Search and Blogging Reporters Forum Location: Salon A
Round table discussion with searches prime bloggers and reporters about the state of the industry.
Moderator: Michael McDonald Speakers: Andy Beal, Internet Marketing Consultant, Marketing Pilgrim LLC Lee Odden, President, TopRank Online Marketing Michael McDonald, Managing Editor, iEntry Inc. Rand Fishkin, CEO, SEOMoz
This session is cool but it's mostly a back-and-forth-no-PowerPoint presentation thing. They're all talking about how mainstream media is influenced by blogs. Political news is being shaped by the blogosphere. A lot more mainstream media people will even be ready to admit it.
Remove paid content and monetize with advertising.
Also, when there are screw-ups in the blogosphere, bloggers often admit their mistakes with a badge of honor whereas in traditional media, those stories are buried and never spoken about.
If you're marketing your product, write a blog. You can get a lot of press with this. Use a blog as a place to point people to.
Rand asks Andy - "How come I'm not on Techmeme and you are?" Andy answers: That's why you talk about intricacies of the nofollow tag and I talk about real news. :) Everyone laughs. Andy goes on - your site and my site have different audiences. Your site is more discussion oriented whereas mine isn't as much.
People always say that some blog niches are too saturated like SEO blogs. But think about a site about bathtubs or something - you can own that space if you start a blog. As far as SEO blogs, Andy Beal says that he discovers new blogs all the time in the SEO space and that you should not get discouraged. I agree, yo!
Lee says you can tap into industries even if you have no knowledge in the industry. Rand says that you should use your business and talk about it on your blog: do you sell handbags? Talk about celebrities and their handbags. If you sell housewares, go ahead and talk about housewares.
Mike asks - how much do you talk about? How much do you keep a secret? Andy says that Rand doesn't reveal enough. He's way too secretive. (But we know that's not true.) Rand: If you're talking about whitehat practices, 90% is on the blogs and 10% is behind the curtain. I think I've met a lot of people in the last few days that I can't talk about in about a year -- if I did talk about it, they would never talk to me again. (Really? Rand keeps secrets?)
If you generate the illusion of expertise, you're able to get a lot of business too. It's like a free trial run software - if you like the content, you might buy the real deal.
Andy says that he doesn't hold anything back. The more he shares, it's better, but he shares generically. Andy says that he divulged a lot of information in his Reputation Management book that can either make or kill his consultancy business.
What about optimizing the blog? Blogs are RSS friendly by nature. But you have to be careful with the setup - the average blogger may not have the blog set up correctly. Bill Hartzer wrote a great post about how to optimize MovableType and WordPress (it's on billhartzer.com).
What about frequency? It depends. Some people write very frequently and do well, but some don't write as frequently and do just as well (Todd Malicoat and Greg Boser, for example).