11 Ways Seth Godin Makes His Blog Remarkable

Seth Godin’s blog provides an excellent template on how to create a rabid fanbase, leverage Social Media effectively, and sell your ebooks. In this post, I’m going to show you some of the small ways he does this. If you implement these correctly, your blog will see more traffic, more customers, and more sales

The devil’s in the marketing details. Seth Godin’s blog provides an excellent template on how to create a rabid fanbase, leverage Social Media effectively, and sell your ebooks. In this post, I’m going to show you some of the small ways he does this. If you implement these correctly, your blog will see more traffic, more customers, and more sales.

seth-godin-purple-cow

Why Read Seth Godin?

According to Ad Age, Seth ranks number one on their Power 150 web marketing blogs. If he’s having a down day, he may fall all the way to number two. Don’t worry. Check back in a few hours. He’s probably number one again.

You can learn a lot by monitoring Seth. You don’t have to agree with him. But sit back, watch what he does and take notes.

Take Twitter, for example.

Seth Godin doesn’t use Twitter. And promises he never will. Yet, few of us get tweeted as often as Seth.

Ok he does. Well, kinda. He links his blog to his Twitter. When he hits publish on his blog – which is every day without fail – a tweet gets sent out.

His 45,486 followers take over from there.

What’s the trick?

Here’s a clue.

‘You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want. ~Zig Ziglar

1. Write For Humans

Why?

Seth’s site is designed to be read.

It has:

  • No irritating popups asking you to sign for a newsletter.
  • No Flash intros that waste your time.
  • No plug-ins that must be installed.
  • No distracting banner ads.
  • No videos.
  • No frequent changes to the site design to keep things ‘fresh’.

KISS is the mantra.

Instead…

  • You, the reader, are the most important person on the site.
  • The site is designed to make it easy for you to read.
  • It would be hard to design a site that was more user-friendly.
  • It loads very fast, which Google loves. Google gives you brownie points for a fast-loading site.

2. Catchy Headlines

Look at these titles. You want to read them, right? Seth knows how to write great hooks. Short titles that pull you in, generate curiosity and make you want to read more.

  • Sell the problem. No business buys a solution for a problem they don’t have.
  • Every activity worth doing has a learning curve.
  • Build in virality.
  • Subscriptions beat one-off sales.
  • Treat different customers differently.

3. Short Blog Post Titles

A second thing about his blog post titles. He keeps them short. Often two or three words.

Why so short?

A few reasons. One is that it makes them easier to share, another is that they’re easier to retweet (long titles may get chopped off when others add their comments) and they look great when compiled into a book.

The word count is low, sometimes less than a hundred words. But, like all great writers, he can condense his material into a few paragraphs.

Here’s an experiment.

Read through his articles and see what you can remove without affecting the meaning. Not much, is there?

Seth is also a great marketer. He packages his content so it’s easy to adapt to other media. For example, most of the posts in ‘Small is the New Big’ came from his website.

And how can you not like a book called, All Marketers Are Liars?

4. Create Remarkable Content

When you make yourself unique – and do something successful – others take note.

The web is full of imitators, wannabees and copycats. When you do something a little different that works, others want to look. If you do it very well, you become the template for others to follow.

For example?

Look at Leo Babauta. His ‘zen’ blog has launched a thousand websites that ape his minimal, simple values.

Seth has spawned his imitators.

Few, in any, produce content as intriguing, confident and sharable as he does.

5. The Cult of Seth

The fact the he doesn’t use twitter AND promises us that he never will encourages other to carry the flame for him.

Seth has a rabid fan base. Most will tweet and re-tweet his posts even BEFORE they’ve read them.

Because Seth can’t (or won’t) they spread the word for him.

6. Create a Rabid Fanbase

His followers are fanatic about Seth.

Don’t believe me?

If you feel brave, make a comment that doesn’t support the word of Seth or dares to challenge it. In Linchpin, he talks about the Lizard Brain.

I’ve read comments about the Lizard Brain in other blogs. Some folks seem to take it literally as though it’s a fact. Try explaining to them that there is no Lizard Brain.

Be prepared for some very negative comments.

7. Think Like a Newspaper & Write Daily

Seth writes a new blog post every day.

His blog is like a newspaper. New day, new edition. And the quality is very high. No filler. No fluff.

Fans check in first thing every morning to get the skinny…. and then start tweeting.

His site shows the number of tweets and shares. This encourages readers to find the most popular articles and spend more time on the site.

8. Focus on Words, Not Images

Breaking all SEO rules, Seth rarely uses images to jazz up his articles. He wastes no time on eye candy or visual cliches. The focus is on words.

9. Feed Google

and because he posts every day, Google rates the site higher than his competitors. Google has always favored sites that post regularly. This year it announced that its algorithm was updated to favor/reward etc sites that produce content more frequently.

10. Break Social Media Rules

The irony is that Seth doesn’t interact with his community. He doesn’t reply to comments on his blog – you can’t even leave comments – and his Facebook page has little interaction that I can see.

Somehow this encourages others to:

  • Speak on his behalf and spread the word.
  • Defend any criticism of his writings.
  • Interpret his material so others sees what he really means. How accurate they are is open to debate.

The point is that all this creates buzz.

More buzz, more sales!

11. Multiple Calls to Action

Call to Action means getting the reader to do something, such as subscribing to a newsletter, joining your Facebook Fan page or increasing your sales. The site makes this very easy to:

  • Buy the books
  • Read the articles
  • Share the love

It’s simple. And it works.

Over to you.

What’s the one thing you’ve learnt from Seth that makes hi
m stand out? And how have you adapted it into your marketing strategy?

Note: This article first appeared on Bloggertone as How Seth Godin Turns Browsers To Buyers

9 thoughts on “11 Ways Seth Godin Makes His Blog Remarkable”

    1. Hi Mike,
      I don’t think he uses Twitter, ie to connect with others, but his blog is shared there for sure.
      What I find useful is to watch his TED talks. I always seem to get something out of them, especially when he looks at ways to scale your business. Seth’s big into scale, thus his recent Amazon project!
      Regards,
      Ivan

  1. Compelling post Ivan. I would say that Seth Godin’s blog is unique in that it matches his own strategy and responds to his own needs as a writer (and discards what he doesn’t want like comments or distractions). I don’t underestimate the subliminal power it has, especially in the examples of people re-tweeting or sharing without his requirement, but what is remarkable is him/ his thoughs and his blog is more a publishing platform than anything else. Indeed the blog itself is a great example for a writer looking to mirror some best practices, but it can be confusing for a company looking to get into corporate blogging (again, probably the company should disregard the structure and merely take away some of Seth’s thoughts). I’m very fond of his ideas, but don’t like that blind fanaticism for him. Like with any good writer, one should be able to disagree with him, especially since in being good he is very contradictory.

    1. Hello Facundo,
      I have a lot of thoughts on the cult of Seth. When I started out blogging I was a bit naïve and said it like I saw it, if you get my drift.
      It was interesting – and a bit distressing, to be honest – to see the anger from others which you’d contradict one of their pets, such as Seth. I made a comment on Danny Brown’s blog once, in a pretty diplomatic way, and the response was nuts. Jesus, some of these people….
      Another we’ll-known blogger really got shirty when I pointed out that he’d moved the goal posts to suit his own agency. Takeaway – they don’t want real interaction, just retweets etc.
      My 2 cents on all this is that group dynamics determines a lot of how folks interact online, for example, there is the ‘halo’ effect of being associated with Seth, Copyblogger, etc.
      And, by extension, it explains why they get so defensive if you contradict or look at things from another angle.
      To me, they’re fans, y’know fanatics. Proceed with caution 😉
      The other point about how it works for him but not others is well made. Actually, Jim Connolly, the Scottish marketing blogger made the point that you can’t replicate what works for the big boys are their starting point, connections, influence, resources etc is so different that yours.
      Which makes sense in that you have to carve out a niche for yourself.
      Of course, no-one wants to say this because… most web marketers would be out of business.
      You made the point that Seth emphasised scale in his webinar and I thought about that. I try to look at guys like Seth (or CB) and see what they’re doing as much as what they’re saying.
      And, if you look at a site like Squidoo…. maybe there’s something in there, some kernel you can take away and adjust elsewhere… that’s how I approach it.
      Ivan

      1. Hi Ivan,
        Tried finding the comment you made that resulted in a “nuts response”, unfortunately can’t find it. I did find this one, where you were a little bit disparaging, comparing my blog readers to a “merry crew” of “clowns”.
        http://dannybrown.me/2010/01/27/audi-socialmedia-greenpolice-shitstorm/#comment-19075
        Maybe you can point me to it? My community is usually very respectful of opinions, and I have a comment policy in place that protects other commenters. Perhaps you’re thinking of another blogger?
        Also, Jim Connolly is London born and bred – with a very Cockney accent. 😉

        1. Hi Danny,
          You’re right. I shouldn’t have call them clowns. After all, clowns make you feel better about yourself, whereas many of the comments on that post were spiteful and rather petty.
          You asked, “I’m curious what advice you would have given from your social media strategist view?”
          Well, if I ignore the slightly condescending tone for a moment, I’d have sent them a note in private pointing out their error and suggest they fix it… y’know, before someone else turned it into a sh*t storm!
          Apologies to Jim. Mea Culpa. Got my wires crossed there 🙂

          1. Hi Ivan,
            I think you’ll find the “spiteful and petty” comments were from the folks that took umbrage with the post. At least, most of them – some made valid arguments and points. And most of the folks that took umbrage, and were “petty”, were first time commenters so weren’t part of my community (and have never been back since). Like I say, I’m fortunate to have a pretty solid bunch of folks that comment and are respectful to all views.
            Not sure where you got the condescending tone from – the complete comment I left for you was:
            Ivan,
            No-one is out to cost anyone their jobs; a question is being asked about research and how brands present themselves. There’s no moral high ground – there’s a question of “was this the right approach given the circumstances.”
            Looking at your website (assuming you’re @ivanwalsh and the site is http://www.ivanwalsh.com – if incorrect, my apologies), there’s a post about brands and reputation online:
            http://www.ivanwalsh.com/2010/01/howto-build-brand-values-web/#more-3927
            I’m curious what advice you would have given from your social media strategist view? Would you have gone the same route or differently?

            It was a genuine question and I was interested in your take (though looking at the post again, I guess I should have asked your guest writer). As I explained in the comments over there, I did try and contact the agency and Audi’s PR team, with no reply.

Comments are closed.