Should Your Site’s Design Be Sexy or Smart?

Image of a Subaru ad at a card dealership that says Sexy is the New Smart

This might surprise you. (It surprised me.)

Since being released in February, Parallax Pro has been the top-selling child theme for Genesis.

No, that’s not what is surprising.

Parallax Pro is a gorgeous theme and the web is smitten with parallax effects. (Plus, the worst fears about parallax are unfounded.) Its enormous sales numbers are expected.

It is sexy — interesting, appealing, exciting. And sexy sells.

Now the surprise.

Would you believe that Executive Pro and Enterprise Pro — two child themes for Genesis that seem to revel in being decidedly unsexy — are also among the best sellers in the StudioPress portfolio?

Believe it.

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A Day to Be With Family and Remember

Sgt Benton Thames inspects a sentinel before the sentinel begins his walk on the mat at Arlington National Cemetary.

At the grave of a hero we end, not with sorrow at the inevitable loss, but with the contagion of his courage; and with a kind of desperate joy we go back to the fight. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

Oliver Wendell Holmes fought in the Civil War, enlisting with the Massachusetts militia during his senior year of college. He suffered numerous wounds and nearly died of dysentery.

After three years, in 1864, Holmes was able to walk away from military service. He would go on to live another 71 years, ultimately becoming one of the best-known and most oft-cited U.S. Supreme Court Justices in history. (He defined “clear and present danger,” for example.)

Holmes would serve all the way until just a couple of months before his 91st birthday. His was a full and vibrant life.

Unfortunately, so many of the men Holmes fought with and against in the Civil War did not make it home. Nor have so many of the men and women who have fought in the wars that have occurred since. So much life unlived. So much potential unable to be fulfilled.

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The 2 Reasons People Don’t Click on Your Buttons … And How to Overcome Them

Buttons are cute, and they’re charming. You can’t be scared of a button.

These are the words of Joanna Wiebe, whose delightful presentation on buttons at Authority Intensive resonated with data-backed usefulness.

And she’s right. No one is scared of a button. Yet, people choose to not click on your call-to-action buttons all the time. Costing you conversions. Costing you money.

Why?

And what can you do about it?

I invited Joanna, Conversion Copywriter for Copy Hackers, to be the guest on this week’s episode of The Lede so she can answer these two questions for you …

Because Joanna has the answers and the data to back them up.

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Join Brian Clark and Jerod Morris at Content Marketing World 2014

Logo for Content Marketing World

(And get a discount when you register before May 31st. Details below.)

Copyblogger Media is proud to be a sponsor and presenter at Content Marketing World 2014 — the one event in the world where you can find all the brightest and most accomplished content marketing professionals, together, at the same time.

CMWorld returns to Cleveland, Ohio September 8-11, 2014. And this year they’ve lined up Oscar winning actor, director, and producer Kevin Spacey as the closing keynote!

Created for motivated marketing professionals just like you, Content Marketing World features knowledgeable and energetic speakers, information-packed sessions, and comfortable networking opportunities.

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Chase Customers, Not Clicks

You want to be a broke-ass blogger, don’t you?

No!

Good gracious, of course you don’t. (At least I hope not.)

But if the first metric you look at is page views, not sales — i.e. clicks, not customers — then you’re well on your way to broke-ass bloggerdom.

What’s sad is that a lot of of online business owners do pay more attention to vanity stats than fundamental business metrics. So if you can shift your mindset, you’ll be ahead of the curve.

Fortunately, Tom Martin is here on this week’s episode of The Lede with straight talk that every online business owner will benefit from hearing, understanding, and acting on.

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How to Be Authentic

Do people really want the real you? All of it?

The answer will, of course, depend on the audience and the forum.

If you are writing a blog about drug addiction, telling your most horrifying stories is a prerequisite. Your audience will expect it.

If, on the other hand, you are writing a blog to support your tax preparation business, you probably want to keep most of your tales of woe out of it — no matter how “real” they may be.

Being “authentic” means being genuine. It means having an honest conversation with your audience. Within reason.

So how do you know what is too much you, how much is not enough, and where the sweet spot is?

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