5 Ways to Get More of the Online Attention You Crave

image of Elvis Presley toy

Listen — I remember what it was like.

Working hard on writing the best content I could. Content that solved reader problems, was interesting to read, showed some personality, and furthered my business goals.

Spending hours on posts that got nice attention from my small audience — but having trouble getting traction with a larger crowd.

It was working, but it was slow. And that’s frustrating. It’s hard to know you’re on the right path if only a few people are paying attention to you.

Over the months (and years), I learned some things about how to get that traction and grow my audience. Here are some of the most important ones I found.

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On Pink Hair, Marketing, and Business on Your Own Terms

image of Copyblogger CCO Sonia Simone

It’s always interesting being in an airport as a person with pink hair — especially when I’m traveling for business.

Pink hair is a little more mainstream these days (curse you, Nicki Minaj), but it still gets attention.

Small children think I’m some kind of live-action muppet, which I enjoy very much.

TSA security officials look at the combination of the pink hair and the business jacket, and give me a puzzled smile. My fellow business travelers give me confused looks … mixed, sometimes, maybe with a tiny bit of jealousy as well.

Anything you do that’s visibly different will get people telling stories in their own heads. Pink hair seems to inspire stories about freedom from arbitrary rules, about navigating the economic changes of the 21st century, about 4-hour workweeks.

The 4-hour workweek part is bogus, but the rest of it has some merit.

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Why I Don’t Give a Damn about #TheDress

First World Problems meme about trending topics

Six months (or six days) from now, maybe I’ll come update this topic with the latest trending topic. Because #TheDress, the latest distraction-of-the-moment, will feel utterly tired.

One reason that earning attention isn’t the same thing as earning business is that the Internet is prone to these little waves of irrelevance that hook everyone in for a few moments.

CMO.com did a nice job talking about who “won” the war for the attention created by the trending topic #TheDress.

And I don’t care. Not even a tiny bit. Here’s why.

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The New Authenticity and Authority: What it Looks Like, How to Use It

Image of Jon Stewart

Jon Stewart’s retirement from The Daily Show this week, accompanied by many tears and some cheers, is getting a lot of coverage around the web.

First, because the show is insanely popular.

But more than that, because the show demonstrates a real shift in what authority and authenticity look like in the 21st century.

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How to Create a Deep Connection with Your Prospects and Customers

Two toddlers playing on their backs

When my son was about two and a half, he developed a funny habit of walking around the house from time to time, chiming out, “I’m here.”

Although this little boy was strongly connected to his family and his small class of school friends, he still had that need to express it.

I’m here. I exist. I want to be seen, and heard. I want to be recognized.

And as human beings, we never quite lose that. We might get a little more sophisticated about how we say it, but ultimately we all want to let the world know:

I’m here.

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Trolls, Unkind Words, and How to Know You’re on the Right Track

image of Inuksuk sculpture from the Athabasca Glacier, taken by James Pratley

At the end of the day, I just find your persona incredibly grating.

Funny that I can still remember that comment word-for-word. It’s from an unsubscribe note to my email list dating back at least seven years now.

I heard lots of good things back then, too. I was helping people, sharing what I knew in a way that was useful to my (then tiny) audience. But I don’t remember any of the good comments verbatim.

Even back then, though, the note made me laugh.

(Ruefully.)

Because I knew that it was a signpost. A signal that I was headed in the right direction.

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