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Lee Odden

Not Happy With Your Business Blog Performance? Try These 5 Tips:

Lee Odden on Apr 6th, 2015     Blogging, Content Marketing

business blogging tips

For many companies, blogging is akin to content marketing. Of course there are many other content marketing tactics besides blogging, but because of the ease of publishing, promotion and optimization, it’s one of the more popular ways to connect with customers through content.

And yet there are challenges for many of the businesses that rely on blogging as an essential part of their content marketing mix. If you’re not happy with the performance of your business blog, here are 5 basic, yet often overlooked steps for making your blogging more effective.

1. Revisit Your Blogging Goals

Of course you’ve set goals for your blog. But how long ago was that? When was the last time you revisited those goals?

Jolina Pettice

Is Your Business Blog Running on Empty? Here Are 4 Ways To Fill the Tank

Jolina Pettice on Feb 5th, 2015     Blogging, Online Marketing

Blog-Out-Of-Gas

I’m a bit of a risk-taker when it comes to my gas tank. If you cared to check, most days you will find me driving around with the gas light on.

In fact, I’ve done this so long that I have it down to an art. I know how many miles I can go, and even how the car starts to drive when I’m operating on fumes.

Why, why on earth would anyone do this, you might ask. The answer is simple … because so far it’s worked. I haven’t found myself on the side of the road unable to keep going.

James Anderson

4 Ways Marketers Can Learn From a Journalist’s Approach to Content Planning

James Anderson on Jan 22nd, 2015     Blogging, Brand Journalism, Content Marketing, Online Marketing

media-journalist-content-marketing

“Be the media” isn’t just a buzz phrase. It’s a live process and philosophy that brings in leads and moves products and services. It’s the concept of content as sales staff. It’s “write it and they will come.” OK, so I got ahead of myself with that last one. It’s not quite that simple.

As marketers have moved to content to help tell their stories that draw in customers, they have brought journalists in to help with the storytelling.  Now that many marketers and journalists are working side by side, they have developed similar processes and have begun to merge cultures. They are finding common ground, overlapping and crossing career paths.

Here are a few areas in which I think that content marketers can learn from journalists:

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.

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