Check Out My Guest Post About Blogging

Jan. 18

The weekend is here! That means it’s a super time to read your favorite blogs and catch up on the latest trends. It’s also a great time to write a few blog posts, if you’re a blogger. Today, I wanted to share one of my absolute favorite digital marketing blogs, the 3Q Digital Blog. In particular, I wanted to share a recent guest post that I wrote on the 3Q Blog, The Company Blog – Why You Should Participate.

I’m passionate about blogging. It’s an amazing way to practice your writing skills (especially important for marketers), learn WordPress, experiment with SEO, and so much more. It’s also a tremendous responsibility, it’s like running your own mini-business. Want to gain some of the benefits of blogging without taking on the full responsibility of running your own? Want to do this while also growing your career and positioning yourself as a leader at your company? I suggest writing a guest post or two on your employer’s company blog, the topic of my guest post on the 3Q Blog. Learn all about the best ways to ask, the benefits of doing so, what you’ll learn, and why this matters to your company. Wishing you a super weekend, and thanks for reading!

3Q Digital Company Blog Guest Post

Image in this post © 3Q Digital

Happy 4th Birthday To PPC Ian

Nov. 19

I’m a few weeks late here, but wanted to take a moment to celebrate the 4th birthday of PPC Ian! That’s right, it all started back on October 29, 2009 with my first post about how Passionate I am About PPC. Since then and many blog birthday posts later (1st birthday, 2nd, 3rd), It’s been quite the amazing run, both on this blog and in my career/life!

Happy Fourth Birthday

I wanted to start out and sincerely thank you, my loyal readers! I thank you for the emails/questions, comments, post ideas/requests, and, most importantly, support! I also wanted to take this opportunity to sincerely thank my sponsors. Here at PPC Ian, I partner with the best and brightest companies in our industry (folks like Acquisio, Kenshoo, 3Q Digital, InsideVault, and Rocket Clicks), I’m lucky to have such an amazing group of loyal sponsors. It’s the sponsors that keep the lights going here at PPC Ian!

PPC really has come a long way since my first post… Some fun statistics:

  • 367 posts (including this one)
  • 2,452 approved comments
  • 26 categories
  • 423 tags
  • 432,346 spam comments blocked thanks to Akismet (unreal!)
  • ~1,468 hours or 36.70 work weeks worth of hard work on PPC Ian. Posts typically do not take 4 hours (only the really long ones), however there is so much work that goes into blogging above and beyond writing posts, such as coding, marketing, networking, accounting, contracts, formatting images, and so much more… It has been a huge, fun commitment!

Over the last four years, I’ve truly learned a lot. Some of my favorite lessons as a blogger:

  • My amazing wife, Nicole, is my biggest PPC Ian fan by far! Thanks, Nicole, for the amazing inspiration, support, and ideas.
  • It’s about so much more than PPC. My career in PPC started out in 2004. In 2009, I launched PPC Ian with the goal of empowering and educating pay per click professionals. Now, PPC Ian is all about digital marketing and business in general, although you will certainly find me blogging about PPC quite a bit, even to this day. My day-to-day in 2013 is all about PPC, marketing, customer acquisition, and business/management, in general. I like to mirror those themes here, while still staying true to my PPC roots!
  • Pay per click can take you really, really far in your career. It’s amazing. Don’t overlook the huge opportunity in this rapidly growing career, it keeps getting better and better.
  • Blogging is an incredible way to network and meet others. I have met so many amazing professionals as a result of PPC Ian. It’s all about the people!
  • Blogging requires incredible determination and hard work. However, the lessons you learn about SEO, coding, writing, social media, and marketing in general are priceless. PPC Ian has provided a true wealth of knowledge, and I am thankful for the lessons.
  • Blogging is challenging. These days, I am so incredibly busy that I rarely have any free time. That said, I always make time for PPC Ian! It’s totally worth it. I have so much respect for anyone who blogs on a consistent basis, this is not easy work!

Thanks everyone for reading and I hope you will follow PPC Ian for the next four years and beyond! Lots of excitement ahead!

13 Lessons Learned As A Blogger

Jun. 30

I can’t believe it! I’ve been blogging here at PPC Ian since October, 2009 – that’s a long time. I truly enjoy blogging. It has been quite the amazing journey, and I have learned so much over the years. I originally got into blogging to empower and educate others. However, I also always had the sub-goal of learning all about this wonderful medium and rounding out my own portfolio of skills as a digital marketer. Following are some of the lessons I have learned over the years as a blogger.

Blog Lessons

  1. Get out there and do it, it’s totally worth it! You can learn so much by creating your own blog. It’s not the same reading and attending conferences. When you get out there and invest in your own blog, you learn so much. I can’t believe how much this blog has taught me over the years… I have learned lessons first hand from PPC Ian readers, lessons about SEO, and so many lessons about the technicalities of WordPress.
  2. Try not to multitask while blogging. I cannot tell you how many posts here on PPC Ian I have written while watching TV. It always takes twice or three times as long to write and review a post that way. Focus is so important when writing quality content, and optimizing your own time. Sit down to write your blog posts. Then, go watch TV later. You will enjoy both activities more. Note: I have had a great experience listening to music while blogging. Music is not distracting, but can be very helpful to your blogging experience.
  3. Don’t always blog from the same location. Go to Starbucks, sit at your desk in your home office, sit outside on your patio – change it up! You can get so much inspiration by just moving around. This creates energy, new ideas, and better content.
  4. When you’re on a roll, keep going. Today, for example, I just published a post but am now writing another. Tonight, I may write another. When you’re on a roll, you need to keep going. Great content comes in waves and it’s ok to write a backlog of posts and save them for the future.
  5. Make the most of weekends. We work so amazingly hard as digital marketing professionals. Weekdays after work should be reserved for family, exercise, eating, and fun! I try to get up early on weekends and write a few posts in the morning. This is always a more powerful and positive experience.
  6. Keep it going at all costs. This point almost contrast with the last one and separates the real leaders apart. Really, this comes down to work ethic. Blogging is a tremendous investment. Once your blog is going, your readers count on you. Don’t let them down. Keep going. Don’t have a post? You will need to stay up late or get up early to get that post out. However, I highly recommend the tips above to avoid this last minute type of situation.
  7. Build amazing partnerships with your sponsors. Sponsors are the lifeblood of your blog. They help pay the bills, they can help with content ideas, they can help provide content (guest posts, eBooks, whitepapers, and more), and they can help motivate you to keep going (really it is all about the people, in my opinion). Take your sponsors seriously and give them the best partnership experience ever.
  8. Invest in your top advocates. Over time, there are certain people who will frequently comment, like you in social media, email you ideas, and more. Invest in these key influencers. They are your best friend and can help you so much. I can’t thank my top readers/advocates enough, you guys are the best!
  9. Blog because you are passionate and love what you do. Money comes second. It is not easy to make money blogging and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for the money. Of course, that can be a longer term goal and something to aspire towards, but always remember your passion and why you started (you need a higher value purpose than money).
  10. Keep innovating. Just like paid search, blogging changes ever single day. The only constant is change. Don’t be stagnant. Stay on top of SEO, blogging, and social media trends. Incorporate all the great new stuff into your strategy.
  11. Take your blogging education back to your company. Blogging will make you a well rounded marketer. You will learn so much that could help your company grow. Keep learning and share your lessons at work!
  12. Set yourself up for a blogging vacation form time to time. Get a large backlog of posts, auto schedule them, and then kick back! Everyone deserves a break.
  13. Let your personality come across. Blog about your personal life. Share pictures. Readers want to get to know you as a person, in addition to reading your analysis and insights.

Image of Blog © iStockPhoto gunnar3000

Happy Third Birthday To PPC Ian

Oct. 31

It’s hard to believe, PPC Ian is officially three years old! Back on October 29, 2009, I launched PPC Ian with a post about my Passion For PPC and SEM. Since then, it’s been three amazing, action-packed years of blogging all about paid search, especially careers in PPC. Today, I wanted to take a few moments to summarize the past few years and especially some recent highlights. Also, I wanted to take this moment to sincerely thank you, my readers!

Some Fun Statistics

Happy Third Birthday PPC Ian

Last year I started my blog anniversary post with some fun statistics. This year, I thought it would be fun to do the same. Following are some fun facts about PPC Ian over the past year:

  • 293 posts (including this one) – Super excited that I’m posting more than ever before, one of my 2012 Goals
  • 2.35 posts/week during the past year – My best pace to-date, I plan to keep a strong pace over the next year
  • 2,311 comments – I cannot thank you guys enough for the valued questions, comments, and feedback
  • My top keywords: ppc interview questions, sem software, lending club strategy – I was especially surprised that my Lending Club posts gained so much traction and interest
  • My most-visited post: Quality Score Tips For PPC Landing Pages
  • A fun statistic in my personal career: I reached my lifelong goal of getting promoted to Vice President in March

Thanks To My Amazing Readers/Friends

PPC Ian has been an amazing vehicle to build long-lasting connections and friendships with my readers. Whether you are an occasional reader, and regular commentator, or the biggest PPC Ian fan around, I cannot thank you enough. I view the connections, networking, and friendships as one of the best byproducts of blogging. Some fun examples:

  • One of my top commentators became a personal friend. I was able to connect him with an SEM agency that was the perfect fit. My friend now works at that agency.
  • I developed friendships with a variety of SEM professionals shopping for the perfect SEM platform and/or the perfect SEM agency. I was able to provide sound advice and perspective to help fellow professionals make great decisions. At the same time, I got to learn all about a variety of different businesses and form long-lasting friendships. It’s a two way street!
  • Just in the last year, I spoke at Harrison Metal Capital, Stanford Graduate School of Business, and SV Forum’s CXO Forum. My blog has helped secure such opportunities by furthering my network.
  • PPC Ian helped me recently re-connect with some old friends who started an amazing SEM software company called InsideVault. Now, I have reconnected with my friends and they have decided to sponsor PPC Ian.
  • Friendships with big time domain name experts including Nima and Morgan Linton have given me strong expertise in the domain name industry. This has helped round out my online marketing toolkit.

Thanks To My Amazing Sponsors

I’m in a truly fortunate position with PPC Ian. I have personally hand-picked my sponsors and only work with companies I truly believe in. Whether we’re talking about one of my old-time sponsors like Kenshoo (one of the most amazing SEM platforms around) or one of my newer sponsors like AdMedia (your one-stop shop for all your online advertising needs), I have had the great fortune to work with truly amazing companies. These guys help pay for the costs of running PPC Ian and have provided a ton of the great content you find here.

I want to once again thank you! I truly appreciate your support and please don’t hesitate to reach out if I can ever be of assistance. If you have emailed me and I have not responded, please try again (sometimes I get super busy).

Want to learn more about the evolution of PPC Ian? Make sure to check out my first and second birthday posts.

Image of Happy Birthday © iStockPhoto – stuartbur
PPC Ian logo portion of image ©

My Twitter Challenge Is A Success

Feb. 24

PPC Ian Twitter FollowersAbout a month ago, I announced my Twitter Advertising Challenge. What was my challenge all about? In a nutshell, I decided to follow no more than 200 people, redesign my Twitter background, and start advertising. About a month ago, I was following 16,826 people, with 17,060 following me. I’m now following only 68 people, with 14,417 following me. The strategy worked! I did lose some followers, but that’s ok. I lost fewer than the 5,000 I projected and now it’s so much more fun to use Twitter.

I also got a really cool new background. Head on over to My Twitter and see for yourself! I’m super happy with how it turned out. It’s really consistent with my blog! I have not started advertising on Twitter yet, but that’s still in the pipeline.

I was so thrilled with how my Twitter challenge worked out, that I also did a mini-Facebook challenge. Basically, I went out and got a new Facebook banner and also landing page. The landing page is interactive. If you like me, you get to download my eBook for free. Head on over to the PPC Ian Facebook Fan Page and check it out. (I also have a screenshot of my new landing page below.)

Big thanks to Collabo for reaching out to me and inspiring today’s blog post. I’m more excited about social media than ever before and am glad my challenges helped me take my social profiles to the next level. I hope you challenge yourself to make your social media campaigns amazing!

PPC Ian Facebook Landing Page

Images in this post ©