MarketingSherpa, a guide to marketing research
Adam Sutton regularly contributes articles to MarketingSherpa’s Business-to-Consumer and Great Minds newsletters. He also writes articles for the SherpaBlog. Sutton began his blogging career in 2007 for us at Mequoda Daily, where he maintained the team’s email newsletter and blog. He also dabbles in personal blogging.
Mequoda – Which CMS (ie: WordPress, Typo) are you using? What do you like about it?
AS – We use WordPress. I find it has a wide range of features without hiding the basics. It’s very easy to click and start a new post.
Mequoda – Are you blogging for your company as part of your job (ie: corporate) or is this a personal passion?
AS – Writing posts for the Sherpa Blog is part of my job and I enjoy it.
Mequoda – Has your blog enhanced your professional reputation? How?
AS – Absolutely. My name, picture, and marketing analysis are available for anyone to find 24 hours a day. If I have an interview scheduled, the person can search for “Adam Sutton MarketingSherpa” or “Adam T. Sutton” and immediately see samples of my work.
Mequoda – How often do you post a new blog?
AS – Generally, once a week.
Mequoda – Who is your target audience?
AS – Mid to executive-level marketers selling to businesses or consumers.
Mequoda – What are you doing to grow your audience and to create customer loyalty?
AS – We supply a steady stream of relevant and useful marketing content that pulls people into the blog. We also link the blog from our Best-of-Weekly email newsletter, which helps drive traffic. Also, the blog is hosted on our website where we feature in-depth marketing case studies and how-to articles. People who come for our articles often browse their way to the blog.
Mequoda – How are you using social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin) to promote your blog? Has that changed the way you blog?
AS – Although it has not changed the way we blog, our team uses Twitter to help spread the word about our blog and other company news. We will mention and link to stronger posts, as well as to other interesting content throughout the internet.
Mequoda – What is your main source of revenue: ads, sponsorships, products sales, donations?
AS – Our company’s revenue comes from our great content. We have several marketing conferences a year, including the MarketingSherpa Email Summit, the largest event in the email industry.
We also have marketing workshops, training, and certification programs, as well as our industry renowned marketing handbooks and benchmark guides. Furthermore, we offer a membership program that gives access to our extensive database of marketing case studies, articles, and research.
Mequoda – Approximately what percentage of your overall revenue comes from product sales vs. advertising/sponsorships or other sources?
AS – Honestly, as a reporter, I am not given that information. My job is to research and describe marketing best practices.
Mequoda – What key metrics do you monitor to analyze the health of your business?
AS – Our editorial team monitors our email newsletter program through host of metrics including open rate, clickthrough rate, time spent, unsubscribe and others. We are strictly concerned with quality and attention, while other business units are more involved in finances.
Mequoda – How many sites have you linked to in the last 30 days?
AS – I would estimate about 12.
Mequoda – What changes have you seen in your market since you began blogging?
AS – In the few short years I’ve blogged, social media–particularly Facebook and Twitter–have become important to anyone trying to connect with an online audience. Blogging is about interacting, and your content is the icebreaker. Social media can be a catalyst for enriching that interaction.
Mequoda – Any interesting experience you’d like to share?
AS – I’ve found that a professional audience rarely posts negative comments. So if you’re afraid of criticism–don’t be. The few negative comments I’ve received helped me tweak and strengthen my craft.
Mequoda – What advice would you give a new blogger?
AS – First: Be committed. A frequently updated blog with comment activity is a huge asset. A blog that hasn’t been updated in a month is a problem.
Second: Be realistic. Realize that every post has to be researched, written, edited, and published. Writing is only part of the work.
Also, have fun. Don’t stress over style and grammar — just keep writing.
Mequoda – What ways are you planning to expand over the next year?
AS – We will be adding more contributors to our blog this year.
Mequoda – Is there anything you’d like to share?
AS – If you’re considering starting a company blog, first experiment with a personal blog. This will help you figure out the basics and understand the time required without doing any damage to your brand.
Adam Sutton, Reporter, MarketingSherpa
I hope everybody notices that the first thing Adam mentions on the topic of monetizing content is their “great conferences.”