Read this book: Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

Elon Musk has always fascinated me. Anyone who is able to create something from nothing has my respect. When that someone does it over and over again – I’m really curious as to what makes that person tick.

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The book paints an interesting picture of how Musk created companies like Tesla, Paypal and Space X. It touches on some of the controversy that’s surrounding him – and it has inspired me to think about how I can dream bigger and be a better leader to the team.

You can buy the book here. (affiliate link)

Read my other book recommendations.

 

 

Less about your frame, more about your content

I’ve been really lucky to work with content creators for over a decade. Last week I met with one really talented blogger that I’ve known for 5 years now. We had an interesting discussion about frame vs content.

When most people start a blog, they’re extremely focused on the design of the blog. The layout, colours, widgets, sidebars, boxes and plugins. They feel they can’t publish a single post before the blog is just.. perfect.

This way of thinking is like starting on the opposite side of what matters – of what will determine if your content attracts an audience. And it is even less important then just a few years ago.

Look at Instagram, you don’t decide the frame of your content. Instagram has successfully created its vision of an optimal experience of viewing pictures on mobile. You just control the content. SnapChat is the same, it’s not even a frame – just your content filling the whole screen.

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I view a blog in exactly the same way. Right now 70% of the people who visit United Influencers are experiencing the content via a handheld device. 70%! That’s crazy. And most of the bloggers I know are viewing their blog via their desktop computer. In my experience, bloggers are just too focused on the desktop experience.

We see Facebook Instant Articles, Apple News and Google’s AMP in the same way. They are all stripping away the frame and just presenting the core content. This is the future, my friends.

And I truly believe when you stop thinking so much about the frame you’re creating content for and focus more on delivering great content to your audience, your content will get better and where you put it will come more natural to you.

Hint: It’s not always about getting people to your website.

Remember – The people who create the best content and at the same time really focus on their audience, win….not the people with the nicest frame.

 

 

When blogs die

Every once in a while a popular blogger decides to shut their blog down. “I’m quitting”, they say, and all of their readers flood the comments with “rest in peace”, “we will miss you” and “OMG noooo! I LOOOVE YOU <3”.

A few years ago this meant that the person quitting disappeared from the face of the earth. These days it might actually have a very low impact on the person’s reach and their following.

These days a blogger is not “just a blogger”. They’re an influencer with a big audience on many social channels. The talented Norwegian woman, Annette Haga, recently shared that she is going to stop blogging after 8 years, but she still has a large following on Instagram and SnapChat. She still has the opportunity to influence and inspire her audience.

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A blog is just a channel and a blogger is just a content creator. Ending your blog does not mean that you will stop creating content. It just means that you’ve matured into other channels and formats. Annette is continuing to create content, just not on her blog.

See my point?

I want you to stop over-thinking where you put your content. I want you to focus on creating great content for the people you want as your audience. The channels and various mediums are going to change all the time, but great content will always have a place to shine.

 

 

Bloggers and other social media

Many bloggers and publishers focus a lot (and sometimes too much) on generating as much traffic to their website as possible. Every Instagram photo, tweet or Facebook post is about asking their audience to visit their site. This is an old way of thinking and will hurt you more in the long-run than help you grow your audience.

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It’s called social networks for a reason. Not all activities should have the goal of taking your audience away from what they’re doing and into your website. Most people that scroll through their Instagram feed would like to continue doing just that after they like your picture. They don’t want to click your name, find the link in your bio and visit your site.

Don’t waste people’s time and don’t overestimate the value you provide them.

Sometimes the best way to serve your audience is to just give them the beautiful picture you took on Instagram, without asking for something in return – or upload a video to your Facebook page, without making them click something at the end.

Also read: What is Native Content?

Instead of just focusing on your site, you should start creating great content, tailor-made to the different social channels your audience is using on a daily basis.

A great example of this is Vox Media on SnapChat Discovery. They really understand how to create native content and tell stories on the terms of the platforms they’re using.

Remember, it’s not about you – it’s about your audience.

 

 

Stick to one language when you blog

It’s interesting to watch how something can become a ‘truth’ just because ‘everyone’ is doing it. One of the things that a lot of bloggers are adapting to: Squeezing two different languages into the same post.

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Typically in the Nordics, for example, you would have your native language first, then an English summary at the bottom.

Why?

The bloggers I talk to tell me it’s to get a broader audience and to please their international readers. Fair enough.

It’s important to realize what you are sacrificing, though. When you mix two languages on one page, Google gets confused. It doesn’t know how to index you, causing you to drop dramatically on the search results.

Sure, the people that already found you can understand you. Unfortunately, new people will be unable to find you via the world’s biggest search engine and traffic driver.

My advice would be to go all-in to one target group – Local or International.

If you want both, create two blogs. You’ll have two different audiences that expect to be communicated with in slightly different ways.

 

 

How many hashtags are too many?

When the Twitter community started using hashtags in 2007, it was to enhance the experience of the service. Using a tag to track a conversation or a topic across the whole platform made it a lot easier to follow – and to be heard. Instagram was introduced 3 years later and used hashtags as well. The big difference was how the Instagram community chose to use it.

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On Instagram, it’s not uncommon for someone to throw in 5-6 hashtags on every post. Of course, this is done as a vague attempt to have someone – anyone – from across the network to notice their hashtag and pick up on it. The truth is, it ruins the user experience and doesn’t bring enough traffic to make it worth it.

Also read: You don’t want traffic, you want an audience

I’ve written about this many times, but I can’t say it enough. The most valuable thing you, as a brand or as an influencer, can have is your core audience – the people who engage with your content and add value to the conversation. It’s about them. It’s not about you.

Going all crazy with your hashtags gets very little results in terms of attention, but creates plenty of frustration for your core audience.

Stop doing that.

Hashtags were created for tagging a piece of content to one topic or one conversation, not six. Focus on things that add value for your audience, not that create confusion.

#awesome

 

 

Take yourself seriously

The media has given Norwegian bloggers a bad reputation. The bloggers gave them the pleasure of being right.

I’ve worked closely with bloggers for over 12 years. I’ve seen different phases of how they work, how the media sees them, how they see themselves. It’s been interesting noticing patterns and helping bloggers succeed in every way I can.

For too many years now, the word blog, blogging, being a blogger have been looked down on in Norway. People tend to think of blonde girls writing about stuff no one cares about. That could not be farther from the truth — but unfortunately, not even the bloggers are standing up for themselves.

I did a keynote for all bloggers from United Bloggers in January. My main message: Step up your game. (see it here)

It’s time they start taking themselves seriously. If they don’t, no one will.

Being a blogger that actually makes a living serving their audience is hard work. Creating content that people actually seek and are engaged by is not easy and a skill I have absolute respect for. It’s something most big brands are not able to do.

Anyone can get traffic, but to create an audience is something not many people are able to achieve. And on top of that, to be able to make a living from it…Wow.

So it’s long overdue that these influencers get the respect they deserve. They are the trendsetters of our generation. They set the agenda. They are important people.

But before the people will see them with respect, bloggers need to respect themselves.

So to all bloggers: Keep your chin up. The next time someone asks what you do, answer proudly — I’m a blogger.

 

 

Sponset vs reklame

Det har vært mye prat om ordlyd på innhold som hvor mottaker har fått en fordel eller godtgjørelse for å produsere innholdet.

Mange mener at det bør merkes som reklame, andre mener det bør merkes som sponset innhold. Jeg mener at det er viktig at vi definerer hva de forskjellige begrepene betyr, og på den måten er det veldig tydelig hvordan det bør merkes.

Reklame er når en merkevare har produsert innhold som de betaler for å få synlighet for. Som en TV reklame, der reklamebyrå har laget en film som et mediebyrå har plassert på TV-skjermen.

Sponset innhold er når en merkevare har gitt en godgjørelse til noen som produserer sitt eget innhold for å få en plass i det innholdet. Det er altså ikke innhold styrt av merkevaren, men oppfordret av merkevaren.

Hadde en blogger postet samme bilde som brukes på utendørsreklame som et innlegg på bloggen sin så er det selvsagt reklame. Man bare plasserer innhold laget av merkevaren, men om bloggeren selv skaper innholdet – så er det sponset innhold. Fordi merkevaren er ikke i 100% kontroll, det er bloggeren som bestemmer hvordan innhold og budskap utformes.

Reklame er innhold skapt av merkevaren, plassert på en flate. Sponset innhold er innhold skapt på oppfordring av merkevaren, men hvor innholdsskaper står for innhold og produksjon.

 

Who are United Influencers?

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A lot of people ask what I’m doing these day, and how the company is going. So it felt natural to write a blogpost about it. So much has happened since we launched last December. We used to call ourselves United Bloggers in Norway, but with a merger with the app MIKZ and a bigger team. Our vision for the company has grown with it.

We are United Influencers. We provide brands a dedicated audience through people with a loyal and dedicated audience. We are an influencer marketing agency.

We strongly believe that it’s a big difference between traffic and an audience. Where traffic is just people passing by you, and audience shows up specifically to consume the content created.

We work with a few selected influencers in every country we are based, where we represent them and help them on all digital channels.

So far we work with over 200 influencers in Norway and Sweden. From the football player Zlatan, the actor Mikael Persbrandt to the bloggers Viktor Frisk and Lene Orvik. All very different people, but with a strong dedicated audience.

It’s been one hell of a ride so far. And with the incredible team we have in place, we are ready to take this to the next level. And I’ll of course take you guys along this journey.

 

 

Lost and found – confessions from a blogger

I couple of weeks ago I wrote an essay about automation, and that it made me loose touch with Twitter. The feedback’s been good on that piece, and it got me thinking further about how I communicate and what type of content I put out these days.

When I started creating content, now over 12 years ago, it was very personal. I loved that. And I’m realising now that I never felt more close to my audience as I did then. I’m still personal some places online, mostly my letters, but my blog especially have become gradually less personal. I’ve skipped the contex of why I’m sharing what I’m doing, and my feelings around it – and just jumped into lists and short bursts of thoughts. It was easier, and it got more views.

But it also made me loose the tight connection I had with my audience. Something I’m just realising, and that honestly makes me sad. For me having a close relationship to my audience is the most important thing. I would rather have 10 close readers, then 1000 random ones.

The last 14 days I’ve created a video daily from my life, a vlog of some sorts. I forced myself to become personal again. It’s been loads of fun, and also sparks my creativity in ways I have not felt in many years. It’s really exiting!

So it’s time to get my blog back to what it meant for me and my audience back in the days. I’m going to try to create more personal content again. Not relationship advice or what I’m eating for breakfast, not that personal. But more of the stuff that’s in my head at any given time. Not just stuff designed to further my personal brand, but stuff I think you as the reader would appreciate.

More REAL content, less click baits and quick fixes. Great content needs to be spent time on, and it needs to mean something for me – and for you.

Like this great piece from a girl called Nicole Eddy about her recent trip to Zambia. Talk about putting your heart and soul into every word. Very inspiring to read!

So yeah, let’s see where this goes?!