"Sensible, solid, practical advice for anybody, marketing anything, to anyone. All delivered with a European twist."

The Elements of a Blogging Brand

I covered why you need a brand and how to use your branding some time ago. What I didn’t talk about was the elements that make up a brand, and I deliberately left doing so, as people often spend ages over those elements, without first thinking through in detail what their brand actually means. To so many people, brand is about a logo or a style, and they spend many hours perfecting those things, without first establishing what their brand is in understandable terms.

So, let’s talk about some of those elements now:

Logo

Every brand should have a logo – a kind of instantly recognizable object that people will associate with you or your blog over time. It doesn’t have to be a graphic, it can be a photo – mine is, and it appears on this blog and everywhere you see stuff I do on the net. But you also need that brand to be reflected in any offline promotional materials, like business cards and stationery.  read more »

Paid Tweets and Sponsored Blogs

Adam Ostrow posted an interesting piece on Mashable this afternoon asking the question Will Pay Per Tweet Ruin Twitter? The post is about Izea moving into the pay per tweet market.

izealogo

I really struggle with all this. Why do people get in such a frenzy about advertising on Twitter, or sponsored blog posts? I won’t be offering my Twitter account to Izea for paid Tweets, but I have no problem with people who do, do you? If so, why?  read more »

Eight Ways to get Blog Traffic from Twitter

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Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1/ Tweet your posts!

Yes it’s perfectly acceptable to tweet your own posts, as long as you let people know they’re yours, and as long as you add some value between doing so. If tweeting your own posts is all you do, then people won’t click the links and you’ll probably lose followers as well. The more engaging, interesting and worth following you are, the more people will click your links and even retweet your posts for you.  read more »

How to Create Great Content for your Blog

There are many methods for deciding what to write for your blog, but I’m going to share the process I use, and which I hope will work for you as well as it works for me.

I keep a list of posts I want to write (on an Excel spreadsheet) and as soon as it starts to get down to three or four, I’ll carry out the following exercise to top it back up to twenty five or thirty, so I do the this about once a month.

What I do is a mixture of brainstorming and mind mapping, and I do it the old fashioned way with pen and paper!

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Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net  read more »

How Much Time do I need to Write a Blog?

This is a question I’ve been asked several times by readers, particularly in the run up to the start of The Beginners Guide to Blogging. I understand that many people (and I used to be one of them) have to work full time when they first start blogging, and therefore any time commitment they make is limited to free time outside of work. Many people will say that it depends on various factors, like your planned posting schedule and your objectives for the blog. Whilst this is true to some extent, I’m afraid I have some bad news for anyone who thinks starting a blog, with the intention of earning money from it, is anything but consistent, hard work.

10151027  read more »

Mike's Life POW 29th May 2009

Here are the posts I have most enjoyed recently:

 

The Sucker’s Gap

by Neill Watson on octanegossip

Quality piece of writing from Neill about him seeing a car going for one of those marginal overtakes. Does it make it? Read the post and see!

 

Conflict of Interest Doesn’t Apply to Blogs

by Penelope Trunk on brazencareerist  read more »

Congratulations to the Winners!

I ran a competition last week where two people had the chance to win 500 free business cards from one of this blog’s sponsors, Uprinting. Congratulations to:

Chris

Who came up with the idea of “Guerilla card drops.” Here is his comment:

  • Great competition Mike. I'm thinking that I'd go for a "guerilla" approach - leaving a card on the counter at the chip shop, putting one inside an appropriate library book, including them with any items I sell on eBay or Amazon... you get the idea :)
  • All that is, of course, on top of giving someone a card whenever I talk to them face to face about my blogs.

I had a wonderful mental picture of Chris, in his combat gear, bursting into his local chip shop, telling everyone to freeze, and leaving his new cards on the counter.

Kelly

Kelly’s idea was bout using the backs of cards:  read more »

Drupal as a Blogging Platform - How to load Drupal onto Your Server

So, you’ve decided Drupal is the way to go for your blog. Hopefully you’ve done so based on my post about Drupal versus Wordpress! Let’s now explore the process for installing Drupal onto your server. It’s quite straightforward:

drupal.org  read more »

Book Review - Business Stripped Bare. Richard Branson

I haven’t read any previous Branson books, or any of the biographies about the man. I have to admit that my view of Sir Richard was that he was a nice guy, who had a lucky break with Tubular Bells, then surrounded himself with very able business people to run his companies, while he had a great time.

Branson

Business Stripped Bare gives the lie to all that. Branson does understand his businesses and he has a great gift for explaining his philosophies. Above all, he has a consummate understanding of branding, and it was this section of the book that I enjoyed the most. If you want to learn about branding a business, then buy it for that alone.  read more »

How the Blogging Market is Changing

We’re coming to the end of the first phase of the social media revolution. Blogging, and all the attendant stuff that goes with it, like Twitter and Facebook are now part of the mainstream. And I believe we need to change our business models to reflect that. Allow me to explain:

How it was

Early Blog

The blogging market was dominated by early adopters. They were technically savvy people, who were probably already spending most of their time online. Many of them saw blogging as a means to supplement or even to kick start already existing online ventures, focused around PPC and Adsense advertising. The hard workers quickly developed large followings, and were able to sell simple information products to those who were desperate for facts about the secrets of their success. Some of the early E-Books about pay per click advertising, or making money through Adsense sold in astonishing numbers. The model was simple: build a huge following and then sell a lot of low priced product to a reasonable number of them.  read more »