Gini Dietrich

Join Stanford Smith for a Special Livefyre Q&A Today

By: Gini Dietrich | February 20, 2013 | 
256

Guess what today is?!

It’s the third Wednesday of the month, which means…Livefyre Q&A day!

Today we have Stanford Smith, of Pushing Social fame (and someone I got to meet in real life at Social Slam last year), on to talk about Born to Blog, the new book he co-authored with Mark Schaefer (Businesses Grow, The Tao of Twitter, Return on Influence).

While the book isn’t out until April, you can pre-order it and, if you send your receipt to Stanford, he has goodies and freebies and a unicorn he’ll send you.

Today’s Chat

At noon ET (that’s 11:00 CT, 10:00 MT, and 9:00 PT for those of you who can’t do time zones), Stanford is going to be hanging out in the comments so you can ask him anything and everything about the book, what it’s like to work with Mark, how he makes a business helping others succeed at blogging, or his best writing tips.

In order to participate, all you have to do is:

  • Make sure you have a Livefyre account or be ready to sign in with one of your social networks.
  • Set a reminder for noon ET today.
  • Pre-order the book so you can get a unicorn (and free cupcakes!).
  • Create a list of questions.
  • Come back here, scroll to the bottom, and write a comment in the form of a question. As soon as you hit “post comment,” Stanford will see it and reply to you. You can even join the conversation around questions others are asking, if you like.

We’ll be here for an hour so you can join us the entire time or step in and out during the hour. It’s entirely up to you; just make sure you’re here before 12:59.

Win a Copy

Those of you who participate in today’s chat (even if you’re late to the party, but not if you’re an Arment Dietrich employee) will be entered in a random drawing for a free copy of the book.

We bought two copies and will give them both away, but you have to participate to be entered in the drawing. Otherwise we won’t know you were here. And you have to wait until April ti receive it because it’s not out before then.

Get ready with your questions and join the conversation. And don’t fear! If you missed the live portion of this, we’ll keep the drawing open until midnight PT so you still have time to get in your questions.

Former Guests and Who’s Next

For former guests, check out Margie ClaymanSarah RobinsonMark StoryBeth Hayden, and Sarah Evans.

And following is the lineup through September so mark your calendars! Same bat time, same bat channel.

If you have recommendations on who to fill the open slots, let me know! Our only requirement is they have published a book and it centers around PR, marketing, social media, or entrepreneurship.

See you today at noon!

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

  • Stanford is good people. I’ll be there. 😀

    • @jasonkonopinski Woo hoo! See you soon!

      • HowieG

        @ginidietrich  @jasonkonopinski i mean he has a top University named after him!

  • belllindsay

    I love the Livefyre Q&As. 🙂

    • @belllindsay I love you.

      • belllindsay

        @ginidietrich LOL!!

  • Stanford

    Going to bring my A-Game for the Spin Sucks crowd.  Talk to you at Noon!

    • @Stanford Can’t wait to see you…and oops! I didn’t send you the link this morning. Sorry about that! It’s a good thing you know your way around the web.

      • HowieG

        @ginidietrich  @Stanford so a blog about joggers who blog? Or a blog about bloggers who jog? Did I get that right? My 1130am weekly meeting was canceled. So writing up my questions now.

    • @Stanford Looking forward to this…we’re having Mark Schaefer back on our podcast when the book comes out….would love for you to join us!

      • @katskrieger  I was just thinking about you. And then here you are.

  • One of the few bloggers that I read everything he publishes… Thanks for awesome work you do, @Stanford – it’s much appreciated, sir! : )

    • @Mark_Harai  Are you joining us now??

      • @ginidietrich Holy smokes! I missed all of the fun : (  
         
        Man, there are some great comments in this stream… I almost couldn’t get back here, geesh!

    • Stanford

      @Mark_Harai Thanks Mark 🙂

  • rdopping

    Hey, I know that guy! @Stanford remember me? Just kidding…..have been following Pushing Social for a while. I will try to drop in.

  • John_Trader1

    Great topic and quality guest @ginidietrich — I know I have at least one question on my mind for Stanford. Thanks for organizing this. What does a unicorn eat? Want to be prepared when I get mine after ordering the book.

  • So sorry I can’t be there “live” today!  Here’s my two-part question for  @Stanford – I know from reading Pushing Social that you redefined your targeted readership several times.  How did you identify who you wanted to write for and how did you know when it finally clicked?

  • ElissaFreeman

    Wow! This line-up is like ‘must-see TV!’

    • HowieG

      @ElissaFreeman almost makes you want to write a book so you can be included in that list. I am working on ‘The Letter A and why it is important for PR and Marketing’ on chapter 2 which is the last chapter. The Sequel will be ‘Do we need the letter B?’

      • belllindsay

        @HowieG  @ElissaFreeman You’re including “The Letter Zed” also, right Howie?

    • @ElissaFreeman We need more women!

  • This is so cool. And I’ve pre-ordered the book and everything. 🙂 Looking forward to this as a fun and informative break at Noon. Getting my questions ready right now!

    • HowieG

      @allenmireles I am not allowed to buy or read any business books per @ginidietrich because I haven’t bought and read Marketing in the Round yet.

      • @HowieG  Yes, you have to read Marketing in the Round first@allenmireles

      • @HowieG  @ginidietrich Wait. You admit that and she allows you to live?

    • @allenmireles It’s time!

  • Done! See you in a couple hours with at least one question in hand.

  • HowieG

    Did I see Chris Brogan? am I allowed to ask him why he said it is ok to have incorrect information on his blog because people know marketers lie?
     
    Well I am here let’s get this chat going!

    • @HowieG NOW we can get this chat going. Carry on.

  • belllindsay

    Hi @Stanford – I’m going to get this started! 😀 Can you share a few of your “street-smart techniques” for people launching a business blog?

    • Stanford

      @belllindsay 1. Interview your potential prospects to see what they need.  2) Start fast and build up your content library.  The more you post the better your foundation for success. 3) Collect email from the start.  This is critical for your longterm success

      • belllindsay

        @Stanford Great tips, thanks!

        • @belllindsay  That email thing we need to work on.

        • belllindsay

          @ginidietrich @Stanford  How did you go about collecting email? Was it “give me your email and get yadda yadda” or simply via signing up to receive your posts in people’s inboxes?

        • Stanford

          @belllindsay  @ginidietrich I created a valuable piece of content and offered it in exchange for their email.

        • belllindsay

          @Stanford  @ginidietrich Yes, exactly. Ok, thank you.

  • It’s tiiiiime! Let’s start with the question from @lizreusswig . I’ll repeat it here: I know from reading Pushing Social that you redefined your targeted readership several times.  How did you identify who you wanted to write for and how did you know when it finally clicked?

  • Stanford

    Hello everyone!

    • HowieG

      @Stanford welcome. Thanks for being here. I am the moderator I was told.

      • belllindsay

        @HowieG  @Stanford Oh dear.

        • HowieG

          @belllindsay  @Stanford questions only from people who raise their hand to ensure an orderly chat

      • @Stanford Please ignore Howie. He is NOT the moderator.

    • @Stanford Hey Sanford. This is a treat!

    • @Stanford Good morning from a sunny (but chilly) San Francisco. So happy that you’re here!

      • @dwaynealicie  Chilly?! It’s two below here. What’s it there?

        • @ginidietrich Forty-three is scarf-and-gloves weather for us!

        • @dwaynealicie That’s scarf and gloves weather for anyone!

  • Stanford

    Gr8 questions. I redefined my reader target based on who could best use my insight/expertise.  So I learned that small business and “small – mid-sized businesses” were the best target, and I adjusted.

    • @Stanford When did you know it finally clicked?

      • Stanford

        @ginidietrich It clicked when I saw my email sign-ups increase.  This meant, for me, that people wanted to take the relationship to a different level because they say relevant contact.

  • PattiRoseKnight

    Hello Stanford pleased to meet you – virtually!

    • Stanford

      @PattiRoseKnight Likewise!

      • @Stanford  By way of introduction, @PattiRoseKnight is my work wife.

  • HowieG

    @Stanford my question is would you use different strategies for traditional blogging (seeking inbound traffic, SEO etc) and what I do which is more a repository of thoughts and expertise I can pull from when needed like I have been doing lately. Meaning when i approach a new prospective client via direct sales I can use the blog to show my expertise vs hoping clients find me.

    • belllindsay

      @HowieG  @Stanford I like this question.

    • Stanford

      @HowieG The repository strategy is tough because you have to provide some context for your readers to follow.  You have the context in your head but it may not be apparent to your readers.

    • Stanford

      @HowieG If you are using your blog for new prospects it makes sense to create different series based on what their key needs are.  You can repurpose your content into those series.  Make sense?

      • @Stanford  @HowieG This is really helpful. We are building a new blog now and trying to put together a repository based on years on customer questions and needs. The difference ‘series’ idea is fantastic!

  • @Stanford How do you choose the topics you blog about?

    • Stanford

      @allenmireles I start with the top 10 questions that I believe my audience is trying to solve.  I branch out from there.

  • When you first began blogging, did you begin with an audience archetype for each type of reader you were targeting, or did you come to that organically?

    • Stanford

      @jasonkonopinski I started with an audience archetype.  This drove my research on the type of questions that were researching which led to my editorial calendar.

      • @Stanford Good answer. 🙂 
         
        Can you explain a bit of that process to those unfamiliar? I do a fair bit of audience archetyping in my work and I completely geek out on the process.

        • @jasonkonopinski You geek out in more than that process

        • belllindsay

          @ginidietrich  @jasonkonopinski Geek.

        • @belllindsay  @ginidietrich Let that freak flag fly, I say.

        • belllindsay

          @jasonkonopinski  @ginidietrich And your back bone slide.

      • @Stanford  @jasonkonopinski Did you find that the archetype changed as you progressed?  Were there any surprises?

        • Stanford

          @dwaynealicie  @jasonkonopinski Yes, the archetype did change.  I discovered there is a niche of large small businesses and small medium sized businesses that have fundamentally different needs.  I find this often open happens.

  • I have a question! I know you and Mark really respect one another. Having co-authored a book, I know it’s like a marriage. What is one thing he found out about you that he didn’t already know? And what did you discover about him?

    • Stanford

      @ginidietrich I learned that Mark is a bigger teddy bear than I thought.  He is just a gracious guy.  He learned that I’m truly obsessed with fishing.

      • @Stanford Fishing? What kind?

        • HowieG

          @ginidietrich  @Stanford ice fishing for sturgeon with a spear I heard.

        • Stanford

          @ginidietrich Large Mouth Bass. – God don’t get me started!

        • @Stanford Have you taken Mark fishing?

        • belllindsay

          @HowieG  @ginidietrich  @Stanford Believe it or not, I love ice fishing!

      • @Stanford  @ginidietrich He is quite the kind-hearted soul.

    • belllindsay

      @ginidietrich Oooooh, love it – “The Young and the Restless” LOL

  • Do you find it easier to write in the morning or afternoon? I just discovered what works for me (hat tip to @ginidietrich ) so just curious how other people work.

    • @yvettepistorio  @ginidietrich Ahem.

      • @jasonkonopinski  @ginidietrich And Jason!! We’re twinzies 🙂

      • @jasonkonopinski  @yvettepistorio YAY ME!

        • HowieG

          @ginidietrich  @jasonkonopinski  @yvettepistorio aren’t twinkies off the market now?

        • @HowieG  @ginidietrich  @jasonkonopinski twinZies Howie, not twinkies…

    • Stanford

      @yvettepistorio  @ginidietrich I do my best writing between 9PM and 11PM at night.  Go figure 😉

      • belllindsay

        @Stanford  @yvettepistorio  @ginidietrich I do my best sleeping during those times.

        • @belllindsay  @Stanford  @yvettepistorio Funny, I do my best sleeping during those times, too!

      • @Stanford  @ginidietrich Really? So interesting to see what works for other people. I tried writing later and what came out was dreadful!

        • @yvettepistorio  @Stanford  @ginidietrich I find I have two bursts … early morning and then again around 7pm. Mid-day? I’m a lumpy grump! Have to find and follow your own rhythms, I think.

      • @Stanford  @yvettepistorio  @ginidietrich @belllindsay  Me too but we seem to be in the minority. I keep reading posts about how early risers/writers have found the secret to successful blogging. 😉

      • PattiRoseKnight

        @Stanford  @yvettepistorio  @ginidietrich I do my best sleeping at that time; i am an early morning person.  I get most of my challenging work done by 10 am

  • belllindsay

    @Stanford  What is the number 1 mistake that bloggers make?

    • Stanford

      @belllindsay Not planning for success.  What will you do once your blog is successful?  You have to put in the pieces now.

      • HowieG

        @Stanford  @belllindsay Lindsay is already expecting a pulitzer for her blog

        • @HowieG  @Stanford  @belllindsay That’s a pretty good goal!

      • belllindsay

        @Stanford Wow. I would never have considered that. Most people are far to humble (or unsure of themselves) to “plan for success” – and now I see that as a potential problem

        • Stanford

          @belllindsay Absolutely.  Most of my clients end up undervaluing their work which leads to problems down the road.

        • belllindsay

          @Stanford I love this – you’ve completely changed my thought process around ‘success’.

    • Stanford

      @belllindsay

  • HowieG

    @Stanford How long did it take you to come up with your blog name and what would you say it represents?

    • Stanford

      @HowieG It took 10 minutes to come up with Pushing Social.  It represents pushing my readers to aggressively pursue their social marketing.  Social Marketing is the giant killer.

  • @Stanford What’s the best way to change the focus of your storytelling without losing the SEO you’ve built up over time (e.g. 800+ posts)?

    • John_Trader1

      @EdenSpodek  @Stanford That’s a fantastic question.

      • HowieG

        @John_Trader1  @EdenSpodek  @Stanford I actually started a new blog when i changed focus but now all posts are on my current blog.

    • Stanford

      @EdenSpodek Change the perspective.  Many people tell story’s as if they are the narrator.  Try telling the story from the viewpoint of a Mentor (i.e Yoda), the Ally (i.e. Han Solo), or the hero (i.e. Luke Skywalker).  The content stays the same but the angle and points of interest shift.

      • @Stanford  @EdenSpodek Oh I like that idea

        • John_Trader1

          @allenmireles  @Stanford  @EdenSpodek I second that. Always wanted to be Luke Skywalker.

        • @John_Trader1  @allenmireles  @Stanford  @EdenSpodek I wanted to marry Luke Skywalker

        • belllindsay

          @ginidietrich  @John_Trader1  @allenmireles  @Stanford  @EdenSpodek Funny. I was always more partial to Darth.

        • @belllindsay  @ginidietrich  @John_Trader1  @allenmireles  @Stanford  @EdenSpodek Hey, that’s what I was going to say…

        • John_Trader1

          @belllindsay  I heard something about you perfecting your “death grip” — it would be an easy transition to Darth for you I bet.

      • @Stanford Thanks! I think that’s been happening subconsciously with the intent to move and/or rebrand. Have you ever considered retiring old posts that no longer support a new direction?

        • Stanford

          @EdenSpodek Nope, keep the posts they are still useful for SEO benefit.

  • John_Trader1

    I work for a company that has multiple enterprise solutions that serve a variety of verticals. Currently I only have one blog that addresses topics pertinent to all of the industries we cover but I am wondering if it may be more effective to have separate blogs for each of the enterprise solutions, instead of a single, main blog with a variety of topics. Which strategy do you think is more effective?

    • Stanford

      @John_Trader1 Start with the challenge each vertical faces.  Does the challenge support a robust story about your company’s ability to solve it.  You don’t need seperate blogs, but you will need separate editorial calendars by vertical.

      • John_Trader1

        @Stanford Thank you! Editorial calendars are such a smart idea to keep on track and on point. Very grateful for the advice!

      • belllindsay

        @Stanford  @John_Trader1 Consider “a day per vertical” also John – so there is some continuity to your publishing. Monday is X, Tuesday is Y, that sort of thing.

        • @belllindsay  @Stanford  @John_Trader1Agreed, it also takes the heat off if each vertical knows they’re on te hook for ideas etc., one day a week each week, etc.

        • John_Trader1

          @EdenSpodek  @belllindsay  @Stanford Much obliged for the advice. A day per vertical? I am sitting here chuckling to myself as I wonder how on God’s green earth I would ever be able to squeeze that into my schedule. It’s such a spot on idea though.

        • belllindsay

          @John_Trader1  @EdenSpodek  @Stanford Easy peezy. The first couple of weeks will be rough, but as soon as you have your calendar/schedule rocking it will be SO much better than the alternative.

  • Yesterday I blogged about a PR firm that took their client’s home page content and used it in a news release, which prompted Google to shut the client’s site down for duplicate content. How do you see duplicate content affecting syndication?

    • Stanford

      @ginidietrich I am glad that Google is forcing us to be curators versus duplicators.  We need to add value to content even if 80% of it is repurposed.

      • @Stanford So do you think, then, anyone who syndicates (I’m thinking Social Media Today or Business2Community) will be shut down?

        • belllindsay

          @ginidietrich  @Stanford Oooh, good question Gini.

        • Stanford

          @ginidietrichMy gut says yes.  Or, they will be forced to change or be shut down.

  • Hi Stanford! 
     
    I have a client who wants to use thier blog to drive new business and position themseleves as thought leaders. Yet, they don’t want to reveal thier “secrets.”  Any tips or strategies for using the blog as a vehicle for new business?

    • @stevenmcoyle I JUST wrote about this in the chapter I’m writing right this second for Spin Sucks. I’ll let @Stanford answer first.

      • @ginidietrich  @stevenmcoyle  @Stanford How funny. Out new blog is based on the same strategy, but DUH you have to reveal some “secrets” or at least deliver some tools to help the audience…In our world, we are dealing with brand managers, who have more and more on their plate. Our job is to make their lives easier. If we give them tools and tips on the blog to help them, they are more likely to convert later.

    • Stanford

      @stevenmcoyle I think may be overestimating the secrecy aspect here.  But they can talk about the Why and What of their industry without revealing the “how”.

    • belllindsay

      @stevenmcoyle I hate that Steven. “We want to be human and open BUT we won’t share anything real with people” – c’est impossible! @ginidietrich shares *everything* (almost) about her biz, successe and bumps in the road – and people love her for that transparency.

      • @belllindsay  @stevenmcoyle The only things I don’t share are HR, payroll, revenue, and margins.

        • @ginidietrich  @belllindsay It’s truly frustrating. You can’t become a thought leader if you refuse to reveal any thoughts!

        • @stevenmcoyle  @belllindsay The example I use in Spin Sucks is this: Last year, McDonald’s published their special sauce recipe. THE recipe. Their executive chef did a video showing people how to make it. About six weeks later, Wendy’s came out with a burger called The W. It’s two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese on a sesame seed bun. They used Mickey D’s recipe for the sauce. But guess what? NO ONE BUYS IT. Just because you give away your secrets does not mean your competitor can implement it the same way you do. It’s what makes you special. While your competitors try to copy you, you’ll be off creating something new for them to copy later.

        • @ginidietrich  @belllindsay Brilliant. Just when you think Gini can’t get any more awesome, she does!!!

        • @stevenmcoyle  @belllindsay LOL! I only have that because I’m doing TONS of research right now to make my point to business owners. I think that makes the point very well.

        • @ginidietrich  @stevenmcoyle  @belllindsay Similar concept came up in class last night — an entrepreneur was presenting on his startup , and a fellow student asked, “aren’t you worried about another company scooping you on this idea?”
           
          His answer was no. He’s not worried, because he is confident that his team delivers the best and most unique execution of the idea — nobody will do it the same way. : )

        • belllindsay

          @dwaynealicie  @ginidietrich  @stevenmcoyle Let’s face it – everything is derivative of something else at this stage in the game.

  • What is the best advice you ever received about blogging?

    • Stanford

      @yvettepistorio Blogging is a marketing activity. Evauate and act accordingly.  This doesn’t mean that your end goal is profit.  It can be a bigger audience, recognition, donations.  But get serious about using your blog as a marketing tool.

  • What do you think is the key to creating a great conversation in the comments on your posts?

    • @meghankrane Use Livefyre. Duh.

      • @ginidietrich  @meghankrane I just installed this plug in because I never thought to have a comment (Livefyre) party! What an awesome way to bring traffic to your site and not to facebook! (another takeaway kernel!)

    • Stanford

      @meghankrane The key is having a unique point of view.  There is no one in the world like Gini – she knows it.  You know it.  You comment and engage.

  • PattiRoseKnight

    What was your most successful blog topic to date?

    • Stanford

      @PattiRoseKnight Let me go check

    • Stanford

      @PattiRoseKnight Actually it was a post from the latter part of last year – 50 Blogging Ideas to Steal and Take Credit For.  It has generated over 13,000 page views.

      • @Stanford  @PattiRoseKnight Holy moley.

        • belllindsay

          @ginidietrich  @Stanford  @PattiRoseKnight Best. Title. EVER.

  • @Stanford What is your advice on having too many focuses in one blog….My blog grew out of my handmade eco business. Now it’s about the environment, recipes, tutorials, etc…Do I kill the category that is not getting that much traffic and make it into just one that people like? But I have other interests….

    • Stanford

      @ecokaren I think that focus is critical for a blog’s success.  Think about your blog from your reader’s point of view.  The usually have one interest/challenge/problem.  They don’t want to wade through your other interests to get to their content.
       
      Consider starting separate blogs if you have the content and audience to support it.

      • @Stanford separate blogs????? Oy, I can’t keep up with just one! But great point.

        • @ecokaren  @Stanford I hear you Karen. That’s part of my current challenge. It’s also much easier to counsel clients than to take my own advice. 😉

        • belllindsay

          @EdenSpodek  @ecokaren  @Stanford Same thing when counselling our kids, right Eden? LOL

        • @belllindsay  @ecokaren  @Stanford Don’t even get me started. 😉 It’s reading week and said kid in need of counselling is home and just crawled out of bed. He was supposed to help me clean up some of the admin stuff on my blog this morning.

        • belllindsay

          @EdenSpodek  @ecokaren  @Stanford HAHAHA! “Reading week” – that ol’ nugget, eh?

  • John_Trader1

    How important is blog design? I just can’t get my designer to prioritize jazzing up my blog design on his to do list. Should I even care about this? Do people even care about how a blog looks aesthetically?

    • @John_Trader1 IMO, design means far more than merely aesthetics. Functional design is still design. 😉

    • belllindsay

      @John_Trader1 Oh my god YES! People are visual creatures! (I know I’m not Stanford but….I had to answer!) We are drawn to good design – and then if your design impedes usability…? Double negative whammy.

      • John_Trader1

        @belllindsay @jasonkonopinski Thanks so much for the advice. I am snipping this portion of the conversation and sending it to my designer with a note that says….”the Spin Sucks crazies said so, so do it.”

        • belllindsay

          @John_Trader1  @jasonkonopinski HAHAHA! Awesome.

        • @belllindsay  @John_Trader1 WE HAVE INFLUENCE.

        • belllindsay

          @jasonkonopinski  @John_Trader1 Look up “influence” in the dictionary. It’s me and thee, kiddo. 😉

        • @belllindsay  @John_Trader1 High-fives.

    • Stanford

      @John_Trader1 People expect a professional, well structures, blog that makes it easy for them to find what they care about.  You can do that, out of the box, with most themes.  Along with that, the most important creative element is your headline 😉

      • John_Trader1

        @Stanford Thank you!

  • How did you and Mark split up the writing? When Geoff and I wrote, we split up the outline in half. He wrote half the chapters and I wrote the other half. Is that what you did, as well?

    • Stanford

      @ginidietrich I wrote the meat of the chapters, Mark added the perspectives, anecdotes, and examples that really helped round out my geekier side.

      • @Stanford Interesting…I like that approach. Then you both have ownership of the entire book.

        • Stanford

          @ginidietrich Absolutely.  We were surprised by how little editing needed to be done on the final product.  I believe it was because the voice stayed the same throughout.

        • belllindsay

          @Stanford  @ginidietrich I think that’s a key point – voice – I can’t imagine splitting chapters and not having conflicting voice and tone. Though I suppose your editor had to deal with that. 🙂

        • @belllindsay  @Stanford Our editor had to deal with it. It wasn’t our problem! But I think you can still tell who wrote which chapter if you know either of us well.

  • belllindsay

    @Stanford  What is more important, in your opinion, quality or quantity (my vote is quality)? Asking this because we seem to be slipping in quality lately (by we I mean the blogging community) – grammatical/spelling errors, poorly written/researched pieces, etc..

    • Stanford

      @belllindsay Depends on what falls under quality.  I believe that good quality ideas and content is important.  I have spelling and grammatical errors, but my content quality is good.  You have to make that call for yourself and your audience.  I would get eaten alive if  I was writing for an English Literature audience.

      • belllindsay

        @Stanford I would love to have this discussion (argument? LOL) with you over drinks. I humbly disagree and feel that lots of errors devalues the content – no matter how good it is.

        • @belllindsay  @Stanford I’m personally working with a client right now on their content strategy. The biggest complaint they hear from readers? Their content is inconsistent in how they initial cap (or don’t) headlines and the spelling and grammatical errors make them seem less professional than they are.

        • belllindsay

          @ginidietrich  @Stanford Exactly!!!

        • @belllindsay  Lindsay, can I hire you as my editor? 😉

        • Stanford

          @belllindsay You bet.  I tend to agree with you.  This is based on what you want to present to the world.  In this area, my point of view is just MINE. Bill Gates disagreed with Steve Jobs until the end on issues of quality and taste but they both ran amazing businesses.

        • @EdenSpodek  @belllindsay NO!

        • belllindsay

          @EdenSpodek Sure! LOL

        • belllindsay

          @Stanford K, I’ll be Bill and you can be Steve! 😀

        • @ginidietrich  @belllindsay Dislike. 😉

        • @EdenSpodek  @belllindsay She’s busy!

      • @Stanford  @belllindsay I can forgive the occasional typo, but egregious grammatical and mechanicals errors devalue the content. My eye invariably hones in on poor copyediting and I can’t get past it.

        • @jasonkonopinski  @Stanford  @belllindsay @ginidietrich How does the gen pop feel about this question as opposed to professional communicators? Are they as irked by poor spelling and grammar in blog posts?

        • @EdenSpodek  @jasonkonopinski  @Stanford  @belllindsay For the client I mention, we surveyed their readers, their clients (current and former), some of their prospects, and their peers. It was, hands down, the worst criticism we heard. From non-marketing/communications folks.

        • @jasonkonopinski  @Stanford  @belllindsay @ginidietrich Some people freak out over errors — and of course some don’t. I think it’s important to avoid alienating those who do care about grammar and punctuation. That’s my argument for spending time and energy on making things as *standard* as possible. 
           
          (Personally, I freak out. Even though I sometimes make mistakes myself, obvi. As I tweeted Lindsay once, commas are my kryptonite. Ugh.)

        • belllindsay

          @dwaynealicie  @jasonkonopinski  @Stanford  @ginidietrich Oh, for sure – I make errors all the time – and then want to stab my eyeballs out when I notice (or more often – when @dannybrown catches them before I do!) – people are human beings.

        • @belllindsay  @jasonkonopinski  @Stanford  @ginidietrich Something like this, perhaps?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyIxdOctioo

        • @ginidietrich  @jasonkonopinski  @Stanford  @belllindsay  Recently, @ElissaFreeman and I had a conversation about a wonderful young storyteller. He’s looking to make a career change built on his blogging experience but his writing is full of errors. I hear you but i’m the worst for typos and find even my *editors* don’t always catch everything. At the other end of the spectrum, I have a client who edits to the extreme where her voice is getting lost and we keep pushing back before she hits “publish”.

        • belllindsay

          @EdenSpodek  @ginidietrich  @jasonkonopinski  @Stanford  @ElissaFreeman Yes, one can edit the heart and soul out of a piece if they lean that way. I inject a lot of personality into my writing. It’s just “how I write” – some organizations wouldn’t like that. Perhaps your young storyteller should be told up front about the errors, and simply take a course or something. Or if he’s got the chops, a good editor is all he’ll need.

    • Stanford

      @belllindsay By the way, I’m not endorsing poor grammar or spelling.

      • belllindsay

        @Stanford No, of course you’re not – and I see what you’re saying (and you’re not the first person who has said the same!) – I’m not a grammar snob or anything, trust me. It’s just a bugaboo of mine I guess.

  • Do you assign relative weight or importance on specific pieces of content? i.e a blog post vs. a newsletter vs. a podcast vs. video.  
     
    What’s the ultimate conversion mechanism?

    • Stanford

      @jasonkonopinski Great question Jason.  Nice to see you here bro.  I don’t assign any importance to different types of content from the outset.  I create the content and see how my readers respond.  My readers value audio as a medium so podcasting is growing in importance.  A smaller segment of my audience loves video but they convert well.  I adjust my activities accordingly.

      • belllindsay

        @Stanford  @jasonkonopinski Great question and very interesting answer.

        • Stanford

          @belllindsay  @jasonkonopinski I lean toward the “Fire, Ready, Aim” approach.

        • belllindsay

          @Stanford  @jasonkonopinski HA! I’m a bit like that myself!!

      • @Stanford Always good to catch up with you, Stanford. This is a topic I’ve been thinking a lot about, and I’d love to dig into it deeper with you.  
         
        Email coming! 😀

  • In chapter five you say you introduce five traits all humans share that can be used to craft a compelling blog. Will you give us a peek into just one of those traits?

    • Stanford

      @ginidietrich Heck I’ll give you all five…
      1. Dreaming, 2) Storytelling, 3) Teaching, 4) Persuading, 5) Curating

      • @Stanford So let’s take dreaming then…how can that help create blog posts?

        • Stanford

          @ginidietrich Dreamers envision a better world/situation/solution and advocate for that.  A great example of that is the Kony 2012 campaign to bring attention to an african warlord who kidnaps children for his army. 
           
          So blog shaped by a dreamer would focus on solutions, celebrate people who contribute to that solution, and layout a distinct vision of how to get there.

        • @Stanford Really good example!

      • belllindsay

        @Stanford  @ginidietrich Storytelling!! My all time fave.

  • belllindsay

    @Stanford Blogging takes a lot of work, and sometimes you pour your heart and soul into a piece and get crickets.  What do you hate about blogging? There has to be something.

    • Stanford

      @belllindsay I hate the technical side of blogging.  I’ve gotten good at it out of necessity, but I would rather just write and not deal with that stuff.

      • belllindsay

        @Stanford Me TOO!! 😀 I’m learning though.

        • @belllindsay  @Stanford She has me on speed dial.

        • belllindsay

          @jasonkonopinski  @Stanford Tru dat.

  • What’s the number one reason businesses should blog?

    • Stanford

      @ginidietrich They should blog to create a story where their customer is the hero.

      • @Stanford And how do they do that (for people who just cannot figure it out) without sounding self-serving?

        • Stanford

          @ginidietrich It sounds obvious but take your product, see the problem it solves and write content that brings attention to the challenges and how your team, culture, and product contributes to the solution.

  • If you were to look at the blogosphere as a whole, what trends are you seeing? Are posts becoming less about providing value and more about punditry, or are readers regardless of niche seeking tactical, actionable stuff vs. op-ed? 
     
    It’s a constant struggle for me to balance higher-level theoretical pieces with the practical.

    • Stanford

      @jasonkonopinski I have to remind myself that I’m inside the bubble.  I am constantly looking and analyzing this space.  So I have a lower tolerance for “punditry”.  But my clients and readers love the content they get in the space.  They value it a great deal. 
       
      I don’t think we can get away from offering actionable content.  Our job is to find ways to make the theoretical actionable.

      • @Stanford  @jasonkonopinski Based on our experience, we’ve done free webinars with pundits and free ones with “how-tos.” Guess which one has more registrations (to the tune of three times more)?

  • Like other marketing tools, sometimes blogging isn’t for every company. What are some signs that a company should abandon blogging and put their content efforts else where?

    • Stanford

      @stevenmcoyle Great point.
      Transactional/commodity-based businesses may have fewer “ingredients” for content.  Overall, I start from the content marketing level and then decide if a blog can enhance the strategy.

      • @Stanford Thanks, that is very helpful. Can’t wait to read the whole book!

  • Well boys and girls (and the crazies), the hour has come and gone very, very quickly. If you’re just arriving here and missed the “live” portion of the Q&A, go ahead and leave your question and @Stanford will come back by and answer it. 
     
    Thank you so much for joining us…and a HUGE congrats to @Stanford and markwschaefer on their new book!

    • belllindsay

      @ginidietrich  @Stanford  markwschaefer Thanks Stanford! Great chat today!

      • @belllindsay  @ginidietrich  @Stanford  markwschaefer Ditto, thanks all of you and see you in class tonight @ginidietrich

    • Stanford

      @ginidietrich  markwschaefer I enjoyed it. You have an awesome community here.

      • PattiRoseKnight

        @Stanford  @ginidietrich  markwschaefer Thanks i think so too!

      • @Stanford  Thanks! We have fun.

    • @ginidietrich  @Stanford  markwschaefer @belllindsay This has been a phenomenal experience — an HOUR went by already? Wow. Thanks so much for sharing your time and expertise, Stanford!

  • Thanks for the chat, @Stanford .
     
    I suppose I should thank @ginidietrich  and @belllindsay for being gracious hosts, too.

    • belllindsay

      @jasonkonopinski  @Stanford  @ginidietrich I’m just one of the crazies. LOL 🙂

    • @jasonkonopinski You know where you can stick that comment. @belllindsay

      • @ginidietrich  @belllindsay You owe me one clean monitor.

  • Caught up on this and really appreciate this info!  Thanks to @Stanford – can’t wait to read Born To Blog!  Thanks to @ginidietrich & @belllindsay as well!

    • @lizreusswig  It was a little crazy here yesterday!

      • @ginidietrich I got that impression! 😉

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  • Winner, winner chicken dinner! Winners are rdopping and mark_harai ! Guys, DM me your mailing addresses and I’ll send you books next week!

  • rdopping

    Hey thank so much @ginidietrich How awesome is that. NOW, I really don’t have an excuse!!!!

    • @rdopping And now I have your home address. Bwahahahaah!

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