For the last few months I’ve started taking notice of Danny Iny, one of the co-founders of Firepole Marketing. No, he’s not a hardcore link builder like me and some of you, but I think he has something to offer us, because whether you’re a consultant or an in-house, a blogger or a webmaster, SEO is a business, and that’s where Danny can help us.
1. Tell us about you & your background in marketing.
I like to say that I’ve been an entrepreneur for longer than my adult life; I quit school when I was fifteen to start my first business, and I’ve been an entrepreneur ever since. Along the way I’ve had the opportunity to get involved with a lot of different businesses in a lot of different industries, and seeing what was different about all those businesses, and at the same time what they had in common, helped me get a real sense for the universals of marketing.
2. What’s the best way to build relationships with fellow bloggers?
Creating value for them, helping them to do the things that they’re trying to do, and being a good guy. If you’re looking for something tactical, you should try linking to them from your guest posts on other major blogs (I described the tactic in detail on Freelance Folder).
3. What link building strategies do you use on a consistent basis?
The only link building strategy that I use is to create good content on a regular basis. If you create good content, people will link to it. It’s really that simple.
4. For those who don’t know, Danny recently published his new book, “Engagement from Scratch!”. What can your readers learn from your new book?
As the title suggests, it’s all about how to go about building an engaged audience from scratch, and it isn’t just my perspective. I went to 30 of the biggest audience-building successes that I could find (people like Guy Kawasaki and Brian Clark) and asked each of them to contribute a chapter, basically answering the question “If you had to start building an engaged audience from scratch, what would you do?” The book contains their answers.
5. How did you go about promoting your new book?
It’s a combination of a lot of things; there were two video trailers, a lot of anticipation-building, a lot of guest posting… I wrote about the whole process here.
6. In your opinion, what’s the most overlooked source of blog traffic?
I think the biggest mistake people make when it comes to traffic is forgetting that traffic is about people coming to your site, liking it, and sharing what they see with others. It’s not about the mechanism (Facebook, Twitter, SEO, whatever) – it’s about the people. If you create stuff that people will want to share, then they’ll do it – finding an easy mechanism isn’t hard. But if you’re busy trying to get search traffic by creating backlinks instead of writing stuff that people want to read, then it probably won’t work. I wrote about how you can do this properly on Ana Hoffman’s blog – take a look at that post if you need some help with this.
7. Where can we find you on the Web?
Firepole Marketing is the first place to start, and if you want to get a taste of the kind of stuff that I teach, then you can sign up for our free video course on how to get more cash out of any business, website or blog (in under 30 days, without spending money, working more hours, or hiring staff). And of course, you can check out my book Engagement from Scratch!, which is available on Amazon, and as a free PDF download.
When I first interviewed him, I asked him the two questions below, but soon after I asked them, I realized they were terrible questions. I was going to get rid of them, but the answers gave such great insight into a few misundersood topics that I decided to keep them.
8. Tell us a bit about yourself & your background in blogging.
I actually don’t have an extensive background in blogging; I only really started blogging seriously with Firepole Marketing about a year ago. My background is as an entrepreneur and marketer (you can read more about me here), and the fact of the matter is that growing a blog is a lot like growing any other kind of business. The trouble is that most bloggers out there don’t know how to grow a business, either. 😉
9. What made you get into online business in the first place?
I don’t see myself as being in “online business” – the words “online business” connote phrases like “passive income” and images of people working in their pyjamas from a beach in the Caribbean. I’m in business, and the internet is part of how I market that business, and deliver value to my prospects and clients. The reasons why I took my business to the internet was that a lot of my clients and prospects hang out there, and the infrastructure makes it easy for me to connect with them.
I’d just like to give a big thanks to Danny for this interview. I hope you found some of his answers just as helpful as I’ve found them!