Chase Customers, Not Clicks

You want to be a broke-ass blogger, don’t you?

No!

Good gracious, of course you don’t. (At least I hope not.)

But if the first metric you look at is page views, not sales — i.e. clicks, not customers — then you’re well on your way to broke-ass bloggerdom.

What’s sad is that a lot of of online business owners do pay more attention to vanity stats than fundamental business metrics. So if you can shift your mindset, you’ll be ahead of the curve.

Fortunately, Tom Martin is here on this week’s episode of The Lede with straight talk that every online business owner will benefit from hearing, understanding, and acting on.

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How to Be Authentic

Do people really want the real you? All of it?

The answer will, of course, depend on the audience and the forum.

If you are writing a blog about drug addiction, telling your most horrifying stories is a prerequisite. Your audience will expect it.

If, on the other hand, you are writing a blog to support your tax preparation business, you probably want to keep most of your tales of woe out of it — no matter how “real” they may be.

Being “authentic” means being genuine. It means having an honest conversation with your audience. Within reason.

So how do you know what is too much you, how much is not enough, and where the sweet spot is?

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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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The Best of Seth Godin on Copyblogger

Two weeks from now, Seth Godin will be providing one of two keynote speeches at Authority Intensive.

It will be just the latest instance of one of our favorite marketing teachers delivering useful advice and inspiring stories to the Copyblogger audience.

Mr. Godin has imparted his wisdom on how to develop authority. He has shared with us how (and where) he writes.

And he has spent nearly an hour talking shop with Brian Clark and Robert Bruce on past podcast episodes.

Those episodes are the crux of this latest episode of The Lede.

I dug them out of the archives, dusted off the cobwebs, listened … and realized that almost everything the guys discussed with Mr. Godin remains relevant today.

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How to Choose Arresting Images for Your Blog Posts (And Why You Should)

You’ve read the headline. You’re intrigued.

“But,” you might be thinking, “Why didn’t you choose a different, more arresting image for this post?”

Good question.

First, because The Lede is a regular post series, and the graphic that Rafal created for us is a clear visual cue to our audience that a new episode has been posted.

Second, because we are posting this episode a day early, meaning that the visual cue is extra important to let people know a new little audio gift is unexpectedly waiting to be unwrapped.

But, if we didn’t already have an arresting post image logo to use for The Lede, we would have had to choose something else … something that would have seized attention, created an emotional response, and compelled a click.

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Removing Blog Comments: The View So Far

Shockwaves.

That’s what this post by Sonia Simone sent through the Copyblogger community.

The post, you’ll recall, announced our decision to remove blog comments and gave the reasoning for why we decided to do so — reasoning that some accepted at face value, others parsed for hidden meaning, and the rest ignored before ZOMG’ing to their social account of choice to share the headline.

Agree or disagree, trust or question, the one constant was that everyone had a reaction.

Now almost three weeks later, it’s time for us to react to the reaction.

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