Image of the Platform book

Book Review: Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World

Image of the Platform book

This book, by Michael Hyatt, read much like Rework did—in short, quick bursts—only Hyatt’s book crammed in a lot more knowledge sharing. The incredible amount of information he stuffed into this book is alone enough reason to buy it.

Reading through Platform, I kept feeling like I was stealing from the author. I think I paid about $14 on Amazon, and because I bought it so early after its launch, I also received access to several bonus items as well, including:

  • Digital and audio files of Platform
  • 7 videos that complement the book’s content
  • Writing a Winning Fiction Book Proposal e-book
  • Writing a Winning Non-Fiction Book Proposal e-book

Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World has another subtitle: A step-by-step guide for anyone with something to say or sell. Honestly, my only negative feeling about this book comes from these titles. I feel like it should’ve been named something else, but I’m not quite sure what. He didn’t get into the whole platform thing right away, and that kind of threw me.

Who is this book good for?

If you’re trying to build a presence in social media and/or readership for your blog and are hoping this parlays into speaking engagements and more, read Platform. You will not be disappointed.

I was familiar with much of the instruction included in Hyatt’s book, but even so, each chapter kept giving me more and more info and energy. I wished Hyatt had released this book when I first entered social media (thank God for MarketingProfs instead). Pretty much everything you need to know as a blogger is in this book.

There’s even a bit of Marketing 101 built in as well. You’ll get great tips on product naming, using different branding tools, creating an elevator pitch and more. Here are some sample chapter names:

  • Define Your Platform Goals
  • Set Up Your Branding Tools
  • Develop and Online Media Kit
  • Protect Your Intellectual Property
  • Avoid Common Blogging Mistakes
  • Use Twitter to Promote Your Product
  • Set Up a Facebook Fan Page
  • Develop a Comments Policy

Hyatt is also very generous in offering up some of his own copy for your use. His advice on using disclosures and certain disclaimers to protect yourself, includes giving us the actual disclaimers he uses. So, we don’t have to start from scratch.

Don’t believe his take on proofreading

Oh yeah, one more slight negative—his opinion on proofreading. I agree with him that you don’t have to hire a proofreader, but then he says, “…crowdsource your proofreading. Your regular readers are happy to do it.”

No, we’re not.

In my opinion, a sloppy blog post shows you don’t care enough about your audience. Yes, errors here and there are forgiven, but you will lose readers if you consistently publish blog posts with errors in them.

Write your draft, let it sit for at least an hour, then go back and proofread it. If you’re not good at proofreading, then scan it once forward and once backward to help you catch more typos.

But I digress…

Back to the book review

In Chapter 29, “Create a Better About Page,” Hyatt offers up 13 tips on how to make this page better and also includes his own About page as an example. Thirteen tips on just the About page. That should give you some idea of how the whole book goes.

Hyatt is more than generous in sharing his knowledge and giving advice. And almost every chapter uses bullet points or lists to help you cruise right through. As if his book isn’t enough, he even provides a list of more resources at the end.

My suggestion? Buy the book. Maybe even buy two and share it with a friend. This is one you’ll keep going back to refer to, even after you’re out of the beginner stage.

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Blog Roll, Please…6 Blogs Worth Reading Regularly

Images from blogs mentioned here

Most bloggers I know put community at the heart of what they do—building a community, promoting a community, sharing with a community. All you need to do to realize this is to hang out in #blogchat on Twitter some Sunday night (9pm ET). People there are extremely willing to share tips & stories and welcome new attendees. It’s where I soaked up advice before I started blogging a couple years ago.

In this spirit of sharing and community, I’d like to share with you some blogs that I think you’ll really love.

Community Blogs

I Love Skippack by Michael Shaw

If you live in the Philly area or want to blog about your community, I strongly suggest you follow the I Love Skippack blog. Mike talks about the businesses and people of Skippack with genuine love and respect, without blowing smoke up our butts. He promotes this town better than any marketing agency could.

A funny personal note—Mike and I used to work together at Aetna, but I have to say we didn’t really get to know each other until we both left. Social media and blogging have made us friends. And that’s a cool thing.

The Ambler Rambler…Your MontcoREsource by Allison Wolf

I met Allison through Twitter. What caught my eye was how much and how well she promoted Ambler, PA—a town close to home. The Ambler Rambler is her blog. Like Mike Shaw, Allison gives us a terrific example of how to promote a community you truly love.

She is a real estate professional who understands social media and how to connect very well. Other real estate pros should follow her lead to see how to build a following without blatant self-promotion.

Marketing, Brand & Advertising Bloggers

Steve Olenski

Steve has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and advertising, and it shows. He really knows his stuff and he presents it in an engaging and often funny way in The Steve O-Zone blog. You might have heard of Steve because he writes for Forbes, Advertising Age, Business Insider and more. Plus, he was named one of the Top 100 Influencers In Social Media by Social Technology Review.

Danny Brown

Danny is one of the first people I followed when I jumped into Twitter and social media years ago. He is a man whose actions can teach you much about being community minded. He’s generous with his advice and words, and his posts are always intelligent and engaging. I love how honest he is and that he’s not afraid to challenge people who aren’t being so honest or are letting their ego get the best of them. I think the Danny Brown blog was the first one I subscribed to, and I still read it today. I recommend you do too.

Ben Grossman

I just found Ben Grossman’s blog through a post on Twitter. His two-part story on Responsive Advertising in and Economy of Relevance sold me. And his Texts from Hillary post was a great look at our Secretary of State understanding social media better than most corporate execs or government bigwigs.

His experience is in digital marketing and advertising, and it shows. He has a knack for writing about this industry, and I will surely go back to read more.

Liam Dempsey

Liam is a friend of mine whom I met through local Meetup groups. His blog posts are usually short and practical—to the point. He writes about blogging, social networking and all things communication. While you’re on his site, check out the link to his other blog, Chicken, Monkey, Dog for a bit of fun.

There are a ton of other blogs out there I can recommend. I just didn’t want to bombard you with them all at once. Feel free to leave more suggestions in the comments below, and if you like the stuff I write, you might want to check out the Philly Marketing Labs blog. I contribute there as well.

Thanks and happy reading!!