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Blogworld Expo Speaker Interview: Rich Brooks

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Another of our speaker profiles for the upcoming Blogworld Expo. It’s not too late to join us in Las Vegas and hear amazing speakers like Rich Brooks!

Q: In two sentences, highlight your background and professional experience to date. One bonus sentence: how’d you get started blogging?

I started building Web sites back in 1997 because I didn’t want to work for the man any longer. As time went on I got more involved with Web marketing to help grow clients’ businesses: search engines, then email newsletters, and finally blogging.

I had a client enamored of Howard Dean and his Web marketing savvy; he asked me to start a blog for him, so I tried it out as well. Never looked back.

Rich Brooks, Flyte New Media

Rich Brooks, Flyte New Media

Q: How often do you blog?  What platform do you use?  Why?

I blog three to four times a week in four primary blogs. Most of my posts are at the flyte blog, but I also write a more basic Internet Marketing 101 blog for the local newspaper, which helps me reach a different, more localized market.

In addition, I started an SEO blog with our new search engine marketer at flyte, and we have an internal, not-quite-ready-for-prime-time, NSFW flyte crew blog as well.

The flyte blog is on TypePad, which I still feel is a great blog for business people who don’t have a coder on site and just want to blog. The Maine Business blog is on a platform they coded themselves. The Maine SEO blog and our flyte crew blog are both on WordPress.

I’ve always recommended TypePad or WordPress, but until recently I found TypePad’s UI to be better for the average user; cleaner, easier-to-use. However, the last few iterations of WordPress have made it a favorite of mine.

The bottom line is I can strongly recommend both TypePad and WordPress; both have nice features, both are great for business blogs, and neither will prevent you from succeeding on your blogging career.

Q: Point us to one or two recent postings on your blog that you think were superb, and tell us a bit about your writing process. How long did it take for you to come up with the topic?  How long to write?

Geez, superb? Now you’re making me self-conscious. How about just solid?

I wrote about Technorati Tags here: Do Technorati Tags Matter Anymore?

I liked this post b/c for years I’ve been promoting the benefits of tagging along with a great anecdote. However, as I looked at my own stats, I realized I got very little traffic from tagging. So, very publicly, I questioned myself and what I had been telling people.

That goes towards my “warts and all” belief of blogging honestly, plus I hope it will help a number of small business owners with their own blogs.

Q: How often do you leave comments on other people’s blogs?  How do you find their entries in the first place?

A few times a month, not nearly as much as when I started. I find it’s a great way to generate more traffic to your blog, and it shows an interest in the networking aspect of blogging. However, it’s tough to find the time to publish my own material, run a company, be a dad and find time to respond to other people’s posts. These days my commenting is more organic; I comment if I feel an urge to voice an opinion, and less as a marketing exploit.

Q: Tell us a bit about your talk at Blogworld Expo. Topic, key points you’ll cover, etc?

I’m looking forward to both panels. The first I’ll be moderating on How to Plan, Build and Promote a Business Blog. I’ve got three great panelists with me, John T. Unger, Des Walsh and Denise Wakeman. We all have experience working with businesses on a consulting level on building a more effective blog. We’ll be talking strategy and answering questions on how blogging fits into a broader marketing campaign.

The other panel is about getting buy-in from decision makers. I think this will be helpful to internal marketers who realize the values of blogs, but need ammunition to convince their company’s decision makers.

Q: How do you recommend new folk best experience a major conference and expo like Blogworld Expo?

Get off your track. Experience at least one seminar that you would never think of going to. Business bloggers should check out a milblog seminar; Godbloggers should go to a monetization seminar. Plan to have your eyes opened and your mind expanded.

Q: Easy ones: Mac or PC?  Ipod or Zune?  Iphone or Blackberry?

Mac, iPod, and iPhone. Are they still making the Zune? Didn’t it turn out that it led to tumors?

I don’t know about that tumor part, Rich, but thanks for sharing with us!


Interview by Blogworld Expo co-host Dave Taylor, who is also going to be giving the opening keynote speech, a talk on blogging and SEO, and popping up elsewhere during the show. Dave is a prolific blogger and writes about tech support and business blogging, among other topics.


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