successful moments, but I'm not sure I've "reached" the pinnacle yet. A great moment in my eyes was when I was first listed on Mack Collier's Top 25 Marketing Blogs
How long does it take to become a successful blogger?
Well, there are steps along the path. Short answer: 4-6 months. But smaller success shouldn't be ignored (first comment by someone you don't know, first link coming in, etc.)
Who do you think are the most successful bloggers on the internet today?
I've seen a few that have gone from scratch to everyone knowing them (probably because they are constantly giving and always sharing resources):
- David Armano
- Brian Clark
- Valeria Maltoni
- Drew McLellan
- Joanna Young
- Angela Maiers
Really, I subscribe to over 600 blogs, and I skim them all daily…but these make me slow down every time.
Which websites would you recommend for any new bloggers starting to blog?
I think there's four – CopyBlogger, Chris Brogan, Liz Strauss and ConverStations. That last one is a real up-and-comer — one to watch.
Which book(s) would you recommend for new bloggers (these can range from marketing books, blogging books, etc.)
Wow. So many. One I like is Blog Blazers! But also Join the Conversation, Tribes, and Letting Go of the Words
What is your most successful blog post ever?
The ones that get shared by others.
What’s your biggest tip on writing a successful blog post?
Read the Eye Rests post. Or the core of my Blog Posting Mantra (one link out every time)
How important do you think are the headlines of your blog articles?
Very important, but write them after you write the post. Study magazine headlines while you're at the grocery store or book store. Here's the thing — as skimmers, we web readers will slow down for a great headline — but the content better match, or I'm not stopping next time.
Do you spend any money and time on marketing?
No money (except for Typepad and a few minor tools). We all market all of the time — some better than others. Commenting on other sites — while it shouldn't be for the sake of marketing — is a form of marketing.
What are your main methods of marketing your blog?
Engagement online and offline. Engaging is the key.
What are your quick and short five best tips for blogging?
- Eliminate unecessary words.
- Use images
- SCAMPER often
- Comment more than you post
- Discipline your time
What is the most common pitfall new bloggers generally fall into?
They give up too quickly. This starts from wanting to be famous too quickly. Blogging is like Farming.
If you knew what you know now when you first started, what’s the one biggest tip you’d give yourself today?
Wake up an hour earlier every day to read feeds and comment elsewhere. I'm guilty of not listening as much as I should.
What repels you the most from a blog (animations, in your face advertising, etc)?
800 words with no images, no bold phrases, no bullet points. I don't have the time or desire to read every word.
Do you find you get more from direct monetization of your blog or from opportunities that come because of the existence of your blog?
I blog (and coach others likewise) to blog in order to augment my business. So, I don't make money from my blog site, but yes, I do get a greater income because I blog. I don't run ads on my site because most of my clients shouldn't run ads. I try to model what I teach.
What’s your most interesting story related to your blog and blogging experience?
Multiple times over the course I've been recognized (outside of my home state) by folks who read my blog. Usually happens in a Panera Bread location.
What’s the one biggest opportunity that came to your because of your blog?
I've been blessed with some great, great, friendships. Wow. Unbelievable friendships.
These questions are only a sample of what's in the book. There are other questions I would've loved to see:
- How much time to do you invest weekly in blogging (both the writing of yours and reading of others)?
- What tool helps aide your blogging the most (i.e., Zemanta, Compfight, MyBlogLog, other)?
- What other social media space do you use most often (i.e., FriendFeed, Twitter, etc)
- If blogging were no longer available, what/how would you replace it?
I'll be sharing a short presentation at the workshop I'm doing tomorrow and will post here afterwards. Again, I recommend this book as a text every blogger should read.