Secrets from the trenches: How to become a Blog Whisperer

I just 700 blog posts on {grow} and I thought this would be a good time to pause and share some of my lessons learned for all you budding Blog Whisperers out there!

CONTENT

  • Yes, it really is all about the content.
  • One blogger said he was afraid his lengthy posts are diluting his keywords. Are you kidding me? Forget trying to “engineer” your content around key words. Who really wants to read that? Just let ‘er rip.
  • Challenge yourself to write a post that ONLY you can write.  This is how you find your unique voice.
  • Taking risks pays off. I think readers recognize and reward you for stepping out of the echo chamber.
  • I am trying to use video a little more. It’s not my thing but I recopgnize that it needs to be added to the content mix. Have you tried it?  You my love it.
  • Lack of confidence is the biggest reason people don’t blog. I think that if you can tell your kids a story, give nurturing advice to a friend or tell a joke, you can blog.  Just Do It.

TIME MANAGEMENT

  • {Grow} readership (page views) has grown 600% in the past 12 months. Here is the secret to success:  Work like hell!
  • My undergrad was in journalism.  I was trained to crank out copy in a hurry. That sure helps. In fact I recently had some conversations with Jay Baer and Jason Falls and learned they were journalism grads too. A coincidence?
  • Somebody asked me if blogging is my full time job. Ha! I probably spend 10 hours a week on the blog — half of that answering questions and comments. No, I have about three other jobs!
  • I like Chris Brogan but he is the worst role model you could have as a blogger.  He has set an impossible, super-human standard. If you try to blog like Chris you will die.  And honestly, who wants to read three posts a day from one person any way?  Not even Oprah is that interesting.
  • I realize these tips are pretty lame so here is the real ultimate guide to blogging when you don’t have time to blog.

MONETIZING

  • At some point, I think it is probably fair and necessary to find a way to bring in a little money from all this content. A revenue stream would actually help justify spending more time on the blog, which will improve the quality of the content too.
  • I’ve been putting this off because I have been so busy. Yes, I’m too busy to make money. That makes no sense but it is true in my world right now : )  I’m working on a video training series based on my classes. I think you’ll enjoy that.
  • I will never do sponsored posts. I HATE those. I think we can regard sponsored posts as a failed blogging experiment. Unless you don’t mind writing ad copy and calling it a blog post for people who can’t tell the difference.
  • The business benefits I have received from blogging are astounding. Far exceeded my expectations.  I am so fortunate to have you as a part of this community and I never, ever take that for granted.

BUILDING A COMMUNITY

  • So many people have told me that the comment section on {grow} is remarkable for the depth and intelligence of the people who participate.   Of course I might be a little biased … but I agree.
  • How did this occur? I honestly don’t know.   Part of it may be that I never talk down to my community. I never preach because I realize you are almost always smarter than me and the comments are typically better than the original post. I’m not threatened by that.  I love it. I’m learning too.
  • Engaging with my blog community is the best  job I have ever had.  Every day is like Christmas.
  • If you are part of this community, I will try to do anything I can to help you and your business out. We’re in this together.
  • A rule of thumb for most bloggers is that less than 2% of the people who read your blog take the time to comment. It’s higher than that on {grow} but still, it takes a ton of blog traffic to start resulting in comments. That does not mean people aren’t engaged.  So keep plugging and have faith.
  • About 85% of the blog visitors are first-time visitors.  Again, that seems to be universal among bloggers but it was an eye-opener! Most people who visit blogs are tourists, not residents : )

PROMOTION

  • I have done a terrible job promoting my blog.  I just don’t have the time to figure out the politics of Digg and Reddit and all these other applications with too many consonants.
  • Twitter and blogging go hand in glove.  I tweet each post twice to hit people at different times. That’s the extent of my promotion. I am not a role model in this area!  Basically, I rely on your tweets to keep things going. So thanks for that!
  • I guess writing a good headline also counts as good promotion, right? Don’t underestimate the power of a headline.
  • One of the standard ideas to promote your blog is to do guest posts. Estimated increase increase in traffic to my blog from guest posts = 0.001%  … and I have done a TON of guest posts. In the end, it helps my friends so I will always do them but it is a myth that guest posts build traffic to your blog.  Do it to help others, not yourself.
  • For some reason I hate identifying myself a blogger.  I don’t have the right wardrobe to be a blogger.  I’ve always been a writer. Why stop now?

So those are a few lessons learned. And I still have a long way to go. Can I just tell you how much I appreciate the way you have helped educate me along this journey? Thank you!  What have been your most valuable blogging lessons?  Are you becoming a Blog Whisperer?

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  • I guess the bottom line is: If you write, they will come and read. Or something like that. Your blog is awesome – but I love feeling like I am truly part of a community when I get here. I don’t know the magic formula, but I think it’s because you’re so genuine and you engage with everyone who stops by for a visit and makes a comment. I always feel like my opinion matters – and that is the greatest gift you give to each of us.

    Keep whispering, Mark.

  • Mark

    @Arminda — Aww shucks. Thank you very much for that nice sentiment!

  • Catchy, informative, entertaining, and value-packed… ahhhh, more Mark! So I am a 2%er? That sounds pretty close to Hells Angels stats! Alas, I am not a ‘blog whisperer’, but I am in ‘concept phase’… which of course means ‘I’m thinking about it’. Some day. I am clearly to focused on making money. I need to be more zen.

    Good stuff, Mark.

    Bob

  • This is a really good post Mark. really.

    -RG

  • I’m pleased to announce my membership in the 2% club. I absolutely love being a part of this community. The quality of the content is incredible! The quality of the people is humbling, and I can honestly say that I feel like I’m with family when I’m here. Mark, you are an amazing journalist, and I look up to you in many ways. I love how honest and humble you are, and the things I’ve learned from you have truly changed my life! I’ve begun my own blog, and I’m looking forward to sharing the same spirit there, as you do with us here. When people ask me advice about their blogs, I send them to {grow}, so they can learn from you. Keep doing what you’re doing young man, and the sky’s the limit 😉

    Your biggest fan

    Reza

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  • Kathy Snavely

    You write from the head and your heart, Mark – part of the secret of your success. I have to check in daily to see how you’re going surprise me. Honored to call you one of my teachers, as well as a colleague.

  • Mark, I appreciate you and your work because while your niche may be marketing your insights are applicable across many fields and disciplines. I’m an in-the-trenches, K-12 educator (not a consultant) and have no interest in “growing a business.” However, I’m very interested in growing minds, particularly my own and those with whom I work. Your posts regularly engage me and make me think, and I’m always excited to see a new {grow} post listed in my reader feeds.

    Let me know the next time your near Memphis.
    -Philip

  • Seems it’s impossible to step out of the echo chamber this time. I will have to second everything that the other commenters have said above.

    An interesting point was that bit about you as well as some other prominent bloggers having a journalism education. Coming to blogging from a copywriting angle myself, I’m distinctly feeling that I spend too much time doing background, formulating my message etc – something a journalist does much more efficiently. I hope I’m learning, though…

    I’m really excited to be part of this community. Thanks to you and the people who have gathered together here.

  • Great post! I’m a new subscriber for sure….love what all your “fans” here are saying about you- I look forward to returning.

    Great remark about how many people DON’T comment- some of my clients thought they had no visitors until they checked their stats.

  • I have to agree with your points and other commenters’ comments on this blog having a different type of community feel, a friendlier feel honestly, than others. I comment frequently on a number of big blogs within this sort of vertical, and this is 1 of the few that I feel I can let out a random thought and not worry about getting slapped down with something to the effect of “That’s stupid.” Of course, you always want a bit of error correction so that a blog does not become a big back patting echo chamber of “I agree,” but I think you (Mark) and several other commenters here do frequently post things like, “I disagree because…” and not, “You’re just wrong.”

    That all being said, my one critique (or maybe I should say addition?) is of your point on keyword optimization. 😉 Highly keyword optimized posts do serve a great purpose for the reader IF they are actually about those keywords. If I blogsearch something specific about Excel, I’d rather find a post that is highly relevant to my specific search than not of course. If you’re doing keyword optimization only to attract readers and not to retain them though, your readership, comments, and most other metrics (except perhaps visits) will just not grow. As you say, it’s much better to write posts that say something than it is to have the best keywords.

  • Mark, I love this post. Very inspiring to see what you’ve learned along the way. I think it’s neat that we are hitting milestones near each other (even though I’m only at a 4th of where you are) but being a part of this community and seeing how you do it every day makes me want to keep writing and keep growing and one day catch up to you.

    Cheers, and keep up the great work.

  • Gini Dietrich

    First of all, that photo is hilarious! Secondly, what is the proper dress for bloggers?

    It’s nice to know we’ve experienced the same things with guest blogging and not having the time to figure out Digg and the like. One thing I’d add is that if you can use your unique voice and create lists (like this post) your traffic will soar. As much as some of us (cough, me) want to write intelligent posts every day, people just don’t have the bandwidth to absorb them. A great compromise is a little of both.

    You taught me the value of the unique voice while you were in Europe this summer – thank you! Now may I teach you the value of video?

  • Mark

    @Bob, Yes you are definitely a member of the elite 2% club!

    @Randy — Thank you. That means a lot!

    @Reza — I love your enthusiasm and am so happy that the community has had a positive impact on you!

    @Kathy — That’s an interesting comment. The element of surprise. I had not considered that before. I learned something from you today! Thank you!

  • Thanks for the great insight. My biggest lesson was to just stop thinking so hard about it and worrying…just write!

  • Mark

    @Philip — Wow that is so cool. Thanks for taking the time to tell me that. Although people on {grow} know me for my writing, I think teaching is my real calling so any impact I have on that field is rewarding indeed. Thank you!

    @Kimmo — I smile every time I see you in the comment section. You were one of the very first friends I made through this community and it is always wonderful to “see” you. I am planning a trip to Scandinavia in 2011 and hope we can meet soon!

    @Carolee — Thanks for coming aboard. Look forward to getting to know you!

    @ Eric. That’s stupid. Ha! I couldn’t resist. I definitely am open to learning more so I can strike a balance about the keyword thing. I have never written one post where I have fretted about embedding a certain number of terms a certain number of times. 1) Couldn’t that get in the way of good content? 2) Couldn’t that appear staged and inauthentic? 3) Wouldn’t writing become less fun for me?

    There are certain bloggers I have stopped following because you can just see their keyword manipulation oozing through every headline. In fact, every one of their blog posts starts to look the same. I truly see the mechanical strategy behind this. I guess this works if your goal is to attract tourists instead of residents. I’ll be in touch with you on this. I am honestly open to learning more.

  • Great post. Repeats a lot of things I’ve heard before, reinforces a lot of things I’ve learned along the way, taught me some new stuff. What more could a person ask for? 🙂

  • A trip to Scandinavia? Wow! We must REALLY try to meet. You’re always welcome to stay at my wife’s B&B ( http://www.villaottilia.ee ) if you happen to find your way to Estonia. Now just be sure to let me know when your schedule begins to take shape!

  • Mark,
    Great post, so many great points here about blogging. My favorite was “Challenge yourself to write a post that ONLY you can write. This is how you find your unique voice.”

    I’ve been blogging for years, and lately when I sit down to write, I’ll go blank. I’ll wonder with so many good blogs out there, what can I possibly add? What hasn’t been done by 5 other people already? That’s why finding our own voice is so critical, it gets you past that concern because it doesn’t matter who else did it. You are right, we cannot all be Chris Brogan’s, and agree that as a blog reader, we cannot absorb that much content in a given week. Quality is more important than quantity. Reading good blogs like yours helps inspire me to work harder, and write that post that’s been percolating.

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to hearing what you have on your mind. You not only share your experience and insight, but challenge your readers at the same time with new thoughts and ideas.

    Thanks much for your efforts…

  • Chris H.

    Hey Mark,

    I really enjoy the lessons you employ in this blog. I often preach the “let it ride” attitude and appreciate it when a writer uses their own voice. It sounds more sincere when you’re just letting it flow rather than getting caught up in the logistics of it all. If you have a minute, feel free to take a gander at a post I recently wrote “Keith Richards’ Secrets to Becoming a Copywriting Rock Star.” http://bit.ly/bAYbsT I like taking the approach of offering sound advice, all-the-while having the tone of the blog churning with a degree of entertainment value. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    All the best,

    -Chris H.

  • It’s refreshing to read something that doesn’t claim to be the definitive “must do” list of blogging and instead is just a practical and honest reflection on what you’ve been doing over the course of 400 posts. Thanks.

  • Mark

    @Joey — You definitely have momentum on your blog. Keep up the good work!

    @Gini — Oh my gosh I laughed so hard about your video comment I spit out my coffee. If i had your natural ease in front of the camera, yes I would be doing videos a lot more. Folks if you have not checked out the Spin Sucks blog, you need to do it and watch Gini’s videos. She is the gold standard for video blogging. I’ll keep trying Gini.

    Oh and on the blogger wardrobe — Cannot bring myself to bring myself to do a speaking engagement in an indie band tee shirt.

    @Rachel – Thanks for that wonderful tip.

    @Pink — Glad it helped!

    @Kimmo — Now who could pass on an offer to come to Estonia? See you 2011!

  • Mark

    @Juliann — What a fantastic comment. Thanks for sharing your heart as well as your mind Juliann. I’m glad you picked up on that point. I should probably do a whole post on it because it’s so important. At the end of the day the only true point of differentiation we have as bloggers is being ourselves, right? If you hide yourself or try to be something else, you will just blend in to the crowd. You have to resist the temptation to write another post on the Top Five Twitter Mistakes, dig deep and put yourself on display. Thanks for this fantastic comment!

    @Chris I will definitely check it out. Could be a good best practice — to be interesting, just mention Keith Richards in a headline : ) Thank you!

    @Christine — I will never write a post that contains the words “must do” because at the end of the day when it comes to what YOU or anybody else MUST do, I don’t know squat. Of course several well-known bloggers think they are Dr. Phil or something by telling people what they must do to get more out of their lives and frankly i just find that demeaning.

  • @Mark Agreed. I have a love/hate relationship with a certain big blog at the moment because the author jumps on the hot topics of the day for obvious slight bumps in search traffic. And, actually, I don’t even like the blog that much 😉 I just subscribe to it because I want to monitor what the author is saying & doing in the industry.

    Your point about tourists vs residents is spot on.

  • Oh grasshopper! If only you knew how many times I redid videos in the beginning. It was so frustrating because it took me longer to do videos than to write a post. So the “natural ease” you see is really about six takes (though I did today’s in one take just because I have too much to do today and I overslept and still rode and blah, blah, blah). I think my videos are more the bronze standard, but it makes my day I made you spit your coffee!

  • Oh…and…we agree on the speaking attire.

  • Mark,

    As Reza says, I think there’s a genuine humility in your approach. From the site and blog design…to how you present your case studies…even to your intro video…it all speaks “sincerity.”

    The writing is outstanding, don’t get me wrong.

    But there’s a notable absence of hype in your overall approach. From how you talk about social media, to how you present the case to people to hire you.

    I think that’s one of your secret weapons.

  • I initially came here with an ulterior motive of isolating myself to the point where you’d invite your entire blog community (minus me) to France and leave me here, alone, in full control.

    I believed I’d accomplished this task when you sang the virtues of Bacon (http://www.businessesgrow.com/2010/10/08/an-open-letter-to-france/) ~ but I appear to have been duped, because here it is almost 30 days later and you show no signs of leaving.

    I’m nothing if not patient though ~ and since your blog posts prove to be entertaining and even informative from time to time … checking in every day to see if my Takeover Plan can be activated isn’t really too much of a chore.

    As you were …

  • I have to say this is the first time I read something against guest posting to increase your blog’s traffic, but I do trust you of course.
    The other tips make very much sense to me, as I too believe valuable content is the start of every blogging effort.
    I never underestimate design, though, I don’t feel compelled to read content from a blog whose design really *suck*, for how hard I try. Perhaps it’s just me, but that’s it

  • Mark

    @Brandon — Characterizing my blog design as part of being humble is certainly very charitable. But it’s Ok to be honest — it SUCKS!! I have actually been working on a new design for five months but it has been met with delay after delay. My new launch date is set for some time in the next 10 years. Tentatively. Thanks for your very kind comments!!

    @Sally — France reneged on their offer to invite the entire community (minus you) to visit them and I have been too embarrassed to report it. Sheesh. You think you know a country and then they pull a stunt like this. However, I do have this offer to go to Estonia (see above) and depending on the size of Kimmo’s B&B, me and the regular readers of the blog (est. 4) could have a grow hoedown, (or, “grow-down” as the case may be). I hear Estonia is lovely so I will send you the {grow} travel package soon. If you do not aggravate this country, I’m sure you would be welcome there.

    @Gabriele — Nice to see you again. Of course nothing I say should be regarded as a “rule” and I would like to hear from others who have had a different experience with guest blogging. I guess another thing to keep in mind is that generally I help out people with low traffic to start with. Why? Because I read that successful bloggers should never write for blogs “below them.” So that inspired me to do just the opposite. If you’re already successful, why use other people to make you even more successful? Your skill is put to better use by sharing your good fortune by helping others. Doesn’t that make MUCH more sense? Thank you very much for taking the time to comment today.

  • I can fit 14 comfortably, just that 2+2 need to be really good friends since two of the rooms are double… You’re welcome with your whole entourage!

  • Great news! I have yet to aggravate Estonia! And Kimmo’s wife’s B&B is beautiful!!

    I thank you for this shining ray of hope in my horizon as you simultaneously slammed shut the door of opportunity on my Grow take-over plan. (There’s 10 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.)

    Sign me up for the Grow-down (I am one of your 4 regular readers) and start working on your moves …

  • I am still trying to figure out the monetization thing. By that I mean monetizing my blog without “selling out.”

    However, if my blog makes me money in other ways through referrals or building credibility through a new job opportunity, wouldn’t that count as monetization?

    On a side note, blogs that have more Google AdWords content than actual blog content really get under my skin.

  • Mark you crack me up. Great post btw. I guess I am a rule breaker. I never even thought I should craft my posts around Keywords. No wonder I don’t get read!

    I apologize I haven’t been here in a bit. But kudos on the success. You are smart, a realist, and not pushing an agenda other than to be helpful and start great discussions.

    Also if it wasn’t for a tweet about your love/hate with Mitch Joel I would never of found one of your stalkers on Twitter Gini Dietrich. I loved that podcast. It ranked.

    Some of the folks you mentioned I don’t hold even halfway in as high regard as you. And who is Chris Brogan btw?

    Lastly I want to help you draw more traffic so hope you don’t mind the key words.

  • And of course the format I placed the keywords they didn’t show up. So you have a Miley, Gaga, Bieber filter. Sigh.

  • Mark

    @Drew — I go back and forth on monetization. At the end of the day I actually think it would improve the blog and maybe even add to the credibility in a subtle way. On the other hand, I don’t want to get into any deal that would change the forthright tone of the blog or the ability to say whatever I want to say. I need low-impact monetization. This would be a good dialogue wouldn’t it? Thanks so much for the comment.

    @Howie — Well done. It’s the thought that counts. : )

  • Mark
    I actually appreciate the fact that {grow} is not covered with distracting advertising. The sense of community here is mainly due to this very reason. There’s nothing worse than walking into your grandma’s house and being asked to buy her latest e-book, or click on her latest quilt specials! Monetizing your blog is a must, but the method of monetization is something that you should consider deeply. If I were the mastermind behind this amazing community, I would move my blog into a “membership” model. People pay good money for content they enjoy, and {grow} is the perfect forum for a “premium” section. I’d look forward to my “members only” benefits 😉

  • Mark

    @Reza — Thanks for the vote of confidence but that will never happen. This blog will always be free. Besides, who would pay for a blog post about bacon? : )

    Now, let’s get to the main point — are you comparing me to your grandma? Yeah, people mistake me for their grandma all the time. I can see how that happens. Ha!

  • I would pay for a post about bacon if it came with some serious bacon samples 😉 & Grandma is the queen of our household! Don’t mess with granny!

  • Reza ~ I would definitely follow your lead on this. While Mark definitely has ‘Granny’ tendencies from time to time – he’s enchanting in his own way, and you’ve captured that.

    In fact, when I think about it, Mark is the ONLY one I’d pay to read about his thoughts on Bacon. (AND, I didn’t even agree with them when they were free.)

  • The monetization issue is an important one. I would place my bet on providing content that gets business prospects interested in you and doing business with you.

    Targeted advertising might fall under “low-impact” monetization – but then again, sooner or later you will probably find yourself writing something that is directly against an advertiser. Tough choice: lose readers or an advertiser?

    Respect for your principles, Mark.

  • Mark:

    Great post and tremendous insights. Most impressive is that you are too busy to make money! My hero.

    I’m trying, but the truly inspired and what I would consider original thoughs are fewer and farther between than I had hoped. But, if it hadn’t been for your encouragement, I wouldn’t have started a blog in the first place.

    Keep up the good work my friend.

  • Mark

    @Reza + Sally – let’s s nip the “granny blogger imagery” pretty quick and replace it with the Viking-like blogger. I feel the need for mead.

    @Kimmo — Actually it is an easy decision. You can have a blog without advertisers. You can’t have a blog without readers, though : )

    I’m tossing around some ideas. Thanks so much for your input, friend!

    @Steve — You got off to such a great start. Here are three ways to get un-stuck on your blogging:

    1) I assume you belong to a few LinkedIn Groups (I belong to 48!). Go to some discussion forums. Find an interesting question. Answer it. That’s a post.

    2) Comment on an article or blog post you read that had a particular impact on you. Like this one : )

    3) Google “ideas for blogs” People have made lists and lists of ideas to try to get your brain started. Look at a prompt and twist it around in your mind. How does it relate to current business events?

    Those three tactics usually get me going. Number one source of ideas? Comments on this blog. It’s kind of like a perpetual energy machine.

    Give me a call if you need to talk about it. Maybe we can work on some ideas related to your business experiences. Actually kind of a “reality blog” about building a new business would be fascinating. Hang in there!

  • Mark

    Ha! Funny how you chose my college mascot for your blogger branding 😉 I’m a real deal Viking. GO WWU! @Eric We have ourselves a new professor. I’d probably pay for that class 😉

  • Mark

    I got my under-grad degree from West Virginia University. Our mascot was the Flaming Couches. You had to be there.

  • @Reza Ha!

    @Mark I’m guessing the school was full of protesters…maybe?

  • Mark

    When I was in college at WVU — and to this day — when the school has a significant sports victory, some how a bonfire ignites in the middle of the street near campus and it begins with a couch tossed off a porch. I don’t know how this tradition got started and at times it has become a source of embarrassment because it is usually covered on ESPN, but I can’t help but smile a little each time we chalk up a big win because I know somewhere on University Avenue in Morgantown West Virginia, a couch has been sacrificed the name of school spirit. Let’s Go Mountaineers!!

    P.S. HOW do we get into these topics on this blog? We’re supposed to be serious business people, remember? : )

  • Okay, yes – back to the blog post. So – I’ve been thinking this through all night and need a bit of direction.

    As I prepare for the 400th Blog celebration in the Ultimate mark PARTY ~ what do I wear?

    I was thinking elegantly casual, but that might get mocked by the mead-drinking Vikings. I then considered a cocktail dress – but I’d leave pretty upset if it were to get charred by a sacrificial burning couch.

    Reza, how are you handling this? Gini, any suggestions?

  • @Sally I’m still trying to figure it out! is this a BYOM party? If so I’ll bring the keg of mead and my Viking horns, so we can throw granny’s couch off the porch before we burn it. Who knows, if it gets too serious, I may have to change into my BDU’s and hide the mead 😉

  • It’s all getting so complicated. I tend to be uncomfortable at parties anyway ~ so, perhaps I’ll do what I always do and hang out with Johnny (@Freelancerant) in the kitchen. If you’re looking for me, I’ll be the one trying not to aggravate Estonia.

  • Love/hate relationship?

    It’s all love.

    Mark, you are a super-Blogger. I look forward to your posts and insights all of the time.

    Keep at it – 400… you’re just getting warmed up here!!

    🙂

  • Hey Mark (and the rest of the GROW community), I still believe it is all about community. Your community has helped you spawn so many fabulous posts and your fabulous posts have helped this community grow. You engage, therefore we engage and it just keeps getting better and better. Everything else has evolved because of this fundamental IMHO.

  • And BTW, you ARE the master!

  • Mark

    @Reza – BYOM — Oh my gosh that is the funniest thing I have read all week. You made me chuck my mouth-ful of coffee.

    @Sally — I guarantee that any {grow}-related party would be come as you are. You are such a treasure to have in this community, Sally. You really light things up with your caring nature and humor. I give you a lot of grief but thought I should say that. Now I can start giving you grief again!

  • Mark

    @Mitch — Wow. You made my year. Thank you so very very much for taking the time to provide this encouragement!

    @Steve — I am re-thinking the idea of community and am working on about it. I have been skeptical about this notion but am seeing signs of life on {grow} that are signs of something you would see in an off-line friendship, including the indicators you mention here. Certainly you were one of the pioneers of this community and have had an enormous stake in the spirit we see today. Thank you!

  • Come as you are? It’s not lost on me that your Viking self would invoke Nirvana into this conversation. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vabnZ9-ex7o&ob=av2e)

    And thank you for acknowledging a few of my more positive qualities before you exclude me from your next group outing. It will certainly lessen the sting a little.

    Steve, you still drinking Budweiser? I think I saw a bottle around here somewhere …

  • Following @Sally G. (ditches @Mark’s party,at least for this moment)…..I’m soooo fickle…..LOL.

  • I’ve maintained my blog for 3 years and I always appreciate other’s insights into the blogging world. Your tips are well noted and I appreciate you sharing them.

  • Great post! The success of your blog is well-deserved because you put the work in. As many have said before, there is no magic bullet. It takes guts, smarts and a lot of hard work.

    Thanks for putting the hard work in for the benefit of so many. It’s good stuff all around.

    Oh, and no, there is not a coincidence to journalism grads being natural bloggers. Perhaps I’m biased (I’m a Missouri j-grad myself), but not only does a journalism background help with speed, it’s an incredible asset when it comes to developing a compelling story and headline. You’re a master of that and I’m quite certain the journalism degree had something to do with it.

    I’m glad to know you and be part of this community!

  • Hey Mark,
    I just wanted to say I really appreciate the work you do on this blog. Although I’m often busy, rushing around like a headless chicken, I always find time to zip on buy and read the latest post.

    I don’t always have time to comment but I can’t stress how much I enjoy your insight and the buzz of discussion that goes on with my fellow readers.

    I guess you’ve become a Blog Star !

  • See! I’m so busy I can’t even spell “by” sometimes. Duh!

  • Mark

    @Mike — I’m really glad this helped. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

    @Laura — I’m loving your blog at blue kite marketing.com and am glad we’re learning from each other. Keep up the great work!

    @Jon — Oh. When you said “buy” I thought you were going to give me money. Never mind then : )

    I learn a ton from your blog and incorporate much of your thinking into my classes. I love the sharing we have going on between our blogs and the satellite {grow} community that seems to have migrated to Sweden. Thanks for being such an important voice on the blogosphere!

  • Wowza! Blown away by your blog. I’ve been here forever. 😉

    Congrats on Ad Age Power 150 list! You are a dynamo. Wish I could afford to hire you. I need your verve!

    I plan to follow for a long time, and to learn, and possibly even to share something helpful from time to time.

    As far as social sites that have too many consonants—but no! Have you forgotten de.li.cious? <–Vowel City!

    Thanks for the great shtuff, and I'll see you around, hey?

  • Mark

    @Paula Very funny! Thanks for your kind vowel assistance.

  • Paula Lee Bright

    Mike.

    I wouldn’t have posted the vowel correction unless I felt it was absolutely necessary…I’m afraid you’d overlooked a brave new world, and I was compelled to inform you.

    I do hope I didn’t embarrass you, and look forward to contradicting you often, and frequently without reason.

    It’s what I live for.

    I feel sure you understand.

    Carry on, my fine man. I find you

    TOTALLY compelling!

    Yay for you.

    Oh, dang. You wrote, I checked…And now I’m suck here for another hour.

    So goes life.

    8-/

    Paula

    You know.

  • Paula Lee Bright

    Dang! I hate when a typo gets through.

    I won’t be sucking here for another hour.

    But I will be STUCK.

    I am not the master of my iPad domain. Not by a long shot!

  • Paula Lee Bright

    By Randy Gage, November 3, 2010 @ 11:00 pm
    This is a really good post Mark. really.
    -RG

    Oh, geez!

    Randy, Do you mean

    Really Good 2 times?

    Or…Just Randy Gage? NOT that you’re a “Just” anything.

    Oh, crap. I HAVE to leave this blog!

    But it’s so rich with content. Makes it hard. 8-/

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