The P.T. Barnum Guide to Online Publicity

There’s a sucker born every minute.

Guess what? P.T. Barnum never said that. A competitor of his did, and yet it’s been wrongly attributed to Barnum for 140 years.

That’s a shame, because although Phineas Taylor Barnum used outrageous stunts and hoaxes for promotional purposes, he was insanely focused on delivering exceptional value to his customers. He even crusaded against schemers and charlatans that swindled people out of money.

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Why the Blogosphere Will Eat Itself

Markets are conversations, so tell us something interesting for a change.
The Cluetrain Manifesto

Create a remarkable product and tell a remarkable story, and people will spread the word.
Seth Godin

If a company succeeds at the above, let’s not talk about them.
Dave Winer

How to Create Cornerstone Content That Google Loves

Imagine with me for a second… someone has just arrived at your website, and this person has no idea what you’re talking about. And this is an important visitor.

Pretend further that this single visitor could make the difference between success and failure for your business. She has no time to waste poking around your site trying to figure out what you’re all about, so she immediately picks up the phone and calls you, demanding an explanation.

What do you tell her?

You’d likely explain by giving her the essential information about how you can help, and why you perfectly meet her needs, right? And I’m betting you’d want to explain it in the most compelling fashion you could, given what’s riding on the deal.

In a nutshell, that’s what Google wants you to do with the content on your site.

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The Return of Tutorial Marketing?

Tutorial MarketingThere’s an interesting discussion going on that’s followed Michel Fortin’s rejection of the long, scrolling, hype-filled sales letter. As Michel has made clear since, it’s not that a lot of copy (information) is no longer required, it’s the ability of the evolved web to allow us to deliver information in the way the prospect prefers.

Web copy, PDF, audio, video… plus combinations that are only limited by the imaginations of savvy online marketers. It’s not only about telling people a story they want to hear, it’s also about how they want to hear it.

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Permission Marketing 2.0

Before I continue with the SEO Copywriting 2.0 series, I want to interject a bit of perspective. With all the talk about links, traffic, Digg, social media marketing and the pursuit of search engine rankings, it’s important to remember what matters most for business-oriented bloggers.

Subscribers.

The importance of subscriber acquisition is getting its fair share of attention within the social media space, which is good. Darren Rowse recently posted on the value of conduits like Digg and other social media traffic sources to build up your own subscriber-based community over time.

And in the SEO world, Andy Hagens and Michael Gray have touched on the topic as well. They call subscriber attraction and retention a key element in a “defensible traffic” strategy that frees you from the tyranny of search engine algorithm hiccups.

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Glyphius Copywriting Software Review

I no longer recommend the Glyphius copywriting software. Proceed at your own risk.

The 5 Essential Elements of Search Engine Keyword Research

SEO Copywriting 2.0Keyword research is cool.

It allows you to gaze directly into people’s minds.

Being able to take a look at the words and phrases people use when looking for things online is invaluable. Rather than listening to people say what they think they might do, you get to observe what they actually did. And when aggregated, you get a nice view of the words people most often use when thinking about and searching for a certain topic.

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The Death of the Long Copy Sales Letter

If you ever wanted to take a peek at the premise of the Tubetorial business model, you’re in luck. While 2006 was the year online video went big, 2007 will be the year when we all see how it is best utilized for marketing.

“Now wait a minute Brian,” you may be thinking. “Haven’t you repeatedly said that long copy works?”

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Introducing the A*I*D*A Formula for Blogging

  • Attention
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action

It’s an advertising formula from way back, and as Tom Chandler points out, it’s the copywriter’s best friend. But what about bloggers?

While some traditional marketers dismiss the AIDA formula as antiquated, I’d say it’s an ideal way of structuring a blog post when you want the reader to take some form of action.

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Speaking of Search Engines…

Lee Odden of the Online Marketing Blog has put together a fantastic resource list of his Must Read Search Marketing Blogs, and has provided an OPML file so you can download all 250 plus feeds into your reader. As much as I love RSS, the thought of that many new feeds at one time gives me the willies, but this is definitely a bookmarkable resource for later perusal.