Nischala’s Blog-o-Rendezvous with DANNY INY
Posted by Nischala
ABOUT DANNY INY
Co-Founder of Firepole Marketing | Blogger (who has guest posts everywhere on the internet that you can possibly guest post) | Author of multiple books, including Engagement from Scratch! | Marathon runner | Serial entrepreneur
Danny Iny’s success in the blogging and writing world is truly a benchmark to many bloggers across the globe. I have learnt from his posts, applied several of his suggestions, tips & tricks and look forward to reading more of his articles. And for those who know Danny personally will agree that he is one of the few people in the ONLINE WORLD who is always ready to help. For e.g.: He will reply to your mails promptly, He will genuinely make an effort to help, support, and encourage you. And I can say this with confidence as I did not know Danny Iny until just a few weeks back – But he still read my blog posts, commented on them, shared in his network, and has given me valuable suggestions for improvement.
How can the rendezvous with Danny Iny not be around blogging and writing?
Nischala: Firstly, congratulations on all the blogging and writing success so far. You seem to present everywhere I go in the online world, you are quoted in most articles that I read… You’re a celebrity! And you managed to release your book “Engagement from Scratch” which has co-authors like Guy Kawasaki (Co-Founder of Alltop and Former Chief Evangelist at Apple), Brain Clark (of CopyBlogger), etc. and you managed to get MARRIED in the middle of all this, or should I say you managed to achieve all this while getting MARRIED ;).. So how do you feel?
Danny: It feels great, thank you! I don’t see myself as a celebrity, but I’m flattered. I think it all boils down to personal productivity. And what is really important is to be aware and understand of what brings out the best productivity in you. Like in my case, I always carry a pen and pad to write down what all needs to be done – as part of my professional and personal life. And these thoughts can occur at any time of the day / night and in the midst of anything else that I may be doing. So I note it down immediately.
I then put up these sticky notes all over my desk / work place. And let me tell you that I am a little OCD when it comes to completing all the things that I need to do. So essentially, I want to action them as soon as possible, so that I have fewer things left to do.
Most fundamentally, all productivity tips and trick and tools aid you to basically answer only ONE question – “What I should do next?”. And if you are clear in your head about this, you will be productive and seem to get things moving.
My best advice to anyone who wants to get things done is just this – GET IT DONE! Spending endless amounts of time of thinking, planning and getting advice will NOT help – You have to do what you have to do! And do it now!
Nischala: That’s interesting! To be honest, not an answer I expected to hear. But then, so true and very relevant! On the same lines, anything else you do to boost your personal productivity?
Danny: The other most important attribution to my personal productivity is that I PAY ATTENTION. This is very undervalued and underrepresented by most people. To be productive, you have to pay attention to your own experience.
Let me narrate a short story that I like – A seeker travels long to meet a ZEN master and when he meets him, he asks the master to write some words of wisdom. The Master writes something and hands it over to the seeker. The only word written was ATTENTION.
The seeker is disappointed with this, and says to the master “Look I walked for 3 days to get here. And all that you say to me is one word. Please share more wisdom”
The Zen master takes the paper back, adds something and hands it back to the seeker. It now read as ATTENTION! ATTENTION! ATTENTION!
So the point is this, we can be doing stuff with varying levels of effectiveness. The minute you start paying attention, your effectiveness and efficiency increases.
Incidentally, March 2012 has been the Productivity Month at Firepole Marketing. We realized that productivity is important for individuals and businesses, hence do check out the special feature on our blog
Nischala: Thanks for sharing. I will check this. So, am guessing you apply all these for your blogging as well
Danny: Absolutely! I’ve been writing for a long time and over time, I have identified the process that works for me. And I follow this strictly – The trick is to identify and follow the right process which works for you. So in my case, I can easily write a guest post of 1000 – 1200 words in 1 hour. And how I managed to do this is that I paid attention to what brought out my best blogs and iteratively improvised this to eliminate the non-value adding activities.
Nischala: That’s good to hear. Look forward to reading more of your posts. I also see that you are making a genuine effort to help new / upcoming writers / bloggers through free webinars, consultations, newsletters, etc. – What’s the motivation to provide everything free?
Danny: See there are 2 aspects here. One is that I definitely want to help others based on my own personal experiences. Second is that giving anything for free has to be strategic and conscious decision. So, while I may be providing free services, the relationship mind-share and connections I am building here with readers and a larger global audience are going to be critical, important and very relevant in the long term.
I think a lot of people believe that there is dichotomy here– Of really doing the smart thing or the right thing. But in my view, if you have a broad enough perspective – The smart & right thing are usually the same.
Nischala: OK. Coming to smart things, I personally loved the infographic from your post – 21 Ways to Create Compelling Content when You Don’t Have a Clue. To be honest, I apply many of these in my blogs; & also it has given me a few more blog post ideas. Also, everywhere I see infographics are becoming popular. What’s your view on the future of infographics? Why do you think they are becoming popular? Do you recommend them for any blogger?
Danny: Well! It depends a lot on what you want to achieve with your infographics or for that matter even your blogs. What your goals and objectives?
My view is that Infographics are taking off because they are cool, fun to look at and interesting. Not to mention that there is a definite value in presenting information in a pictorial way. And a lot of the reason for the uptake is probably due to the growing popularity of Pinterest. Some of this interest may be hype and a passing fad .
Nischala: OK. That’s interesting.. Moving to books and writing – Congrats on your latest book Engagement from Scratch!. I’ve just started reading that book and have found it to have really valuable content – But the thought which continues to linger is that you’re giving it free… With so much of content available free online through blogs, etc. – Do you see a change in pricing model of books where books will be given away for free?
Danny: Fact of the matter is that as good as the book is, it really is a collaborative effort from all the co-authors and I am grateful to all of them to contribute here. I wrote only a fraction of it. Again like I mentioned before, while I am giving the book for free, the value here is that I am forging strong relationships with readers. And that to me is the WIN – WIN
Nischala: That’s good to hear. So again its a conscious and strategic choice. Coming to the book itself, how long did it take you to write this book, especially since you have so many co-authors?
Danny: This book from conception to the publication took about 6 months. In hindsight, I think it was too short and I probably made it a lot harder for myself than I needed to. Also, since there were so many co-authors, I had to find an arrangement that works for everyone. Since I had existing relationships with Guy kawasaki & Brian Clark, they were happy to contribute. And I am fortunate here. Once I had people like Guy and Brian on-board, it was easy to get other contributors. That point is the pitch changed completely when I sent the request to others. I mean, who would not be keen on co-authoring a book with Guy Kawasaki?
Nischala: That’s cool! Congrats again and I guess we’ll see more books from you in the future. So coming back to blogging – What’s your view on the future of blogging? Is it here to stay?
Danny: I think it is – in some capacities Yes! More importantly, I really think it depends of what is your aim for blogging?
Is blogging an effective tool for content marketing? Yes it is! It just depends on what the goals are.
The point is that companies used to have print newsletters for publishing content. This is not affordable anymore, and will not be a viable model in the future.
So, blogging is less about technology infrastructure. It is more about content publishing and hence in that context, YES! It will be BIG for a long time. Serves a good purpose and does it well…
Nischala: With so many bloggers and blogs, what’s your advice to any blogger?
Danny: I think it’s important to be clear on what you are trying to accomplish, and what your goals are. You need to have an integrated strategy to achieve your goals, and your blog is one of those channels. Most importantly, as a blogger you should focus on the quality of your relationship with your target audience. And to use the right social media channels to achieve your objective.
See in my personal case, I am not active on Google+ or Facebook. Again, Twitter in my view is a broadcasting channel and I find that you probably have the shallowest connections on Twitter. And to be honest, we at Firepole Marketing are doing just fine by focusing our efforts just on our blogs and on e-mail. The point is that the level of intensity is critical. We are interested in the more engaged user, and we’ve found that e-mail is the best way for us to do that.
Nischala: OK. Anything else that you’d like to share as a part of this Rendezvous on what has worked at Firepole Marketing with respect to your Social Media strategy?
Danny: I think the important take-away there is no single answer for what works for every business. Social Media is a complex and diverse area. And rather than looking for prescriptive type of information on what you should and should not do, I think what is key is to test the waters. What I call “Hypothesis testing” in which we set an objective for ourselves and go about working on it. At the end, we either prove or disprove the hypothesis… Take the learnings, and move on! So it is important to be open, experiment, learn, pay attention, grow and enjoy along the way!
Nischala: Thanks Danny for this rendezvous. I have learnt from this rendezvous and hope that readers would echo the sentiment.
Danny: My pleasure! Have a great day!!
How did you like this Rendezvous? Leave a comment to let us know…