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How Improv Can Improve a Podcast (Or Destroy It)

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Right now you’re looking at the picture I’ve chosen to accompany this article and you’re likely wondering if I’m about to suggest you start getting up on stage at an improv comedy club. I’m not—unless you’re into the idea.

No, this is about the fine art of improvisation, the art of thinking on your feet and coming up with new, usable ideas on the fly. This is about being knowledgeable in your niche or topic and being able to speak on your podcast without a script. Improv can make your show… or it could break it. Here’s how.

The case for improvisation

Last year I interviewed Kim Ann Curtin for an episode of my Inside Internet Marketing show. Whereas all of my other shows are mostly unscripted, this series required me to come up with a list of questions or topics beforehand because it’s an interview format. You can’t go into an interview not knowing what you’re going to ask… can you?

Sure you can!

Cupcake

One of the things that Kim teaches is listening and interaction—how to really listen and use what you learn in a conversation to propel the conversation. Too often we just nod along with whatever someone is saying because we are thinking ahead about the next thing we want to say. Unbeknownst to Kim, I had nothing to ask her during the interview.

I started the episode pretty much the standard way. I introduced myself, read a pre-scripted bio to introduce Kim, and then mentioned the first time she and I met (she gave me a cupcake; very memorable). I then asked the only question I had to ask: who are you, Kim Ann Curtin? For the next 23 or so minutes, I listened intently to what she said and responded with questions that built on what she was talking about.

That turned out to be one of the best interviews I’ve ever done. It wasn’t because she was dropping bombshells all over the place or jumping on the sofa like a lunatic, but because we were so engaged that the flow, pace and content all lined up to create a great interview. After we ended the show and stopped recording, I told her what I had done and she was blown away that I would try something like that.

The lesson here? If you’re comfortable with listening, you don’t need to read from a scripted list of questions. You might not end up in the same place as you would with a script, and you might even go on tangents that you didn’t mean to, but if you are engaged with your guest, you will have a better show than if you nod your head with whatever your guest is saying while you’re queuing up the next question in your head.

The case against improvisation

Okay, raise your hand if you think that I was crazy for attempting that. That interview could have gone completely off the rails, right? What if Kim had been dull or if she was the kind of interviewee that reminds you of pulling teeth trying to get them to open up? We’ve all had conversations in our lives that just don’t really go anywhere, right? Going into an interview cold can be dangerous, it’s true.

Even worse though, is when you are so comfortable with your subject that you don’t think about what you’re saying as you’re saying it. Like I said earlier, almost all of my other shows have been completely unscripted. My Zap! co-host, Greg Hoffman, was my guest on another recent episode of Inside Internet Marketing. This particular episode wasn’t an interview, it was a recap of an industry event that he and I both attended the week prior.

Flames

We recorded the episode and I thought nothing of it. I posted it… and was greeted by several comments that I found odd. Things like “were we at the same conference?” that turned into quite a kerfuffle. I went back and listened to the show and carefully read the comments that I was getting. We were accused of being overly negative about the event—an event which everyone else thought was quite extraordinary. The thing is… they were right.

Greg and I had both been to several of these events in the past, and were very comfortable with them and with the people that organize and attend. We were too comfortable. As the host of the show, it is my job to make sure that the show stays balanced, informative and entertaining. That is, in fact, the only job I have! The episode was unscripted, we were two guys who were very close to the subject matter and it shows. Have you ever done something like that? It’s like when you go to visit a relative and you have a great time, but later on you’re talking with your spouse and you say “dinner was great, but did you see the living room? It was really messy!” In our case, we spent too much time talking about how the living room was messy and not enough about how great the dinner was… so to speak.

This is an example of improvisation completely destroying a show. Had we planned things out beforehand, we would have seen that the tone was too negative and that we needed to balance things out.

So, what then?

I’ve been more attentive lately, that’s for sure. I still believe in the power of improv because when it works, it’s awesome. For interviews and recaps of events, I am much more likely to have a list of questions or points to refer to. If I find that my show is starting to slide, I can bring it back or balance it out far more easily if I have some reference material.

Improvisation and spontaneity can be powerful, but like most tools in your toolbox, it can really hurt if you don’t use it properly.

Thanks for reading!

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The Best Way to Get More Podcast Listeners – and How to Do It

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Want to see your podcast traffic grow exponentially? Of course you do. Who doesn’t? It can feel like an uphill battle sometimes, especially if you’re new. When I used to be part of a video game podcast with some friends, we were happy to have any listeners and we talked about growth by the person, not by the hundreds or even the thousands.

But on certain episodes, we did something different, and this one technique always blew other traffic-driving techniques out of the water. We are certainly not the only podcasters to experience this massive surge in traffic. At BlogWorld New York 2012, in fact, the speakers on the Why All Bloggers Should be Podcasting panel covered this topic, and Derek Halpern took a moment to talk about how any podcaster can make it happen.

The panelists for "Why Bloggers Should be Podcasters"

So what’s the secret? Land a special guest for your podcast.

Easier said than done, right? Because we’re not just talking about any guest. If your neighbor is a special guest on your podcast, it’s likely that no one will care – unless your neighbor happens to be a leader in your niche. The best guests are popular among your listeners and will bring in new listeners who want to hear this specific speak (and who will also be interested in the rest of your content).

Landing those high-profile special guests isn’t easy, though. Someone like Chris Brogan, for example, gets hundreds of requests for interviews, appearances, and so forth. Catching the attention of Chris – or whoever is a leader in your niche – isn’t easy. And sometimes it is downright impossible.

The good news? You can make it happen if you’re persistent and follow these great tips from Derek:

  • Lead your request with what’s in it for them.

Most people like to help others, but when you get a huge volume of requests, you need to say yes to things that are going to help you as well. If I get 20 requests and only have time for 10 of them, I’m going to say yes to 1) requests from friends and 2) requests that highlight how my actions will be helpful to me. It’s business, baby. So, when you make a request for someone to be on your interview, talk about how being on your podcast will help them.

  • Reach out to people who love giving interviews.

In every niche, certain people rarely respond to interview requests, while others are extremely vocal. You’re going to be more successful if you do a little research and find out who is vocal so you can approach those people. For example, since I mentioned him already, Chris Brogan recently posted a resolution that he would go on a “summer diet” of sorts, and part of that includes saying no to interview and media requests so he can focus on his own projects and time away from work. So, sending Chris a request right now is probably not the smartest idea.

Some people are very private and almost always say no. For someone like Chris, the likelihood that he will say yes or no cycles. Right now, he’s taking a bit of a break. When he has a book to promote, I bet he’ll be out there giving interviews in full force. So, when looking for guests for your podcast, find people who are known for giving interviews and have something to promote.

  • Be fearless.

My favorite tip from Derek was to simple do it – make the request. You can spend your time worrying and wondering, but at the end of the day, if you never ask, you’ll never get that yes. Fellow panelist Katie Davis also chimed in, saying, “People are nice. People like to talk about themselves.[…]Your imagination plays tricks on you, but what’s the worst that could happen?”

Lastly, I think the panelists made a very good point that you don’t have to go for the superstar in your field. Instead, go for someone who is slightly more popular than you continuously and build your audience of listeners. When you have 1,000 fans, invite a guest that has 2,000 fans. When you have 2,000 fans, invite a guest who has 3,000 fans. Work you way up to landing those extremely popular guests in your niche and you’ll have more success along the way.

Did you know BlogWorld New York 2012 featured an entire podcasting track? If you missed it, you can check out all of our sessions with the virtual ticket!

Using Your Podcast Content as a Gateway

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Today, podcasters Jay Glatfelter, Jack Glatfelter, Rob Cesternino, and Zach Logan joined moderator Darrell Darnell to talk about Building a Successful Fan Podcast. One of the most interesting topics they covered was how you can easily use your first or main podcast as a gateway to build your community around other podcasts as well, which is also possible for web series and blogs. So how can you do it? Here are some tips from the guys:

  • Think about what makes your content unique.

One of the most important things to think about as a digital content creator is what makes you so special. Your community cares about more than just your content. Jack and Jay, for example, started another podcast just to ramble, since they did this on their Lost podcast. You need to bring your community together in a way that goes beyond your topic.

  • Be entertaining.

To go along with the first tip, as a podcaster, you need to realize that your fans want to listen to your podcast because it’s from you. Says Rob, “If you’re entertaining and people enjoy listening to you, you can talk about any subject.” So realize that you can promote your content to across the board (as long as it makes sense). In other words, if you have a podcast about gaming, you can use it to talk about your television podcast, as long as you can find that tie-in.

  • Feel strongly about your content.

One of the points Zach talked about was how important it is be passionate about your topic and podcast about things you care about. This doesn’t have to be about charity work (though it certainly can be), but create a campaign for something you care about. When you have a passion for your topics, fans will come together to create a community and you have that common bond, so they’re more likely to follow you to your other content as well.

Of course, this is just a small sample of the content from this panel. Interesting in learning more? You can get access to the session as well at the dozens of other sessions at BlogWorld New York by picking up a virtual ticket (or adding it onto your live ticket if you’re already here at BlogWorld but missed this session). Check it out here!

Want to Use Pinterest to Drive Traffic to You Blog, Podcast, or Videos? #pinbook

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Over the past few months, BlogWorld has been hard at work creating a brand new eBook with everything you need to know about the hottest subject in social media right now – Pinterest. And now that we’re finished, we want to share that information with you – for free!

The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Your Blog, Podcast, or Videos is available starting today, and it doesn’t cost a cent. Simply click on the link to download your copy right now or, if you’re already subscribed to our newsletter, check your email!

Tell all of your friends – they can download a free copy too! Click here to tweet a message to them using our hashtag, #pinbook. And of course, we also hope you’ll consider pinning the ebook as well so you can share it with all of your Pinterest friends.

This eBook won’t be available forever, so make sure you snag a copy today!

Google Can’t Hear You – The Importance of Show Notes

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A podcaster without an audience is just talking to himself. While that can certainly be theraputic, the goal for every podcaster I’ve ever known is to have listeners. I’ve recently written about expanding your reach and influence, but one thing that I left out of that article was the importance of show notes. That, I felt, needed its own article.

What are show notes?

Show notes give site visitors a reason to push play. Yes, titles are important. But even more important is the block of text that describes what the episode is about. If your podcast about movies features an interview with an actor in a certain episode, your show notes will convey how great it was to potential listeners. If your podcast about social media has an episode that reveals the results of an in-depth study of Facebook, your show notes will convince your site visitors to listen by offering a synopsis of the data—a tease.

Those are examples of what happens when someone gets to your site, though. Show notes are far more powerful than that. Your show notes help get people to your site to begin with. Google doesn’t listen to your show. Bing has no idea what you said on the episode you’re posting. The search engines need to be fed, and your show notes are what they love to dine on.

What isthe best way to do show notes? Here are some general guidelines that I recommend.

First, text. Start with two to five good, keyword-rich paragraphs. Recap all the main topics that you covered in the episode. Mention any guests and give your readers a short bio on them. Write for the readers, not for the search engines. Google is smart. You don’t need to get tricky. Be compelling. Remember, after your awesome show notes feed the search engines, they still need to convince your visitor to push play.

Second, links. Include links to sources or sites of interest where appropriate. Be smart though, and don’t overload. The search engines like to see relevant links and visitors don’t want to be overwhelmed by a list with dozens of links.

Lastly, give your visitors a reason to listen to your show. I’m not a fan of transcriptions in most circumstances. If you write so much text in your show notes that listening becomes pointless, well, then you‚ Are you’re just a blogger, aren’t you?

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Expanding Your Reach and Influence

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I would like to put a few ideas in your head, and I’m going to ask for your feedback at the end of it. Ready?

You’re a podcaster. By definition, that means you record a show (statistically, it’s probably audio) and post it to your website. That’s the bottom-line definition. How can you expand on that?

Publish your audio to iTunes. Publish it to the Zune directory. Grow your audience by putting your show where people gather to find new shows. Google “podcast directory” and go down the list, submitting your RSS feed to as many as you like. They may not have millions of users each, but why ignore them altogether?

You work with audio. Do you incorporate music? In a scientific study that I just made up for this article, 87.45% of podcast listners prefer audio podcasts with opening and closing music because it makes the shows sound more professional. The less you sound like you can’t be bothered to care about your production values, the more people will respect your show. More respect means a greater chance that your audience will share your show with their friends, post your content to social media sites and do much of your marketing for you.

Speaking of social media sites, are you on Twitter? You probably should be. You don’t need to spend a ton of time on it. Just tweet once or twice a day. More importantly, set up a system for automatically tweeting new episodes of your show(s). WordPress plugins make that dead simple. How about Facebook? Did you know you can use a tool to pipe your episodes to Facebook? Your audience can listen to your show right within Facebook. They can listen, Like and share your show with all of their connections. Now that’s what I call expanding your reach.

You work with audio. You upload your episodes to your website and your feed goes out to iTunes and all the rest. What about YouTube? Ever thought about that? I have, and I’m going to start posting shows to YouTube in November. But you work with audio? So do I. What kind of video could you submit to YouTube? How about a video that YouTube was invented for? No, YouTube was not invented so that people could illegally upload pieces of their favorite TV shows and movies 10 minutes at a time. Turn on your webcam. Record yourself doing your show. Now you’ve got audio and video.

If your first instinct is to scroll down to the comments and say “who would want to sit and watch you sitting and talking”, don’t waste your time. I don’t buy it.

I’ve talked before about doing your shows live. You work with audio, have you considered Mixlr.com? What about taking the video suggestion I just made and expanding on it by broadcasting to UStream? Do you think you could incorporate Google+ Hangouts somehow?

Well?

Podcasting can be so much more than simply sitting down at your computer, talking into a microphone for 20 minutes then uploading an mp3. Have any of these ideas sparked anything in you? Would you consider expanding your reach in any of these ways? I’d love to hear your take on them.

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Interviewing Tips and Tricks

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Podcasts come in many flavors, and one very popular format is the interview format. Do you fancy yourself the next Larry King or Oprah? Are you interested in interviewing people in your industry, company or political party? I’ve decided to write about two methods of interviewing that I’ve been experiementing with. The first favors preparation and list-building. The second suggests going in cold with no preparation at all. Here are a few interviewing tips and tricks for you.

Be Prepared

You don’t need to know your guest’s life story—that’s not what being prepared means. Before connecting with your guest for your recording though, you should have a bullet point list of topics as well as a short list of specific questions. The list of topics should be related to the reason you invited your guest to your show to begin with. I produce a show called Inside Internet Marketing that is primarily an interview series, and all my guests work in the affiliate marketing industry. My goal is to interview them about how they got into the industry, what they love and hate about the industry, and how their passions play into the work they do. BAM! There’s three topics, and that’s just me describing what the show is about. I can expand on my topic & questions list by researching any new projects or products that my guest might be promoting, any conferences or events that s/he might be speaking at, or if there are any links between this guest and past guests. Listeners love stories.

One major benefit of preparation like this is that it gives you a way to steer the conversation in the direction you want it to do. If your guest starts to ramble, it’s very easy to use your list to bring the conversation back in line.

I use Evernote to organize all my show notes for all my shows. I have a notebook called Show Notes, and a note for each show with the name and episode number for the title. This gives me a very easy way to cross-reference things that I’ve asked of past guests, ideas for topics and my bullet points for the next guest. I’ve also got Evernote on my iPhone and iPad for keeping track of ideas when I’m out and about. If you’re considering organizing your notes, I recommend an application that has both desktop and mobile functionality.

Be Completely Unprepared

One of my favorite speakers is Kim Ann Curtin and I was fortunate to have her as a guest on Inside Internet Marketing. When I last saw Kim speak, she talked passionately about listening. She drove home the point that to have the most effective conversation with someone, you needed to actively listen, process what is being said, and respond accordingly. It isn’t enough to show up; you need to participate.

I decided to use my interview with Kim as a test. I didn’t tell her ahead of time, but I didn’t prepare any questions for her. I only had one thing to begin the conversation with and then it would be up to me to participate and really have a conversation. There would be no list of questions to read from. There was no safety net. I had to listen accutely to what Kim was talking about, internalize it, and respond with an appropriate comment or follow-up question. I needed to be on my toes the entire time.

It was one of the best interviews I’ve ever conducted.

Given that I knew Kim beforehand and was comfortable talking to her, it was not a tremendous risk trying this method for the first time. Had I been interviewing a famous celebrity or someone whom I’d never met, I would not have tried it. Now that I’ve successfully done it once, I’m more likely to try it again and again. After it becomes second nature, I won’t think twice about using it with anyone at all.

What’s Best for You

One of these approaches will certainly work best for you. Whichever way you go, the same advice will apply: practice. That might seem odd when thinking about an method that favors unpreparation, but practicing the art of conversation is the key to success with it.

Are you an interviewer? What kind of advice would you give to podcasters?

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Podcasting: Added Value

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People hear my podcasts, they hear about the way I’ve set myself up, and they invariably ask me how much work I put into it. I tell them that in the beginning, it wasn’t much work at all. After a while, it became a lot of work. These days, I’m back to it not being much work at all, even though I’m producing more shows than ever. In conversations that I have with clients and people interested in podcasting, one of the most common fears that prevent folks from getting started is that podcasting—the way they see me and other full-time podcasters doing it—will take up too much of their time.

And it would. It totally would.

Podcasting is my primary gig, and other interests feed into it. I’m also an affiliate marketer, so I’ve done some things in that space that feed into my podcasting efforts. If podcasting isn’t already your primary gig, though, I can see how looking at someone who spends many hours a week podcasting (along with dozens of hours of prep work, website work, marketing and all the rest) can be daunting. You have a job. You have a business to run. You have other things that keep you busy.

But. You had to know there was a “but” coming.

You do have 30 minutes a week. You can fit podcasting into your overall business plan. Your podcast will be added value; it will be something your competitors don’t do. When I was a t-shirt designer years ago, I noticed that most of the successful people selling print-on-demand t-shirts were the ones that weren’t making “selling shirts” their primary gig. It was just something they added for extra value to their existing business. Podcasting can work the same way for you.

Maybe you run a site that sells blue widgets, along with a dozen other people that sell blue widgets. You’ve all got roughly the same quality website, roughly the same prices, but you do a half hour show every week about how people can use blue widgets in their everyday lives and you give one away to a lucky listener to boot. See the potential there? You’re giving people a reason to stick around your site.

If you’ve been shying away from podcasting because you’ve thought that it requires doing a show with a heavy commitment or schedule, try thinking of it in terms of added value to an existing enterprise. You might be surprised by what you can do.

Oh, and about the part at the beginning where I said it wasn’t a lot of work, then it was a ton of work, and now it’s not again? When I began, I was one of three hosts of an informal podcast. We didn’t care if we had listeners, and I don’t think we even submitted to iTunes until we were several shows in. We were doing it more for a goof than anything else. After a year, I started to take it seriously, and seriously started learning more about the craft, experimenting with new software and tools, and spending way more time on podcasting. I started up three more shows, rebooted the first one, and launched QAQN.com. Only in the past few months has it gotten a lot easier, as I scheduled all my shows for the same day and wrote an automation script that handled 95% of my post-production.

With experience and the right tools, what seems like a daunting amount of work is actually quite… not. Something to maybe keep in mind.

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Podcast Myth Busting

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Podcasting as a medium has been around for a long time. Podcasting, the term, was coined in 2004. Like any cool thing that’s been acknowledged by more than two people, certain myths and misunderstandings have cropped up around podcasting over the years. I’m here to dispel a few of them. Here are eight podcast myths ready to be busted!

  1. You need an iPod to listen to podcasts. No list about podcasting myths would be complete without the all-time number one. No, you don’t need an iPod. This myth is not extremely widespread anymore in my experience. With the explosion of the iPhone since 2007 and the iPad since 2010 (not to mention the slew of popular Android and Blackberry devices), the “pod” in “podcasts” isn’t quite as linked to the i”Pod” as it used to be.
  2. Podcasting has only been around since 2005 (or 2004 or 2006 or 2003). Depending on who you ask, podcasting has only been around for about six years. Some consultants use this myth as a selling point, telling potential clients that they’ve been podcasting since it was invented in 2005. While the term was coined in 2004 and support for it added to iTunes in 2005, recording and placing audio files on the internet in a serialized or chronological way has been done since at least the late ’90s. The basic ability to distribute recorded audio online has existed since the dawn of the internet (or even earlier if you consider Usenet). Nobody woke up one day in 2005 and said, “hey, I think I’ll invent doing radio-style talk shows on the internet!”
  3. Podcasters are all amateurs. Kevin Smith, Ricky Gervais, Adam Carolla, Joe Rogan, Marc Maron, Kevin Pollack, Greg Proops, ABC, NBC, CBS, Discovery, BBC, ESPN, TMZ, Science Magazine, Vanity Fair, CNN, E!, The Onion, HBO, Showtime, NPR and probably every major radio station where you live. All podcasting.
  4. Audiences expect perfect audio, like on the radio. It seems like if a person isn’t of the opinion that it’s all amateurs, then it must be all about having pefect radio-quality audio. While it’s true that it’s becoming cheaper and easier all the time to sound professional, there are many successful podcasts that are produced using nothing more than a cheap USB headset and the free Audacity recording/editing software. Moving up to pro-level podcasting hardware can improve your sound but it’s not a requirement for success.
  5. It’s expensive to produce quality audio. Let’s talk about a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being your voice recorded through a tin can and 10 being perfection. With a $30 USB headset and free software, you can sound like a seven, maybe an eight. That’s not expensive. True, if you want to sound like a nine or a ten, you’ll need to pony up some cash, but even a budget under $1,000 can get you all the way to the top of the scale.
  6. You can’t make money with a podcast. Leo Laporte. Next?
  7. You need to listen with iTunes. Listeners have always had at least one other option in addition to iTunes: listening on the web. Podcasters have nearly always posted their episodes on their own websites for consumption. These days, it’s even more spread out with Zune, Juice, and Winamp, and phone apps like Downcast and Podceiver to name but a few.
  8. It takes too much time. Do you have an hour a week? A fifteen minute podcast with 45 minutes of pre-production and post-production can be very successful. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you can reduce your pre- and post-production time and spend less than half an hour on each episode. My post-production, regardless of the length of the episode, is less than 10 minutes because of the experience I have and the automation I’ve scripted. Does that sound like a lot of time? Not to me!

Those are my top eight podcasting myths. What are some that you’ve heard? Want to bust a few of ’em up with me?

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Do You Make These Content Mistakes?

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There’s no lack of advice for bloggers, podcasters, vloggers, and other kinds of online content creators. Every year, we feature hundreds of speakers at BlogWorld Expo who give just that type of advice, and that’s just representative of the huge number of proposals we get every year – not to mention the people out there who don’t send in proposals, yet give great advice on their own sites.

It can be overwhelming and even a little confusing to new content creators and those who are experienced alike. Should I use pop-ups? Do I need a mailing list? Is there one best way to use Twitter? The list goes on and on, and with each question, it seems, a debate is raging.

These questions aren’t easy to answer…so instead, start here. There are the most common content mistakes I see; make sure you don’t make them:

1. Thinking You Must Conform to Find Success

Those giving advice about content creation typically have your best interests in mind. That doesn’t mean you should take their advice. Treat everything you read (yes, even this post!) as theory, not fact. Often, the content creators that break the “rules” are the ones who are most successful. Listen to you gut, even if it’s telling you to do something that others might consider wrong. Yes, you can learn from those who have come before you, but sometimes it pays to take the road less traveled…or create a road of your own.

2. Leaving No Space for Alternative Views

The best content, in my opinion, acknowledges that there are alternative views out there. I took a debate class once in college and one of the best lessons I learned is that you can recognize an opinion even if you don’t agree – and you can do so respectfully. Listen, we all get passionate at times. I’m guilty of that just like everyone else. But when you write something, try to think outside of absolutes. Few things in this world are absolute.

To summarize this point, let’s just say that there’s a reason that I used a picture of a stubborn monkey to illustrate the idea of not leaving space for alternative views in your content.

3. Content Creation without Confidence

You rock. Seriously, you do! I can say that all day, though, and if you don’t believe it, your content will never be awesome. It’s okay to recognize challenges and even failure. In fact, I think it can make your blog stronger if you admit that you aren’t perfect, at least occasionally. But when you’re teaching someone something or voicing your opinion, if you don’t have confidence in what you’re writing/saying, that shines through, and over time, your audience will start to dwindle. Look in the mirror and say it right now: I rock. I create awesome content. Now, believe it.

4. Giving You Audience What They Want

I’m a big fan of tuning into your community, understanding your audience, and being a team player. I’ve never been a huge fan of bloggers who give the middle finger and say, “I don’t care about my readers, because this is my site! Like it or leave it, suckers!” So why do I think that it’s a mistake to give audience members what they want?

Because what they want  isn’t always what they need. Your readers might absolutely love it when you post funny pictures of your children, but if you blog about disabilities, the posts they need give advice or voice opinions. Don’t lose sight of that.

It is your blog – you should write what you want to write, but don’t make the mistake of not caring about your audience. If you honestly don’t care about them, don’t put your ideas online. Just keep a diary. At the same time, don’t let your readers run the show. Writing link bait or otherwise just catering to the popular opinion for the sake of some traffic only hurts your goal in the end.

5. Being Satisfied with Your “First Draft”

Remember what I said about some content creators lacking confidence? It can go the other way as well: it is a mistake to be overly confident. Sometimes posts simply flow. Other times, it takes tons of time to contract a simple sentence. I don’t personally podcast (anymore) or do many videos, but I suspect content creation is the same with those types of media – sometimes, it’s easy, while other times it’s like pulling teeth. Even when your content creates itself, though, take the time to perfect your pieces before you hit the publish button. At some point, you need to stop nit-picking and actually present your content to your audience, but don’t fall into self-devise trap where you don’t take care with your content. Have a little pride in what you do.

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