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Posts from the ‘Blogging’ Category

28
Jun

Why I Enjoy Reading This Guy’s Blog

Blogging AdviceI recently began reading James Altucher’s blog. James is an entrepreneur, investor, trader, and writer (picture to the right). I stumbled across his blog months ago, but because his stories are so surreal and witty I thought they were fictitious and stopped reading. I wonder if he loses a lot of other readers for the same reason.

After watching one of his interviews I realized his stories were not fabricated and have since become a big fan of his writing.

Why I enjoy reading his blog

1. Authenticity: James is beyond honest; he is a completely open book. In a world where so many try to hide their failures and shortcomings, James openly shares his with the world. His honesty is why I believe so many people are attracted to his writing. He is that person who, for one reason or another, does not care what other people think about him, and people are drawn to that. In a similar way, I also see the same trait in presidential candidate Ron Paul. Although many disagree with candidate Paul’s policies, and some may not fancy James’ stories, they are both undeniably authentic.

2. He Creates Serendipity: James has many surreal stories (Example: How I Screwed Yasser Arafat Out of $2 million (and lost another $100 million in the process). These stories do not exist because he had a particularly privileged upbringing (his career starting out was not unusual); they exist because he took advantage of opportunities. While the majority of people end up stuck on a certain route and schedule, James created his own serendipity. As an example, at one point in his career he contacted 30 influential people and pitched them various ideas. 2 people responded, one of whom was Jim Cramer who offered him the chance to write for TheStreet.com. A lot of people look to those that have been successful and give credit to an external factor (family background, university attended, etc.). I have found that successful people became that way because they put themselves in the situations where they could be successful.

3. He gives life to stories: What I really enjoy from David, and there are very few authors I see this from (Malcom Gladwell is another), is that his writing is so fluid. There are very few non-fictional story tellers that can draw you into a story, and James is one of those authors. His paragraphs leap from one idea to the next, but you forget the missing connections and just follow. At the end everything seems to make sense, and you appreciate the story.

What bloggers and can marketers can take away

1. Be authentic: Embrace your mistakes and share them. There is something about being brutally honesty that is very effective.

2. Take time to meet new people and pursue new opportunities: You never know where a conversation or a fleeting moment will lead. As an example, for myself I’ve made it a goal of mine to reach out to several people every week who I have not had contact with yet but whose work I enjoy. This week I contacted Nathan from MarketingStartups.com, Mark Suster from Both Sides of the Table (I highly recommend you watch his presentations on Youtube–very funny and informative person), and the former CEO of MP3.com Michael Robertson. I was really happy to see that all 3 responded within the same day of my emailing.

3. Become a story teller: This is unfortunately easier said than done. Will have more articles on this in the future.

Resources

1. Jame Alchuler’s blog: http://www.jamesaltucher.com

2. Ron Paul’s interview. Regardless of whether you agree with him, listen to his authenticity: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCM_wQy4YVg

2
Feb

What I Learned From My First 30 Days Of Blogging

I started blogging 30 days ago. Here are highlights and what I learned from my first month of blogging:

1. I was asked to audition as a contributing writer to VentureBeat: As an indirect result of blogging, I was asked to try out as a writer. I ended up serving as a contributing writer for the company for several months.

Lesson Learned: Create serendipity when you can. You never know where it will lead to.

2. The CTO of Blekko, Greg Lindahl, commented on my article: After writing an article on the future of search as a response to TechCrunch writer Vivek Wadha’s article, I tweeted to Vivek, which led to him retweeting my article. A spike in traffic followed.

Lesson learned: Just as important as the content you write are the people you tell. I’m a fan of Vivek’s writing, and Blekko is an internet darling, so this was a neat experience.

What I Learnt From Blogging

3. Grabbed coffee with TechCrunch contributor Steve Cheney: As an indirect result of blogging, I had the chance to meet Steve, a popular writer currently working at GroupMe. Over coffee he told me that nothing has had a greater impact on his career, including his MBA degree from Columbia, than his decision to blog. He’s a great guy doing really exciting things.

Lesson Learned: As Steve said to me, writing doesn’t just allow you to join a community, it gives you a voice. That platform you create for yourself can be meaningful. (As an aside, Steve has a great blog here).

4. One of my articles hit the home page of HackerNews: I received over 1,000 unique visitors that day and it was exciting to see the article highlighted on a website that I read daily.

Lesson learned: First, don’t underestimate the value community websites bring, particularly HackerNews. I now have a greater appreciation for the icons that allow you to submit articles to 3rd party websites (Digg, Reddit, etc). Second, it’s very important that readers have the ability to share your content. A study showed that blogs that implemented Facebook Like buttons had average traffic increases of 50%.

In addition to the above highlights, here are some more lessons learned:

5. Don’t chase the news: Although chasing hot topics in the news can be alluring, particular with the attention you receive if you break a story, it is difficult to consistently write about new topics and the space is competitive. If you are interested in building your blog for the long term, a more sustainable approach is to focus on being a thought leader in one space. In this past month there were times I found myself writing about recent events instead of startup marketing, and I need to have better discipline.

6. You never know with traffic: In this past month there were several days the website had spikes in traffic (due to HackerNews or a Twitter RT). I ended up averaging around 80 unique visitors a day (2341 total monthly visitors), although traffic was skewed towards particular days. What I found interesting was that even on low traffic days, over 20 users would still visit the website. It was encouraging to see the website’s traffic not dip to zero.

Lessons From Blogging

7. Your blog is part of your digital resume: I remember a post from Fred Wilson saying that in interviews, he rarely asks for a person’s resume. Instead, he asks to see their blog. The reason is that a person can embellish their resume, but it is difficult hide their true self in 50+ articles they write. As this has been my first time dedicating myself to a blog, it has been comforting to know that I can refer others to my writing. The blog has become a part of my online identity, similar to my Facebook and LinkedIn profiles.

8. Appreciate the craft of writing: Writing is hard. Writing well is even harder. After blogging for 30 days, I have a newfound respect for the profession.

9. Understand the difficulty and time involved: It’s challenging to write on a consistent basis and it requires a lot of discipline. It was hard enough for me to write articles weekly, let alone write daily as some bloggers do. I believe the best way to consistently write is to have a partner who is also interested in blogging.

Writing also takes a lot of time. I still need to go back to review earlier articles and to optimize them for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

10. Importance of digging into WordPress: Although I have played around with WordPress in the past, it was fun to delve into the system, add plugins, edit themes, and so on. I feel I have a much better understanding for the CMS having started this blog.

Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience from the first month of blogging. If you haven’t considered blogging, I strongly recommend you try.

3
Jan

10 Things Technorati Can Teach You About Blogging

How To Create A Popular BlogTechnorati is a website that ranks the authority and influence of blogs. They have a popular section where they rank the most popular blogs by category. What is interesting is the insight you can gather from examining the most popular blogs. If you are looking to create an influential blog, one of the first steps you should is take is to look at the best practices and commonalities among the most popular blogs. Here are some shared characteristics from the top blogs on Technorati: Read moreRead more

2
Jan

What I Am Doing To Promote This Blog

Blog Marketing Tips“For the first few months these are the strategies I will take.”

I thought I would write a post about what I am going to do to promote this blog. For background information, I began creating posts for this blog approximately one month ago. I am taking a very long term approach with this blog and I see this blog as a personal portfolio of my thoughts (experiences with entrepreneurship, etc.) and as a professional outlet to talk about what I have learned about startup marketing. Unfortunately because of my other companies and projects I don’t have as much time to focus on this blog, but here are the strategies I am planning to take to build the audience of the blog: Read moreRead more

2
Jan

What A Blogger Can Learn From An Entrepreneur

Richard Branson Marketing Advice“Bloggers and startups, in general, do not compete with one another; they compete against the status quo.”

Living in New York, I meet a lot people who are interested in starting blogs. I also seen a number of these blogs fail to gain traction. In fact, I would say that the success rate of blogs is similar to the success rate of startups (I am considering a blog successful if it is monetized and/or has a large audience). There are a lot of similarities between building a successful blog and founding a startup. From my experiences as an entrepreneur, the following are lessons bloggers can learn from startups: Read moreRead more

31
Dec

Discover How To Create A Remarkable Title

How To Create Titles For Blogs“You should spend half of your time writing the article and the other half perfecting the title.”

Have you ever heard the saying:

You should spend half of your time writing the article and the other half perfecting the title.

Are titles that important? The short answer is yes. The reason is that if a title does not a pique a reader’s interest, then the person will never read the article. Readers are very selective about which articles they choose to read. The question is then, how you do create a catchy title? Read moreRead more

31
Dec

Do You Want To Be A Techcrunch?

Seth Godin Marketing GuruThere are two strategies a company can take when blogging for SEO purposes:

1. Thought Leader Approach: Provide the highest quality content and aim to be recognized in a specific space.

2. SEO Keyword Approach: Provide generic, however unique, content filled with keywords that is specifically aimed for search engines.

Examples of the first approach include TechCrunch.com and the Stacyblackman.com blog. Examples for the second include the 2minuteGMAT.com blog.

The benefits to the first approach are that you can become a thought leader in a space, will create a loyal following, and will rank highly in search particularly because of the inlinks into your website. Being a thought leader in a space is invaluable and can have a number of benefits (potential partnerships, etc.). Read moreRead more

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