What No One Ever Tells You About Blogging and Podcasting: Real Life Advice From 101 People Who Successfully Leverage the Power of the Blogosphere is the latest book by prolific writer and Internet guru Ted Demopoulos and it is a fantastic read. The book is filled with real-world examples of successful and extraordinary bloggers and podcasters who are tapping into these new media tools. Ted’s book is a must read for folks wanting to really see concrete examples of success in blogging and podcasting.
Ted gives great insight in the interview about his book and its surprises in the following interview.
NH: What are some things no one ever tells you about blogging and podcasting?
Demopoulos: I was very surprised at the creative ways people are using blogging and podcasting — in ways I’d never imagine myself. Who would guess that two mommies talking to each other about being mommies (mommycast) would have 100,000+ listeners and big corporate sponsors?
How about an auto reconditioning equipment company podcasting ( www.rightlookradio.com) and seeing it bringing in $25,000+ orders? Or teachers blogging, and reading and commenting on the blog being required homework? How about blogs being hot marketing tools for realtors and lawyers?
I was constantly surprised at how people were using blogs and podcasts successfully to help them in business.
NH: I loved the “Does Your Blog Stink” chapter and particularly your take and Steve Remington’s take on some common mistakes in blogs. Can you talk about the mistakes briefly?
Demopoulos: I think Steve is right on the money. Successful bloggers engage with others. This involves having online conversations (avoiding mistake #1) and linking to others frequently (avoiding mistake #2).
People don’t really read on the Internet — they scan. Short posts work really well. Long “War and Peace” type posts (mistake #4, being long winded) are usually not popular among readers. Occasionally they may be appropriate, but most posts should be short, a very few hundred words max.
Posting erratically and infrequently (mistake #4) leads to, no surprise, erratical and infrequent readers, and lastly, refusing to take sides and have opinions (mistake #5) instead of pleasing everyone, pleases on one. Honest opinions are valued in the blogosphere.
NH: Why is search engine optimization an important component to blogging? And in that same vein, how does linking help with search engine ratings?
Demopoulos: Most Internet traffic is driven by the search engines. The search engines see each link as a “vote of confidence.” All other things being equal, the ‘stuff’ with the most links to it ranks higher in the search engines and gets the most traffic.
Bloggers link to each other a lot, which helps blog posts show up higher in the search engines results
NH: Why are keywords important in blog post titles?
Demopoulos: Search engines not only pay attention to links, but to text itself. Words and phrases people search on, i.e. type into search engines, are called keywords and key phrases. Having the right keywords and phrases in your text is important.
For example, if someone is searching on “healthy cat food” and you have repeated that phrase several times in your text, the search engines will assume what you’ve written is relevant to anyone searching on “healthy cat food” and may send them there.
If “healthy cat food” appears in your title, it’s an even stronger indicator to the search engines that you are writing on healthy cat food.
NH: Now on to podcasts! Are podcasts really taking over the world or do they work well in tandem with other marketing tools?
Demopoulos: Podcasts work well in tandem with other marketing tools. Saying they are taking over the world is an exaggeration, however many people listen to podcasts more often than the radio today!
NH: What makes a great podcast according to your experts in the book?
Demopoulos: Great podcasts are short and passionate.
I can think of a number of excellent 5 minute and less podcasts, and very few long podcasts I listen to.
Podcasters need to be passionate on their topic. Just very interested does not suffice. Some passionate people may not have the personality to carry a podcast on their own, and for those people the co-host or interview format podcasts work very well.
NH: Should everyone podcast?
Demopoulos: “Everyone should podcast” is a passionate podcaster ranting and raving to make a point 🙂 Just like most organizations have an Internet presence today, most will have some audio presence on the Internet in the near future!
NH: What is WAXXI and why should readers know about it?
Demopoulos: Podcasts lack one thing – real time interactively with listeners, much like talk radio has today. Waxxi.us runs scheduled podcasters, where listeners can interact and ask questions in real time, as well as chat among themselves via chat software. The podcasts are then archived and accessible just as all other podcasters are, at the listeners convenience.
NH: When is your next book???
Demopoulos: Great question! I’m looking at a number of options, but before I start another book I’m working on a “Blogging More Effectively, Efficiently, and Effectively” booklet and accompanying audio CDs. The booklet, probably 40-50 pages, just went to my graphics person yesterday and I’m well into recording the CDs. I’m writing and recording this pretty much due to demand — people keep asking me for something like this.
NH: Thanks Ted, and I know there will be much demand for those CDs and the booklet!