7 Essential WordPress Hacks Video Series

Yaro Starak Interviews Me at Entrepreneur’s Journey

I did a podcast interview with Yaro Starak of Entrepreneur’s Journey last week. Yaro asked some great questions, to which I gave my typical rambling responses.

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Affiliate Marketing Disclosure Now Required By Law?

I’ve been involved in affiliate marketing off and on for about 8 years, and the trend towards disclosure of affiliate links in the blogosphere has been a strange situation for me. It’s not that I want to hide the fact that I’m being compensated, it’s just that if you are an ethical marketer that focuses on providing value, most people don’t really care outside of the Internet marketing world.

I haven’t done much affiliate marketing on Copyblogger, but I hate the use of (aff) following the link. It’s just bad, distracting copy, so I try to find some other way to reveal the affiliation in a way that makes sense. Other times I just give my readers enough credit to know what’s up (such as with links to books).

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21 Traffic Triggers for Social Media Marketing

What does it take to have a huge web traffic breakthrough?

In order to produce a single piece of content that brings in dramatic amounts of traffic, you should aim to fulfill an existing psychological need. Aiming at root needs can be more powerful than simply stimulating desire, because you need people to feel compelled to share.

For example, you’ll see plenty of advice telling you to praise Apple or bash George Bush if you want to get on the Digg home page. But why not dig a little deeper?

Try examining the underlying needs that are being addressed by popular content. Then develop something unique that strikes a subconscious chord and satisfies a genetically-programmed craving that gets people talking, linking, bookmarking and Digging.

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Is it OK to Steal Someone’s Design?

UPDATE: This issue has been resolved thanks to the quick action of the owner of the sites in question and apologies have been made. I have no interest in creating an enduring public record of this. So I have deleted the details in order to bring this to an end.

The Force That Drives Social Media Traffic

The power, the force, the overwhelming urge that causes people to spread the word about your content comes from the consumers of the content themselves, and not from your copy.

Copy cannot create desire, it can only take the hopes, dreams, fears and desires that already exist in the hearts of a mass of others, and focus those already existing desires onto a particular piece of compelling content you hope to see go viral.

This is the blogger’s task: not to create desire—but to channel and direct it.

The above is an adaptation of the opening paragraph of Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz, which many consider to be the Copywriting Bible. The original text naturally refers to channeling mass desire to a product, and how an advertiser can never create desire; he can only take advantage of desire that’s already there.

When it comes to social media marketing, the same concept holds true for attracting attention and traffic as well. It’s all about the psychology of existing needs and desires, and finding a way to speak to them.

Introducing the New SEO Book Sales Letter

As promised earlier in the week, Aaron Wall of SEO Book is unveiling today the sales letter that I rewrote for him. But first, I wanted to briefly discuss some of the changes and why they were made.

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How to Write Exquisite Subheads

Something terrible is happening to your reader…

You’ve hooked them with your headline, and captivated them with your opening.

But this is a longer piece of writing. You’ve got a lot to say.

Somewhere along the way, an awful transformation has taken place.

You reader has become…

A scanner.

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The Top 10 Blogs for Writers

Michael Stelzner of Writing White Papers recently opened up nominations for the best blogs for writers. I watched to see if anyone would nominate me, and at first wasn’t sure it was going to happen. I (for once) exercised some self-promotional restraint and DID NOT nominate myself. :)

So, I was a little shocked when the results were announced this morning:

  1. Brian Clark’s CopyBlogger: This blog is the leader because it does an amazing job of helping writers improve their writing.
  2. Deborah Ng’s Freelance Writing Jobs: For freelance writers seeking new work, this site is your sole destination.
  3. Tom Chandler’s Copywriter Underground: This site provides regular doses of inspiration and writing tips.
  4. Liz Strauss’s Successful-Blog: This blog has some amazing insights into the craft of writing.
  5. Angela Booth’s Writing Blog: All writers will find something useful at this site.
  6. Kristen King’s InkThinker: This blog is focused on improving the written word.
  7. Anne Wayman’s The Golden Pencil: Wayman provides gold nuggets of information to freelance writers.
  8. Carson Brackney’s Content Done Better: Follow one man’s journey to write better copy and make a living along the way.
  9. Dianna Huff’s B2B Marcom Writer Blog: This is your destination to learn about marketing communications copywriting.
  10. Allison Winn Scotch’s Ask Allison: For writers looking to break into the publishing world, be sure to check this one out.

I’m in some great company on this list, so make sure and check out any of these other great blogs that you’re not already reading.

Thanks very much to Michael for the honor. Now I need to go write something worthy of it! :)

News Flash – People Are Gaming Digg!

It has to be true. I read it on CNET.

It still amazes me that this type of stuff is a surprise to anyone.

Why do people assume that “social” media is some sort of utopia, when “society” clearly isn’t?

Would you write a 1,500-word magazine piece on the following topic?

Man Attempts to Sell Me Stolen Speakers From Back of Van!


But the worse part about this article is its naïve condescension towards marketers.

It’s not the content that matters apparently, it’s the intent.

If you intend to get Dugg, you’re a “dubious Internet marketer.”

Doesn’t matter how much work you put into the content, or how compelling it is.

I wish someone would have told me this earlier.

P.S. Anyone with a background in media knows that this CNET article is the journalistic equivalent of Digg bait. And it worked.