The Greatest Storytelling Guide This Side of Saturn


Marketers are agog over stories. For good reason …

A story lifts a person out of her ordinary world … and stories take her on a journey that ultimately leads to a vision of herself as a better version of herself.

This is marketing that educates your audience through the storytelling arc.

And one way to think about this process is episodic education. We are taking a page out of the playbook of cable television, motion pictures, commercials, radio, and animation.

But telling a good story is no easy matter. You need to know the elements that make up a great story. Which is why we marketers tend to lean on templates to tell those stories.

And one such template that we marketers are in love with is “The Hero’s Journey.”

But what is The Hero’s Journey? And who created it? And why should we care?

Read More…

This Type of Content Won’t Grow Your Audience


Editor-in-Chief host Stefanie Flaxman explains why a certain type of content is like showing your vacation photos to strangers.

Avoid this common content mistake and discover what to do instead.

Read More…

3 Resources to Help You Get Smart about Your Social Media Content Strategy

Copyblogger Collection - harness the power of social media content

The other night, when I was standing in line for a comedy show, the guy behind me glanced up from staring at his phone and said, “So many people these days are making a living off of social media.”

“Oh? Is that right?” I played dumb, hoping he would elaborate.

Social Media Guy continued to explain the “possibilities” for financial success on Snapchat, Vine, and YouTube.

“Hmmm. Very interesting,” I replied.

Since I was off the clock, I refrained from giving him a lesson about digital sharecropping and how the real beneficiaries of these social media “possibilities” are the companies who build social media platforms and encourage people to create content on them — on platforms content creators don’t own.

I saved that lesson for you. This week’s Copyblogger Collection is a series of three handpicked articles that will show you:

  • How to avoid the trap social media networks want you to fall in
  • How to invest your time on social media in a smart way
  • How to create social proof for your products and services that is independent of any one social media network

As you work your way through the material below, think of the following lessons as a mini social media content strategy course.

Read More…

Email Newsletters vs. Content Notifications: A Head-to-Head Comparison

which one won? newsletters vs notifications

Remember when email newsletters were the latest, greatest thing in online marketing?

Remember when you could add a form to your sidebar that simply said, “Sign up to receive my newsletter” and people would join your list in droves?

Unfortunately, those days are over. In today’s overcrowded online market, getting email subscribers is a lot more complicated than it used to be.

Most people are rabidly protective of their email inboxes, and we’re understandably hesitant to sign up for yet another newsletter we’re not going to have time to read.

What people do want, though, is good content. They want helpful, useful, and entertaining articles, podcast episodes, and videos that will make their lives easier and solve their problems.

As a content marketer, what does that mean for you?

Read More…

3 Things Your Audience Wants You to Know about Useful Content


Publishing useful content is the backbone of any content marketing strategy. But what does it mean to be useful?

Useful content boils down to three things: education, entertainment, and inspiration. And if you can combine all three … you have a winner.

Sometimes, though, you don’t need to entertain. You just need to educate. That’s the case with, say, an irrigation company.

But other times, you need to educate and entertain. That’s exactly what Jon Rimmerman does to move cases and cases of very expensive wine.

These are both winners when it comes to useful content. In essence, useful content respects the audience’s needs and tastes.

Read More…

Shakespeare’s 5 Rules for Making Up Words (to Get Attention)

Shakespeare's best word concoction tips

Advertising. Bloodstained. Cold-blooded. Epileptic. Fashionable. Hobnob. Moonbeam. New-fangled. Puking. Swagger. Worthless. Zany.

Those are just a sample of the many words William Shakespeare invented.

In fact, some say he invented somewhere between 1,700 and 2,200 words — possibly more. It’s no surprise the English language owes a massive debt to Shakespeare.

But Shakespeare doesn’t have a monopoly on inventing words. He wasn’t the first to do it, and he certainly wasn’t the last to create new words.

In fact, every year we introduce new words into the English language. Some fade out quickly, while others become part of the canon. Here are a few Oxford added to their online dictionary in 2015 alone:

  • Awesomesauce
  • Manspreading
  • Onboarding

But why make up words to use in your content marketing? Why not just stick with the ones we’ve got?

Good question. Fortunately, I’ve got an answer.

Read More…