Is Native Advertising Ethical? (It Depends On Who You Ask)

image of mountainous wilderness with varying shades of light and shadow

Let’s see.

A dubious six-page insert in the Denver Post appears one Sunday.

You flip through it and see articles like “Reclamation helps balance environment and energy needs” and “Colorado environmental regulations serve as model for rest of the U.S.”

The section is labeled “Advertising Supplement to the Denver Post” and looks, design-wise, somewhat different from the rest of the Post, but clearly intended to look like a Post article.

Yet it isn’t.

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How to Close With Style

This week on The Lede, we take one more big step in our podcast journey through the essential elements of a blog post.

By the way, did you know that this podcast series is based on the most shared Copyblogger post of 2014? It is — and if you haven’t checked out the infographic for yourself and shared it yet, rectify that here.

On this episode we analyze number ten: how to close with style.

And much to my delight, I got to kick off the festivities with a dramatic reading of one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite movies.

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How I Wrote Three Books in Three Years

image of a row of books with human-like bookend

Writing a book can be a long, hard slog.

The “miserable” parts of the experience have been documented over and over again. Or just ask any author on a book deadline — or let the thousand-yard stare speak for itself.

Not all of us can have an entire corporation behind them churning out novels, taking the stress off, after all.

And though authors are unquestionably helpful to each other, they don’t always give the best advice. Think how many times you’ve heard this old trope: Just put your butt in the chair and write. It’s true, but that doesn’t help you right now, does it?

I don’t want to give you advice like that.

I want to show that there is a way to publish prodigiously while baking the marketing into your work.

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Here’s How Lee Odden Writes

image of Lee Odden with Authority Intensive colors and branding

He’s appeared in the pages of the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and the New York Times.

He’s presented in Hong Kong, London, San Francisco, and New York City.

He is a fixture at annual events like Content Marketing World, Social Media Marketing World, and BlogWorld Expo.

His list of keynote addresses is equally impressive:

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Is Native Advertising Even Profitable for Brands?

vintage image of a man looking at bags of gold

Desperate for new revenue streams, publishers are turning to native advertising in droves.

They are handing over valuable real estate on their web properties to brands that are looking for new ways to drive traffic and build awareness.

And they are charging a premium for this space.

Examples of these native ads run from the advertorial to sponsored content to interstitial ads on mobile phone apps. And options are multiplying. As is the money spent.

The question brands must ask (even though there is no simple answer) is: are we getting a positive return on the dollars being spent on native advertising?

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What Net Neutrality Means For Your Business, and Why You Need to Act Now to Protect It

image of street at night with one lane going fast and the other slow

You’ve probably seen a lot of buzz around the web about an impending threat to what’s called “net neutrality.”

Those of you who tend to steer clear of drama or politically-charged hyperbole might have avoided this conversation, because the arguments around this issue tend to be filled with language like “scumbags,” “prostitutes,” and “two-faced, split-tongued, double-talking, backstabbing cowards.”

And those are the polite remarks.

But if you live in the U.S., the threat to net neutrality is something that could negatively affect your business, and there are some things you need to understand.

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The Best of Seth Godin on Copyblogger

Two weeks from now, Seth Godin will be providing one of two keynote speeches at Authority Intensive.

It will be just the latest instance of one of our favorite marketing teachers delivering useful advice and inspiring stories to the Copyblogger audience.

Mr. Godin has imparted his wisdom on how to develop authority. He has shared with us how (and where) he writes.

And he has spent nearly an hour talking shop with Brian Clark and Robert Bruce on past podcast episodes.

Those episodes are the crux of this latest episode of The Lede.

I dug them out of the archives, dusted off the cobwebs, listened … and realized that almost everything the guys discussed with Mr. Godin remains relevant today.

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Here’s How to Save $400 on The World’s Premier Search Marketing Conference

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A lot of things related to search engines and online marketing seem to be dying.

SEO (as a term) is dead. Guest blogging is “done.” The guy who played Newman in Seinfeld is dead.

But do you know what’s not dead? Well, in addition to the guy who played Newman. (Stupid Internet hoaxes.)

SMX.

That’s right, Search Marketing Expo is alive and strong as ever — just look at that upcoming event list. Month after month after month there are new events that span the globe and feature keen insight from search marketing experts and networking opportunities worth, well, Newman’s weight in gold.

The next one in the U.S. is SMX Advanced, which takes place in Seattle, June 10-12.

And if you want to save a total of $400 on the onsite All Access rates, register before Super Early Bird rates expire and use our discount code: smx100copy.

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Which Email Marketing Strategy Should You Choose: Full Meal or Just the Aroma?

image of a pig bowl with pork jelly inside

Let’s say you’re at Alfredo’s.

Alfredo’s is your favorite Italian restaurant and you’ve been yearning all week for this lasagna.

You sit down, chomp a mouthful, then another mouthful. The flavors explode in your mouth. Then Alfredo steps in and takes the plate away before you get the third bite in.

It’s enough to make you choke, right?

You were into the meal, but Alfredo says you have to get up from your table and continue your meal in the next room.

Email newsletters can make you boiling mad like that too, you know …

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The Complete Flake’s Guide To Getting Things Done

image of baby orangutan

So if you clicked through to read this post, I’m going to make a couple of educated guesses about you.

Maybe you’re smart and motivated and passionate. With all kinds of cool things you’d like to get done. But somehow when it comes to doing them, you just . . . don’t.

Maybe you’re great at ideas but lousy at execution. Talk a good game but don’t get the results you want. Spend a lot of time thinking about where you want to go, but not much time actually moving your ass down the road that would take you there.

You, my friend, are a flake. Congratulations.

We are a worldwide force. If we could all get ourselves moving in the same direction, we would change the world. Of course, as you and I know, that will never happen.

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