Dana VanDen Heuvel: How to Create and Promote Your Blog — live from Word of Mouth Supergenius

11:15 — Kurt Vanderah introduces Marketing SavantsDana VanDen Heuvel (and tells everyone that he hopes they had a good snack).

11:16 — It’s 2010 – why are we talking about blogging? Wasn’t this what we talked about in 2003? We built one of the first blogs for WOMMA a few years ago.

11:17 How many of you have blogs? Good percentage. We’ve been to Blog nirvana, and we’ve been to the “I haven’t blogged in 6 months,” place too.

11:18 Why are you interested in blogging? What does it hold for you?

Audience: I don’t want to spam people. I can have a regular presence.

11:19 –Not spam – Bacon.

Audience: Allows me to connect to people who care about me and lets me care about them.

11: 20 — Blogging can be a lifestyle, a commitment, a pretty good deal. You are developing a community and people’s interest in you and that takes a sustained effort on your part.

11:21 Who is your audience? You really need to understand who you’re talking to.

11:22 — What are your objectives? How will you know when you get there? What’s the value of accomplishing your objectives?

11:23 — If you can’t produce quality content on a regular basis, don’t start a blog. If you can’t bring some level of thought leadership, don’t bother. You can’t talk to people now and ignore them for a year and then expect them to care about you. You have to be consistent.

11:24 — Thought leadership as a blogging equation. Every blog has to have a point of view. If you don’t have a unique POV, find one. You then get a Share of Voice (SOV).  Then Share of Market.

11:25 Do you have a blogger mindset? Love what you do. Have drive to teach. Reach out and communicate. Take risks with your messaging. Balance confidence with curiosity and learning. Put in time today for tomorrow’s benefit. Never stop working, communicating and connecting. Not a drip but constant education.

11:26 — Everything is bloggable. Think and act like a blogger. Create blog idea file, title, links, carry a notebook or camera phone.  Save link ideas to instapaper or delicious.com or your browser. Draft posts offline. Start creating great content to help you launch.

11:27 — Supergenius Blogging process: Every organization that wants to blog at the top level needs a process. Tune in: Listen in, get info from customer comments, industry chatter, rss, twitter, etc. 90% of great content will come from offline. There are probably 200 blog posts from what you hear today.

11:29 — Create, remix and synthesize. All of us are writers at some level. But writing a post that has an impact takes effort. Share, Link, Guide and Comment. Don’t always write posts, guide others to write. Syndicate and synchronize, write for others.

11:31 — Build a Blog Hub. One place where all of your content is housed. This contains real substance, not just links. The old school is “everyone comes to your site.” Now, with the siteless web, there are many links to different networks, but you still need a hub.

11:32 Tune in – it is not just about you.  Create great content – there are so many ways. Be conversational, be confrontational, give people links or lists. Mix it up.

11:33 — Share, link and guide. You don’t have to have all original thoughts. Marketing Sherpa – 90% of room not reading it – just sharing that value from other source can be valuable.

11:34 Make content work for you. Is your blog connected to LinkedIn? Map it out and leave tangible digital artifacts, like pictures, mind maps, point of view, list, etc so people can take them away.

11:35 Syndicate and Synchronize – there are other sites you can post on. Your blog is a stream of content for other locations as well. An example is Indium Corp. They started with 1 blog, now are up to 17, and reduced their marketing by 25%. They make solder. They are considered the go-to people in their industry. They started with a first-mover advantage, none of their competitors are doing it.

11:37 — Blogs are good for SEO.

11:37 A day in life of a blogger: One or 2 posts, 3-8 Twitter updates, read 100-1000 RSS articles, share 15-20 ideas from readers, comment everywhere. A supergenius reads everything, the other guy jumps around.  A supergenius publishes once to everywhere,  the other guy publishes via individual sites.

11:38 — Use a reader, a connected platform. There’s Google analytics. Use Posterous to post via email, use Instapaper to keep track of what you read. Delicious, Twitter, dlvr.it and friend feed. Use offline tools like Windows LiveWriter or Scribefire. See slide for the rest.

11:39 Start with a purpose, produce quality, follow a plan and a process.

Slides are at http://www.marketingsavant.com/supergenius and available via conference site.


Q: Jonathan, “I’ve learned a lot from mistakes – what was your biggest mistake?”

A: Not staying consistent. Drop off in traffic and loss of “friends” is significant. When we got too busy and stopped blogging consistently, we lost leads and they’re tough to get back.

Q: Chris Nolton, “Our product is big consumer study ongoing process, complex to understand. One of the challenges with our blog – older people understand the complexity – new readers get confused.”

A: Organizations that keep things fresh for new comers and keep with older readers – some have started 2 blogs. Some have a header saying “New here? You can learn this thing.” Consistent readers will ignore it – new people will find it easy.

Q: Virginia Sanchez, “Biggest push back I get – where we cycle through people every 3-5 years – is making personality out of someone.”

A: Making a personality is important. Some companies bring in a new person, leave the old blog up, but make new intro and people will transition to the new personality. Don’t make things faceless.

Q: Educational Warehouse, “Having a blog not hosted on our site – is that a problem? Is it a long tail thing to not send people to our own site?”

A: Why not host own site? (Questioner – in house tech challenge). It is not a huge deal as long as you send traffic back. But, I would question this on your tech team – the more you can tie things to your site, the better off you’ll be. But make sure it is branded and well identified with your company.

Love this live coverage? It’s all thanks to the hard work of the very talented Howard Greenstein.


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  1. Rick Short

    Indium Corporation (mentioned at 11:35) has 73 blogs.


  1. Founders Block » Blog Archive » How to be a Supergenius at Word-of-Mouth Marketing - July 20, 2010

    […] enterprise blog. If so, Dana’s advice on How to Create and Promote Your Blog (slides, liveblog) will be indispensable to you. He covers several bad habits of inefficient bloggers (many of […]

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    […] How to Create and Promote Your Blog — with Marketing Savant’s Dana VanDen Heuvel […]

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