HubSpot is all about helping small and medium sized businesses. We do so through our online software as well as through our blog posts, webinars, eBooks, case studies, marketing kits and videos. We’re obviously not alone when it comes to helping these businesses. Chris Brogan is also all about helping small and medium sized businesses, which he does through practical advice based on his own experience. His blog ChrisBrogan.com is constantly in the top 5 blogs according to Advertising Age. He is author of Trust Agent and Social Media 101 , a columnist for Entrepreneur Magazine, president of Human Business Works, “entrepreneur in residence” at Cross Tech Ventures, and a public speaker. And there is more.
In his interview with David Garland, Chris discussed a wide range of topics, including how he makes decisions, accomplishes so much, deals with failure and approaches opportunities.
Experimentation and Testing
Chris Brogan is a believer in experimentation and testing. He tends to experiment quite a bit, as witnessed by the number of projects he has going at the same time. One of the things he believes in is testing or trying things before he writes about them. Basically, “If I have not really done it myself, how can I talk about it?”
Chris is often pigeonholed by people as the social media expert. He prefers, however, to think of himself as someone who helps small and medium sized businesses and entrepreneurs. Through his practical advice his goal is to help small businesses work better in a sustainable way. One way he demonstrates his expertise is through his blog which is constantly evolving. The direction he is taking his blog this year is making it more of a journal, allowing people to get inside his thinking process.
He believes in changing his blog periodically to fit the needs of his readers. He likens this to way Madonna changes herself each year and as a result stays relevant. Chris senses that bringing readers more into the inside of how things are done is what they want more of. They’re asking, “What can I take out of Chris Brogan’s world and bring into my world?”
One From the Heart and One for the Search Engines
Chris is one of the most prolific writers on the Internet, and one of the ways he can continue his large output is by writing on the one hand what he wants and on the other writing what he knows will do well online . He likens this approach to the actress Julianne Moore who says she does one film for Hollywood and then follows that with one film for the heart. The heart films provide deeper fulfillment, but the Hollywood films offer greater visibility. Chris understands that for people to read the blog posts he wants to write he needs to make sure that he writes those posts that will be searched for. This way he keeps his rankings high and remains visible. “If I am not visible,” he says, “then I am not helpful.”
Chris is believer in collaboration and in helping people do good things. The more people you can help and the more you can collaborate with, the better it is when it comes time to look for a resource or help with a project. This is one way to have the network that can support your efforts.
Hungry for the Win, not the Money
Chris says that many people try to go for the big project that delivers the homerun. His approach is more toward having many different projects that bring in their own small or medium size revenue stream. His advice is to be hungry for the win rather than hungry for the money. If you go for the win, the money will come. One of his more recent ventures is Blog Topics Newsletter . For $10 a month, subscribers get 10 topic ideas a week for blog posts, plus writing advice. His subscriber base is over 480 people presently, but its growing. Chris believes completely in content marketing. For him, getting people to write great content is a win, and while this is not a home run, it’s definitely a money maker that will only increase in value.
Originally published May 18, 2011 8:00:00 PM, updated October 18 2015