Did I just say blogging could… hurt your business?
It definitely can. You’ll want to listen in to find out how.
Speaking of Quora, my thoughts on the entire service along with the new blogging feature were best summed up by Jason L. Baptiste (whom I mistakenly called “John” in the podcast) below:
— Jason L. Baptiste (@JasonLBaptiste) January 23, 2013
The Facebook and Quora stuff comes first, then the blogging stuff.
Lastly, I drop a couple hints about my upcoming new ebook all about blogging workflow and productivity. This will probably be the topic of next week’s podcast. Have any questions about blogging workflow or productivity? Drop me a line and let me know. Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes if you want the shows to go directly to your device. If you’re enjoying the show, why not rate & review it in the iTunes store? Thanks!
Hey, this is Michael Martine. Welcome to the Remarkablogger Podcast. This is Episode 3 coming to you from January 25, 2013.
In this episode we’re going to talk about several different things. The first two things are going to be a couple of news items and the second thing is going to be about blogging. We’ll take care of the news items first.
First of all, in last week’s podcast we talked about Facebook’s new Graph Search, which is coming out and how it’s going to change everything for online marketing in a big way. It’s going to have an impact for sure. If you didn’t listen to that, go back and check that out. I would encourage you to do that.
Well, it turns out that Graph Search has a bit of a dark side and it can be used in some pretty kind of creepy, unpleasant ways. So, like, one of the examples that we talked about in the podcast last week, was that you could find Indian restaurants that your Indian friends actually liked, just as an example. Or, you could find all the people that live near you, who liked a certain sports team, or who liked a movie, or something like that.
You know it’s all based on the sort of data trail that we leave behind in Facebook, which Facebook refers to as the open graph and so hence when you search on that it is called Graph Search, right.
But, it turns out you can also do searches like, married people who like prostitutes. And, more and other sundry unpleasant things like that, so definitely a little bit of a dark side to Graph Search there.
Since, you probably use Facebook, I’m thinking, because just about everybody does, then you might want to look into how and in what ways you can sort of clean up that trail for yourself on Facebook, if you’re concerned about anything like that happening.
I’m not trying to make you paranoid and I’m not assuming that there’s bad stuff in your past, but like just for example let’s say that you were a little tipsy one night and you thought it would be funny and ironic to click Like on Justin Bieber’s homepage or something like that. And, now that could come back to haunt you in Facebook Graph Search, right. Because, let’s face it, nobody likes Justin Bieber. Come on.
Now, the other piece of news that I want to bring up, has to do with Quora, the question and answer site, Quora. They now will let you have a blog, actually many blogs, as many blogs as you want and you can write on them as much as you want. And, if your first reaction was, “So what,” well join the club. That was my reaction too.
Actually, my whole reaction to Quora in the first place, the entire site, was so what. And, there’s something about Quora and how it does what it does, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but whenever I use it, I never feel like I’m helping myself, or doing anything that’s good for me on the site, or even helping other people necessarily. What I feel like is happening, is that I’m just renting their space. I am helping them and I’m helping people who would never be my customers. And, that last part actually is pretty true, because every time I get an email that says, “So and so is following you on Quora,” and I go and look and see who they are, it’s nobody that would ever be a customer of mine.
Quora is actually kind of a waste of time, and the ability to create a blog on Quora, even more so. They’re a little late to the game, for another thing. It’s like, “Really? Blogs now?” That’s your big thing you’re coming out with; people can have blogs in the year 2013 now that we can say whatever we want on Facebook.
Tumblr is just you know completely out of control with how many people use it, although I don’t particularly care for Tumbler myself. WordPress is the biggest blogging platform in the entire world. Blogger.com is still doing pretty well. And, Quora is like, “Yeah, you can have blogs.” Yay . . . pardon me if I don’t jump up and down and cheer. Seriously.
So, yeah, Quora has blogs. Big whoop. Don’t bother.
And, in fact, the entire site of Quora I would argue probably don’t bother.
Nothing I’ve done on Quora has resulted in anything, any good for me. But, your mileage may vary. If it has, if you have gotten gigs from Quora, you got leads, you got sales, it was great for you, it was a huge thing, tell me about it. Let me know. I would like to hear that actually, because it hasn’t been my experience. If it has been your experience, I would love to hear all about it.
Leave a comment below the blog post where the podcast is. Post it on Remarkablogger.com. Or, you can just email me at MichaelMartine@gmail.com and let me know, because I’d love to hear that, if that’s the case. And if it is, then maybe I’ll bring it up again and we’ll talk about it.
Now, the third thing that I want to mention has to do with blogging itself. And it has to do with specifically that this idea that, “Yes, blogging can actually be bad for your business.” I know quelle surprise, right? How can blogging possibly be bad for my business, coming from a guy who is a blog consultant, a blog coach? Isn’t that a little paradoxical? Isn’t that a little ironic, don’t you think?
Well, maybe it is a little ironic. But, on the other hand who else would know better than me?
If somebody who appears to have, not a chip on their shoulder, but a cause let’s say, with regards to blogging, in that it is a wonderful and powerful platform, can with a totally straight face say that a blog could be bad for your business, well then maybe there’s something to that. You can decide that for yourself. Hear me out. We’ll see.
So, here’s how blogging can be bad for business in two big ways, one, in how you perform activities related to blogging and, two, what you blog about.
So, we’ll talk about how you perform blogging related activities first. Have you ever sat down and said, “Okay, I’m going to do some research now for a blog post?” Or, “I’m going to market myself on social media and I’m going to get followers. I’m going to build my reputation.” And, you sit down for that type of thing and then before you know you’re just back to cat pictures, and cat videos, “Charlie bit my finger,” and stuff like that. You were just wasting time.
The internet is like that. It’s a trap like that.
Back in the early days of the web, a book was published, one of the most seminal important books ever published about the internet. That book is called The Cluetrain Manifesto. Clue as in get one. If you haven’t read it, you should read it. Everybody should read this book, I think.
One of the tenants in that book is that hyperlinks subvert hierarchy. And, I have seen that to be true a million times over and over and over and over again. And, you see that happen every time you sit down with a goal in mind on the web, and then before you know it it’s cat pictures again. So, when you are doing that, you are obviously not making money. So, therefore it’s bad for business.
But, there’s other things too, like even just blogging itself can be bad for business. If all you’re doing is blogging, because at least it feels like you’re accomplishing something: Look, I published a blog post; Ooh, I got a comment; I responded to a comment; I clicked the Like button; so forth and so on, it makes you feel like you’re doing things.
That little pleasure center in your brain that wants the reward for doing the work, has now been satisfied. Problem is that there is not any extra dollars in your bank account.
So, unless you are selling something, or you are creating something to sell, or you are servicing an existing sale, or you are doing something that will result in a sale, then you are wasting your time. And, that is bad for your business.
Now, you might feel defensive and you want to lump in blog posts with doing things that will result in a sale. But, is that really true for you? Does it really result in a sale? Well, it depends. But, this leads me to the second point about how blogging can be bad for your business and that is: how are you blogging and what are you blogging about.
If you’ve ever been to a site and seen a blog that hasn’t been updated in four months, you know how bad that looks. If you’ve ever been to a site and you’ve seen blog posts that are nothing but sell-y, sell, sell. Or, they talk in, like, marketing lingo from a commercial, or it’s a bunch of ghost written stuff from a CEO, who really has no clue, and so forth and so on, then you can see how that can be bad.
It doesn’t make a good impression on you when you run into it. And, if you were going to do that for your own business, you might as well just not have a blog, because that is not going to be good for your business at all.
So, how we spend our time, and what we do when we’re actually blogging, can not only not be good for your business, it can actually be really bad for your business. So, something to think about there.
For most of you, everybody wants to think that their content is good, I know. I know. And, I would love to be able to give you a hug and pat you on the back and tell you that it’s going to be okay. But, the truth is content is probably not all that good, because if it was, then all of those things that are supposed to happen when you have a good blog, would be happening. So, if they’re not, that’s probably why.
And there is no magic bullet that is going to fix that. SEO, does not fix bad content or mediocre content, which is probably more likely the case.
A good blog design does not fix bad content. You being very busy and active on social media, does not fix bad content.
What is good content? Good content is content that is relevant and desirable by the people for whom it is intended and it causes an action to take place. It causes people to do things. So, that is, to me, that is the definition of good content.
So, whenever you see people online talk about, “You have to create good content for your blog.” And, yet, they never seem to really – they just assume that you know what good content means. And, you can tell that they’re just assuming that they know what it means. But, have you ever really thought about what it actually means? What the hell is good content?
Actually, I wrote a whole blog post about this a while ago, if I can dig it up I’ll put a link to it in the show notes. What exactly is good content? That’s what content is.
And, as far as frequency goes, well it has to be reasonably recent. You don’t want people to show up to your site and have it look like a ghost town, like nobody’s home. They left. So, you have to be updating from time to time.
Not having the publication dates show for your posts, is not the answer. The answer is to publish regularly. Not necessarily frequently, but regularly. Frequently enough. Okay, I would say that if I see a blog post that is more than a month old, I’m probably going to start to worry about the site. So, I mean, my goodness if you can’t publish a couple of blog posts a month, what are you doing?
All right, so watch out for those things: time wasters, and not writing about the right things on your blog, and not blogging frequently enough.
It’s not hard to fix these things. It is not. You just got to maintain awareness and work on it.
When you do those basic things all the other blogging advice that you run into will be very, very helpful. But, if you do not do those basic things, none of the blogging advice that you ever read, will help you.
Thanks for listening. This has been Michael Martine from Remarkablogger. You can find my site at Remarkablogger.com, where you can find all kinds of fun, free information and material about running a business blog, marking your business through blogging and social media, and email marketing.
And, you’ll find that I’m generally on top of the new stuff that’s coming down the pipeline and am able to translate that into English, so that you know what it is going to mean for you.
I’m also working on an ebook that is forthcoming, that is all about blogging workflow and the steps in the process of blogging. The reason why I’m writing this book is because that is something that people always seem to have problems with is how much time it takes to do these things and do it well and so forth.
And, what a lot of people don’t realize is the things that are supposed to happen, that you should be doing after you publish. So, I’ve been doing this for a while and I’ve got this whole collection, synthesis, production, promotion down, and in my next ebook I’m going to share that with you. And I’ll probably talk about that in the next podcast actually, so stayed tuned.
Until next week, thanks for listening. This is Michael Martine, Remarkablogger.com.
Talk to you later. Bye-bye.
Thanks to Terese for the terrific transcription. You can get Transcription and Beta Reader Services from her for your podcast or upcoming book.