How Agencies Can Leverage Blogging For Lead Gen

Alice Elliott

Read the transcript

Jan Koch  00:06

Welcome, everybody. Thanks for joining me at the WP Agency Summit. today. I’m here with Alice Elliot from https://fairyblogmother.co.uk/. And Alice is on a journey that’s very near and dear to my heart and she’s trying to bring back positivity into the blogging world and into the commenting specifically. Alice, thanks for making the time to join us at this event.

Alice Elliott  00:30

Thank you very much for inviting me. It’s enjoyable to be here.

Jan Koch  00:34

Thank you so much. Can you give us a little introduction to who you are and what you’re doing in the blogging space?

Alice Elliott  00:41

Well, my name blogging name is the fairy blog mother. And she was set up initially to help people understand everything there was to know about blogging, especially for the non-technical people because back at the beginning of the millennium, there were a lot of people out there who were scratching their heads and not understanding anything at all about technical stuff. Because all the promotional material and all the educational stuff was written by geeks. And nobody could understand geek language. So I realized that I had to obviously do all my own blogging and my creating my websites myself, but there are lots of other people who could also do the same if they knew how. So sorry but mine was set up to explain how to do blogging and understand it in ordinary everyday language. Now, that’s all moved on, because blogging has become more simple. And technology has evolved. And people had evolved with technology and it’s all communicating now. So the majority of bloggers now understand how it all works. And it’s pretty self-explanatory in it and it will it used to be intuitive, but I think now people have become more technologically savvy. So it isn’t an issue anymore. Except for a few people, but then that’s who I help. And so I have now focused my attention on the communication side of blogging, whether it’s through interaction, engagements, commenting, and even how people connect with blogging and they cut the idea of how people will associate with their readers rather than just blogging for the hell of it, you know, your blog for yourself, your blog through it yourself better, to get things off your chest, to try and speed how wonderfully was the big bad world? So that’s how I develop now. I think it’s…people need to be aware that there is a lot more than just writing words when it comes to blogging.

Jan Koch  02:50

Yeah, I couldn’t agree more with this and especially well with the target audience that we are attracting in the session, which is most people who try to make money from their blogs because they run agencies or are freelancers, and they build websites for their clients. I think that blogging is kind of a controversial topic because you might hear people saying, blogging is dead. Blogging doesn’t work anymore. And then you see other people who spend countless hours over hours over hours on writing their blogs and creating written content. And they see kind of insane results sometimes in the terms of how the blog grows their brand and authority in the market. So I would love your take on this, like, what is the state of blogging in 2020?

Alice Elliott  03:40

It’s half the time the luck of the draw. I think if you manage to trick that switch and get some people looking at you and responding to and you are saying the right things to the right people at the right time in the right place, you’re going to succeed. That means there’s a lot of people out there who will not succeed because they don’t understand it, they haven’t got the right switch to trick. So there will be people who work really hard and produce fantastic work and deserve all the recognition they possibly need but don’t get to me. And then there are some people who churn out complete and utter rubbish and get instant liberty and you’re thinking why? What’s going on? But it’s again, it’s who you know, and how you come across to your readers. And do you say the right thing to the right people? Are you getting a cut? Do you understand what your readers want? Are you in tune with them? Do you have a connection with them? Is there an affinity with them? Do they do you understand them and they understand you? Are you saying the right things to them every single time? Now for a lot of people blogging is a very personal experience, and they have the information they want to share or stuff they want to tell people. And it may not actually have a connection with the kind of audience they’re reaching out to, or they’re saying it wrong, or they’re writing the wrong kind of words or the attitude is wrong. But those who are willing to throw all caution to the wind and forget about themselves, and that is the crucial element of forgetting about themselves, focusing only on the reader, focusing only on their clients, and analyzing who they’re talking to in every capacity, and then using the information they’ve learned and then giving them what they want. You give your audience what it wants, and if you’ve got it right, they will respond. And if you’ve got it exceptionally right, you will do extremely well. But that’s the problem with the majority of people, they don’t understand their audience enough and the audience doesn’t understand them enough. And this also comes down to how they collaborate, how they communicate how they engage with each other. Because the engagement is so important isn’t just a one-sided dialogue when you’re doing blogging. It’s two-sided, there’s a conversation going, you have connections, you have discussions, you have asked questions from each other. You find out information by having conversations and just and talking to each other through either the blog, or there’s this thing, this wonderful thing called social media out there because it isn’t just blogging, you know…

Jan Koch  06:37

I heard about that. Yep.

Alice Elliott  06:39

Wonderful thing, you know, must, you know, start using it more often these days. Social media is a great tool for bloggers, and also other forums and other ways of talking to other people. You can do it online and offline, that you get offline I know all stuck in COVID and everything like that, but there’s still an ability to talk to people, even one to one on the phone on zoom and stuff like this. Don’t forget the concept of talking to people to get to understand them, and they understand you. And then once you’ve made that connection, then it can go forward. You cannot have a one-way system with blogging. And blogging isn’t designed for a preachy nature, telling the world how wonderful it should be when really, the world thinks their use is possible.

Jan Koch  07:30

Yeah. So it’s essentially a mindset shift that we need to make as business owners in terms of using the blog not just to praise our businesses or to explain how our customers benefit from the services that we offer. But we need to really dive deep into who actually is our customer and who are we talking to on the blog and what moves them like what keeps them awake at night and how can we create content that improves their quality of life really. 

Alice Elliott  08:07

It’s finding out, how do these people tick? What emotions they have? What gaps in their knowledge should they have? What problems that need solving? What questions that need answering. There’s also this technique called social listening that businesses are succeeding will do social listening is when you go online. And you go to the places where your potential customers are, your existing customers, not your potential new ones. And you listen to what they are saying, You watch and you read and you understand what these people are saying, not necessarily about you or your business, but things in general, but people tend to use it to buy that at about their latest product. Has it worked? Are people using it? What do you think about it? Does it how does it compare with their competitor’s products for example. But social listening can be used by the ordinary blogger as well to find out what their customers are rather than what their readers want to hear what they want to read. And that’s very important because you’ll be churning out lots of fantastic information in your blogs. But if nobody wants to read it, it’s a waste of your time. So be just social listening to analyze, to work out what people want to read nowadays, and adapt what you say in your blogs to suit and the more you can adapt it, where you can change your way your mindset to meet their mindset, then you’re gonna have a bigger chance of getting your blog, read and appreciated and ultimately commented on because that’s the ultimate because you want to get people to come back and tell you what they think about what you’ve written in your blog.

Jan Koch  09:55

Yeah. Do you think that blogging is still a pursuit worth doing? In 2020, for agencies? or is that kind of like more reserved for the hobbyist side of the web? 

Alice Elliott  10:08

I think blogging should be used for two kinds of people, one who wants to express themselves to the big bad world, but don’t give a toss about what people think. And for other people who want to communicate with their audience, and if you are the latter, then you need to do far more work than just writing posts in your blog. You need to get out there and socialize, talk, ask questions, communicate, have conversations, set up discussions. The blog is just leverage. It is a way of getting your ideas out there. And then also using it as a way to explore different ideas. It’s to maybe if accessible, get feedback from your audience. And then it’s also a method of you could use it to experiment and see how people respond to what you’re saying. And of course, it’s a great way off, obviously, once you’ve got that magic touch to communicate what you want to say, in the way the audience wants to hear and wants to read about, because there’s a lot of people out there who are successful because they still get their message out there. They still have their ability to express themselves and share what they want to say. But they do it in a way that the audience wants to see, wants to hear, and wants to read. And once they’ve done that, then they’re successful. Especially, for example, influencers. They use their blog, whether it’s written but mostly because they do videos because videos seem to be more important now than the written word. Easy to consume. But it doesn’t take so long. You can get a personality coming out at the same time, you can see the person you’re talking to you can hear them, you can assess them, you can look at their faces, you can work at their body language you can work out we have an affinity with these people. You can’t necessarily do this on the written words, it may take a bit more intellectual people to assess them, and that will feel like a long 202,000-pound post. But the majority of people want a quick fix. They want to immediately get what they’re talking about. They want to see and, and make an assumption straightaway. And blogging because using a blog with a video is probably the best way to do that.

Jan Koch  12:43

That’s really interesting. And I like the long term aspect of that approach because it takes time to build these relationships with your readers. But also, at the same time, those relationships that you build, they will last for more than if you just get random readers from Google or from a Facebook promotion or whatever. And you don’t get to capture their real attention. And you don’t speak to them in the way that they wanted to hear, as you said. And I think once you understand that language, and once you understand how to speak to your audience in the blogs, that translates into so many other places, too, so that also translates into your emails. That translates into landing pages that you might set up and translate into digital products that you’re going to build. So there’s really, as I said, there’s a lot of leverage in blogging itself.

Alice Elliott  13:41

The best way to use your blog if you want to attract your audience is to make it into a community. Now, a long time ago, back in the dark ages, blogs were a form of community because people did comment on them much more frequently. But if you want to get a lively audience coming back to your blog on a regular basis, and also talking about your blog to their friends and become an accuracy to your blog, and to get more readers coming in and to attract the search engines and attract other algorithms from the SERP, from the social media, it’s all about getting popularity. And popularity is one way that could be obtained through a community on your blog. Doesn’t have to be a community on social media, though, of course, that’s where they all start. And you can always move on from your community and social media onto your blog. Especially if you do video blogs, and other ways of attracting information that using contests and competitions and other ways that your readers can participate on your blog, because it’s the participation, the inviting your readers to come along and do something on your blog taught me the actual process of doing something on the blog is what makes them interested, they feel involved, they feel they belong. They feel they have a part of your blog, then then they this process means that they will be happier to come back and do something else at another time, another post, another competition, another video you’ve created. And this is actually this, encouraging people to come back and do something that actually makes a difference between a blog that’s successful and a blog that just churns something out and nobody comes to.

Jan Koch  15:36

Yeah, and that engagement. I think it’s a double-sided coin if you will because I see many friends of mine who run blogs, they disable the comments, for example, because they don’t see engagement on their blog. And then they are afraid that having zero comments is kind of a negative backslash. on them. What do you think about that?

Alice Elliott  16:02

If you turn off your comments, how much social proof do you get? And the answer is zero. Social proof is what makes people wake up and think about having a minute. This person’s worth talking to this person’s worth reading this person’s worth following. If you have no comments on your blog, how do people know that you actually have a readership? How do other people know that what you’re writing is worth reading at all? Because there is no feedback. There was no response. You could have a very lively existence on social media. But if there’s nobody coming in, nobody is allowed to come back to your blog and comment on it then how can that be extended into all the posts too, right? It’s like, as I said, blogs are not one-way communication. They are not a single dialog. They are, though originally created back goodness knows when, as part of web 2.0 was to allow a website to allow people to come along and have their say. And that’s how the blog through created, they allowed people to comment. Now if you take away that acidity, it isn’t a blog anymore. It’s just a static website. It’s just somewhere where you can reach. And you can have your say in the safety and security of your own little cocoon. And that doesn’t necessarily work for the interactive worlds. And so if you are too scared to allow other people to have their say, to forget, there are moderations, and there are plugins, and there are also other things you can do to keep the spammers and the trolls at bay. But even though you get somebody else to moderate the comments and if you’re too scared of what people are saying, but it’s all about you’ve got to open the doors you’ve got to let people in. There are some big bloggers some really successful bloggers who do get tormented by inappropriate people. But what they do is they keep their audience happy. They know there’s going to be a suitable amount of people coming in. This is a bit of a post. And so they say in their commenting policy, it’s always a good idea to have a commenting policy, that every single post is going to be open to comments for 14 days, for example, could be seven days be 14 days. And at that time, you are allowed to comment as much as you like on that post. But after the 14th day, then it closes. Because that’s when the trolls and the spammers start because they do old blogs, they don’t do new blogs. And so by closing it, you’re allowing your loyal people to come along and read it and have their say and you get the good quality posts coming in the good quality. interaction coming in. But it doesn’t prevent the malicious people in the background who are there to cause misery and aggravation because they grew up too late on the scene, and then they think this one’s closed, and they don’t bother anymore.

Jan Koch  19:14

Yeah. And that’s a really interesting topic that I would definitely like to come back to at a later point in our conversation. But before that, I just had one question come to my mind or one thought, and that is I personally have comments disabled on my blog, too. And that’s because I don’t blog very often, I’m not taking the time to write blog contents every so often. So what does it take to be consistent with a blog because what I would assume is to build a readership and a loyal following you have to have at least somewhat of consistency so that people know when to expect a new blog post to come out.

Alice Elliott  19:56

It is consistency. It is you choose how often you can create a post that you feel comfortable with, do you feel comfortable posting once a week, once a fortnight, or even once a month if you’re really busy, but when you do post, you make sure that you produce the best possible content ever that you can at that time. So if you like to produce good quality, but very long, very detailed, very intricate posts, with lots of information, lots of graphics, you probably got infographics, probably got videos, or they got graphs. And you’ve got public clips, lots of information about the people and you’ve maybe interviewed people and got quotes and stuff like this, you’ve got a massive, beautifully produced post. Then that is something you may want to do in a more irregular way. But say once every three weeks or something, but if people you’re if you’re your audience knows that you’re going to produce this mega fantastic piece of work once every three weeks then they can be ready waiting for it because they knew the last one was definitely worth reading. So this one is, is going to be guaranteed to be as good as the last one, so don’t disappoint. And therefore, if you regularly produce an excellent post once every fortnight once every three weeks, once a week, if you’re really into it, then that is how people will be waiting in the wings to come back to your post to meet what you say. If you post sporadically like you might do three and a trot, and then it’s dark for a couple of months. People are gonna think to err, was it gone so you can have her day you know, did he died? You know, that can be that simple. You know that he’s, he’s got bored and does something else. You know, I can’t be bothered coming back to this post this blog and seeing an old post every single time on top, I want something new. But if they know that something new is going to be happening in a week’s time or fortnight’s time, then they’re going to think oh, I’ll come back in a fortnight and see what else is gonna be there. And then of course, there are those who really want to follow you because you produce fantastic stuff. Well subscribe to your blog, you can offer in your sidebar subscribe mechanisms, you know, their link to Feedly for example, or the other Feedburner signup forms so that people will automatically get your new post coming in their inbox whenever you produced it. And they go well yeah, it’s another blog. Let’s go read it you know. I’ve got to tell people not to bookmark stuff because what they bookmark then that’s it disappears often into the…they never seen it again, I mean, again I have about a billion bookmarks…

Jan Koch  22:53

Same here yeah,

Alice Elliott  22:54

You know they say I read it on the train down somewhere, and of course, I never do because something else more important popped up. But if you can somehow know that if you post at say 10 o’clock in the morning, people are going to more like you’re going to be want to read your blog. And less likely you’re going to want to, to bookmark it or put it aside for later and forget about it. And they know that on the second of the month, there is this fantastic post arrive at 10 o’clock in the morning. Definitely worth reading, I need to get a cup of tea come and read this post because I’m going to learn something today. And then, but then, of course, the atmosphere the attitude you have your readers have to always do that. Not only are they know they’re going to get quality, but they didn’t need to feel that because it’s open, you’ve opened your comments, they can then have their say about that post, which they’ve waited two weeks for with great anticipation because the last one was so wonderful. So it’s again it’s down to quality. It’s down to regularity it’s down to always giving them what they want. And it’s also allowing them to have their say because if they feel they could participate in your blog, then that’s the difference between just preaching something now and again when you feel like it. And then having a dark peach period of nothing happening at all. You probably want me to be talked about, for example, content schedules and content planning and all that. 

Jan Koch  24:24

That will be the next question. Yeah. 

Alice Elliott  24:25

Yeah. Now, that’s, that’s for people who are in agencies and they’re really organized. I worked for an agency once and she planned everything out a year in advance. It’s all very boring. The trouble is with that is that it’s almost that she brainstormed all the ideas their poor blogger had to write about in advance, and then they had to rigidly keep to it every month. But things evolve, things change. New stuff comes in the market, an instant happens. New technology comes before. The world is a continuously evolving place, your content schedule should not be set in stone, you’ve got to allow it to evolve to move around to fluidity. So by all means brainstorm. Brainstorm and get some great ideas, say I didn’t know two or three or four months in the future, and put them down in your schedule. But be aware that other stuff could creep in which is more important worth citing or more interesting or more topical trendy, valuable. And, therefore, because you’ve created your schedule you know that oh I need to write about x y Zed Oh, but I can move this one to this month because it doesn’t really matter. And you know, some people like to schedule it according to the events in the year that Valentine’s and Thanksgiving and that sort of thing, but yeah, great, but that’s so boring. Everybody knows does that. You need to find you need to be aware of allowing the flexibility of your content and the flexibility of your scheduling. So that you can shuffle things around and still have, in the back of your mind, I’m going to be writing about this particular subject. And it used to be out in two weeks’ time. Now I can actually start doing some research, doing some talking to people getting some ideas, and finding some information. And during that time, you are amassing all this information in your head and probably written down in various formats, whether it’s on your phone or on your on a piece of paper, or whatever you like to work. And by the time you get to write it, it’s all worked its way subconsciously in your brain so that when you produce something, it’s actually going to be likely to be more original, more you, and also probably applicable to your audience, because that’s the most important bit as I said. It has to be for your audience. And so you’ve used that time, there are two weeks that you’ve given yourself to sort of ground it away in your brain so that when you produce something it is going to be as it is whiz-bang, wonderful as your audience expected it to be.  Does that help?

Jan Koch  27:17

It helps a lot. And actually, it’s kind of freeing because what I struggle a lot with is, as I said, things happen. things come that take a priority and that pushes the writing of the blog posts further, especially on the private side. For me personally, I’ve become a first-time dad about 12 weeks ago when we are recording this interview.

Alice Elliott  27:42

Oh, wonderful!

Jan Koch  27:42

Thank you. So that is obviously taking priority right now and I haven’t written a blog post in like 12 weeks because of it. But it’s, it’s freeing and that I can just set my topic list if you will. And then I know that in probably a couple of weeks’ time before this event really starts, I can start creating more content. And I just go through the list and find topics that I think are relevant in this context. Like always think about or what I try to do is I try to always think about the context my readers are in, and what situation they’re in, but also what type of action I want them to take after reading the content. So leaving the comment is one thing but obviously, when I’m leading up to a free virtual event, then signing up for the event is another big call to action that I have. And I’m wondering if you have any thoughts on how to integrate these call to actions into blog content without coming over as spammy or salesy.

Alice Elliott  28:47

Call to actions are something that can be placed anywhere you like within the post, as long as in context with what you’ve written before. Doesn’t have to be at the end because you can’t always guarantee you will be getting to the end of your post or get to the end of your sales page, we’ll get into the end of your communication on social media. If you are canny, and you’re good at writing, you will probably weave it in away. It needs to be done in a way that people will notice it and not think of a call to action, I’m not going to bother with that. They’re gonna think, Oh, I didn’t know that you can weave it in a way that it’s like, combined with a piece of information that’s really important. And if and if maybe if you could use it, the call to action, if you want to get people onto your mailing list, for example, the important piece of information that makes a difference to their lives could be one way of grabbing them onto your mailing list. And you can adopt these different pieces of information throughout the content you’ve written or video that you’re producing to make them stop because one of them is going to resonate with them. The first one might not but the third one might and of course, with somebody else, they might get the first one. So you’ve actually offered your call to actions in different ways throughout the content that you’re producing, to grab, eventually grab somebody along the way to respond to your call to action to sign up to your, to your newsletter, or to get this important, and you know, ebook or whatever method you’re using to sign up for this course, or whatever, you know, you’re trying to portray to your audience. And I think what people will do fall down is that call to actions are too obvious. And if you make them more applicable to the person you’re trying to get them to do something then they’re more likely to do it rather than saying do this now. Or you know, sign up here. You know. If you change the button to say yes, please. I would love to get this ebook. And you put the idea into their head, oh yes!  Yeah. Job Done. So it’s a very subtle way of maybe, call to actions should be done. Not in your face anymore because that doesn’t work because most people have sussed what a call to action is now, you know, 20 years ago they were new. They were in your face and because people working them, that’s how psychology worked. But people and a lot of people now sussed how digital marketing works and there should be a need for it. And then, you know, people, if your people like me, I go through Oh, yeah, actually, I can see that and I’m gonna put up with that. You know, I can suss that out that what you’re trying to do when it comes slashing into my face because you’ve got this fence fancy graphics on your computer, you can make your pop up, make the sound. Yes, yes, that doesn’t really make that really gets my attention. But I’m not going to bother with this because it doesn’t incentivize me to want to click on that button. There needs to be an incentive every single time. Regardless of the same incentive or different ones, throughout the actual content will make the person think I need to do something with this call to action now or I’m going to miss out. The fear of missing out, is still valid, even though it’s like, bringing a bit passe. You can adapt to it, you can change it to make sure that people want to respond to that call to action because it applies to them. Not to you, the person who’s creating it. 

Jan Koch  32:28

Yeah, and that overdoing of the call to actions. I think it’s so important to be cautious about that. And I’m glad you brought this up. Because when we think about as agencies, who are we talking to? We are talking to social media managers, maybe we are talking to marketing managers to chief marketing officers. They all know all the strategies that we apply to get a sale or to get your email address even or to get you to book an appointment with us for a call. So, in toning down our marketing and our voicing, we might actually stand out against our competitors who all do the same stuff.

Alice Elliott  33:12

Yeah, make yourself different. Make yourself more amenable, make yourself more clickable for people you’re talking to. There are those who have learned from the textbook, we know we’ve got to do this ABC and got to this XYZ and it’s so boring because it’s literally is something they’ve learned from their teacher. They haven’t sat down and thought, how this going to be applicable to the person I’m trying to attract. How are they going to feel that they are wanted, that they feel that they’ve got to do if they don’t do this, actually, now they’re gonna miss out if they feel that they this person really wants me to join this course this person really wants me to buy this ebook. This person really wants me to sign up with this app because they really want to talk to me in this way and I’m going to learn so much because of this, this friendship this feeling of connection this feeling that knows that I really…you know this person you’re so important to me I really need to talk to you You must come along and join my community you must come and join my email my newsletters because if you don’t then how am I going to tell you all this wonderful stuff in the future? you know your business will expand and become wonderful because as soon as your usual speak you get noticed lovely now you are wonderful figures you know this four-figure increase in this 10,000 and percentage increase you know, there’s all these jargon all this. It gets a bit much in the end because you know, the harder time is, whatever is completely exaggerated. But if you feel that the person talking to you really wants to communicate to you for a very good reason. And you get that in the sense that they will do the utmost for you, then they’re more likely to respond and come on to your mailing list, which is what the ultimate game is at the end of the day.

Jan Koch  35:07

Yeah. Yeah, that’s a fantastic point. And also, it highlights something that I took away from our conversation before the call, which is making people feel welcomed and making people feel comfortable and safe on your blog. And that is kind of the perfect segue into the next section of this conversation, which, which is dealing with negativity in the comments, but also bringing back positivity into the blogosphere if you will. So that’s something you’ve touched upon earlier that a bit already, which is you need to moderate comments and you are going to have trolls in the comments and you’re going to have people who hate in the comments. And it’s hard to not let that attack you because everybody I think remembers that one email where a client told you that the work you delivered wasn’t great. And you forget about the 50 emails from happy clients that praise your work. And we all tend to focus on that negative stuff more than the positive experiences. How do we deal with that?

Alice Elliott  36:15

As you said, negativity has far more impact than positivity. It really should be the other way around. We really should be celebrating positivity much more in the big bad world. And we are programmed to notice negativity more because it’s all about when it goes back to the time of living in caves, and we need to be aware of the danger. Because it was to save our life. And if we weren’t aware of it, of anything that could be horrible to us, then we would not survive if we ignored it. We don’t live in caves anymore. We actually live in environments where most of the time we are safe, and we can see what we like and that’s the reason why we get people who are horrible on the net because we live in a free world where we are entitled to say what we like we can be if we hide behind another persona, we can be as malicious as NASA’s we like and nobody can know who you are. That is the problem hiding behind it and not in, you know, being another person being a student in being a nom de plume. It’s this, why did people feel they need to hide behind something else to be able to express themselves? It’s a shame that you can’t come out as you like me as anybody else and say, look, I didn’t agree with what you said. And here’s the reason why I didn’t agree with what you said and say to them in a nice way I didn’t agree with because of this. And because of this. And the reason why I’m saying this is because of this, this evidence I have here. And this evidence proves to you or certainly, I have gleaned that this is the reason why this doesn’t work and what you said is this and that that is a load of rubbish. It’s produced the negativity has been turned into a positivity because you’ve allowed the capacity for the other person to realize why you don’t agree with them and you’ve allowed them to think that okay, this person doesn’t believe me but I can go into their shoes I can go and from their point of view, I can see this is the person this is for both person the person disagree and the person who’s been disagreed with. They should be allowed to explore both sides of the scenario. There isn’t. People shouldn’t be stuck behind to a big fence in the middle shout shout shout shout shout shout that the fence should be brought down. They should be allowed to communicate with each other’s land as it were, why do you don’t like my apple tree coming over your fence? Well, why don’t you cut down your apple tree, but then I like to eat your apples. But why do you like to why to cause they’re coming over your fence, you know, there should be and then people should be more tolerant of each other in the sense that, you know, I don’t agree with what you said, but I don’t…there’s no reason to be horrible for that person because you disagree what they’re saying, you just need to tell them. I don’t agree with them because of this, and this and this. The reason you shouldn’t just stop there, there should be the reasons why. And maybe you know, why I’m telling you like this, how this impacts me. So the other person gets to understand how the other person is feeling. And then, you know, goes back again over the fence or the other person they both it’s, it’s a communication factor, you know, and the communication is falling down. It’s disintegrating because of this inability to understand the other person’s point of view. Now, this is all very well and good because I can keep saying this, the cows come home, and it’s not something that’s appearing, you know, in a swish of a wand doing it like that. It’s something that needs to be understood by other people. You need to… Tolerance is a very difficult thing to educate, drag other people to emulate. But it’s, it’s how can I put this? There will be people who are passionate about what they think and they think that everybody else is wrong. And therefore, they got to be able to stand on their soapbox and tell the world but then the other person who receives this they should either take it on the chin or analyze why this poor person here is giving it a hard time and then maybe accommodate it or if not get riled up not to get upset in return, you know, this person, this is unfortunate. So let them have their say and then delete it and you carry on with your life. You know, don’t get them half the time. You know, there is so much hate in the world. Let people have their hate because once they’ve probably had their hate, they feel better and they go away feeling better, and they probably aren’t horrible and BS for I know copy a few seconds afterward…

Jan Koch  41:13

until they see the next thing to hate on…

Alice Elliott  41:15

Do not get affected by this hate. They should learn to accept that there are some people they have to get off their chest have a hard time and then they might feel better for a few minutes and then but you should not be affected by this. It is almost people who have to put on their suits of armor when it comes to this sort of thing. That’s difficult because so many people will be riled will be upset will be affected by the vitriol that comes from the unfortunate to has to have their say. It’s a difficult situation. But at the end of the day, it does come down to tolerance and it does come down to accepting that half the time it isn’t actually personal. This niceness is because there are people who need to have their say

Jan Koch  41:59

That’s a really important lesson to just maybe put on your tough suit and grow some thick skin with these things. Because as entrepreneurs, we are already stressed out enough. So there’s always challenges that we have to face when we’re running our own businesses, whether it leads, delivering projects, what have your internal processes, the tech stack acting up, there’s always something going on. And then if somebody adds more hate or negativity to that in the blog comments, there’s no point in getting upset about this. And it’s easier said than done, obviously. And I’ve had my fair share of hate on my YouTube comments as well, where some people didn’t agree with what I said. But it’s, I just tried to disarm them and to kill them with kindness. Really, I always invite them to elaborate on their position. And 99% of the time, you don’t hear from them anymore because they disappear.

Alice Elliott  43:02

Yes, you could come back with him with a question. Why do you say this? I understand where you’re coming from. But can you explain this point a bit more clearly, and they won’t come back because I’ve had the saying that I get off and that’s it, you know, they’re happy now they can go away and do what they’re gonna do or find somebody else to do. But it isn’t a personal thing. It’s, it’s for them. It’s personal, but it shouldn’t be personal to you. Because half of the time these unfortunates just have to have a rants. They have to have something they have to get their kick. And once they’ve had their kick, they’re happy and they go away, but you should not feel affronted. It’s almost like it’s a sort of glass perspex between you and them. And what you allow through that barrier should be what you want to go through that barrier. You do not allow anything that’s inappropriate goes through that barrier. You can see it but you do not let it through. You do not open it up and let it pass through. And you can and if you are strong enough, you can say delete, gone. Nevermind. Sad, you know, also leave him alone. You know he’s probably had his say! nice now how I can turn out positive want me to look at you know, there are other comments to make you feel better. There’s always gonna be people who do appreciate what you do and then say nice things to your focus on that work on that. Try and engage them in conversation, ask them a question. You know, thank you so much for your really kind comments. What did it make you want to say? What’s the aspect of this made you want to…can you try and get them to come back because they will come back because they are there for a good reason. They aren’t there to give you grief and hardship. 

Jan Koch  44:54

Yeah, that’s so true. 

Alice Elliott  44:56

And I think you could be getting more responses from those who are nice and kind to you. There is more kindness in the world, I think,

Jan Koch  45:03

how do we contribute to that? Because I know you have this project going on with bringing positivity back into the blog comments. How do we do that?

Alice Elliott  45:14

I’m in the middle of writing a book at the moment, actually, I’ve been writing for five years but keep that quiet. These things take time. I’ve been writing a book about how to be kind on Burnett’s in social activity, whether it’s on blogs, or social media or forums, or anywhere else, even in offline situations. It’s quite difficult, but I’m getting there. And it’s all different capacities of communicating and why we should communicate. It also explores how people mishandle communicating, you know, people will take advantage of the commenting box, so taking advantage of the commenting thread and they think that it’s a free for all if disabled. Your like, this isn’t just the trolls and the spammers it’s the people who think that this is somewhere where you can promote your information, promote your business, promote your latest posts, without any build-up without any engagement without any getting to know and like and trust the other person first and they back to you before you present your information. People forget the concept of relationship building within the social world because if you have bothered to, it doesn’t have to take long it can be a few well-chosen comments and you get that person on your side they realize this person’s really nice person, you know, they appreciate what I’ve written. They said some nice things about me. You know, a few well-chosen words a bit of repartee and you’ve got it you’ve got them they’re like and trust concept. You know what on the way to get into where you want to be. And then after a while, because it should be immediate and you can start introducing what you need to share in a helpful capacity. If you could help the other person by solving a problem or improving their lives by answering a question or you know, filling in a large gap or something, then they’re going to wake up and think, Oh, this person really means something, you know, they’ve helped me they’ve made my life better. Perhaps they’re worthwhile bothering with, maybe I should pay more attention to them. And that’s how you get the information in your blog out there. It’s how you get people to come along and read what you’ve written, watch your videos, and communicate with the other social updates and other stuff that you’ve done. And the conversation will continue and discussions will happen and the general relationship will build. And then that’s how people come back to your blog to read your posts and to comment on them. And that’s how the social community helps. It isn’t. I mean, the trolls and the spammers aside because they’re unfortunate, but there’s those who don’t understand this method of making a connection first with that person making a reason why they should notice you, rather than coming in, like, for example, the poor, unfortunate businessman in the networking situation will shop his business card in your face and then go out the door. What do you can do?  It hasn’t worked hard enough for you to think, Oh, I need to keep this good this might be interesting, you know, in the future, and then he puts away and then he comes back the next day? Oh, yes, I remember you. But that’s how it works in online networking as much as it works in offline networking. Because we all come online now for obvious reasons. So, therefore, we need to work much more. But it takes time it takes effort. It takes an understanding of the other person, it takes them and needs a desire, a reason to want to communicate with that person to make a connection with them. And then when you’ve done that, that’s when the success flows because of this connection has been made and they want to find out more about you.

Jan Koch  49:03

Yeah, I couldn’t agree more with the aspect of really building meaningful, meaningful relationships and connections. And that’s something I think, as we’re coming into land here, I’m trying to summarize this. What agencies and freelancers sometimes get wrong with their blogs is that they fall in the trap of believing they need 10,000 visitors 100,000 visitors a month to really make the blog contribute to their business. Whereas you just need the right people on your blog. Say you have 500 of your ideal clients coming to your blog every day, every day, no but every week or every month. Then you have like a couple of thousand visitors who are targeted leads targeted traffic and if you have conversations with them, you bet that there will project come from those conversations. You don’t need 100k visitors.

Alice Elliott  49:56

That’s actually meaningless. Just numbers to have 10,000 visitors to your blog. We do wonderful. I know everybody would love to have 10,000 visitors a day to their blog, but I think we do your stuff. And I can choose to report none of them. Are accidental or got there through other means or just passing through or any other variety of different reasons why they landed in your blog. It’s the ones that really matter the ones that come back and think, yes, this is a good place. I want to come back on a regular basis where do I subscribe? How do I join this little list? How can I find a way of always coming back to this blog on something else news making, because I like what I see here, and then they come back and then you have to communicate to them in such a way they feel wanted to be needed, respected, valued, belonging, and then they will come back to read the stuff and then they will feel more comfortable, more secure themselves to want to communicate with you back. And then you know you’ve got them you’ve, you’ve achieved this reader, they are now a really good reader and you want to keep them there. And that’s how you do this. This reader, you may have only 100 of them, but they’re good readers and you want to keep them coming back. They’re much better than the empty 10,000 noises that happen elsewhere that you never see them again, for Adam. They’re not important. It’s that person that comes back and always reads your stuff and occasionally comments and may respond to your call to actions and sign up to your stuff and buy your goods and all the other things that you want to do. They’re the people you want to keep them engaged. You want to keep them coming back for more. They’re more important than numbers.

Jan Koch  51:48

That’s a fantastic way to wrap up this conversation and as so much better than I could ever, ever summarize this conversation straight to the point. Where do people find out more about you and get it to touch with you?

Alice Elliott  52:01

Well, there are two blogs. One is called the fairy blog mother. Actually, it is actually https://fairyblogmother.co.uk/. And the other one is https://www.thecommentingclub.co.uk/. That’s what I’m focusing more at the moment because of my book, my book to write, how to make kind things on the web interactive form. https://www.thecommentingclub.co.uk/ is where you’ll find over 100 posts on all aspects of how to comment, engage, and interact. And so I really hope that you’ll get your views of this blog will come along and look at that particular blog, because I’ve worked really hard on it recently. And I’d love to get some more viewers, real viewers valuable to read it and when I cut more and obviously comments, because that’s what it’s all about. That’s what the blog is for.

Jan Koch  52:53

Yeah, and I can highly recommend that blog because that’s the reason that you’re watching this conversation with Alice here. Thank you so much for coming on and spending some time with us.

Alice Elliott  53:04

You’re welcome and thank you so much.

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