enterprise social media

Create a Great Lead for Your Blog Part 2

Create a Great Lead for Your Blog Part 2

In our previous post, Creating a Great Lead for Your Blog, we continued our series all about blogging by discussing how to create great leads for your blog and gain readers.

In this post, we continue the themes from our last post with part 2 on creating great leads for your blog.

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Write Scannable Text

Since your prospective readers are going to quickly scan your article to decide on its relevance, be sure to write in a way that enables scanning. This means no long, laborious, clause-laden sentences. Write in a shorter, choppier style that quickly imparts the information. And use lots of white space, especially between paragraphs.

Use bulleted lists. You may have noticed we have a lot of them in our blog posts. Take a moment and scan back through some of our previous posts. See how the bulleted lists attract your eye, and quickly give you a sense of what’s on the page, and what the topic under discussion is?

Notice that we use a lot of white space as well, often setting sentences off apart from the rest of the text.

That’s not the way you were taught to write in school, but that’s what works in the increasingly attention-deficit world we’re living in. So keep your paragraphs short, and don’t be afraid to make them only a sentence long. There’s a great example of how to lure the reader in on the Problogger site in a post called How to Craft a Blog Post — 10 Crucial Points to Pause.[1] Since the author, Darren Rowse, also uses type styles to attract attention, we’ve reproduced the beginning of the post in the next figure.

Blogging lead

Figure 1 — Example of a Great Blog Post Lead

Doesn’t this lead make you want to read the rest of the post? Rowse dares you to read on by taking the risk of placing a picture between you and the rest of the post. Brilliant.

By the way, the rest of Rowse’s article, and the series it’s part of, is killer, and we definitely re­commend you read it.

Keep it Short

Pundits differ on the precise recommended post length, but pretty much everyone agrees blog posts should be short. We think you should aim for 300-500 words. As a guide, the average 8 ½” x 11” page has roughly 400 words on it.

If your topic is long and involved, split your post into multiple pages, with about 500 words on each. If your topic really demands more extensive coverage, consider making it into a series of posts. We did this recently when a blog site asked us to do a guest post on business use of LinkedIn. They suggested 500-700 words for the whole article. We replied that there was no way to do the topic justice in that amount, and ended up doing a five-part series.

You’ll need to figure out the length issue yourself. We suggest you ask your community what they think. Perhaps you always leave them wanting more. Perhaps they get tired of reading you after half a page. Remember that it doesn’t matter what you think when it comes to these issues. It’s what your audience thinks. And the great thing is: You can ask them.

Next up: Good Blog Topics


Create a Great Lead for Your Blog Part 2 is the 148th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 382. At this rate it’ll be a while before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances


[1] Darren Rowse’s post How to Craft a Blog Post – 10 Crucial Points to Pausebit.ly/bGED2G

Using LinkedIn to Prepare for a Conference

Using LinkedIn to Prepare for a Conference

So your startup is going to an important conference where you hope to attract attention and start conversations with partners, backers, and prospects. You all have LinkedIn profiles, so you’re ready to go, social media-wise, right?

Wrong.

 Conference booths

Buff Up Your LinkedIn Presence

Of course it’s important for you to be on LinkedIn. If they’re interested, people you meet at the conference will probably look you up to find out more information about you than what is contained on your business card or in your trifold. They’ll want to know how seriously to take you.

We see many, many profiles on LinkedIn that are really barebones. A weak summary statement and incomplete information about your background can be a real turnoff for the folks who are gauging whether you’re for real or not.

So to prepare for an important conference, follow our recommendations for beefing up your LinkedIn presence:

Improve Your Profile

  • If you’ve got a day job while starting your startup, be sure the startup company name is listed first in the Experience section. Your title and the name of the company, location, and industry are bits of information that follow you around on LinkedIn. For example, this info, along with your picture, is what shows up in search listings. So how are the people you meet at the conference going to find you? By searching. If I’m someone at this conference and want to know whom to talk to, I’m going to look on LinkedIn, not read everyone’s business cards.
  • Fill in all the experience sections of your profile.  Again, this speaks to credibility.  You all may be really smart, but on LinkedIn, you need to give evidence of industry or domain knowledge and experience to establish your bona fides.
  • Create a strong summary statement. It’s OK to have personal aspirations in this statement, but keep it fact-based and fairly short, no more than 200 words. Here’s an example of a weak summary statement: “I have brought success to numerous firms by taking a strategic and systematic approach to financial operations.” This is generic and vague. If you’re going to make a statement like this, back it up with details. Strive for statements that will set you apart from others.
  • Include a recent picture, of just you, not you and your spouse or dog or kid. Have it professionally done if possible. Dress in clothes appropriate to your business.
  • List the company Twitter account as your Twitter account and list other appropriate social media presence. Also list the company Website.
  • Get appropriate recommendations, both personal and skill. It’s OK to endorse one another, but keep that to a minimum. Seek out people who will give you a great recommendation that is pertinent to what you’re doing in your startup.

Pre-Conference LinkedIn Activities

  • Join relevant LinkedIn groups.  Use the Groups search to find them. Other LinkedIn members can’t tell when you’ve joined, just that you’re a member, so don’t worry that they’ll find out you’re a newbie. If there’s time, comment on posts and post one or two items of your own.
  • Definitely post in groups that you are attending the conference.  Ask if anyone else is going and if they want to meet for a drink, dinner, sightseeing, something fun.
  • Look up all conference keynote speakers on LinkedIn and visit their profiles.  The keynoters can see these visits to their profiles, and this could trigger conversations with those folks.  We’ve connected with lots of people just because we saw them checking out our profiles.
  • Create a Company Page. Seriously. If you don’t have a Company Page on LinkedIn, you don’t exist. (We may have overstated that just a bit.) It’s easy to do, and you can even list your products.
  • Post a PowerPoint describing your startup on SlideShare and link it to the individual profiles of company members. Having a PowerPoint on SlideShare conveys an air of professionalism and credibility, despite the fact that any jaboney can post there.

We recommend that all principals take these steps, but those who are attending must definitely address these issues.

There’s lots more about using social media for B2B sales in our book The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for B2B Sales Success – Sales Person Edition. Get a free chapter at  bit.ly/InfPipeCh1


Create a Great Lead for Your Blog is the 147th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 380. At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances

Create a Great Lead for Your Blog

Create a Great Lead for Your Blog

In our previous post, Writing Your Blog, we continued our series all about blogging by beginning to get into the nitty gritty of blog writing, starting with your blog post titles.

In this post, we continue discussing blog writing with a look at how to create great leads for your blog and gain readers.

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Create a Great Lead

Blog posts must get right to the point. Study some of the most influential blogs, such as the Huffington Post[1] or Gawker.[2] Watch how they hook the reader in. Here’s an example of a recent HuffPost article lead:

For all his retro failings and inability to open up, Don Draper has always been intrigued, even turned on, by women who are willing to stand up to him and are smart enough to argue with him.

Who’s that lead targeted to? Yup. Women.

How about this lead from Gawker:

There’s a melodramatic “war” brewing between Facebook and Google, and Facebook’s CEO is seizing the opportunity to squeeze more work from his engineers, declaring a “lockdown,” keeping the office open on weekends, and putting a neon sign on his door.

Target audience? People like you, who read blogs about social media!

Write and rewrite your lead so that it communicates the promise of the post and entices the reader to continue.

Add Pictures

Remember when you were thumbing through the magazine in your imagination in the previous post? You were scanning titles, but you were also looking at the pictures. Since many of your audience members will belong to the post-literate generations, consider including at least one grabber of a picture in each blog post.

Use Pull Quotes

PullQuote

Also known as a lift-out quote or a call-out, a pull quote is a quotation or edited excerpt from a post placed in a larger typeface and embedded in a text box to entice readers and to highlight a key topic. You’ve probably seen them on the professional news sites and blogs. It’s a great way to provide more cues to your readers about what your post is about.

Next up: Create a Great Lead for Your Blog Part 2


Create a Great Lead for Your Blog is the 147th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 380. At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances


[1] Huffington Post: huff.to/9bAbxA

[2] Gawker: bit.ly/9czGyt

Writing Your Blog

Writing Your Blog

In our previous post, How to Blog, we continued our series all about blogging by discussing some of the key things to remember when you start blogging.

In this post, we begin to get into the nitty gritty of blog writing, starting with your blog post titles.

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Writing Your Blog

One of the most important things to keep in mind when writing a blog is: You have seconds to capture the reader, and it’s very easy to lose them after the first paragraph.

Create a Great Title

Your blog needs a great title, and so do your blog posts. Whether it’s short and to the point, or long and quirky, your title has to grab the reader. Research shows that people’s decision to read an article is heavily dependent on the title of the article.[1] If you’ve read a newspaper or magazine lately (work with us here, GenY), you’re familiar with the concept. Chances are good you thumb through the periodical scanning the titles and headlines (and pictures — we’ll get to them later) until something looks good. Then you read the first paragraph and decide if you want to read more. If the article isn’t delivering what you want, you move on.

On the Web this process is multiplied a thousand-fold. If you’re lucky enough for your blog post to make it onto the front page of Google, its title must jump out as the prospective reader rapidly scans the search results. Remember: On the Web, every click is a commitment. You’re leaving the familiar comfort of the page you’re on to venture into the unknown, in the optimistic hope of finding something useful, entertaining, or informative. And if the article doesn’t deliver on the promise of the title, your reader is off to the next adventure.

Here are some title examples drawn from our own blogs. Which blog post title would you be more likely to read?

Boring Blog Title

Better Blog Title

I have lots of new Twitter followers What’s the deal with tons of ghost followers yesterday on Twitter?
Famous Quote About Energy What Edison Said About Energy
Branding is Changing The Future of Brands, or Yoda Was Right
The Advantages of Experience What’s Wrong with Young Guys?
Old People Don’t Understand Teens Twitter is for Old Fogies, Teen Says

We hope you prefer the titles in the right hand column.

Next up: Create a Great Lead for Your Blog


Writing Your Blog is the 146th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 379. At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances


[1] Jack B. Haskins’ paper Title-Rating: A Method for Measuring Reading Interests and Predicting Readershipbit.ly/cfGcZl

How to Blog

In our previous post, Creating Your Blog, we continued our series all about blogging by discussing the process of creating your blog

In this post, we discuss some of the key things to remember when you start blogging.

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How to Blog

There are as many ways to blog as there are people on Earth. Each blogger will approach the task of posting an engaging blog in his or her own way. As we indicated in the previous post in this series, you should decide how blogging will achieve your online objectives before you start.

Start by Commenting

Once you’ve created your plan and figured out your approach, visit lots of relevant blogs and consider posting comments as a way to get the hang of blogging. In doing so, keep in mind the following guidelines for commenting on others’ posts:

  • Follow the 4-to-1 rule: Comment on four posts for every post that you write — Spread the love around
  • Link to other blogs — Acknowledging a great post on another’s blog can help build your reputation and deliver readers for your own blog
  • Comments are a great way to spread the word, but don’t spam — If every comment you make includes a gratuitous link to your blog, or is seen as merely self-serving, you’re not going to be successful in luring readers of other blogs to yours
  • Ensure your comments are relevant and on-topic — This is the other side of the previous rule: Don’t comment if you’re not adding value. We’re often tempted to post something useless like “I agree,” or “What he said” but that does nothing but clutter up the comments stream, and readers will immediately gloss over your comment in search of something interesting.
  • Include a link to your blog — Yes, it’s appropriate to include a link to your blog in a comment, but only in context, meaning that your blog amplifies or otherwise is pertinent to the same or a similar topic

Blog Frequently

Once you start blogging, you’ll want to establish a rhythm. Try to blog frequently — more than once a week, maybe even daily. The point of blogging is to get followers. Followers want currency, not stale, month-old posts. Blogging frequently will keep them coming back.

If you can’t commit to blog daily, shoot for blogging every few days, or at least weekly. You may need to spread the blogging chores among several authors. If you do, encourage them to maintain a common tone.

Next up: Writing Your Blog


How to Blog is the 145th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 378. At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances

Creating Your Blog

Creating Your Blog

In our previous post, Blogging Glossary, we presented a glossary of blogging terms.

In this post, we continue the series by discussing the process of creating your blog.

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Creating Your Blog

It’s very easy, and free, to start a blog. It’s harder to create a blog that will amass a following, or make a difference. Like all the social media sites we discuss in this blog, you should start with a plan that includes your goals, the audience you are trying to reach, the tone of the blog, the name and branding of the blog, your marketing plan, and a publishing schedule. Review the post Elements of an Engagement Plan before starting your blog.

There are all kinds of blog platforms available that will host your blog. The most popular are WordPress, Typepad, Blogsmith, Blogger and Movable Type. Here’s a short list of sites to consider when choosing a hosted blog platform:[1]

  • Blogger.com — free, by Google
  • Blogspot.com — free Blogger hosting
  • LiveJournal.com — free, by SixApart
  • MovableType.com — paid, by SixApart
  • Typepad.com — paid, by SixApart
  • WordPress.com — free

If you’re ready to take on the responsibility of hosting your blog yourself, there are several blogging platforms to choose from, some free, some you need to buy:

  • WordPress.org — A free, installable version of WordPress.com software
  • Movable Type — Charges for a license for the platform based on number of blogs and whether they are for commercial, personal, educational or not-for-profit use. Also has a free version.
  • LiveJournal — Open source software that enables you to create a virtual community. LiveJournal goes beyond blogging by allowing you to create self-contained communities and add social networking features.
  • Textpattern — More than a blogging platform, Textpattern is an open source general-purpose content management system
  • Drupal, Joomla, and other Web content management systems also have blogging features, although they are primarily designed to run your whole site.

One advantage of self-hosting: You can use your own domain name — blog.yourorg.com. A major disadvantage is that if you don’t have a technical staff, the upkeep and maintenance of a blog hosting platform can be baffling and time-consuming.

Next up: How to Blog


Creating Your Blog is the 144th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 377. At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances


[1] There’s a good overview of blogging platforms and a list of the top 100 blogs and their blogging platforms at: bit.ly/9ooHQO

Blogging Glossary

Blogging Glossary

In our previous post, What is a Blog?, we continued a our series about blogging by answering a simple question: what is a blog?

In this post, we present a glossary of several blogging terms.

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Blogging Glossary

Before we get too far, let’s take a look at some blog lingo.

  • Post — a blog entry; also verb, to create a blog entry
  • Blogging — the act of posting
  • Blogger — a person who blogs
  • Blogosphere — the blogging community
  • RSS Feed — short for Real Simple Syndication, it’s a way for others to sign up (called subscribing; see below) to get updates from your blog without having to visit it
  • Atom — a feed format that is an alternative to RSS
  • Blog Client — software installed on your computer that you can use to manage (post, edit) blogs with no need to launch a web browser
  • Blogroll — a list of other blogs that a blogger recommends by providing links to them
  • Comment Spam — similar to e-mail spam, unwanted comments posted by robot “spambots”
  • Mommy bloggers — a particularly cohesive and active group of blogging mothers — see the discussion of the Motrin mommy blogger revolt in the Social Media Hall of Shame
  • Permalink — a permanent, unchanging link to a single post that can be used when you want to link to a post from elsewhere
  • Podcasting — originally a contraction of “iPod” and “broadcasting,” podcasting means posting audio or video material on a blog and its RSS feed, for digital players (not just iPods).
  • Subscribe — signing up to be alerted to changes in a blog, or signing up to receive an RSS feed
  • Templates — the organization structure of a blog page often including content placement, design, graphics, and interactive features; you can find free templates, commercial templates, or have your own designed
  • Theme — a particular look that can be applied to a blog template, changing the visual elements
  • Trackback or Pingback — a ping that a blog sends to another blog to notify that their article has been mentioned
  • Tag cloud — Displaying lists of keywords or tags in a blog as a cloud of words
  • Plug-ins — bits of interactivity that can add improved functionality and new features to your blog
  • Jump — the continuation of a story on another page

Components of a Blog

Blogs can be plain or they can be fancy. But most blogs have one or more of the following components:

  • Index page — The front page, which may contain teasers to other posts
  • Header — The topmost part of the blog
  • Footer — The bottom part of the blog
  • Sidebar — Columns along one or both sides of the blog’s main page
  • Categories — A collection of topic-specific posts
  • Comments — A section, generally at the bottom, where readers can leave remarks
  • CAPTCHA — Those squiggly words often seen in a Comments section to prevent automated commenting, it stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart
  • Tagging — Allows readers or bloggers to attach keywords to make it easier to search or collect similar posts
  • BlogThis — An interactive feature that allows a visiting blogger to blog on their own blog about the entry they are reading
  • Plug-ins — Interactive features that add improved functionality and new features. Some top plug-ins for the popular blogging platform WordPress include: Subscribe To Comments, Show Top Commentators, Get Recent Comments, Popularity Contest, and Share This.[1]

Next up: Creating Your Blog


Blogging Glossary is the 143rd in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 376. At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances


[1] See the list of top WordPress plug-ins at bit.ly/ah4Rg9

What is a Blog?

What is a Blog?

In our previous post, Setting Up Blogging, we began a brand new series all about blogging with a look at how to set up your blog.

In this post, we continue with our new series by answering the question “what is a blog?”

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What is a Blog?

At its root, a blog is nothing more than an easy way to publish content on the Web. You could argue that blogs are the original social media application. When blogs arose at the tail end of the 90s, they represented freedom for the average person from the tyranny of the techies. No longer did regular folks need to run the gauntlet of people who had to be involved in putting content on the Web, from the Web designers to the developers to the Webmasters. Anyone could easily start a blog and publish their thoughts on the Internet. It was amazing.

Today, in the midst of hundreds of social networking sites, the blog remains the choice for a personal soapbox. As much as you can rant on Facebook, for example, there’s nothing as intimate as your own space to blog. And there is nothing more popular on the Web, with 77 percent of active Internet users reading blogs.[1] According to Nielsen, blogging on mobile phones doubled in 2012.[2]

Even today, the modern blog still resembles the diary-oriented Weblogs of old. Simply put, it’s a log of your thoughts, ideas, links, photos, videos, or news in a series of posts arranged in chronological order. Because of its power and flexibility, the blog can be the cornerstone of your social computing strategy, second in importance only to your main Website.

In fact, we recommend making a blog the centerpiece of your social media strategy. Whether the blog is on your existing site or on one of the blog hosting platforms we detail later, of all the types of social media, the blog offers you an opportunity to state your case with the fewest restrictions. You’re not limited by Twitter’s 140 characters or by the length of a Facebook or LinkedIn status update. While it’s not a good idea to routinely go on at great length, with a blog you have the opportunity to develop a theme or an argument that other venues rarely provide.

So do your work here, in your blog. And link to your blog from everywhere, as we discussed in the Triangulate Your Social Media Presence post. Don’t be discouraged by the tens of millions of competitive blogs out there. Make your blog the place you state your case, and most intimately engage with your community. If you offer value — resources, insights, encouragement — and effectively engage your community, your blog can be a hit.

Next up: Blogging Glossary


What is a Blog? is the 142nd in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 375. At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances


[1] The Future Buzz’s article Social Media, Web 2.0 And Internet Stats: bit.ly/b4o8bO

[2] Nielsen’s Social Media Report 2012: Social Media Comes of Age bit.ly/10gYpti

Setting Up Blogging

Setting Up Blogging

In our previous post, Getting Video Results on YouTube, we closed out our series on YouTube with a case study of a successful video campaign to discuss how to get great results on YouTube.

In this post, we begin a brand new series all about blogging with a look at how to set up your blog.

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Setting Up Blogging

“Blog policy at Microsoft is just two words: Blog Smart.”

Lawrence Liu, director of platform strategy for Telligent

Blog is short for Weblog, an old-fashioned term from the turn of the century for a kind of online diary. The original Weblogs were not initially a hit. In 1999 well-known usability guru Jesse James Garrett collected a list[1] of all the known Weblogs — all 23 of them. A year later, his list had grown to almost 300.[2] Peter Merholz, Creative Director at Epinions.com, decided for some reason that the word should be pronounced “wee-blog” which he proposed be shortened to blog, and the rest is history.

As we reported in an earlier post, today there are more than 240 million blogs with more than 120,000 new ones launching every day.[3] Websites such as Technorati[4] exist solely to catalog and classify blogs, delivering a sampling of the best and most-influential blogs. Big money is made by blogs such as Mashable,[5] Perez Hilton,[6] I Can Has Cheezburger,[7] and Techcrunch[8] which staked out claims in niche markets (social media, celebrity gossip, cute (?) cat pictures, tech gadgets) and drawing large viewership.

Along the way, the blog has morphed from a text-only medium to a multimedia extravaganza, featuring audio, video, animations, and games. Technical innovations such as Real Simple Syndication (RSS)[9] en­abled blogs to connect to one another, and made keeping up to date on many blogs at once a simple matter of starting a Google Reader account.

Other social networking sites have made it easy to connect blogs to their services:

  • You can automatically tweet a synopsis of your new blog post to Twitter and Facebook using TwitterFeed[10]
  • You can add your blog to LinkedIn (use the BlogLink app or Ping.fm[11]) and to Facebook (add to the Notes section)
  • You can add your blog to your YouTube channel

As you can see, your blog could be the center of your social media universe, powering a series of satellite sites fed by a single blog post.

So what is this powerful force?

Next up: What is a Blog?


Setting Up Blogging is the 141st in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 374. At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances


[1] Jesse James Garrett’s list of blogs from 1999: bit.ly/azc5ox

[2] Garrett’s list of blogs from 2000: bit.ly/bGAimO

[3] See our post Why Social Media?

[4] Technorati: bit.ly/9P2O14 and the Top 100 Blogs: bit.ly/cIXCWF

[5] Mashable: bit.ly/a6Q7e8

[6] Perez Hilton: bit.ly/bwaXIR

[7] I Can Has Cheezburger: bit.ly/dspJnq

[8] Techcrunch even has its own URL shortener: tcrn.ch/cON0ZS

[9] See the section Social Sites Defined on page 19 for a definition of RSS

[11] Ping.fm automatically feeds posts to a variety of sites: bit.ly/dwbqG3

Getting Video Results on YouTube

Getting Video Results on YouTube

In our previous post, Optimize Your YouTube Video, we continued a series on YouTube with a look at everything you need to know about optimizing your videos to help them be found.

In this post, we finish up our YouTube series with a case study of a successful video campaign to discuss how to get great results on YouTube.

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Getting Video Results

You may have various goals for using videos on YouTube. You may want to spread awareness for your products or your enterprise. You may want to counter others who have a different perspective than you on an issue. But one of the most important objectives you may have is to gain prospects, supporters, and evangelists for your organization.

For these and other reasons you’ll want to be sure to include a strong call to action in your videos. The results can be amazing.

Here’s an example of the power of video to create action. Lynn Rogers, with the Wildlife Research Institute, and the North American Bear Center near Ely, Minnesota, gained an international reputation over 40 years of working in the field with black bears. But Rogers gained international fame by the simple act of broadcasting live on the Web the birth of a black bear named Hope in January, 2010.

The “den cam” video was in black and white and a bit murky, and a mere 25,000 viewers watched it live.[1] Within a couple of days, after becoming the #1 Yahoo.com featured story, the birth video was the #1 most-viewed YouTube video on January 24, 2010 and by late 2010 it garnered more than 800,000 views. The subsequent story of Hope and her mother, Lily, included Hope getting lost for a few days in May, 2010, and again in June.[2] The bear drama spawned almost 300 videos on YouTube, covering the two bears as if they were the latest Hollywood “it” girls.

But all this interest didn’t just happen all by itself. The creators of the “den cam,” PixController Wildlife Webcam, used social media to help the phenomenon along. According to company CEO Bill Powers, “The day it (the video feed) went up … it just went berserk at that point. It was the first time anybody had actually seen a bear den. When the bear cub was born, it was kind of neat. That’s when we started to use a lot of the social tools like Facebook and those kind of things to get the word out quick, and it just went viral at that point.”[3]

The social media efforts included a “Lily the Black Bear” Facebook page[4] with more than 115,000 fans, whose comments on Facebook generated more than 6,000 links.

Hundreds of thousands of viewers were fascinated by the experience, and their interest turned into donations totaling $400,000 to the non-profit organizations Rogers heads, Wildlife Research Institute, and the North American Bear Center.[5] In addition, the bear center received a $100,000 grant from Chase Community Giving on Facebook, a program sponsored by JPMorgan Chase in which Facebook users vote on how the charity distributes $5 million. The center received almost 18,000 votes among more than 2.5 million Facebook users who participated.

Demonstrating our recommendation that an organization’s main Website must be modified to support social media efforts, Rogers’ Website, bear.org, posts blow-by-blow accounts of Lily and Hope, and features a prominent donation button with a funds thermometer.[6] The main page of the Website features various live Webcam feeds, a recent donor honor roll, and the opportunity to buy bear paraphernalia.

What can you learn from the Lily and Hope phenomenon? It’s clear that an engaging story supported by video and combined with other social media efforts can deliver for your organization in a big way. Think of the human (or non-human) stories your organization can tell, and how video can help you tell them. It doesn’t matter if you have slick production values — look at what was achieved with a low-resolution black and white video. What counts is telling the story, and connecting with your viewers.

For more video tips, Teach to Fish Digital has a free YouTube tutorial.[7]

Next up: Setting Up Blogging


Getting Video Results on YouTube is the 140th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 372. At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances


[1] Maker of the “den cam” Pixcontroller reports: bit.ly/coiR6q

[2] Lily and Hope reunited: 
http://on.fb.me/111pQCL

[3] Pittsburgh Tribune’s article Export company’s webcams follow black bear, cub bit.ly/9i2JAa

[4] Lily’s Facebook pages: on.fb.me/aiCI1Z and on.fb.me/cV04zZ

[5] StarTribune’s article The bear whisperer: Scholar plans to expand educational empirebit.ly/cyFqEV

[6] North American Bear Center – Lily’s Den Cam 2013 – Now Live http://bit.ly/XI0SeG

[7] Teach to Fish Digital’s YouTube Tutorialslidesha.re/qOp3D3