How to Choose Arresting Images for Your Blog Posts (And Why You Should)

You’ve read the headline. You’re intrigued.

“But,” you might be thinking, “Why didn’t you choose a different, more arresting image for this post?”

Good question.

First, because The Lede is a regular post series, and the graphic that Rafal created for us is a clear visual cue to our audience that a new episode has been posted.

Second, because we are posting this episode a day early, meaning that the visual cue is extra important to let people know a new little audio gift is unexpectedly waiting to be unwrapped.

But, if we didn’t already have an arresting post image logo to use for The Lede, we would have had to choose something else … something that would have seized attention, created an emotional response, and compelled a click.

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The Simple Truth People Forget When Trying to Grow a Business

first person view image of gun aiming at small target off in distance

You want to grow your business, right?

You want downloads of your app, people buying your products, readers on your blog, and evangelists on social media, don’t you?

Fair enough, that’s what we all want.

But you’re missing something essential.

People won’t ever know you, hear from you, understand you, follow you, or engage with you because of one simple flaw.

Your target isn’t small enough.

Seems counter-intuitive doesn’t it? It isn’t.

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Are You Really a Writer … Or Just a Copyist?

Image of person sitting against wall with sign that says Will write for food

There is a terminology problem plaguing the content community.

It’s confusing marketers, it’s misleading clients, and it’s causing an identity crisis among content creators everywhere.

It seems that no one really knows what it means to be a writer.

And Merriam-Webster isn’t much help when it comes to defining this person. A “writer is someone whose work it is to write books, poems, stories, etc.” Or even more vague, a writer is “someone who has written something.”

And as Sonia Simone recently pointed out here at Copyblogger, there are even some people who think RealWriter is a software that uses algorithms to string together words. (You can’t blame Sonia when options like content generators and article spinning tools actually exist.)

This vague definition and the disparate views on what it takes to be a writer are allowing people to create their own idea of a writer and slap all kinds of connotations on it.

And this is really distorting the writing industry.

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12 Examples of Native Ads (And Why They Work)

Guinness Guide to Cheese advertorial

Despite all the hype, native advertising remains a fuzzy concept for most marketers.

According to our 2014 status report:

  • 49 percent of respondents don’t know what native advertising is
  • 24 percent are hardly familiar with it
  • Another 24 percent are somewhat familiar
  • Only 3 percent are very knowledgeable

So, given the lack of awareness (and people mistaking it for other things, like sponsorship), we thought it would be a good idea to walk you through about a dozen examples of native advertising — and why they work.

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Removing Blog Comments: The View So Far

Shockwaves.

That’s what this post by Sonia Simone sent through the Copyblogger community.

The post, you’ll recall, announced our decision to remove blog comments and gave the reasoning for why we decided to do so — reasoning that some accepted at face value, others parsed for hidden meaning, and the rest ignored before ZOMG’ing to their social account of choice to share the headline.

Agree or disagree, trust or question, the one constant was that everyone had a reaction.

Now almost three weeks later, it’s time for us to react to the reaction.

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Agile Content Marketing: How to Attract an Audience That Builds Your Business

Image of Hemingway Editing a Draft

It’s the question I get more than any other, and it’s one of the most important questions you’ll answer in marketing your business:

How do I create a content marketing strategy that actually works?

That will take several thousand words to answer, and then you’ll have to create your own strategy. Yep, ultimately it’s up to you.

The first step is to get your head right.

In other words, you need to begin with the correct perspective to succeed with online content as a marketing tool.

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Why Parallax Design Doesn’t Have to Tank Your SEO

image of Parallax Pro for Genesis screenshot

Can parallax design be bad for a website’s SEO?

Absolutely.

Hence the chatter.

But this shouldn’t deter you from considering parallax effects for your site, because any design style can be bad for SEO if it causes a site to load slowly or reduces it to a single URL.

But those are issues of execution and architecture, not blights on the parallax style of design itself.

Parallax effects on websites are hypnotic. That’s why you are seeing parallax effects pop up all over the web.

And parallax can actually help, not hurt, your SEO.

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5 Ways to Build Long-Lasting Authority

Authority Intensive Post Image of John Jantsch

Authority is where it’s at these days.

Of course, as a Copyblogger reader you know that already.

Google values authority so much that it’s trying to build an authority measurement into its algorithm.

Authority has simply become the way to stand out and get ahead.

  • Business owners need to create authority around their business ideas.
  • Marketers need to create authority around the brands they represent.
  • Sales professionals need to create a kind of personal authority that turns them from unwanted pest to welcomed guest.

A great deal of the information put out on the topic of authority building centers on ways to create authoritative content, places to amplify that content, and even on the various plugins, SEO tactics, and networks one must use in order to build authority.

While much of that advice is relevant and essential, it often overlooks how the kind of authority that lasts is actually developed.

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Copyblogger’s 2014 State of Native Advertising Report

blog post title image for Copyblogger's 2014 State of Native Advertising Report

Native advertising is paid content that matches a publication’s editorial standards while meeting the audience’s expectations.

Think Captain Morgan’s campaign on BuzzFeed in general, their 15 Things You Didn’t Know About 15 Captains, Commanders And Conquerors article in particular.

First off, the theme of the article matches the brand’s values: Captain Morgan was a real live pirate who thrived on adventure and raw conquest — a theme not too foreign to BuzzFeed readers.

Moreover, the article matches the editorial standards of BuzzFeed: a list with big images and short, quirky copy — a format their audience expects.

Three important points need to be noted here:

  • The content is clearly labeled “BuzzFeed Partner.”
  • Nothing is being sold. The call to action is to visit the Captain Morgan YouTube page.
  • The Captain Morgan BuzzFeed author page is branded.

This is classic sponsored or branded content. Now let’s look at another example of native advertising, this time a historical one.

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How to Use Internal Cliffhangers

Microseduction.

I consider an episode of The Lede wildly successful when we create a new word. In this episode of The Lede about using internal cliffhangers, Demian Farnworth does just that.

Here it is:

mi·cro·se·duc·tion

noun

  1. a slow, patient process for creating a emotional tie in an audience member to a piece of media
  2. The “dribbling of bread crumbs so the bunny rabbit follows you back to your house.”

synonym: internal cliffhanger

But how do you use that word in a sentence? And how will it help you write copy that your audience finds irresistible?

Listen and find out.

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