Do You Make These Mistakes
With Your Blog?

There seems to be a trend developing lately.

Some people are turning the whole “blogging advice” arena on its head, and instead of focusing on what you should do to be an effective blogger, they point out what you shouldn’t do. Perhaps this is a better way to get certain points across?

OK, I’m game. Here’s my “top five” list of big mistakes people make, and a handy prescription for how to cure what ails your sickly blog.

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Don’t Be Cameron Diaz

Building Your Fan Club

So let’s get real.

Can blogging really build you a fan club?

In other words, can it make you a celebrity?

The answer, of course, is yes. And you don’t need to be anywhere near the so-called blogging A-List for it to happen.

After all, as historian Daniel Boorstin once said, celebrities are simply people that are well known for their well knownness. So whether your audience is 100 or 100,000, you’ll have your own fan club as long as those people are into what you’re doing.

Anyone can do it, but only some will do it well. Doing it well will have a lot to do with how you treat the people who pay attention to what you do and say.

As various forms of media have aggressively expanded in the last century, so has the concept of celebrity. Back during the early days of film, a viewer’s interaction with the stars was nothing short of awe-inspiring. You sat in a cavernous, temple-like movie theater and watched as your heroes where projected, literally larger-than-life, on the screen before you.

When television came along, things changed a bit. Not only were the stars cut down to size, but TV made them come to us. Now you could do your ironing while you watched, and simply switch the channel if you became bored.

Then came 24-hour media saturation, where meteorologists, home decorators, infomercial gurus and sports commentators are all deemed celebrities, simply by being well known.

And now, more than a decade into the Web, we have a medium where just about anyone inclined to do so can broadcast their thoughts and likeness. As easy as blogging and other social media make it to publish, it has become clear that Warhol was right.

But whether you’re Robert Redford or Robert Scoble, one thing remains the same.

Give people half a chance, and they’ll tear you down as quickly as they built you up. Especially if you (1) forget what it was that attracted people to you in the first place, and (2) ignore what they want from you going forward.

Some of the biggest stars around understand this, while others are either completely clueless or too full of themselves to be gracious. Get a bit of blogging fame going for you, and you’ll need to figure out how to best treat your own fans.

As conflicted as he has been about fame and the Hollywood system, Johnny Depp shows nothing but love for his fans. Catch him in a crowded airport, and he’ll sign an autograph for you while carrying his luggage. George Clooney is another giant star who knows where his bread is buttered. He’ll happily joke around with and sign autographs for his legions of devotees, often while making self-deprecating comments about himself in the process.

Cameron Diaz, on the other hand, either hasn’t a clue or thinks she’s much too smart for her silly fans. Ask her for an autograph, and she’ll not only refuse, she’ll lecture you about how dumb autographs are (which is another way of saying how dumb the person making the request is).

I don’t care if you’re an actor, singer, blogger (or all three) — building a fan club is hard. You’ve got to figure out what you possess that has value to others, and then never forget the fact that unless you’re continuing to give people something that’s important to them, you’re destined for the “where are they now” category.

And it remains to be seen if washed-up bloggers will even rate a show on VH-1.

So, really… don’t be Cameron Diaz.

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Where the Hell is Matt?

Apparently, Stride Gum gets how this whole viral video thing works.

After you watch the video (it’s worth it), and read through the 3,876 (!) comments, visit Matt’s site and get the whole story.

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How Co-Registration Can Build Your Fan Club Fast

Building Your Fan Club

What if you could have other websites out recruiting subscribers for you, 24/7?

That’s basically how co-registration works. You make arrangements with partners to offer your email newsletter (or blog posts via email) for potential readers to subscribe to. If your offer is compelling enough, the subscriber will be automatically added to your email subscription list after they opt-in.

There are various ways to go about this, some better than others, but each with unique considerations to keep in mind. There are paid arrangements, barter arrangements, and sometimes hybrids. Keep in mind that this is in no way buying or trading email addresses — it’s simply a form of off-site advertising that offers an opt-in subscription to your content, plus any relevant bonus reports or tutorials that you may offer as an enticement.

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Thoughts on Persistence

“My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.”

– Abraham Lincoln

Congratulations to the Dallas Mavericks on their best season in team history. Let’s hope they’re not content.

How to Sell RSS (Or Where the Feed Fanboys Drop the Ball)

I see these lists all the time, and they never cease to amaze me.

Steve Rubel offers us a post entitled “35 Ways You Can Use RSS Today.”

Here’s a few samples:

Get hotel deals from Marriott
Learn a new word every day using RSS
Track the latest sales with Dealcatcher
Subscribe to the Target circular
Subscribe to movie reviews

Go ahead and check out all 35 if you’d like.

Now, tell me — couldn’t you rewrite that headline to read:

“35 Ways People Used Email in 1998 (And Still Do Today)”

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5 Steps to Pay Per Click Advertising That Works

Building Your Fan Club

Compared with the ineffective crapshoot that is traditional advertising, there’s no better way to get targeted traffic than through pay-for-performance keyword advertising in search engines. If you’re not clear on what pay per click ads are, those are the sponsored links that show up when you perform a web search in Google, Yahoo and other search engines.

While more targeted than offline advertising or banner ads, it’s certainly possible to throw away a lot of cash with pay per click. The way to do that is to fail to think strategically about where you send people who click on your ads.

The goal of pay per click advertising is to get in front of searchers who are looking specifically for what you have to offer. This takes careful keyword research, strategic bidding, and compelling ad copy just to get the click.

The problem is, that’s where most people stop.

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It’s Dangerous Out There . . .

I had a chat with my friend Prince Campbell (a/k/a Chartreuse) this weekend, which isn’t all that out of the ordinary.

What made it a bit different was the cease and desist letter he had received from Time, Inc.

It goes without saying that he hadn’t called me to chat about basketball.

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Effective Advertising That Builds Your Fan Club

Building Your Fan Club

It’s ironic, isn’t it?

Bootstrapping, tech-savvy entrepreneurs use blogs as ultra-low-cost tools for free promotion in lieu of an advertising budget, often with great success.

Meanwhile, existing businesses are carefully looking into this “whole blogging thing” trying to determine if it’s a worthwhile return on investment that supplements their current marketing.

If only—like chocolate and peanut butter—we could get these two groups together, eh?

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How to Get Huge Viral Buzz for Your Start-Up

  1. Hire a prominent blogger.
  2. See #1.

Further discussion — too many links to count.

Here’s Robert’s thoughts.

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