Here’s Part 2 of my Starbucks interview with Steve Rubel on How the Soup Gets Made, as he put it. But first, the inside skinny…

I was so engrossed in talking to the famed author of Micro Persuasion and then writing up our interview that I missed my train back to D.C. Caught the next one…

Let me open up just a teeny bit… about Steve Rubel. I was nervous about meeting him. I was pretty sure he doesn’t think I’m “cool” enough. I’ve noticed that BlogWrite for CEOs is not on his Bloglines list of 350 blogs that he scans every day. (Hey Steve, you will add it, won’t you? thanks for including.)

And finally, I figured he’d be pretty self important. He’s considered an A-list blogger, was quoted in the Business Week cover story about blogs and all that.

But Steve’s just a nice guy. He comes across as hard-working, smart, eager and genuine. Maybe a tad geeky, not particularly cool and even a bit shy. Oh, and he’s a REALLY fast talker (think Seinfeld). Funny how you can’t tell everything about a person from his or her blog…

That’s a joke, in case you didn’t get it.  Oh, and I’m a little bit cool, really. Now for the good stuff…

Part 2: Steve Rubel’s blogging playbook

Part 1: Steve Rubel reveals his 4-hour a day blogging playbook

Steve, 35, joined Cooper Katz, a 20-person business communications firm, in 2001. He’s now VP of Client Services and started Cooper Katz’s blogging practice in Feb. 2005. He moved to Edelman PR as a Senior VP in February 2006. More about Cooper Katz’s blogging practice, dubbed Micro Persuasion [Update: since renamed Cogence] here

Why he blogs

Three reasons, he said…

To share, to connect and to build business. “I’ve made it part of my
job,” he said. But blogging wasn’t originally “part of a grand strategy
or required for Cooper Katz.”

On sharing… “Over the past 2 or 3 years I’ve acquired knowledge
that is valuable to those in my profession. My role is to shake the
trees as much as possible.”

On building business… In Jan. 2004 he told two clients (the Association of National Advertisers and Weatherbug) to start blogging. Both did and both have continued to date.

Where he got the name Micro Persuasion

He heard about blogs in 2000 – 2001 and started exploring the
blogosphere. By 2003 he saw “it was getting big.” After he counseled
his clients to blog he decided “I have to be a part of this.”

He launched his blog in April 2004. It took off after blogger-journalist Dan Gillmor linked to him and he did a Q & A with Microsoft’s Robert Scoble (April 29, 2004).

How he chose the name:

“We have a constellation of micro publishers
with mass influence and persuasion. Hence the name Micro Persuasion.”

How he chooses what to blog about

“I wanted to do something different. I saw a niche that wasn’t being
filled  – the intersection of blogging, PR and RSS.” Now he also covers
“tech, search and whatever is next… like podcasting, of course.”

I asked Steve in a follow-up email: “What criteria do you use to
include an item when you’re scanning all your sources? i.e. how do you
decide what’s important? What makes something jump out at you?”

He responded:

“I look for something that ideally no one else has yet that’s news
or a great idea. Look at the Trump blog story. I am fairly certain
that word began to spread once I blogged it. That’s not to say that it
wouldn’t have, but I think people tend to sit on my feed since there
is news there.”

I asked:  “Are you getting more items from persistent news searches like Google News or from other blogs?” He replied:

“News first, followed by and blog searches.”

What advice would he offer would-be bloggers who want to cover a particular niche?

Specifically, I asked: “What advice would you give an individual or
company that wants to start a resource and aggregator blog like
yours?” He reponded:

“It’s the safest way to go, but be sure to add value and fill a void –
meet a need. Halley Suitt gave me the best blog advice I ever heard.
She said, blog early, blog often, bake fresh bread (e.g. something you
can’t get anywhere else) and write op-eds. That’s great advice.”

If you missed it: Part 1: Steve Rubel reveals his 4-hour-a-day blogging playbook