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Episode 23  Rohit Bhargava Author of Personality Not Included, Podcast of the Week, 25 Styles of Blogging, Using Personality to Build your Personal Brand, Be Your Own Brand Manager, Building your Net, Influencers and A-Listers, Marketing Karma, 5 Rules of Social Media Optimization, The Window of Suckiness, The Financial Aid Podcast’s Christopher S. Penn, Meet up at eBay Live in Chicago June 19-21  and SIPA’s National Convention in Washington June 2-3, Google Analytics, Podcast of the Week Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation, Song-of-the-Week Aaron Zimmer’s Wrong Side, New Sponsor! GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar

Call our 24-Hour K7 Call-in line 206-888-6606


Show Notes:


10 Golden Rules Podcast on iTunes

00:05 Christopher S Penn The Financial Aid Podcast

00:41 Ten Golden Rules Podcast Introduction

Upcoming Ten Golden Rules Presentations
May 29 “Ten Things Every CEO Needs to Know About Internet Marketing”
June 2-3 SIPA’s National Conference, Washington DC
June 19-21 eBay Live in Chicago

New Podcast Sponsor! GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar

06:59 Call-In Bryan McGovern

Winner of Seth Godin’s Book

Meatball Sundae

08:08 K7 Mark Mitchell from New Jersey Question about Google Analytics Data Safety

Avinash Kaushik Google’s Analytics Evangelist Author of Analytics: An Hour a Day referred Mark to Google Analytics data sharing.

12:33 K7 Joy Howell How to play a podcast

14:31 Larry Port Rocket Matter – Joke of The Week

15:47 Blog or Podcast of the Week!

Congratulations to Mitch Joel for Episode 101 of the Six Pixels of Separation Podcast

Sports Illustrated article about surfer Dale Webster

20:02 Rohit Bhargava Discussion
The Influential Marketing Blog

Rohit Bhargava is the Author of the new book Personality Not Included : Why Companies Lose Their Authenticity And How Great Brands Get it Back Personality Not Included

53:27 Song-of-the-Week
Aaron Zimmer and the Generals “Wrong Side”

56:49 Ten Golden Rules Extro

57:28 Arno Lubbinge – Produced with CastBlaster

57:32 Natalie Gelman – 10 Golden Rules Jingle



Transcript of 10 Golden Rules of Internet Marketing Podcast – Episode #23
Aired – 5/18/2008

CHRISTOPHER PENN: This is Christopher Penn of THE FINANCIAL AID PODCASTPodCamp and MARKETING OVER COFFEE. With the price of gold at all time highs, this is probably the closest you’ll ever get to 10 golden anything, so enjoy THE 10 GOLDEN RULES OF INTERNET MARKETING PODCAST with Jay Berkowitz.

JAY BERKOWITZ: Welcome to episode 23 of THE 10 GOLDEN RULES OF INTERNET MARKETING PODCAST. We have one of the world’s top marketing bloggers and the author of a new book called PERSONALITY NOT INCLUDED. We have a bunch of great call-ins, a Joke of The Week and some exciting news from one of our favorite podcasters.  So let’s get to it.


FEMALE ANNOUNCER: Welcome to THE 10 GOLDEN RULES OF INTERNET MARKETING PODCAST. Featuring the latest strategies and techniques to drive traffic to your website and convert that traffic into sales. Now here’s the CEO of, Jay Berkowitz.

JAY: Well good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever and whenever this podcast finds you thank you so much for joining us for number 23. If you’re a regular listener, it’s been a while since we’ve been together. If you’re listening to back episodes and it’s some time in 2010, I guess this is kind of like some Back to the Future, Lost time-shifting adventure, so it won’t really matter. I’m working on a couple of really exciting projects.  We’re finally getting down to the short strokes on the 10 Golden Rules of Internet Marketing Book. We’re going to have it finished by eBay Live on June 18-20th. We’re also working on an internet marketing certificate for a major university. We’ll have a lot more news on that coming up soon. If you enjoy this show, you can subscribe at iTunes and you’ll get every episode for free. Or you can listen to each show at We’d love you to be a part of the show. Please call our digital call-in line any time of the day or night. It’s an automated recording system and we’ll play your question or comments on the show and we’ll give you a link to your website on the show notes. The phone number is (206)888-6606. Or you can record a digital comment and email it to me at


JAY: At the start of the show we heard from Christopher S. Penn. He’s the co-founder of PodCamps, the host of THE FINANCIAL AID PODCAST and a great show called MARKETING OVER COFFEE. I spent about an hour conversing with Christopher. We talked internet marketing, personal branding, podcasting. He’s one of the sharpest minds and best technical practitioners in our space. That show will be up next, along with audio from the American Advertising Federation and a marketing meet-up we held in Miami, a networking dinner, with Joseph Jaffe from JAFFE JUICE, author of LIFE AFTER THE 30 SECOND SPOT and JOIN THE CONVERSATION. And J.C. Hutchins, another author, who did a podiobook, which is a podcast audio book, and it’s called THE 7TH SON series. You might want to check that out at or

I’m excited to announce we have a new sponsor for the show. I want to include the sponsor messaging, include it into the content of the show. So if you like this product as much as I do, please call in and tell us how you use it and we’ll feature case-studies and call-ins and interviews as opposed to old-fashioned style ads. The story behind this new sponsor product is that it’s the single, most valuable piece of technology to come to 10 Golden Rules since CastBlaster. CastBlaster is the software we use to record this podcast. Since I love this product so much I actually contacted a marketing director I know at the company and I said I’d love for them to sponsor the show. We worked out a deal and we have a new sponsor.


I’m proud to announce that GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar will be our sponsor and partner of THE 10 GOLDEN RULES PODCAST. Now I really do love this product, I’m not shilling for something I’m not really happy with. But if you haven’t been on a GoToMeeting, here’s how it works. It’s a web-based software system. You set up a meeting in advance, it comes with a conference call phone number and a website log-in with a private meeting code. So I send out the code to all my meeting invitees. They call the phone number and separately they click the link and log into the system and voila, they can see my computer screen so I can show them a PowerPoint, we can go live on the internet, I can play them a podcast, I can work on a spreadsheet together with them and I can even flip the screen back over to them and they can show me something they’re working on. It’s saved a ton of travel. We do a weekly meeting with every client at 10 Golden Rules. The product has been totally effective and reliable for us. I’m really happy to be working with GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar. Enough of my raving, please call in if you’ve used GoToMeeting. If you’ve been on a GoToMeeting, tell me how it worked and we’ll put it on a future show. The call-in number again (206)888-6606.

One more announcement, June 26th is going to be the first anniversary of THE 10 GOLDEN RULES PODCAST. I’m going to work out all the details, but I’d love you to join me on a live show. We’ll use the GoToMeeting product. I’ll do a live Webinar presentation and we’ll take your calls live and answer some questions and have some fun. So please mark your calendars. We’ll do it June 26th, 12 o’clock noon Eastern Standard Time. That shouldn’t be too early for the guys on the west coast and hopefully some of the folks in Europe and around the world can join in. Twelve noon, Eastern Standard Time. We’ll have some fun with a live podcast, that is, unless you’re the guy who’s listening to this old show in 2010, and then you’re just going to have to listen to the recording of the first anniversary show.

Now this is just about the longest set-up ever, so quickly I’m going to go through upcoming events and we’ll get to some calls. “Ten Things Every CEO Needs to Know About the Internet”, will be May 29th in Boca Raton. June 3rd I’m going to be in Washington, D.C. at SIPA’s National Conference and we’re going to have a Geek Dinner on June 2nd.  Ebay Live June 19th and 20th in Chicago. Another Geek Dinner, Marketing Meet-Up planned for Chicago. Look for all the event links for upcoming speaking engagements and travel at, right there on the homepage.

Now, let’s get to some calls and emails. First up is Bryan McGovern.

BRYAN: Hi Jay it’s Bryan McGovern from, one of those dreadful .tv domains. Just heard your message about Seth Godin’s new book and I’m a big Seth Godin fan, so if I’m up for a book, let me know. You can let me know on the next podcast I suppose. Thanks, bye.

JAY: Thanks for calling Bryan. For those of you that didn’t listen to the last show, I did a book review of Seth Godin’s amazing new book called MEATBALL SUNDAE and I promised to give out the book to a random caller or emailer who mentioned the book. Now I actually received another copy of the book from Will Wieser at Seth’s publisher. So we’re going to have two winners. Bryan and Robin Heppel, who pinged me on Facebook, were a couple of people who talked about the book. Check out Facebook as well, it’s been great, a bunch of podcast listeners have been connecting with me on Facebook and LinkedIn, so please do that. Congratulations to Bryan and Robin Heppel, we’ll get the books out to you in the mail this week.

MARK: Hi Jay, how are you? It’s Mark Mitchell from New Jersey. Really, really enjoying your podcast. I have a question for you. I use Google Analytics on my affiliate site and I’m wondering if you have any concerns or if any questions have ever been raised with regards to the data that we’re making available to Google through using Analytics. And any concerns since Google is so user results-oriented if things like high bounce rates or conversion goals, weakened conversion goals, can be used sort of as a way of telling Google that your site is not as user-friendly or performance-oriented. I wondered if you had ever come across any of this information and what your ideas were. Again this is Mark from New Jersey. I hope everybody’s well and enjoying the podcast. Thanks Jay.

JAY: Thanks Mark, that’s a great call and a great question. So I went to the source to answer the question. I emailed Avinash Kaushik. Avinash, for those of you not familiar, is Google’s Analytics Evangelist. The way Analytics works, it works with a small line of code that you add to your website. You basically copy and paste a little bit of html code onto every page on your website, and I apologize this is a non-technical description, but I’m just trying to make it easy. So the code sends a message to Google every time anyone comes to your website. It calculates where they came from. If they came from a Google search it tracks what keyword phrase they searched to get to your site. It does the same thing with MSN, Yahoo. It tells you other referring sites, who’s sending the most traffic to your site and when people get there do they sign up for your e-newletter, do they purchase something. Now you know where people came from to your site and what they do on your site. How many people leave without making a purchase? How many people just come to one page and exit the site? It gives you the ability to refine your site performance based on the metrics you  get from Analytics. Best of all, the Analytics tool is completely free of charge.

So I emailed Avinash with your question and here’s his response. “Please thank Mark Mitchell for the question. User data and customer trust is something that Google takes very seriously. Specifically for Google Analytics, it puts you in charge of determining what kind of data you want to share with Google, including none at all. You have a choice. You get to decide.”  Avinash referred me to a very helpful article that shares all the context and details about Google Analytics and data sharing. I’ll put the link in the show notes. I basically pulled out three questions from that link, from the questions about Google Analytics data sharing.

The first question – What does it mean to share my data with Google Analytics products only? If you choose to share your sites data, Google will use the data to improve the products and services we provide you. Additionally, only users who have opted to share their site’s data with Google may use the new and improved services.

Next question – Will sharing my data directly affect the ranking of my natural search results, ad quality score or ad placement? Your website data will not be used to affect your natural search results, ad quality score or ad placement. Aggregate data across many customers will be used to improve our products and services. So I think that answers Mark’s question directly. Adding Google Analytics will not affect your websites performance according to this official statement from Google.

And finally, there’s a new option in Analytics called “benchmarking” and the question is, why should I share my data? Many customers have requested benchmarking and conversion-based advertising features. If you wish to help improve our services and take advantage of these enhanced features once we release them, select the corresponding data sharing settings. So basically if you allow Google to share your data, they won’t give your data individually, they’ll only share it in an amalgamated manner. So all of our website data will be combined together. They will provide benchmarking in the future. So for example if you’re in the automobile industry, they will show you results for the entire automobile industry and you’ll get to benchmark your data against a standard for all internet data.

JOY: Hi Jay, it’s Joy Howell. I was just experimenting, trying to get to episode 18, Google Analytics Avinash Kaushik, who you had recommended to me, but I’m not quite sure how to do this. How do I get to the actual podcast, I guess is the question. Thank you, bye, bye.

JAY: Thanks for calling Joy. I get this question quite a bit so I wanted to include Joy’s question. As a matter of fact Trish Jackson, who has been corresponding on Facebook, left a really nice review in iTunes, thank you so much for doing that Trish, had a similar question. She wanted to know how to get the show in iTunes. If you’re listening to this show on, or on another podcast service, you might want to know that you can get iTunes for free. You go to, and I’ll put this link in the show notes. Basically, iTunes is free software from Apple and you can get a bunch of great free podcasts and you can download songs and movies to your computer and you don’t even need an iPod to get podcast subscriptions. A lot of times I’ll use my computer, burn a bunch of podcasts onto a CD and take it with me like if I’m going out of town and I know I’ve got a long drive in a rental car, I’ll just burn a CD. So iTunes gives you incredible capability to take your music, your podcasts, movies, etc. with you.




Transcript of 10 Golden Rules of Internet Marketing Podcast – Episode #23
Aired – 5/18/2008

So I recommended show #18, where we interviewed Avinash Kaushik from Google, the Analytics expert, to Joy. And on that show Avinash explains how to use this amazing Analytics product, how it works and more about it. That sort of fills in the back-story from Mark Mitchell’s question. Now let’s have a little bit of fun with Larry Port and the Joke of The Week.

LARRY: This is Larry Port from with the Joke of The Week. A woman gets on a bus with her baby. The bus driver says, “That’s the ugliest baby I’ve ever seen.”  The woman goes to the rear of the bus and sits down, fuming. She says to a man next to her, “The driver just insulted me.” The man says, “You go right up there and tell him off. Go ahead, I’ll hold your monkey for you.” This is Larry Port from with the Joke of The Week.

JAY: (Laughing) Okay Larry. That’s Larry Port from RocketMatter. I’m playing the joke live so I get to enjoy it with you. That one came off quick. Okay, so now let’s award the Blog or Podcast of The Week.


JAY: Long-time listeners of the show know that Mitch Joel from TwistImage was instrumental in helping us start this podcast. His podcast, THE SIX PIXELS OF SEPARATION, recently celebrated show #100. I called in to congratulate Mitch and here’s the audio.

Hi Mitch, it’s Jay Berkowitz calling and I wanted to congratulate you on show #101. Why 101? There’s an amazing story in Sports Illustrated. Dale Webster is a surfer who has surfed every single day for the last 32 years. A couple of years ago he hit a Guinness Book of World Record, number 10,000. The media was there and a bunch of surfers were there with him. And the next day he got up and he went surfing. And he’s now surfed 1,919 consecutive days. Great story in Sports Illustrated and it reminded me of you. You’re the Dale Webster of podcasting. Every week you get the shows out. They’re amazing, the quality is great. Congratulations on show 101.

MITCH JOEL: All right man. Well here it is, this is show #101 of SIX PIXELS OF SEPARATION, the TwistImage podcast. I couldn’t be happier, as I hit the button the Montreal Canadians, or as we call them here the Haves, just scored a goal. They’re still one behind on Philadelphia. But for someone that doesn’t watch hockey or care too much about sports, that’s pretty significant. Maybe I should hit the record button a little bit more often. So let’s go. Episode 101 for April 27th, 2008, this is SIX PIXELS OF SEPARATION.


MITCH: Well hey there and how’s it going? I’m so excited to be here today. I hope you’re doing great. I’m doing really well. Hello from beautiful Montreal. What’s not to be excited about? We’ve got playoffs and hockey. We’ve got no snow on the ground. We’ve got some great travel coming up, some great stories, some great connections and amazing changes happening in the online digital marketing and personal branding world, which is what we’re here to talk about. So welcome to the show. Never before have I felt more passionate about building this up and getting excited about it. Not because I’ve passed episode #100. In fact, I’ll tell you a quick little story about this whole thing. Here’s the thing. Here’s the reason why I’m having so much problems with this. One-hundred in podcasting shouldn’t be anything because in theory, I could record a show every day. I could record four shows a day. I could record a show every month. I don’t know, I’m thinking maybe it’s more about anniversaries, or like, numbers are so weird. I think Jay said it best at the front of the show, by the way that was Jay Berkowitz from 10 Golden Rules, he’s absolutely right. I’m going to keep going.

JAY: Okay, so there’s a little sample from Mitch Joel’s amazing SIX PIXELS OF SEPARATION. This guy does it, like I said in my intro, in my call-in to his show, he does a podcast every single week. He did one from the beach. He did one on a camping trip. He did one on a plane. I wouldn’t have wanted to be the person sitting next to him. Actually, I would have, because he has great content and he has great interviews. For example, show #103 I just listened to at the pool yesterday, he has an interview with the amazing author of the book PRESENTATION ZEN, a gentleman named Garr Reynolds.  If you do any presenting for business, or you want to get better at PowerPoint presentations, you’ve got to listen to show #103 and get the book PRESENTATION ZEN. Mitch is a good friend, congratulations on #100 and #101. You are 10 Golden Rules’ Podcast of The Week.


JAY: Okay, we’re about 20 minutes in and next up is our feature interview with Rohit Bhargava. He’s the amazing blogger at The Influential Marketing Blog. He just launched his book called PERSONALITY NOT INCLUDED. We spent almost an hour on the phone and I had to edit it down because we were covering such a wide range of topics. I wanted to stay focused and get this nice and tight for the show.  He’s as knowledgeable and philosophical about social media as anyone I know. So let’s get to my conversation Rohit.

JAY: …why companies lose their authenticity and how great brands get it back. I should have let you do that, right Rohit?

ROHIT: (Laughing) I probably would have screwed it up.

JAY: You wrote it. I first found out about Rohit, I think three times within about two weeks, I found a post on his blog, it’s called The Influential Marketing Blog. One post I found with a Google search, another one I found on another blog and then someone on my team sent me a third post. I believe in the rule of twos or the rule of threes. A lot of times you’ll see something once and it doesn’t really seem like it’s worth going and checking it out. But since I found out about this incredible blog three times within two weeks, I’m like, there’s something really neat going on there. There‘s something really amazing. They’re intellectual. They’re often very timely answering a question or addressing something that’s really relevant at that time for me in my business or life. They’re often very, very actionable. So I most highly recommend the blog. Then I had this neat opportunity where a journalist called me from the Wall Street Journal and asked me to recommend my top books. I pushed him a little bit and I said, “Really in our space, blogs and podcasts are equally important to books. Can I include some of the top blogs and podcasts?” And the journalist was open to that. So Rohit’s blog as well as Seth Godin’s blog and a number of podcasts were on my list. So I guess we first met after I connected you with the Wall Street Journal.

ROHIT: Yeah, that was great. I appreciated that. That was a fantastic hit. Working in a PR agency, that shines a lot of light because that’s essentially what a lot of people here try and do for their clients. So it was a great–

JAY: That was a lot of fun for me and I was so happy to include you. Let’s start with a little bit about your background and your role at Ogilvy, professional life as well.

ROHIT: Okay, my role right now is part of a team called The 360 Digital Influence Team. Essentially what our group does is helps clients figure out what to do with social media, comes from an interactive group and we’re actually a practice group within Ogilvy Public Relations. We’re very focused on word of mouth, as a discipline, and integrating that with social media. Word of mouth is a lot easier to explain to people because when you talk about word of mouth you say what we want to do is get the people who are buying our stuff to tell other people about it and enjoy it and become vocal enthusiasts about it. People get that. That’s not that difficult to describe. You’re not talking about what’s a blog, what’s a wiki, what’s an rss feed. You stay away from all that stuff and you basically say, what we’re trying to do is have a conversation with these people. If you love something, we want you to tell other people about it. That’s what marketing is trying to achieve. If we can explain it that way, then you can go down the funnel, if you will, and say okay, here are all the different tools to do that.

JAY: I know you go way deeper than just blogger outreach or media outreach. You’ve spoken in the past about influencers. Influencers are highly connected people who set trends; they recommend sales of products and services. Seth Godin’s talked about them; Malcolm Gladwell’s talked about them. But there’s recently been some debate about the role of influencers and there’s been some studies examining social media sites showing that social influence is coming from a really wide range of people instead of a core group of influencers. Do you still believe in this model and what do you think about those studies?

ROHIT: That’s actually a really good question because I think you’re right, people are starting to question. I think it’s because a lot of people have taken the idea of influencers and interpreted it incorrectly. What I mean by that is, a lot of people have said, “Okay we want to reach influencers and the influencers are, these people.” And that’s not actually the case because while I may be an influencer for someone when it comes to something that I’m passionate about, say luggage, for example, because I travel a lot and I like luggage and I did look at a lot of different kinds and that’s just me–

JAY: You definitely influence all of us in the social media space. You have an expertise in that online space.

ROHIT: We all have these niches that we’re experts in. But that doesn’t make me an influencer to tell somebody what kind of car to drive, right? I think that’s where the perception in difference comes in, which is we are all influencers in the right spaces for us. And that’s the concept that a lot of people start talking about, “Influencers don’t matter and a-listers don’t matter.” Well okay, if you’re talking about an a-lister that talks about a certain topic, like in gadget, for example talks about consumer gadgets, well, they matter in that space. Do they matter to tell you what kind of coats to wear? Maybe not. So I think that that’s where we need to get a little bit smarter about the…The idea of influence is very real. The idea that there are influencers, that are influential across everything, is wrong. I think that that’s what we need to get away from. But that doesn’t mean that there’s no influencers, because there’s always influencers.

JAY: Absolutely. So how does that touch your professional life? Are influencers a big part of your discussions and your role for your clients?

ROHIT: I think it is because really what social media has allowed these influencers to do is…if you believe what I just said about there always being influencers, then the idea of social media is that the people who are most vocal and believe and have some expertise in something, now have the tools to reach a lot more than just their family and friends. Social media makes some of these influencers have a larger soapbox, or a larger platform to stand on. So now they can influence a couple of hundred people instead of 20 or 30 people. Or, even if it’s 1,000 people, then the challenge is if we’re cracking social media strategy, how do we find the influencers that can influence those larger pools of people? Because that’s what a good campaign will do.

JAY: There was an interesting, I wish I could quote the source, there was an expert on podcasting, and they said that everyone is an expert in something and that’s your passion area. You should follow your passion area and that’s where you can be a great podcaster or blogger or writer or Facebook converser.

ROHIT: Yeah, I think that’s the tagline for Seth Godin’s Squidoo site – everybody’s an expert in something. It’s true, everybody knows about something.

JAY: It might be Seth. And certainly you can never go wrong just quoting Seth, he probably covered it in some way. Let’s talk a little bit specifically about the blog. It’s been rated in the top ten marketing blogs, even in the top five. And the ratings are generally based on the number of other blogs and websites that link to your blog. So that’s really the ultimate credibility that other experts in the space are linking to your blog. Tell me about how you’ve built up the blog. Have you consciously done marketing activities to try to build the blog? Or is it based on the great content?

ROHIT: I think a lot of it is based on content. I want to talk about one thing that you said which is a lot of the ratings do come from other blogs, that link to your blog. But the thing that I love to see more than anything when it comes to metrics, that I sometimes talk about, is when I look at the referring sites that traffic comes to my blog, there’s a certain type of link that I can’t follow. It’s the link that comes when somebody has emailed the link for a blog post of mine to someone else, because I obviously can’t follow it back into their email program. I love to see those because that means that somebody found something so useful that they took the link, they cut and pasted it into an email, they sent it to someone else. That means it’s going from person to person.




Transcript of 10 Golden Rules of Internet Marketing Podcast – Episode #23
Aired – 5/18/2008

JAY: The first blog post that caught my eye, I believe you actually created a PDF of 25 different types of blog posts. People are always asking me, “How do I get inspiration for blog ideas? Where do you get the ideas to do blog posting as frequently as you need to?” You really need to post 3,4,5 times per week to start getting a lot of credibility for most blogs. So do you want to talk about some of the different types of blogs and how you get inspiration for your great ideas?

ROHIT: Yeah. I think the first thing is my target, which is three posts a week. As you would expect, I did a blog post about this which is How to Find Time to Blog When it’s Not Your Day Job. It’s all about how do I manage to get blog posts out when this is not part of my job. Being in an agency, I fill out time sheets. There’s no time sheet line item for blogging, for me.

JAY: For your personal blog.

ROHIT: Right. So essentially I do a couple of things, one is that I collect ideas in a text file that is always open on my computer. For me it happens to be a text file because that’s the easiest thing. I can cut and paste and not worry about formatting. I throw in ideas and I tend to think, maybe it’s because of my time in advertising, I tend to think in headlines. So a lot of times if I see a site or I see a campaign or I see something out there, just from surfing around and reading something that I think is interesting, I’ll take a stab at what the title for the blog post might be.

JAY: I’m the same as you, I do headlines. I know you know Scott Monty because he recently interviewed you about your book. I head Scott on a podcast saying he does the reverse. He writes the body copy and lets the headline come out of the body copy.

ROHIT: I might change the headline, sometimes, but I tend to find that if I’m making a quick note about something, I tend to think that the headline helps me to jog my memory. Basically because I have this running archive I have all these things that I just kind of keep and sometimes sit on for a while. Like the 25 styles blog post PDF that you mentioned, I probably had been compiling those on and off for three months, until I got to 25. I actually had a couple more but I narrowed it down to 25. The only reason why I turned it, instead of a big blog post, because it was so significant and it would have been this really long blog post nobody would have been able to get through, the reason why I did it as a presentation was actually because I wanted to enter it into a competition for The World’s Best Presentation that SlideShare was running. So it was originally done as a presentation for that competition and then it was turned into a PDF after that.

JAY: That’s right, it was a finalist or one of the award winners.

ROHIT: Yeah, it was an honorable mention. Part of the reason why I wanted to enter that contest was because Guy Kawasaki was judging it. I wanted to get in front of him with some ideas. That was one of the reasons why. That’s one of the tricks I tend to use. The other thing that I do is I have one writing day. I’m not writing the whole day but like on Sunday night I usually write one blog post. I always try to put something up on Monday because that’s usually a big traffic day for me. So I’ll fully write one blog post on Sunday night and I’ll half write two others, which is I’ll sort of start to write it but I won’t finish it and I’ll sort of concept it out from things I’ve found the previous week. And then we were talking earlier about commute, I take the train to work. Usually what I’ll do is I end up writing and finishing the blog post on my train ride, which is about half and hour in the morning. And that’s how I finish the blog post.

JAY: That’s great. The regimen, the routine, a lot of bloggers and podcasters talk about that.

ROHIT: I think the thing to do, if you’re just starting out with blogging and struggling with the content issue, is not to put too much pressure on yourself, to get out posts all the time. Three posts a week, for me, is a good, optimal number. It may not sound like that much but given everything else that goes on, sometimes it’s a struggle to get three out.

JAY: I actually quote you all the time and refer people to the 25 types of blogs. We hand it out all the time at 10 Golden Rules. So talk about some of the different types of blogs because I often coach people, the easiest thing to do is just catch something interesting in your field, a blog post you read, a news story,  comment on it, add a little value, and that’s a really good blog post. But talk about some of the other 25 types of blogging.

ROHIT: The idea was really that there’s so many people saying that you should start a blog and here’s why you should start a blog. At the point when I wrote that there was so much talk about reasons for blogging and how to start a blog and how easy it was. Nobody was really talking about what a blog post should be about. So the idea behind all of these styles was I was looking at the different types of blog posts that I did and I tried to quantify them and say, this type of blog post, for example if you do a List blog post which is a blog post that has a list in it, the potential for people to pick that up and take it and save it and pass it on to others is relatively high because people love lists. Nothing ground-breaking there, we all kind of intuitively might get that. But what I did was call that a blogging style and I rated it in terms of how hard it is to do. So obviously creating a custom list about something and having some insight is more difficult than cutting and pasting something, adding a couple of lines of “Hey isn’t this interesting. Check this out,” which would be another form of blog posting. So the idea was to have a good mix on your blog of stuff that’s relatively easy to post and stuff that takes a little bit more thought, because that is an easier way to get to your three or four or five or whatever your target is, per week.

One other way I put in there is sometimes bloggers are using to tag articles throughout the week. So why not set that up automatically to do a weekly post for you from things that you saved. So there you’ve got a blog post that required no additional work from what you were already doing. So there’s all sorts of tricks like that to help you figure out what you might want to blog about.

JAY: That’s great. I’m sure you’re familiar with the term “link bait” or some people use the term “link magnet”. These are great blog posts or tools on a site, something so really strong, like your 25 styles of blogging, a lot of people are going to link to it. And so you’re getting really good Google juice. You want lots of links to your site or your blog. You want relevant links. You want important links. So link bait is a term, like the bait on a fishhook that catches the fish, link bait catches the kind of links you want. How do you use link bait and what other recommendations can you give companies or individuals who want to get quality link bait?

ROHIT: I think that sometimes people tend to think of it in a little bit of a negative sense, which is you’re “baiting” someone to click on something and maybe it’s not worthwhile. Whereas I think the definition you described is definitely what it should be, which is you create something that is compelling enough that somebody would want to link to it. The idea or the method for doing that, I don’t know that there’s one secret, the point is you want to try to write something that is as compelling and as useful as possible. I think that what I tried to do in the 25 Styles document also was if you imagine there’s these 25 different types of blog posts, from List blog posts to more insightful blog posts to like just Link Roll type blog posts, each one has a different potential to become link bait. What I tried to do was offer each one a rating, not sure what I called it, but like a viral factor or something like that. How likely it is to become something that a lot of people will link and share. If you’re just reposting something that’s kind of interesting, the potential for that will be probably pretty low. Whereas if you’re breaking news about a new beta launch or something that nobody’s ever blog posted before, obviously the potential is much higher.

JAY: Has there been one blog post that has been the most viral for you or was sort of a break through for you? Or do they all contribute?

ROHIT: I think that the breakout one would have to be the Social Media Optimization blog post.

JAY: Yeah, that was next on my list.

ROHIT: That was relatively early on in my blog.

JAY: Social media optimization, you really coined the term, right?

ROHIT: Yeah, that blog post was the first use of the term.

JAY: Will you explain what you meant by social media optimization, we can all take it different ways and how people can try to use it?

ROHIT: Yeah, it was kind of a riff on search engine optimization. Search engine optimization was basically doing things to your website to make it more search-friendly, so that it lists higher on search. The idea behind social media optimization was if you’re going to do this to make it list more highly on search, why not optimize your site and your content so that it is more easily shared by one another. The search engine marketers were the ones who really latched onto that idea and said, if you do that, and if people are sharing it, than obviously you’re going to rise in search rankings. So this is really a search idea. They took it and turned it into a search-based thing. When I originally wrote it, it wasn’t meant to be a search engine strategy, it was more meant to be a content-sharing strategy.

JAY: Tell me about some of the things that happened as it took off.

ROHIT: My original post had five rules. Some other bloggers added rules to that and we made it up to 17 rules I think. Three or four other bloggers added rules to that.

JAY: And people translated it into other languages.

ROHIT: Yeah, and after that we got translated into like 20 different languages. I kind of went open source with it, which is the absolute right thing to do. I didn’t try and keep any sort of ownership over it. I said, this is an idea, if you can do something with it, if you want to build it out than build it out. People translated it into 20 different languages. I got media hits. Now there’s entire social media agencies that say that their main focus is social media optimization. I was actually sitting in a meeting with a guy from another agency  who was talking about their services and one of the things he was talking about that they focus on was social media optimization. I was sitting there amazed at the fact that it’s kind of come full circle.

JAY: What an honor and what a pain in the butt too.  It’s like, “Hey! This is my thing. I started that ball rolling.”

ROHIT: The thing is, when I thought about it, that was 2006 so it’s been probably a year and a half maybe two years now. The best thing that I ever did was not try and own that and make that my thing. I never wanted to be the SMO guy. If I had done that, at that stage, and then I went through the same cycle that I went through now, then this book that I wrote would have had to have been about social media optimization. That’s not what I wanted to own.

JAY: That’s a great segue into the book. I expected to see a Web 2.0 book, a social media book. It’s really a brand, I’ve only read the introduction, it looks like it’s brand/new media, how do brands play in the new media sandbox. I’ll read the title again, PERSONALITY NOT INCLUDED – WHY COMPANIES LOSE THEIR AUTHENTICY AND HOW GREAT BRANDS GET IT BACK. Do you want to talk about why the book is titled that way and why you wrote that book?

ROHIT: Yeah, it’s influenced by social media, but it’s definitely not a blogging book. The way that I’ve usually described it is if you imagine that there’s three big categories of books, there’s blogging and social media books, that’s one category, one end of the triangle. There’s general marketing and business books, that’s the other bottom of the triangle. Then there’s this category of career and self-help type of books at the top. The idea of this book is to sit in between all of those. So what I’m trying to do is offer people lessons that they can use in their career, and help them further their career because personality makes a difference in that. I’m trying to offer businesses a way of branding that lets them connect with their customers. And I’m trying to offer a guide to using social media to make your personality something that happens online and that you can share with your customers. So really what I was trying to do was not focus on one area, but  write a book that was more broadly appealing because when it comes to writing a book, you want to try and take a big idea and a strategic idea and bring that to life rather than focusing on one tactic that might get old in a year.




Transcript of 10 Golden Rules of Internet Marketing Podcast – Episode #23
Aired – 5/18/2008

JAY: How do you sum up personalities of companies? Describe what that is. Make it a little more tactile for people.

ROHIT: The model that I use in the book was that personality has three core elements. If your company has a personality it’s unique, it’s authentic and it’s talkable. Each one of those pieces tends to focus on a different thing. Being unique tends to focus on positioning and brand and having something different from everybody else. Being authentic tends to focus on what the brand stands for, the values, a lot of the softer elements. And then talkable is the overall nature of it, which is, is it unique and authentic enough that people who really love it are compelled to tell somebody else about it, they can’t help it. That’s what gets you to that next stage.

JAY: There was a great example in the introduction, I’ll try to read a little bit. I didn’t do very well before, so I can’t promise anyone anything.

Power is shifting from business to individuals. This empowerment through information is happening all over the world. Hollywood movies can no longer rely on a big opening weekend for a subpar movie to cover the production costs. Word is out by early Friday night. I call this the “window of suckiness.” Things move so quickly and we all are twittering and blogging and posting and IMing and Facebook conversing.

Do you want to talk about how that moves so quickly?

ROHTI: The idea that I was trying to share in that little piece was that you cannot suck for an entire weekend anymore. You can only suck for half of Friday night. What becomes much more important, you have to actually have higher quality, which is the main thing. You also need to know that the word is transferring from person to person at a much greater speed and at a much higher volume than it ever has. The whole concept of the book is that being faceless just doesn’t work anymore and that personality matters. In fact that’s actually the tagline for all the marketing because the title, the problem I had with the title was, I love the title of the book but it doesn’t make sense without the subtitle. If I just say “Personality not included”, well why is it not included? Where is it? So I needed something else as a tagline for all the marketing. So the blog for the book is called Personality Matters. All the marketing says “personality matters” because that’s the idea of the book, that it matters. How do you do it? That’s what the book is about.

JAY: The other piece that I want to talk about from the book and something that happened on your blog, is personal brand. Let me ask sort of a long-winded question and tell a little bit of a story. You did something I thought was really fun and really personal. You announced on your blog that you were about to have a baby with your wife. Congratulations, that happened very successfully. And you invited myself and a number of other bloggers to do guest blogging. So I picked up on a blog post that you made, it was about personal brand.

Just as the internet once created a level playing field for small companies to compete with larger ones, personal branding has now become much simpler thanks to the internet. You can create your brand online. For the vast majority of corporate workers, building a personal brand is the single biggest thing they can do for their careers.

And then there was another string on your blog and you talked about the value of your blog and building your own personal brand. Do you want to touch on perceptions of the opportunity for blogging as part of building your personal brand and some of the things you talk about in the book about personal branding?

ROHIT: I think one of the things that you’ll be really interested in, there’s actually a piece of content that hasn’t come out yet which is all about personal branding and it relates to the book. The idea of the book is very focused on what organizations can do to build their personality, and a relative part of that is employees, but I realize that the flow of the book is very organization-focused, as it should be because that’s really the audience that it’s targeting. But there was a gap in writing it that I realized which was all about the personal branding, how important personality is to that. The problem with writing a book like this is you can’t just stick things in there that you think are important if it doesn’t fit with the flow of the book, because you’re trying to tell a story.

JAY: And you’re trying to legitimately do a book, right?

ROHIT: Yes, exactly. You don’t want to just go off on tangents and you can’t hyperlink something. So essentially what I was thinking about was how do I take all these ideas that I’ve come up with around personal branding and offer something of value. And what I decided to do is a companion ebook that is going to be released online and offered in certain places, sometimes as a download with purchase of the book. Some places I’ll do some promotion. In the next couple of weeks you’ll start to see that roll out. And that is essentially an ebook version which is focused on personal branding, which is how do I use personality to build my personal brand? How do I use blogging to do that? What are all the different pieces that I can put in? Talk a little bit about what I created on my blog, which I called my social media bio, which is essentially a super-social media version of my personal bio, which is actually online right now if you go to About Rohit.

JAY: “About Rohit” on  Let me touch on a couple of things I wrote in my post. The first one I said is – Be your own brand manager. Think of yourself as a brand. If you were a personal brand, what have you done to improve your brand? What have you done to improve your resume? What have you done to build new skill sets? So thinking of yourself like a brand manager, what are you doing for yourself?

ROHIT: I think that’s absolutely right. The biggest thing about being a brand manager is figuring out what’s on-brand and what’s off-brand, in terms of message. Then you can go into all the executions and what does the brand stand for and all these other things so if you treat your own personal brand like that, that becomes a lens through which you not only are able to figure out what the right opportunities are for your, but you can also figure out from an ethics point of view, what do I stand for? Which is a bit of a deeper question, but it relates to brand management.

JAY: Number two is determine your USP, your unique selling proposition, what makes you distinctive. You talked about that. I said, “Embrace your inner author and the great opportunity to author blogs and participate in other social communities.” I talked about building your net and learning the skills of a successful networker. Doing things for other people and also just building up your network on FacebookLinkedInTwitter. What do you think about that?

ROHIT: There’s no way of overstating the importance of that. I’m at a point right now with a book coming out, where I’m sort of realizing the benefits of those things that I spent time doing for other people. And I’m also realizing that I’m calling in a lot of favors because this is the thing to call them in around. I think that the central idea there is that, there’s actually a section in the end of the book about this idea that I call Karmic Marketing, which is all about karma and blog karma. I think the reason why it’s karma, why I use that word, it’s not because I’m Indian, it’s actually because I think that the idea behind karma is that when you do something for someone, you have a belief that it will somehow relate to something that happens to you in the future, even though you may not be able to directly attribute it or measure it. If you were looking at it in a very logical sense you could say, okay Jay, you and I met, you had that great Wall Street Journal link, that’s how we got connected. Now I’m back on your show, doing your show and that’s a very logical string. Other people would say, okay this thing happened there and now, let’s say for example you, because of this stuff, I knew somebody that was looking for the services that you provide and I told them an they told somebody else and then they came to you and they became a client. Nobody ever told you that that’s how they got in touch with you. So there’s this whole situation of these things pay off. Sometimes we can’t track it and measure it, which I know drives marketers crazy because they like to measure it and they like to have the conversion rate and all that stuff. And especially if you’re an online marketer because you’ve gotten used to being able to get that kind of detail. We’ve kind of spoiled ourselves because now with social media and word of mouth, sometimes that just isn’t there.

JAY: I look forward to the book and congratulations. I applaud you on getting a book written. The 10 Golden Rules of Internet Marketing is in a constant form of draft. It will be coming out, I promise.

ROHIT: Good, I’ll be one of the first to pick up a copy.

JAY: You got it done and I really applaud that. There’s a couple of questions I ask everyone on the podcast. What top tools and technologies are you using to improve your online productivity? Or have a little bit of fun online? Anything you can recommend?

ROHIT: I think you’ve got two sides of the coin which is improving efficiency sometimes doesn’t go with having fun.

JAY: Unless it frees up time to have some fun, right?

ROHIT: Yeah, that’s true. One of the things that’s driving me crazy right now is I don’t think I have a good way to use Gmail, to organize my email, because there’s no folders and that kind of messes me up. So personal efficiency wise I could probably use some help. But the tools I tend to use most frequently right now, in terms of social networks, are Facebook, I use Facebook a lot. LinkedIn I’ve actually found to be a great tool in terms of the amount of engagement. When you put something out on Facebook, you’ll get a couple of replies. But when you put something out on LinkedIn it’s amazing how many responses you tend to get from people. The other networks I use, I’m using Twitter a lot, just to connect with people and find out the constant stream of what’s happening. And it’s a great tool, I love it.

JAY: Are you using Twitter more inbound or outbound, or equally?

ROHIT: I’m using it equally. I’m doing a lot of stuff for the book around it. I was running, because of this launch interview tactic thing that I did where I invited any bloggers to interview me and then they all posted their interviews and I’d have almost 60 interviews over the course of 48 hours. That was huge blog buzz and then I ran a vote. The vote tally is still happening right now. People are following it on Twitter so it’s kind of this live-action stream of what’s going on.

JAY: I was going to say, I don’t see you a lot on Twitter. But now I know why. I just looked it up. I wasn’t following you until one second ago.

ROHIT: Okay, there. So I’ve got a new person following me. That’s personal benefit you see.

JAY: And you’ve got a good ratio. You’re following 429 and you have 630 followers.

ROHIT: Is that a good ratio?

JAY: Yeah, you want to have more followers than following. If someone signs up to follow you, and if you go and look at how many people they are following. If they’re following like 1,000 and there’s only 19 following them, there’s a good chance that they’re just trying to build their list and might not really have content there.

ROHIT: I created a Twitter accuont for the book so that’s the situation I think the book will be in, where it will be following all these people. The reason why I did that was because I wanted to have a stream where I could do give-a-ways, particularly at the launch party.

JAY: Do you want to comment on some blogs and some books? What are some of the books that have influenced you and helped you craft the direction you’re going in? What are the blogs that you follow?

ROHIT: I’ve probably at one time or another followed links and read pretty much every marketing blog out there. But I think that the way that I tend to read blogs is very topical, as opposed to waking up, getting to work and reading through the five blogs that I read every day or the ten blogs that I read every day. That’s not really how I consume any media. I tend to focus on topics. If this blog wrote about something, then I’ll read that. Then I’ll follow that link and go to another blog. So on a daily basis I’ll tend to get to some ratio of new blogs along with blogs that I tend to hit just because they have interesting stories. I go back and forth. So there might be a week where I read AdRants three or four times of that week and then a couple weeks will pass and I won’t end up on it. And then when I go back I’ll just read the posts from the last couple of weeks all at once. So I’m very fluid in how I read blogs.

JAY: Do you use a reader?

ROHIT: I did, but then I found that I had all these blogs in there and I just never had time to actually go through and read all of them. I have a reader, I have it set up. I have probably a couple of hundred blogs in there, but I never use it. That’s the thing that suffers, for me. If it comes down to reading blogs that I want to read versus getting a blog post out myself, I’m going to choose getting a blog post out myself.

JAY: I’ve been saying in my presentations lately that the two secrets for me are Twitter and Podcasts.  I now have set Twitter as my default when I open a browser and I quickly scan about two pages of Twitter. If it’s important, if it’s new, if it’s breaking news in our industry, someone on Twitter is going to break it. And then podcasts for me really shift time. I walk my dog and I listen to a 10-15 minute podcast. I workout, I listen to a half and hour podcast. It allows me to gain more useful time in the day. This stuff is the stuff that interests me the most. Some people are like, “I’m not going to work when I’m on an exercise bike.”  But for me it’s the most brain-expanding, it’s the most dynamic, I love it. I want to thank you so much for taking the time today and I wish you all the success with your book.

ROHIT: Thank you.

JAY: I encourage everyone to get the book and subscribe to the blog, in whatever way you subscribe.

ROHIT: I appreciate it, thanks Jay.

JAY: With that I’ll wrap it up. All the links will be in the show notes. Rohit, thank you so much for making the time today.

ROHIT: Thank you.

JAY: Well thank you so much for listening to our show today. A big thank you to Rohit Bhargava. All of our emailers and Facebook messagers  and callers, Mark from New Jersey, Joy Howell, Trish Jackson, Robin Heppel, Bryan McGovern, Larry Port for a great Joke of The Week, and congratulations again to Mitch Joel for the Podcast of The Week. Next show don’t miss Internet Marketing Ninja, Christopher S. Penn. And, be on the next show, call in with questions or comments to (206)888-6606. Or send me an audio file, by email, to

Each week we end the show with a song, and this one has a great social media story. I received a note saying that Aaron Zimmer was following me on Twitter. Now if you haven’t been to Twitter go to and you’ll see my Twitter Page. Whenever I get a Twitter invite, like the one I got from Aaron Zimmer, I go and have a look at the person’s blog or podcast and I determine whether or not I want to follow them. Are the kind of messages that they send out interesting to me or relevant to me from a business perspective. So Aaron Zimmer is a musician and he has a band called The Generals and they have a brand new album. So I sent Aaron a note and I said, “Hey, would you like me to play some of your music on the podcast?” And so here we are, via Twitter, via social marketing, it’s Aaron Zimmer and The Generals with THE WRONG SIDE. Thank you for listening. Have a great week everybody.

MUSIC – THE WRONG SIDE by Aaron Zimmer and The Generals

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