Forget the bells and whistles: blog and connect!

Let me start by saying that I am not trying to make a case for mediocrity or sloppiness. Instead, I am trying to encourage sharing compelling content first and working out the kinks as you go along.

I’m a somewhat reluctant blogger. I have a passion to share some content, but I know that my blog does not have the bells and whistles a “real” blog should have. You know, the fancy retweet and connect-with-me-everywhere buttons, the links that are simply embedded in the text, the stand-alone domain….Yah, I’m a guy who tracks and devours social media and tech trends, but I simply haven’t made the time yet to figure out and do the neat tricks of proper blogging design – just not where my focus is at the moment. Consequently, I’ve been reluctant to blog as I know it only underscores my shortcomings in this regard.

Not long ago, however, I saw a tweet from my friend http://Twitter.com/Kim (See, if I really knew what I was doing, I simply would’ve had @Kim and it would’ve linked you to her Twitter account!), and she tweeted something about not letting a desire for perfection get in the way of getting things done. That was pretty much the gist of it. Don't let a desire for perfection stand in the way of getting things done.  I took it to heart and decided I would go ahead and do another blog or two and not worry about the absence of bells and whistles. A pretty cool thing happened as a consequence.

Recently, I travelled to Hershey, Pennsylvania to attend a charity dinner honoring Ford CEO Alan Mulally. As expected, the Ford CEO wowed us all. I really wanted to share the great experience I had had, so I decided to put together a post. Again, I knew my blog design was not quite worthy of the subject matter, but I just felt I had to share my great experience:

Ford CEO: 14 Lessons in Leadership and Marketing http://is.gd/7YCFw

The day after I after I published my blog post, I received a call from my friend, http://Twitter.com/AnneDGallaher, who had organized the Ford event. She said that she had just gotten a call from Ford’s corporate office asking for my cell number and she urged me to keep my phone close at hand. I immediately switched my phone from vibrate to signal, not wanting to miss a call if it came.

Naturally, I missed the called when I stepped briefly into a local supermarket where a cone of silence seemingly incapacitates all phones. Cool thing is, as I left the store, I discovered that I actually had a phone message from Ford CEO Alan Mulally. Graciously complimenting my blog post, Alan said that he had answered phone calls and e-mails throughout the day from people who had read it, said nice things about it, and wished that they had been at the event. Imagine that.

Alan ended his very kind message with his phone number. I quickly called it, bracing myself to work my way past the palace guard. That was unnecessary. The phone was answered with a simple, “Hello, Alan Mulally.” “Hello, Glen Gilmore,” I answered. Wow. Or, as http://Twitter.com/ScottMonty, Ford’s social media go-to guy informed me Alan would say, “Way cool.” Way cool, indeed!

So, the moral of the story?
Compelling content overcomes design shortfalls.
Share your story and you'll connect.


A few easy tips for my would-be blogging colleagues:

1. Set up a blog and begin to share your passion.

2. Worry first about the content you are creating and sharing.

3. Write about something that really moves you and it’ll connect with others.

4. Don’t let a desire for perfection keep you from blogging and connecting!

5. Research about how to add the bells and whistles – and try and make the time to add them… =)

And a few good posts to help us move from blogging amateurs to blogging pros:

20 Analytics Tools For Blogs http://bit.ly/tR6qm RT @Flipbooks @phaoloo #Analytics #Blogs

10 Free Ways To Increase Blog Traffic http://bit.ly/3gnyVW RT @phaoloo #blogs

Tips to increase comments on your blog http://bt.io/LCh RT @Iconic88 @the_gman @virtuosoblogger

Online tools 4 more productive blogging http://bit.ly/4KYi7 RT @the_gman @BuzzEdition @The_Tech_Update #blogs

Combat Comment Spam: #WordPress: 12 Tips & Tools http://bit.ly/Pg86L RT @mayhemstudios @syedbalkhi @wpbeginner

7 must have #wordpress #plugins for bloggers http://bit.ly/3TNtZ6 RT @leGouter

10 Most Useful Free #Twitter Tools for Bloggers - http://bit.ly/9DOji #socialmedia RT @brett #blogs

Nine Things NOT Forget When Designing a Blog http://bit.ly/xJrLo (via @twittilicious) #blogs

26 Free eBooks For Bloggers http://su.pr/318Smv RT @virtuosoblogger @rahuljrark #blogs

100 Ways To Improve Your Blog http://is.gd/2YNSE RT @the_gman @Gloson #blogs

101 Steps to Becoming a Better Blogger http://su.pr/6PUvsL RT @the_gman

Photo credits:  Ford CEO, Ford; Tricycle from Flickr Tyler Knott; Bicycle from Flickr Live4sports

On the Drawing Board (Upcoming Blog Posts)

Lessons in Marketing & Customer Service from Memphis

Trust Agents by Chris Brogran and Julien Smith – On becoming a “Trust Agent”

Connection Generation by Iggy Pintado – How to really connect

9 comments:

Iggy Pintado said...

Glen

Great post - thanks for the wealth of information! Can't wait for that post on that Connection guy's book :)

Cheers, Iggy

Thad, The Passion Life Coach said...

Hi Glen,

You hit the nail on the head there about content versus design. I had a very similar experience in setting up my own site.

Not long ago, I wrote an ebook and decided to set up a website from scratch to sell the book. In the words of my business coach, done trumps perfect every single time, so I set up a very rudimentary site and focused on promotion with view to improving the site later on.

Within a week of setting up the site, an unknown affiliate sent just under 2000 visitors to the site. A fortnight after that, I was contacted by another person to set up a cross promotion that ended up with another 5000 visitors to my site. It wasn't a call from the Ford CEO but it was certainly a giant leap for me.

And I don't know that I did anything great other than JUST TO HAVE IT THERE. Just goes to show that sometimes all it takes to win is to SHOW UP!

I love the resources that you've shared, I'll definitely be coming back from time to time to read all your great content. Keep sharing what you know and your awesome message!

Believing In You!

Thad, The Passion Life Coach

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