11 Key Take Aways from Elite Retreat Posts

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The Elite Retreat #2 wrapped up recently. Presenter and PepperJam founder Kris Jones (PepperJam Blog) wrote about each presentation, as did attendee Wendy Piersall (EMomsAtHome).

Here are the takeaways from each post that really stood out to me, along with links to the post I pulled them from.

Lee Dodd: Forum Expert
Lee Dodd buys, fixes and sells forums and other community websites. Here are two gems taken from his presentation… one from each write up I found.

Takeaway 1) “Lee never thinks or asks questions about SEO. Instead, he focuses on adding quality to his community users. he’s very foused on long-term growth.”

From Kris Jones’s Elite Retreat – Day 2 – Morning Session #2 with Forum / Community Expert Lee Dodd

Takeaway 2) “Monetizing blog communities is not nearly effective as with forum communities. And moving a blog community into a forum environment really hasn’t been successfully done on a large scale as of yet.”

From Wendy Piersall’s Blogging Elite Retreat :: Lee Dodd

Darren Rowse: Blogging Expert
Darren Rowse, aka ProBlogger, presented at the Elite Retreat regarding his methods for making money through blogging.

Takeaway 3) “DARREN’S 11 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR BLOG STICKY

“- Use a Newsletter
- Highlight key Posts / Related Posts
- Promote your RSS feed
- Be conversational (ask Q’s)
- Build community
- Make readers famous
- Give readers jobs (i.e., moderators)
- What does your blog say in the first 10 seconds?
Provide a search function
- Use polls and other interactive tools”

From Kris Jones’s Elite Retreat – Day 2 – Morning Session #1 with Blogging Expert Darren Rowse

Takeaway 4) “Give readers a ‘job’ when they show up – get them engaged and enrolled into becoming a member of your site.”

Blogging Elite Retreat :: Darren Rowse

Aaron Wall: SEO + Business Building Expert
If you’re a regular SMS blog reader then you know what a big fan I am of Aaron Wall – he makes consistent and high quality contributions to the SEM space and I learn from just about every post he makes over on SEOBook.com.

Here’s some takeaways from his presentation at the Elite Retreat:

Takeaway 5) “Aaron talks about “Link Equity” – the idea was that sometimes it is better to expand existing content on existing pages instead of building new pages. He uses an example of a website with 10K pages, 90% of which Google has already indexed. He said by adding more pages what is likely to happen is the % of pages indexed by Google will go down. Instead – he suggests a better strategy may be to just add more content to existing, well-ranked pages that are already indexed. He suggests this maximizes link equity versus diluting the link equity by creating more pages without adding more external links.”

From Kris Jones’s Elite Retreat – Day 1 – Afternoon Session #2 with SEO Legend Aaron Wall

Takeaway 6) “You know what was the most refreshing idea he shared? That great SEO (Search Engine Optimization) really takes great people skills. Write for the readers, not for the search engines. Use natural language as you write with good keywords, and you’ll do far better than if you cram keywords everywhere (and especially bad if you repeat keyword phrases over and over again!).”

From Wendy Piersall’s Blogging Elite Retreat :: Aaron Wall

Neil Patel: Social Media + Viral Expert
Neil Patel is a Digg and social media guru who knows the ins and outs of community participation that drives traffic.

Here are 2 key takeaways from coverage of his session:

Takeaway 7) “- Neil says the best time to submit a story [to Digg] is 12:00 – 1:00 PST.
- *Neil said that unlike Digg.com, Stumbleupon is not great as a strategy for building links. However, if you’re looking for traffic, Stumbleupon could be great.
- Netscape delivers much less traffic than Digg – about a tenth of the amount of traffic.
- Neil says the main key to getting on del.icio.us is to leverage your audience and optimize your submission.
- Neil and Shoe suggest that MySpace has a lot of limits in place to prevent affiliates from monetizing their traffic”

Elite Retreat – Day 1 – Afternoon Session with Social Media Guru Neil Patel

Takeaway 8 ) “Darren also made an excellent suggestion specifically for bloggers. When he sees one of his posts climbing the ranks, he’ll swap out ads on those specific posts and put in more prominent RSS subscribe buttons, or promote his newsletter more prominently. And if you don’t already use the Related Posts plugin, it’s a wise idea to add 3-5 links manually into your post footer of hand-selected related posts, to increase your page views.”

From Wendy Piersall’s Blogging Elite Retreat :: Neil Patel

Shoemoney: Cash Master, Arbitrage Expert
ShoeMoney is a great writer and a great money maker. I’ve been reading, learning and getting inspired by him from him for some time…

Takeaway 9) “Shoe and I talked with the attendees about the different approach that is needed on Google Adwords versus MSN Adcenter / Yahoo. For instance, on Adwords, because of Google’s Quality Score Algorithm you can’t use Shoe’s nickle approach as well – however, I share that you still can use Google using a different strategy, which I’ll talk about in more detail tomorrow. MSN and Yahoo allow an affiliate to purchase high volume keywords based on Shoe’s theory.”

Elite Retreat – Day 1 – Morning Session with Shoemoney

Takeaway 10) “So Jeremy has given me a ton of food for thought as to how to build sub-sites or build separate pages in different, but related niches that are built for a completely different purpose than what I’m doing here. Realizing I’ve been a bit too hyper-focused on creating compelling content, what I’ve learned is that there are times when it pays to create just good content, and send people away. Of course, this would never work on pages when you’re building your brand as a writer/blogger.”

From Wendy Piersall’s Blogging Elite Retreat :: ShoeMoney

Kris Jones: PepperJam Founder
Kris Jones, though clearly talented, was unable to live blog during his presentation. Here’s a bit of what Wendy took away from his presentation:

Takeaway 11) “He talked about using Google AdWords and direct-linking to merchants with affiliate links (which I didn’t even think you could do, but you can). He walked us through how he made a small fortune promoting Ugg Boots last year (to the tune of $15K a month based on less than an hour of setup time).”

From Wendy Piersall’s Blogging Elite Retreat :: Kris Jones

I’d love to make this 12 takeaways… Mr. Jones would you be willing to do a write up on your own presentation? Based on your write ups of the other presentations I’d really like to see what YOU spoke about :)

About the Author

Garrett French educates SEO and PR teams on content and engagement-based link building strategies that drive targeted referral traffic and deliver SERP domination. Learn more about him and his services at CitationLabs.com.

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10 Comments

  1. This is a phenomenal roundup, Garrett - I'm really impressed. Well done!! :)

  2. Excellent Garret - thanks for the nice summary...

  3. Thank you - glad you guys found it useful. G

  4. Garrett, nice recap. I learned couple of things from this. Noteworthy are the 11 ways to make your blog stick and related posts idea. I will follow them for sure. Do you know if any good newsletter and polling plugins to WordPress? Thanks for your contribution! Marek

  5. Hey Marek, This newsletter plugin looks pretty good but it's not free ($20). One good polling plugin is the WP-Polls. You can download it here. Enjoy, Andrey

  6. Some good tips here. The tidbits are good because they range the whole gamut of monetizing all kinds of websites.

  7. Great Post Garrett French, A small post but can make a huge differnce for any seo expert Thanx

  8. and for those who still don't know what the Elite Retreat is all about an what can it do then what are you waiting for? buy a ticket now. and earn a lot of money.

  9. Really appreciate the summary notes. I'd like to attend someday but until then this is a good way to take in some of the learning. I especially like the sticky blog points.