Are You a Link Troll or a Spam Baiter?

Rand over at SEOmoz started a great discussion today about the two types of link bait.

The first type of link bait is what SEO types and I always talk about—reader focused, compelling content that provides a benefit.

The second type of link bait is what many long-term bloggers mistakenly think we are talking about, which is controversial statements and attacks on others.

As I pointed out awhile back, historically the term bait and its fishing buddy hook have always meant something the reader finds irresistible and satisfying when used in the context of content.

So that’s why I don’t have a big problem with the term link bait.

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The Smart Way to Create a Sense of Urgency

One of the fundamental characteristics of a human being is a tendency towards procrastination.

And when it comes to reaching for our wallets and buying something, that tendency to “think about it” is incredibly strong, even when we actually want to make the purchase.

That’s why creating an authentic sense of urgency is a crucial component of compelling copy.

In less skilled (and less scrupulous) hands, that sense of urgency is manufactured. It’s a fake or illogical high pressure sales tactic that turns most people off and blows the sale.

Don’t you love those online sales letters where the “offer expires” date just happens to be—shock—today! Come back tomorrow and the javascript has magically updated the offer automatically.

Lovely.

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The Five Essential Elements of an
Influential Blog

What makes a blog influential?

Influence is often attributed to traffic and readership levels. But in reality, those are actually benefits that are symptomatic of something that precedes them.

How do we get people to pay attention to what we say in the first place?

Ultimately, a blog catches on just like any other idea spreads—it must somehow speak to people in a way that they want to hear. Your posts must fill a human need, and that will most often be at an emotional level, no matter how practical we think our subject matter is.

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Five Reasons Why the List Post is Dead

I’ve finally seen the light.

Some of the wiser members of the blogosphere have convinced me…

The list post is dead.

Never mind 100 years of tested headline psychology and the fact that readers skim content online like never before… these list posts have simply got to go. I mean, Jason Calacanis made $25 million off of this type of blog content, and yet even he said on this very blog that his bread and butter methods are a cliché that needs to die.

So, I figured I had better head down to the local news stand and get some inspiration to correct my evil ways.

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Link Karma IV: Link Night at the Apollo

It’s been way too long since the last installment of link karma, and I’m feeling a bit out of balance. So let’s take a look at what a few Copyblogger readers have been up to with their blogs.

And don’t forget to guess the movie sequel reference in the post title (this one is a bit tougher than Link Karma two and three, but the answer is there in plain sight).

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Call Me Tonight if You Have a Question

I’ve been getting quite a few requests to do interviews lately, which is quite flattering, but I’m rarely inclined to do them. However, I’ve been talking a bit lately with fellow Dallas resident and Mavericks fanatic Scott Baradell of Media Orchard and Spin Thicket fame, and he’s convinced me to stop being so anti-social about social media.

So, tonight Scott will be kicking off his new podcast by interviewing me.

Here’s the cool part.

We’ll be using a new service from Blog Talk Radio to do the interview. The name pretty much says it all—instead of just a static podcast with two guys talking, the free BTR service allows listeners to call in and participate, just like an old school talk radio show.

So, if there’s anything you want to ask, here’s your chance. Or, if you just want to listen to me make bad jokes, you can do that too.

The show kicks off at 8:00 pm CST tonight, and you can sign up to be reminded via email 5 minutes before show time here.

The call-in number is 646-915-8556.

Should be fun, so I hope you’ll join us tonight!