Five of Your Headlines… Remixed

Late last week I asked you fine folks to submit posts that you wanted me to take a look at to see if I could improve on the headline a bit. I ended up with more than 60 submissions.

Given the horrendous week this has been (don’t ask), I could only get to 5 for now, since providing my rationale for the changes that are made is important, too.

But I think we’ll also likely do this on a regular basis if you find it useful.

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Give Me 3 Minutes and I’ll Make You a
Better Blogger

So I’m hanging around an Internet forum the other day.

People there are going on about how they “only write for themselves,” and if the reader doesn’t get it “it’s their problem.”

Was I in a creative writing forum? Or maybe over at Robert Bruce’s place?

Nope. It was a “professional” blogging site.

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10 Steps to a Viral Tutorial That Sells

Can a tutorial attract links and traffic, while selling at the same time?

We know that a well-written tutorial that stays strongly focused on benefits to the reader can fly under the “sales-alert” radar and lead to great results. This has been true online and off well before blogging and social media became big.

The same benefits-oriented focus can also cause a tutorial to go viral, just like PDF reports, free ebooks, and white papers have done via email forwards since the beginning of the commercial web.

So let’s look at a time-tested 10-step process to creating an educational marketing tool that generates both buzz and sales.

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How Great Headlines Score Traffic

So, it’s Wednesday morning of this week, and I’m right in the middle of the daily train wreck that occurs as soon as the kids roll out of bed.

As I deftly prevent the 18 month old from bashing his head on the corner of my desk, the old IM chimes, and despite myself I cannot resist its Siren call.

It’s Markus from AU interactive, and he wants some quick headline advice for a post he’s about to release.

We quickly bang it out, and go our separate ways.

Later on in the day, I notice that his post, 10 Things That Will Make or Break Your Website is on the front page of Digg. Last I looked it had scored over 1100 votes, a bunch of Delicious bookmarks, and spent time on TechMeme.

Not bad.

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The Two Types of Tutorial Marketing

Used to be, there were two steps to using media to market your business.

First, you found an appropriate media outlet to advertise in, and you paid your money.

Then, you created your advertisement so people would call, order, or visit your website.

Now, you are the media outlet, and your “advertisement” had better be quite useful to your readers / listeners / watchers, or you’re wasting your time.

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Finally, Something New in RSS

I haven’t posted about RSS much lately, since there’s been very little going on.

But this week Gabe Rivera of TechMeme announced a very cool use of RSS—he pulls posts from his sponsor’s blogs via feed and displays them in the sponsor area.

Great content is the advertisment (as it should be).

That’s very cool, and there’s a lot more to explore in the area that Gabe is blazing a trail in.

Now today, Text Link Ads released Feedvertising, a free WordPress plugin that allows you to rotate sponsored advertising copy and links in your RSS feed. If you’re reading this via feed (or email) right now, look down at the bottom to see an example.

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The Importance of Social Media

There are so many things in this post by Chris Heuer that resemble my own thoughts lately, I simply couldn’t believe my eyes as I read. I’d like to think I would have written something like this eventually, but now I don’t have to and can simply continue working on pushing the vision into reality.

Give it a read. It’s fantastic from start to finish (hat tip to Brogan for the heads up).

While this represents only a small part of the overall scope of Heuer’s post, I found this snippet particularly relevant to what I’ve been working on lately:

As we have seen with reality television, the hybrid of overly produced “barely based on reality” does not hold sway with people for long. The deep human desire for genuine connections with the hero’s journey via Joseph Campbell will not tolerate gimmicks or fools for long. Genuine human drama, ‘How To’ content, insightful commentary, truly funny comedy, emotionally charged entertainment, engaging conversations, factual news of the world and stories well told will rule the day.

Emphasis mine.

I’ve been talking about Tubetorial a lot lately with people, as you might imagine. And most people instantly get it.

We try hard to make these video tutorials visually interesting while they also teach. We might even try to make you laugh (or at least smile) in the process.

But Tubetorial videos don’t look like overly-polished television productions for a very important reason.

And they never will.

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How to Attract Links and Increase Web Traffic – The Ultimate Guide

Links and traffic… who wants some?

The number of excellent resources that have come out since the beginning of the year on attracting links and building traffic has really mushroomed. Plus there are some timeless classics that are still very relevant today.

I think it makes sense to compile the very best in one handy location and share it, so here’s my entire collection. If I missed your link and traffic resource let me know and I’ll take a look.

Now, it doesn’t matter if you like the term “link baiting” or not. It’s the process that one goes through to attract links that matters, not whether you prefer to think of your content as bait for links. I like to think that creating content that increases web traffic and builds links simply falls under the general social media optimization marketing buzz phrase that is gaining in popularity.

So, here’s your ultimate “how to” guide to creating content that attracts links and drives traffic in the social media environment:

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5 Simple Ways to Open Your Blog Post with a Bang

image of the number

What’s the second most important part of your blog post after the title?

Master copywriter Eugene Schwartz often spent an entire week on the first 50 words of a sales piece — the headline and the opening paragraph.

Just imagine how disappointed you’d be after crafting a killer headline for your post, only to lose readers with an opening that failed to carry the momentum. A great headline mixed with a lame opening is like inviting someone into your house, only to slam the door in their face as they approach.

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The Peril of Free Keyword Research Tools

So, let’s say you’re being a good Internet marketer and doing your search engine keyword research. You’re looking for new search trends that you can profit from.

Maybe you’ll start a brand new blog, or even develop an information product.

While poking around in the free Yahoo/Overture Keyword Selector Tool, you discover a phrase that is getting 173,359 searches per month. You think you’ve hit the jackpot.

Hopefully you verified that search count with a more reliable source before you started work, because it turns out that a more accurate accounting for that phrase might be closer to zero.

In the course of shooting an episode of my 7 Steps to Creating and Selling Niche Information Products series at Tubetorial, I happened across just that scenario.

Watch the video here to learn why you should never rely on the results from the Yahoo/Overture Keyword Selector Tool, or any other keyword research tool that pulls solely from Yahoo’s results. And there’s some other stuff in there about finding a strong topic for an information product, too. :)

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