These Bloggers Rock

I know I said we were done for the year, but it seems rather lame to leave up that “best of Copyblogger” post for a week. It kinda goes against what I preach around here, you know?

There’s been a great meme going around (and growing) that was started by Mack Collier, and brought to my holiday-diminished attention by Seth Godin. And unlike the “5 things” egoism, this meme highlights some fantastic marketing blogs that definitely deserve your attention.

The fact that the meme uses the term “Z-list” is a bummer, because it perpetuates the cut-and-dry ranking system that makes little sense in the blogging arena. The point is that there is an incredible array of valuable voices, and I’m happy that my own increased blogging capacity is going to allow me to focus on more of these other voices in the coming year.

Many of these blogs you’ll recognize if you’ve been reading Copyblogger for a while, like Mike Sansone, Ben Yoskovitz, Roberta Rosenberg, and new buddy Paul McEnany. But the idea is to reprint the whole list, and perhaps add in a few blogs that you read that haven’t yet been mentioned.

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The Best of Copyblogger (According to Time Magazine’s Person of the Year)

That’s you, remember?

Since the Holiday Season is upon us, and we all have better things to do than read blogs, I thought I would go ahead and shut things down for the year. And what better way to go out than with a recap of what you found notable in 2006?

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The Mark Twain Guide to Better Blogging

If there has ever been anyone who had something brilliant to say about almost everything, it would be Mark Twain, the artist formerly known as Samuel Langhorne Clemens. Twain is known for more notable quotes about more topics than you can shake a stick at.

And there’s no doubt in my mind that he would make an excellent blogger. Actually, he’d likely be a blogging guru.

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How to Write for Google

OK, enough with all my silly talk about writing for people first.

Let me tell you what you really want to know… how to write to rank well in Google.

Actually, I’ll just let Google tell you.

Our general advice is: Always focus on the users and not on search engines when developing your optimization strategy. Ask yourself what creates value for your users. Investing in the quality of your content and thereby earning natural backlinks benefits both the users and drives more qualified traffic to your site. … [K]eep in mind that nowadays search engines reward sweat-of-the-brow work on content that bait natural links given by choice.

I’ll elaborate next year. :)

Via Search Engine Land.

Social Media Marketing on Blog Talk Radio

What do you get when you put five marketing-minded bloggers on the air, and let listeners in on the party?

I’m not sure, but we’ll find out tomorrow night.

I’ll be joining in with Scott Baradell of Media Orchard, Click Here’s Cam Beck and Paul Herring who blog at Chaos Scenario, and the irrepressible Paul McEnany of HeeHaw Marketing. We call it the DMZ (Dallas Marketing Zoo) because, um… we all live in Dallas.

But don’t let geography discourage you. We’ll be talking about all sorts of topics relevant to social media marketing, and you’re welcome to join in live. It should be good for a few laughs at a minimum, if only to see which one of us trys to tell the worst joke.

Here are the details:

When: December 18, 2006 at 8:00 p.m. CST
Where: Blog Talk Radio
How to Call In: 646-915-8556

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

There’s something going around, and I don’t mean the crud my kids gave me last week.

It’s a mini-meme, and I’ve been tagged with it by Roberta, Jason, Neil, Chris and Joseph, so I must comply or risk being labeled anti-social in the social media world. :)

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Do You Spend $10,000 a Month on Pay Per Click Ads?

If so, you can participate in an analytics experiment that might just bring you a ton of exposure that won’t cost you by the click.

Eric of Stone Temple Consulting and Jonah of Alchimist Media are seeking additional participants for their Comparative Analytics Study. Basically these guys are trying to determine which website metric analysis tools work best, and they will publish the results to an eager SEO and online marketing crowd.

Here’s what’s in it for you and the requirements for participation:

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Goodbye 2006, Hello 1997…

From the Wikipedia page for the Dot-com Bubble (1997-2001):

Lead up to the bubble:

In 1994 the Internet came to the general public’s attention with the public advent of the Mosaic Web browser and the nascent World Wide Web, and by 1996 it became obvious to most publicly traded companies that a public Web presence was desirable…. These concepts in turn intrigued many bright, young, often underemployed people (many of the so-called Generation X), who realized that new business models would soon arise based on these possibilities and wanted to be among the first to profit from these new models.

Now, what effect do you think Time Magazine’s Person of the Year will have on 2007?

Time: Person of the Year -- You

Good call by Darren — Linkbait of the year. Check out the unbelievable buzz over at Techmeme.

Be happy that you’re an early adopter. :)

The 37 Signals Approach to Copywriting

To me, Web 2.0 darling 37signals has always served as a great example of a company that “gets” copywriting. They built their highly-successful business using a longer-copy format with a powerful centered headline that instantly sucked you into the page to learn more.

Earlier this week, 37signals introduced a new home page. While the text no longer scrolls as far down the page, it’s still “copy intensive.” I personally find the page to be aesthetically pleasing, so I was anxious to see what kind of testing had been done to justify changing winning copy, especially after I saw the new two-word headline:

Work Well.

You can see a side-by-side comparison of both the new and former home page copy here (the new is on the left).

Now, I’m not saying you can’t have an effective two-word headline. Joe Sugarman made a fortune selling gizmos and sunglasses using pithy two and three word headlines that were high on the novelty factor. But I wonder whether the new 37signals headline empirically beats the old one, which has been updated and is now the first subhead:

Over 1 million people and small businesses use our web-based applications to get things done the simple way.

It seems to me that the specificity and strong social proof of that heading would beat the pants off of “Work Well” in the lead spot. But who knows, right?

That’s what testing is for.

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