Fri, 6 June 2014
Founder and head of SocialMediaExaminer.com, and author of the industry-changing book, “Launch”, Michael Stelzner welcomes us in his office for some heavy tips and Q&A on how to start your business and follow your passion.
Right off the bat while touring Michael’s office we talk headlines and he shares his “go-to” formula for strong headlines which is sticking with a “How to” (solution based) headline, or numbers, such as “6 Ways to Grow Your Twitter Followers”.
From there, Michael talks about his avatar, Scout. Michael identified early on that almost nobody in the social media space had an avatar, so he wanted to create a little cartoon character that would be recognizable and associated with his brand.
Next, Michael touches on one of the keys to his content strategy, which is having guest bloggers (experts) provide content for his blog. It is a brilliant model that allows him to bring the best of the best to his audience through curating the top authorities on various topics.
Another substantial piece to Michael’s content strategy was the type and length of the blog posts he would publish. Rather than sticking to short 300 word articles, he would insist on 1,000-word (or more) articles that dove deep into “how to” subjects.
It was the quality of these articles that propelled him to build a list of over 10,000 email subscribers in less than 6 months.
This number happened to be very pivotal to his overall strategy as he had decided that he was not going to monetize his content and list with marketing messages until it had reached 10,000 subscribers.
This ended up being a distinctive differentiation strategy for his site, and contributed massively to his growth.
When it comes to his traffic strategy, Michael optimizes for people first. Meaning, making sure his content is pleasing, consumable, and, of course, highly “shareable”.
However, SEO is a huge part of their traffic strategy, and Michael shares some fantastic tips and tools.
For keyword research, check out the tool SEMrush. And, for blog post search engine optimization, the WordPress plugin “Yoast” is awesome! From there, make sure you run your site through Google’s free “Webmaster Tools” to identify issues you may not be aware of. Another great tip is to make sure you claim your page on Google Plus!
From there Michael dishes on Social optimization!
One of his favorite tools is a plugin called DiggDigg, which is a floating sidebar that helps earn social shares. Another great tip is a plugin called JM Twitter Cards, which allows your posts to appear with a headline, image, and expanded text in Twitter. For Facebook, the favorite is back to the Yoast plugin to make sure you’re optimizing your images and your description for Facebook through the Social aspects of that plugin!
Next, we talk monetization, which Michael does primarily through live events.
His first piece of advice, which is along the lines of make good choices and proceed with caution is, “Don’t quit your day job.” That doesn’t mean don’t try to create an online business or don’t try to become an entrepreneur. What it means is sometimes things take a little time to do correctly, so allow yourself that time.
For Michael, his background included live events, so that was a natural monetization strategy for him. But, his next piece of advice was super important to adhere to, which was don’t always try to copy what’s working for someone else, because it may not work as well for you. If speaking is not your thing, then chances are there are going to be other revenue generating avenues that are going to work better for you and you’ll enjoy more.
When asked the question, “What do you love doing the most in the business?”, without hesitation, Michael pointed to podcasting and the ability to go deep and create dynamic content and interviews with people.
Going forward, one of the projects Michael is most excited about is the site he created called MyKidsAdventures.com, which is all about empowering busy parents to spend more time with their kids.
And, just before wrapping up, Michael leaves us with this final thought…
“Realize that everyone who you look up to and everyone who has a platform started where you are now. With nothing. With an idea. So, don’t let that idea pass you by. Make sure you give it a try. Because, if you don’t you’ll never know what you missed, so just go for it!”
Great advice, Michael!
Make sure you check out Michael’s podcast, “Social Media Marketing”, his site, SocialMediaExaminer.com, if you’re a parent, his new site, MyKidsAdventures.com, and head over to LifeOnFire.com/41 to get all of the resources Michael mentioned throughout this episode!
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Direct download: 41__Michael_Stelzner_on_Launching_Your_Business__Following_Your_Passion.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:10am PST