Lee Odden

Does It Still Make Sense For Companies to Blog?

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

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

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

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

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?

Ben Brausen

5 Ways To Create Great Content Without Writing A Lot

Marcie Hill NMX 2014We want to create engaging content but we don’t always feel like typing a lot. For some, it’s a constant struggle to get our thoughts on to paper (or in this case on pixels). Typing isn’t always required to create content your readers want. Marcie Hill showed us 5 Ways To Create Engaging, Sharable Blog Posts Without Writing… A Lot, in her New Media Expo 2014 presentation. Check out these quick and easy ways to create great stuff that your readers will want to see and share.


Over 1 billion people will buy a phone this year and most of them will have cameras. Most of us take pictures all the time. These can be great sources of content for your posts. With more than 350 million photos uploaded to Facebook each day and 55 million to Instagram (35 million are selfies), it’s obvious that people love pictures.

Eliza Steely

12 Easy, Simple Ways to Up Your Blog-Writing Game… From a Fortune Cookie

spud hilton #nmxFortune cookies are notoriously cheesy. They tend to be something that could happen to anyone (e.g. you’ll meet someone special today) or something extremely vague (e.g. there is a big success in your future). But what if they could teach you how to become a better blogger and a better writer?

Spud Hilton made it so they could. While in San Francisco, he had tips printed and folded inside the sugary cookie to pass out to random strangers. He dedicated his NMX session to teaching those 12 tips, and elements of good writing to help bloggers up their writing game.

Why Quality Matters:
People will tire of you before they tire of the topic. Your topic is always going to have more longevity than you do. You need to make sure you’re presenting that topic in a straightforward way that’s unique.

Eliza Steely

How to Build Your Blog Community with the Right People #NMX

Blog communityThe internet has redefined communities. My grandparents, who are in their 80s and 90s, still consider a community the people they see pulling out of their driveway, or those they run into at the grocery store on a weekly basis. To them, a community is the physical people around them that share a similar lifestyle to their own. They also don’t own a computer.

For those of us that do, we know that a community doesn’t have to be made up of those in close proximity to us, and often times aren’t.

Take the TopRank blog for instance. We have loyal readers from Minnesota, Texas and Illinois. Then we have international readers from India, Australia, the Netherlands and France. They’re all joined by east and west coast readers from California and New York. Regardless of where they’re from or how far away they are, they make up our community.

Eliza Steely

The What, How and Why of Schema for Bloggers #NMX

Mitch Canter #NMXI use Google more times a day than I should ever admit. I look for restaurants, gas stations, and other businesses around me. I use it for directions, looking up people or places, and occasionally for spelling if I just can’t seem to get that word right. My point is: I expect Google to have the information I want and present it in a way that I can consume at a glance or on-the-go.

Google must think there are others like me because the way they display their results is constantly and dynamically changing to provide more relevant, meaningful information in SERPs. Things like carousels for local results, image and video results, and authorship markup are helping searches find what they wanted, even if they didn’t know it.

Ben Brausen

Want To Be A More Productive and Effective Blogger? Here Are 15 Social Media Tools To Help #NMX

Ian Cleary Presenting at New Media Expo 2014If you’re a blogger or a social media marketer, you”ll undoubtedly end up multitasking. Multitasking doesn’t usually work very well.  We overwork.  There has to be a better way.  This is where the tools come into play.  In his New Media Expo 2014 session, Ian Cleary reviewed 15 Social Media Tools to Become a More Productive and Effective Blogger.

Some are designed to help you find content to write, others to automate and monitor, or optimize. Regardless, they can all help make your social media life a little easier.

Finding The Best Content To Write

Eliza Steely

10 Marketing Lessons from 10 Years of Blogging @LeeOdden Keynote at #NMX 2014

Lee Odden Keynote NMX

Over the past 10 years of blogging, TopRank Online Marketing’s Lee Odden has learned a lot. In his New Media Expo 2014 keynote address to full room with standing room only, Lee talked about the 10 lessons he learned in 10 years and over 3,500 blog posts.

1. Stand For Something Specific

If you’re trying to be all things to all people, you’re competing with all companies in all spaces and yourself. That’s a lot to try to outrank! Ask yourself: what is the one thing I want to be known for? Be specific and make it easy for others to understand what you’re all about.

Each of the things you want to be known for can have it’s own spoke, own content plans, and each their own channels for distribution. After all, specificity rules when it comes to search and social!

Lee Odden

Thank you! Happy 10 Years of Blogging @TopRank Online Marketing Blog

Happy 10th Birthday TopRank BlogCan you believe it? On this day in 2003 our first “hello world” blog post for TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog was published.  1,328,500 of my own words plus tens of thousands more from our team later, it’s amazing to think it has been 10 years already.

Wow, how time flies!

A HUGE THANK YOU goes out to you, our readers, who have engaged, shared and interacted with us over the years. Your feedback and interactions have inspired us with ideas that we’ve been able spread all over the world.

In fact, I’ll be sharing the top 10 lessons I’ve learned from 10 years of blogging as one of the opening keynote presenters at NMX BlogWorld the first week in January.  As I reflect on the awesome contributions from our team and our community to the success of  TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog, I’ll share a few of those lessons here.