Why Sex Doesn’t Sell

image of shadow of high heeled shoes

In his essay It’s Necessary for the Scene, American Playwright David Mamet explains why no play or movie he writes or directs include explicit sex scenes.

Mamet is no prude. He cut his teeth in the theatre, working in and around that last great institution of vagabonds and players, excess and fornication.

No, what he’s getting at here is something more important than a hopeless moral stance.

“When we see the scene of simulated sex we can think only one of two things: 1) Lord, they’re really having sex; or 2) No, I can tell, they aren’t really. Either of the above responses takes us right out of the film.”

Read More…

A Smart 8-Point Content Marketing Strategy From a Failed Television Writer

image of dan harmon

In network television a writer literally runs the show. They are appropriately named “showrunners” because they both write and oversee production.

Dan Harmon was the showrunner for a critically acclaimed comedy TV series named Community that found a rabid online following, but never hit ratings.

Throughout the 71 episodes that he wrote and created for NBC, Harmon blogged extensively and nurtured a growing legion of Twitter followers, now totaling upwards of 150,000.

Read More…

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.

Read More…

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.

Read More…

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.

Read More…

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

image of meshing gears

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.

Read More…