No Blog Traffic? Here’s a Simple Strategy to Seduce Readers and Win Clients

image of a coffee cup with an intricate design in the foam and a cookie next to it on the saucer

You sit down at your desk.

You start your computer.

You check Google Analytics and your email provider dashboard. A deep sigh escapes from your soul.

Why is your number of email subscribers still so low?

Why aren’t readers flocking to your blog?

And when will those business inquiries finally arrive?

We all know that blogging is hard work, but what should you do when your efforts don’t seem to pay off?

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The Prepared Writer’s Process for Creating Excellent Content Every Day

a watch and pen on a notepad with a mind map

I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately, I am inspired at 9 o’clock every morning. ~ William Faulkner

Authors often claim that writing a book is like having a baby — both in effort and length of time.

Since I’ve done both myself, I would personally insist that birthing a child is, in fact, more difficult.

There is value in the comparison though.

Even when you write from a place of passion and purpose, you may still have trouble birthing your important ideas consistently.

Babies tend to come into the world when they are ready, but how do you regularly give birth to remarkable content?

You have to command it.

Rather than waiting for inspiration to strike, I take control of the content on my blog.

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Use Images (Not Just Words) to Turn Your Distracted Visitors into Engaged Readers

woman taking iPhone photo

If you have kids — or if you’ve ever been around kids — you’ve heard the sound before.

It’s a noise that’s somewhere between the cry of a lost wolf cub and the wail of a nearby car alarm. It’s one of the most annoying sounds you’ll ever hear.

It’s the ear-piercing cry of a child who has been over-stimulated.

The angelic child becomes a hot mess of whiny, clingy neediness.

If you’re the adult in charge and you manage to keep a cool head, you say something like, “Calm down. I don’t understand what you need. Use your words.”

And sometimes it works. It stops children long enough to engage their brains rather than just their emotions, and they are able to communicate what they need.

As consumers of information online, we’re a little like that over-stimulated child.

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A Sobering Lesson on the Value of Compromising Your Creative Ideas

David, Dannis, and Bobby Hackney -- the brothers who formed the band called Death

Mollie Politzer was 32 years old when she got sick.

She was in the hospital for months, and when her condition eventually worsened to the point of death, her rabbi was called in. The rabbi arrived and proceeded to change her name.

He did this to fool the Angel of Death — so that when the Angel of Death came, he wouldn’t know who she was.

It worked …

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How Successful Writers Curate Ideas

The blank page.

Writer’s block.

Newer writers often claim to fear both of these. We’ve all been conditioned to do so. (I admit: I still do sometimes too.)

But as I’ve studied writers, successful writers, I’ve found that most of them have found ways to overcome the trepidation of the blank page, and most don’t even consider “writer’s block” to be a real thing.

So what is it that separates these writers from you and me?

Two traits, I’ve found:

  1. They have found a way to channel their fear into productivity.
  2. They have a system for recording and recalling ideas.

And make no mistake, number two has a huge impact on number one.

Because if you know that you always have a catalog of great ideas to fall back on for those days when you wake up with nothing fresh in your head, it completely removes that fear of the blank page from the equation.

So how do you do it?

How do you create, maintain, and use that catalog of great ideas?

That is the subject of today’s episode of The Lede.

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Is Metagaming Silently Killing Your Marketing?

image of a surfer on the shore with his surfboard

Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore. ~ André Gide

Setting sail away from the safe harbor of best practices is a fear that we, as marketers, must learn to embrace.

Scary situations arise when you set foot in uncharted territory. In March, our company decided do just that, by “storming the gates” and completely removing our gated opt-in pages.

Resources like our 10,000+ word guide on The Art of Customer Loyalty were completely redone into an open style, with absolutely zero commitment to access.

Reactions were amazing in terms of their thoughtfulness and quality, but somewhat split in terms of evaluating the experiment: No more ebooks for lead gen? That’s like content marketing blasphemy!

Funny enough, Copyblogger recently saw a similar divide crop up when the team decided to test out removing their comments.

A whirlwind of opinions began to flurry around, but I noticed one startling trend: comments were made mostly on the basis of “best practices,” and not on what might be best for Copyblogger.

Online marketing, a field which benefits greatly from rigorous testing and thoughtful looks into a multitude of data, sometimes has to face the double-edged sword of best practices. Though they encourage tested tactics, what works for one may not work for all.

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