Jay works with other companies to take their blog from good to great. Cool.
He briefly shared his business model or funnel – social – blog – speaking – clients.
Jay’s 12 Imperative Must-Do’s for the Serious Blogger (this was good stuff!):
1. be patient.
- Give it some time. Don’t get frustrated. Took him 3 years before he made any money for the blog
2. Be specific.
- What is your blog about? Be someone’s favorite blog. Who are you writing for? Figure that out.
- They actually make personas for their blog, then write for them. Cool.
- Sharpen your focus. write 50 headlines of posts you want to create. Identify questions you’ve answered and the topical scatter pattern. Who needs those answers? That’s your audience.
- Audiences aren’t static. They have changed their focus quite a few times since inception in order to match up better with their goals and their audience. Redesigned for that audience too.
- Key question: Answer this – “Because of this blog, <specific audience or persona> will <specific benefit>.”
3. Be consistent.
- You are in the magazine business as a blogger.
- You are a publisher. Don’t just post when you are inspired or when “you have something to say.” You always have something to say.
- More = more. The more you post, the more success you will have. If you write more, more people will visit your blog.
- Share the burden.
4. Embrace variety.
- If you think it’s not very good, it’s not. If yoga re bored by it, others will be too.
- Break it up with podcasts, videos, interviews, reformat a presentation. Do at least one non-standard post a week.
- Again … it’s a magazine. If Sports Illustrated had all the same stuff all the time, it would get boring fast.
- Best posts of the week… weekly cartoon… uses exam software to do a side/side Skype call, then dumps that to youtube.
- Awards – do them.
- Fun thing – Tom reads his spam. Tom does a dramatic reading of one of his spam emails! How fun.
5. Be a YOUtility.
- How can you actually help people?
- Helping is the new selling. Give away knowledge snacks to sell information meals.
- quote to remember – giving someone a list of ingredients doesn’t make them a chef.
6. Find an anchor.
- a blog post that you can go back to again and again.
- More of those weekly post thingies. Like a best posts or the week, six interesting links every week, etc.
7. Have a call to action.
- it’s about behavior, not page views. You are not selling ads. So have a call to action. Make it clean and clear.
- Key question. After visiting this blog, I want readers to do this. The second best thing is this. At a minimum, they should do this.
- So figure out what behaviors you are trying to get.
8. Cultivate community.
- I Love This Place! Community drives repeat visits and sharing behaviors. Chris Brogan – “the difference between an audience and a community is the direction the chairs are facing.”
- WFACT – Welcome, Facilitate, Answer, Connect, Thank – cool idea from Valeria Maltoni
- Vulnerability drives community.
- If you lose the human element of your blog, you will lose readers.
- self-validate. Your community isn’t your validation. You are. Blog comments are not a business model – nor even a particularly sound metric. Comments don’t necessarily drive behavior. Those people probably already did the Call to Action…
9. Be Findable.
- Your most important reader is Google. Always optimize.
- Every page is the home page. Only 14% actually landed on his actual home page. So don’t put Twitter icons only on the home page. Sign-up page …. etc.
- Inbound Writer – it helps with optimization. Costs a bit. There’s a WordPress plugin!!!
- Key question: what search term will people use to find this post in Google realistically?
10. Keep Score.
- Only some metrics really matter.
- What is your real goal? Comments, traffic, ReTweets – not real goals. They are links in a chain that possibly get you towards your real goal.
- Measure behavior, not aggregation. Numbers that are ratios and percentages are usually measuring behavior. Numbers that count up aren’t as useful.
- Set up goals, funnels, and event tracking in Google Analytics. to measure behaviors that drive sustainability and financial meaning.
- What he measures:
- visits to the newsletters page and conversions
- visits tot he podcast page
- visits to the speaking page
- % visits to the consulting page
- Then he looks at conversions by source – where are they coming from (twitter, blog posts, etc – and what posts or search terms)
11. Embrace Extensibility.
- Your blog is a trampoline. Or home base. So also live on slideshare, linked in, scribed, comments on other blogs, youtube, interest, instagram, etc.
- Quote to remember – think small. You need to be a digital dandelion. People can find you in many places.
12. Be sharable.
- be social, don’t do social.
- shine the light on others, and the light will shine back on you. If you want to be shared, be a great sharer.
- Share down, not just up. Find the new peeps and bring them up. Find new voices. Better strategy.
- Write great headlines. It really matters. Lists work. Unexpected words. Incorporate keywords.