Day 4: My Blogging Secrets

Shhhh!  don't tell anyone!I’ve gotten a number of IM’s and e-mails about how cool this series is. Thank you, and huge thanks for the comments throughout the week. Unfortunately, it’s not very healthy for me…. check out this IM transcript from this morning:

Phil801 says: i feel guilty that i haven’t taken time to comment, but i consider just reading blogs to be a distraction right now, commenting is out of the question
Jason says: i understand. It is amazing how getting comments boosts a blogger’s ego though. It’s probably unhealthy for me to get the comments πŸ™‚
Phil801 says: lol – that’s VERY true πŸ™‚

(you can follow Phil801 at his blog (locally, Phil is kind of like Cher and Prince… he’s a one-namer. I always call him Phil801 and usually forget what his last name is :p)

Kidding aside, thank you very much for contributing. I’m not alone in thinking this way… Pete Johnson, architect and author of Nerd Guru pointed a group I’m on to Jeff Atwood’s post which had a really profound sentence:

It’s an open secret amongst bloggers that the blog comments are often better than the original blog post, and it’s because the community collectively knows far more than you or I will ever know.

That leads me to today’s secret: build a community. I’d like to say the secret is HOW to build a community, but I’m not sure I know. The secret is simply that you should build a community. End of post.

Bonus material – here’s how I think I’ve built a community. It involves a lot of risking. Reaching out to others. I’ve blogged about relationships, leaving comments, developing a brand and having an abundance mentallity. When you roll all of these up you are led to a simple yet time-consuming tactic – include others in your posts.

Including others is cool for two reasons. First, I can’t imagine what Jason Alba could write about for so long without including others. Honestly, more than once I’ve thought “I’ve just run out of ideas! There’s nothing more to say!” Second, blogging about others is a way of putting your virtual arm around them and walking them over to your community, with a warm-fuzzy feeling. How to do this?

  • I’ve had a few people write guest posts. I thought this would be easy but it was a little harder than I thought. When you have someone write a guest post you make them a community creator with you – they have some kind of vested interest.
  • I used to link out a lot! I wish I could say that I still do but I’ve been really busy with the book and other stuff lately that I have slacked off on this. Want to know a really easy way to link out? Here’s what I do if I have an extra twenty minutes: After I write my post I go to and search on various keywords from my post. Remember, I care a lot more about linking to a blog post than anything else, that’s why I go to a blog search engine. Anyway, I check to see if any of the hits are on a clean (not dirty, or lame) blog, and the post is interesting and relevant, and then I link back to it. I’ve met a lot of people just reaching out to them in this way (because they usually get an e-mail notifying them that someone linked to them).
  • I call people out by name. Can you find examples in the posts this week? I’ll give you hints – Pete Johnson from today, and Andy Sernovitz from Monday. Come on guys, do you really think that guru and superstar Andy Sernovitz, author of Word of Mouth Marketing reads my blog daily? No, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t. But he has commented on my blog every time I’ve linked to him, or mentioned his name. He either has google alerts set up on his name or he gets the e-mail from his blog saying I linked to him. And he responds because it’s good for his brand and his marketing (I do the same). Do you have google alerts set up on your name and other industry topics? You should!
    • caveat: this doesn’t always work! So if the person you are calling out doesn’t respond don’t worry about it. I’ve been tagged multiple times and only found out when the author simply e-mails me to tell me I have been tagged. So if there is no response, don’t fret.
  • I Take something from a comment and make it into a blog post. I sometimes feel sorry for my RSS readers because they’ll miss incredible discussions found only in the comments. Make sure to cite the commenter and link back to their blog or website, if you can. Never link to their e-mail address (if that’s all they left) – consider that private and confidential.
  • Similarly, I take a line or an entire post from someone else and create my own post based off of that. Wow, how flattering is it to find out that one of your brilliant thoughts spawned a post on someone else’s blog!! One of the best people I’ve seen do this is Bengt Wendel. He’s done this a few times from posts I’ve written, but what really impresses me is when he finds some of my profoundness (:)) and updates one of his old posts! It shows that he is connecting lots of dots and really cares about his content (whereas, if you ask me what I wrote two weeks ago, I can’t tell you… my brain just doesn’t work that way!). End result? I’m a huge fan of Bengt’s because he has flattered me time and again.
  • I Work on non-A-list relationships. All bloggers would love a mention in some A-list blogs, and drive tons of traffic. Kelly King Anderson, the Startup Princess, got a complete post out of Seth Godin once and got a ton of new traffic to her site (read her side of the story). TechCrunch, Boing-Boing, Guy Kawasaki and others can drive huge traffic to your site, even with a mere mention! But guess what … it’s really, really hard to get ink on their blogs. So my advice is, don’t try. It is not low-hanging fruit. And there are so many B+ bloggers out there that it’s easier to get their attention. Here’s the secret though… you should develop relationships with these B+ bloggers in your niche! I am always looking for bloggers in the employment space, which is quite broad. I want to know them, be familiar with them, and hope to get on their radar. All I want is a line in their blog like this “I love JibberJobber!” That’s it. But it will all start with building a relationship.
  • I Don’t neglect D-listers. These are the bloggers that … well, are just starting out. Shoot, I’ve seen a lot of sharp newbie bloggers with incredible blogs start up in the last year, and they are so passionate that I’ve been way more impressed with them than some A-listers. Guess what folks? A-listers of today were newbies at one time. If you develop a relationship with D-listers now who knows what that can turn into in a couple of years.
  • I had some blog buddies. These are people who I followed every single day, and who followed me (informally, of course). There was a lot of link love going around, and commenting on one-another’s blog. I know that it is lonely to not have any recognition on a post, and having a blog-buddy that was watching me each day was enough flattery and ego-building to keep me going. Who was my blog buddy? For many months (it’s no secret, just look at the early months) it was Carl Chapman, executive restaurant recruiter. We still chat on IM but we don’t follow each other’s blogs as much – that’s okay though – I think we really helped one another during that time (I know he helped me a ton).

Again, this is simple relationship building stuff. I really, really recommend you get a free account on I use to it log when I communicate with bloggers, set follow-up dates with them, and a host of other things. If you are trying to develop a bunch of relationships without a CRM tool I feel sorry for you. Head on over and sign-up on JibberJobber for free now, won’t ya?

Finally, when I was with Liz Strauss and the SOB people in Chicago earlier this year I found that there are a ton of really cool, less-known bloggers out there that are doing this stuff every single day. When you have about an hour free, check out these blogs and bookmark your fav’s. There is a lot to learn from these folks (man, would I love to hear their secrets and tips about what I posted on this week!), who are very dedicated to blogging, relationships, etc.

SOBcon2007 Chicago Attendees:

Sandra Renshaw
Brad Shorr
Timothy Johnson
Tammy Lenski
Muhammad Saleem
Lorelle VanFossen
David Dalka – Mobile Search Marketing
Todd And
John Yedinak
Joe Hauckes
Tim Draayer
Jeremy Geelan
Carolyn Manning
Sheila Scarborough
Steve Farber
Dawud Miracle
Doug Mitchell
Jeff OÒ€ℒHara
Dave Schoof
Jamy Shiels
Adam Steen
Hannah Steen
Chris Thilk
Barry Zweibel
Eric Bingen
Ellen Moore
Cord Silverstein
Jean-Patrick Smith
James Walton
Sharan Tash
Vernon Lun
Tony Lee
Scott Desgrosseilliers
Mark Murrell
Kammie Kobyleski
Easton Ellsworth
Mark Goodyear
Ann Michael
Kent Blumberg
Ashley Cecil
Robert Hruzek
Sabu N G
Mazur Krystyna
Lisa Gates
Franke James
Chris Brown
Troy Worman
Karen Putz
Jesse Petersen
Terry Mapes
Andy Brudtkuhl
Lucia Mancuso
Peter Flaschner
Derrick Sorles
Mike Rohde
Thomas Clifford
Rajesh Srivastava
Claire Celsi
Jason Alba
Cristiana Passinato
Sean R.
Alex Shalman
Cristiana Passinato
Brad Spirrison
Ari Garber
Dr. Rob Wolcott
Cheryll Cruz
Sharon Scherer
Jonathan Phillips
Jason Wade
Jill Pullen
Doug Bulleit
Wendy Kinney
Chelsea Vincent
Ayush Agarwal
Paul Mangalik
Premchand Kallan
Xochi Kaplan
Michael Snell
Ella Wilson
James Bergstrom
Raj Majumder
Keith Levenson

SOBcon2007 Chicago Speakers:
Andy Sernovitz
Phil Gerbyshak
Liz Strauss
David Armano
Mike Sansone
Drew McLellan
Mike Wagner
Terry Starbucker
Rodney Rumford
Ben Yoskovitz
Chris Cree
Robyn Tippins
Diego Orjuela
Vernon Lun
Wendy Piersall

Ok, one more day of secrets left (then, I’m out of secrets)!

Awesome San Francisco jobs await you at San Fran

13 thoughts on “Day 4: My Blogging Secrets”

  1. Yes, we are all shameless egoists!

    Like most bloggers & authors, I have a Google news alert set up for my name. I get an email almost instantly when someone blogs me, and it’s impossible not to look.

    It helps if you have a unique name like “Sernovitz”. If my name was Jennifer White or Michael Rubin, I’d be much harder to google.

  2. Jason, I’ve been poking around a few blogs recently and clearly there’s mixed bag of information and opinion out there. I’ve enjoyed reading your blogs (and posts elsewhere) very much. It takes tremendous discipline to blog every day and I have not failed to notice you consistently produce interesting and well-written content on jibberjobber. I respect that. And that’s why I’m happy to be giving you the #1 recommendation to my audiences (primarily the business schools and the Fortune 500) and am pleased to become an ambassador for your work. I wish you many new customers in the weeks to come!

    Linda Lopeke

  3. Jason,
    I hope you clearly know that I’m huge fan of yours and that I greatly admire what you’ve done with JibberJobber

    Watching you develop your brand has already proven to be highly beneficial to me, personally.

    But, TODAY…

    Today is one of my favorites – not just for the pure usefulness of your sharing your “Blogging Secrets” with us.

    Today, I’ve gotten a networking benefit from you that surprised even ME! πŸ™‚

    Today, JibberJobber helped me to reconnect with a business friend whom I’ve been neglecting. But the timing could hardly have been more perfect. Because my own passion for a subject he’s mastered has been growing independent of my having conversations with him, I now appreciate my friend’s professional expertise, even more!

    Unfortunately, because it would reveal too much, I must keep my friend’s name a secret! πŸ™‚

    But this isn’t a secret: I thank you for the wonderful work you’re doing with JibberJobber: BIG TIME!

    Vincent Wright

  4. Hey Andy – like you, I got notified of this post on a Google alert before it showed up in my trackbacks or in my feed reader (i subscribe).

    Great post Jason! And not just cause you included our conversation, you event got me to comment πŸ˜›

    I’ve enjoyed this series a lot, you’ve done a great job with it.

  5. Thanks Jason for the mention and also for this exhaustive list of blogs to read and more stuff to do to improve my blog! πŸ˜‰ I just signed up yesterday for Yaro Starak’s Blogmastermind Group and it’s a membership site guaranteed to make you money blogging if you need any tips for that! I sure do! πŸ˜‰

  6. Guru and superstar Andy Sernovitz is teaching our WOMM master’s course at Northwestern. He made a post to our class blog referencing this series and that’s how I’m here. We’re learning lots of his secrets.

    Thanks Jason for post — good, helpul stuff!


  7. After reading this post in my email subscription, I did a blog search for “job market” because I’d just put up a blog post about using business journals for job market info and to generate potential leads. I had to chuckle because my post was in the top of the results list- I wasn’t expecting that.

    I’m loving this series, Jason!

  8. A-list– D-list… I had no idea there were these catagories until I blogged. Then someone mentioned Z-list people…

    At least I’m somewhere on the alphabet. LOL

  9. Nice job, Jason. Being willing to build community is such the key between ho-hum, me-too bloggers and those with more signal than noise… and you got a whole lotta junk-in-the-trunk more signal than noise πŸ˜‰

    Oh, and thanks for working on your non-A-list relationships… that’s the only way I’d ever be included in your conversations!

  10. Jason,

    What an extremely informative and helpful post! I’ve been enjoying reading the day by day secrets – in stealth! Thought I would make my appreciation known. This is a great series and today’s post is by far my fave!
    Coach Maria Elena

  11. @Andy – thanks for the excellent example. You are lucky to have an unusual name… mine is semi-unusual. A year ago Google had no clue who I was, but now Jason Alba dominates the first two pages of results (even though there is an author with the same name).

    @Linda – thank you very much, that’s very kind. I just read an e-mail you submitted to the AskLizRyan Yahoo group and WOW, you are a very interesting person! I’m glad we crossed paths πŸ™‚

    @Vincent – wow, thanks! I long for the juicy details but already know that you won’t give them to me πŸ˜‰ But thanks for a cool story, and for the endorsement of JibberJobber!

    @Phil801 – one thing I didn’t mention in this post was that Phil801 was on the panel I went to in 2006 where I decided to blog… since he organized the event I give him credit (blame?) for my blogging habit πŸ™‚

    @Kelly – I’d love to know what you think about Yaro’s group, and the value you get out of it. I could join but maybe I’ll just watch what you do and copy it :p

    @Dee – thanks for dropping by… I’d love to be in that class, I bet it is a blast! Oh yeah, where’s your blog?? (I already know the answer to this – she doesn’t have one… something about not having enough time πŸ™‚ :))

    @Daniel – ah, “job market” — nice one. It’s amazing the power a blog has to take over key terms like this, excellent work (and lots of consistency)!

    @Karen – A-list, D-list – I really didn’t make this stuff up, but sometimes I think of it as (quoting someone else) the E-I-E-I-O list :p

    @Rob – ah, you are another reason I blog… I appreciate the kind words, as signal to noise is definitely something I try and keep tabs on here.

    @Maria Elena – awesome – thanks for sharing that πŸ™‚ It’s interseting how many read this in stealth (hundreds) and how many make comments either in e-mail or by chat – it’s nice to have you leave a comment here!

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