Lee Odden

Blog Awards

Randy Morin ran his KBCafe Blog Awards again for 2006. In the SEO Blog category, Barry kicked ass again (while on vacation no less) as predicted. Thank you to everyone who voted for Online Marketing Blog, which was the underdog in every way. Of course, there should have been about 100 or more other blogs in this category besides ours.
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Surprisingly, Matt Cutts lagged way behind in the SEO category, but he did win best Google blog over the corporate Google blog. Jeremy Zawodny also beat out the Yahoo Search blog. Hmmm, do you think there might be a message there?

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Other winners in categories related to marketing or online included TechCrunch who blew away the Web 2.0 category. Darren Rowse of Problogger led the Webvertising category.

TopRank Marketing Editor

The next big blogging platform?

TopRank Marketing Editor     Blogging News, Blogging Strategy, Online Marketing

Blogsmith LogoA few days ago, 901am.com got the scoop that Blogsmith was going to be released to the public early in 2007. It’s aimed at taking on blogging sites like WordPress.com, Blogger and TypePad. Details are still sketchy, but Blogsmith already has a good start.

Blogsmith is is owned by AOL / Time Warner and it powers some of the largest blogs on the net including Engadget, TV Squad, Download Squad and my favorite TUAW. With Blogsmith powering these blogs, they’ve had time to work out the bugs, optimize the code and make sure that everything runs at peek permanence for tons of visitors. Even with all that testing though, giving any service to the general public will render issues.

Lee Odden

MarketingPilgrim 2.0

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It only took 5 years, but Andy Beal has finally come over to the world of WordPress for his blog, MarketingPilgrim. Previously, Andy ran SearchEngineLowdown.com on Google’s Blogger platform, building it up to one of the top SEO blogs on the Internet. Then after going out on his own, started MarketingPilgrim.com using the same tools.

The new design sports links to Andy’s consulting services of which I now have first hand experience. My public relations agency recently engaged Andy to provide some training via webinar to our PR team on the subject of brand monitoring and reputation management. Eight of our staff were in attendance and I have to say, Andy knows his stuff. Not only is he a great consultant on SEO firm management and search marketing, but he has established himself as a subject matter expert on the topic of brand monitoring and competitive intelligence as well.

Lee Odden

Google Alerts on Blogs

Recently Google added links to blog search in Google News and now Google Alerts has been updated to include blogs. The Google Alert options now include:  News, Web, Blogs, Groups or Comprehensive. Time intervals of notification are: as it happens, once a day or once a week.

Google Alerts are very useful to see who is writing about you or your cliens. It’s also use for identifying when optimized press releases or articles are getting indexed.

It’s good to see blogs getting more play in the mix of Google search functions. What’s next?

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.

Lee Odden

Business Week Best of the Web

Business Week is taking votes for their annual Best of the Web, which is not to be confused with the most excellent web site directory and blog directory from BOTW.org. There are 23 categories and two of them are related to blogs. The selection for “favorite blogs” includes an interesting mixture ranging from Scoble to Sand Hill Slave to Tech Crunch.

At the time of this post, there are only 744 votes so far with Tech Crunch the clear leader, but I think the SEO/SEM readership out there could make quite an impact on that if they wanted to.

If you would like more of a variety of blogs to vote for, then go ahead and fill in the write in form. I know I did. I put one in for Search Engine Roundtable and another for Matt Cutts. Good luck guys!

Lee Odden

Marketing and Advertising Blog Network

Marketing.FM has announced a new network of marketing and advertising blogs syndicated under one RSS feed called the Marketing and Advertising Blog Network. The initial group of blogs has over 50,000 subscribers and cover marketing, media, advertising agencies, PR, branding, television, radio, internet, new media, interactive advertising, and influential discussion. Online Marketing Blog is happy to be included with this project.

Current blog network members include:

Adrants
Advertising for Peanuts
Duct Tape Marketing
Entrepreneur’s Journey
Logic+Emotion
Marketing Headhunter.com
Marketing Pilgrim
Marketing.fm
MarketingVOX — The Voice of Online Marketing
Micro Persuasion
Online Marketing Blog
ProHipHop – Hip Hop Marketing
Small Business Branding
WonderBranding: Marketing to Women

Familar names (at least to me) from this list include: Steve Hall, John Jantsch, Andy Beal, Tig Tillinghast and Steve Rubel. You can subscribe to the combined RSS feed which is hosted by FeedBurner’s new network feature.

Lee Odden

The Corporate Blogging Book

I just received my copy of Debbie Weil’s new book, “The Corporate Blogging Book – Absolutely Everything You Need to Know to Get it Right”. Debbie has worked long and hard on this book and with a forward from Bob Lutz, Chairman of General Motors, it promises to serve as an excellent guide to companies looking to find their place in the blogosphere. Chapters range from “Top Twenty Questions About Corporate Blogging” to “Should the CEO Blog?”. Check out the companion site where you can download a free chapter or order it via Amazon.

Both Debbie and I are involved with BusinessBlogConsulting.com started by Rick Bruner that now includes an impressive list of business blog consultants and marketers.

Lee Odden

Blogs and Podcasts for Lead Generation

Marketing Sherpa released findings of a Technology Marketing survey that include blogs and podcasts as two of the top 5 lead generation tactics for technology, hardware and software firms. Overall, the top 5 lead generation tactics were:

  1. Free Trials
  2. Webcast
  3. White paper
  4. Blog
  5. Podcast

Of course, if you’re a really good marketer, you would be able to tie in four or five of the above into one campaign, especially when integrated with a blog. Not that you need to offer all five to have a successful campaign, but providing options for how to interact or make contact with your company allows you to reach more of your target audience. A podcast may work for some people, a free trial or a white paper for others. One of the new features of this report is the 13 prospect personas of prospects such as CIOs, IT professionals and business owners.

Lee Odden

Cartoon Barry

Award winning SEO blogger Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable and RustyBrick has started a new blog called the “Cartoon Barry Blog“. What will you find there?

  • Summarized daily recaps
  • Interactive Cartoon Barry, provided by SitePal, will also give short recaps virtually, click the play button here to see an example.
  • Personal life things
  • Business related things from RustyBrick
  • Rants on anything, even search
  • And more!

It’s a pretty cool blog especially with the animated SitePal feature that uses Barry’s voice. The design is very slick. In fact, seeing the cool design of the Cartoon Barry blog was the last straw for me in my procrastination over when to update the design of Online Marketing Blog. Thomas is working on putting the finishing touches and hopefully we’ll have it up and running early next week.

Lee Odden

Interview with Phil Hollows Founder of FeedBlitz

FeedBlitz
Spotlight on Blog Marketing Interview with Phil Hollows of FeedBlitz

And now for something completely different. Since so much of what’s covered here on Online Marketing Blog deals with the marketing of blogs, I thought adding some interviews with people involved with blog marketing would be of interest to our fast growing audience of readers.

Today’s interview is with Phil Hollows, Founder and CEO of the popular RSS to email service, FeedBlitz. With an active circulation of 682,330 and 53,955 active feeds, FeedBlitz is likely the most popular RSS to email service available. I had a chance to preview some features of FeedBlitz a while back and have been using it personally and with our PR and blog consulting clients ever since. Recently Phil took FeedBlitz on as a full time gig, has secured investor financing and is hiring. What better time than now to check in with Phil for a peek behind the FeedBlitz curtain.