Blog Post

Lessons Learned from 30,000 Big Picture Blog Posts

In today’s Daily Brown Bag, Chad and Adam reflect on Barry Ritholtz's milestone; Barry Ritholtz recently hit his 30,000th blog post, which The Washington Post recently covered. Barry Ritholtz started his blog and personally wrote blog posts, which led to him reaching this significant milestone, in just about 11 years. You most likely are cognizant that blog posts are a great way for people, such as the little guys, to get into the limelight on the internet and share their thoughts. Watch this Daily Brown Bag to learn about Barry Ritholtz's milestone with his blog, what a blog is, how a blog is used for marketing purposes, how a blog can impact SEO, and more insights on blogs.

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Hello and welcome to the Daily Brown Bag. Today we're going to be talking about Barry Ritholtz's blog and article that was recently published in the Post. I am Chad Hill and I'm joined by Adam Stetzer.

Good afternoon and welcome to the Brown Bag. Chad, this is an interesting topic. As you said we are covering Barry Ritholtz and he hit kind of a milestone with his blog. He started his blog back in 2003 for those who don't know and he just hit his 30,000th blog post. That’s 30,000 blog posts that he has personally written in just about 11 years and that's a pretty significant milestone. And I think today for the Brown Bag we want to talk about blogging. It's a little bit of a passé topic. I know it was all the rage several years ago. In fact, the term, blog, first came out to us in 1999. And I think everybody is sick of hearing it. Content is after all king and blogging was sort of the way for the little guy to get into the limelight on the internet and share their thoughts. So, I'll open this conversation with a few stats from HubSpot, but then I'll be very interested Chad in what you're hearing from the Barry Ritholtz coverage. According to HubSpot, more than 40% of the companies use a blog for marketing purposes. While we think of this as passé, the penetration is actually still under half in terms of companies leveraging this medium in a way to express themselves and market themselves. But, 92% of companies who blog several times a day acquired a customer through that blog in the recent past. So it does seem to have quite a bit of success. And of course on the SEO side, we are always talking about with our SEO reseller community, why blogs are favored by Google. Why this form of content sharing can really help your rankings. But, today again the big story is that Barry hit 30,000 blog posts and I want to digest that a little bit because that's quite a bit of prolific writing and what we think the news story here is today, Chad.

Yeah, absolutely, this is a great Sunday read. I really enjoyed reading this on Sunday because I thought that while he's really presenting this from, we’re typically talking about the small business. He's obviously an established journalist. A lot of the things that he reflected on as he was writing his 30,000th post and a very appropriate one, that he's writing here about, the 10 things he's learned. I know it’s really interesting to share with our audience. So the first one that he said. And this is I think really true is that he feels that the act of actually putting your thoughts on paper helps you understand better what you really think. And he really talked about how the writing process actually allowed him to get a better understanding of what his view points were through all of that effort that he put into blogging.

And basically, he said that really writing, really the process of writing makes you a better writer. And this is something that going back to Ben Franklin talk a lot about, just the idea of that perspiration is really what becoming better at something is all about. And that was part of the process. He also talked about how blogs have become a mainstream part of the way publications, a mainstream media that when he started blogging, a lot of times journalists would actually lift information without attributions from blogs because they weren't viewed as legitimate as a traditional article. Pretty interesting that we've come so far on that. But this one was really interesting. His favorite point was that he really worked on perfecting the formula for a blog. And we've talked about this in this Brown Bag before. The three things he uses are he puts together creative thought leadership posts. That's one type of post that he writes. The other one is a criticism post, which we all know people love criticism. But he’d find something and have a contrarian view to whatever maybe was written. And then the third one was a curation type of post where he would pull together interesting information from multiple sources and curate that. So his formula for all these 11 years and these 30,000 posts was really sticking to that and it worked for him.

A couple of other points, here, he said comments on blogs are now just a complete shame of where they are. Comments sections on blogs use to be interesting and insightful places to participate, but now they are just either comment spammers or actually worse in some cases. People that are legitimate but are being directed by a public relations firm or something to write certain things on blogs. He's also talked about how money, there’s really no money in blogging because advertising, as we all know, is kind of a race to the bottom. The only person really making money is Google. And then I just want to finish this up with really talking about how he felt that you have to have a thick skin with blogging because there are a lot of people who are really stuck in their ways and even if you lay out a concrete, interesting, well thought out argument, there are these people who for a various number of reasons, political, religious, whatever it might be, just refuse to sort of listen to your intellectual arguments. So, there you have it on blogs. Really, really interesting milestone, 30,000 blog posts, 11 years. I think he worked out, he said, between 5 and 10 blog posts a day. Herculean effort there. So, really interesting, Adam.

Yeah, fascinating. And you know Chad, we've talked about this numerous times over our six years together in the SEO resource space. I certainly agree with this idea that you're thinking is sharpened by the act of writing. And we’re always urging small business owners to try blogging for themselves. And it’s a paradox, Chad, because we know how busy they are. We are trying to call them. We are trying to get information for press releases. We know the pressures they are under. They are getting calls from customers. A lot of them are close to the edge. Yet, if they would just carve out just an hour, even once a month or every other week to really go in-depth and push themselves on some critical thinking in their field, it will be transformative and it will help their business. We've seen this ourselves Chad, where we push ourselves to do it and no one ever wants to do it. You and I have talked about it in relation to my Search Engine Watch blog post. It absolutely sharpens your thinking, clarifies your position. You’re writing about something that you are passionate about. There's no way that can't help your business because it will move you forward.

So, there’s a lot of good coverage here today for why blogging ,which in a lot of ways seems like a passé topic, is not dead at all. The headline of course is Barry Ritholtz and his 30,000th post. But, the undercurrent here is that small businesses should still very much be engaged in their business and their online presence and blogging is not at all dead. They should be creating blog posts and adding to their blog on a regular basis.

Well, that's our coverage today on blogs. We hope you enjoyed the Daily Brown Bag. We’d love to hear your comments on our blog. And even more, we’d ask that you subscribe. We’ll see you again soon.