Anna Talerico creates a software platform that helps internet marketers increase their landing page conversion rates
“I don’t know if anything can qualify anyone for blogging—but I’ve done a lot of industry writing throughout my career and so that naturally translated well to blogging.” – Anna Talerico
Talerico has been in online marketing and enterprise web development for about 15 years, really since the dawn of internet time. Currently, Anna leads the company’s client development, marketing and operations. As the executive vice president of ion interactive, she works with both sales and customer service teams to deliver great online solutions to customers.
Anna has worked with top clients in the online marketing and development spaces. Before co-founding ion interactive, Anna led the business development effort at ion, an all-digital marketing communications firm with clients such as Samsung, Siemens, and Bliss Spa. Prior to that, she was the managing editor of Art Experience magazine. Anna currently sits on the advisory board of the eMarketing Association.
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Mequoda – How long have you been blogging?
AT – I’ve been blogging ‘officially’ for four years. Prior to blogging I was doing a lot of article writing, but when I look back on some of those articles now, I see they were really more well-suited to be blog posts.
Mequoda – How many blogs are you currently writing for?
AT – I write only for my blog, The Post-Click Marketing Blog, which is a joint effort between myself and three other bloggers, Justin Talerico, Scott Brinker and Megan Leap.
Mequoda – Which CMS (ie: WordPress, Typo) are you using?
AT – We use the built in blogging features that are part of our website’s CMS, SquareSpace.
Mequoda – Are you blogging for your company as part of you job (ie: corporate) or is this a personal passion?
AT – It’s our company blog, and it’s definitely a passion. I wouldn’t blog if it was obligatory. I blog because there are topics I want to write about.
Mequoda – Has your blog enhanced your professional reputation? How?
AT – I honestly don’t know. I don’t think about it. But I suspect it has, because it is another venue for people to get to know me, what I care about, what I think, etc. Maybe it’s enhanced my reputation, maybe it has done the opposite. I try not to think about that.
Mequoda – How often do you post a new blog?
AT – It used to be weekly, but lately I have been posting daily, sometimes multiple times per day if many things pop up that I want to write about. Blogging is a snowball, the more you do it, the more you want to do it and the easier it gets.
Mequoda – Who is your target audience?
AT – The target audience for our blog is online marketers—specifically online marketers looking to increase the performance of their marketing.
Mequoda – What are you doing to grow your audience and to create customer loyalty?
AT – That’s a great question. The main thing we focus on right now is blogging a lot. That’s the best way to grow your audience. We also scan what other people are talking about in our industry and join in those conversations, or ask guest bloggers to contribute to our blog.
Mequoda – How are using social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin) to promote your blog? Has that changed the way you blog?
AT – We rely heavily on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin to promote our blog content. That’s where we get most of our blog traffic. It’s important to build your audience in these social media sites, because it is the easiest way to get your message out there.
Mequoda – What is your main source of revenue; ads, sponsor, products sales, donations?
AT – Product sales. Our blog definitely supports our bigger mission of getting our products into more customer’s hands.
Mequoda – Approximately what percentage of your overall revenue comes from product sales vs. advertising/sponsorships or other sources?
AT – Most of our revenue comes from product sales, but we also have a book, Honest Seduction, which is a compilation of some of our blog posts, and so of course there is some revenue from book sales as well.
Mequoda – What is your main source of referrals?
AT – We get most of our traffic from our social media networks. Each blog contributor has his or her own universe of friends, fans and followers, and then the company does as well. It adds up to a nice platform from which we can get the word out.
Mequoda – What key metrics do you monitor to analyze the health of your business?
AT – Too many to list, but for the blog metrics, we get an email each morning that shows us page views, referrals and ‘engagement’ scores. We use a service called PostRank for this, and it’s really great. It shows us the health of the blog in some very concise, visual reports.
Mequoda – How many sites have you linked to in the last 30 days?
AT – Not sure, but probably at least 20, if not more.
Mequoda – What changes have you seen in your market since you began blogging?
AT – Well, one obvious shift is that when I started blogging, ‘blogs’ were the flavor of the day. Everyone was launching one, companies were trying to figure out if they were even going to have one, and what that meant, and who would write for them. It’s hard to believe that some companies still wrestle with these questions today, so many years later. But I think the value of a blog is now proven, versus years ago, it was still questionable.
Mequoda – Any interesting experience you’d like to share?
AT – I can’t think of something that falls into the ‘interesting experience’ category really. I think the fun part of blogging is interacting with people who leave comments, having discussions with them, and then when you run into a reader at an industry conference that is always fun. They feel like they know you, so when you run into a reader, it’s like you want to get to know them too, since they know you. It’s like you have catching up to do to get to know who they are, what they like, etc.
Mequoda – What advice would you give a new blogger?
AT – Just start writing. Don’t think about how you are positioning yourself or what to say. Just write.
Mequoda – What ways are you planning to expand over the next year?
AT – We’ll continue to invite guest bloggers to share their posts on our blog, and I think we will continue to blog very heavily. There is a lot going on in the conversion rate optimization space, so there is a lot to talk about and a blog gives us the perfect venue to do that.
Mequoda – Is there anything you’d like to share?
AT – Well, if you are blogging as part of your company’s blog, there is always this question of how much opinion you can inject into your blogs, how controversial you can be. The longer I blog, the more I see that people don’t want the party line. They want to know what you really think. So, don’t be afraid to put it out there.