(www.inkthinkerblog.com) — I’m at SOBCon09 in Chicago with @lizstrauss and @starbucker. I’m taking notes as people talk, so there will be typos; deal with it. Now up is @davidbullock who elicited a marriage proposal from me last year because he was so unbelievably awesome (never mind that we’re both married). I am also tweeting throughout sessions, so make sure you follow me so you don’t miss anything.
This is about how to make money online using your blog and everything else you have at your disposal. If you’re not using this stuff to make money, it’s a moot point. Remember what we talked about last year: Strategy, Tactics, Action, Results, Testing/Tracking – START.
Last year, David Bullock wondered why he was here. Then, he worked with an old friend to create Barack 2.0 as a case study and demonstrated that you can translate rising stories and trends into successful models using blogs and information products to create income streams. His goal was to create a business model that was sustainable for the next 20 years.
When he tracked Barack Obama’s use of social media during the presidential campaign, he was nothing more than a citizen journalist. That is something all of us can do. It cost $154 for the whole year. They started with a blog post. Then a webinar. Then a podcast. Plus tags and comments. He turned a 17-post blog, transcribed blog posts, and created a 134-page book. We can all do that in any given industry in any given time.
“Now, this is where it gets interesting.” (I love this guy.) “We reported on something that was a rising story in the marketplace. You all have that available to you at this time right now.” The question is are you going to become the expert or look at the stories go by you like a tickertape. You all saw Barack Obama using social media. You watched him do it, and what did you DO with that? Nothing. We captured it and turned it into something. And some amazing thing started happening. Links from Fast Company, LA Times. Interviews with Black Enterprise.
This is about making money. They put their book on Lulu.com. So he added, “If you want to interactive online addendum, you will give me your e-mail address.” Lulu wasn’t giving him people’s names because they don’t track this stuff for authors. He used the PDF as an extra for the $39.95 book. At 200 books sold, 75 people had registered for the PDF. He had to learn about ecommerce, got 1ShoppingCart.
Radio, television, links, news coverage — it’s all happening simply because he documented something that was happening that all of us had access to. We’ve got it through newspapers, Twitter, CNN’s iReport… There is money to be made in trends. Find out what people are talking about and turn it into income.
The Two Lessons
1 – If you say you’re going to do something, do it.
2 – If you’re going to do something, make sure it makes sense.
The key is to write interesting content that people are interested in. The blog was the platform that created the book which is the platform for the consulting he wants to do. If you take the get-it-done, pragmatic, get-it-done-because-tomorrow-I-must-eat to the people who have to spend money because of their corporate budget, it’s a match made in heaven. Those two worlds don’t coexist typically. The person who can bridge the gap between those two worlds, who stands in that gap, that person has a lot of money to make. When you bring to the table real, hands-on experience, all of the sudden there’s a different respect.
Enter a market by making a product, and maintain control of all your intellectual property. It’s all positioning, storytelling, and getting the thing right. Once you control something that people want, then you have latitude in the marketplace.
This is the big takeaway: “I did this, these are the numbers.”
(We ran out of time way too early… Pout, pout, pout.)
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