How to Build a Blog With 20,000 Followers

robert-bruce
Robert Bruce.

Robert Bruce is a virtual friend I met a few years ago while we both blogged about golf. Now Robert is the blogger extraordinaire behind 101 Books, a blog that chronicles his reading journey through Time Magazine’s 100 Greatest Novels Since 1923. Plus Ulysses.

Robert’s blog is terrific, and after a few years and several hundred posts he has attracted more than 20,000 followers.

Recently, Robert was interviewed by The Daily Post at WordPress.com. His story is a great primer on starting and building a popular, highly read blog. I enthusiastically recommend it.

[Read the interview: 101 Books’ Robert Bruce on Growing Your Blog and Building a Readership]

Interview excerpts

Following are a couple of things that stood out for me. They might benefit your blogging efforts.

Robert was asked: “AT THE TIME OF THIS WRITING, YOU’VE GOT OVER 20,000 FOLLOWERS AND COUNTING. WHAT’S YOUR SECRET?”

He offered this nugget:

There’s really no secret. It’s just steady, consistent posting over a long period of time. 101 Books is more than three years old now, and I’ve had more than 700 posts. When you post that often, people are bound to find you. Then, the key is to just write content that relates to them. Most people don’t care about what you had for breakfast, but if you can help them learn something new, then they’ll keep coming back.

That’s enormously useful, and perhaps a bit sobering for some. But there it is.

Lastly, one of his closing tips:

I think it’s also important to forget about being perfect. Sometimes you’ve just got to push the publish button because an almost-perfect blog post is better than no post at all. Don’t pass over the great in search of the perfect.

More good advice. Please excuse me while I click the publish button.

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HubSpot’s 100 Awesome Marketing Stats, Charts and Graphs

HubSpot has posted its newest collection of 100 Awesome Marketing Stats, Charts and Graphs.

It’s based on original research and data from a bunch of sources, including analysis of 4,500 HubSpot customers, surveys with hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses, and dozens of publications such as MarketingSherpa, eMarketer, Pew Research and McKinsey.

I flipped through the 134 slides (it goes fast). Following are a few morsels to whet your appetite.

Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing

  • B2B marketers are shifting more of their dollars to inbound marketing.
  • The average budget spent on company blogs and social media has nearly doubled in the last two years.

Continue reading “HubSpot’s 100 Awesome Marketing Stats, Charts and Graphs”

Power Blogging by a ‘Power Girl’

A new professional colleague of this copywriter and blogger, Handshake 2.0 founder Anne Clelland appeared in the vaunted Huffington Post in recent days.

“Power Girl” is a term used by Patricia Handschiegel for her New Power Girl Series at The Huffington Post. Anne qualifies.

“The paradox of being a woman entrepreneur is that intensity is often needed in other areas to counterbalance the intensity of the entrepreneurial life,” Anne was quoted as saying.

I’ve only known Anne a short time, but she appears to have no shortage of positive intensity.

10 Ways to Give Your Business Blog Some Zing

I saw this a week or so ago at MarketingProfs Daily Fix in a post by Michael Rubin. Rubin picked it up from Kami Huyse’s blog. It’s worth sharing.

Business blogs can be difficult to sustain. These 10 approaches can help give your blog a purpose (or several purposes). They also can be a starting point for developing meaningful content.

1. The Insider

An insider’s look at your company or industry.

2. The Culture
Highlight employee experiences and share culture with those outside company walls.

3. The Customer
Focus on customers, including their blogs. Let them write guest posts.

4. The Link
Link to other blogs and build relationships.

5. The Comment
Comment on what’s being said elsewhere.

6. The Trend
Cover trends worth noting.

7. The Crisis
Address crises, or explain why you can’t.

8. The Practical Use

A case study approach. How are folks using your products and services?

9. The Solution
Real solutions for tenacious problems.

10. The Community
Build community with your customers and business partners by participating in social networks.

Next time you’re stuck — whether for a purpose or a solid post — this list can help give your blog some new zing.

Shaking Hands with Handshake 2.0

“What’s your pitch?” asked Anne Clelland, founder and editor of Handshake 2.0, a B2B news and blogging site for companies based in the New River Valley of Virginia.

“I don’t have one,” I admitted. There I was, pitchless in Blacksburg.

Actually, I did have a modest goal. I wanted to meet, in person, the energetic woman behind Handshake 2.0. (Besides running a startup, she does triathlons. That’s energetic.) I also wanted to learn more about what she is doing, and why.

Continue reading “Shaking Hands with Handshake 2.0”

My Blogging Success Story: ARMCHAIR GOLF BLOG

Today I’m featured at Handshake 2.0.

Entrepreneur and editor Anne Clelland asked me to contribute a piece on how I created one of the top independent golf blogs on the Web. Her guidelines included keeping it to 300 words.

Not that I’m long-winded, but writing it short was a challenge, especially when I recalled my three-year journey and all the fun surprises along the way.

Short can be sweet, though, and something I myself advocate as an advertising copywriter.