What Not to Do (in Content Marketing)

Some weeks are all sunshine and lollipops. This week is not that week. Actually, all week we’ve been warning you of various colorful ways online professionals can shoot themselves in the foot. On Monday, I talked about a bunch of ways (around 30, I think) that people mess things up for themselves when they’re conducting their professional lives on the web. Some of them are silly, and … [Read more...]

Why Sex Doesn’t Sell

In his essay, “It’s Necessary for the Scene,” American playwright David Mamet explains why no play or movie he writes or directs include explicit sex scenes. Mamet is no prude. He cut his teeth in the theatre, working in and around that last great institution of vagabonds and players, excess and fornication. No, what he’s getting at here is something more important than a … [Read more...]

The Goofus and Gallant Guide to Success on the Web

Back when I was a very nerdy little kid, every month I would anxiously await my copy of Highlights magazine, and read it cover to cover. I’m charmed to discover that Highlights is still publishing, and that they still feature the regular comic strip “Goofus and Gallant.” Gallant was a kid who always did the right, noble, and virtuous thing. Goofus, on the other hand, could be … [Read more...]

Master This Writing Practice to Find More Loyal Readers

If you want to write about anything you’d like, as often as you’d like, there’s a place for that: your own website. It’s a modern privilege that gives writers the freedom to digitally publish their work publicly, with the potential to reach any reader with an internet connection. Can you imagine going back in time and telling that to someone who only wrote on paper? Someone whose only readers were … [Read more...]

It’s Freelancer Freedom Week on Copyblogger

Did you know that freelancers make up about a third of the U.S. workforce? I didn’t either, until I listened to Brian’s Unemployable podcast episode from last week. What I did know is that freelancers have always been a wonderful part of our audience on Copyblogger. This week, we have a lot of great content to support freelance success — whether you’re freelancing full-time or you have a … [Read more...]

2017 Content Excellence Challenge: The May Prompts

It’s May! Holy beans, the year’s nearly half over. I’m still wondering where March went, never mind April. Here’s our pair of community prompts for this month. Each month in 2017, we’re giving you a pair of prompts — one to make you more productive, and one to improve your creativity or writing skill. You can jump in anytime — and let us know about your … [Read more...]

Writers: An Opportunity to Get Copyblogger Certified

This one is just for the professional writers in the audience. You may have seen that we have a listing of recommended Copyblogger Certified Content Marketers. I’m going to tell you a bit about who those folks are and how they’re selected. If you want to hire an excellent professional writer who understands content strategy, that’s where you look for one. And if you’d like … [Read more...]

It’s Pet Peeve Week on Copyblogger

Quick poll: When you hear the term thought leader, do your eyes roll or do your ears perk up? I’m on team eye roll, and I explained why in Monday’s post. On Tuesday, the ever-elusive Robert Bruce shared the secret to writing compulsively readable copy. Like all of Robert’s secrets, this one is difficult … but it’s sound. Even better, it comes with a grumpy post image, … [Read more...]

How to Get Your Writing on the Road to Being Read and Spread

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. It’s something the immortals — from Aristotle to Ogilvy to Mamet — have known, but few have stated it as directly as I’m about to. By now, many of you know the basics of the craft of copywriting … Know your audience. Know your product cold. Research. Nail the headline. Write plainly, in the language of your audience. … [Read more...]

This Is The Best 30-Minute Content Marketing Brainstorming Process

Consistently coming up with strong content marketing ideas is challenging. You have deadlines to hit. There are performance goals to meet. The drive to be creative on-the-spot adds more pressure that you don't need. What you do need, however, is a reliable process for generating genius ideas fast. What if we told you it was possible to come up with 30 content ideas in just 30 minutes? Not just any … [Read more...]

How to Improve Your Content With the Skyscraper Technique

There is a long-standing SEO technique out there called the "skyscraper technique". Have you heard of it? It consists of three steps. Find top performing content. Create better content than the current top performers. Try to get a bunch on people to link to your new content. It sounds pretty straightforward, and it is. It's a technique that has been shown to get good results, but not all of us are … [Read more...]

What if You Could Simply Eliminate SEO from Your Life?

Imagine with me. Imagine a world without search engines. It’s easy if you try. No more surprise Google updates. No more worrying about XML sitemaps, robots.txt, and content analysis and optimization. And perhaps most importantly, no more keyword research. That last one means you’re going to have to go old-school to figure out the language of your audience to reflect it back to them. It’s going to … [Read more...]

Zen and the Art of Content Marketing

Google reminds me that we’ve covered the intersection of Zen and business a few times at Copyblogger … which doesn’t surprise me a bit. At the heart of Zen is the concept (which is not a concept) of nonduality. In the words of Shunryu Suzuki: “To speak of waves apart from water or water apart from waves is a delusion. Water and waves are one.” I’m sure Brian … [Read more...]

Forget SEO

Imagine. Imagine a world without search engines … It’s easy if you try. No more surprise Google updates. No more worrying about XML sitemaps, robots.txt, and content analysis and optimization. And perhaps most importantly, no more keyword research. That last one means you’re going to have to go old-school to figure out the language of your audience to reflect it back to them. It’s going to … [Read more...]

I Just Did A Launch With No Webinars, No Videos, No Multimedia. Here’s What Happened…

{}In the last decade the world of internet marketing, like the internet itself, has become dominated by multimedia. It’s a different world to how I first started out online. For a good eight years from 1998 to 2006 all my online business projects were text based, with some images thrown... The post I Just Did A Launch With No Webinars, No Videos, No Multimedia. Here’s What Happened… … [Read more...]

Why Your First Blog Post Should Be A “Life Story” Article

{}One of the key techniques I’ve taught Blog Mastermind members since 2007 is the value of a ‘Life Story’ post or series. In simple terms, a Life Story post is your background story as it relates to the topic of your blog. If you blog about collecting colonial stamps, your... The post Why Your First Blog Post Should Be A “Life Story” Article appeared first on … [Read more...]

The Unusual (but Important) Combination of Creative Fulfillment and SEO

This year on Copyblogger, each month has a theme — and in March, it’s search engine optimization. That’s great news for some of you, and terrible news for others. If you’d rather eat a bug than think about SEO, you and I have much in common. On Monday, I wrote about some solid SEO advice that won’t have you contemplating a heaping bowlful of breakfast crickets. I also … [Read more...]

Everybody’s Working for the Weekday

Why do we spend so much time researching, creating, optimizing, and promoting our content? “Geez, Stefanie. That’s a silly question,” you might be thinking. “You of all people should know that content marketing helps with our business goals. In fact, you wrote about that last week.” And you’d be absolutely correct. But that’s not what I want to focus on today. I want to look at the personal … [Read more...]

This Is The Ultimate Blog Writing Process To Create Killer Posts

How do you write comprehensive blog posts? We don't mean posts that are long. We mean in-depth posts that thoroughly cover your given topic. The kind of stuff that establishes you as a topical authority and brings in non-stop traffic. Everyone wants to create awesome evergreen content that keeps visitors coming back. The problem is that it isn't easy to write exhaustively detailed … [Read more...]

Sherlock Holmes and Mastery of the Craft of Writing

Sherlock Holmes was the greatest Consulting Detective in the world. Though merely a fiction — written over a century ago by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle — his methods of logical deduction are without equal. Holmes’s mastery of his craft brought him to the fog-cloaked London doorsteps of the most powerful people of his time. Correction: he was so good, those clients came to him. They … [Read more...]

3 Content Marketing Mysteries Solved

OK, confession time — when I was a kid, I was a complete Nancy Drew junkie. “Sleuth” sounded like just about the best way ever to spend one’s time. (Of course, that’s before I knew what a Chief Content Officer was …) This week, rather than figuring out Irene Adler’s cell phone password or who stole the missing emeralds, we’re working on “Why … [Read more...]

Stop Crying About Popups, Blogging Isn’t Just For Kids – Silly Rabbit

{}How many years have we watched bloggers from every walk of life bitching about the way others are running their blogs? Well, I guess as long as blogs have been a thing because bitching is as much human nature as trying not to eat our young is. I’m going to settle this once and for […] The post Stop Crying About Popups, Blogging Isn’t Just For Kids – Silly Rabbit appeared … [Read more...]

The Persuasive Power of Analogy

An elderly man storms into his doctor’s office, steaming mad. “Doc, my new 22-year-old wife is expecting a baby. You performed my vasectomy 30 years ago, and I’m very upset right now.” “Let me respond to that by telling you a story,” the doctor calmly replies. “A hunter once accidentally left the house with an umbrella instead of his rifle. Out of nowhere, a bear surprised him in the woods … … [Read more...]

It’s Time to Pump You (and Your Content) Up

So, Copyblogger has been running for about 11 years now. And in all that time, we’ve never written a post about Arnold Schwarzenegger, unless you count that one time I compared long-form sales pages to the Terminator. Until this week. Entirely independently, Brian Clark and I both used the Governator to illustrate two different points about smart content creation. On Monday, Brian broke down … [Read more...]