Linkbaiting: Vote Yes or No This Week Only

Coming into the New Year, I resolved not to use the term “linkbait” any longer. Linkbait is simply compelling content that’s remarkable, and in social media the remark is mostly made via the link. Compelling content is simply compelling content, right?

However, not only has the term not gone away, it’s gaining strength. For example, we have this and this and this and this, and also this and this thus far in the first 24 days of 2007.

If you’re still not sure what I’m talking about, read this.

[ Continue Reading... ]

The Benefits of a Holistic Approach to Social Media Marketing

It came as quite a shock to see Performancing abruptly shut down its advertising network yesterday. Since I often chat with Chris Garrett and Nick Wilson about various things, I’ve known that there have been serious cost issues, especially related to maintaining the huge server expense that the free Metrics service caused. Unloading Metrics simply had to happen, but I expected the Partners program to carry on, even after Nick resigned.

I think people are surprised that such a high-profile company could fail. After all, they did everything right—scores of valuable content, the Performancing for Firefox blog editor that resulted in untold amounts of back links, and other remarkable free services.

[ Continue Reading... ]

Five Link Building Strategies That Work

SEO Copywriting 2.0We’ve seen that the real secret to SEO Copywriting 2.0 is creating compelling content that naturally attracts links, rather than begging for links to our keyword-stuffed “optimized” web page. In other words, SEO copywriting is now all about response-oriented copy—concepts and words that ultimately result in a favorable action from the reader.

Since the popularity of our content depends on the reaction to it off-page, it makes sense that we might also need to step outside the confines of the page itself to get the word out. Luckily, the same copywriting skills you use to conceive and create your content apply to promoting it as well.

The way to create compelling content is to focus on “what’s in it for the reader.” Likewise, no one is going to link to you unless doing so gives them a benefit as well.

[ Continue Reading... ]

Why Linking to Other Blogs is Critical

Kevin O’Keefe posted a great piece recently called Linking to and blogging about competitors’ blogs is smart. Darren at Problogger has also pointed out Kevin’s thoughts, because Darren knows that other than developing your own compelling original content, linking out to other relevant bloggers is critical to growth.

And often, the most relevant bloggers in your field will be your competition.

Kevin writes about lawyers specifically, and how many of them can’t see the benefits of linking out to others in their practice areas. By refusing to link out to and engage with other legal bloggers, attorneys are missing the entire point of the power of blogging.

I can’t say I’m surprised by this attitude, though.

[ Continue Reading... ]

On the Air Live With the DMZ

I’ll be on the air tonight live with the DMZ show on Blog Talk Radio. Should be good stuff, as we attempt to be the first group ever to respond to a marketing blog meme with a podcast. Feel free to call in at 646-915-8556 and add your own two cents.

The rest of the DMZ team includes:

Paul McEnany of Hee-Haw Marketing;
Scott Baradell of Idea Grove; and
Cam Beck of Chaos Scenario.

What: Dallas Marketing Zoo
When: January 16, 2007 at 8:00 p.m. CST
Who: You
Number: 646-915-8556
Where: Blog Talk Radio

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.

[ Continue Reading... ]

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.

[ Continue Reading... ]

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.

[ Continue Reading... ]

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.

[ Continue Reading... ]