I'm attending Blogging Success Summit 2011I've had the pleasure of listening to recordings from the Blogging Success Summit 2011! It is wonderful and as promised, I will share my recap of each course here on my blog and recap of additional bonus materials with newsletter subscribers.

In this post I'd like to review the presentation by Debbie Weil, author of The Corporate Blogging Book. You may download this eBook via Amazon; however she has four FREE eBooks including "Why Your Blog is Your Social Media Hub" which was the focus of her Blogging Success presentation. Click here to view and download her FREE eBooks on blogging.

Is blogging dead?

Debbie notes that over the last year Facebook and Twitter have really emerged in social networking and many have asked "Is blogging dead?"  The answer is NO. Clearly a big "NO" if you recall the post and notes from Richard Jalichandra, CEO of Technorati, who described the State of the Blogsphere. Click here to revisit that discussion and summary.

From Richard's discussion Debbie notes these statistics:

  • 51% of internet users read a blog at least monthly.
  • Companies that have blogs receive 55% more website visitors than non-blogging companies.
  • More than 43% of U.S. companies will market via a blog.
  • Up to 80% of traffic to corporate blogs are from first time visitors!!!

Why use blogs?

Blogs are the next-generation website! Much easier to manage and control, and have great flexibility in design as well.

Unlike Facebook and Twitter which are more chat-based, blogs are easy to search. Furthermore, each post or page contains a unique URL which also lends itself to be found more easily in search results. So "blogs are more searchable and findable," Debbie states.

What is your biggest blogging challenge?

Debbie ran a poll during her presentation and asked "What is your biggest blogging challenges?"

  1. Editorial resources to create great content.
  2. Proving the ROI to upper management or owner.
  3. Takes too much time.
  4. Knowing what great content is.

Results. Clear winner was Editorial Resources (basically, the lack of). However, in the last Blogging Success Summit SERIES post on Content Marketing, Joe Pulizzi, he suggests:

  • Spend a day or several to write and schedule posts to be delivered.
  • If you have a team of people in your company, all of you can post (as authors) on your blog.
  • Hire people to blog for you.
  • Have guest bloggers on your blog.

Click here to review that post and previous conversation on great Content Marketing strategies.


Do you need Facebook and Twitter? 

Although Facebook and Twitter can be used to help grow your exposure, you do not need them.  Seth Godin is a best selling author and someone almost every blogger knows and he does NOT use Facebook or Twitter!!!!

His blog does not have

  • comments (he blocks comments)
  • photos or videos in his posts

However he does

  • post 1x or 2x a day.
  • repeats himself but with a slight twist.
  • have over 1/2 million readers via RSS and email!!!!!!!

5 Case Studies – What works!

In her presentation, Weil discusses 5 case studies where she highlights what she likes and doesn't like in the selected 5 sites/companies in efforts to help you build a better blog! 

1) The White House – www.WhiteHouse.gov

  • So much content but very well organized.
  • Mixes things up.  You don't need a photo in every post.
  • Like the use of video in selected areas.

She also notes that although their Facebook is not updated frequently, they have about a million people "liking" their Facebook page.

Amazingly, they have about 2 million followers on Twitter.  She notes that Twitter can be used to compliment and spread your blog posts and news, but not to be used in replace or instead of a blog.


  • Be your own news source.
  • Organize your content.
  • Rock your blog with photos and video but does not have to be in EVERY post.
  • Mix up realtime vs. permanent information.
  • Have a strategy to keep your social media outposts updated!
  • Important: If you are not going to reply to comments on your blog, you should have some type of "comment policy" on your blog to inform your readers of this.


2) Colin  Storm - www.thebeltwaylife.com

Debbie knows Colin personally. He is a real estate agent, as well as a stay at home dad.

She likes the following aspects of Colin's social networking:

  • His LinkedIn page is linked back to his blog.
  • He uses a WordPress blog and Thesis theme which is loaded with SEO features and likes the layout of his blog.
  • Has "share buttons" so blog content can be quickly and easily shared.
  • Although a real estate agent Colin is NOT all about SELLING.
  • Storm has a YouTube channel with videos just about him, so clients and prospective home buyers or sellers can get a feel for how he is as a person.

Colin does have a Facebook account but admits he has trouble keeping up with it. Weil stresses it is important to "experiment" with things and different social media platforms to see what works and doesn't work for you. 

3) Whole Foods - blog.wholefoodsmarket.com

She notes that Whole Foods has a large digital footprint: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Photos, Links. They are into everything.

  • Impressive Facebook following: 1/2 million "likes"
  • Equally impressive Twitter following: almost 2 million followers
  • They even have entered the mobile arena, and have 2 mobile apps (one is recipes)

What she found interesting is that the actual store does not promote their blog, site or other social networking sites.

She LOVES that they have an editorial calendar such as 

  • Monday is to post a recipe on the blog
  • Tuesday is to post on Facebook
  • Use this!!!! it's a great concept and tool and will help you maintain all your social networking sites, including your blog!!!!

Addtional Notes:

  • Whole foods use their blog for longer content.
  • Uses Flickr for photos and YouTube for additional content and media.
  • Uess Twitter for realtime news.

4) HubSpot - www.hubspot.com/blog

She really likes HubSpot and believes they are the gold standard for content marketing.

  • She likes that they have Ads about "themselves" at the top (small but discreet). She advises to rotate in your own banner in banner ads or just to simply always have a banner ad to one of your services (discreetly though).
  • Good blog headlines.
  • Promotion in sidebar.
  • Twitter…48,000 followers
  • Follows best practices
  • Includes great CALLS TO ACTION on their blog

5) LinkedIn – blog.linkedin.com 

The man behind the LinkedIn blog is Mario Sundar. He was a well known blogger, followed best practices and used to write a lot of posts for LinkedIn and many guest posts. They eventually hired him to write for the LinkedIn blog.

  • In recent posts, LinkedIn has filed for an IPO and they posted about it and what it means.
  • They post real information not just fun.
  • With Twitter, they do keep up with comments and conversation – a form of good customer service. 
  • Archives back to 2007 and by subject.
  • Their blog content includes useful trend pieces mixed with how to get more out of LinkedIn.


Last but not least, let's discuss 5  Blogging Rules!

  • Offer an email signup for your blog
  • Be specific. people respond to specifics. Always package your content with a number, any number. Doesn't matter.
  • Include one or more Calls to Action.
  • Stick with it – a blog is forever just like your website. (Debbie adds, "who now where Facebook will be.")
  • Have more fun!

Calls To Action Examples

  • Click here for free e-book.
  • When you sign up for my FREE email newsletter you will receive a FREE….(PDF, eBook, or other file).
  • NOT a "Click here to BUY" something.
  • Something that is really easy and clear and makes people take the next step in begin more acquainted with you and your business.


In closing, something Debbie stressed throughout the presentation was organization, that it is important to have your content organized well so your blog visitors can quickly and easily find what they are looking for.  Be sure to read my Reorganize Your Blog SERIES for many helpful tips and ideas!

I hope you enjoyed this week's article on the Blogging Success Summit 2011 coverage.

Keep blogging!

Heather Wright-Porto


Pin It on Pinterest