What’s the driving force behind effective online marketing?
- Is it self-centered promotional messages?
- A secret hard-sell method that social media won’t reject?
So what is it?
Copyblogger FM is a weekly, short-form broadcast hosted by Sonia Simone. Each week, she and a cast of rotating experts analyze the week in content marketing, copywriting, email marketing, conversion optimization, mindset, and much more.
What’s the driving force behind effective online marketing?
So what is it?
We are here to find meaning. We are here to help other people do the same. Everything else is secondary.
We humans want to believe in our own species. And we want people, companies, and products in our lives that make it easier for us to believe in one another.
~Hugh MacLeod, from “The Hughtrain Manifesto.”
All right, all right … we know that content is the grease that keeps the gears, pipes, levers and shocks of this relentless internet machine rolling down the highway.
The deal is, you make/write immortal stuff related to your business or ideas, and people will eventually find you, trust you and pay you.
The question is: Where the hell do I get the ideas for all this content I’m supposed to be writing?
The answer lies at a little-known crossroads that great songwriters, journalists, novelists, philosophers, scientists and poets have been driving to for millennia.
One unfailing characteristic of online business is The Latest Bandwagon that’s perpetually rolling down the road toward us.
It’s usually some kind of new, sexy, easy, fast, 1-2-3 fad that will ensure you’re bathing in champagne by 10 o’clock tonight.
As you may well know, a strategic fad fetish can be a very expensive habit, both monetarily and psychologically.
I remember sitting in Mr. Burgerwinner’s calculus class thinking, “Oh man, I am totally hosed.”
Maybe for you it was that time you brought your first child home from the hospital. No nurse, no buzzer, just you and … her.
What’s the common thread here? Frustration. Mystery. Terror.
A thick fog of FUD.
Sometimes, we simply have no clue how to proceed. Everybody is offering advice, and a part of us just wants to throw in the towel.
Here we go again …
Have you read the news today? Looks like marketing is dead once more.
You know … all you need now is a Twitter handle, a Facebook page and an authentically huge digital smile to reach your audience and rake in the bales of cash (just make sure you keep smiling).
There’s always a lot of hype rolling around about marketing, new marketing and the death of marketing.
The plan is nothing, planning is everything.
~Dwight D. Eisenhower
Everyone has an opinion on it.
What if there were a third way to think through and write a business plan for an online business, a much simpler way?
If you’re awake and breathing, it’s obvious we’re living in an unprecedented time of innovation and distributive power. Depending on the type of business or marketing you run, good planning may be smarter than making a plan.
Everyone’s talking about Groupon these days.
From daily deals to tasteless Super Bowl commercials, this company is getting a lot of attention. And the attention they want most is from the local small businesses that power their revenue model.
Does your local business need Groupon? No, not at all. In fact, there are much better alternatives if you’re up for it.
If you faithfully serve your local community with valuable content, unbeatable offers, and amazing service, you won’t need Groupon.
Here are a few fine ideas on how to do it …
“First prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you’re fired.”
~ Blake, Glengarry Glen Ross
Sometimes you’re on a sweet little vacation in Italy and you need to convert miles into kilometers.
smashing your thumb with a hammer doing some light roofing and you need to switch inches to centimeters.
If you’re in business (or sales, like the Glengarry boys above), and you want to stay alive, you need to find a way to regularly convert prospects into paying customers.
“There’s just no quiet in Vegas.” ~Barry Manilow
Same thing online, Barry.
Like driving down the strip, even at an ungodly hour, our old pal the Internet feeds us an unending spread of exactly what we want.
Between the inbox, RSS, Twitter, and name-your-social-network-of-choice, the competition for our attention is aggressive and utterly incapable of mercy.
How can your stuff get read, watched, or listened to if it’s buried alive (see: invisible) under the non-stop avalanche of an entire civilization’s most mundane and brilliant ideas?
It all starts in one place…
Yesterday, Brian told you how to avoid hopelessly screwing up your landing pages.
But does that guarantee your landing page is good, much less great?
Survey says … not so much.
Turns out, Brian’s already told you about a three-step “big picture” approach to crafting copy that results in a killer landing page. You might have missed it because it was delivered under-the-radar. He does that.
Change … not the kind rattling around in your pocket.
We’re talking about the kind of change that keeps you up at night. The kind that makes you wonder why, for all your marketing efforts, not enough folks are finding and doing business with you.
What can you, the small business owner, do about it?
For starters, start thinking like a media company, because that’s the first step to reaping the huge rewards that come from content marketing. And it can work for any small business.
According to this awesome Roland Emmerich documentary I just watched, the world is going to end on December 21, 2012. If John Cusack participates in a Mayan end of days depiction, you know it’s the real deal. Just like Say Anything.
We here at Copyblogger are keeping our heads together in the face of this news and will continue doing our level best to help you accomplish your business goals before the floods arrive and Los Angeles turns into a molten field of flaming limousines.
You know Tim Ferriss as the best-selling author of The 4-Hour Work Week, the man behind the popular Experiments in Lifestyle Design blog, and now as the author of his new book, The 4-Hour Body. But it obviously wasn’t always the case.
What does Tim credit for his rapid emergence into the public eye? His blog and his blogger outreach strategy, which took him from unknown to successful author, angel investor, and social media celebrity is a few short years.
What makes one website highly persuasive and engaging, while others are ignored or quickly abandoned?
If you took a poll asking your site visitors what’s missing from your site, they might not even be able to articulate it. And that’s exactly the point. What influences us isn’t necessarily at our conscious level of experience.
Today, we’ll discuss the 6 elements of a web experience that make a difference at a deep psychological level. My guest is Dr. Susan Weinschenk, a Ph.D. in psychology and an expert in the field of influential digital design. She’s the author of Neuro Web Design: What Makes Them Click and the excellent companion blog.
You’ve probably had fantasies of winning an MMA world championship wherein the title match is between you and a skinny seven-year-old.
Maybe you dream of writing a Booker Prize winning novel – with Sir Salman Rushdie working as your confidential ghost writer.
Or perhaps you’re determined to become the next President of the United States, thoroughly enjoying the fact that your last name happens to be Kennedy-Reagan.
If done well, a relevant Content Marketing strategy can create these kinds of conditions for your business. Conditions in which you possess a staggeringly unfair advantage over your competitors.
It was an unbearably hot night. In a run-down apartment in the seediest neighborhood of Hollywood, the gift shop manager flicked on the discount computer his dad had just bought him.
He started typing.
A small email list of friends grew to a thousand, then ten thousand, then one hundred thousand. A few months later he cobbled together a simple website.
A few years later, he was an international icon.
Over the last decade, a prolonged magnitude 9.1 technological earthquake completely altered the landscape of online marketing and public relations. The entire topography has shifted from one of cold, repetitive interruption to the gentle, authentic drip of attraction over time.
A large part of navigating this strange, new terrain is the building and care of real relationships. If you enjoy the frustration and futility of beating your head against the abandoned brick walls of how things were, this show is not for you…
In this episode Brian Clark and I discuss:
There’s so much content marketing out there that’s perfectly ok … but it lacks creative spark. Here are some ways you can get more vitality into your blog posts, videos, and podcasts.
Have a new content site, or an existing site that needs more focus? Here’s a “checklist” of 10 things to keep in mind.
How can we find the confidence to publish regularly — when we’re not completely confident in our writing ability yet?
A quick three-step check to make any piece of content more interesting and more effective.
ConvertKit founder Nathan Barry dropped by to talk about their platform, their evolution, and why they’ve taken a leap into a brand-new name and identity.
Most of us won’t make a living making “pure art” that only serves our creative expression. But you won’t make a reasonable living writing cynical garbage, either.
A look into why it’s so hard to move forward with creative work
A lot of us feel a tension between effective copywriting and content that fully respects our audiences. “Conversational Copywriter” Nick Usborne joins us to talk about why that’s a false choice.
Does search engine optimization seem depressingly hard to stay on top of? Things do move quickly, but that doesn’t mean you have to let it drive you nuts.
Lots of businesses and marketers are scrambling over the new data protection law, GDPR. But Tara Gentile is here to talk about some of the real-world benefits it can bring — not just to consumers, but to business.
Want to do a little bit of work and see really good results with your content? Make some time to learn about crafting great headlines.
Tim Paige is that rarest of creatures: A really good salesperson who understands the people who aren’t (yet).
When does traditional sales advice actually push prospects further away?
Selling is a skill, not an innate talent. But that doesn’t mean it’s always comfortable to learn.
Legislators, citizens, and advertisers are all concerned about the trends in privacy and permission on social platforms — but they’re concerned for different reasons.
A conversation about what matters in marketing and business.
Given everyone’s crowded inboxes and fragmented attention spans — what’s the best way to reach people?
How to stand out in a sea of boring content? It might be time to get stinky …
There’s an incredibly useful tool that can actually sabotage your content … if you don’t use it correctly.
What’s the best way to handle overwhelm, especially when it comes with a side of procrastination?
It’s time for the latest round of “Content Marketing doesn’t work any more” stories. Can you tell these make me a little cranky?
Tech and tactics come and go — but storytelling lasts forever. In this episode, Shane Snow and Joe Lazauskas of Contently share their favorite techniques for developing a storytelling edge. (Part 2 of a 2-part episode.)
Tech and tactics come and go — but storytelling lasts forever. In this episode, Shane Snow and Joe Lazauskas of Contently share their favorite techniques for developing a storytelling edge. (Part 1 of a 2-part episode.)
What do the search engines mean by a “high quality site”?
Here’s a simple way to make the best use of your time when you’re creating new content, improve your SEO, and create a great user experience on your website.
I see and hear the horror stories on Facebook, on LinkedIn, at conferences. Folks who spend months or sometimes years on a big, bold business idea … only to see it die at launch with no sales.
The web needs talented writers. So why is it (sometimes) so hard for the best writers to get paid what they’re worth?
Content sharing is the great “free ride” of 2018. You get more people looking at your stuff, and you don’t have to pay a dime for it. But you do need to set your content up for sharing success.
I don’t believe in predictions. The future isn’t a mystery novel, with carefully selected clues left for us to decipher. But there’s something I do think is useful to watch.
January is the traditional month to work on goals for the new year, but there’s a lot to be said for starting in December.
Why do some of the most talented people see the least success? Sometimes they’re held back by misconceptions about marketing and sales.
It’s hard enough to come up with ideas — but when we do, how do we know they’re any good? How can we evaluate our ideas and make sure we’re choosing the ones that will create the best content?
Do the usual “gratitude practices” ever feel formulaic or simplistic to you? Here are some that I’ve found can go a little deeper.
William Maynard of the Bates agency once wrote that “… most good copywriters fall into two categories. Poets. And killers. Poets see an ad as an end. Killers as a means to an end.”
And David Ogilvy famously added,”If you are both killer and poet, you get rich.”
Happy Halloween week! Today we’re talking with Rebecca Tracey about entrepreneurial fear — how it holds us back and what we can do about it.
Neuroscience tells us that making decisions for our content strategy or our websites is “cognitively expensive.” In simpler terms — it’s exhausting. Here are a few “back of the envelope” factors that can help you zero in on the right choice.
5 painful mistakes I’ve seen writers, marketers, and business owners make … and how you can avoid them
Thoughts on how to create really good content … without a huge team or an unlimited budget
How one freelance copywriter found his groove, and how you can find yours, too.
Stressed out? Anxious? Just out of sorts? Stress can wreck havoc with your creative productivity. Here are some thoughts on how to manage it.
Think marketing is evil? Only if you’re doing it right …
A collection of great questions from our smart audience!
A comment from one of our blog readers sparked some thoughts…
Seems simple enough, right? Then how come so many people are terrible at it?
Which works better in content marketing — positive messages or negative ones? Well … it depends.
Being able to visualize a specific and vivid “who” is one of the most important things you’ll ever figure out in your marketing or your business.
We all know the cliche of the starving artist — but how about the thriving artist? Jeff Goins has some advice on how to “build a bridge in the direction of your dream.”
Can we change who we are? Are we stuck with the aptitudes and habits we have today, or can we make fundamental changes? And if change is possible … are we up to the challenge?
Are you a “training addict”? Wondering how to handle all of the marketing and business information you’re taking in? Allow me to suggest a plan.
Want to be more persuasive? You need to start with a great idea. Here’s how to develop one.
Is your fear of selling keeping you from where you want to go?
A business community for the new economy
Perception is not reality. Reality is still reality.
Our certification program for content marketers will be opening up again soon.
Ever been frustrated by the daunting task of making a (really good) living as a writer? I have some thoughts on what it takes …
Has the entire business world lost its mind? Some thoughts on interesting disasters … and on how to do your homework for better results.
There’s so much mindset advice out there to make you more successful … but is it doing you more harm than good?
In memory of Washington Post copyeditor, Bill Walsh, and the finer points of grammar and usage peeves.
This week, I talk with copywriter and content creator Kaleigh Moore about her tips for staying productive and creative.
A conversation with Brian Gardner about the evolution of WordPress and new things happening at StudioPress
Looking to create a much greater impact with your content? Start by understanding how it’s framed.
What’s a freelancer’s biggest nightmare? Clients from hell! Guest Bryce Bladon shares his experience on how to cope — and how to avoid problems from the outset.
Is it wise to get political with our content marketing?
We love books at Copyblogger! Today, we’re digging into Jonah Sachs’ Winning the Story Wars.
Having a hard time coming up with headline ideas? Here are 13 tweaks, prompts, and hacks to keep you moving.
No, content marketing strategy is not “make a whole bunch of spaghetti and see what sticks to the wall.”
New Year, New You? Or Nah?
So much bad advice …
See ya, 2016! We’re starting 2017 early this year.
Ever thought about launching an online course … or some other digital product or service? Here are the four most important elements you need to put into play.
It’s time again for Andy Crestodina’s annual survey of 1000(+) bloggers. Take a listen and see how your site measures against the trends …
Is it too late to start a podcast? Should we all just shut up and listen quietly, rather than launching something that isn’t great?
“Help! No one is reading my content!” We have some thoughts …
Content marketing is a long game … but that doesn’t mean we can’t create some quick wins.
Smart content producers know that we can produce a lot more (and better) content when we collaborate. But collaboration brings its own set of headaches and complexities. Today we talk about a nifty new tool to make it simpler.
There’s a word that comes up a lot when we talk about content marketing: Intimidating.
Here’s a great problem to have: Producing so much high-quality content that your audience gets overwhelmed. But the thing is … it’s still a problem.
Fiction needs what editor Shawn Coyne calls “obligatory scenes” — the elements that satisfy audience expectations and make the book a must-read. Do those elements exist for content? And if so … what are they?
The Copyblogger blog was founded on a simple but powerful idea — that our content (blogs, podcasts, video) can be strengthened by adapting techniques from the world of direct response copywriting.
A common newbie marketing mistake is trying to talk to everyone. There are all kinds of buzzwords around speaking to a specific audience — segmentation, demographics, psychographics, generational marketing. Today Sonia talks about a few pitfalls and best practices.
There’s a lot of great content out there … and then there’s the topic of today’s podcast. Sonia looks at the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Sonia’s back on the podcast this week with suggestions on how to address three challenges that pop up often in our communities.
Did you realize that making it a habit to give testimonials regularly can pay off in some powerful ways?
In an age where we’re faced with too many choices, testimonials help us trust enough to make a decision to buy. Are you using this powerful tool in your business?
Your headline is the epic gateway to your content. Are you doing everything you can to pull your readers across the threshold?
Are the rules of content marketing different for nonprofits? We talk with Help One Now founder Chris Marlow to find out.
In the copywriting world, some of us are poets and some of us are killers. The really great ones are a blend of both.
Whether you love it or hate it — Pokémon Go is the biggest global hit in a long time. Is it worthwhile to try and find a Poké-marketing angle?
Expressing deeply held values in your content can have powerful results. But what happens when the conversation becomes controversial?
In the explosion of online courses and education … what role will universities play? Announcing a new Copyblogger collaboration …
What is it that makes people “almost buy”? Why do some customers online get most of the way through the purchase and then … close the page and walk away?
Can automating certain elements of our marketing actually make our messages more personal and less “robotic”?
It really is possible to make a good living as a freelancer, if you approach it as a business and get strategic.
Linda Formichelli is a longtime advocate for writers — and she has a new book out to help all of us get a lot more great stuff into our lives.
Content marketing doesn’t work without a consistent flow of high-quality content. But how do we get all of that created … on a schedule?
Email works incredibly well as a marketing tool … except when it doesn’t. What’s the best way to get people to sign up for an email list … and continue to read our messages?
Copyblogger and Rainmaker Digital have always benefited from what Brian Clark has called “brute force authority” — plenty of organic traffic. But we’ve started to experiment with something new.
Content marketing news, including trends in live video, Apple’s quarterly numbers, Facebook ads, and … that Trump fellow.
The Queen of Fascination shares a new crop of insights with us …
The theme behind the scenes at the Rainmaker Digital company meeting this year was: A bias for action. Here are some resources for you to get it all done!
If marketing or content strategy plays any role in your professional life, you need to understand copywriting. Here are five of our most important bits of advice for writing that persuades.
The social media platforms are changing constantly. Can we develop an approach that lets us stay current … without driving ourselves to distraction?
The 5 steps to a strong B2B podcast, and more content and business thoughts with Relationary Marketing’s Clark Buckner
Chatting about business, content strategy, and the scientific method with Sol Orwell, co-founder of Examine.com.
A behind-the-scenes look at the brand-new Rainmaker.FM redesign.
If you want to get smarter and more successful, you need to hone this skill: Listen.
Traditional success advice points you to role models. If you want a seven- or eight-figure business, look for one and then copy how they got there. Sometimes that’s a smart move … and sometimes it isn’t.
Email is the conversion powerhouse for most content marketing programs — and it’s so often misunderstood.
Digital commerce is a rising buzzword around the web — and with that, we’re offering an expansive set of new resources for digital business owners. What do we need to know about d-Commerce in 2016?
You read that right, this is the last episode of The Lede. But don’t worry too much about it, this also happens to be the inaugural episode of Copyblogger FM …
I’m told there is this debate between audio content and written content. And it’s an acrimonious debate. So Pamela “Battle Axe” Wilson decided to address the issue head on.
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