Lee Odden

Social Bookmark Tool Updated

The super popular social bookmarks tool that Thomas created last year has recently been updated. We’ve been keeping him exceptionally busy with “client projects that are fun, interesting, challenging” for quite a while, but he was still able to sneak in a quick update and added several social news and bookmarking services.

New services added:

  • Google Reader
  • Diigo
  • Netscape
  • DZone
  • Squidoo
  • Looklater
  • RecommendzIt
  • Segnalo
  • StumbleUpon
  • Mr. Wrong

Several of these should have been added a long time ago, but hey, we’re busy helping clients. 🙂

If you’ve used the TopRank social bookmarks tool in the past, you may want to “freshen up” your links with Google, Netscape and StumbleUpon. Hint hint.

As a reminder here are the distinguishing features:

TopRank Marketing Editor

My 5 Favorite Blog Plugins

It seems that every week I find a new and exciting WordPress plugins. There are literally hundreds out there and many that are still un-discovered.

Wordpress PluginI thought I’d take the time to post my 5 favorite blog plugins in hopes that you might find some useful ones. I’d also like to hear your top five so I can discover some new favorites.

Thomas’ Top 5 WordPress Plugins ~ In No Particular Order

Optimal Title
– This re-arranges your blogs title page to be [post name ] – [blog name] which is good for SEO.

Headspace2
– Automatically create blog post descriptions. Or write your own.

Live Search
– Update your search box to show results as the user types.

Lee Odden

Interview: Amanda Watlington on Second Life and Blogs

Spotlight on Search – Interview with Amanda G. Watlington, Ph.D., APR of Searching for Profit

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Photo by Jeremy Zawodny

I first bumped into Amanda Watlington via AIM, (Association for Interactive Marketing) and then in person at a WebmasterWorld Pubcon conference several years ago. Further collaboration occurred through involvement with the next iteration of AIM, the Direct Marketing Association’s Search Engine Marketing Council, of which Amanda was a past chair.

Amanda is famous for her in-depth knowledge of blogs, RSS and podcasting and she has one of the first popular books on the subject. However, this long time marketer’s roots are in public relations and she also has an extensive background with search marketing.

Lee Odden

Video Interview on Transparency and Social Media

The WebProNews video blog posted an interview Mike McDonald did with myself and Stephan Spencer during the Chicago Search Engine Strategies conference where we talk about marketing and public relations issues with blogs and social media.

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Congrats to Mike, Chris and Richard on a great job with these videos!

Lee Odden

Getting Your Web Site Noticed

When the Yahoo Publisher Network blog editor Michael Mattis asked me to write an short marketing article for small businesses I knew exactly what to write about. As much as anyone, I am a proponent of new and interesting online marketing strategies like using social media for marketing, but I am also a firm believer in tried and true tactics, such as promoting one’s site offline.

After going through the routine hoops with Yahoo, the article has published on the YPN blog today, “Signal to Noise”. The article covers the basics as well as a few new, low cost tactics including:

  • Market offline, as well as online
  • Announce your site
  • Market with a blog
  • Optimize content and links
  • Keep your content fresh
Lee Odden

Viral Marketing or Linkbaiting?

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SEO is constantly changing, but at the same time, the more things change the more they seem to stay the same.¬† Yesterday’s viral marketing becomes today’s linkbaiting. Despite changes in SEO tactics and nomenclature, the fundamentals stay the same: content and links. In order to keep up with these kinds of changes, smart online marketers are continuously revising tactics and execution to provide companies with a competitive advantage.

One of those tactics focuses on both content and links by promoting unique content that propagates virally through social news, blogs and network sites. This viral online marketing tactic is more commonly called “linkbaiting”. Regardless of what you call it, companies are starting to allocate marketing dollars to these tactics and search marketers are responding with new services.

Lee Odden

Marketing with Widgets – Interview with Lawrence Coburn

Spotlight on Search Interview with Lawrence Coburn

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I first met Lawrence Coburn when we presented together on a Public Relations panel during a WebmasterWorld Pubcon conference in Boston. Lawrence told a great story about being at the right place at the right time and taking proper advantage to build publicity for his web site, RateItAll.com.

At the recent Pubcon conference in Las Vegas, Lawrence presented on a panel about viral marketing where he focused on using widgets as a way to drive traffic and links. Unfortunately, I was not able to attend this session since I was presentingon a different panel at the same time, but Karen and Jolina did and they came back with excellent feedback. Multiple people mentioned this session to me actually, including Rand Fishkin in this video interview.

Lee Odden

Top RSS Feed Readers

RSS Feed Stats
As you can see from the graph above, the number of RSS and RSS to email subscribers of Online Marketing Blog has grown substantially since we moved over to WordPress and updated the design. Participating in a little social media optimization hasn’t hurt either. 🙂

One of the metrics we look at with client blogs as well as our own are the most popular RSS feed readers and aggregators used. This influences the RSS chicklets or buttons used to promote the feed.

Checking the Feedburner stats for Online Marketing Blog there are 118 different RSS readers logged. I suspect 30 or so of those are blog bots. Here’s the distribution of top ten RSS readers from most to least popular for this blog:

Lee Odden

Resources for BtoB RSS Marketing

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There’s lots of buzz about how to use RSS for business marketing of late, particularly for business to business RSS marketing, so here are some tried and true resources as well as a few recent articles:

KnowledgeStorm Research Report: “How Blogs and RSS Affect B2B Technology Purchase Decisions” also covered by DMNews.

If you work in the B2B marketing space, then you will also be interested in this upcoming webcast: “How to Use New Media to Market to IT Professionals” which is happening Nov 2nd.

Rok Hrastnik “wrote the book” on RSS Marketing who also published “The Business Case for RSS

Charlene Li from Forrester, “Using RSS as a Marketing Tool

White paper on RSS by Yahoo and Ipsos Insight,”RSS‚ÄîCrossing into the Mainstream” (pdf)

Lee Odden

Online Public Relations and Blogs

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Later today I’ll be presenting here at DMA-06 on a panel called, Blogs, RSS and Podcasting with Amanda Watlington from Searching for Profit and Stephan Spencer from Netconcepts. Basically, my presentation will cover how blogs can be used as public relations tools in the context of “Push and Pull PR”. The presentation is broken up into:

  • Opportunity
  • Push and Pull PR
  • Blog Optimization & PR
  • Blogger Relations
  • Case Study

The “opportunity” section explains how many journalists are ignoring the noise of getting pitched by so many PR firms and company PR staff. Whether it’s a pitch by phone or email, many members of the media go online (98%) to find news sources (76%), story ideas (92%), experts and to research press releases (73%). The percentages come from a study done by Middleburg/Ross.

Lee Odden

Blogger Relations 101

As blogs become more important sources of information and competition for users’ time and attention against mainstream media, many marketers and public relations practitioners continue to stumble about the blogosphere like a bull in a china shop.

Online Marketing Blog gets about 5-10 pitches per week on average, which provides more than enough of a sample on how blogs are getting pitched these days. What’s the verdict? It doesn’t look good.

A few of these pitches are right on or just lucky. Many are simply crap. Some come from friends but never make it to a post. Some are from complete strangers, but are very relevant and get in. Some are borderline where I’m interested, yet I never hear from that company again.

Lee Odden

Monetizing with Feedvertising

Feedvertising

For the past week I’ve been beta-testing a new product from Patrick Gavin and Andy Hagans of Text Link Ads called Feedvertising. Other beta testers include Jim Boykin, Phillip Lessen, Brian Clark and several others. This is a service that allows you to monetize your RSS feeds with ads. Text Link Ads will sell the ads for you, or in my case, I just put in ads for some things I’m doing with Marketing Sherpa. You can do it either way or both.

Not only is Feedvertising a potential money maker, but it’s also a clever way to cross promote other areas of your blog, company web site or other web sites that you publish.

There’s a very good tutorial on Feedvertising over at Tubetorial or you can check out the Feedvertising site.