Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Secrets of the top Marketing and Social Media blogs

I often have people ask me what it takes to have a 'top' blog. Instead of just rattling off my opinions, I decided to scan the Top 25 Marketing and Social Media blogs, and see if there were any common characteristics among them. Here's what I found that these blogs are doing to be so successful:

1 - They publish new posts often - Fourteen of the Top 25 blogs have published 5 or more posts so far this month. And seven of the Top 10 have published 9 or more. Finally, every blog that has published at least 10 posts so far this month, is ranked in the Top 11. New content drives traffic.

2 - Every blog/blogger listed in the Top 25 is on Twitter - Every blog has at least a link to their Twitter account, on their blog. Several have widgets on their blog that stream their Twitter updates straight to their blog. To me, this is a big sign of how important Twitter has become, but also that these bloggers understand the importance of connecting with their readers OFF their blog.

3 - Most bloggers provide multiple social sites where you can connect with them - Besides Twitter, most members of the Top 25 have several other social sites where you can find them, Tamar has about 30 or more social sites listed that she's a member of.

4 - They create original content - Yes I know that most of the ideas, especially in the 'socialsphere' have been beaten to death. But the top marketing and social media bloggers find ways to keep their content fresh, by reviewing sites/products/campaigns, creating ebooks, and doing interviews.

5 - They make it easy for you to subscribe to their content, and share it - Most of the top social media and marketing bloggers give you plenty of options for subscribing to their content, and many are now adding in sharing elements that let you share their content on other social sites, such as on Twitter. This again ties into the idea of staying connected to their readers, and not being isolated on their blog.

6 - Longevity wins - Most blogs in the Top 25 are a few years old, and a few have been around for over 5 years. All have been up for at least a year. Blogging is a long-term commitment, and those that have met that commitment are reaping the rewards.

So that's some tips I picked up from the Top 25 blogs on how you can create a robust blog for yourself. What are some tips that I missed?

Pic via Flickr user ePI.longo


@heatherrast said...

A tidy summary of some common characteristics among successful professionals who blog--makes a nice litmus test for those of us still working to establish our own places. Thanks!

I'm not a heavy reader of each and every blog listed in the top 10, but I have some anecdotal observations to add about those with whom I'd call myself familiar:

1) Their content dissects real, specific issues. Not big generalizations, and not tomes.

2) They're comfortable in their vulnerability. Yes, I think that even greats can be vulnerable--all the more so why I might like them! Typos, a few sentence structure issues, even video bed head make them more approachable and relatable.

3) They work hard. From their Twitter activity,it's easy to tell that they're reading, they're talking, they're thinking. And dissecting/analyzing it all.

Stuart Foster said...

I've been making a real focus on a few things lately:

1) Relevant, useful succinct posts. That provide value/nuts and bolts.
2) Hitting every damn blog under the sun and trying to learn from the best. (It's why I'm here)
3) Trying to gain a better understanding and perfect my knowledge base and use my blog as a way to orchestrate this.

Thanks Mack!

Martyn SEO said...

I think the big one that helps you keep up at the top is creating regular and original content. The more original you are with the content the people are going to be interested in what you have to say.

Jason Hartgrave said...

A key is have a unique angle or spin on a current topic. People are hungry for multiple points of view, and will spend time breaking down and understanding conflicting opinions.

Controversy provides entertainment value as well as intellectual stimulation.

Toby said...

one more .. the authors have a spirit of generosity. mack, you most def walk the walk . . or write the blog ;-)