5 Tips for Turning Drab Information Into a Tantalizing Tutorial

Reading Man Detail, George F. Fishman's 1991 Mosaic Faces Of Flower Avenue (Silver Spring, MD)

Sigh.

Ever read a tutorial that was sooooo boring your mind kept wandering off?

Or perhaps you even fell asleep?

Tutorials can be mind-numbingly dull.

But why?

Why are many how-to articles so monotonous and drab?

With a little effort and a few simple tricks, even the most boring topic can be turned into an inspirational tutorial.

When you share your expertise in an enchanting way, your authority rises quickly. People will love sharing your content. And they’ll be knocking on your door to learn from you.

Sound good?

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Is Native Advertising Ethical? (It Depends On Who You Ask)

image of mountainous wilderness with varying shades of light and shadow

Let’s see.

A dubious six-page insert in the Denver Post appears one Sunday.

You flip through it and see articles like “Reclamation helps balance environment and energy needs” and “Colorado environmental regulations serve as model for rest of the U.S.”

The section is labeled “Advertising Supplement to the Denver Post” and looks, design-wise, somewhat different from the rest of the Post, but clearly intended to look like a Post article.

Yet it isn’t.

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How to Close With Style

This week on The Lede, we take one more big step in our podcast journey through the essential elements of a blog post.

By the way, did you know that this podcast series is based on the most shared Copyblogger post of 2014? It is — and if you haven’t checked out the infographic for yourself and shared it yet, rectify that here.

On this episode we analyze number ten: how to close with style.

And much to my delight, I got to kick off the festivities with a dramatic reading of one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite movies.

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How I Wrote Three Books in Three Years

image of a row of books with human-like bookend

Writing a book can be a long, hard slog.

The “miserable” parts of the experience have been documented over and over again. Or just ask any author on a book deadline — or let the thousand-yard stare speak for itself.

Not all of us can have an entire corporation behind them churning out novels, taking the stress off, after all.

And though authors are unquestionably helpful to each other, they don’t always give the best advice. Think how many times you’ve heard this old trope: Just put your butt in the chair and write. It’s true, but that doesn’t help you right now, does it?

I don’t want to give you advice like that.

I want to show that there is a way to publish prodigiously while baking the marketing into your work.

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Here’s How Lee Odden Writes

image of Lee Odden with Authority Intensive colors and branding

He’s appeared in the pages of the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and the New York Times.

He’s presented in Hong Kong, London, San Francisco, and New York City.

He is a fixture at annual events like Content Marketing World, Social Media Marketing World, and BlogWorld Expo.

His list of keynote addresses is equally impressive:

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Is Native Advertising Even Profitable for Brands?

vintage image of a man looking at bags of gold

Desperate for new revenue streams, publishers are turning to native advertising in droves.

They are handing over valuable real estate on their web properties to brands that are looking for new ways to drive traffic and build awareness.

And they are charging a premium for this space.

Examples of these native ads run from the advertorial to sponsored content to interstitial ads on mobile phone apps. And options are multiplying. As is the money spent.

The question brands must ask (even though there is no simple answer) is: are we getting a positive return on the dollars being spent on native advertising?

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