Mad Marketing Podcast #3: Blog Copycats, Guest Post Policies, and More

by Marcus Sheridan


Before I talk about your GREAT questions discussed in today’s podcast, I want to make a special note that Gini Dietrich and Geoff Livingston have just launched their new book, Marketing in the Round, which discusses how to break down the silos within organizations to achieve maximum marketing success. Many of you know Gini from her wonderful blog Spin Sucks and have been reading her valuable insights for years, so make sure you get the book because it’s well worth the read and can truly have a huge impact on your organization! (***Note These are not affiliate links, I’m recommending this book because it’s good stuff.)

As for this episode of Mad Marketing, check out the questions that you recently found my inbox:

1. Marcus,

The biggest challenge for me is going to be convincing salespeople that marketing participation is ultimately a benefit to them personally and professionally.  I have some that may embrace this; others that will fight it.

I need to make it mandatory, but not a burden.

My two cents



  2. Marcus,

I didn’t think I would be back in touch with you so quickly. But I had something come up yesterday that created quite a little firestorm here in my office. Lot’s of people were telling me what they thought I should do. But it occurred to me that one person might actually KNOW what I should do. That person is you.

They say imitation is the strongest form of flattery. Well, I didn’t appreciate being flattered yesterday. My boss had asked me to look at one competitor’s blog to see if they were writing on some interesting topics that were sort of “one-off” topics for our industry. I had looked at their blog once or twice before, but it’s been a while. Here is what I found yesterday that troubled me so (link hidden).

Check out this blog post that I wrote and you can see why it bother me : (link hidden):

How do you handle this kind of thing? I want to do the right thing. I also want to let this company know that I will be watching them more closely from here on out. Part of me wants to bait them by writing a column about being a good competitor and include the tip “Don’t ‘borrow’ from your competition.”

I promise I won’t pester you with a flurry of emails. But you’re the expert in this, so I knew you would have some valid thoughts that would be sound advice.



3. Marcus,

Lately you’ve been sounding as though you are very frustrated by negative comments and the ‘Internet Police’, as you call them.  I for one, enjoy your posts very much and can feel your frustration at these overly critical people.  I think they come with the territory.  Look at any celebrity and they have their critical followers that follow them only to criticize their every move.

Maybe you should look at your critics as proof of your success (notice how when you didn’t have many followers no one was criticizing you).

As far as link baiting is concerned, I think it’s a brilliant idea, why didn’t I think of that before?

As always, thank you for your great blogs.  You have been so helpful in my education.



4. Hi Marcus,

I started a new consulting business a few months ago and am ready to start my business blog! I have gotten so much confidence and useful advice from your website and podcast (so glad I listened to you on Six Pixels of Separation!) and I really appreciate your simple, direct style.

My question is: Should I put my blog on my company website, or should I use a separate domain for it?



5. Marcus, I have a question.

I notice (and I might be wrong) that you are not wild about guest posts on your Sales Lion blog. We just had a request to publish a guest post. Although we do carry ads on our websites and on You Tube, our blog is pristine with content only. We want to keep it that way to provide a more educational experience on these pages. Do you have any thoughts on guest posting? Are there pitfalls? I don’t mind a plug for someone’s company within the article, but the post must be content-rich and provide value. I’m curious as to how you feel about getting involved with this aspect within blogs.

Thanks again for your hard work,



 6. Marcus,

I have a question that might be a great blog post from you. I am trying to figure out how to accurately grade my leads using the custom lead grader tool. What are some key considerations to make when figuring out how to grade your leads?

I have a few metrics but you’ve been doing this for longer than my 4 months :). Thought it might be a great article on your end.

Best Regards,



Well that’s it folks. As always, please don’t hesitate to send me your questions if you’d like them answered on the next podcast. Also, don’t forget you can listen to the audio above in MP3 and also iTunes format.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Rebecca Livermore May 15, 2012 at 11:36 am

Hey Marcus,

I really like the way that you included the actual emails in the show notes.

I also have some thoughts on the guest posting issue that I will send your way. :)



Marcus Sheridan May 15, 2012 at 3:14 pm

I’m glad you liked those emails, figured they couldn’t hurt and this way readers/listeners can truly see if there is any question that interests them enough to listen.

As always, thank ya lady!



Jon Loomer May 15, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Great stuff, Marcus. First time I’ve listened to your podcast.

I’ve been throwing around the idea of starting a weekly podcast of my own, and I may have to borrow/steal/copy from your format (keeping with the theme of your podcast). My concern with doing something new like this is always having a guest available to interview (which seems to be standard/expected). That just seems like an obstacle that over complicates the planning process. At the same time, I didn’t want to just blab about stuff. So your idea of answering questions — awesome!

Quick question: What software do you use to record the podcast? What do you do to distribute it — if anything — other than posting it on your blog and sharing that blog post?

Thanks in advance, and keep up the great work!


John @ Married (with Debt) May 15, 2012 at 2:40 pm

If I were to copy Marcus on podcasting, it would be his one-take approach (no editing). I think he still does it that way. Makes it more real, and I’d imagine it makes it easier for Marcus to record and distribute.


Marcus Sheridan May 15, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Yep, this was a one-take, as is the norm John, and yes, it makes it much easier. The reason why I decided not to offer via video as well was because I was concerned it would be too difficult to be consistent, as doing video, with green screen, takes a good bit more time, especially when it comes to uploading and all that jazz. Now, I can take my mic with me on trips, and do a podcast from anywhere, anytime, which is exciting.


Marcus Sheridan May 15, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Jon, thrilled you stopped by with these questions. Here is the thing about format– The only way you and I will know what will possibly work is by giving it a go, experimenting, and allowing for growth.

I think most people want perfect from jump. As you know, I’m not that guy, and boy has it benefitted me with ALL of my online success over the last 3+ years.

Regarding the format, there may be times when I do have guests, but this approach to me was very different than what I’m used to, and I think the style and content will really work for some folks. Of course, there will be others that will hat it, and that’s fine too. One thing is for sure– It’s impossible to make everyone happy.

The mic I use (this was my first week with the new mic) is a “Blue Yeti” and it hooks right into the USB. The recording software was Audacity, which is free.

Setting up an iTunes account was a little more difficult, along with getting my wordpress blog ready for the podcast feed, but luckily my VA took care of that and I didn’t have to worry about it.

For distribution, I just have it on iTunes and I talk about it in my newsletter….and that’s it. :-)

Thanks again Jon,



Jon Loomer May 15, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Thanks so much for the quick, detailed response, Marcus! I’m always impressed by how much you interact with your community and that you go above and beyond to help, share secrets, etc.

I love the format of using questions submitted by readers because it’s a great way to get started. The main thing holding me back from getting started is a fear that I’ll overcommit and can’t maintain a certain format. But having a go-to list of questions that are constantly being submitted (hopefully) can make this process much more streamlined (over lining up guests, scheduling, coordinating, coming up with questions, etc.). Don’t get me wrong, guests would be great, too, but not having to go only that route would ease my mind.

Idea that just came to me (feel free to steal it): Embed a form in a widget that would appear on all or some pages to submit your question for an upcoming podcast.

I hear ya on making everyone happy. And really, I’m not looking to do that at all (take that, people!). I’m more concerned about simply making a quality, consistent product. I don’t want to be overwhelmed, have to quit, etc.

I actually have a friend (Anthony Centeno) who uses the Blue Yeti. I’m such a cheap skate (especially early on in this thing when I watch every penny), so that may be an investment later on if this thing takes off. But since you both suggest it, I think it’s a given I’d go with the Blue Yeti when the time comes.

Stupid me, I wasn’t even thinking about putting it on iTunes. I’ll have to check into that.

Thanks again for all of the insights, Marcus! Invaluable for a guy like me finding his way. This makes me feel much more comfortable about pulling the trigger on a podcast. I’d love to have you on my hypothetical show one day!



John @ Married (with Debt) May 15, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Another great episode, Marcus.

I think your guest posting ideas are spot on. I have not done any guest posts on other sites, but have thrown a few offers out there. Problem is no one really wants them, and if they do, it’s probably a crappy content farm anyway.

I’ve had a few on my site and they are hit or miss. Regular readers don’t really want to see them, but sometimes one will get a lot of organic Google love which keeps me at least interested.


Marcus Sheridan May 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm

John, so glad you found some value here bud and yes, guest posting can be a tough one to balance, especially because regular readers don’t typically like it as much, similar to when your favorite tv show or radio talk show host is on vacation, the audience clearly has their preferred choice.

That being said, there are blogs out there with very quality driven guest posts. SME and Copyblogger come to mind right away.

Good luck with whatever you decide John,



Bonnie Barbera May 15, 2012 at 10:08 pm

Hi Marcus,

I really appreciated hearing your answer to my question on guest posting. You brought up several issues that we had not considered, such as drafting a clearly defined guest post policy and having the tenacity to stick to it. I look forward to Rebecca Livermore’s thoughts on this subject too, if you have a chance to post them.

Thank you Marcus – you have to be one of the hardest working people out there. Your efforts are noticed!!


Jon Loomer May 16, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Alright, Marcus, you’ve convinced me that I can do it. I’m starting my own podcast…

Thanks for the inspiration!


Marcus Sheridan May 18, 2012 at 12:04 am

Yay Jon!!!!

You really make me smile man. :-)



Edward May 17, 2012 at 6:36 am

Hey Marcus, you have done a great inspiring job here . and the way you included the mails to show your point is quite good … i will think about my own podcast now …


Sarah May 24, 2012 at 12:53 am

I really like the way that you included the actual emails in the show notes. You brought up several issues that we had not considered.


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