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

smx_adv_seattle (2)

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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How to Win Friends and Influence People (While Sharing Social Content)

image of Dale Carnegie with his wife Dorothy Price Vanderpool.

More than 70 years ago, the American writer and lecturer Dale Carnegie published a transcendent book on people skills entitled “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

To this day, Mr. Carnegie’s many nuggets of wisdom ring largely true, because more than anything else they speak to human nature, which for better or worse seems to change very little over time.

In the modern age of the Internet and social content sharing, we can still look to age-old truths in deciphering a code to grow an audience (win friends) and successfully market online content via social media (influence people).

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The 14 Keys to Writing Advertorials That Sell

still life image of a desk with Mac products, colored pencils, books, etc

Advertorials are native ads with a single purpose: getting specific action from the reader.

This could be donating to a cause, downloading a PDF, subscribing to an email newsletter, visiting a store, or buying a product.

An effective advertorial grips the reader and leads her to the logical conclusion — pointing her, in very specific language, to what to do next. This is the call to action.

Advertorials come in all shapes and sizes.

  • They could be lists or guides
  • They could be videos or print articles
  • They could be one page or six

Regardless of the format or medium, however, most tell a story.

This is why there are so many similarities between the essential ingredients of a blog post and an advertorial.

But there are still some specific things you must know.

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Want Copyblogger to Answer Your Specific Business Question? Here’s Your Chance

image of an old school rotary phone

We see it all the time: questions from people like you who are looking for answers to specific challenges.

Questions like:

  • What are the best business models for a hyperlocal site?
  • Do I have the right “Big Idea” for my business?
  • How can I expect a certain content strategy to affect my SEO?
  • Will my strong political or religious views interfere with my Google authorship business profile?
  • Just how can I make the time to get all this content written, anyway?

These are the long-tail questions that either we haven’t gotten an opportunity to address on the blog yet, or are so specific to your business that the only way we can answer them is during a question and answer call …

Like the one we are doing next Friday, April 25, 2014.

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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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