Lee Odden

RSS Buttons for Your Blog

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When reviewing search marketing blogs each week for inclusion in our big list, one of the most consistent problems we see is that blog owners don’t make it easy to subscribe. Either there is no icon for the RSS feed or it’s hidden way below the fold.

Something as easy as adding a prominient RSS button near the top of the blog template with the word “Subscribe” near it can increase the number of return visitors substantially. We’ve done this ourselves and we’re now just under 6,000 subscribers.

A study by Yahoo and Ipsos Insight supports the need to display RSS subscription options as blog readers were found to be far more likely to subscribe to a blog if they say a familiar graphic for their favorite RSS reader, whether it was Bloglines, MyYahoo or Google Reader. One solution is to use our free RSS button tool which has been used by over 50,000 blogs so far.

Lee Odden

Bulldog Reporter Advanced PR Tech Chicago

After getting into the Chicago Hilton, a familar place from SES conferences, I walked the 3-4 blogs to the Columbia University campus where Bulldog Reporter was holding the Advanced PR Technology event. Greg Jarboe and I switched the time of our session with Katie Paine so she could make a plane to Dubai.

Regrettably I did not join the event in the am when it started and missed a number of fantastic speakers including Debbie Weil, but I did get to meet her for the first time. We are fellow bloggers over at Business Blog Consulting. Shel Israel blogged about Phil Gomes presentation here.

Lee Odden

TopRank March Madness

March has been a bit crazy so far as we’ve been rolling out an enormous SEO campaign for one Fortune 20 client and are in the final stages of signing another. On top of that, March will be a speakorama on blogs and public relations.

Last week I had the pleasure of presenting for the IABC chapter in Minneapolis at St. Thomas University with Sarah Bjelland, a VP from Wells Fargo. The event was called, “Delivering Insight into Business Blogs” and I presented on social media in general, trends with business blogging, applications for blog software in a corporate communications strategy and best practices for corporate blogs.

Lee Odden

Playing Blog Favorites on Technorati

Lists are good and bad. They’re often subjective and almost always in dispute by those that don’t make the list. Being on a list is a form of promotion or marketing in my opinion. Get on a list and you’ll get noticed.

Whether it’s getting on Todd And’s Power 150 list of marketing blogs (glad you could join Andy and Neil), on our own list of search marketing blogs or even the recently published list of top seo firms at topseos.com, I don’t see any downside to being on such lists.

Which brings me to the topic of this post: Technorati Favorites. Technorati tracks over 60 million blogs and publishes a “Technorati 100” popular blogs by links list that gets a decent amount of attention (we’re currently in the mid 200’s). However, it’s the “Most Favorited” blog list that caught my attention recently. The blog in the 100th position on the Technorati Favorites list has 100 “favorite” votes. Online Marketing Blog currently has 98.

Lee Odden

5 Tips for Content Distribution Networks

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In the past I’ve written about the content versus links debate where SEOs seem to fall on one side or the other when assigning the majority of importance for search engine rankings. What’s missing from that conversation is the need for a distribution network.

There are many that believe the key to a successful link building campaign is to create content worth linking to. However, if you create great content and no one knows about it to send a link, then there’s a lot lost on the effort. “Build it and they will come” is not the reality with search marketing despite the hype from SEO nay-sayers.

Lee Odden

Sourcing Content for Business Blogs

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Blogs are useful for many marketing and communication purposes. They’re also useful simply as software that manages content. Businesses can use blogs to communicate a corporate vision, to build thought leadership corporate-wide or for subject matter experts. Blogs can be very useful in support of public and media relations efforts and they are certainly excellent tools for making a site more search friendly with fresh content that attracts incoming links.

One of the best resources for blog content comes out of interactions with prospects and customers. If an organization can tap into the flow of dialog that happens between front line employees such as sales people and customer support there is an abundance of valuable content available. If customers and potential customers have questions about certain topics, then it’s pretty likely that many others will too.

Lee Odden

The Power of Social Media, Blogs and Online PR

When you attend conferences, read blogs or popular search marketing sites you’ll find plenty of subject matter experts in search marketing tactics ranging from search engine optimization to pay per click to local marketing and social media. It’s great to get those specific perspectives, but I get a lot of feedback from businesses that appreciate a more holistic approach to marketing online.

Recently, I was able to do an interview on the online radio show, Online Marketing with RSS Ray talking about an overall  approach to using social media, blogs and online public relations.

Below are links to the audio segments from the interview. All of the tactics discussed provide benefits for search engine optimization as well.

Lee Odden

Widget Marketing

At WebmasterWorld Pubcon in Las Vegas last November, Lawrence Coborn who runs Sexy Widget as well as RateitAll.com, made quite a splash with his presentation on marketing with widgets. We interviewed Lawrence Coborn here on OMB late last year.

Since then, many marketers have been paying more attention to marketing blogs with widgets such as via the Flickr image tool, the Swicki search tool and the MyBlogLog widget in the right sidebar of this blog.

Here is a an example of a new blog widget for Online Marketing Blog, or blidget from Widgetbox that makes a widget out of the content of your blog.

Lee Odden

No Blog? Missed Opportunity

Yesterday one of our account managers emailed me about a very nice hit (mention in an article) for a media relations client (way to go Bill!) in a prominent technology publication. This pub has an online version and the topic was pretty provocative.

I did a quick search on Google blog search and noticed a significant number of blogs buzzing about this topic. It would be a great opportunity for the client to participate in those threads of dialogue and present their unique perspective. Doing so with a blog post to link back to offering more details would be a great way to connect with a community that cares deeply about the topic. Except one thing. The client doesn’t have a blog.

TopRank Marketing Editor

Blogging in Different Languages

TopRank Marketing Editor     Blog Marketing, Blogging Strategy, Online Marketing

World - FlagsThere are millions of people around the world that speak languages other than English, yet most blogs I see offer up only English posts. The thought of posting in other languages doesn’t work well with many bloggers as they only know a few languages at most and the time it would take to re-post each post isn’t something we all have the time to do. So what about automatic translation?

Having a plugin to automatically translate your blog into Spanish, Chinese or other languages would be a great way to help gain exposure and readers from other parts of the world. Not only that, but it may also help increase the authority level of your blog.

In doing a bit of research, here are four plugins to help you automatically translate your WordPress blog.

Lee Odden

Lessons Learned About Blogging

We’ve been blogging here at Online Marketing Blog for just over three years, learning ins and outs along the way. Here are a few of the lessons learned in that time:

  • Blogging has been the single most effective marketing initiative for our search marketing agency second only to providing top service to clients who then refer us to other companies. In fact our top sources of new business are:
    1. Referrals
    2. Blog
    3. Articles
    4. Web site
    5. Conferences
  • Blogs can serve as a very effective platform for connecting online social networks and offline interactions.
  • One of the most effective ways at getting into the media is to become the media in your industry via a blog.
Lee Odden

Small Business Marketing Book

Lee Odden     Blog Marketing, Online Marketing

My blogging and marketing friend, John Jantsch has been providing practical marketing advice to businesses large and small long before I ever started blogging. Actually, it was in part because of John that I started contributing to AllBusiness.com and Business Blog Consulting.

John has long been a trailblazer at using blogs as a marketing tool via Duct Tape Marketing blog and I will readily admit, I have watched John for quite a while to learn his methods of blog promotion. A marketer’s marketer, John’s advice has been highly valuable as we’ve grown our small business.

Many small businesses find the task of marketing a difficult one and it’s that challenge that led John to write his new book, “Duct Tape Marketing ‚Äì The World‚Äôs Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide”. John recently sent me a review copy and I thought I’d share a brief description of it.