5 Ways to Rankle an Old-School Journalist

image of young journalist diligently writing while older journalist stands beside her looking dumbfounded

This is the first post in a series on native advertising. An introduction, if you will.

One that states from the start that there is controversy.

Why approach a series this way?

Simple: Native advertising is probably one of the least-known scalding-hot topics in the business world.

In fact, few business people can even define native advertising. And those outside of it are clueless it even exists (we’ve got the data to prove this — will share later).

Yet media research group BIA/Kelsey predicts that by 2017, brands will spend $4.57 billion on social native ads.

$4.57 billion is a lot of money.

How could there be so much enthusiasm and animosity for an ambiguous model?

Two words …

Read More…

Why We’re Removing Comments on Copyblogger

image of two people talking on a hotel balcony overlooking a scenic cityscape

Would you ever consider taking comments off Copyblogger?

When the question was posed during our editorial meeting, my immediate reaction was, “Absolutely not.”

I wasn’t even interested in considering it, because I like conversations. I enjoy seeing what people think of different posts. I like the quick view of what people react to (positively or otherwise), and what seems to need more explanation.

While the comments on the big CRaP websites are mostly pretty awful, I’ve always enjoyed managed comments on real content blogs. Conversations, after all, are typically more interesting than monologues.

But the team and I got together and talked about it. And as we talked, I started to see it differently.

Read More…

How to Tell a Seductive Story

Has a singer ever been more seductive than Marvin Gaye?

Especially when crooning his classic, “Let’s Get It On”?

We often think about seduction in this sense: as being sexual, sometimes even manipulative. And sometimes it is.

But that is not the type of seduction featured on today’s episode of The Lede … though Marvin does sing words of wisdom to which we advise you pay heed:

Aaa-nnd,
Givin’ yourself to me,
Can never be wrong,
If the love is true …

As you’ll hear Demian and me discuss — with decidedly less seductive voices than Marvin’s (sorry) — if your love for your audience is true, if your intentions are pure, then tapping into their emotions through the art of seduction can, well, never be wrong.

Read More…

3 Steps to Scare Your Audience Into Action (And Still Sleep at Night)

scary image of Underwood typewriter with scary-looking figurine next to it

If threatened, we move into action.

At one time your ancient ancestor jumped because an animal was about to eat him. Today, that motivation can be just as strong for someone with arachnophobia seeing a spider.

Great copywriting compels action, so it’s no surprise fear is used in marketing.

But to do it well (and still be able to sleep at night), you need to know a few things about scaring your reader into action.

Read More…

How to Make Your Website a Party People Want to Attend

illustration of a fun party from the 1950s

Have you ever walked into a party where you didn’t know anyone?

  • And there was no one to greet you or take your coat …
  • No one to show you where to get a drink or introduce you around …
  • No one to make you feel welcomed or show you where to go next …

It’s an awkward, uncomfortable feeling, right?

Your first instinct is probably to turn around and walk right back out. I know mine is.

So why would you treat visitors to your website the exact same way?

Read More…

10 Steps a Local Business Can Take Today to Improve Search Rankings

image of business front door at night with spotlight shining down over entrance

Would you like to get more customers for your brick-and-mortar business?

That’s a rhetorical question. If you have a brick-and-mortar business, of course you want more customers.

Running a business is hard work. You might have a steady flow of loyal existing customers, but we always need to make sure we have a stream of new people.

Keeping your website up to date can be hard work, too. And your SEO might need a serious update — or maybe you’ve never done much with it at all, thinking it was too difficult or too expensive.

Fortunately for you, you’re not alone.

Read More…