Every month, I highlight one successful blogger on The Blog Blog. By “successful,” I mean someone who has been blogging for at least three years and has seen their audience engagement grow significantly. For this month’s feature, we have Adam Hartung.
The story behind every blogger is different. Hartung’s readership increased as he started writing for Forbes, where editors eventually republished his blog posts. Hartung tells us:
“I started blogging in 2007 as a way to promote a book I published via The Financial Times. In 2009, Forbes editors reading my blog asked me to start writing a monthly column for them. In 2010, they set up a blog environment and asked if they could republish my blogs -- which I agreed -- and that has vastly increased my readership, as well as provided some income.”
Creating the right network is always key to a blog’s success.
We conducted the following interview with Hartung:
1) What is your name and title?
I am Adam Hartung, CEO of Content Laboratory (a communications services and app provider), Soparfilm Energy (an independent oil and gas exploration and production company) and Spark Partners (a strategy consulting firm).
2) What is the name and URL of your blog?
3) Which audience does your blog cater to?
I write strictly for business people -- mostly to educate people on how to be better leaders, and investors. My audience is predominantly C-suite folks and other people in management. I’ve had my readership evaluated several times and every time they report back, “everyone in business wants to have C-suite readers -- Adam you really do have them.”
4) What inspired you to create your blog?
Originally to promote my book, but soon I realized that few people read books anymore, and if I wanted to spread my management insights, a blog was far better than a book.
5) What makes your blog so unique?
Few people who write business blogs make strong predictions, and few will go negative on companies and their leaders. I do both -- in spades. I’ve made dozens of long-term predictions, months in advance, and had a staggeringly successful hit rate. Also, I’ve had an impact on the longevity of CEOs in public corporations.
6) What is your ultimate blogging goal?
I use this as a platform for speaking opportunities and to introduce my management thinking to CEOs who can offer me a board position in their company.
7) If you could choose one piece of advice to give to new bloggers, what would it be? Have you made any mistakes and learned from them?
Blogging is the ultimate marathon. Everyone I know who really tried ran out of gas. I’ve been doing this for years, and even my editors are surprised at the depth of blogs for such a long time. So don’t go into this if you aren’t really dedicated. Have a strong point of view and be willing to do research constantly to apply your viewpoint in a meaningful way for your readers. I can’t say I’ve had many mistakes from blogging.
8) How successful has your blog grown to become versus when you first started it? If you could provide simple metrics, that would be great.
I’ve had over 3 million readers and something around 6.5 million page views.
9) How does blogging benefit you?
It keeps my relevant to current and potential clients. They know I’m not someone operating on auto-pilot, or seeking retirement. It keeps me in “the thick” of business issues and with a voice people want to hear.
10) Any other interesting stories or information you would like to provide?
I’ve had to change my use of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Even though you probably never heard of me, I have enough “celebrity status” in my readership that I can’t talk about my personal life any longer. For example, my insurance company told me I can’t pre-announce travel for fear my house will be broken into. With 20K twitter followers and 5K LinkedIn fans, I have to keep everything very business-oriented or it can cause problems.
Hartung shows us the importance of having the right network, content and niche audience. He also stresses the important of consistency.
It’s great to find inspiration through the success of others. If you feel you make a great candidate for next month’s “Blogger of the Month,” please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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