The 10 Secrets Of A Successful Social Media Blog

It was about a year ago and I noticed a rather quirky social media blog with a good selection of key words in its title  called the ” Social Media Examiner”. It was late last week and an article in the worlds largest blog the Huffington Post featured an interview with the founder of that blog Michael Stelzner that piqued my interest.10 Secrets of a Successful Social Media Blog

The reason my ears pricked up was because on scanning the article the traffic and success that he has garnered in less than 12 months was not just notable but stunning.

Here are some of the milestones after launching on October 12, 2009.

  • 13,000 people visited the site within the first 2 weeks
  • January 2010 (only 3 months after launch) he had 10,000 email subscribers
  • January 2010 he had 55,000 unique visitors to the blog
  • In February (less than 5 months after launch) the site was rated as the number one small business blog on the planet by Technorati
  • It currently generates 300,000 page views a month
  • The Social Media Examiner Facebook Fan page has over 11,500 fans
  • Less than 12 months after launch he has an email list of over 30,000 subscribers

So what are some of the secrets behind Michael’s success with the “Social Media Examiner”? but before we answer that let us look at what he was doing prior to launching the  blog.

In 2005 he started a blog called “Writing White Papers” which was quite successful… its tag line “How To Capture Readers and Keep them Engaged”. He wrote whitepapers for Microsoft, FedEx, Motorola and Dow Jones. In just over 4 years he had just over 25,000 email subscribers so he had obtained some blogging experience that provided him with basics of what to do and not to do with a blog.

The success secrets of the “Social Media Examiner” are highlighted by the following ten revelations as stated by Michael.

1. He collaborated with other successful  people such as Mari Smith, a Facebook specialist, Chris Garrett who had co-authored Problogger the book and Denise Wakeman from the blog sqaud.. he called them his firestarters.

2. Held a major online virtual summit called “Social Media Success Summit 2009” prior to the launch of his blog which attracted over 700 attendees and was completely online and Gary Vaynerchuk was the keynote speaker. (by the way the summit generated over $900,000 in revenue)

3. Composed a team of writers who provided guest posts on Social Media Examiner including Jason Falls and Casey Hibbard of the blog, Stories that Sells as well as an additional team of writers. A proportion of these writers substantial followings drove readership to the new blog.

4. Interviewed 16 social media marketing thought leaders at Blog World Expo including Scott Monty and Chris Brogan and released these videos over 9 months slowly.

5. Publishes a long magazine-style article every weekday that is  edited for top quality writing prior to hitting the blog publish button

6. Implemented an email acquisition strategy that includes a pop over form that hovers over the screen for first time visitors (it includes a free Twitter video tutorial)  as well as offering a subscription form on the right sidebar. The other email subscriber tactics includes a suggestion to refer a friend to to join the email list and the Facebook fan page also has a video inviting visitors to subscribe.

7. A Facebook fan page that is well designed and optimized including a Friendpile social plugin that shows all of a visitors Facebook friends that like Social Media Examiner. Other strategies included invitations to join the Facebook Fan page that were broadcasted to the email list generating almost 1,000 fans overnight. He made a note that the keyword to use is “Join” not “Follow Us”

8. On Facebook Michael has the rule that they reply to every comment on the Facebook page

9. Social Media Examiners Facebook editorial guide involves “breaking news” as opposed to “writing features” on the flagship blog site.

10. Ultra-rich content that is offered for free on social media examiner acts as the major incentive to attend a virtual summit where people know they will get even more valuable and in depth information from the top experts in their field

What is empowering about this story is that he didn’t spend a dime on his marketing (just his time) and leveraged the power of social media including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

How could you take these tips and make your blog more successful?

Comments

  • http://RichardBejah.com Richard Bejah

    Another Excellenr Article… Great pointers and tips that I need to implement to improve my Social Media exposure… Love to hear that he didn’t spend a Dime on Advertising sounds GOOD to ME! RICH :0)

  • http://www.theorganicview.com June Stoyer

    I like the writers that are pros in various areas of The Examiner but have to admit, some of them are people with a hobby that have deemed themselves with an expert title. While the purpose of this post is to highlight his success I think it is really awesome that people want to communicate so freely! Due to the lack of coverage by traditional media, outlets such as The Examiner have become critical to people who want the information asap! As always, great post, Jeff!

  • http://www.theprcoach.com The PR Coach

    Jeff, thanks for sharing this excellent case study. Smart marketing, smart social media which is a valuable lesson for all small and online business. Regards,
    Jeff D

  • http://www.melodylealamb.com Melody Lea Lamb

    Wow, loved this post Jeff! Very inspiring and I cant wait to go back over all the links. Well done.

  • http://www.firebellyorganics.com Debbie

    Was thinking about starting a new blog to help with our social media. Being in the Green business is awesome but being green in social media is tough! Thanks for the tips.

  • http://www.clairethompsonsocialmedia.co.uk SocialMediaClaire

    Thanks Jeff for this really informative blog, as a follower of the Social Media Examiner page, it is interesting to see how they have achieved such success in a realtively short space of time. Will be implementing these strategies asap!

  • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

    Thanks for your kind compliment and yes there are more posts on the pipeline :)

  • http://twitter.com/click_finders Mike Glover

    Great Story !

    It is very inspiring to me to know that you can do this without spending a forutne.  I only wish I would have read this BEFORE I launched my blog.  Eitherway, it was packed with useful information and some immediate take-aways for me.  Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=629754107 Gareth Murran

    I love Michael’s Launch book it’s simply superb. I must have read it 10 times

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=629754107 Gareth Murran

    I love Launch, Michael’s latest book. It’s superb.

  • Anonymous

    Great post. It is true so much to learn from the Social Media Examiner Success Story.  I recently Michael’s book “Launch” that shared so many of his “secrets to success.” I find myself referring back to his book often. 

  • Anonymous

    Great post. It is true so much to learn from the Social Media Examiner Success Story.  I recently Michael’s book “Launch” that shared so many of his “secrets to success.” I find myself referring back to his book often. 

  • Edzus_27

     I think that it works only in large countries like U.S. For small countries, it is unrealistic because of small audience.

  • Antonio Calero

    Very good case study, although it didn’t really start from zero. Maybe the blog did, but he clearly had a lot of experience and most importantly: contacts that supported him during those initial steps. I can’t deny there is a lot of learn from these points – so thank you for collecting them and writing this post. However, having those good connections is something  that will certainly boost any new venture.

    • http://www.tvsinternetmarketing.com/ Carmen Rane Hudson

      Indeed! I was just thinking: “Okay, not all of us have Mari and Gary in our back pocket…how to scale this down so that it’s more realistic for those who do not?”

  • Lindsay de Swart

    Fabulous information, thank you. My blog is pretty new and I would love to attract that many readers! I will certainly get his book and learn from his success.

  • http://twitter.com/KatieSartini Katie Sartini

    Thank you for this information! I just started my own blog and this is really inspirational. I think it will help me with my blogging in the future and I hope to have this many viewers someday!

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      Great to hear you have taken the step and I look forward to hearing more about your blogging adventures and success! :)

  • http://malharbarai.com/ Malhar Barai

    Inspiring story and a great review Jeff!!

    As one of the regular readers of SM Examiner, am always in awe with their quality of articles and its a surprise that they have only relied on Social Media Marketing!! Amazing to say the least!

  • http://malharbarai.com/ Malhar Barai

    Inspiring story and a great review Jeff!!

    As one of the regular readers of SM Examiner, am always in awe with their quality of articles and its a surprise that they have only relied on Social Media Marketing!! Amazing to say the least!

  • http://twitter.com/suerosepr Sue Rose

    Wow. This is thrilling! As a newby to blogging, I’ll refer to this list regularly. Thanks!