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Here at Copyblogger Media, it’s safe to say that we’ve been in your shoes. As freelancers, consultants, content publishers, and small business owners …

It’s in our DNA.

Our founder, Brian Clark, was a recovering attorney in the mid 90s when he discovered the Internet and just knew he could make a living from it.

In less than a decade, he went on to build several businesses before he grew Copyblogger Media into a $10 million a year company — started, mind you, from nothing more than a blog that published two articles a week.

And just about every other employee here has either ran a business or freelanced online. People like Sonia Simone, Brian Gardner, Chris Garrett, Jerod Morris, Robert Bruce, Lauren Mancke, Rafal Tomal, Stefanie Flaxman … and the list goes on and on.

Fact is, probably none of us would have made it without the Internet. It’s the perfect medium for growing an audience (especially for the introverts among us).

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How We Built Our Careers Online (And What You Can Learn From It)

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The two biggest concerns for the average blogger are obscurity and sustainability.

In other words … for the vast majority of us who set sail creating content online, we want to first develop an audience; and then, once we have an audience, we want to find a way to earn a living from our content.

The first concern can feel daunting enough, because building an audience isn’t easy.

The second concern can feel damn near impossible — because despite countless examples of people who have done it, sometimes we struggle to see ourselves succeeding in the same way.

Which is silly.

So long as you’re willing to take pride in working hard and have a humble heart and mind when it comes to learning from the people who have already done it, you can achieve sustained success online.

In this episode of The Lede, Demian Farnworth and I share some of our personal stories of success and failure online, in the hopes of inspiring you and educating you (but mostly inspiring you).

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What You Need to Know to Make a Living as a Blogger Right Now

Hollywood sign with Marcus Cooley quote

The average blogger only has two concerns.

The first is obscurity. She is a total stranger in a vast world loaded with people — unknown, inconspicuous, and insignificant. Odd, considering there are so many people online.

But it’s a simple law: We all start at the bottom.

One recent study discovered that the average British blogger had only 285 subscribers, received 18 comments a day, and earned about $120 a month.

That’s the reward for someone who’d been blogging for two years and eight months. Yes, those surveyed also worked full-time jobs.

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Interview with Brian Clark: How Customer Experience Maps Help You Develop a Smarter Content Strategy

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Well isn’t this a pleasant surprise.

After we published the third installment of our three-part series on content strategy, Brian Clark informed me that he had the perfect follow-up topic for the next episode.

Sure, Mr. Clark, I think we can make room for you in the schedule. ;-)

Consider this a bonus fourth episode in the content strategy series — and it goes next-level.

Empathy is essential because it allows you to feel what your audience members feel, but what if you could get inside their hearts and walk a few steps in their shoes as well?

You can. Here’s how …

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The 5-Step Process for Writing an About Page that Connects (and Converts)

wasp eating nectar from yellow flower

Although it seems like a natural place on your website to talk about yourself, a strong About page is really about empathy for your visitors.

When you write an effective About page, you dig into your readers’ minds and then communicate that you have what they need or want.

And you can’t afford to follow the herd. Just think about how many times you’ve clicked away from a website that included just a little too much “Me! Me! Me!”

You don’t want to be that person at the cocktail party who brags so incessantly that other party guests plan different routes to the restroom to avoid you. But you also don’t want to bore new visitors.

How do you strike the right balance?

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How Empathy Maps Help You Speak Directly to the Hearts of Your Audience

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As we enter the conclusion of our three-part series on content strategy, you should already know what your audience believes about the world and have a narrative mapped out that will allow you to confirm your audience’s worldviews.

Now it’s time to explain the final piece of the content strategy puzzle. This piece creates an emotional connection between you and your audience. It’s a component that makes your audience think: “Hey, they get me. They understand me. They know what I’m thinking and feeling.”

I’m talking, of course, about empathy — the ability to identify with and vicariously experience the thoughts, feelings, and attitudes of someone else.

But how do you incorporate that ability into your marketing? And why does this process help create a memorable brand?

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