Business Blogging Tips with TopRank’s Lee Odden

February 6, 2014

Are you thirsty for some business blogging tips to drive more awareness and web traffic?

Are you using a blog to generate leads and new business but struggling to see results?

This week on the Social Media Social Hour, Lee Odden of TopRank Online Marketing joins me and shares tons of business blogging tips and strategies that they use at, which is consistently recognized as one of the top blogs for content marketing, social media marketing, and more.

I also share with you an awesome new tool that we’re using at Casual Fridays to help with our internal communications without sending a bunch of senseless emails to each other.

About the show: 

Social Media Social Hour PodcastThe Social Media Social Hour is a podcast for marketers and entrepreneurs looking to get on the social media fast track. The podcast is an interview format, where each week I get up close and personal with top brands and influencers to talk social media, tech and online marketing. Each week I also share tools that I personally use to help me with social media management, sales, marketing, account management, and productivity.

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Tech Tool of the Week: Slack
  • Lee discusses how TopRank is run and how he gets involved with content creation and the industry.
  • Lee dives into how he came to be where he is now.
  • He was working in web development and selling websites when he started teaching himself how to code.
  • He then began to learn about search at an early age in ’96 with the company building up the custom web development on the marketing side of their business.
  • In 2001, Lee joined forces with his current business partner to start an agency.
  • He wanted to dive into the blogging world which has now grown to become an instrumental part of their business.
  • He started the blog by writing in reaction to what other search engine marketers were writing about.
  • Lee then began to tap into customer segmentation, the notion of personas, and creating content specifically for a target group of customers in their specific stages of the buying cycle.
  • He got this insight from being exposed to the direct marketing industry.
  • Then he thought about how he could leverage that understanding of buyer journey and buying cycle to blogging.
  • In 2005, he started creating content plans that would identify what the major questions would be for his buyers and how he could create content that started to answer those questions.
  • He has built up a library of answers to important questions for people who might need a digital marketing agency.
  • Lee says that you are making promises when you put content out there.
  • Lee believes it is definitely not too late to start a blog.
  • You have to be brave, resilient, and focused on a quality product to write a blog, but you certainly do not have to be a professional writer.
  • When beginning to write content, Lee suggests to make a list of the key questions someone might have when looking to buy from you.
  • Start with awareness, interest, consideration, and purchase.
  • Think of what they might search or ask, and empathize with that.
  • Lee talks about search social keyword tools such as, which lists keywords that commonly occur on specific searches in social media content.
  • Lee’s main advice is to make lists, answer questions, and find ways to communicate to your audience.
  • Lee thinks a blog is an amazing vehicle for connecting the social activities that are casual and less formal on the web.
  • When companies have participation with communities out there in the social web, a blog serves as a fantastic stepping stone to more robust information on their journey to the company website.
  • Lee asserts that there is nothing more powerful overall as a repository of being the best answer for what you do than a blog.
  • You own and control your blog.
  • Lee talks about the importance of planning to integrate the concepts and assets of combining your SEO, social, and content efforts.
  • When it comes to social media and online marketing, Lee thinks it is tempting for businesses to copy the practices of others in the industry.
  • He says it is so much more beneficial to ask the questions of why you are getting into social and what you expect to achieve.
  • Lee says Optimize is about continuous effort to improve performance.
  • If you are not accountable from the start, the measurement piece tends to not be as robust as it should be.
  • Lee talks about how they use a layered approach with different kinds of content.

Lee Odden’s Social Media Six Pack:

    1. Do you think Facebook will be dethroned as the top social network in the next few years? No
    2. How much time each day do you spend writing content? Three hours
    3. What was the last book you read? The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg
    4. Besides TopRank Blog, what is one other must-read for a marketer these days? Copyblogger
    5. What was the last smartphone app you downloaded? Jelly
    6. For personal use, what is your favorite social network? Instagram

Items mentioned in the show: