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Lee Odden

How to Be the Best Answer with Topic Targeting

Lee Odden on Oct 27th, 2014     Blogging

Be the Best Answer - TopRank

This weekend I had the good fortune to present at the Minnesota Blogger Conference where nearly 300 local bloggers gathered to learn, get inspired and network.

For my part, I gave a presentation on how blogs are still an incredibly useful tool for marketing. Keeping the reason for blogging top of mind as well as empathy for reader preferences in how they find, consume and act on information are essential if a blog author expects marketing outcomes from their efforts.

When a blog or any content hub can become “the best answer” for the topics that are important for buyers, the return on blogging goes way, way up. One way to execute a content plan to become known as an authority is through topic targeting.

Lee Odden

Better Business Blogging – 7 Lessons Learned from Writing 1 Million Words

Lee Odden on Oct 23rd, 2014     Blogging, Online Marketing

blogging tips toprank

Blogging for over 10 years has been quite a journey to say the least. During that time, I’ve had my share of challenges, opportunities, disappointments and surprises.

Back when I started, there’s no way I would have imagined having so many things to say for so long or anticipated what impact ongoing content creation would have on me personally and for our digital marketing agency – TopRank.

It’s true that a blog is not for every business, but every business that blogs, sees numerous advantages. For many, there are roadblocks and unrealized opportunities. Businesses can get caught up in those distractions and let their blogs die. As an example, IBM research shows that 80% of the blogs started there have fewer than 5 posts.

Lee Odden

Is Business Blogging Still Worthwhile?

Lee Odden on Aug 12th, 2014     Blogging

Boardwalk

State of Blogging

When I started blogging a little over 10 years ago, there were about 1.5 million blogs (Technorati).  That’s about 1 million other people with no idea what they were doing – just like me.

Today, it’s hard to say how many blogs there are globally, but WordPress.com alone hosts 75.3 million blogs in over 120 different languages world-wide with 100,000 new blogs being created every day. In fact, WordPress.com blogs publish 40.5 million posts and 400 million people view 14.4 billion pages per month. (stats)  That’s a lot of blogging!

Tumblr as a blog platform, has over 170 million blogs and nearly 76 billion posts published.  You can continue this exercise with other blog hosting platforms like Google’s Blogger and Typepad too. And I’m not even mentioning the millions of blogs hosted on their own domains or blogs on platforms like Medium or LinkedIn’s publishing platform.

Lee Odden

Two Marketing Tips for Creating More Meaningful and Profitable Content

Lee Odden on Jul 14th, 2014     Blogging, Content Marketing

Content Tips

Understand Globally, Communicate Locally

Literally and figuratively.

While at networking event in Bucharest I met the head of global business development and partnerships for a well known video hosting platform. Working with professionals from so many different countries, cultures and customs requires careful attention to communications and behavior – not entirely unlike how marketers who create content need to flavor their message according to the unique needs of each target audience.

He shared with me how things like accepting a business card from someone in China and then writing on it or not greeting the most senior person first in a Middle Eastern country, can kill a deal. He also talked about the importance of structuring engagements in a way that not only empathizes with the business customs of the region, but also makes money for all involved.

Lee Odden

How To Make a Blog Post Go Viral

Lee Odden on Jun 4th, 2014     Blogging, Content Marketing
Mike Odden

Painting by Mike Odden

How can I make a blog post go viral?

People have been trying to answer questions like this for years: How can I make a song a hit? How can I play in the NFL? How can I become world famous?

The reality is, for the vast majority of people, this is simply never going to happen.

For the 5% of bloggers that are able to create blog posts “that go viral”, the answer is to work your ass off until you get lucky. Then try even harder to figure out what’s working and refine what you write to connect with those key elements that resonate with your audience.

Lee Odden

5 Ways to Grow Your Blog Community and Readership

Lee Odden on Mar 4th, 2014     Blogging

Grow Blog CommunityThe more relevant readers of your blog content, the more opportunities to attract, engage and convert those readers in your online sales efforts.

Content marketing, brand publishing, media sites that blog, and consumer publishing are all competitors for the time and attention of your target audience.

So how can a company increase the number of readers of its blog content?

Here are 5 tips I’ve implemented with many companies and for ourselves over the years.

1. Facts tell, but stories sell. Tell stories! Whatever it is that you’re trying to communicate – boring, exciting or neither – always think of what “the story” is. You can find good stories in anything.  Use metaphors and analogies as inspiration for stories. Facts and statistics do have their place of course and can provide some very compelling logic behind an interesting story.

Lee Odden

The One Question You Must Ask And Answer to Win With Social Media Marketing

Lee Odden on Mar 3rd, 2014     Blogging, Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Understand the Why of Your Social Media Marketing“Can we increase our blog readership by 50% in the next 6 months?”

If you’re a digital marketing or social media professional, questions like this are probably pretty familiar.

For many companies, specific goals are a godsend since social media marketing is still a bit of an uncertainty. It gives those who are responsible for implementation something more tangible to focus their efforts on. I’ve seen it happen many times where an objective like this is communicated by a marketing director or VP and the marketing team jumped all over themselves and each other to provide compelling answers.

But I have to just shake my head when that happens.

Lee Odden

Does It Still Make Sense For Companies to Blog?

Lee Odden on Feb 10th, 2014     Blogging, Brand Management, Online Marketing

Grand Central Station NYCOver the past 10 years I’ve had more than enough opportunities to consider whether the investment in time and resources to blog has been worth it.

Blogging for business is a question I think many companies ask themselves as they look at current trends towards time more spent on social networks and changing consumer consumption trends, especially with mobile.

This question came to light recently via Stephen Waddington, Digital and Social Media Director at  Ketchum Europe who pinged me for an opinion on the future of global blogging for a blog post he was researching. And that got me thinking:

Does it still make sense for companies to blog?

One way to answer that question is to take a look at how many blogs there are and whether the number is increasing:

Nicolette Beard

Podcasting: Storytelling for the 21st Century – Pros, Cons, Examples and Best Practices

Nicolette Beard on Jan 28th, 2014     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Podcasting

Podcasting for Content MarketingThe human voice can convey much more meaning through tone and inflection than the printed word ever can. It’s why millions of Americans sat, fixated, during the Golden Age of Radio – listening to everything from adventure, comedy and drama to classical music concerts, news and farm reports.

As broadcast radio gave way to television, television to cable and cable relinquishing to the internet of everything, it comes as no surprise to content marketers that, spurred by technological advancements, broadcast radio has come full circle with podcasting and represents a new platform for storytelling.

The average podcast listener stays connected for 22 minutes on average (Sticher). This is one of the reasons why including podcasting as part of a long form content marketing strategy is so powerful. You have the opportunity to build a deep, rich relationship with your target audience.

Nick Ehrenberg

How to Make the Most of Vine’s 6 Seconds #NMX

Nick Ehrenberg on Jan 9th, 2014     Blogging, BlogWorld NMX, Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Vine, social marketing, NMXDoes your business utilize Vine for micro-content creation? The nascent video social network may not seem like a business-friendly target for social marketing, but there are several opportunities for engagement and retention within it. We may be conditioned to use Instagram or YouTube to tell longer video stories, but Vine’s six-second limit forces marketers to truly be creative with their time.

What makes a good, business-centric Vine video? Spud Hilton, Martin Jones, Jon Skogmo, Josh Entman and Richard Spalding explained the key traits in an NMX panel session.

Emphasizing mobile social marketing first

Vine is inherently mobile – they may have recently added a Windows client, but its foundation stems from mobile devices. That itself presents a unique opportunity for brands. Spalding noted that content created on Vine is instantaneous, spontaneous, and quickly shareable. Add the connection with Twitter, and you have a large audience at the ready.

Ben Brausen

Building Your Blog Into A Survivable Source Of Income

Ben Brausen on Jan 8th, 2014     Blog Marketing, BlogWorld NMX, Online Marketing

Make Money Blog NMX

Blogging is easy. Write good content and people will read it. But how do you take the next step and make it profitable? What does it take to make it your full-time gig? In their New Media Expo 2014 session, The Honest Truth About Professional Blogging: How We Lost Readers and Money During Our First Year, Amanda Brooks, Carol Cain, and Paula Pant talked about how to monetize and become profitable as a blogger.

Get Started

Nick Ehrenberg

How to Build Your Brand’s Voice Through Blogging #NMX

Nick Ehrenberg on Jan 8th, 2014     Blogging, BlogWorld NMX, Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Branding, #NMX, content marketing, online marketingWhen you think of your brand’s online voice, what comes to mind? Perhaps it is embodied by the people running your social media accounts, or by the marketing professionals that craft content for your website. In any case, your online brand goes far beyond the logo – and it needs to be nurtured with a robust content marketing strategy.

Digital strategist Luvvie Ajayi used her NMX session to stress the importance of identifying and optimizing brand voice and reputation. Businesses that don’t tend to their online identities risk appearing isolated and disconnected from their audiences.

The process for building or repairing an organization’s online identity begins with an analysis of the current situation: How are people talking about your brand now?

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