Part 2 -- How to Optimize Your Message With Blogging, an Interview with Rich Brooks

We're back with Rich Brooks of Flyte New Media to continue our discussion. Rich, we talk a lot about how often Google is shifting their analytics. Thirteen or fourteen months ago there was Panda and now there is Penguin. So that makes generating authentic content on your site even more crucial because of all of these updates. Right?

Right, they keep on shifting the sands underneath our feet and they come up with these changes. If you were an optimist you would say they are good changes because what they are doing is rewarding people who create unique and powerful content and they are punishing people who are just scraping that content or creating derivative content. Like any change, there are a lot of good people who get caught in the shuffle and a lot of people who had not been creating content lost a lot of traffic because of Google. That is very frustrating and I feel for the people that did. What I would say is the same thing that I have been saying since almost 1997, which is, just keep on creating content that is valuable to your customer. If you do that, and understand enough of the big picture of the search engine; like put your keywords in the title, put your keywords in the header, use your keywords a couple of times throughout the page. Create keyword links to and from that page. Those are the basics. Those are the things that seem to have not changed over the years and over all of the different changes that have gone on. By creating valuable content, in the long run you are going to win. That has been my belief all along, and it continues to be my belief. No matter what Penguin or Panda, or whatever the next key animal, and whatever comes next. You are going to be prepared by creating quality, valuable content to your end user.

Right, exactly. Guest blogging. Inviting people to guest blog on your site?

It is very powerful and works both ways. Guest blogging is when I blog on someone else's website or blog. The value for me blogging elsewhere is that I am able to capture their audience and if I write something intelligent I can then lead them over to my blog where they can register or learn more about me or buy something. Likewise, when I am blogging for somebody else, I can create keyword links pointing to my materials and my online presence, so that can also be my search engine optimization. The flipside to that is if I have a blog and I am trying to create some fresh content for it which is more than I can create for myself I can leverage people who are looking for that visibility and their content helps my blog in terms of search engine visibility. Chances are they are also going to promote the fact that they are writing for my blog, which then introduces me to a new audience too. It is kind of a win/win situation.

That is great. What do you think about, what are your views on repurposing content? Is it good or bad?

I think we might repurpose our content, we might get bored of our own content but chances are no one sees all of our content. If you are writing a blog post that you like but it is kind of an unfinished thought and then at the end of the month you are looking for newsletter content that you might take that same content out at a different angle or polish it up and send it out. I know that not everybody keeps track of my blog and to my email newsletter and reading my website, and my Facebook page. Nobody is going to do all that. So what I feel is the best thing to do is find that one piece of really valuable content and then distribute it through as many channels that seem appropriate to your business. Should you be posting it to a link to your Facebook, sometimes it is just about pulling people in by creating links to those places, but other times you might have an idea and say this is the month that I am going to talk about Google Analytics, or this is the month I talk about dog training, or whatever it is that your business is. You create a calendar where you are blogging about this, you create Youtube videos about this and you are putting out on your social networks and you are focused on one topic for the month. That way it is fine to repurpose your content.

Repurposing content used to be what people would say you need to be careful about because Google doesn't like it, but that is not really what Google is after. They are after people who are...

They are after people who are literally copy and pasting and putting it to their websites. I don't think there is a whole lot of value in that. But if you are putting up content, these days there are so many different channels. I create a blog post and it automatically updates on LinkedIn, it automatically updates my Twitter feed, and it automatically pulls to my Facebook page. So is that repurposing content? I think more you are just taking advantage of the different channels that are out there. If you build up audiences at each one of those places it only makes sense that you pay them with something of value.

You are right. Because people do not enter your message the same way. Some people know you on Twitter, other people know you on LinkedIn and Facebook and whatnot. So I think it is not a bad idea. Talk to me about other tips for blogging, because I want you to chat to me about the event that you have coming up.

Just one of the things that I stole from some of the other Internet marketers out there, most notably Amy Porterfield, my friend. I used to send out the entire blog post through the RSS feed, and then I noticed that Amy and a lot of other internet marketers that I respect, were sending out an email that would basically have a very casual tone to it and say that I was thinking about such and such so I wrote a blog post about it and I would love to get your thoughts on it and then there would be a link to the blog. I thought why not put the whole blog post in there, who cares where they read it, whether it be the blog or email as long as your message gets there. And she said that when they come back to my blog, they are more likely to share my content or leave a response. And I am like "duh" how did I not think of that? So lately I have been doing the same thing. Even though it is an extra step, and even though it is a little more work, I go in on my blog and WebWorks rather than just hit the publish button and send it out, I craft a personal message that has the person's name in it and send it out that way then I can attract more traffic than just sending out the entire post.

That is fantastic. Yes, Amy is great, we love her. I have interviewed her a few times about her Facebook wisdom which is just amazing. Talk to me a little bit about your event. I know that Amy is going to be there.

Yes, this is something that I am super excited about. The Agents of Change Digital Marketing Conference, it is here in Maine on September 14, 2012. I have been doing a great conference these past three years called Social Media FTW. It was three years, it was great, we sold out every years but it ended and I wanted to do something new. I really strongly feel that as much as I love social media I don't believe in putting all the eggs in one basket. Right now I feel the three most important channels are search, social and mobile. So as I played around with that idea I was thinking about a conference name that used the word "accelerate" but I didn't like it, so then I moved to catalyst but I couldn't find the right name for that. And then in the thesaurus I saw agents of change. I am a comic book geek; as soon as I heard agents of change, I am like, we are done, that is the name of the conference. So I worked with a friend of mine who is an illustrator and he came up with the artwork. We are on Facebook and the website. He designed the agent for research, the agent for social, the agent for mobile. Those are the three channels that we will be talking about. And here is the thing; I want you to come to Maine, especially because Maine in September is the greatest place on earth. But I know that not everybody can make it so we are partnered with The Post Network and they are going to produce a live video stream of the conference, so you can watch it live or watch it afterwards. We are going to have people from all over the country, all over the world. We have got Chris Brogan, author of Trust Agents. Amy Porterfield, as you mentioned, author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One For Dummies. And then one of the smartest men, or at least smartest marketers that I know, Derek Halpern who is the man behind Social Triggers. Three great presenters. We have already sold one ticket to somebody from overseas. It is going to be very energetic and I really want to show that Maine is a great place to visit, live and do business.

That is great! I am so excited about this conference. And you have got all these rock stars, right?

I think it was the tequila on the rooftops that convinced them to do it. But the bottom line is they are coming, it is going to be a great day, we are going to really focus on what businesses and organizations can do to improve their search engine visibility, their social media and their mobile. Really put together a mobile plan because I think that too many of us were not ready for the mobile revolution.

You are absolutely right. I want to commend you because I just think education is so important. People need to get out and network with other people in this industry. Really just get out and learn and stop being afraid of the Internet. A lot of businesses are intimidated.

You are right; they don't know where to start. I think that is part of the problem and so hopefully people are ready, most companies have a website, they have a Facebook page and now it is about how to use those. I think with mobile a lot of people are like, I don't even know where to start. That is going to be a part of the conference too. How do you create a mobile campaign? What do you do? What are the first steps? So that is going to be some of the stuff we talk about as well.

Awesome! Rich, thank you so much for making the time for this session. Good luck with the conference!

The Agents of Change Digital Marketing Conference is an in person and online all-day educational conference on the three most important channels to business these days: search, social & mobile.

Join 400 other professionals in person at the Abromson Center in beautiful Portland, Maine, or join thousands more online. Learn from such experts as Chris Brogan, Amy Porterfield, Derek Halpern, Rich Brooks and more. Date: 9.14.12

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