Copyblogger’s 2014 State of Native Advertising Report

blog post title image for Copyblogger's 2014 State of Native Advertising Report

Native advertising is paid content that matches a publication’s editorial standards while meeting the audience’s expectations.

Think Captain Morgan’s campaign on BuzzFeed in general, their 15 Things You Didn’t Know About 15 Captains, Commanders And Conquerors article in particular.

First off, the theme of the article matches the brand’s values: Captain Morgan was a real live pirate who thrived on adventure and raw conquest — a theme not too foreign to BuzzFeed readers.

Moreover, the article matches the editorial standards of BuzzFeed: a list with big images and short, quirky copy — a format their audience expects.

Three important points need to be noted here:

  • The content is clearly labeled “BuzzFeed Partner.”
  • Nothing is being sold. The call to action is to visit the Captain Morgan YouTube page.
  • The Captain Morgan BuzzFeed author page is branded.

This is classic sponsored or branded content. Now let’s look at another example of native advertising, this time a historical one.

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How to Use Internal Cliffhangers

Microseduction.

I consider an episode of The Lede wildly successful when we create a new word. In this episode of The Lede about using internal cliffhangers, Demian Farnworth does just that.

Here it is:

mi·cro·se·duc·tion

noun

  1. a slow, patient process for creating a emotional tie in an audience member to a piece of media
  2. The “dribbling of bread crumbs so the bunny rabbit follows you back to your house.”

synonym: internal cliffhanger

But how do you use that word in a sentence? And how will it help you write copy that your audience finds irresistible?

Listen and find out.

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Your Audience Doesn’t Know What it Wants

Close-up image of a horse with its mouth wipe open, appearing to scream

If I asked people what they wanted they would have said faster horses.

~ Henry Ford

Pretty witty quote, right?

You’ve probably heard it before. (Even if Ford never actually said it.)

I know I have.

But what I’ve been realizing lately is that I haven’t really been applying the essence of it to my own writing, let alone my online business’ product creation.

It’s actually a pretty funny scenario.

My first two posts this year were about starting a blog in 2014 and then asking my audience what blogging help it wanted in 2014.

The latter had over 200 comments.

But the thing that really interested me was the fact that 95 percent of the comments on those posts were about problems my audience was having … but not what solutions they wanted. They simply didn’t know, even when I directly asked them.

Turns out that’s my job.

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How to Decide Which Content to Sell and What to Give Away for Free

Authority Intensive Post Image of Chris Garrett

You are all well aware by now that content is vitally important to your business.

But how do you decide which content should be freely available and which content you ought to charge for?

Is it possible to give away too much?

People struggle with this question all the time.

On the one hand giving away information clearly works. After all, Copyblogger is based on that premise.

That said, we know that selling information is good business.

So where is the line drawn between freely available content and content that is locked behind a paywall of some kind?

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3 Ways to Write a Damn Good Syllable

Copyblogger chief copywriter Demian Farnworth sits at his desk straining to write a good syllable

The list of things you need to do to become a great writer is a long one.

So long in fact, most people never make it to the end of that list.

This is why most people suck at writing.

They simply give up.

Sure, the new ones are always thrilled — corybantic some may say — as they sharpen their pencils in eager expectation of jumping into those adorable writing exercises such as “Write like you talk” or “Write yourself silly!”

Then there are the entry-level axioms that culminate in “Give yourself permission to write,” a commandment that Trendall Jynweythk, professor of liberation theology at Arizona University, claims originated in a conversation between Jesus and John when the apostle was battling writer’s block after some really bad dreams.

It is all quite overwhelming advice to you, virgin writer, what with your bubbling, flooding, and exploding energy.

You just need to sit down and write!

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Announcing: A Breakthrough Resource for Your Content Creation

image of cardboard robot

Finally, after years of clumsy, clunky automated tools for “spinning,” scraping, regurgitating, and extruding low-quality content, we’ve found a solution.

This resource produces sharp, smart, audience-engaging content every time. Over time, it even calibrates itself to produce more effective headlines, to tailor content to the precise needs of your audience and customers, and to automatically generate semantically relevant alternative keyword phrases.

We’re calling this resource RealWriter — and if you don’t implement it for your content marketing program, you’re missing out.

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The Lede: Hangout Hot Seat with Brian Clark

Google Hangouts are an invaluably useful tool.

We’ve made mention of this before.

And if you’ve been listening to the New Rainmaker podcast, then you recently heard Brian and Robert discuss the concept of repurposing content — using the same content in multiple ways.

In this episode of The Lede, Demian and I put the usefulness and versatility of Google Hangouts on display and demonstrate how Hangouts can be used as part of a repurposing strategy.

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Eulogy for a Blog

painting of a family in an old-fashioned setting burying a loved one

Dearly Beloved,

We gather here today to honor the memory of our friend, Web Log.

That was his birth name.

Most knew him simply as Blog.

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How to Use Visual Hierarchy To Create Clear and Easy-to-Read Web Pages

Image of a cave-like basement with perspective facing wall, with stairs descending into the frame from the left and a door wide open in the middle

Imagine you’ve entered a cave.

Your eyes slowly adjust to your surroundings and begin to make out the shapes and forms around you.

You see three doorways: they’re equal in size, and all the same distance from where you stand. How do you choose where to go first?

You’re frustrated, because you don’t have enough information to make a decision. All you can do is guess.

Now imagine you’ve entered a second cave.

In this one, there’s one large doorway before you. It says “Tours” and is wide and well-lit.

To one side, there’s a small doorway with a window in it that says “Tickets” above it. Next to it is a nondescript door that says “Employees only.”

In this cave you know exactly what to do.

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Conduct Better Podcast Interviews with this Simple 6-Step Preparation Process

close-up image of a microphone

No regrets.

That is my number one goal for every podcast interview I conduct.

(And there are a lot of them — for some top-rated podcasts, including this one you might be familiar with.)

It’s a hard feeling to achieve, because most interviews last a pre-determined amount of time.

And almost without fail, the people I’ve interviewed have had far more to say than I’ve had time to get them to say it. (If you’ve ever conducted an interview, I’m sure you can relate.)

This means the pressure is on us to lead the interview in a way that ensures nothing essential goes left unsaid.

Here’s the simple six-step preparation process I follow to conduct podcast interviews that work.

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