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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

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.

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?

Eliza Steely

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

Eliza Steely on Jan 7th, 2014     Blogging, BlogWorld NMX, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing

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

Eliza Steely on Jan 6th, 2014     Blogging, BlogWorld NMX, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing

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.

Lee Odden

For Small Businesses: When Is the Best Time to Start Building Your Social Networks?

Lee Odden on Aug 6th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Small Business

social networkingDuring a neighborhood gathering I met a small business owner and after sharing our respective backgrounds, he proceeded to tell me his troubles with not having the time to keep his website current. Competitors were seemingly overwhelming his category online. He also disclosed that his offering requires a bit of an educational sales cycle and the industry category has had some mixed press.

As we talked, I learned that innovations in the product line have advanced the capabilities significantly, but awareness of those advancements were hardly common knowledge within the target audience.  The good news was a significant demand in search volume and conversation on social networks about the problems his product offering solves.

Lee Odden

Build Credibility and Trust For Your Business With This Blogging Template

Lee Odden on Jun 25th, 2013     Blogging, Online Marketing

Blog Post Template

Have you planned to start a company blog and aren’t sure where to begin? Maybe you’ve created a business blog and haven’t been able to attract the audience and exposure that you intended?

Companies start blogging for a variety of reasons and things don’t always turn out as hoped. The good news is that when it comes to creating content that builds credibility and confidence, there’s a fundamental format that I’ve used over the years with great results: new business, inbound recruiting, speaking gigs all over the world, a book and credibility across multiple industries.

However, this kind of content template depends on planning, sequence variety. In other words, it’s not a “one off” tactic and not the only format you should use. It’s also not a silver bullet.

Lee Odden

Small Business Blog, Big Business Results

Lee Odden on Apr 8th, 2013     Blogging, Online Marketing, Small Business

small business bloggingBusinesses of all sizes often struggle to find high impact, low cost methods of attracting and engaging customers.

While some say social media and SEO have leveled the playing field, blogging is by far one of the most effective ways for small businesses to achieve numerous business objectives.

What can you achieve with a blog? As a content management system that can be optimized for search and social shares, blogs with great content can help a company attract new customers, engage existing customers, connect with journalists and connect with potential new hires. There are many business communication goals that can be realized through blogging.

How? The fundamentals that many companies seem to gloss over include:

  • Create a hub and spoke framework for blog publishing and promotion.
Brian Larson

Use Content Curation to Grow Your Company Beyond Being a Me-Me-Me Brand

Brian Larson on Mar 21st, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Don't be that guy who talks only about his brand or sells, sells, sells. Most children are taught at an early age to share and that everything is NOT all about them. It can be a painful life lesson for some to grasp – especially if they don’t pick it up until later in life – but it’s an important one nonetheless.

This particular life lesson also applies to how brands approach content marketing. In the age of brands-as-publishers and empowered consumers, companies need to understand that what they publish cannot only be about themselves.

Why Drop the Me Me Me Act?

Because you don’t want to be “that guy.” You’re so much better than this.

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