Last Sunday I spoke at Podcamp Toronto.
That was the plan. But few things get me riled up more than ignorance posing as true knowledge.
So, given that many of the sessions I attended put forward information which I found to be not merely wrong, but outright detrimental for those who choose to follow it, I had no option but to step up to the plate and set the record straight.
Looking at the video now, I regret to admit that my impassioned near-impromptu presentation may have been a bit too long, too frank and too emotional to be as good as I wanted it to be. But it was genuinely authentic and that is one quality that is harder to learn than good public speaking…
Socrates’ Top 10 Blogging and Podcasting Tips:
1. Do your homework and start with the right foundation!
How do you do that?
Learn from the best! Studying mediocrity only produces more mediocrity. Success leaves traces. The breadcrumbs are there. All you need to do is find them and follow the path.
If you are a total beginner you should start with BecomeABlogger.com. This is a fantastic free video course where all you need to do is provide an email address and get the training videos straight into your inbox.
To learn video blogging see Gideon Shalwick and especially his free Rapid Video Blogging ebook.
2. Buy your own domain and build your online hub there. Never use third party hosts such as TypePad, Blogger, WordPress.com, PodBean or Libsyn. This way you will have full control over your own content while building domain equity, looking professional and even saving money. (Hosting your podcast at Libsyn for 6 years is a tragedy. Teaching this to others is a crime!)
3. Start an Email List as soon as you start blogging or podcasting. This is and will remain to be your most valuable asset.
I personally use MailChimp and love it. Plus it’s free for users with less than 1,000 subscribers. You really can’t beat that.
4. Go for quality not quantity. This applies both for the articles you post (and their frequency) as well as the audience you are trying to reach. Get 1,000 True Fans and you will be set.
5. Write for People not for search engines: SEO is important, so do the basics: tag your images, write smart titles, provide a good meta description of your articles and use a professional blog theme. Once you’ve got that covered – write for real people. It is real people (or lack thereof) who will make you succeed or fail as blogger and a podcaster. (as well as most other things in life.)
I admit that catering to search engine spiders may provide some short-term results. The question is though: What do you do when Google updates their search algorithm and you lose your Page rank placement?! You would have to start catering to people.
Why not start with the right focus, ignore short-term temptations and write for the long term?
Write for people. Write so that you have a lasting on-line presence, business and reputation.
6. Be authentic! Be honest. Never sell out. Never miss the bad or the imperfect end of things. Once you commit to something – follow through. And follow the evidence no matter where it takes you! When you fail or mess up – admit you made a mistake, own up to it and take action to remedy the situation.
7. Give first, give often and give a lot without asking or expecting something back. Best way to achieve your dreams is to help others achieve theirs. It is not about you – it is about other people. (e.g. tweet and link even to your competition.)
8. Campaign a cause. Don’t market yourself or your product. Set the goal to be making a difference for all – not only your readers or customers, and go after that. If you make a difference people will reward you by reading your blog and buying your product.
9. Do the work. There are no shortcuts. So just do the work. (By the way – writer’s block is a myth!)
10. Never give up!… and don’t wait for permission to go after your dreams and change the world. (Dan Barry had to apply 13 times to NASA but he never gave up on his dream to be an astronaut.)