Fireside ChatI am super, duper excited to bring you today’s Fireside Chat.

My guest is no stranger to Spin Sucks nor stranger to the marketing industry.

He is widely known for his incredible brain, his ability to make technical things seem easy to us mere mortals, and his willingness to share his fancy cocktails (or maybe that’s just with me).

I met Andy Crestodina when he first blogged for Spin Sucks in 2010.

Though he works and lives within one mile of me, we had never met.

But we became fast friends when he complimented me on the work we do here (and he also once told me that I could pass for a college student if I were to wear a hoodie and baggy jeans).

It’s hard not to love him.

In fact, everyone loves him.

I can bet with 100 percent certainty you’ve been nodding your head along with everything I’ve said so far.

Andy is co-founder and chief marketing officer at Orbit Media, a web design and development firm in Chicago.

He’s the author of Content Chemistry, a copy of which I keep at my side at all times, the founder of Content Jam, Chicago’s largest content marketing conference (where, BTW, I am going to be the closing keynote this year), and he’s a regular face on the national circuit.

If you’ve had the opportunity to hear Andy speak, you know I’m downplaying him.

If you’ve not yet had the chance, settle in for this Fireside Chat.

You will not be disappointed.

The Fireside Chat: Email Marketing with Andy Crestodina

To prepare for this interview, I asked for help from the PR Dream Team.

They have some burning questions for Andy, so we started with those as our framework.

  • What is your opinion on giving away content for “free” versus gated content?
  • Where should content sit on a website? Should it be front and center, or should it be on a blog tab, or what?
  • Quality versus quantity: We hear conflicting reports regarding how long a blog post should be when considering multiple factors like readability, user preference, and actually ranking better in Google. You recently wrote about how great writing leads to high rankings, but I’m curious if this changes over time based on the algorithm?
  • About a month ago, you and I had an email debate about dates on blog posts. We have them, but are considering doing away with them. The other day, I did a search for “deskside briefings.” We actually come up first as the featured snippet. But it’s a blog post from 2007 and it’s uncategorized, doesn’t have images or links, and is just really old. So what say you? Dates or no dates?
  • What’s next for Andy?
  • The speed round

My Favorite Parts of the Conversation

Your head is going to explode with all of the great tips Andy gives away during our conversation.

You’ll also be goo-goo in love with him by the end (if you aren’t already).

Some of my favorite things we discussed include:

  • The three Ps of email signup forms
  • When gated content does—and does not—work
  • What is an ethical bribe and when you should do it
  • How to organically grow you email list
  • How to write your content mission and where to publish it
  • Why you should reconsider the label of your blog
  • Where you content should live
  • Prescriptive advice for content development
  • How to organically increase website traffic
  • What to include in your content/SEO audit

He also emailed me after we recorded and asked me to include the three books he’s read this year.

He blanked when I asked him the question and wanted to redeem himself.

They include:

And, last but most certainly not least, Andy is conducting his annual blogger survey.

If you blog, reserve three minutes (that’s all it really takes) to take the survey for him. He’ll appreciate it (and so will I).

Enjoy the conversation…and let us know what you think!

(If you can’t view the video below, click here and you’ll be magically transported to YouTube to watch it.)

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

View all posts by Gini Dietrich