I met Kyle McNeil a few years back through various entrepreneurship circles.
He invited me to connect a few times but I was so busy and didn’t know him well enough to prioritize things. And then we ended up attending a weekend workshop together and had a three hour drive of bro time back to Edmonton. I felt really refreshed by Kyle’s genuine openness and curiousity. He spoke about how much he was loving blogging and getting into it.
And the more I got to know him the more I was curious about his approach to blogging and facebook. So I asked him if I could do a blog interview. He agreed and the interview follows.
what do you see as the three biggest mistakes people make on facebook?
a) throwing up quotes and ideas from other people. As good as they are, we can all find the Napolean Hill quotes from Think and Grow Rich on our book shelf. In an authentic age, un-original content is the equivalent of spam. My hope is these people will get real and share their “real” with others.
b) thinking being “authentic” includes being completely irrational and potentially rude. For example swearing and complaining as a regular dose of content to share with others is not cool! I’m not suggesting to sugarcoating life if it’s tough. But instead of swearing and complaining, to be respectful and authentic in writing something like “today I’m disappointed and angry, because … ” and take some responsibility for the situation or circumstance. There’s enough static out there, facebook is an opportunity to lift others up with our words.
c) being the pushy sales guy or woman, but on facebook. It’s scary to me when the only thing people post are discounts and sales for their business, completely by-passing the fact that facebook is a place for personal interaction.
what do you see as the three biggest mistakes people make on their blogs?
a) they don’t write often enough! Ironically enough I’m personally guilty of this, but also contributing to a second blog (Beneath The Cover), gives me some fudge room right? The dream of “I’ll blog when I get more time” just isn’t good enough, because that day will never come. Good reminder for me too!
b) it’s either WAY to long, or WAY to short.
To long — means they’re not getting to the point, often getting lost in the details, and pushing readers away. A good rule of thumb is 500 words or less.
To short — in my opinion this means bloggers are trying to cast their fishing line, but they’re provided no bait for their audience to clamp on to. Just because Seth Godin writes in 70 words or less, doesn’t mean it will work for you. People want something with substance. It’s hard to do this in 2 sentences. A good rule of thumb is at least 300 words.
where are the top three places or ways in which you have found facebook most useful?
a) having people keep up with me. Lately people that I haven’t talked to in months have a context from where I’m at in my life, and entrepreneurial pursuits because they follow me on facebook. I think that’s just amazing, and accelerates the depth and quality of our actual conversations.
b) the feature for setting up events and inviting people to them on facebook is really smooth! Especially events that are more focused around socializing. It’s so easy to invite people, handle rsvp’s answer questions on the group wall, etc.
c) creating a personal connection, or deepening the connection with new friends, clients, and/or prospective clients. It’s amazing to log onto facebook and learn how Maria is holding up in the New York snow storms, even though we haven’t talked in weeks, or how Leslie (a new client from Hawaii) is finding results through her blog and proactive nature, and being able to celebrate with her by pointing it out on my wall.
where are the top three places or ways in which you have found blogging most useful?
a) creating an ongoing reference point (housed in a static url) where people can go to uncover something of value to them. For example my friend John was feeling blocked in his blogging/writing process, and found my blog post “Blogging for Introverts & Why to Start” and left this comment …
Kyle, thanks for this post. It really helped me get unstuck last week as I was working on a new blog. The accuracy was uncanny — it’s like you somehow knew a lot about me… anyway, I’m still waiting on the increase in hot dates and coffee requests. That comes soon, right? ;)
It’s amazing that we can add value to someone without even being there!!
b) Relationship building on auto-pilot – people can build relationship with us while we sit on a hill, spend time with friends or sleep. 24/7 people can learn about you and connect to your business, dreams and life! And they can do so at their pace and on their time.
c) sharing my authentic voice and message with those who want to read, with a simple click of the “publish blog post” button. That’s the biggest one. There’s a direct correlation between when I started blogging 22 months ago, and 1) the size of my network now and 2) how much my network “knows me”, which is huge, because I believe business and life is all about relationship(s).
d) another HUGE one, is building an audience. Blogging is a magically leveraged, personable, and interactive way to grow, and deepen the relationship we have with our audience. I know you only wanted the top 3 Tad, but this one HAD TO make the list :)
give me a list of all the different ‘types’ of blogging formats you can imagine. sometimes people get stuck on ‘what kinds of things should i post?’ and they all become essays and people stress over what to write?
Here are a few:
* video blog post
* Q&A style blog post (like Tad is doing right now)
* sharing a story or experience (my favourite type to write)
* proposing an idea and asking for feedback
* providing an update about your life or business
* posts between 300-500 words
* posts for different personality types – this is big more high level, but good to know about, because it ramps the blogging process up.
* “how to” blog
* gratitude or appreciation blog directed towards other people.
* the “get real and authentic post”, like this one I wrote about my dad and I …
One of the biggest things, is ONE idea per post, otherwise it confuses people. We’re all loaded with content and info, so give people one thing!
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