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How to build an enormously popular and successful blog
 

How to build an enormously popular and successful blog

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Presented at Podcamp Halifax 2013. Any questions? http://www.twitter.com/andrewkonoff

Presented at Podcamp Halifax 2013. Any questions? http://www.twitter.com/andrewkonoff

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How to build an enormously popular and successful blog How to build an enormously popular and successful blog Presentation Transcript

  • How to build an enormously popular and successful blog by Andrew KonoffSaturday, 19 January, 13
  • Warning! Participation enforced. Bad language ahead. I’ll talk about philosophy.Saturday, 19 January, 13
  • An overview 1. It’s a process, not a guarantee 2. There are four and a half steps: • define your goals. • choose a focus. • build a diverse content calendar. • expand to a bigger audience. • do some other shit that’s helpful.Saturday, 19 January, 13
  • Stuff we won’t do • Talk about platforms (e.g. Tumblr) • Talk about specific topics (e.g. cats) • Talk about media types (e.g. infographics, vlogs, podcasts) • Care about hatersSaturday, 19 January, 13
  • Why listen to me?Saturday, 19 January, 13
  • Why listen to me? • I’m the marketing guy at GoInstant, and this is exactly what I’m doing there. • I was the Saskatchewanderer. Ran a travel blog that had 173,000 unique visitors in four months, 45,000 YouTube views, and 2,000 Twitter followers. • I’ll be using these as examples of what to do and what not to do.Saturday, 19 January, 13
  • It’s a process...Saturday, 19 January, 13
  • Not a guaranteeSaturday, 19 January, 13
  • Processes involve feedback • Each step in this process generates outcomes, which we will measure. • Some outcomes are better than others. • If our metrics are well-chosen, the numbers show which outcomes are good. • The numbers don’t matter if the metrics don’t measure your goals. • If your goals suck, that’s another matter.Saturday, 19 January, 13
  • Step 1: Pick your goals • Ask yourself: what should your blog get you? How will you know you’ve succeeded? • Money? • Sales leads? • Expert status? • Laid? • Text can do anything but write itself.Saturday, 19 January, 13
  • Define your commitment. • How much money and time and energy do you have? • Our process involves prioritization, so don’t worry too much if you’re resource-poor. • Mostly, ask this for your own sanity.Saturday, 19 January, 13
  • Question time! What’s your blogging goal? Do you have more than one?Saturday, 19 January, 13
  • Step 2: Find your focus. • It has two parts: • Your thesis, argument, or insight. • Your audience. Who is passionate about what you have to say? • GoInstant: Customer experiences matter for business. • Saskatchewanderer: Saskatchewan is full of cool shit.Saturday, 19 January, 13
  • Focus Metrics: • Forget about audience size. Care about engagement per reader. • Lots of readers with little interest equals bad bad bad die die die • Measure time on page, subscriptions, social shares, number of posts read per visit, comments, etc. etc. • Engagement is the fundamental building block of every good blog, app, relationship.Saturday, 19 January, 13
  • Focus Metrics: • The proof of a growth opportunity: you want each post to generate a higher rate of marginal engagement. • If I got 10 views last week, I want 12 next week, and 15 next week, and 20 next week. • Marginal gains: +2, +3, +5. Up and to the right for the 2nd derivative.Saturday, 19 January, 13
  • Focus Metrics:Saturday, 19 January, 13
  • Question time! What’s your blog’s focus? How’s your engagement? Is it a growth opportunity? Does it accomplish your goals?Saturday, 19 January, 13
  • Step 3: Build a content calendar • The secret? Mix up these two axes: • Audience: Niche <--> Broad • Durability: Timely <--> Evergreen • Take risks to really engage people. Some types of post are riskier than others.Saturday, 19 January, 13
  • Step 3: Build a content calendarSaturday, 19 January, 13
  • Content Cal Metrics • Preliminary work: define blog categories for matrix quadrants. • How many shares? • How many views in the first day? After the first week? • How much time on page? • Then compare the categories.Saturday, 19 January, 13
  • Question time! Make a post idea per quadrant. Which work best for your audience? Do some posts get more views later in their life?Saturday, 19 January, 13
  • Step 4: Expand • It’s time to build out your audience by expanding the focus of your blog: • to add another highly engaged, closely related audience. • to include a thesis that is consistent with your core focus’s thesis. • Remember: focus = thesis + audienceSaturday, 19 January, 13
  • A lesson from Lakatos Imre Lakatos is the coolest Hungarian philosopher of science ever.Saturday, 19 January, 13
  • Research ProgrammesSaturday, 19 January, 13
  • Same for blogsSaturday, 19 January, 13
  • Same for blogs • For GoInstant: • core of “customer experience matters,” surrounded by “X matters for customer experiences.”Saturday, 19 January, 13
  • Mistakes • As the Saskatchewanderer: • Saskatchewan is cool! • After the Saskatchewanderer: • All purpose travel writing! Please for the love of god hire me I’m unemployed actually I’ll write anything just c’mon please trySaturday, 19 January, 13
  • Better idea • If Saskatchewan has all this cool stuff, I can find other beautiful stuff in other unpopular Canadian destinations. • Audience: broke ass Canucks.Saturday, 19 January, 13
  • Expansion Metrics • Exact same as focus. • Are your readers highly engaged? • Is this a real growth opportunity? Is the rate of growth itself increasing?Saturday, 19 January, 13
  • Step 4.5: Everything else • Get good at writing by fucking up constantly. • Marketing matters. • Market to your audiences. Test. • Build relationships with other bloggers through guest blogs. • SEO benefit is huge. • Give a fuck about the technical parts of writing and of running a blog.Saturday, 19 January, 13
  • Any questions?Saturday, 19 January, 13
  • Thank you so much! Share the presentation: http://bit.ly/bigbigblog Follow me on Twitter: @andrewkonoff and HAVE AN AWESOME PODCAMP!Saturday, 19 January, 13