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How to Build an Award-Winning Blog in Just Six Months: Ian Cleary of RazorSocial Talks to Marketing Smarts [Podcast]

Hosted By:
Kerry O'Shea Gorgone
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
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Ian Cleary founded and built it into an award-winning blog in only six months. I invited Ian to Marketing Smarts to discuss his approach to content creation, as well as the tools he used to build his blog audience, email list, and social media following.

Ian is a social media tools and technology specialist; he is also a respected speaker on social media, technology, and blogging. His blog, RazorSocial, was named one of the Top 10 Social Media blogs of 2013 in the annual Social Media Examiner blog awards after only six months of operation.

Here are just a few highlights from our conversation.

Writing for other people's blogs helps to build your own blog's audience (11:35): "When you start off a blog initially...if you don't have an need to borrow that audience of somebody else. So, writing guest posts on other sites helps build up your name, build up your reputation, and also bring regular traffic back to your site. And it also helps from a Google perspective, because Google wants to see you interacting in other high-profile sites in your niche."

Guest blogging opportunities arise when you meet people face to face (13:57): "I've never actually sent an email to somebody saying 'can I guest post on your blog.' I meet them at events, we've interacted online, they know me, they know the content. Then we sit down and have a conversation. Everybody struggles for content, so if it's relevant to their audience, they'll ask you to guest-post."

Incorporate social proof on your blog's homepage to increase subscription rates (8:48): "For social proof—which is just having somebody saying something good about you that's recognized within the industry—I have that within the box [at the top of the page], and that improves conversion. I have Amy Porterfield, Mike Stelzner, Mark Schaefer, all saying something nice about the blog, and that helps improve the conversion."

Blogging starts online, but offline relationships are key to making your blog successful (10:18): "It's absolutely crucial... I'm very much an online person...but at least every couple of months I go to the US...and go to conferences...When you actually meet people, that's when it really happens. You can bring the relationship so far online. You can go from exchanging tweets and then you might get onto a Skype call, or a Google hangout, but when you actually meet the person and sit down...and have lunch, or have a drink, or just chat with that person, the relationship changes. It brings it to a completely new level, and that's where the the strong bonds happen."

Share and share alike (9:21): It's about building relationships with people online and offline... Sharing other people's content, interacting through their blogs, and as you build that relationship, then people want to share out your content. You never have to ask them to share out the content. And if you focus on helping other people and promoting other people's content, well then people will start looking at your content. And as long as it's good, and it's relevant to their audience, they'll start sharing it out."

Tools Ian mentioned during this episode:

My conversation with Ian included much more. I encourage you to listen to the entire show, which you may do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!

For the visually oriented, our own Veronica Jarski created these visual sketch notes of my talk with Ian:



Marketing Smarts is brought to you by the MarketingProfs B2B Forum, taking place October 9-11 in Boston, Massachusetts. The 7th Annual B2B Marketing Forum is the premier event for B2B marketers worldwide. This two-day event is packed with 42 sessions, 4 keynotes, tons of networking opportunities, a lot of fun, and more B2B business smarts than you'll find anywhere else this year. Marketing's full of choices. Choose B2B.

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Music credit: Noam Weinstein.

This marketing podcast was created and published by MarketingProfs.

This episode features:

Ian Cleary, founder of award-winning blog Ian specializes in social media tools and technology. He is a respected speaker on blogging, social media, and technology.

Kerry O'Shea Gorgone is a lawyer, podcaster, speaker, and writer. As Director of Product Strategy, Training, she oversees sale and distribution of MarketingProfs' premium training products. Kerry also hosts the weekly interview show, Marketing Smarts.

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  • by Gracious store Wed Jun 26, 2013 via web

    Guest blogging is a very good way to show case your blogging skills so as to draw attention to yourself. It is also a very good way to to draw attention to your blog sites and hopefully draw traffic to your websites

  • by Kerry O'Shea Gorgone Thu Jun 27, 2013 via web

    Thanks for your comment, Gracious! I agree: guest blogging can be incredibly valuable. As Ian said this week, everyone's looking for great content, so if you can provide it, you'll have plenty of opportunities to guest blog.

  • by Hunter Boyle Thu Jun 27, 2013 via web

    Great interview, Ian and Kerry. As someone who knows Ian and has watched the Razor Social blog grow, I agree 100% with his points about guest posting based on quality (not just backlinks), and cultivating relationships offline -- those factors make a huge impact. And thanks for the AWeber shout-out. It's a pleasure working with you!

    Cheers -- Hunter

  • by Kate McCready Thu Jan 9, 2014 via web

    Hi Kerry and Ian. This was my first venture onto Marketing Profs. I came across this podcast through Skilledup. I really got a lot out of it. I'm about to start up a blog and and this was a great introduction. Gave me a lot of food for thought. Many thanks and I look forward to listening to more great content. Kate.

  • by Kerry O'Shea Gorgone Wed Feb 26, 2014 via web

    Thank you, Kate! Glad you found the episode helpful. Ian's really fantastic! As a new blogger, you'll definitely want to keep up with for tools and tips.

    Best wishes,

  • by Carl Sarfi Thu Jan 29, 2015 via web

    Thank you Kerry for the insightful podcast with Ian Cleary. I particularly enjoyed the recommendation of the different tools and have subscribed to Ian's updates for the latest ones. Thanks again!

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