5 Essentials to Online Publishing

I had a great time last night hanging out with a bunch of other bloggers and online publishers at our monthly meetup and thankfully they were a great audience as I slightly changed up the agenda for the day from a less “technical” approach to a more pragmatic one.

After reviewing the list of attendees I realized this would be a decent change and it would be able to provide more value for those that were showing up.

What I ended up sharing were 5 core essentials to online publishing that I’ve honed in on after 10+ years of blogging. I’ve shared a few of these things before but what was neat was the ability to have real-time collaboration at the Meetup (which is why I love them so much) and get people into groups working on the assignments together with others.

Here’s what I shared:

1. Determine Focus, Niche

The first one is obvious and crucial for any blog, especially in the beginning. I have a few posts already that can give some more weight and context but the key was working through them and refining them with others during the evening.

What I challenged the group with was to “go deep” and then later “go wide” as you prove the concept of your blog and gain traction. You have to start here.

2. Publish Daily

Now, I scared a few people here but I’ve decided to put my foot down and just say it:

You need to write and publish daily.

I’ve been doing it for 10 years, every single day, and it’s worked. There’s something about this level of consistency that’s paying off (literally). Now, many of those in attendance won’t be able to do it, and that’s fine, but I still recommend that you try for it.

Develop a schedule and habit that works for you and then do amazing at it.

3. Choose 1 Secondary Marketing Channel

… and then kill it.

What I meant by this was to choose one other marketing channel (like Facebook, Twitter, etc) and then dedicate yourself solely to becoming freaking amazing at that one channel.

Do this instead of becoming too diluted in your efforts with multiple social networking accounts and the like. I have found greater success at online publishing when my efforts at marketing my publishing efforts are simple, straight-forward, and focused.

We had some great follow-up questions about this but I believe in this 100%. If you have time and scale to do others, then do it. But for me, I suggest choosing one and becoming awesome at it. Learn, and re-learn it as you see fit. That’s why I continually experiment with Twitter to see what works best!

4. Technology

Choose WordPress as your online publishing platform and then choose a decent WordPress Theme. Enough said. Most of the audience were already on WordPress but what I challenged the group was to understand why they chose not only WordPress but their specific WordPress Theme.

The point of this exercise was to help them become better and more educated about their decision. You see, you can’t really know why you’ve chosen something until you realize you can justify and defend it publicly – this forces you to really come clean and see your decision tree for what it is.

My goal for the people that I coach and teach is that they become better skilled and better educated about not just what they do but why they do it.

5. Goals, Measurement

The last essential to online publishing is simply creating goals and measuring them. I have a few posts on that here:

  1. Benefit of Short Term Goals
  2. Realistic Goals
  3. Live Example in Real-Time of Goals
  4. Blog Analytics
  5. Search Engine Metrics

The explicit point was to build momentum and how the development of momentum can only be achieved through measurement.

I had a blast with the group and look forward to our next one!

I’m currently looking for a location but already have a good topic to discuss. Love to see you there next time!

[Images courtesy of @JayCaruso]