In this series, I am interviewing some of the most amazing bloggers and content creators, and digging into their preferences and processes so that we can all learn from their example.
Today’s interview is with the brilliant Chris Brogan. Chris is president of Chris Brogan Media, offering business storytelling and marketing advisory help for mid to larger sized companies. Chris is a sought after keynote speaker and the New York Times bestselling author of nine books and counting!
I can’t wait to share his brain with you…
What’s your poison? Blog or Video or Podcast? Why?
I *love* blogging but I tend to use a mix of blogging, newsletters, video and a podcast. Because that’s what people do these days. They use multiple formats to get what they want.
What has been your most successful piece of content, and why?
Far and away, it’s my post about blog topics: https://chrisbrogan.com/100-blog-topics-i-hope-you-write/
People often ask me how I come up with things to blog about, and I find the question strange, because my problem is the opposite. I have too much to blog about. Why? Because there’s a whole fast revolution rolling through, and right now – today – is our time to make it all work for us. If we’re going to show people how to use social media to drive meaningful conversations instead of being yet another marketing tool, we have to run out and educate at a break-neck pace, so we can bring more and more thought leaders into alignment with these big and not-so-big organizations who could use our help.
So, on my plane ride home from San Francisco, I decided to write you up 100 blog post titles that I want YOU to write. Take one of these and run with it. Make the coolest ideas from whatever these spark in you, and keep coming back to these as often as you want. Bookmark the page. Copy/paste it into a notepad file. Whatever works for you. Or just use them as a way to bounce into better posts of your own devise. Make podcasts. Whatever works for you.
How do you streamline your content creation process for efficiency and excellence?
My process is simple – I read through lots of articles and events and jot down topic ideas into an Evernote file. Some topics also come from email requests for help. I add 10 new topic ideas a day. Then, I create content based on the topics in my file. If I skip one 3 times, I delete it and kill the idea. I post in whichever format best suits the material.
Where do you get your ideas for content?
I get a lot of ideas from reading articles unrelated to the industries I cover. I also get topics by wandering around asking “Why hasn’t anyone?” I want to help push people to a new idea and give them context for it.
How do you, how do we put it… make money off this stuff?
I’m a business advisor and consultant. I make money speaking, advising, and producing other content for people offsite.
What would you say has been a defining moment in your career as a content creator?
Look, my blog brought me every stitch of success I have. It got me a book deal. That won the New York Times bestseller list, the Wall Street Journal, and more. My blog earned me cover article gigs at Success Magazine. I’ve met and interviewed billionaires because of my blog. The CEO of GM (at the time) hung out with me for a half hour because of my blog. I’d say that’s all pretty good.
When it comes to content creation over the next year, what are your plans and intentions?
More little bites. Brief content. Small snacks. More video and audio. Less text.
That’s very interesting, Chris. Can you elaborate on the kind of content you create – what you talk about – and why you think shorter is better in 2020?
So, there’s a time and place for longer, but the people I see preach that the most are content creators, who get paid by the word and the piece. I also see SEO people talk about long form content. What I NEVER hear is someone out in the wild saying, “Oh man, that was a great 7000 word essay.” Never ever.
We consume all kinds of content these days, and we seem to do so in three forms:
- Tiny bites
- Helpful and that’s it
- Entertainment length
What’s changed is that we have to really consider context and need. Is the person in a car? Are they at their desk sneaking this between work? What does it have to do for them?
Sometimes, too tiny isn’t helpful. Often, entertainment length goes into the “to read later” abyss. Helpful is obvious best choice IF you want someone to take action.
Who is your favorite content creator and why?
I love Ann Handley because she has great heart. But I could write a thousand other names in there. Brian Clark. Kerry Gorgone (especially her podcasts).
Don’t blog for your belly button.
What’s the one takeaway you want to impart on someone who, let’s say, is a blogging n00b. 🙂
Don’t blog for your belly button. Blog to be helpful. No one cares what you think. They care about how you’ll help them move forward.
#CoolContentCreators Interview Series
- How Andy Crestodina Excels At Content Creation
- How Chris Brogan Never Runs Out Of Content Ideas
- How Jenn Herman Built Her Authority and Reputation With Content
- How Guy Kawasaki Fuels A Successful Podcast With Content
- How Jay Baer Spins Ideas Into Blog Posts, Speeches and Books
- How Ann Handley Consistently Writes With Confidence
- How Melanie Deziel Builds Successful Content Systems
- How Kate Bradley Chernis Powers Content Marketing With AI
- How Ryan Biddulph Succeeds at Content Marketing From The Beach
- How Mark Schaefer Uses Content Marketing To Establish Authority
Don’t want to miss the next content creator interview? Subscribe to the Blogging Brute Newsletter. And if you know someone else we should interview next, let us know in the comments below!