Hey You,

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Ride on the back of this blogging beast's wisdom with these notes


It’s Lewis a.k.a Nerd #2 a.k.a. L.L. Cool Nerd.

Today I’m sharing notes with you that I’ve taken on The Third Tribe course which revolves around the premise of blogging marketing and how to go from zero to having a blog that’s putting money in your bank account and learning how to do so directly from internet marketing experts who’ve done it like Darren Rowse, Johnny B. Truant, Leo Babauta, Chris Brogan and Brian Clark of Copyblogger fame.

This is part 2 of the notes on the interview Sonia Simone did with Brian Clark titled . . . “How To Build A Business Around A Blog”. (If you missed Part 1 go here to see it)

Let the show proceed . . .

Here’s The Five A’s Approach To Building An Audience . . .

1. Attention

2. Authenticity

3. Authority

4. Action

5. Acceleration


21ST century attention with the interwebz and all is much different than pre-interwebz or even old school interwebz attention.

With all the social media outlets it easier to build relationships with people on Twitter, in blog comments, or on Facebook. And one of the ways you do this is by sharing awesome content with others. Sharing awesome content inspires people to pay attention to you. Especially if you do it consistently.

You eventually want your blog to be an media asset in the center of your marketing media universe and be using all of the social media channels you use serve as attention assets that send traffic to it. If you don’t have this blog or website in the middle you’re missing the huge piece of the puzzle.

You don’t own Twitter or Youtube or Facebook. This means if they do something dumb and crash the company or turn themselves into the leprous Myspace property or feel like taking away your account, it’s curtains for that channel. No more asset. Bye bye.

This is why it’s smart to have a media asset that no one can take away from you. So your blog shouldn’t be on wordpress.com or typepad.com or blogger. You need your own domain that no one can touch, that you own and if you wanted to in the future, sell.

And in the same light, you want to know how to take full advantage of these social media sites while they’re hot but this doesn’t always mean buying a course on how to use them for marketing.

For instance, Brian believes the key having success with Twitter is to create a relevant following and deliver value to them that goes beyond your own stuff, your own content. If you’re sharing interesting content along with your own, your content will spread. But you’ve gotta be sending this content back to your own domain. Then, once people show up, you’ve gotta figure out what pushes their buttons and leads them to want to hear from you about new content on your site through RSS or email. This is the smart way to use Twitter.

Huge Insight: Commit fully to a social media site or leave it alone

Don’t do 10 sites half-assed. Do two and really burrow into them and become a part of the community and see how it works from the inside out, behind the curtains. It would take you forever to master all the social media sites and the ins and outs of their community so make your already complicated life easier by narrowing your focus.

Another make or break for your content: Headlines

Your headline either sucks people into your content or tells them to move on. And if you’re perfect prospects are moving on, that’s your fault because you have the power to craft better headlines and now that you’re reading this you know you need to do so, so now you don’t even have ignorance to stand on.

A great headline is the start of your content spreading like wildfire. When you’re crafting a headline you need to have your perfect prospect in mind – does this sound like something that would get them excited enough to read and then excited enough to share with people like them that they hang out with?

If you can’t answer, “yes,” to that question, you’re making it really hard to be embraced which is what allows you to build an audience for yourself.


Being strategic about being real is what authenticity is about.

The reason the definition for authenticity here isn’t just “Be real,” is because there’s multiple facets of your personality. You act differently around different people like your mom, your wife, strangers in town, strangers out of town, and so on. This doesn’t mean you’re not being real. You’re just in a different mode of you in different situations.

One of the keys Brian focused on with his site was making sure that it wasn’t about him from the very start so that the site could be an independent brand that lived beyond him regardless of what he chose to do – sell, go behind the scenes, etc.

The secret to authentic blog marketing is to have a consistent relationship with your readers/customers. If people come to hear because they love to hear your personal humor stories like the Bloggess, keep doing that. If people come to you to see the hottest news stories that break in your niche, like a Mashable, keep doing that. If you’re known for delivering high quality how-to content, keep doing that.

One of the core elements of having authenticity work for you is presenting the real parts of yourself that people can relate to and aspire to become like. You can be all cunty but that’s who you’re gonna attract – a bunch of cunty, whiny, people who feel the world is against them. Good luck making that work for you.

A strong element of authenticity is story telling. You want people repeating stories or passing along inspirational/insightful stories you tell. When this happens, you know you’re doing something right because people are buying further into you and selling other people on you too.

Passing along valuable content is the equivalent of a story worth repeating. You can be a nobody and become a somebody by doing this. Brian says if focus purely on value, you don’t have to stand so much on authenticity.

Brian is a private person and he doesn’t feel that you have to over share in order to connect with people in social media. Him and Sonia are big believers in boundaries. Don’t share what you don’t want to share.


The only time you’re gonna be able to sell is if you have authority.

Authority also allows you to get the awesome feedback for what your market wants and needs through having a position in their mind where they seek out your opinion and advice on how to fix their problems.

What super powers this is taking a place in your prospects minds of “Friend with Authority”. You take on the position of “a friend they can reach out to who’s a pro at X”.

Reciprocity, social proof, liking, and authority are four of Robert Cialdini’s Six Factors of Influence. You’re getting all of these when you use the valuable content sharing strategy. People want to do right by you and spread the word about your content when all of these are working in your favor.

The way this happens is when you share your values, preferably through story, and like minded people connect to you because they see you as being a bigger, brighter version of themselves. The self they could be if they only apply the actions you teach them to.

And when people know that you know your shit and see you as someone who’s on their team and you make a recommendation tied to an affiliate link or one of your projects you tell them you worked your ass off on, they’ll buy. And they’ll love you for giving them the opportunity to buy from them.

Content marketing is the Real Deal Holyfield

Brian to take very good care of himself and his family AND serve up awesome content that helps people move towards what they want.

The thing that’s awesome about content marketing is that you don’t have to be able to write for the Newsweek magazine to make a very nice income doing this. If you’re reasonably smart about a specific topic and can get an idea across in a way other people can understand what the hell you’re talking about, you’re in.

And it doesn’t take a huge bankroll to get started. Content marketing is the cheapest business you can start. Even if you hire or take on a partner.

Brian loves it when people complain about paying in a professional design for their blog and then wonder why they aren’t succeeding. They won’t invest in the golden goose yet they’ll pee away money on the 80” plasma TV.

What’s also cool is that you don’t have to invest all you need to really make your blog take off upfront like you would if you were buying a McDonalds franchise. You can bootstrap your way to milestone after milestone. You can get your pro design and one by one acquire your pro tools. You’ve always gotta be thinking ROI and remembering you’ve gotta put in some “I” in order to get where you want to be.


Your sideways salesletter/content marketing strategy does 85% of heavy lifting for you in that it shores up your authority and your credibility.

Editorially you’re gonna be steering people towards what you’re launching. One thing think of here is Brian’s preference for doing 10 day launches instead of two or three week ones. He thinks this is the sweet spot to keep people from getting distracted by all of the other shit going on in life and online.

Selling is educating. Period. It’s someone in the best light why what you’re offering them is something they really want so they can get where they want to be. And the reason you need to sell is because you can never assume people will understand fully how this product or course is fully going to benefit them. You have to explicitly spell all of this out in a sexy way.

Even when developing content you’re posting on your blog or putting into a product need to be selling. Half of Teaching Sells – Brian’s first information marketing product is focused on infusing copywriting techniques like attention grabbing titles, snappy opening, use of metaphors and analogies, story telling mastery and all the other stuff taught at Copyblogger into your material so that you keep their attention because adult learning is WAY different than kids learning because teachers can command kids to listen. You’re not commanding shit. If a guy wants a beer, he’s getting up to get one. If he wants to start looking at porn instead of your boring site, he’s gonna do that too.

You must engage people with the words you use to deliver value. And text book techniques ain’t gon’ cut it.

One of the things Sonia points out here is that while the official aunch for Inside the Third Tribe was only about 6 days, they’d had the idea in mind to sell this a year prior and were talking about the ideas, the thoughts, and the attitudes on Copyblogger. Then they just listened to what people were saying.

This is what is meant by “All of your content should be steering people toward your next launch.” You always want to be focused on readying your next act in a way that lets you still deliver valuable content to your audience.

The essence of the action step is making a great offer

The legendary copywriter Gary Bencivenga is saying, “The gifted product is mightier than the gifted pen.”

He became a legend by finally coming to the conclusion that it wouldn’t be worth his time to write a salesletter for something no one wanted. He let all the people underneath him scrounge those projects that paid fees but no royalties because the promo never continued mailing after the test.

Gary always bet on winners and was averse to the idea of risk even to the point that he wouldn’t write for new products. He had to see in print that people had voted that they loved this product or service with their wallet before he write one word of copy for it.

If your product kicks ass, you don’t have to resort to using lame scarcity tactics like the fake javascript countdown timer that says you’ve only got 5 minutes left to buy. That shit might work for cold traffic who accidentally found your salespage but if you use that on people you’ve built a relationship with, you’re gonna look dumb.

They like you. Just tell em what you got and tell what you want them to do and why it’s important for them to do it now. If it’s right for them, they’ll take you up on your offer.

People are raised to love getting a good deal no matter what side of the tracks they’re from. Give ‘em the best deal you can for the time you’re actually selling what you offer. If you use urgency in a value added way you’ll find your selling will sail smoother. Fake it and you’re gonna run into some drama.

You always have the choice not to sell what you offer. Just taking it away for an undisclosed amount of time can be all the scarcity you need. Eben Pagan has done that a couple of times for Wake Up Productive and Self Made Wealth. You could buy as many of the courses as you wanted during launch time but now you can’t. They’re off the market.

People are also scared to lose access to you. If they get this access with signing up to Third Tribe, then naturally you can put a cap on how many people you let in because you don’t want too many people included because you wouldn’t have time to make sure everyone had the chance to interact with you personally.




That’s it for today ya’lls. Make sure you come back for Part 3 if you’re on a mission to build a business around a blog.

Talk soon,

Lewis LaLanne a.k.a. Note Taking Nerd #2 a.k.a. L.L. Cool Nerd