#BlogChat, One of The Largest Chats On Twitter
By Cheval John
This post is part of Nina Amir’s National Book Blogging Month (NaBoBloMo).
I am currently behind in this challenge.
So I am going to blog from the middle of the chapters for my new book, “8 Ways To Stand Out On Twitter: How Engaging With Your Audience Can Get You Above The Noise ” and work my way backwards.
It will be a series of posts regarding the second part of the book entitled, “Top Ten Twitter Chats That Will Enlightened You.”
Without further ado, here is today’s post.
We all have seen the explosion of blogs since it beta stage in the late 90s and early 2000s.
They are very useful because it allows anyone to share their passion that interests them and in the process builds an audience.
Businesses have seen the importance of blogging due to the fact that it drives traffic to their respective sites.
They have seen that the blog traffic increases their SEO rankings on the internet which positions them as an authority in their respective industries.
That is why many people like Robert Scoble, Darrin Rowse and Brian Clark have gained a huge following because of their blogs.
The thing is that it had become much harder for anyone to stand out from the crowd with their blogs because it has become over-saturated.
According to WP Virtuoso 2013 report, they were 152,000,000 blogs in the world.
That number has increased tremendously because that same report has indicated that 172,000 blogs are added every day.
If that is the case and the report was in 2013, then my guess is that the number of blogs has increased to about 245,000,000.
So how do you stand out from the crowd with your blog if they are about 245,000,000 in the world on every single topic?
One of the ways is to gain advice from blogging experts who have grown their blogs and have built a strong community.
That is where #blogchat comes in.
#Blogchat was started by Mack Collier, speaker, podcaster and and the author of Amazon Best-Selling book, “Think Like A Rock Star,”in 2009.
It is one of the largest chats on Twitter.
The chat happens every Sunday night at 9 p.m. eastern, 8 p.m. central
I can say that it is very lively and informative.
I talked to Mr. Collier about why he decided to start #blogchat and the evolution of the chat since it began 6 years ago.
To find out more about Mr. Collier and #blogchat, visit his website at www.mackcollier.com.
Cheval John: How did you came up with the idea for #blogchat?
Mack Collier: #blogchat started in March of 2009 by accident. I was often getting into deep conversations with others about blogging and marketing issues but realized that there was no way to keep track of the conversation after the fact. So one Sunday night I threw out a question about blogging, but I decided to add the ‘#Blogchat’ hashtag to my question so that people could add it when they replied and we could all easily keep up with the conversation via the hashtag. It was very popular, there were like 200 tweets in an hour, so I decided to do it again at the same time the next Sunday night and 6 years later here we are!
Cheval John: Did you envisioned the chat to become one of the most popular on Twitter?
Mack Collier: No, I just wanted to create an easier way for me and my friends to have conversations about blogging. After a year or 2, it kinda took on a life of it’s own. It’s now one of the oldest chats on Twitter, one of the biggest. It’s even been live at South By Southwest! The community has always been very supportive and helpful. I think that’s a key reason why the chat is so popular.
Cheval John: As the chat celebrated it’s 6th year anniversary, what lessons have you learned from hosting the chat
Mack Collier: It is a LOT of work to maintain a Twitter chat. In some ways, I think the longer you do it the more difficult it becomes. I’m at a point now with #Blogchat that after 6 years we’ve covered just about every conceivable blogging topic. But at the same, I want to make sure every topic has value for the members because they deserve it. So you really have to LOVE the topic of the chat and serving others or you won’t stick with it. Within the past year there’s been multiple times where I’ve started to announce that I was going to end #Blogchat, but every time, I get ready to someone will send me a note saying how much it means to them and that spurs me on to keep doing it.
Cheval John: Why do you think that people should participate in Twitter chats including your chat?
Mack Collier: Twitter chats always have been wonderful ways to learn and to meet other people. That will never change. The people that get the most out of Twitter chats tend to be the people that contribute to the chats instead of joining with an expectation of using the chat to promote themselves. That never works. You should join a chat to learn. And if you see the conversation go in a way where you can add something of value, do so. You’ll find that people will connect with you and start following you.
Cheval John: Why should businesses take advantage of engaging in Twitter chats
Mack Collier: If nothing else, Twitter chats are a great way to learn about current and potential customers. Think of it as ‘people watching’ in an online setting. You can “lurk” on a relevant chat and get a sense of what current or potential customers think about the products and services you offer. Plus, they are great ways to learn. For example, it might be a good idea to have your social media team check out a weekly social media chat on Twitter. They will probably learn something and it can help them get up to date on their industry.
Cheval John: You had guests from regular people to A-listers, should anyone who are hosting Twitter chats go after the A-listers or should you mix it up with so-called big names and not so-big names?
Mack Collier: The most important thing is to select guests that are knowledgeable, and who will take co-hosting seriously. I’ve invited some co-hosts that just showed up and acted like they were just there to answer any questions. Others took co-hosting seriously and came prepared and drove the conversation. Two I can think of that did this were Brian Solis and Darren Rowse (ProBlogger). Darren actually made an introductory video just for #blogchat that he played as his #Blogchat started, I thought that was a wonderful touch to connect with the audience. And Brian’s chat was probably the biggest #blogchat ever, I think it had like 37 Million impressions and well over 2,000 tweets in 60 mins. Both were incredibly prepared and I mention them because even though both have huge followings and could have ‘mailed it in’, they both put in the work to be prepared and they both wowed #blogchat.
Cheval John: Why should anyone host a Twitter chat?
Mack Collier: I don’t think anyone SHOULD host a Twitter chat. It is a LOT of work and when I talk to others that have started their own Twitter chat, usually after a month or two they start thinking about getting sponsors for their chats. The reason why is because they see all the time they have to put into the chat and feel like they should be getting something out of it! So it IS a lot of hard work. You should only start a chat around a topic you are really passionate about.
Cheval John: What is your advice for anyone who are starting out with their own Twitter chat?
Mack Collier: Same as above, pick a topic you love, one you would talk about once a week whether or not anyone else showed up. Do that, and then when new people start showing up to chat with you, make sure you make them feel welcome and appreciated. Your chat’s growth is determined by whether or not others see value in the chat. When people show up and get involved, THANK them.
Cheval John: Who do you think is hosting a Twitter chat the right way and why?
Mack Collier: We both enjoy participating in #bizheroes and I think Kelly Hungerford has done a fantastic job with that chat. She created it from a Point of View “POV” of “What business and life skills would Paper.li users want to learn?’. Then she picked experts to help teach those skills to the #bizheroes community. Other than #blogchat, it’s the only chat I attend on a weekly basis. There are several chats that I check in on once a month or so, but I rarely miss #bizheroes, it’s wonderful.
About Cheval JohnCheval John is the Founder and CEO of Vallano Media, LLC, a marketing agency that helps businesses to use social media correctly to build a loyal following. Cheval is also the host of an online radio show/podcast called, "What's The Word?" He is the author of two books including the Amazon Best-Seller, "8 Lessons Every Podcaster Needs To Learn." Cheval has been featured in media outlets like Ebony Magazine and was named a Houston Top 25 Social Media Power Influencer in 2016.
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