The Art of Being Interesting

image of the most interesting man in the world

“Be interesting.”

It’s good advice, but it’s nothing new. You’ve probably known from the beginning that being able to interest readers is a crucial part of growing a popular blog.

It’s pretty obvious that no one is going to stick around unless they find your blog interesting.

But how are you supposed to do it exactly? How can you “be interesting?”

Far too much of what we write about attention and interest is abstract. We talk about differentiation, value, and triggers — all useful concepts, but you can’t point to them.

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Zen and the Art of Content Marketing

image of zen master

One of the best restaurants in the world lives under the fluorescent lights of a subway tunnel in the underbelly of Tokyo.

Of the hundreds of thousands of eateries across the globe, this one stands apart, not for its size, or its glitz and glamour, but for its Zen austerity and miraculous consistency.

Every day of the year, Chef Jiro Ono arrives at his cramped little 10-seat bar down in the subway to do the one thing he’s dedicated his life to … making the best sushi on the planet.

But his sushi doesn’t come with any bells or whistles, or even any appetizers.

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Why Content Marketing is the New Branding

image of Warhol's Campbell's Soup can

Branding isn’t your company name.

It’s not a tag line. It’s not a logo.

Branding is just another name for creating a perception.

When marketers ask, “How do we want to brand this product?” what they’re really asking is how they want their audience to think about that product once it comes to market.

A brand is a promise. It’s an expectation of an experience.

The company and tag line and logo and brand colors only exist to call that experience to mind.

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The Essentials of Guest-Blogging Strategy for SEO, Traffic, and Audience-Building

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This is the seventh post in the Content Connections series.

You know how we feel about digital sharecropping — we’ve strongly cautioned you about not building your business on rented land.

So why do we also tell you that guest blogging is one of the most effective strategies to build your audience?

Odd though it may seem, it’s because providing smart, well-written content on someone else’s site is a great way to efficiently hit a number of audience-growing strategies at the same time.

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[Case Study] How a Pay-What-You-Want Pricing Model Can Generate More Revenue

image of elizabethan pay-what-you-want audience

You probably know that finding the sweet spot in pricing the offer of your information product can make all the difference between generating substantial revenue and, well, running a promotion that bombs.

I’ve discovered something that adds a little icing to that sweet spot.

It all started when my husband mentioned a Kickstarter campaign for a boardgame where the designer let contributors pay what they wanted, with a minimum of $5, until a certain amount was reached. Then it turned to a pay-what-you-will model for everything over $10, and so on.

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10 Steps to a Secure WordPress Website

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Every day, some scary report about a major site being hacked or a sensitive database being compromised hits the web … and freaks everyone out.

Last week, in preparation for an interview about my work at Copyblogger’s managed WordPress hosting division, I chicken-scratched a top 10 list of tips for keeping your WordPress website(s) secure.

We’ve been discussing WordPress security a lot over at the Synthesis blog, here, here, and most especially here), but these days, you can’t be secure enough, right?

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