CAT Magazine

CAT Magazine

Book Bash - 3 Days Only - Engagement from Scratch by Danny Iny

YAY! I've been waiting for today for what seems like an eternity! I so can't wait to get my hands on this book! Danny Iny even took time out of his busy schedule to chat with me, so stay for the interview before you race off to buy the book okay?

Danny Iny has been an entrepreneur for longer than
his entire adult life. He 
quit school when he was fifteen
to start his first business, and has been doing it ever since.
Along the way he ran the Montreal Marathongot an MBA, and married the most wonderful woman in the world. He's also worked with companies of all sizes,
from the very huge (Nokia, Google) to small businesses and entrepreneurs who are just getting started.
These days, he is a prolific blogger and teacher in theFirepole Marketing training program, and enjoys
working one-on-one with client businesses to improve their marketing and make more money.
He's also the author of a book about effective communication in writing, university guest lecturer,
and the CEO of a start-up company called 
Bowl of Goals.
Despite being called the Freddy Krueger of Blogging for being seemingly everywhere in the blogosphere, Danny is a super-friendly guy who makes a point of responding to every email and message - so go ahead and follow him on Twitter @DannyIny, or just send him an email, and say hello!

Hi Danny, and welcome to Writing Innovations. I read in your bio that you quit school at the age of 15 to start your own business. What made you decide to do this? I have teens at home and the only thing on their minds is sports, not starting a business.

DI: It was a long time ago, but I just remember feeling bored out of my mind at school; they were teaching stuff that was mostly arbitrary, largely irrelevant, and teaching it to a class full of kids that weren’t interested at all. Not the best environment for learning! So I decided to strike out on my own, as it were, and do something more meaningful and productive with my time than alternate between vegetating in classes and skipping school to watch television and go to the gym. I don’t recommend it for everyone (it takes a very specific sort of personality for it to fit), but for me, it was the best decision I ever made.

What made you so sure that becoming an entrepreneur would be so successful, or were you just going on a dream?

DI: It really wasn’t that structured; it’s not like I made this big decision that “I’m quitting school to become an entrepreneur” – I was only 15 at the time. It was more like “here’s something I can do that’s better than school”, and one project led to another, which led to another, which led to another. It wasn’t until my early 20s that I really started to think of myself as an entrepreneur, by which time I had been doing it for close to a decade, and by that point I just couldn’t see myself ever going back (it’s still weird for me to think sometimes that for a lot of people, “9 to 5” isn’t just an expression)!

What got you interested in blogging?

DI: The short answer is that it’s where our audience was hanging out. The long answer takes a bit of back-story; Firepole Marketing started with our training content, and when it was done, we went looking for a way that made sense for us to get the word out about it, and that was really the start of my audience-building learning curve. I did a lot of exploring, and eventually it clicked that blogging was the way to go for us.

You co-wrote the book, Engagement from Scratch!, why don't you tell us a little bit about that?

DI: Well, as I was climbing that learning curve, I did a lot of reading, studying, researching, trial-and-error... you name it, and I did it. And along the way, I noticed that a lot of the stuff out there about “audience building” was really about “audience growing” – in other words, it all seemed to assume that you already had some kind of audience to work with. So... where does that leave the blogger who only has three subscribers: them, their mother, and their other email address? I gradually came to figure out at least part of how it works, and I felt that there was a need for a book that would share with everyone how to do it for themselves.

How did that idea turn into Engagement from Scratch!, which is a co-authored book?

DI: Well, I started to plan the book, and then I noticed something funny; there were some very successful people out there who were doing things very differently from what I was doing. They were seeing good results, so they couldn’t be wrong. But I was seeing good results, too, so I couldn’t be wrong, either. That’s when I realized that this isn’t a “single solution” sort of problem. Rather, it’s a “many paths up the mountain” sort of situation, and the only way that I could do it justice was to bring on all these other people to share their perspectives as well.

And what’s the key takeaway that you learned from all these people (without giving away too much of the book)?

DI: Hmmm... it’s hard to sum it all up, because the perspectives are so diverse, but I can point you to three main themes. The first is that you have to know and love your audience. If you don’t, then you aren’t going to stick with it. Second, you’ve got to create valuable stuff. “Epic shit”, as one of my co-authors puts it. And third, you have to get to work. No ifs, ands, or buts about it – it’s a lot of work, and the best time to start is right now.

What is the most common mistake people make when deciding to build a blogging community of their own?

DI: Probably not thinking through their plans. I mean, sure, everyone wants to create a big blog and be wonderfully successful, but what does that really mean? How does that look? How are you actually going to make all that money with your blog about knick-knacks or whatever? People should really spend more time at the outset figuring out what they really want their endgame to look like. It’ll save them a lot of time, a lot of work, and a lot of heartache along the way.

You also run Firepole Marketing...What services do you offer?

DI: Firepole Marketing is mostly free information. We cater to small business owners and entrepreneurs in the 0-10 employee range (which includes many bloggers), and teach them about marketing that actually works, that actually gets results, without the hype, or the “five steps to world domination with Twitter” nonsense that the internet seems to be full of these days. Just real-live, rock-solid marketing that gets results.

Talking about marketing, without giving too much away from your book, what is one piece of marketing advice you can offer to those just starting out?

DI: Figure out what’s broken before you start fixing things willy-nilly. In other words, figure out what the steps are from where you are to where you want to be, and find obstacle that’s keeping you from getting there. Get help isolating the problem if you have to, but isolate the problem, and only start fixing things once you know what you need to fix. It kills me to see businesses waste time and money that they don’t have trying to fix things that aren’t even really broken!

You've accomplished so much, what is next for Danny Iny?

DI: I’m flattered, but really, on the scale of human achievement, I haven’t done anything yet that would get me into the history books. That’s okay, though, I’ve still got time. The big plans are too big to share just yet, but there’s a lot of cool stuff coming up in the near-term, including some really great free stuff at Firepole Marketing, and a couple of new books that are in works.

Where can readers find you?

DI: The best place would be Firepole Marketing. Just head on over, sign up for our free video series, and if anyone wants to reach out to me, they should just reply to any email they get in that series, and it’ll go straight to my inbox. And I answer all of my email in 24 hours – try me!

Danny, thank you for taking time to chat with us today. For those of you interested in buying Danny's book, Engagement from Scratch!, today is your lucky day. We are celebrating Danny's book with a book bash, and from March 2 – 4, you can pick up your own copy at for just $0.99.

We wish you much success in the future Danny.

The Writing Innovations Team

If you're looking to build a blog community or engage your audience over and over again, then this is the book for you! Danny Iny lays out a solid blue print for you to follow.

"After reading the book, I felt as though I had had direct access to some of the best minds in marketing, blogging, copywriting and business. The contributors to the book seemed to answer my questions preemptively - I feel infinitely more prepared now as a business owner, having read Engagement from Scratch, than I did prior. A must-read for anyone looking to gain traction in any industry." -Ruth Zive

4 Responses to "Book Bash - 3 Days Only - Engagement from Scratch by Danny Iny"

Bk Walker said...

Thanks so much Danny. It was a pleasure having you with us :)

Danny Iny said...

It was my pleasure, Bk, thank you for the opportunity!

Allan Ngo said...

Great write-up! 

Got my copy of Engagement from Scratch a couple of months back and it is a definite Gem. 

I was fortunate enough to work with Danny personally and he is your genuine no-frills guy. Down-to-earth and willing to help.

This line describes him well " teach them about marketing that actually works, that actually gets results, without the hype, or the “five steps to world domination with Twitter” nonsense that the internet seems to be full of these days. Just real-live, rock-solid marketing that gets results."

Hope everybody interested in building an engaged audience gets their copy. 


Danny Iny said...

Allan, thanks so much for your kind words!

It's been a pleasure working with you, and it really means a lot to me that someone as dedicated and hard-working as you found value in the book. :-)