Lessons Learned from Conducting Two Monster Audience Surveys

The Lede Podcast logo

You may be creating content in a niche with 1,000 other sites, but only you have your audience. And surveying your audience can be fertile ground for the kind of information and insight that builds your next transformative content series.

Just ask Demian Farnworth. He did it twice for Copyblogger in 2014 — and the results of his second survey will be posted here tomorrow.

We talked about his mentality in conducting these two surveys, his process, and the lessons he learned in the latest episode of The Lede.

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Rainmaker.FM Behind the Scenes: 2014 in Review and the Road Ahead

2014 was a pivotal year for Copyblogger Media. We:

  • Launched a Pilot program for our Rainmaker Platform using a podcast
  • Evolved the platform to version 2.0 during the Pilot phase
  • Arrived at the 8-figure level for annual revenue, up 34%

For an added twist, we tried things, observed, learned, and made changes on the fly throughout the year – from content, to format, to development. Which, let’s be frank, may have made us look like we didn’t know what we were doing.

Welcome to the real world. When you play in real time with a real audience, you figure out everything you need to know. But you can’t be afraid to adapt based on what they tell you just because it differs from “the plan.”

In this 32-minute episode Robert Bruce and I discuss:

  • Why 2014 was such a strange year around here
  • The big project we’re working on for 2015
  • The biggest Rainmaker.FM episode of 2014
  • I (finally) reveal my new curation project
  • The future of the Rainmaker Platform
  • The content trend you need to focus on in 2015

Listen to Rainmaker.FM Episode No. 23

Image by Bjorn Simon

How to Conduct a Content Audit for Quality and Audience Experience

red, white, and blue candy that says yay audits and audits rock

However you may feel about New Year’s resolutions, January just seems to bring on the desire for fresh starts.

This month, the Copyblogger editorial team is tackling something we’ve had our eye on for awhile — a content audit.

Now I don’t know about you, but that word audit doesn’t really inspire me. In fact, the feeling it engenders is something more like phobia, or at least dread.

(If you have a friendlier term than audit, come swing by LinkedIn and make your suggestion — I’m all ears. Maybe a content makeover. Or a content cleanse. Hm, definitely needs work.)

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Sponsor Authority Rainmaker and Let Us Help You Build Your Business in 2015

Authority Rainmaker 2015 -- May 13-15 in Denver, Colorado

You’ve seen a few messages here over the past few weeks describing Authority Rainmaker, specifically the myriad benefits it will deliver to attendees.

Today we have one more quick note for you about Authority Rainmaker … but this note isn’t aimed at potential attendees (more for them here).

Instead, today’s note is aimed at potential sponsors. That’s because an Authority Rainmaker sponsorship allows us to help you build your business.

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16 Stats That Explain Why Adaptive Content Matters Right Now

folded measuring tape

Big data. Content. Growth hacking. Pivot. Engagement. A few words and phrases that make us want to stick a fork in our eye each time we hear them. Or stick a fork in the eye of the person using the words.

We all hate buzzwords, but it’s hard to get away from them. A phrase sticks and soon a parade that rivals Macy’s is trailing behind it. That popularity begets even more popularity, and, well after the phrase has worn out its original meaning, everyone is using the damn word.

Thing is: behind each buzzword is a meaningful truth. And quite possibly, a trend worth joining. For instance, anyone who jumped on the big data or content bandwagon did not miss out. In fact, they were rewarded.

And I’m going to make a similar statement about the buzzword for 2015: adaptive content. Pay attention.

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My Challenge to You for 2015: Only Connect

Image of four young Tibetan monks

Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer. ~ E.M. Forster, Howards End

The thing, I think, that keeps people from building successful businesses, especially online, is that business seems complicated.

And it is, in the sense of having a lot of moving parts. (Which, of course, is why we work so hard to build tools that make the technical part easy.)

Like anything worth doing — raising a family, building a house, growing a garden — there are a lot of small things you need to figure out how to do correctly.

But arching over all of these is the Big Thing — and if you get it right, the details will tend to work themselves out.

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The Best of Copyblogger: 2014 Edition

Copyblogger team at conclusion of Authority Intensive

It’s that time of year again …

The time of year when we wind down one year in anticipation of the next by taking a final look back at the best of the best content published here at Copyblogger during the last calendar year. It’s become an annual tradition.

But first, I want to highlight the best Copyblogger moment from 2014.

And it’s an easy one to pinpoint.

It’s the moment when our entire team received an ovation at the conclusion of Authority Intensive in May (see image above, taken by Godhammer).

I’ve never been prouder to be a member of the Copyblogger team, and I can’t wait to have an even better experience in May 2015 at Authority Rainmaker.

I hope you’ll join us.

And now, without further ado, here are the best posts published on Copyblogger in 2014, as chosen by our staff and by you (based on your visits and shares).

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Here’s How Daniel Pink Writes

Authority Rainmaker 2015 speaker Daniel Pink

[Editor’s note: this post was originally published on February 20, 2013. We’re running it again because Dan Pink is one of our keynote speakers for Authority Rainmaker in May, 2015.]

It seems only fitting that bestselling author and journalist Daniel Pink returns to Copyblogger to reveal his secrets for getting words onto the page.

Brian Clark picked the brain of this influential thinker six years ago in a conversation that became Copyblogger’s first author interview. Brian also appeared in Dan’s first book, Free Agent Nation.

Mr. Pink is an exceptional teacher who delivers keen insight for passionate, innovative, and hungry writers and entrepreneurs alike.

Naturally, we’re thrilled he’s a keynote speaker — along with Sally Hogshead and Henry Rollins — at Authority Rainmaker in Denver, Colorado May 13–15, 2015.

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How to Face Unafraid the Plans That You’ve Made

image of footsteps in fresh snow

Later on, we’ll conspire,
As we dream by the fire
To face unafraid,
The plans that we’ve made,

Walking in a winter wonderland.

Have you caught yourself at any time over the past few days and weeks daydreaming about what you plan to do in 2015?

Maybe you have a new website idea you want to launch, or an old idea you want to complete. Maybe you want to double your number of clients. Maybe you have a new plan for positive personal habits you want to implement.

So you look to the new year.

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3 Subtle Content Techniques That Make Your Offer Addictive

guinea pig eating a piece of red chicory

Leading up to my wedding, I indulged in one of the most lavish things.

No, I didn’t order doves to be released after the ceremony or commission an intricate ice sculpture.

I hypnotically worked my way through half a tube of $45 lip gloss in just two weeks.

How did it happen?

Simple, subtle, persuasive content.

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