In the fourth episode of The Multimedia Marketing Show, we speak with Dan Norris from Inform.ly. We talk about how he’s dominating the web through content creation, podcasting, guest posting and much more. So, sit back, relax and listen to this episode of The Multimedia Marketing Show right now.
Dan Norris is the founder of Informly. He’s passionate about the web, startups and business in general. You can find out more about Dan on Twitter at @thedannorris.
- Dan’s Background – A look back at Dan’s career and how inform.ly came to be.
- Inform.ly App – What it is and how it helps people.
- Keywords and Page Ranking – Quality content is King.
- Content and Networking – Promote them and they will promote you.
- Finding Your Niche – Find and produce content for a niche that you know has a potential audience.
- Guest Posting – Find out how Dan has appeared on some of the biggest blogs in his niche.
- Content Creation – An inside look on how Dan creates and writes web content that dominates.
THE FULL TRANSCRIPT
Introduction: Welcome to the brave new world of cost effective communications. Tips, trips and tricks. How-tos, why-tos and what not to dos. And using the power of web based content marketing to easily promote whatever you’d like. Welcome to the Multimedia Marketing Show with Jake Hower.
Jake: Welcome back to the show. I’m Jake Hower and you’re listening to the Multimedia Marketing Show. This is incredible wrap to episode number four. That means I’ve completed three episodes. Hopefully, you’ve listened to every single one. I’m thinking about starting a countdown to show 100. 96 to go including this one. Maybe I’m jumping the gun a little bit. I might just have to try and aim for episode 10.
Hey, in this episode, I speak to our first non-video content producing guest. Although he does actually produce videos as well. It’s Dan Norris from Inform.ly –which is Inform.ly– which is a reporting app. We discuss a little about that but the main focus of the episode is on his content domination. He’s brilliant at writing posts. He’s been featured in a number of top blogs including ProBlogger, to name just a few. He produced an excellent podcast with some amazing guests. Pretty much, essentially, Dan is just an incredible producer of content and so it was a no-brainer in getting him on the episode. Without further ado, let’s get stuck into this week’s episode.
Dan: Good day, Jake. How are you going?
Jake: Really good. How are you?
Jake: That’s good. Thanks very much for coming on the episode. I really appreciate it. Today we’ve only had episodes where we’ve been discussing videos. So this is our first episode where we’re bringing on someone who’s doing amazing content creation that isn’t necessarily focused on video. Count yourself lucky, Dan. I think you’re probably one of the better ones that I’m seeing out there producing content.
Dan: Cool. Thanks.
Jake: Excellent. Dan, why don’t we get stuck into it. I’d love for you to tell the listeners a little bit about yourself leading up to and prior to Inform.ly.
Dan: Okay, I’ll make it fairly quick. I worked for a few years in a different jobs at a university and generally after six months or so I’ll get bored and wanted to do something else and eventually decided that I’d start my own company because that way, I could just do what I wanted every day. Then I ran a web design business for six years and I think by the end I was kind of bored of that as well. I wanted something different but while I was running the web design company, one of the things I’d do is create reports for clients because I wanted my clients to sort of understand how their websites were going. We had a ranking in Google and whether their servers was up or down. Whether their sales and conversions are up and down. I started doing that manually. Eventually, I thought, I might as well make a system that does this and that has turned into Inform.ly. Basically, it’s a system where as a business owner you can connect up your favorite services like Analytics or MailChimp or Xero –that kind of thing. It gives you a report that simplifies all that information and gives it to you on a one page.
Jake: I’ve had better access for a couple of days and it’s certainly very simple but it’s powerful with the reporting that you get out of it.
Dan: Yeah. There’s a lot of dashboard products out there. I think the main difference with this is intending to design this for people who aren’t really going to be the people who are spending all day in Analytics and are really, really keen for this stats. It’s more for a typical business owner who really wants to glance at something, see straight away if something’s red and therefore needs attention. And spend a couple of seconds a day looking at their stats rather than trying to figure out all these different applications.
Jake: Yeah. It’s a fantastic concept. Your web design, you had a fantastic blog already on your previous business site. How long have you been producing content for that site?
Dan: Probably about two and a half years. That site was a website designer.com that I used to rank very highly in Google. I think I had a sort of front page –it was first for website design and third for web design and first for website development and all of these key words. I think it started out as just a sales page and I think early on it just had a lot of links and had a good domain. It’s had its ranking that way but I kind of saw that that was going to change so I started producing a lot of content probably for about two years. I probably produced 200 posts of different types. I think I write four or five e-books and a bunch of videos and just kept pumping at the content and building the rankings but also building the long tail –I should say– traffic and the audience as well to a point where it was fairly well known.
Jake: Fantastic. Let’s move on a little bit. Your history obviously, you’ve come from the web design background. You’re moving –I guess– transitioning through that into content creation and you’ve come across the idea to create inform.ly. Now let’s move on to the real meat of our conversation today. That’s how you’ve gone about –I guess– promoting Inform.ly to build an audience. You’re spending a lot of time guest posting in particular. Also, your posting on your own website is really in-depth and that’s something that it’s really stood out to me. But you’re also podcasting and you’re producing really funny videos as well. How you go on about deciding a strategy for all of these?
Dan: The main thing for me was that a couple months ago when I saw my business, I also saw the blog. I also had to get rid of my Twitter account and most of my forum accounts. My Facebook page has 1,200 likes. Basically, everything and had to start again from scratch. I still had my mailing list but other than that, pretty much everything else was from scratch. So I needed to get some attention. I needed to build up a whole brand new domain with a brand new blog with a little bit of overlap in the audience but really kind of a brand new audience as well. I mean, content is something that I’ve identified that is something that I can be good at as opposed to a whole lot of other types of marketing that I’m really not very good at.
So from day one I was always going to produce a lot of content and sort of try to build the audience back up. I think within three months, my new site is already getting more traffic than the old one which was six years old. I think from an audience point of view, I think my audience now is much more engaged and I’m getting people from a lot –a wide array of places and I’m sort of getting mentioned in a lot of places that I look up to and I think that’s gone to a new level. That’s been really, really good.
Jake: And do you feel that’s the content you’ve been producing or is it the network that you’re doing or is it a combination?
Dan: It’s a combination. The way I see the content is, it is networking. I’m not very good at networking. I don’t really get business lunches and sat talking to random people. But I do have a lot to say and I know other people that have a lot to say that I have a lot in common with. Guys like you and James Schramko and Dan Andrews and, you know, Tim Conley –these guys that are kind of putting content that I know I’ve got something in common with. I can easily ring them up and interview them for my show. You know, talk about them and they talk about me. That to me is a form of networking but it’s a kind of networking that I can be good at.
Jake: Absolutely. I agree. Personally, I’m not a fantastic networker in person. I find it hard to connect or try to meet new people. You just don’t see that connection. Certainly, once I know somebody, it’s a lot easier to find common ground and engage in conversation with them but I found unaligned for me in particular – you can actually do the research and work out who you have that common ground with before even needing to approach them. It makes it really easy to connect with people.
Dan: Yeah. I’ve attended a few face-to-face events as well but to me, I’d rather attend a face-to-face event put on by James Schramko than I would rather go down to the local Commerce –Gold Coast Commerce– or something and attend a face-to-face event there where I’m not going to know anyone and not going to know whether I have anything in common with these people. That’s the way I see it.
Jake: Yeah. So we’ve got all these multiple forms of media that you’re publishing. Do you have a favorite?
Dan: That’s kind of a hard question to answer. I think that the best thing I’ve done is start the podcast because that’s enabled me to do the networking. It sort of enables you to show your own chops and talk to other entrepreneurs. I mean, you can’t get that same kind of connection with blogging. I know you do a lot of video stuff and people sort of say, “That’s as close as you can get to in person.” But really, often the video is not like a conversation with someone else either. Often, it’s not as in-depth so the podcast kinds of gives you something that the other mediums can’t give you.
Jake: Yeah. I’ll have to agree. I’m obviously very, very new to the podcasting arena but I’m really enjoying producing each episode because it’s exactly as you say. You really connect with just that person on the other end of the line. And it’s a great way to get to know people as you’ve said. I can see myself pumping up podcast because it’s so enjoyable.
Dan: Yeah. And it’s a lot easy to get known when you’re putting out a podcast. If you write around a blog post then you know you might get a couple of mentions if you’re lucky. But if you do a podcast where you’re interviewing someone in-depth –almost every time– that person’s going to share it with their audience and you get a whole new bunch of new readers. Why wouldn’t they? It’s good content and it requires very little effort for them. That’s why I like it. If I’m to be totally honest, my preferred way of creating content would be writing because that’s probably what I preferred to do –is sitting in the office and bust that content but I think I get more response from the content that I do the blogging because it’s kind of hard to write something that’s really hasn’t been said before and that people really wants. So that’s kind of a big challenge. Whereas, with the podcast, it’s always unique. It’s always original because you’re talking to someone else and as long as you can find interesting guests –ideally, ones that aren’t the kind of guests that get interviewed every week on podcast– that’s always going to be interesting and unique.
Jake: That’s very hard. You see, Tim Ferris is on just about every single podcast out there at the moment. The one catching up to him very quickly is James Schramko. I really wanted to get him on this podcast but I’m just going to wait a little while because he’s so popular on the podcast –just about all the podcast out there at the moment.
Dan: Well, don’t wait too long because I’m getting him back on my show.
Jake: It’s going to get into a little bit of hair pulling fight or something here, you reckon?
Dan: No, but I think that is one of the things to think about, you know. The interview podcasts is kind of being done to death. I still do the interview podcast because I just think the idea of listening to my voice alone for a long period of time is unbearable to me let alone other people. I’m kind of reluctant to just interview the same people that other people are interviewing. I like the idea of getting new guests that aren’t sort of trying to flog their latest book or something like that.
Jake: I agree. I think it’s important that if you are interviewing people who are quite popular, at least to try to find a different angle. Approach it in a different way. I’ve certainly got plans –I’m interviewing quite a number of popular people in the next few episodes and I’m already thinking about ways I can attack the interview a little bit –I guess, in a unique way.
Dan: I sort of tried to do that but there’s a limit to how much control you can have over an interview especially if you’re just getting started interviewing. But I sort of tried to have some sort of structure and I try not to go too much in-depth with the person’s background because if you listen to an interview with James Schramko, the first thing they say is, “How did you get to where you are?” You end up hearing the same story over and over again. James is a very good storyteller and he’ll have a unique angle everytime but if you listen a lot to these podcasts –you know– the same guest every week and the same story. So I kind of cut that part out and try to structure it around the topic but as I say, it’s not as easy to do that when you’re relying on a guest.
Jake: Yeah, absolutely. That’s a very good point. I know you do it very, very well and it’s rather than retell a story, you can just link to the most relevant content that’s already out there and this is something you do incredibly well in pretty much all of the mediums that you’re producing in.
Jake: Okay, given that your focus now is essentially a reporting tool, I’m sure you’ve got stats on where you’re getting, or the most effective way of building your audience. How do the different mediums –which one’s the best for you?
Dan: At the moment, it’s guest posting. When I first started out with the guest posting, it was kind of hit and miss, like I did one post on Problogger. I think I’ve got two conversions from that whole post and –I don’t know– 30, 40 visits. It’s terrible. It’s the first post that I’ve had on there and I’m like, “Oh my God, I’m going to get thousands from this,” but it was nothing. I kind of changed a few things around and I’ve had a couple of guest posts that have been really successful. I did one on Rob Walling’s blog which is softwarebyrob.com. It was a three-part post. I think it was probably 6,000 words. It was basically every bit of content marketing I’ve done in the last three months and just telling the reader exactly what I did and what I learned and what results I got. From that post, I got 500, 600 more visitors and over 100 sign ups to learn about my app. Some of them have gone really well like that.
Jake: Yeah, cool. What’s second on the list if guest posting is one?
Dan: I think it’s probably like having your own content to me comes first. Because a lot of the traffic I get is direct and if you get traffic direct, it’s very hard to know how they came about your site. But because I’m putting out a lot of content, I can assume that a decent amount are coming from the podcast, a decent amount have heard of me on someone else’s podcast because of some content I’ve put out. I attribute a lot of that to just be the general content creation stuff. I get a lot of traffic from Google even though I’m not madly optimizing for things but I’m producing a lot of content. I think in the three or four months, I think I’ve produced about 50 blog posts and some of them quite big. Like I did a post yesterday on podcasting and that was a 3000 word post –really detailed guide on getting started with podcasting. That kind of stuff gets a lot of long term traffic so Google is my biggest referrer of traffic. Going forward, that just kinds of –it just builds and builds and builds. So they’re sort of becoming by-far my biggest referrer of traffic.
Jake: All right. So listeners, what we’re going to do –I want to give you some actionable steps that you can take away from this interview so Dan, I’d love to focus on two things with you for the remainder of the interview. Number 1 – I’d love to speak to you about your guest posting strategy. How you’ve actually gone about getting content on other’s site. And then, I would love to then just touch on a little bit about how you construct your blog posts –things from the creation of content, how you put your post together, jow long it takes and a few other things– so that we can actually provide the listener with some take-aways.
Dan: All right. The first thing that I would say with guest posting is there’s no real strategy as such. There’s the way I go about it which is to first have a very good content of my own site. I’d never ask to blog on someone else’s site unless I had a site that had great content and better still unless I had a few examples of other sites that have had posts for me that have been successful. When I go to ask for a guest post now, I send them a link to the Rob Walling one and I send them a link to the Problogger one and the Think Traffic one and I say, “This are the kind of posts I write and this was tweeted by 300 people.” Immediately they’re going to look at that email before they look at some random guy who tells them he loves their blog and wants to write a post for them. The first tip is to have good content yourself. Don’t start until you’ve got four or five really, really good blog post on your own site. Long, detailed, step-by-step, specific, with images –a nice site with nice design that someone who’s got a credible blog’s going to look at and go, “This person knows what they’re talking about.”
Jake: Okay. That’s obviously and is that how you approached them? Essentially, you’re just sending them an email with an ID for a guest post. Are you going off and writing content and then sending that to them and saying, “Hey, here’s a post I’ve written. I’d love for you to publish it.”
Dan: No. I’m sending them an email and saying, “Here are a bunch of posts I’ve written. I’ve got this idea for your blog. I think it’s good. This is why I think it’s good and would you like it on your blog?” Most of the time, if you’ve got some sort of unique idea –like even the second post I did on Problogger was a post on guest posting– You couldn’t pick a more cliché topic but because I had a unique angle for that particular post, they were like, “Yeah, that sounds pretty good. Let’s do that.” I’m not participating in any blogging groups or anything like that. I just think if you’ve got good content then just go and approach these owners and make them feel that you understand their audience and you’re going to write something really good for them. Once they can see the evidence that you are capable of doing than then most of them will say yes.
Jake: Someone like Darren Rowse; was it Darren that you’re dealing with? And if it was, did you already have a relationship with him before approaching him for the initial post?
Dan: Actually, I pissed Darren off. We probably got a worst relationship now because after I did the first guest post, I got one of my VAs to –just as an experiment, reply who tweeted the post and just say, “Thanks for tweeting this post.” And just see if they followed me back on Twitter. But she CC’d Darren Rowse into every single tweet. So she sent two or three hundred tweets. Message saying, “This is really good. You’re being productive but do you mind not CC’ing me into all these tweets?” I don’t know him. I know what he looks like so if I saw him on a café, I’ll probably say, “Hello.” But he had a lady working for him, Georgina. I think a lot of these guys initially have someone else that answers the email first and then sometimes they’ll come in and respond later. Think traffic, corporate guy, Caleb who worked team and does a lot of content for his site. I just did one on Firepole marketing and Danny Iny, Daniel Iny is the guy that runs the blog but he’s got someone else who kinds of handles the communication with bloggers. Normally, you’d get a response from that person first and then maybe you’d get a response from the owner of the blog later.
Jake: Okay. What’s your conversion rate like then? How many blogs are you approaching? And how many do you end up being published on?
Dan: I think I’ve only been not published on one that I can think of. I’ve contacted Copyblogger and they said that they basically only take posts from people who are regular contributors. But it really comes end to who you talking to as well. Like Problogger published so much content on their spot that they’re always looking for people to get content from. If you approach someone like Kissmetrics then you would really have to know what you’re talking about and you would have to be prepared for a long process of producing an amazing article and back and forth with him to get in on their blog. I think you have to be careful with who you’re choosing and why you’re choosing them.
Jake: That makes sense. It’s a good conversion rate that you obviously got there. But I know I guess it comes back to the fact that you’ve got such strong content on your own site.
Dan: Yeah, it does. I’m sure that a lot of these guys especially Problogger, I hate to think the amount of requests they get to get content put on their site. They probably get a request from someone who can actually produce good content and they’re probably pleasantly surprised.
Jake: Absolutely. All right. Let’s move on then to the blog posting that you’ve been doing for your own stuff because these are really the pillar bases that gets you everything else. Personally, I struggle. I hit a brick wall as soon as I have to start writing something. You’re obviously very good at writing but do you have a process that you follow for creating these posts?
Dan: I’ve got a bit of a process. I can run in through sort of the general steps. I use Evernote a lot so anytime I’m about and think of an idea, it goes straight to Evernote and if I look at my Evernote, I’ve got a notebook for say, guides or blog posts or guest posts or something then there’s like 10 or 20 different notes in there of random stuff. Generally something will bubble to the surface during the week if I did the big article on podcasting. I’ve written posts on podcasting before but I wanted to create like a step-by-step guide and I’ve sort of jotting down ideas here and there. Pat Flynn released a tutorial on podcasting so I checked that out and got a few notes from that. James released that video tips so I kind of noted that down. By the time you’re ready to actually produce a post, you have half a page of notes and you can use that as a structure for the post. With Inform.ly there’s one chart in there that allows you to look at how much impact your blog posts are having. So it will look at who’s tweeting your posts, how many people liked it, how many people have commented, how many people have visited that post and it gives you an idea of what content people really like. From that, I know the certain types of content I should produce. I’ll use that to decide what to produce. I don’t believe in a calendar. A lot of people say having an editorial calendar or something like that, that’s not really how I work. If you do work like that then it’s probably a good idea. But to me, it’s really a matter of –once I get to the point of where I’ve got enough notes on the topic that I feel like I can spend three or four hours and create something really good– that’s the point I write a blog post.
Jake: Okay. Your blog posts, are you creating them in one session or just adding bits here and there and coming back to it after a few hours or a day or two?
Dan: Generally, what I’ll do is I’ll get to the point in Evernote where I’ve got half a page of notes then I’ll just start writing it in Evernote and once I’ve got like 1,000 words –if it’s one of these big post like in my blog you’ll see I’ve got four or five guides which are really big detailed posts– If it’s one of those ones, I’ll generally write half of it in Evernote and then once I feel like, “Yeah, this is actually got something.” I’ll put it to WordPress and I’ll basically spend three or four hours just busting out the whole thing. Once that’s done, I’ll have a break and go out to look at other blogs. Look at what other people are saying about the same topic and see if I can inject a little bit more into the post that I had just got out of the original brain dump. Then I’ll probably have a break again and then come back and read it properly because I tend to have a lot of spelling mistakes and that kind of thing. It helps if I just take a break and come back and read it all. Hopefully, it will be ready to go.
Jake: Then, how do you go about adding things like images and that or formatting of the post? Are you doing it throughout the construction or throughout the writing? Are you just getting content on the side and then coming back and formatting everything?
Dan: I do a bit of both. I’ve always got the ideas to the images as I’m writing it. I’ll never do a big blog post like this without 10 or 15 images or more because they’re really, really important. Especially if they’re detailed things like you’re doing screenshots of how to do certain tasks then the images are really important. Also, for having a guide where you get a couple of 1,000 words, it’s just too much to fill a page with text and it doesn’t look good. Even in Evernote, I’ll say, “Have a intro section on why you should podcast and include a screenshot here of my stats from my podcasts.” Even at that very early stage, I know exactly what screenshot I want and then as I’m creating the post in WordPress, I’ll generally go off and get a screenshot and chop it up in FileWorks and put it up. I do pay a lot of attention to how it looks like. I really wanted to make sure that he post looks really good so that once someone sees it, they’ll know that it’s just not some guy who’s throwing it all together.
Jake: Yeah, I think that’s very important. I know personally myself, I don’t read many detailed posts. Certainly you can tell straight away whether someone or not spent any time at all on the design of the post in terms of using bullet points, sub-heads and just even the way they insert images. That’s certainly one thing that attracts me to your posts. It’s so well laid out and it makes it very scannable and easy to read.
Dan: Part of it is there’s just so much crap out there that you need to distance yourself from that. You’re not just writing another post on guest posting. You’ve really taken the time to get the graphics right and presenting it really nicely and have quotes in there from people and links to other places and you’ve thought it through. That’s part of it. The other part is also, I like to look at what other blogs that I respect are doing. KISSmetrics is always one that comes up because I don’t read much content either but I do read a lot of air content just because of how good it is. I look at how they’re doing the images and how they’re doing the guides and I kind of try to set myself –I mean, they’re very big company so it’s a lot for one individual to kind of create content at that level but if you set yourself that kind of benchmark then you’re constantly looking at that and thinking, “Man, mine’s not as good as that.” So you’re just going to get better and better and better.
Jake: There’s probably some of our listeners out there are probably considering, “Is it worth my time investing so much energy into writing such good content. Shouldn’t I be just posting on a regular basis and just getting 4, 5, 600 word post out there on a weekly basis? Isn’t that going to attract more subscribers or am I going to end up with more content out there for Google to find me and people to come across my page?”
Dan: It really depends on your strategy. Some blogs get by on all of really awesome posts and those posts tend to get a lot of impact in social media and they’ll get [inaudible 00:28:21] attention and get lots of tweets and Facebook likes and whatever. Other blogs will get by based purely on volume. Long tail SEO traffic is really powerful so if you could build up a good blog, the good following and just pump out a lot of good content, then you’ll get that long tail traffic in droves just because of the sheer bulk of the content you have. Part of the reason for me, and I do have posts on my site that is as epic as this big guide post but part of the reason why I’m doing these really good post is I’m not just trying to get traffic. I’m trying to make a name for myself and trying to get the attention of other content producers who are only going to give me their attention if I’m producing good stuff.
I’m also trying to get the attention of other blogs and other influential people to post content on their sites. They’re not going to be interested in these crappy 600 word posts that have been written 1,000 times before. There’s that motivation as well. I’m also doing it to educate the people who are using Inform.ly. A lot of these posts I’m doing are to do with analytics and things like that. If you’re writing something that really is at the core about educating people then you can’t be doing these crappy 500 word posts on the top 12 tips for blogging or the top 20 WordPress plug-ins. I probably do have a few of those posts on there but you can’t fill your blog with that kind of stuff if your intention is to educate people.
Jake: Absolutely. I think you made a very good point with the authority. I’m just thinking about how I engage with people or who I see as authority figures. I’m always hanging out to read their content or watch their videos but in most cases the contents produced irregularly and it’s because it’s such high quality that I’m engaged at such a level with these people. If you’re looking to build an authority, I guess, is what I’m saying then focus on producing the best quality content you can.
Dan: That’s what works for me. There’s a lot of ways to do it but that’s what works for me and it’s important to me to know that I’m helping people as well. If I’m just sitting around building dodgy back links to my site, that’s just not what I want to do with my time. If you’re the sort of person who was like me and wants to do that then go for it. If you’re the sort of person who really doesn’t like writing and is just going to have to be forced to do this then maybe just don’t do it at all or get someone to help you with it or do something that you are really good at like podcasting or video or something like that so that you can make a name that way.
Jake: Absolutely. I think that’s very relevant. You just have to find a medium that best suits you. There are certain mediums that allow you to leverage a little bit more than others but I think it’s more important to get your main medium is the correct one for you. That will give you the best results.
Dan: It’s like you with your video stuff. I think I probably got to know you because I was seeing all these awesome videos and these comments you were putting on the forums about the video stuff. If you had been just writing blog post, I’ll probably still wouldn’t know who you are. In a way, it’s good to choose something other than writing. But for whatever reason writing is just what I find that I’m probably better at and I find myself enjoying doing more of.
Jake: Absolutely. It’s the same with me. The videos, I can pump at so quickly. I shot three videos before I hopped on this episode with you and it took me about 15 minutes but certainly, if you ask me to write a post, even 2 or 300 word post, I wouldn’t even get one out in two weeks.
Dan: Part of it is pushing yourself. I’m not good at video either and I’m doing those videos but I’m rapidly learning it. Same with podcasting. The first one was terrible. The last one was much better. You gradually learn. I think you like things more once you start getting good at them as well. But if you’re just starting out, I would definitely be doing whatever it is that you can be really good at and get the attention of other people who are good at it.
Jake: So inform.ly’s is just about to come out of beta so right now, I guess you’ve got a team that is developing for this product? Am I right in saying that?
Dan: Yeah, I’ve got two full time developers in the Philippines.
Jake: As you launch, do you anticipate having the time that you have had for the last few months to produce or to keep the caliber of the content to the same standard?
Dan: I’ve got a few ideas after I launched. I get through a lot of work so I will still be doing. And I did work a lot as well and I’m still working a lot on getting a lot of work but I see the content as core to the success of the App and if I’m not doing the content, then I don’t think I’m really going to have any way of marketing this App than other people that I’m able to do better than I can. To me, it’s core. The other thing is I’m also going to look at getting some help from other people as well. I’m starting to look at other writers in getting –like I would really love to build up my blog to the point where it’s really renowned destination for people who want to learn about dominating online and doing this online marketing stuff and analytics. People are just sort of getting into this stuff. I’d really like to be a really well known place for that. To do that, I think –especially since I can’t religiously put out like five blog posts a day, then– I’m going to have to get some extra help. I’m looking at doing that as well.
Jake: It makes a lot of sense. I think an interesting way that your company’s approached is SEOmoz I think, are doing quite well. Where they essentially have –they’ve got their pillar blog and they’ve also got their YouMoz blog which is essentially anyone can post to it. They promote content depending on how popular it is. I think that’s quite an interesting concept.
Dan: Yeah, it definitely is. I think it’s tempting to look at these other companies and kind of try to replicate them but SEOmoz have I think $20M of funding. It’s hard when you’re just doing it yourself. You sort of say, “Yeah, I want to be like KISSmetrics or SEOmoz,” but really that kind of model is not going to work for you if it’s just you. I think you’ve got to really thing about what’s going to work for you and how you can kind of maybe one day build yourself up that level. It’s like when people take these ideas that Apple have done and say, “This is how to apply it to your business.” Well, they’re Apple and you can’t apply that to your business. It’s definitely important to have a benchmark but try not to kind of –at least for my point of view; I try not to say, “This is exactly how they do it therefore that’s what I’m going to do.”
Jake: The other thing, I guess, is that are relatively mature companies now. They didn’t start off with their current structure in place 10 years or 5 years ago –whatever it was. They have evolved over time and I guess, you will too.
Dan: Yeah. It’s also they did it off the back of a product –in a lot of cases– they did off a back of a lot of product that pretty much didn’t exist. We’re very early on in terms of SEO software and are building a great product and are also –I’m not sure how many years they’ve been around but I’ve heard a few interviews with Randon and he had a consultancy for a year as well. That kind of build this momentum over long, long period of time. I think that’s important to remember as well. That’s one thing with blogging that’s kind of hard to take it first. You could write 10 or 15 posts and get like three tweets on Twitter and say, “Man, this is depressing.” It’s actually hard work but eventually things start kind of rolling.
Jake: Yeah, absolutely. All right, Dan. I think we’ve covered quite a lot in this episode. I really appreciate you coming on. Hey, one thing we really didn’t touch on. Would you be happy to reveal some numbers in terms of the community you built –in terms of subscribers and things like that?
Dan: Three months ago my site didn’t exist at all. Now, I’m getting about 5,000 visits this month which is about what I was getting in my old blog. It’s not a huge number of people but within three months, I think that’s pretty good. I’ve had about 1,100 signed up to the beta and added that 1,100 is probably maybe 200 or so –or maybe less– that are actually actively using the app. I think a lot of people kind of sign up and forget about it and these are some of the things I’m going to have to address as I launch it. But I’ve also had –I think– maybe 1,200, 1,300 people who signed up to be notified about the app. Mainly the content at the moment, the opt-in has been, “We’re going to be launch formally, soon. Sign up here to be notified.” I’ve also done the email calls. I think I’ve had maybe 60, 70 people sign up to do the email or to respond the course as well. I think the numbers will get a lot more interesting when I launch it to the public and I see who’s kind of referring people to use it. How many people are signing up to pay and that kind of thing.
Jake: Certainly. That’s fantastic, Dan. We’ve touched on a couple of aspects of your content domination. I’d like to get you on in the future to speak about –a little bit more– about podcasting and a little bit about your videos as well. For this episode, I think we’ve covered enough. Again, I’d like to thank you very much for coming on.
Dan: Absolutely. Thanks for having me.
Jake: This episode would be going to air just after you’ve launched publicly for Inform.ly. Where can people go to find out more about you personally and also about the App?
Dan: Cool. Hopefully it’ll be launched and it would have exploded and everything’s just going well. If that’s the case, you can go to Inform.ly and you can sign up for free and connect a bunch of your services. Feel free to email me, Dan@inform.ly and just give me any feedback you have on the app. I’m really happy to hear from people. I’d love to hear from people about what they like about it, what they don’t like about it. The blog is Inform.ly/blog. On there, you’ll find all sorts of stuff. There’s a lot of posts like we talked about. I’ve got 20 podcast episodes and a bunch of videos and that kind of thing. Of course, leave me feedback on those as well.
Jake: Absolutely, listener. If you do actually head across, if you listen to this episode and head on across this site and find it has exploded, Dan would really appreciate that you give him or shoot him a quick email. I’m sure, he’d really appreciate that hearing from you at that stage as well.
Dan: Yeah. That would be good.
Jake: All right, Dan. Thanks very much for coming on today. I really appreciate it. I’ve got one more favor to ask of you.
Dan: Sure. Free to ask.
Jake: Would you mind popping across to the show nights or every now and then just to answer any questions for any of our listeners have?
Dan: Of course.
Dan: Cool. Thanks Jake.
Jake: Okay, Dan. Thanks very much for that. I’m sure we’ll touch base again very soon.
Dan: Absolutely. Thanks again.