The Blog Code: Finding the Soul of Your Content

Tommy Walker, Editor-in-Chief of the Shopify Plus blog, joins Content Pros to discuss his secrets to marketing to different audiences, how he helped triple Shopify Plus’s traffic, and what his all-important publishing code has to do with it.

In This Episode:

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Full Episode Details

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The Tommy Walker Manifesto

Shopify has two divisions now: Shopify, which serves smaller businesses and start ups, and Shopify Plus, which solves high-growth and enterprise-level problems for larger businesses. Tommy Walker serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Shopify Plus blog.

Having tripled Shopify Plus traffic month over month from August to September, Tommy is poised to shared valuable wisdom about driving traffic through quality content. He stresses resisting the temptation to paint idyllic pictures for your audience or to pander to them.

Instead, he encourages creating a publishing code. He maintains that this manifesto acts as the key to not only creating content of a higher standard, but also to hiring the right people and eliminating messy communication of vision.

In This Episode

  • The differences between marketing to small businesses and large enterprise companies
  • The purpose of the all-important publishing code
  • The importance of creating organic feedback loops
  • How a publishing code can ease onboarding processes
  • What we can all learn from Buzzfeed


Quotes From This Episode

“I believe that content should have one—and only one—of four specific goals. Those four goals are to be shared, to drive discussion, to generate leads, or to make sales.” —@tommyismyname

“The publishing code is not our content strategy; it’s not our mission statement. It’s nothing more than basically externalized expectations that I have of myself and the content that I create. I have very high expectations of myself to make it. So to put it out there was very important.” —@tommyismyname

“The way I look at social media marketing as a whole is that we’re being social first, creating media second, and that just happens to be marketing.” —@tommyismyname

“It’s important to have a more layered strategy just to be more human. We’re not all work all the time, even when we’re at work.” —@tommyismyname



What did you want to be when you grew up?

Tommy’s path wound a bit before ending up in marketing. He started out wanting to be an animator for Disney. “It was always a really interesting thing to me to create moving pictures and entertain people with images and fun stories that way.”

It was from there that he transitioned into acting, attending the School for Film and Television. Shortly after graduating, he found his way into marketing. He connects the dots for us:

“When I first got into marketing, it was after I had graduated from a film acting conservatory. I have this view that the way we view our computer screen is not different from the way we used to view TV screens in the past, we just have the ability to interact with it and become a part of that story. So a lot of my whole philosophy behind content in general, and marketing in general, is just making an interactive story that makes your customer or your reader part of it. They’re the hero.”

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