A freelancer friend and I attended Podcamp Topeka, an “unconference” about social media, blogging, and internet marketing, last Saturday, November 6th. There were several sessions to choose from, from SEO to blogging for companies. I had an overall positive experience and am planning on attending next year.

The morning started off with a keynote speaker– Patrick O’Keefe, author of Managing Online Forums (He is @iFroggy on Twitter). Some of his main points on Twitter and internet marketing are below:

  • Your twitter profile should include your company logo and colors.
  • People follow you on Twitter because you’re interesting and they want to know what you’re up to.
  • Use search.twitter.com to search for questions you know the answers to. This is how you build up your following and contribute to conversations on Twitter.
  • “No one has ever asked, ‘What is the ROI of talking?’ which is what Twitter is.” -@unmarketing
  • Build your online community as if Facebook and Twitter could go away at any time. This is, don’t be totally reliant on either. Continue the conversation to email lists/newsletters and your website, which should be your main focus.
  • Twitter is a 2-way responsibility- you must provide valuable information and other users must follow you.

The first session I went to was lead by Grant Griffiths (@GrantGriffiths), co-founder of Headway Themes and founder of blogforprofit.com. He was a great guy- here are some of his main points:

  • Blogs are an education-based marketing tool.
  • 70% of people are now going online to find information first, before doing anything else. Blogs can help them find your company.
  • Do not focus your blog towards satisfying Google- focus it towards the reader
  • The main goal of blogging is just to DO IT. Post at least 3 times a week and stay consistent.
  • Blogs are promoted with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube/Vimeo
  • “Even if you have a brick and mortar business, your customers are online.”
  • Facebook is people you already know, Twitter is people you want to know.
  • Must have a contact page and an about page on every blog.
  • Promote your blog with a newsletter– send a weekly/monthly newsletter to your subscribers with your top blog posts for the week or month.
  • “I don’t believe in setting goals, I believe in setting a plan.”
  • Recommended Resources: Zendesk (Twitter-integrated support), MailChimp, Host Gator, Market Me Suite
  • Hosts the #sbt10 tweetchat on Tuesdays
  • To grow your blog, you must guest blog! Just ask other blog owners if you can post, the majority of the time, they will say yes.

The Next Session was lead by Patrick, Podcamp Topeka’s keynote speaker, and dealt with experimenting in social spaces. I will say the conversation went in a different direction than it should, but here’s some good tidbits I was able to get:

  • Everything you do online impacts everyone you’re associated with.
  • A lot of miscommunication in/about social media comes from a lack of education.
  • Tweet about a company when you receive good customer service, not just when you have a bad experience.

The next session I went to was about SEO, which we got a great handout on. The speaker, Bill  Ludwig (@BillLudwig) gave a lot of good resources and basically an overview about SEO, most of which I knew already. Some of the sites he mentioned that are good resources for SEO include:

  • Soovle.com
  • Wordtracker
  • Google AdWords Keyword Tool
  • WebsiteGrader.com
  • Getlisted.org
  • SEOmoz.org/blog
  • Search Engine Journal

I was really interested in GetListed.org, as I had never heard of it and it looks like a great way to get your business listed easily in local directories.

The last session was about Affiliate Marketing. It wasn’t as in depth as I’d hoped, but here are some websites the moderator mentioned:

Overall, it was a great time, especially for only $6, which included breakfast and lunch. I plan on going next year.

Kelsey Jones

Kelsey Jones

Founder/Chief Marketing Consultant at Six Stories
Kelsey Jones helps clients around the world grow their social media, content, and search marketing presence. She enjoys writing and consuming all kinds of content, both in digital and tattered paperback form.
Kelsey Jones
Kelsey Jones