Alec Saunders Wows CaseCamp Ottawa

VOIP wunderblogger Alec Saunders wowed the inaugural CaseCamp Ottawa with a boffo presentation on how he has used his blog to promote the profile and credibility of his company, Iotum.

He started with three benefits to corporate blogging:

  • Thought leadership. Trying to magnify a point of view and thought and to get other people to pay attention to it.
  • To try to get communities to grow around your product. A blog is a fabulous tool for creating a conversation around your product and your company. Microsoft has done an extraordinarily good job with this.
  • Pure visibility. A blog is a way to create more visibility for your company, if properly tied to your corporate Website.

After twelve months of working on his site, Alec’s blog is generating over 184,000 visits a month. He likens this to the equivalent of a small magazine. He ensures that this generates traffic for the Iotum corporate site by crosslinking regularly to the Iotum site.

Why does this work? In a nutshell:

  • First because blogs are optimized for search engines.
  • Second, as you post good content, a community of like-minded individuals will begin join your conversation and link to you. Alec has built up over 23,000 links from other blogs to his site – generating great Google juice.

What do you have to do to be a good blogger?

  • Write frequently. Every day. At least once. Better twice or more.
  • Participate in “the conversation.” Find where the conversation to your market exists. Read those blogs. Comment on them.
  • Write meaty posts. Don’t waste people’s time with a series of one lines. You must generate posts with interesting things.
  • Ask for link love. If you’ve written something good, write to your community, tell them about it and ask them to join the converstion.
  • Ping. Make sure that your blog software is pinging the search engines each time you post.
  • Use your blogroll to generate links and community to the people who are part of your community.

And just as importantly, Optimize for Google:

  • Optimize your pagecount with WordPress.
  • Use a Google Sitemap. Make it easy for Google to find and index your site.
  • Give your posts titles. Interesting titles draw visitors.
  • Give em GOOD titles. Good titles draw even more visitors. Make it interesting.
  • Link and Trackback: Be part of the community and feel the love come back.
  • Get a top level domain: Don’t bury your content with an obscure domain.
  • Tag, tag, tag. Help people to find your content through linking.

Alec closed off his presentation by citing his post on the Voice 2.0 Manifesto. In the past twelve months, 1.6 million posts have been indexed by Google on Voice 2.0 – a topic that Alec coined. Clearly, this guy is onto something good.

Other presenters included:  Ian Graham on competitive intelligence; Mitch Brisebois’ on marketing software as a service and Eric Hagborg on how his company, Axionic, helped a client to dramatically increase visitor retention and conversions on its website.

About 40 people attended this first Ottawa CaseCamp. It appeared that most were drawn from web design firms. A much different crowd and a much different atmosphere from the Toronto CaseCamp, which has a much stronger advertising and marketing flavour to it.

Congratulations to Peter Childs for the initiative in launching this in Ottawa.

  • Hey Joe. Since I’ve been working in Montreal off and on, I keep missing these great meetups. I hope to be at the blogger/podcast meetup on Wednesday.

    I just wanted to share a great plugin I’ve been using recently to manage sitemap generation within WordPress.

    http://www.arnebrachhold.de/2006/01/07/google-sitemap-generator-for-wordpress-3-beta

    It’s easy to install and set up, and since Yahoo, MSN, and Google have all agreed to use the same sitemap standard, it’s a great way to “ping the machine”.

    It also integrates into popularity-contest, another great WP plugin I’ve been using on all the blogs I’ve been setting up lately.

    http://alexking.org/blog/2005/07/27/popularity-contest-11/

    A great way to cross-market your most popular posts.

  • I am organizing the CaseCamp in Vancouver and trying to get presenters. I have a few up my sleeve but looking forward to securing them. Wish me luck!

  • Cinci, CaseCamp has proven itself a great opportunity for people to get together and talk actual experience, not just theory. Best wishes for success in launching in Vancouver!

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