Marshall Kirkpatrick Interview - Blogger help, tips and hacks

Marshall Kirkpatrick Interview

Marshall Kirkpatrick is one of the best known bloggers in the web start-up space. A former writer for TechCrunch (One of the Top 3 Blogs on the Internet according to Technorati), Marshall now is a main writer for ReadWrite Web (One of the Top 20 Blogs on the Internet according to Technorati) and blogs on his personal blog,
1. How did you get your start in blogging?
I started blogging for lead generation purposes when I finished college as I wanted to start a consulting company. I shared what I had learned about new online media to demonstrate that I knew what I was talking about, but bloggers hired me to work on their blogs.

2. How were you able to land writing jobs at such popular websites like Read/Write Web and TechCrunch?

I started relatively clearly, writing on my own blog and linking to larger blogs. They appreciated this. I also left smart comments on their blogs and went to events such as Tag Camp in San Francisco. It was through an acquaintance at this event that I got the job for an AOL social software blog. I did a good job and built visibility, eventually getting the job at TechCrunch.

3. How has blogging helped you grow your consulting business?

I just recently put new emphasis on consulting business and blogging has made all the difference. It has increased my visibility and credibility.

4. Many of your stories have been very popular on social networking websites like What do you think is the key behind your success at these websites?

In general, people vote for articles that add clear value to their lives. That’s why lists are so popular. Lists make it easy to assimilate information. I don’t really write lists, I write first on topics and break news. I also clearly articulate cynical perspective on news that people appreciate.

5. You recently made a post about how useful Twitter was. How can bloggers use Twitter?

Twitter is a great place to get early information. It is so easy for people to post information there and people talk freely. It is a good source for news and is a good discussion area to get additional insight about certain news stories.

6. Have you founded any blogs aside from your personal blog?

Nope, someday maybe but for now I am focusing on my personal blog and the blogs I have been hired to write for.

7. What have you found to be the main advantages with working with a team of bloggers?

It is less lonely. Quantity of output can also be increased. In addition, different perspectives make for more interesting reading. People also enjoy seeing the interpersonal relationship between bloggers on the same site.

8. What are some the qualities you look for in a start-up that would increase their chances in being covered on a blog like TechCrunch or Read/Write Web?

They should have unique technology or graceful implementation of common technology. They should also communicate clearly about themselves and have some usefulness in my own work.

9. Do you think that start-up companies should maintain a blog? Why or why not?

I do. I think that a blog is a good supplement to press releases because a blog is usually more readable and more informal. It also allows for comments and the RSS feed of a blog is easier to track than the RSS feed for a news search for press releases. Also, blogging can be a good way for startups to develop relationships with people who can be more invested in the start-up.

10. What is the number one piece of advice that you have for bloggers?

Add value to your reader’s lives and read RSS feeds. Don’t drink too much to early either :).

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