Interview with Chris Brogan

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Chrish Brogan’s blog is ranked by Technorati as one of the top 100 blogs in the world. chris-brogan
Advertising Age’s Power 150 ranks him in the top 15. He has been blogging since 1998. He is also co-founder of PodCamp and part of many other online projects. He works with large and mid-sized companies to improve online business communications like marketing and PR through the use of social software, community platforms, and other emerging web and mobile technologies.

Chris is co-author of the book Trust Agents, with Julien Smith, which was recently released. If you run a company/organization, then please get a copy of this book, spend some time to read and understand it and order some more copies for your employees/members/co-workers if you think its of use for them.

Interview:

1. Do you think using your real name (or surname) in your Twitter ID (or any other profile ID) is good or using your company/brand name is good?

I believe you should use your real name. People want to connect with humans for the most part, not just brands. That is, unless your brand is widely known, and then you should manage two accounts. I think that having @coke *and* @bobjones is smart, because you can be the big brand, and/or you can be offduty.

2. With all the efforts to earn the Trust(for the sake of trust), when our blog readers/customers give bad personal comments, how does it feel about the trust that we have built?

Bad comments are golden. Value these like you value nothing else. They are moments where you must reflect on the value of what your customers have told you, and decide what you must improve, or whether it’s just someone complaining. In either case, thank them. They’ve taken the time to voice their concern.

3. Do you think having a forum helps in building the “Army”? As we can interact with the blog readers at a personal level in the forum. Do you think the time spent in the forum is well worth or is there any other more efficient methods to connect with our readers?

I think you can connect with blog readers on a blog, so I think forums are a way to “share the stage.” They’re a way for others to be able to start threads and be the host of a storyline. They don’t improve or diminish the ability to build an army, except insofar as the content they provide.

4. What components do you think makes a blog successful

Equipping your community for success makes your blog successful. Be helpful. Be consistent. Be mindful of people’s time. Give them unique ideas and your best thinking. Give away your secrets (you’ll make more). Provide them links to materials and ideas that others have done that will improve their learning. Comment frequently and reply to the people who speak with you (as often as you can).

5. Your advice for new bloggers

Write from the most unique possible perspective that you can. Writing a me-too blog is wasteful. Others have already done the work. See if you can find a unique voice and vision, and get that done. There’s so much more left to cover.

6. Your advice for students. We read in the book about how we can play the role of “Trust Agent” in a company, now would love to know, how students(who are studying in university ) can apply it.

Students can learn about trust and how to use these new tools to build relationships in ways that will improve their connectedness coming out of school. Building networks of passionate collaborators is a powerful way to apply what trust agents do, and will be beneficial to students who often need these networks for jobs and more after they’ve left school.

7. What have you learnt with the release of your co-authored book “Trust Agents”.

I learned that what people relate to the most is that we’ve written a book about common sense for the Internet age. It’s like 7 habits meets the web. I’m really passionate about the fact that common sense seems to have gone missing in business, so maybe that’s what people need right now.

8. What do you feel about Google Adsense? Do you think adsense ads make a blog look unprofessional? And what do you feel about the over all blogging for money concept.

I use Adsense for RSS with my RSS feed. I get about beer money worth of value. I think that blogs that stripe themselves with Adsense end up looking like NASCAR vehicles and not useful content. I love blogging for money, though. I think there’s nothing wrong with it. I’m certainly not part of the kumbaya crowd.

9. What do you think about Twitter(In general and for business purpose). How bloggers can use it the best.

Twitter brings me quite a lot of business. I love it.

10. What were the 3 major mistakes you did on your blog?

In the old days, I talked about me. Now I equip others. In the old days, I wrote a lot more. Now I write brief pieces. In the old days, I got really snippy. Now I try to keep it professional (though with a personality).

11. What were the 3 major mistakes you did while learning about Social Media?

None really come to mind. Not that I’m perfect, but nothing major.

12. Do you think that a hard cover book is worth more than a ebook?

No. I think a useful book is worth more than fluff.

13. How many hours do you dedicate to blogging? How did you manage time for writing the book? Please share about the records made by your book at some of the places, like Wall Street Journal, New York Times etc. And please share about, monetizing the blog with your own product rather than 3rd party advertising. How do you manage sponsors on your blog. How has this book added to it etc.

I write about two hours a day, though not all of it is for blogging. I wrote 1000-2000 words a day with Julien Smith. Writing’s my #1 business, basically, when it all gets said and done: writing and thinking.

We made the New York Times Bestseller’s list in 2 days and the Wall Street Journal bestseller’s list in 2 weeks, which isn’t that shabby. I still want to hit the USA Today and the BusinessWeek bestseller lists, too.

I make very little money off my blog by contrast to my consulting and agency work. I make some money promoting Chris Pearson’s Thesis WordPress theme, and some from the occasional sponsored post, but that’s about it. I think that sponsors are great if you build relationships between the sponsors and the community. I can’t just take money from people. I say no to about 95% of the sponsor offers I get.

We had a great time talking to Chris Brogan, and learnt a lot with this interesting interview. Hope you all enjoyed it and learnt a thing or 2 from Chris Brogan. You may also like his book Trust Agents. If you read it, please tell us, what you liked and what you didn’t like in the book. I am sure, Chris will also be eager to know.
Thanks to Chris, for this fabulous interview.

Author: Satish

Author of Technotip.com & Technotip.org Personal Blog ThinkWithSatish.com

4 thoughts on “Interview with Chris Brogan”

  1. @Amit Banerjee, I Love it too..

    @Steven Aitchison, My pleasure. Chris was kind enough to take some time to participate in the interview. With the release of his book “Trust Agents”, he must be a busy man.

    @Mary, Pleasure to see your comment. Knowing that you are subscribed to the blog, makes me more responsible.

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