The Anatomy of a Hyperlink That Woos Readers

Links are hugely important for the web.
In a macro, 30,000-foot way, links are the currency that help search engines evaluate the essence and quality of content. They help search engines determine the authority behind a web page.
On a micro level, though, from the reader’s perspective, links also serve as one more of these landmarks that stand out for the reader as she surveys her media landscape.
And when you have mere minutes to woo a potential reader, you do whatever you can to make your page stand out.
In this roughly 10-minute episode of Rough Draft with Demian Farnworth, you’ll discover:

The five acceptable ways you can create a link
What makes links so damn attractive to online readers
Why long links achieved the highest success in getting people to the information they were seeking
How to get a reader’s attention with the magic number of words in a link
The one page you should never send a reader via a link

Click Here to Listen toRough Draft on iTunes
Click Here to Listen on Rainmaker.FM
About the authorRainmaker.FMRainmaker.FM is the premier digital marketing and sales podcast network. Get on-demand business advice from experts, whenever and wherever you want it.

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The Hipster’s Dilemma

Join host Robert Bruce for the second episode of Allegorical …
A simple story about one of the greatest hipsters who ever lived … and the reality behind the facade of his particular brand of cool.
Listen to Allegorical No. 2 …
Click Here to Listen toAllegorical on iTunes
Click Here to Listen on Rainmaker.FM
About the authorRainmaker.FMRainmaker.FM is the premier digital marketing and sales podcast network. Get on-demand business advice from experts, whenever and wherever you want it.

The post The Hipster’s Dilemma appeared first on Copyblogger.

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The Old Man and The Pen

Join host Robert Bruce for the first episode of Allegorical …
A simple story about a writer, the writing life, and how he ignored the one thing about his craft that would give him everything he truly wanted.
Listen to Allegorical No. 1 …
Click Here to Listen toAllegorical on iTunes
Click Here to Listen on Rainmaker.FM
About the authorRainmaker.FMRainmaker.FM is the premier digital marketing and sales podcast network. Get on-demand business advice from experts, whenever and wherever you want it.

The post The Old Man and The Pen appeared first on Copyblogger.

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The Savvy Marketer’s Checklist for Seductive Landing Pages

Ever wonder what you could do to stop people from bouncing off your landing pages?
You work hard to polish your sales copy. You’ve even recorded a snazzy demonstration video.
But when you check your site’s analytics? You feel soooo frustrated.
And the worst thing is … you don’t know what else you can do. How can you improve your conversion rates?

Use the 40 tips in our landing page checklist to see where you’ve gone wrong.
Or, use the checklist to create a landing page from scratch. See your email list grow faster, your webinars sell out, and your product sales go through the roof.
You can download and save our editable PDF of this checklist (98 KB) and use it whenever you want to improve your landing pages.
Ready to learn about seductive landing pages?
Let’s start at the beginning.
Achieve your goal with focus
When working on your landing page, it’s easy to get lost in details. Green or red call-to-action buttons? This or that word?
But you can’t write persuasive copy if you don’t get the basics right first.
First, define your goals:

Who: Understand who you target with your offer — if you target more than one buyer persona, you probably need more than one landing page.
What: State the precise value you offer your web visitors — even if your offer is free.
Why: List the reasons why readers want to accept your offer — what’s in it for them?
Why not: Understand what’s holding people

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Scott Stratten Versus Ryan Deiss at Authority Rainmaker: Who’ll Be Left Standing?

It’s an epic philosophical battle over how to best sell online. And we’re doing it up on stage at Authority Rainmaker, May 13-15 in beautiful Denver, Colorado.
In one corner, we’ve got customer experience advocate Scott Stratten. Scott believes that an amazing customer experience that prompts repeat purchases and evangelical word-of-mouth is the way to sell products and services and grow your business.
Scott now has more than 175,000 people following his daily rantings on Twitter, and was named one of the top 5 social media influencers in the world on Forbes.com. He’s also the author of four best-selling books, including the recent UnSelling: The New Customer Experience, which was just named “Sales Book of the Year” by 1-800 CEOREAD. It’s all about positioning yourself as a trusted expert in front of your target market, so when they have the need, they choose you.
You’ve heard this from us, right?
In the opposite corner, we’ve got Ryan Deiss, who is also a proponent of using a media strategy to grow audiences and create trust and authority. Ryan, however, is also a massive proponent and practitioner of testing and conversion optimization.
Ryan is the co-founder Idea Incubator LP and CEO of DigitalMarketer.com. Over the last 36 months Ryan and his team have:

Invested over $15,000,000 on marketing tests
Generated tens of millions of unique visitors
Sent well over a BILLION permission-based emails, and
Run approximately 3,000 split and multi-variant tests

Pretty impressive, yeah?
And right in the middle, literally and figuratively, is me. I’ll be

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Here’s How to Answer the Most Important Question in Life (and Make a Living from It)

Why bother?
Each and every morning you and I both wake up and ask ourselves that question. Some mornings we don’t even think about the question, but answer it deliberately by jumping out of bed and bolting for the office.
In these cases, we bother because we care deeply about what we do. We feel like we matter. Then there are the other mornings …
Mornings where you roll over and eye the clock. The alarm will sound within minutes, but you have no desire to get out of bed. It has been a long week — and it’s only Tuesday.
On these days — which may turn into months or even years — you hate what you do and feel like you don’t matter. That’s a terrible feeling, and you need someone to come along and tell you it doesn’t have to be that way.
Fortunately, there is someone.
And that person is Bernadette Jiwa, a branding consultant based in Perth, Australia. She’s an Amazon bestselling author and just a plain, old-fashioned storyteller — who is, by the way, speaking at Authority Rainmaker this May in Denver, Colorado.
A few weeks ago, I got the opportunity to talk to her — about her books, her blog, and her unique approach to branding. And ultimately, about how a business can satisfy customers by answering that terribly important question about life.
In this 42-minute interview you’ll discover:

Bernadette’s insightful response when I confessed why Copyblogger’s editorial department has a crush on her name.
What it

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Sally Hogshead on How You Can Unlock Your Natural Ability to Fascinate

You have a natural ability to fascinate others that you may or may not be taking full advantage of.
And getting in touch with this “fascination advantage” can pay big dividends, both in business and in your personal relationships.
Sally Hogshead is a copywriter-turned-Catalyst who teaches you how to tap into your natural ability to fascinate by giving you a better understanding of how the world sees you at your best.
Those of you who are going to Authority Rainmaker this May will get to experience Sally’s passion, energy, and innovative ideas live and in person. She is one of the keynote speakers.
And in today’s episode of The Lede, we bring you a little taste of what that will be like. (Plus a special offer to take Sally’s Fascination Advantage for free so that you can find out what your archetype is.)

In this episode, Sally Hogshead and I discuss:

How Sally went from copywriter to Catalyst.
The critical difference between being merely interesting and being fascinating.
The archenemies: distraction, competition, and commoditization (and why they damage your marketing).
What the results of the Fascination Advantage assessment really tell us about ourselves.
The importance of having an Anthem and how you construct one.
How Sally applies her own ideas at home, as a parent.

Oh, and I hope you like the new music.
Listen to The Lede …
To listen, you can either hit the flash audio player below, or browse the links to find your preferred format …

Click here to download the mp3 |

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The New Authenticity and Authority: What it Looks Like, How to Use It

Jon Stewart’s retirement from The Daily Show this week, accompanied by many tears and some cheers, is getting a lot of coverage around the web.
First, because the show is insanely popular.
But more than that, because the show demonstrates a real shift in what authority and authenticity look like in the 21st century.
In 2007, Stewart came in fourth in a poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press as an admired journalist. (He tied, interestingly enough, with Brian Williams.)
The Daily Show is a very different creature from the news parodies that came before it. Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update might make you laugh (some years), but no sane person relies on it for an analysis of what actually matters in the news. By contrast, in 2008, The New York Times asked if Jon Stewart might not be The Most Trusted Man in America.
You may not like Jon Stewart, which is fine by me. Because whether or not you care for his view of the world, he has a lot to teach you about how to present yourself to your audience.
Authenticity and authority: 21st century style
One anchor. Five correspondents. Zero credibility. ~ an early Daily Show tag line
Jon Stewart is a writer and standup comedian, and never made any pretense of being a credible source for the news. His primary purpose was to entertain and engage. He didn’t start The Daily Show, but it did seem to pick up some

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Split-Testing 101: How to Know Which Words Work

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. ~ Mark Twain
That Twain guy was pretty smart. But he had to rely on the intuition that comes from years of writing to choose the right word, and even then it was still a guess. Poor guy.
Nowadays, we’ve got technology that allows us to easily know what the right word, phrase, or headline is, at least when it comes to getting people to take the action you want. But all the tech in the world won’t help you if you don’t know what to test, or test incorrectly.
To make sure that doesn’t happen to you, I invited Joanna Wiebe of Copyhackers to give us free consulting share her wisdom at the intersection of creative copy and no-nonsense testing.
In this 35-minute episode Joanna and I discuss:

Her approach to email opt-in button copy
What every real copywriter should focus on
The starting point for building any “new” audience
Why what you want to write doesn’t matter
The number of conversions you need to make a good call
The type of language you should split-test
How to know what site areas to test in the first place
The recurring theme of conversion testing that works

Click Here to Listen to Rainmaker.FM Episode No. 27
Or, grab it in iTunes.
About the authorBrian ClarkBrian Clark is founder and CEO of Copyblogger, host of Rainmaker.FM, and evangelist for the Rainmaker Platform. Get more from Brian on Twitter.

The post

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7 Steps That Will Hook Readers On Your Content through the Magnetic Force of Fascination

Throughout your journey to overcome online obscurity, you produce a lot of content.
Content marketing is about making a connection with your audience and building relationships. Since you invest time and effort into your writing, you want to see tangible results.
But what if your posts aren’t getting the engagement you need to take your digital media platform to the next level? How do you create content that deepens your connection with your audience?
The answer may lie in the specific reason why we absorb certain information, while overlooking other content.
Emotions trump intellect when we make decisions
Emotions almost completely dominate our decisions and experiences. For instance, when we run into trouble or experience a strong emotion like fear, we tend to obsess over it. We can become irrational.
Suddenly, our fear overshadows and prevents logical thought processes. When the problem is relieved, we’re free from the constraints of our emotions. We’re more open, agreeable, and compliant. We’re able to think rationally again.
Everything starts with emotion. Memories affect our thoughts and opinions; feelings affect our moods and behaviors. The human limbic system is the gatekeeper for all higher thought processing and evaluation.
In order to build relationships with your audience, you have to first connect with readers on an emotional level.
Because when emotion is missing, we’re not really engaged.
If readers aren’t interested and engaged, they’re unlikely to keep reading. And even if they do read your content, they’re less likely to digest it; it’s less likely to make

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