Are You a Link Troll or a Spam Baiter?

Rand over at SEOmoz started a great discussion today about the two types of link bait.

The first type of link bait is what SEO types and I always talk about—reader focused, compelling content that provides a benefit.

The second type of link bait is what many long-term bloggers mistakenly think we are talking about, which is controversial statements and attacks on others.

As I pointed out awhile back, historically the term bait and its fishing buddy hook have always meant something the reader finds irresistible and satisfying when used in the context of content.

So that’s why I don’t have a big problem with the term link bait.

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The Smart Way to Create a Sense of Urgency

One of the fundamental characteristics of a human being is a tendency towards procrastination.

And when it comes to reaching for our wallets and buying something, that tendency to “think about it” is incredibly strong, even when we actually want to make the purchase.

That’s why creating an authentic sense of urgency is a crucial component of compelling copy.

In less skilled (and less scrupulous) hands, that sense of urgency is manufactured. It’s a fake or illogical high pressure sales tactic that turns most people off and blows the sale.

Don’t you love those online sales letters where the “offer expires” date just happens to be—shock—today! Come back tomorrow and the javascript has magically updated the offer automatically.

Lovely.

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The Five Essential Elements of an
Influential Blog

What makes a blog influential?

Influence is often attributed to traffic and readership levels. But in reality, those are actually benefits that are symptomatic of something that precedes them.

How do we get people to pay attention to what we say in the first place?

Ultimately, a blog catches on just like any other idea spreads—it must somehow speak to people in a way that they want to hear. Your posts must fill a human need, and that will most often be at an emotional level, no matter how practical we think our subject matter is.

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Five Reasons Why the List Post is Dead

I’ve finally seen the light.

Some of the wiser members of the blogosphere have convinced me…

The list post is dead.

Never mind 100 years of tested headline psychology and the fact that readers skim content online like never before… these list posts have simply got to go. I mean, Jason Calacanis made $25 million off of this type of blog content, and yet even he said on this very blog that his bread and butter methods are a cliché that needs to die.

So, I figured I had better head down to the local news stand and get some inspiration to correct my evil ways.

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Link Karma IV: Link Night at the Apollo

It’s been way too long since the last installment of link karma, and I’m feeling a bit out of balance. So let’s take a look at what a few Copyblogger readers have been up to with their blogs.

And don’t forget to guess the movie sequel reference in the post title (this one is a bit tougher than Link Karma two and three, but the answer is there in plain sight).

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Call Me Tonight if You Have a Question

I’ve been getting quite a few requests to do interviews lately, which is quite flattering, but I’m rarely inclined to do them. However, I’ve been talking a bit lately with fellow Dallas resident and Mavericks fanatic Scott Baradell of Media Orchard and Spin Thicket fame, and he’s convinced me to stop being so anti-social about social media.

So, tonight Scott will be kicking off his new podcast by interviewing me.

Here’s the cool part.

We’ll be using a new service from Blog Talk Radio to do the interview. The name pretty much says it all—instead of just a static podcast with two guys talking, the free BTR service allows listeners to call in and participate, just like an old school talk radio show.

So, if there’s anything you want to ask, here’s your chance. Or, if you just want to listen to me make bad jokes, you can do that too.

The show kicks off at 8:00 pm CST tonight, and you can sign up to be reminded via email 5 minutes before show time here.

The call-in number is 646-915-8556.

Should be fun, so I hope you’ll join us tonight!

10 Effective Ways to Get More Blog Subscribers

The question I seem to be getting over and over is…

How did you get so many subscribers?

The answer is simple—I value subscribers more than any other measure of blog success, such as page views or raw traffic. Subscribers are the life blood of a successful blog in my opinion, and frankly, I wish I had more of them.

Okay, that may be a bit vague.

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Copyblogger Joins b5media

The official announcement goes out tomorrow bright and early, but I thought I’d give you the heads up first.

As of about two months ago, I accepted an invitation to join the b5media blog network, as part of the new business collection of blogs they have coming online tomorrow. Things took a little longer than anticipated for the business section launch, so that’s the reason for the lengthy lapse in time.

Don’t worry about drastic changes around here… there won’t be any. The few changes that needed to be made have already been implemented weeks ago.

Many of you might be shocked that I’m doing this. After all, I haven’t exactly been a big rah-rah supporter of many of the blogging networks out there.

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The Art of the Joint Venture

Well, the emails have started again. :)

After my last post, several people wrote in wondering what exactly I meant by this:

Or you can simply blog to meet cool people with great skills and great ideas and do business with them.

Well, basically, my method of doing business online involves joint ventures.

Now, depending on your familiarity with that term as it’s been used lately online, you may be thinking of something that I’m not.

I learned about joint ventures from practicing law, not from some Internet “guru.” In fact, I was so fascinated by what the clients were doing when setting up deals that I knew I’d never be satisfied simply “papering” the details for them.

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Why People Want to Know
What’s In It For *You*

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I harp on one thing over and over:

The key to successful copywriting, business blogging and marketing in general is to focus intently on what’s in it for *them*.

Them, of course, refers to your readers, your prospects, your current clients and customers, and the giant mass of people out there who don’t yet know who you are and couldn’t care less.

In other words, you’ve got to offer as much unique value as possible.

If It’s Too Good to be True…

An unexpected corollary of offering unique value, though, is that people want to know what’s in it for you. It all comes down to the old cliché:

If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

This is a classic example of having a great benefit that triggers an emotional acceptance response, but nonetheless needs to be backed up with a rational reason why.

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