Blogging For Fun And Profit.

7 responses.

When I started this blog I promised to be transparent and share my experience with you. My goal has always been to build an active online community to foster relationships and foment opportunities, but to also share the journey with you so you can benefit from my successes and avoid repeating my mistakes.

What are the metrics? TurkelTalks has been active since 2007 and has published more than 630 posts. As of last week, 20,167 of you have signed up to receive the posts and thousands more of you read the blog online and repost it on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media sites.

What has TurkelTalks accomplished? This blog has been the most successful new business tool we’ve ever employed, bar none. True, it didn’t happen overnight but now that we’ve established critical mass, the blog has become a treasure trove of invitations and opportunities – the digital goose that continues to lay the golden egg. In fact, it was this blog, read by a senior producer at FOX Business that facilitated my first invitation to be on the network – an opportunity that has resulted in more than a year’s worth of weekly appearances (over 65 at last count).

And it’s not just me and my blog that have flourished. Since starting this experiment in social media I’ve counseled at least four other people on their blogs and three of them have also reaped great benefits (the fourth simply doesn’t post often or interestingly enough to move the meter).

Because I’ve been asked a lot of questions about what I do and how I do it, I thought it would be productive to answer some of those queries here. Of course, if you have other questions you can fill out the “comments” link at the bottom of this blog and I’ll be happy to answer them for you.

What Software Do You Use? I write the posts in Word and then upload them to the ‘net in WordPress. I use Listrak to manage my readership database and distribute the emails directly to you.

How Do You Come Up With Ideas? I run. Seriously, I spend most of the 25 or so miles I run each week thinking of blog post ideas. Sometimes I  write the text in my head while I’m running even though by the time I get in front of a word processor I’m pretty sure I’ve forgotten the best parts.

But there are two ways I can avoid forgetting the good parts. One is to respect the muse enough to sit and write a post whenever the inspiration hits me. To that end I’ve written posts on airplanes, in waiting rooms, and even popped out of bed at three in the morning to capture my ideas. I’ve learned that great ideas are very fragile spirits and if I don’t grab them when they show their sparkly little faces they may never come back. When I’m out running I just repeat my prose over and over again until I get to my car where I can record the ideas on my iPad or my phone.

The second way is to always write down partially formed ideas regardless of how good they seem at the time. Right now my Evernote blog file has 12 nascent ideas that might become great posts. Evernote is an incredibly powerful cross-platform app that allows me to record and organize my thoughts on my desktop, laptop, phone, and tablet wherever I am. If you’re interested, check out the videos on TheSecretWeapon.org for a foolproof way to organize yourself on Evernote.

How Do You Get People To Read Your Posts? Each week I strive for three outcomes from my posts: I want them to be enjoyable, useful, and valuable. I figure if they’re fun and interesting to read and provide you with something you can use, you’ll read them and also pass them on to your families, friends, and online audiences.

Because I enjoy writing the posts I try to make them as engaging as possible. And since I believe the most important part of writing is editing, I try to write them with enough lead time to read them over and over and over – and craft them a little tighter on each pass. I’m even editing this post while I’m uploading it into WordPress.

But the most important thing to generate readership (after my relationship with you) is the title. And so I often spend as much time writing the five or seven words of the heading as I do writing the entire post.

I’m sure there’s a lot more I could share, so feel free to send your questions. And by all means, consider writing your own blogs. I think you’ll be thrilled by what it will do for you.

  7 Responses

  1. joseph Simon
    on November 12, 2013

    Bruce –
    During college years, I was obsessed with the musings and social commentaries of writer Henry Miller, whose writing style was steeped in truth-telling.
    It’s not hard for me to imagine that if he were alive today, he would marvel over the impact blogging has on readers and society. In my mnd’s eye, I sense him smirking with a look that says what makes your story so stand-out, that others would find it interesting to read?
    Earlier this morning, I headed to the office with a 3.5 x 5.5 Moleskine tucked in my breast pocket…the inside cover was signed many years ago by legendary bluesman James Cotton, the rest of the notebook remains blank. I decided last night after a conversation with my wife that I would begin filling the pages with notes and plans designed to begin a garden blog that features our family’s backyard life and my growing need to collect river rock, dead wood and wrought iron – woohoo!
    It’s likely the worlds of Henry Miller and James Cotton never crossed, but I would like to think that in some humble way there’s a brilliant story to be told there as well.
    Your article is timely and insightful.
    Many thanks,
    Joey

  2. on November 13, 2013

    Wonderfully helpful. One thing I have noticed about blogs is that since not every one is interesting to me, when one grabs me like this one, I become an advocate.

  3. on November 13, 2013

    Bruce
    Two things. First, warmest congratulations… I am tickled to hear how well this has gone (richly deserved). Two, this is such an intelligent note. THAT, to me, is the secret sauce in these blogs… they are thoughtful and smart. SO nice to hear that that works. So often it seems that dumb and heedless is the key. Not in your case, by heaven. Chris

  4. Stefanie Hochstadter
    on November 13, 2013

    Word processor. I hate that I am old enough to know what that is/have used one. Nice read though, Mr. Turkel. Always enjoy your stuff.

  5. on November 13, 2013

    Bruce, another great post (no surprise to me). It is easy to see your passion and that is the secret to success! Thanks again for the inspiration to follow my own passion. By the way, if you need editing help, my daughter does free lance editing (just a plug for the family)!

  6. on November 13, 2013

    Another great post that shows marketing efforts can indeed be metricized. Congratulations on the great outcomes and creativity.
    Marcia

  7. Valerie McAllister
    on November 14, 2013

    Bruce:
    Enjoyed reading this and found it helpful. I’m going to try that app mentioned since organiztion is always a challenge for me.
    Peace brother!
    Valerie

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