I was recently invited to give a presentation on business blogging at the Affiliate Summit in Florida, and am pleased to share that the presentation is now available as a video or audio download from Google Video. Heck, I can even embed the video here on my weblog:
The conference organizers have also made a transcript of my talk available online, so it’s even more helpful. Also, because I’m sure you’re wondering, I tore my bicep a few days prior to the session, which is why my arm is in a sling. It’s just about all better now, but it was rather painful, truth be told.
Here we go [very lightly edited for clarity]:
“Hi, thanks everyone for coming and first thing I want to do, I want to ask everyone to stand up. Come on, stand up, stand up, everyone stand up. I’ll wait until everyone stands up. Everyone stand up.
“Ok, now, if you have not updated your website in the last 30 days, sit down. Ok. If you have not updated your website, and when I say update, well actually, we’ll get to that. If you have not updated your website in the last week, sit down.
“If you have not updated your website in the last 48 hours, sit down.
“Now look around…”
“What’s wrong with the web today? Everything’s old.
All right, the rest of you can — actually no, the rest of you stay standing. So the people that are still standing theoretically have updated their site in the last 48 hours. Now those of you who have updated it with some actual content, as opposed to a database generating new prices or new quotes or something, stay standing, and everyone else sit down.
“The only the people standing at this point are people who are walking in the room — and they already know that they’ll get in trouble for actually having cell phones turned on — and people who have actually added new content to their site in the last two days.
“Now, everyone can sit down, thank you very much.
“Let me tell you before we start that what search engines want is new content added to your site every day. There are other people where that are real experts on search engine optimization and search engine marketing. We’ll talk about that, but let me tell you that what all those people are doing
[cellphone rings in the audience]
“Uh-oh, that’s an easy 20 bucks, sorry. Someone accost that guy on the way out. There we go, we’ll get his Paypal account, we’ll hack it.
“What the search engines want is they want to give you the best possible results for any given search. And if you go talk to search engine programmers, you’ll find that their definition of the best possible results is good quality fresh unique content. That is going to be the cornerstone of what we’ll talk about today.
“Let me go ahead and jump into my first slide.
“The first thing I want to say, and I’m going to echo at least one other person here, is that blogging is a tool and that what you really need to be a successful business is business basics. I’m always amazed when I come to the Affiliate Summit and talk to people, and they think that they can just pick up the ten newest offers off Commission Junction, and somehow add them into their website, and get five new URLS and throw up these instant websites, and that is going to be successful for them.
“There are, I admit, a very, very small number of people that have figured that out, and they do the whole arbitrage with adwords, feeding it to the Ebay affiliate program and stuff, but for every person that’s figured that out, I’ve met at least 50 people that have spent a lot of money and have gotten negative results.
“So, the first thing I want to encourage everyone to do is to think about this as a business. How do you differentiate from other people? One of the real fundamental challenges with the affiliate space is if everyone in this room signs up as an affiliate for say, American Express, we’re all selling the same product, potentially to the same audience at the same price, and we can’t change the offer. Which makes it really, really hard to be successful.
“One of the things I would encourage for people to actually offer affiliate programs, for companies that actually offer affiliate programs, is to figure out how you can help your affiliate program be successful, by perhaps giving them the ability to package things. If you sign up for this card, you also get this offer, and that’s only through me.”
… transcript continues on the Affiliate Summit site [PDF].