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November 1st: Torsten Jacobi, CEO of Creative Weblogging, joins host Anita Campbell. Sponsored by Six Disciplines. Show details.
Sunday, February 27, 2005
PowerBlog Review: Online Marketing Blog

Editor's note: It's time again for another in our weekly series of PowerBlog Reviews of business weblogs. Welcome to the fifty-fourth Review.

This week's Review is about the Online Marketing blog. It's the brainchild of Lee Odden, the founder of TopRank, a search engine optimization firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

Lee is part of that growing number of professionals who use blogging as a kind of enforced discipline to stay up to date on their areas of expertise. Blogging requires them to efficiently gather news and information. The act of digesting the information and communicating it in a blog makes these professionals even more knowledgeable. Blogs are great knowledge management tools.

At the same time, Lee is providing a valuable service for clients and the public. Blogging also gives him a chance to practice what he preaches, i.e., blog optimization and promotion.

If you are writing a business blog, you are going to want to attract readers. After all, you don't want your hard work to go unnoticed, right?

I've learned quite a bit from reading this blog. You can too.

One of the things I like best about the Online Marketing blog is its niche focus. Lee adheres closely to the topic of search engine optimization, along with hard-to-find information about online marketing. That's what makes it so valuable.

For instance, Lee has an an excellent blogroll of search marketing blogs. I've noted before in these Reviews that compiling a niche-focus, single topic blogroll can be a source of competitive differentiation for a blog. People will bookmark the blog simply because of the great blogroll.

Even better, you'll find very specific posts with step-by-step instructions. Take, for instance, this post about RSS Marketing. It has enough detail to be truly useful. And it is about a subject that only the most knowledgeable insiders are aware of today. But I predict that leveraging RSS for promotion and marketing will become red hot later in 2005 and 2006. Blog posts such as this are one of the factors that set the Online Marketing blog apart.

I recommend spending 15 minutes studying the way this blog is set up and organized. Look at the header, the footer and everything in between. You'll come away with at least a few tips on blog optimization.

Now, it's time for a few lessons directly from Lee, the expert. Lee says there are three components to a well read blog: content, frequency and distribution.

"Content should be flavorful and to the point. Post often. When I started posting several times per day, our traffic increased significantly. When I invited another person to post, it helped even more.

What's great about blog marketing is that you can promote your blog as a web site to traditional search engines and directories as well as to blog/RSS search engines and directories. Using Technorati tags and maintaining bookmarks through del.icio.us and furl.net is having a modest impact on quantity of traffic but it has brought very high quality traffic.

Make meaningful, helpful posts on other blogs in your category. It's the best way to get links and create new connections. Use keywords in your post titles, archive URLs and text links to posts."
Sounds like great advice.

The Power: The Power of the Online Marketing blog is in its specific, hard-to-find information on the topic of search optimization and online marketing, especially blog optimization and RSS marketing.
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