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13 Gary Vaynerchuk Tips on Building a Profitable Blog

Posted By Darren Rowse 30th of September 2008 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

One of the sessions that I enjoyed most at Blog World Expo (actually it was one of the few sessions I actually was able to get to) was a keynote by Gary Vaynerchuck.

While I’m sure he rubs some up the wrong way his tips on building a successful blog (and business) were refreshingly honest, entertaining and inspiring. Here are 13 snippets/quotes of his keynote that I thought were ‘tweet worthy’.

  • “answer every single email and every single comment on your blog’ for the rest of your FREAKING life.”
  • “content is king but marketing is queen and the queen runs the household”
  • “you have to go to every meetup you can possible go to”
  • “pump out content – if you don’t produce something every day you’ll be out hustled”
  • “‘Hustle – you have to work your face off.”
  • “you need eyeballs – the easiest way to do this is to become part of the community”
  • “induce conversation at every turn for the rest of your life”
  • “your job is to create a connection”
  • “be you and be every flaw”
  • “it’s about putting up good content, creating conversation and spend 10% of your time working out how to make money”
  • “if you’re not good at monetizing, get a bus partner that can.” do what u do & bring in others who can do the other stuff.”
  • “if you’re a shy guy – become the greatest shy guy on earth”
  • “don’t drink hatorade”

PS: here’s some video of the session courtesy of David Peralty (note: it does contain some language so proceed with caution if you’re easily offended or are in a work environment).

Gary Vaynerchuk Blog World Expo Keynote Speech from David Peralty on Vimeo.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. I’d say moderate every comment so you know which one needs replying :)

  2. I don’t agree with him on the 1st one. A pure waste of time…

  3. Nice quick tips that hit home for me!

  4. Oh, quite helpful tips. Thanks.

  5. Great snippets! I can’t believe I missed this keynote. You live you learn. Thanks for sharing Darren. This reminds me of the 30 tips in 8 minute. I love short to the point lists.

  6. Ha ha, wow those are some good tips there. I really like the last one. “Don’t drink “hatorade”. I got a good chuckle out of that one!

    It’s always fascinating what you can learn from other people’s experience in blogging. It seems since everybody has a different personality, they have different results in what works for them. Interesting stuff…


  7. I almost forget to tell you, the spelling of “queen” in the second tip is wrong.

  8. @ruchir I’d argue that a lot of Gary’s success is because of #1. He’s deliberately tried to take the ‘snobbery’ out of the wine industry and to turn around and be ‘too good’ or ‘too busy’ to respond to people would contradict the pursuit of that goal.

    Are there some situations where building authentic relationships with people is a waste of time? I’m sure there are – I could easily list hundreds of successful people who wouldn’t take the time to even read an email or comment from an average person, let alone reply.

    I think that if you want grassroots support and passionate, engaged followers, then #1 is absolutely essential.

  9. His approach of answering every comment and email is remarkable. It sure have worked on me when I received a reply. I think that personal attention and care is something that makes us his fans for “our whole freaking life.” lol.

  10. An interesting list. In summary, he’s mostly saying to create and maintain relationships to further your blog, whether it”s by commenting on other blogs, answering your own comments, or other means.

    I like the “content is king, but marketing is queen and she runs the household.”

    Thanks, Darren, for the list.

  11. Love the “be you and be all your flaws!” An impossible list to follow; but reaching for the impossible is what all of us entrepreneurs have set out to do, isn’t it? Lists like these help us do it, too! Thanks for sharing, Darren! : )

  12. Ruchir Chawdhry, its not a waste of time. Commenting and emailing back shows you care. Thats why he’s a millionaire and I’ve never heard of you!

  13. This is such a reality check for the “quick money” crews online. It actually takes work LOL :-) Thanks for sharing!

  14. He’s certainly made a name for himself no matter what you think of his style.

  15. There is no question that Gary V has become the darling of the blogosphere, but you can see there is damn good reason for that. I love this video and was inspired by it. If you do these things, the overall long-term net effect will be tremendous. You may not even have to wait very long to see results. It’s true that you could reach a point where you can’t respond to every single comment (like Darren), but 90% aren’t at that point.

    A big part of what Gary’s emphasizing is that your relationships with others is key to your success. Ignoring comments and emails isolates you and cuts you off from opportunities. Refusing to attend live events, even more so (nothing will catapult you to success faster than going to live events and making friends).

    Every blogger on the planet should watch this and take these points to heart.

  16. @Ruchir Chawdhry

    How is responding to your reader’s emails and comments a complete waste of time. It may not make you millions of dollars but it does make you popular. If you don’t respond to your readers you won’t have them for long.

  17. “if you’re a shy guy – become the greatest shy guy on earth”
    hmm… i am thinking how to be ‘greatest shy guy on earth’
    the point make me shy is… *my English so bad!*
    that’s the biggest barrier for me to make connection with other blogger…
    Thanks for sharing Darren :)

  18. Gary is my all time favorite speaker. He tells it like it is, and doesn’t beat around the bush with how to make in in the world.

  19. yeah right. content is king, marketing is the queen and, cash/dollars are the princes and princesses.

  20. very good tips. simple but useful.

  21. I’ve been doing some of this stuff intuitively, but it was great to see how I can focus my efforts in a more effective way. As always, your post was very useful.

  22. These are some honest blog tips. Now if only other bloggers would just listen to this guy. The problem with bloggers these days is that they think everything is just get rich fast. The problem is they are so wrong. If people would seriously work as hard as possible the first year or two then they may be able to get to financial freedom.

    Now if you are reading this blog post than I beg you all to just listen to the man. He knows what he is talking about so take all of it serious.

  23. I answer most emails as possible, some just got to be ignore.. so is comment.

    Content and marketing must come hand in hand to maximize the effort.

    Thanks for sharing this, Darren !

  24. great tips, thanks Darren. “be you and all your flaws” supports my belief that a lot of us are interested in finding others out there with similar fears, hang-ups, failings, what have you, to confirm we are not alone in this great big world.

    thanks heaps for sharing!

  25. Great list of points – enjoyed reading them as they make sense to me!

  26. I am a fan of the “don’t drink hatorade”, but in all seriousness I need to start posting daily, one problem I am have seen is that I post every other day yet I have repeat visitors daily, looking for content. I guess I will have to work on pumping out content quicker.

  27. Point four was good, however I think one needs to build up to that point. It takes a lot of work to be that disciplined but it is definitely a worthy goal and one that must be met.

    Thanks for the quick list!

  28. I actually just watched this video yesterday and I must say it was so entertaining and so true, he is a great motivator.

  29. I would point out that “be you and be every flaw” is one of the more difficult items on that list, but at the same time, it can turn out to be one of the most rewarding. A release of flaws will do more than to expand one’s site; it will boost confidence as the flaws are realized to be negligible in importance.

  30. I’m relatively new to blogging, but I have already stopped reading some blogs that I initially liked because the blogger never responded to any of my comments. I don’t expect a lengthy personal response to every single comment I leave, but if I don’t get some kind of response at least some of the time, I’m going to eventually lose interest in reading the blog. On my own blog, I try to mix it up between responding directly by email to a comment and responding in the comments section of the post – I figure that even if the original commenter never comes back to see the response, all the non-commenting readers out there will see that I take the time to respond and might be encouraged to start leaving comments themselves!

  31. Gary V is an absolute legend already. I tell you what, he pumps me up and makes me think I’m capable of big things!

    This video is great because he sits there and in so many words tells you that you just ain’t doing enough and you’re wasting precious time. But his hyper attitude makes you wanna get out and improve.

    I haven’t even finished the video and i’m on the move :)

    Thanks for sharing Darren

  32. “answer every single email and every single comment on your blog’ for the rest of your FREAKING life.”?! – no way, if you get hundreds of emails and comments, you’re doomed by replying every single one of them.
    This guy is crazy, but not as crazy as Rich Schefren, who can answer questions in a 26 hour live stream marathon.

  33. he is so right.. it is all about the brand.. we live by the brand and die by the brand and reputation.

  34. You know, I spent more time learning marketing than I spent actually writing when I started out. Marketing is definitely the ruler of the house.

  35. Gary Vaynerchuk is so right on. Relationships are key. People want to connect with people, not a business. People buy from people they know, like, and trust.

    By answering every comment on your blog and responding to every email, you’re creating raving fans out of your community and those are the people who are going to spread the word about you.

    Building relationships and cranking out killer content are two of the most important things you can do for your website. By focusing on these two aspects, you’ll never have to worry about traffic.

    I also really like his comments on doing what you love. So true.

    Love it!

    – Kim

  36. What he leaves unsaid, but obviously accounts for a LOT of his charm, is this: Have a PERSONALITY – and ***show*** your PERSONALITY. (Can you tell I’m reading Rohit Bhargava’s nice book, “Personality NOT Included”?

    Nice tips, Gary V. Thanks for sharing them, Darren.

    All success

    P.S. @Liz@Inventing My Life: Re your comment “I have already stopped reading some blogs that I initially liked because the blogger never responded to any of my comments”

    By this rule, people would stop reading Seth Godin’s amazing blog (which doesn’t allow comments)… and the reader would be the loser. Comments, feedback and interactivity are nice – but content RULES!

  37. I count Gary to be d most professional and experienced person in blogging. I hv bcm a huge fan of dis person who writes not for the sake of just writing but for educating and imparting the knolwedge which he has so far gained . This man simply rocks.

  38. I saw the video yesterday and even I post on my blog to share to all friends. It really inspiring and full with the motivation. I’m really belief branding is the most important and our job is how to brand our site. Success never come over nite. Good luck.

  39. @ Shawn Kelley: Yeah, maybe. His success might be because of that but you don’t have to do what he did to be successful. Can you even name more than a couple A List bloggers OUTSIDE OF THE METABLOGGING niche who reply to EVERY email and comment they get? Heck, most of them have disabled comments and it hasn’t affected their growth…

    @ Tommy: You’ve never heard of me because I’ve just entered this blogging arena, Gary’s been doing it for years. But don’t worry, you’ll start hearing about me soon ;)

    @ Adam – Creadiv: Not every comment needs a reply. Yes, it’s good to reply to comments that need a reply – when your blog is very young. But then again, you don’t need to. I instead focus on more productive tasks such as traffic generation…

    “If you don’t respond to your readers you won’t have them for long.”

    That’s bullsh1t. Ever heard of Steve Pavlina or Seth Godin? For god’s sake, they don’t even have comments enabled. Are they loosing readers? No. I can bet that if Darren removed comments from his blog, it won’t affect ProBlogger one bit. Only 1% of your audience really comments, so it doesn’t matter in the end…

    Oh yeah, don’t say these people are an exception rather than the rule. They are the exception not because disabling comments or not replying to them is bad not because hardly anyone actually tries disabling comments, they automatically think it’s bad…

  40. I’ll have to listen and watch the video when I have more time. But I already like the Queen tip. for both reasons… he he he…

  41. @Ruchir are you serious?
    If you don’t think that turning comments off on this blog will drastically affect it you don’t know much. As far as Steve Pavlina and Seth Godin they are both jerks.Any blogger that thinks they’re all that and don’t respond keep doing that I’ll wave as I pass you BY.
    Community builds on itself.One of the reasons I come to this blog is many months ago when I was new I had msg Darren and he responded bet if he didn’t you wouldn’t be reading this comment.
    Bloggers need to work together and stop being so damn self centered .The people that have blew me off aren’t doing to well right now and you can see their stats are stale and they are heading towards the graveyard where I have seen plenty of blogs.
    Me I reach out to all my blogging brothers and sisters and to me they aren’t mealtickets.My blog is 6 months old and kicking ass you figure it out..

  42. There is no right or wrong. It just depends what you are blogging about. I do a Survivor Fan Site [OK, stop giggling] that it is best to just let the comments flame out of control. But my investment site needs to be moderated. It just depends.

  43. @Ruchir: Perhaps only 1% of readers comment (frankly, I think that’s high by a factor of at least 10, if not 100); however, what percentage of readers read comments?

    And how many first comments spur others to comment?

    As a result, Darren can Tweet “There’s an interesting conversation developing regarding blog comments @ tinyurl.com/myblog” and a bunch of others who may have only read the initial article, will return, read our comments, and perhaps comment themselves, or even write a new article on their own blogs, linking here…and *b00m*! A whole slew of new readers for Darren!

    Disable or disregard comments at your peril.

  44. Love these! A lot of people may be cringing when they read this, or read it and not take it to heart, but he lays it out honest. Problogging is your life, am I wrong? I’ll have to check out his stuff. Thanks Darren!

  45. Talk about lighting a fire under ones butt! This guys enthusiasm is infectious.

  46. Gary does what works for him… Darren does what works for him and I do what works for me. We are all different.

    I always believe that you should follow your own instincts. All readers are not alike and enjoy different styles and personalities. You will attract your own crowd as long as you offer something of value.

  47. I tend to agree with Gary about comments, and not because of the affect that they have had on my sites. I agree with him because on my own reading habits.

    I have often found the comments to be as informative as the initial blog entry itself, and will sometimes return to a page because I want to see if anything additional is added. If comments are turned off, I’ll read the page once and generally never return.

    Additionally, I noticed that blogs with the comments turned off tend to repeat themselves more often. Now this isn’t a measured observation, it’s just a general trend that I’ve seen. I’m sure that anyone here can point to exceptions to this. But for me, I tend to stay with blogs that have active communities and loose interest in those that don’t.

  48. I’m don’t agree all with Gary except one “don’t drink hatorade”.
    Anyway it is a great post, we can learn from the good one instead of medio.

  49. Awesome nuggets, Darren. I too enjoyed Gary’s keynote tremendously at BlogWorld. I think I tweeted more about him than any other presenter.

    Between Gary, Tim Ferriss, and Guy Kawasaki I was blissed out!! (And getting to meet you too F2F was delightful; you have a wonderful presence – very unassuming yet so powerful with your knowledge & accomplishments!)

    Thanks a mil for the vid link too; I’d seen a few formats but hadn’t seen David Peralty’s on Vimeo. Awesome!


  50. I think this post should be printed out, bookmarked, and the video watched time and time again!

    I think that we should take what Gary had to share to heart and implement what he had to say & share every second that we get and do it with a sense of passion. After all, if we’re not passionate about what we’re doing, what’s the point in doing it at all?

    Darren, thanks for hi-lighting the key take-aways here and sharing the video! You and Gary V. rock!

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