By Jennifer James

I was fortunate enough last week to be able to hear Alec Saunders, CEO of iotum inc. and A-list blogger, speak at a Zone5ive event, a monthly speaker's series put on by the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation for Ottawa's technology community. As a blogger who attracts 100,000 unique visitors each month, Alec had the room of 150 tech executives and marketing folks captivated.

Alec was quick to point out that all this web 2.0 stuff isn’t exactly new. “Does Geocities, FIDO and CompuServe ring any bells?” he asked.  It was amazing to hear the crowd let out a collective “oh yeah”. Alec got his start blogging on FIDO. He wrote about everything, but eventually he found his niche in VoIP and the tech industry. Today he blogs at saunderslog.com.


“Blogs are publications,” said Alec. His blog garners more Web traffic than ALL of the combined leading VoIP publications, such as Lightwave Magazine and VON Magazine. For example, VON has a worldwide circulation of 25,000. Alec has 100,000 readers. That means that saundersblog.com gets 75,000 more readers than the leading VoIP magazine.

What does Alec’s blog do for iotum, a company that bridges conference calls with online social networking communities and VoIP technologies? According to him, every time he posts on his blog, the iotum Web site enjoys a boost in traffic. Not bad. Not only is he positioning himself as a VoIP industry thought leader, he is also pushing traffic to iotum – with no extra work!

I took away two key points from Alec:

1) Blogging can make you known in a ‘hard to get known’ market. Take Thomas Mahon for example. Mahon is a Savile Row tailor, a shopping street in central London famous for traditional men’s tailoring. Mahon was virtually unknown until he started blogging. Now when you search “savile row tailor” he is number one on Google out of a range of 1,450,000. That’s powerful stuff in a world where increasingly, your brand is whatever google says it is.

2) A good blog can increase your Google rankings, regardless the topic. “Once you’ve built a great blog, it produces great results for anything your write about,” said Alec. He gave the following great example. He had a Cancun timeshare he wanted to unload because his family opted to go a ski trip last year instead of a beach holiday. He made a page on his blog with the timeshare details so he could send any interested person there. He buried it. It wasn’t even on the blog’s navigation. What happens if you Google “Cancun Resort Rentals”? What do you find? Expedia? Trip Advisor? No!  You’ll find saunderslog.com in the number two position of natural search results (below the three paid ads). 

 

Want some of this google magic for your business? Alec listed some simple blogging tips:

•    write frequently
•    write meaty posts
•    be controversial
•    participate in the conversation (by commenting on other blogs)

He also gave some other great advice: Link to other blogs, tag all your content and always give your posts great titles (check out one of my previous post on the value of a good headline).

Get blogging. For most businesses, increased Web traffic leads to increased sales. Need help with your blogging? market2world is here to help!

Alec has posted the PowerPoint slides he used for his presentation. Check them out.

(Jennifer James is a Communications Strategist with market2world communications inc., Ottawa, Canada's tech PR and product marketing agency.)

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