ann-smarty-print-01Note from Mack: This is a sponsored post from Ann Smarty for MyBlogU, who is the sponsor of #Blogchat in August.  You can learn more about them by clicking here

Last week I was lucky enough to co-host #blogchat talking about being featured in the expert interviews for brand awareness and influence building, so today I thought I’d follow up with tips on how to benefit from publishing expert interviews as well (there’s truly a win-win concept there)!

Attracting real people to your blog is not an easy task… especially nowadays that the web is so much overloaded with content. Building a micro-community around your blog is so essential for its success: You need people who will help you get your word out.

That’s where the concept of group interviews comes in handy. If someone is willing to provide a quote for your article, that accomplishes so many goals at a time:

  • Your content suddenly becomes more trust-worthy (With readers seeing possibly familiar names contributing);
  • You get people on board who are willing to promote and share your article (the basics of ego-bait) with the huge long-term potential benefit of turning those contributors into your blog community champions.
  • Your article becomes more in-depth and unique (thanks to the variety of first-hand experiences or personal takes shared in it)
  • You can engage your community by inviting them to feature their answers on your blog (and thus build better relationships with your readers)
  • You may discover lots of new angles of the topic you thought you knew quite well (and thus stand out)…

The Draw Of The Expert Interview: Examples

While there are many reasons for conducting expert interviews, there are two primary reasons that they work so effectively. First, they are leaning on the brand of those contributors’ namse, which holds a lot of clout on both the social web and the entire industry. Second, you are giving your own followers/readers/fans something valuable that they can use, learn from and be entertained by.

Interviews are a great vessel for well received content. Here’s an example of how one email to a prominent blogger with a single question can be turned into a useful article of its own. Here’s a more traditional q&a-style expert round-up, with each contributor telling a personal story. Here’s another approach: A group expert interview which was packaged into a huge all-in-one tutorial filled with actionable advice. Here’s another type of the group interview that doesn’t have “question-answer” format but still delivers a powerful message with first-hand examples.

There are also whole business models based solely on featuring expert interviews. Here’s a good example shared by my fellow @MyBlogU ambassador @YoavEzer: A site filled with lots of personal stories of how people embraced freedom for the sake of becoming entrepreneurs. Or this one turning interviews into a powerful course! There’s also a great example I came across at #blogchat:

I’ve experimented a lot with various types of expert interviews and I’ve seen great results, especially if I get consistent: Our weekly #vcbuzz interviews with experts (turned into on-site interviews as well) attracted some of the biggest industry names to our site: Most of them have become our site users and / or chat regulars.

The Power is in Connections

Creating awesome content is often not enough to get heard. You need eager people who will be happy to call your blog “a home” and will talk back to you. Otherwise, it’s tough to keep on. Adding expert interviews to your blog editorial calendar (and possibly approaching the task with some creativity) is a great way to get some discussion going and spread your reach!

Do you have any creative examples of blogging utilizing expert interviews? Please share them in the comments!


Hey y’all!  In this 8th episode of #FanDamnShow I talk about loyalty programs and why most companies completely mess them up.  For a good background on what we’ll be discussing, check out this post.

Show notes:

1:09 – Discussion of Loyalty Programs (that are more interesting than Andy Griffith re-runs), and why these are typically structured incorrectly

1:52 – Punch cards as an example of building loyalty to the offer versus the brand

3:40 – How to build a smart loyalty program by rewarding the behavior you want to encourage (think rewards for past behavior not incentives for future behavior)

5:02 – Wal-Mart vs Publix and why I love Publix and hate Wal-Mart based on the experience that each provides

6:50 – When you ask fans/customers to engage in an offer, make sure you reward them for doing so and an example I ran into recently where this didn’t happen for me

13:45 – Recap and how to know that your company is structuring its loyalty program correctly in order to build loyalty toward your brand


You can listen to all 8 episodes of The Fan-Damn-Tastic Marketing Show on iTunes, please subscribe!




UPDATE: Here’s the transcript from our #Blogchat with Ann!

This Sunday (8-24-2014) we’ll welcome Ann Smarty to #Blogchat!  Ann will be helping us learn how as bloggers we can get more interview requests from other bloggers and sites.  Ann’s MyBlogU is the #Blogchat sponsor for August, you can learn more about MyBlogU by clicking here.

Here’s what we’ll be discussing on Sunday starting at 8PM Central:

8:00-8:20 PM - How does a blogger position themselves as an expert worth interviewing?

8:20-8:40 PM – How to get interviewed (find expert interviews to participate in)?

8:40-9:00 PM – How does a blogger make the best impression in an interview? Ann will help us understand the best way to answer questions, the best type of interview (email, phone, video) and what areas of our expertise to highlight so we put our best foot forward!


Getting interviews is a wonderful tool for helping a blogger build awareness and establish their level of expertise.  Think about it, you are getting the same exposure that you would from a guest post on another blog, but the added benefit is that other blogger or site is also interviewing you as an expert!  So it’s the best of both worlds!  We’ll chat about this with Ann tomorrow night and if you have any questions about how to be interviewed more often by other bloggers and sites, Ann can help!  Make sure you are following her on Twitter.

See y’all tomorrow night on Twitter!


Hey y’all, just a quick note to let you know about some of the events I’ll be speaking at over the next month.

MarketingProfs Pro Webinar – How to Create Amazing Blog Content That Gets Seen and Shared

This is tomorrow(8-20-2014) at 12pm Eastern time and available for free to MarketingProfs PRO members, or $129 for everyone else.  I’ll walk you through how to create blog content that’s optimized for search and social, as well as primers on creating amazing post headlines and writing more compelling content.  The webinar will run 90 mins total, with about 30 of that for Q&A.

Type A Parent Conference Opening Keynote – Think Like a Rock Star, Atlanta, Georgia, September 19-21.


I’m thrilled to be kicking off the Type A Parent Conference on Friday, September 19th with an updated version of my Think Like a Rock Star talk as the Opening Keynote.  I’ll also be on site for Friday and probably most of Saturday as well, so I’m really looking forward to spending a lot of time with everyone as I’ve heard amazing things about Type A.  You can register here.

The BIG Event: PR & Marketing – Lunch Keynote & Workshop on Creating a Social Media Strategy, Huntsville, Alabama, September 26th

I always love speaking in Alabama, especially in Huntsville.  At The BIG Event I’ll be doing the lunch keynote as well as a 3-hour whiteboard workshop on creating a social media strategy.  We’ll go through all the steps on the fly for creating an amazing social media strategy and audience participation will be big as the session will be very interactive.  The cost to attend The BIG Event is a complete steal at only $99.


So if you are in the Atlanta or Huntsville area I’d love to see you next month!


9653414876_c3ea279383_zHey y’all!  Welcome to the 7th episode of The Fan-Damn-Tastic Marketing Show!  In this 14+ minute episode I discuss:

  • The upcoming college football season, Roll Tide!
  • Using your personal social media efforts to help get buy-in from the boss for larger projects
  • How Scott Monty used what he learned early on from I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere in his professional work
  • Advice from Billboard Magazine’s Katie Morse on how to get ‘small wins’ in your brand advocacy battles that lead to bigger budgets.

Interview with Billboard’s Katie Morse

Transcript from #Blogchat with Scott Monty

Hope you enjoy it!  And if you do please subscribe to #FanDannShow on iTunes!

Direct download for this episode.

Pic via Flickr user Nina Matthews Photography


UPDATE: Here’s the transcript from tonight’s #Blogchat with Scott!

I’m very excited to welcome Scott Monty as co-host of #Blogchat tonight(8-17-2014)!  I’ve known Scott since his Crayon days and of course he did amazing work as the global head of Ford Motor Company’s social media marketing efforts.  Earlier this Summer, Scott moved on from Ford and is currently the EVP of Strategy for Shift Communications.

But what you might not know about Scott is that he’s also a huge Sherlock Holmes fan and has co-founded an all-in-one blog for news and discussion of all things Sherlock.  Since many #Blogchat participants consider themselves to be  ‘personal’ bloggers (or a blogger that writes about their hobbies and passions), I wanted Scott to talk to us about how he can balance an incredibly successful career with also publishing and maintaining a wonderful personal/hobby blog.

Here’s what we’ll be discussing tonight:

8:00pm Central – We’ll talk to Scott about why he started I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere, and the process for starting a blog that’s focused on your hobby or passion.

8:20pm Central – How to find the time to have a successful career and still maintain a successful blog.

8:40pm Central - Scott will share his advice for anyone that’s thinking about launching a blog that’s focused on their favorite passion or hobby.


This should be a wonderful hour as I’ve been wanting to get Scott on to co-host #Blogchat for a long time.  Thank you again to Ann Smarty and the team at MyBlogU for sponsoring #Blogchat this month!  You can learn more about MyBlogU here.

To prepare for tonight’s #Blogchat please make sure you are following Scott on Twitter and check out both his professional blog and I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere.

See you tonight on Twitter!

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If you talk to any long-time Twitter user, one of the first complaints you will hear is ‘I miss when you could actually have a conversation on Twitter’.  Those of you that joined Twitter within say the last 4-5 years wouldn’t know, but Twitter used to be a hotbed for organic conversations.  In fact, that used to be the primary appeal of the site, going to Twitter and meeting new people and having discussions with them.

But several years ago, Twitter made a very small technical change that signaled its true intent.  For the first few years of its existence, when someone you followed replied to someone you didn’t follow, you could see that tweet.  Here’s an example from Veronica, who I am following:

@MazzyStarFan Hey don’t forget that the tweetup is tonight at the Half Pint, on 3rd Ave and 4th St!

Now even though I am not following @MazzyStarFan, in the ‘old days’ of Twitter, I would have seen this tweet.  And in this case, the tweet would have told me there was a tweetup tonight that I didn’t know about, so I might want to attend.

But the change Twitter made was that in order to see this example tweet, I have to be following both Veronica and @MazzyStar (or Veronica has to put a dot in front of her reply to @MazzyStarFan).  Since I’ve never met @MazzyStarFan and have no idea who she is, I can’t follow her, and I miss this tweet and miss the tweetup as well.

This also makes it much harder to organically meet and follow new people on Twitter.  Because if I am having a conversation with Tom, and he starts talking about the same topic with Jennifer, I can only see and comment on Tom’s tweets to Jennifer if I am following Jennifer as well.  Basically if Twitter was a mixer or networking event, you would only be able to interact with the people you already knew.

Why does Twitter do this?  Because Twitter thinks it can do a better job of deciding how you want to use its site, than you can:

 We’re trying to avoid the situation of you hearing someone answer a question when you didn’t hear the question (for instance). Also, you don’t have to hear answers to the question from people you don’t want to hear from. (If you’re not following them, you won’t see their answer.)

That’s great, but why not give me a setting that lets me decide if I want to see replies from people I don’t follow?  Why assume that you know the type of user experience that I want?

And now there are rumors that Twitter wants to eliminate at replies and hashtags.  What the hell is going on here?  Add in that so many blogs are now ditching comments and it seems that there’s an all-out war on conversations on social media sites.  Share content, but don’t discuss the content.

I hate to be an old social media fogey, but give me the good old days (2007-2008) when I could actually have conversations on social media sites with friends versus today when I go, try to wade through a stream of self-promotional tweets, then throw my hands up and leave.  That’s not progress, it’s clutter.

Twitter, stop messing up my Twitter.


Five Signs Your Company is Ready For a Brand Ambassador Program

August 13, 2014

Just like not every company should be using social media, not every company should or can launch a Brand Ambassador program.  There are certain conditions that need to exist within your company before you can start planning out taking the leap of launching a Brand Ambassador program.  Here’s five things you should look for: 1 […]

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@ProBlogger Co-Hosts #Blogchat on How to Build a Blog Worth Monetizing!

August 9, 2014

UPDATE: Here’s the transcript from tonight’s #Blogchat with ProBlogger, officially the BIGGEST #Blogchat ever! BONUS: Here’s a FREE hour-long webinar that Darren recorded that teaches all he knows about monetizing blogs! This Sunday (8-10-14), Darren Rowse, better known as ProBlogger will be co-hosting #Blogchat!  Darren is one of the true blogging pioneers, having blogged for well […]

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In a Hyper-Connected World, Trust Is More Important Than a Sale

August 7, 2014

Years ago I spent a summer working as a vendor for a company that provided lawn care products to chains such as Lowe’s.  I was very lucky in that my trainer was a professional landscaper.  So instead of telling me how to sell the products, he understood his craft well enough to tell me how […]

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This Is (Probably) Why Your Brand Ambassador Program Sucks

August 6, 2014

Every week I field calls and conversations with companies about starting a brand ambassador or advocacy program.  Almost every time, the company explains that they are excited about the idea of launching a brand ambassador program as a way to generate sales for the brand.  They tell me how they have fans and they think […]

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