After a much deserved blogging vacation last week, I thought I’d start this final week of 2009 with wishes of appreciation for the readers of TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog and the fantastic team of writers we have. It was 6 years ago today, that TopRank started an agency blog as a way to publicly save and comment on industry news.
We’ve been through and observed many, many changes in the internet marketing industry over the past 6 years. Of course, Online Marketing Blog isn’t the only internet and SEO focused blog celebrating a 6 year birthday this year. There are several others listed here including a few that are still very active: Search Engine Roundtable, Search Engine Journal and SEO Book.
The most popular content in 2009 (by page views and unique visitors) continued to be resources such as the BIGLIST of Search Marketing Blogs (watch for a HUGE upgrade in 2010) as well as the managed list of Blog and RSS Directories, the RSS Button and Social Bookmarking tools created by Thomas McMahon, tips articles “25 Must Read Social Media Marketing Tips” and “25 Tips For Marketing Your Blog“.
One of the biggest changes for Online Marketing Blog in 2009 has been the addition of new contributors. Posts by new team members have earned hundreds of ReTweets on average as well as numerous comments, links and off site citations by influential industry blogs and online publications.
Many companies have shifted attention towards other social media channels and some have postulated the death of blogging due to the increasing popularity of Twitter and Facebook. The reality is, blogs are a tool like any other digital asset and will remain as effective as ever according to their usefulness and ability to meet the needs of customers.
As the owner and editor, I admit a great degree of bias, but I’d wager that TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog is one of the most successful agency blogs published. According to MajesticSEO we’ve attracted over 1,000,000 links from other web sites. We’re mentioned on top industry web sites and major news web sites on a regular basis.
From a PR perspective, Online Marketing Blog generates 20+ unsolicited citations each month from influential industry blogs and publications. We’ve estimated those placements and industry coverage to be equal to about a $10,000 per month PR agency retainer. Plus, there’s no additional content creation or interviews necessary outside of what we’re already doing. OMB also generates daily or weekly advertising requests, new consulting project requests, candidate inquiries and speaking opportunities.
The great work by TopRank’s blogging team has been recognized through inclusion in numerous “top” lists including:
- #1 Content Marketing Blog Junta42
- Top 10 marketing blog by Advertising Age
- #1 Small Business Blog by Technorati
An effective agency blog does not work in a vacuum though. By serving as a destination for our participation in other social channels such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Forums and other niche social sites, this blog provides a useful resource for the TopRank community of readers, fans, prospects and clients.
I sincerely appreciate the comments that our readers leave, the links that other blogs post to our articles and the opportunity to be a media sponsor for major Search Marketing Conferences like Search Engine Strategies and WebmasterWorld Pubcon. The pre-show posts, interviews and promotions as well as the live blogging during those conferences has produced a tremendous amount of mutually beneficial content and exposure.
Our liveblogging efforts wouldn’t be as successful without TopRank team members like Jolina Pettice attending conferences and writing, taking photos and networking with other attendees. Even though we’re not a news blog, there have been over 2,500 posts published.
The blog itself wouldn’t run as smoothly without the efforts of Thomas McMahon, who keeps the front end and the back end of Online Marketing Blog running smoothly. Our dedicated server hosting is provided by VISI, a first rate internet services and web hosting company based in Minneapolis. We’ve had flawless hosting service from them for over 3 years and highly recommend them for high demand and availability blogs and web sites.
Online Marketing Blog in 2010:
For the upcoming year we have a number of improvements planned to make Online Marketing Blog even more useful for readers and our partners. Some we cannot discuss just yet, but a few upcoming changes include:
- All new BIGLIST – We’ve been developing a categorized, ranked list of the BIGLIST that will also offer additional information on each blog as well as regular content updates, sorting features and several new aggregation options.
- More active participation off the blog – We’ve recently added a Online Marketing Blog Facebook Fan page that was originally started in 2007 but will now provide Online Marketing Blog readers a venue for continuing conversations from the blog as well as an opportunity for updates. The TopRank Twitter account has over 3,000 followers and will continue to aggregate TopRank’s content publishing and bookmarking of useful resources on the web. LinkedIn is another area we’ll grow along with niche forum and social network participation.
- All new Online Marketing Blog design – We’ve been closely monitoring what our readers like on AND off the blog and will be updating both design and front end functionality to make it easier to find and interact with the content that interests you most.
- Limited Advertising Opportunities - In 2010 TopRank will be offering selective advertising and co-promotion opportunities that will be content based both on the site and in the RSS feed. In the 6 years we’ve been blogging, TopRank has never taken on advertisers and the only ad displays we’ve ever had have been for media partners or for speaking events. As one of the most popular marketing blogs on the internet, TopRankBlog provides a very high standard for quality exposure to an audience of client side and agency internet marketers. More details to come with the launch of the new design.
We have an editorial calendar of topics and content objectives as part of our own content strategy and would also like to know what enhancements our readers would like to see? What kinds of posts do you find most useful? Liveblogging, articles, interviews, tips, how to’s? What topics are of most interest? SEO, Social Media, Online PR, PPC, Email, Mobile, Local, Industry Specific?
Thank you again to our readers and to the TopRank blogging team for rounding out a fantastic year!