Thanks Google!

Imaginary conversation going on in the blogosphere right now:

Dude 1: “Hey man, did you hear that Google lowered the Page Rank on a bunch of popular blogs?”

Dude 2: “Yeah, I did… Engadget, ProBlogger, Copyblogger…

Dude 1: “What’s up with that? Copyblogger? That guy has never bought or sold a link!”

Dude 2: “I know. As far as I know, he’s done nothing but put out valuable, original content like Google says to do.”

Dude 1: “Yeah… he even preaches about writing for people first.”

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Clever vs. Descriptive Headlines:
Which Works Better?

Manga in Wired

I have a confession.

I absolutely love clever word play.

Puns, turns of phrases, neologisms, Spoonerisms, etc… I love them all.

I just don’t use them in headlines.

Browsing through the latest issue of Wired (yes, the actual paper magazine!), I noticed the title of the feature article by Dan Pink on Manga, the Japanese illustration style for comics.

Japan, Ink.

Now that’s a really clever title. The use of a homonym to make reference to the corporate dominance Japan enjoyed in the 1980s in the context of Manga made me smile. And I would expect no less from Mr. Pink.

But you wouldn’t want to use that as an attraction headline on the cover. And that’s why Wired didn’t.

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Radiohead, The 4-Hour Work Week and the Importance of Raving Fans

Building your fan club

What do Thom Yorke, Tim Ferriss and successful new media publishers have in common?

It’s not just that they understand that smart marketing is about relationships more than quick one-time sales.

And it’s not just that they know it’s not just any relationship they want, but loyal, raving fans.

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Free Report: Teaching Sells

Teaching Sells

So, I’ve been promising that I’d release a free report this week, and I actually got it done. There’s even an audio version, should you be so inclined.

Anyway, I’ll let the download page give you the details, but if you’ve ever wondered what NASA, Russian cosmonauts, the film industry in the 1940s, Marshall McLuhan and the Sex Pistols have to do with online business….

Well, you’re going to want to read this.

The Butterfly Effect and the Environment: How Tiny Actions Can Save the World

Blog Action Day

This post is my contribution to Blog Action Day, joining thousands of other bloggers to write about one topic for a single day. This year’s topic is the environment.

The acre of land my family and I live on rests on a heavily-wooded elevation, which provides a panoramic view of a sparkling lake to the south. It’s quite a departure from the suburban tract home I grew up in, and I’m hoping my kids end up with fond childhood memories of frolicking in a beautiful natural setting.

One remarkable thing about the property is the amount of butterflies it attracts, no doubt due to the variety of plant species that are permitted to grow undisturbed. My 5-year-old daughter and her little brother spend large chunks of time hopelessly chasing after scores of Monarchs and other brightly-colored, flitting butterflies.

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Link Karma Story Time

Link Karma

This collection of link karma is a bit different, in that the links lead to articles that tell a story about Teaching Sells.

I’ll connect the dots next week, and no, I didn’t throw in the Joy Division link just to throw you off. :-)

Are You Blogging with Confident Feet?

Blogging Feet

I presented a new business concept to a group of investors last week. I’ve never been very nervous when speaking in public, but just because I’m comfortable doesn’t mean I’m perfect when speaking. In fact, it probably means my imperfections are more noticeable than anyone else’s.

I took extra care to watch my body language. Body language accounts for the majority of your communication – not your words. One thing I paid especially close attention to was how much my lower body moved.

What does this have to do with blogging? Stick with me for a bit.

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Here’s How to Stop Worrying About Google Once and for All

Is Google Evil?

Boy, people don’t seem very happy with Google lately, huh?

Never mind the future implications of a world controlled by Big G. Webmasters and bloggers are making more and more noise about the pervasive power Google has over their online businesses right now. Selling links is the newest hot point, and it looks like some people have been made an example of to put the FUD in the rest of us.

Believe it or not, my strategy since the beginning of Copyblogger has been to pretty much forget search engines exist. Don’t get me wrong… I’m not doing anything to annoy them, and I certainly don’t turn away visitors from search engines. I just don’t depend on them for traffic.

While people work hard to attract links to rank better in search engines, you’ve got to realize that some of the highest quality traffic comes directly from the links. Pretend like search engines are not even a traffic option, and instead focus on repeat traffic and referral sources that no one can take away.

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How to Write Ebooks That Sell

Ebook on a laptop

As more people begin to realize that blogging for ad dollars and other free content strategies might not be the best way to make money online, I’m getting more and more questions related to writing and selling ebooks.

Producing any information product is almost entirely an exercise in marketing. Everything from the topic you choose, to how you position it, to the copywriting strategy you use to sell it boils down to figuring out what people are willing, and even driven, to pay for.

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Are You Truly Focused on Your Audience?

Focus

Or is it still really all about you?

If there’s one thing that gets repeated at Copyblogger over and over, it’s that the key to effective blogging and online marketing is a relentless focus on the needs of the people you are trying to reach. I often wonder if the next time I mention it, I’ll get an angry slew of comments saying:

OK, OK, we get it already!

Unfortunately, I can think of two prime examples of ways in which many are not getting it. The funny thing about these two things is that they are both aspects of what makes the Internet truly unique as a marketing platform, and yet we often fail to take advantage of them.

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