Julian Cole at Adspace Pioneers has published his latest ranking list of Australian marketing blogs, extending his Top 100 from October 2008 to the Top 164 of June 2009.
Published this week in Australian magazine BandT, the list ranks blogs out of 50, with five rating systems based on Google Rank, Technorati Authority, Technorati Reactions, Alexa Ranking, and what Julian calls the Pioneer Ranking, relating to the capacity each blog has to regularly inform the rest of the industry with thought provoking commentary on the changing marketing landscape.
Duncan’s TV (this blog’s predecessor) came in at number 3 on the Julian’s first list published in June 2008 for Marketing Magazine. The Inspiration Room Daily slipped down 46 on the October 2008 list, due to our loss of standing in the Technorati and Google rankings with the change of domain. We were up to 5 on the list in January 2009. Now we’re back up to number 4 on the list, beaten by Bannerblog, Acidlabs and Servant of Chaos. We’re closely followed by Mumbrella, Marketing Magazine and Laurel Papworth.
So what makes a top marketing blog? Read on for my take…
Having a unique focus point certainly helps with the BannerBlog site, run by Ash Ringrose and the team at Soap. They’re focusing on online advertising as a medium, something very few other people in the world are doing. It narrows down the number of people who would like to read their site, but it makes them stand out in the crowd.
Networking makes a huge difference. Knowing and being known in the creative industry and blogosphere makes a significant difference to the impact of a marketing blog. Gavin at Servant of Chaos has refined the art of connecting with others in his field, practicing what he preaches on the message of social media and Web 2.0, commenting, emailing, befriending and responding. Blogging at its best is not about broadcasting, but about conversation with meaning.
Consistency is another key. Writing with a rhythm that can be anticipated by visitors and search engines helps build up a sense of expectancy and loyalty among readers, whether that be visitors to the site or RSS subscribers. Here at the Inspiration Room we try to pump out five good stories a day, each with the same standard of accuracy, imagery and video. If we were writing opinion pieces and more in depth research articles we’d probably be down to one a day, but still trying for that same sense of planned pace.
Cutting edge and inspiration are essential assets found in most leading blogs. Seth Godin, perhaps the most popular marketing blogger in the world, is valued because of his attempts to provide thought provoking articles that stretch, stimulate and challenge current thinking and practice. I suspect that Julian’s Pioneer ranking is highly weighted in this direction, particularly favouring sites that explore alternatives to the standard TV and print approaches to advertising and design.
Blog design, I believe, counts for something. Good design can encourage a visitor to return for more. Poor design may encourage a visitor to leave with the impression that nothing is happening. It helps to find a template that makes it easy to read more and more and more. It’s also helpful to have a distinctive feel – that doesn’t look like “Just Another WordPress Blog”, or a copy of another Blogspot blog. As an editor, I look for a writing style that builds intelligence and insight without insulting or denigrating anyone.
And of course a blog becomes something with perserverance. It takes time to build up a readership base. It takes time to develop a style that can be sustained with pleasure for both the blogger and the readers.
Finally, it does help to register with Technorati, Postrank, Alexa, Bloglines and Google Blogs.