A quick message today.
I’ve got two compelling reasons why today is the perfect day to join our Authority advanced content marketing training program (before the price goes up tonight).
Reason #1: Brand-new courses are coming this fall
Did you get a minute to take a look at the Copyblogger Authority Plan yet?
You can click the image to the right to download and read it — no opt-in required.
The Copyblogger Authority Plan spells out the new courses we’re creating for members. And they’re going to be super useful and helpful.
These will be self-study, learn-as-you-have-time courses.
You control what you want to focus on mastering
You decide how quickly you want to move through the courses
You choose how you move from one topic to another
The courses will be available this fall, and will be free to current Authority members, so now’s the time to sign up.
They are in addition to the regular benefits of Authority — the library with more than 300 hours of archived information (more on that below), the networking and problem-solving in the member forum, the weekly live sessions, and more.
Reason #2: The price of Authority is about to go up significantly
That price raise I mentioned above? Here’s an explanation:
We’ve been hemming and hawing on raising the price of Authority for years now.
But when we realized that we now have more than 300 hours of video and audio content — not to mention transcripts, worksheets, handouts, and ebooks — we knew we needed to adjust the price
He’d been on the job just two short weeks.
Two weeks at the most prestigious publication in his industry, and he was already on the brink of bringing The Entire Machine to a halt. With a thud, not a screech.
With a Wednesday article deadline looming, on Monday morning he had nothing but the few beads of sweat forming on his brow. Those were something at least, so he didn’t wipe them away.
He procrastinated. He hopped from link to link, half-reading in between his worries … a mere 29 minutes from the conference call where he’d be asked by the top brass about the obviously gaping hole in this week’s schedule. Wednesday. Damn Wednesday.
His number was up. He was about to be found out. Then a headline caught his eye. And he knew it was the inspiration he’d been looking for …
The most indispensable lesson he’d ever learned about persuasion would save the day.
Stories about dying, mothers, and fighting for your ideas.
Stories about snowboarding, subdural hematomas, and the secret of life.
Hell, even made-up stories about CEOs on ether trips shooting social media darlings with elephant tranquilizers.
They persuade in different ways and for different goals. But they persuade. And the storytelling doesn’t even have to be so blatant.
To grab your audience’s attention, you don’t need to use the third person and narrate neurotic work worries you once had. (Though you can, like I did above.) You don’t need to reveal your deepest, darkest secrets.
No, you just
Once upon a time, there used to be a division in how people saw the web.
(Way back in 2009, I wrote a blog post about this, calling the two points of view “the cool kids” and “the internet marketers.”)
That division drew a line between online communication that intended to connect and online communication that intended to persuade.
And that distinction was, of course, completely bogus.
As it happens, Brian Clark, Copyblogger’s founder, was an early heretic trying to show people that there was no difference between connection and persuasion.
Connection and persuasion belong together — because they work better together, and because it’s a natural, normal way to communicate and do business.
But as we all know, people don’t just land on your website, feel an instant sense of connection, then rush to your shopping cart and buy something. Although that would be very cool.
As a content marketer, it’s your job to build relevant paths for people to walk through your site, get a sense of what you do, and — if it’s a good fit — go on to become happy, loyal customers.
Good salespeople have always known that connection matters in commercial relationships.
There’s the creepy kind of salesperson who tries to connect but just comes across as clumsy and predatory. And the great kind of salesperson who actually gives a damn about prospects and long-term relationships.
Here’s the great big secret of selling online:
Internet-savvy prospects don’t have to put up with aggravating sales pitches.
Annoyed online users will
Here at Copyblogger, we don’t espouse the “get rich quick” message that’s so prevalent in online business circles.
If anything, our message has always been:
“Let us show you how to work hard on the right things so you can see results over time.”
Not too sexy, right?
That’s OK. We’re not aiming for a catchy tagline — we’re aiming to get you real results.
We’ve found that when you build your online presence slowly and carefully, you create a long-lasting asset — an audience of people who want to hear from you, who need your help, and who trust you implicitly.
Cultivating lasting attention and trust around a product or service might be less glamorous and more hard work than the “trick-them-onto-an-email-list-and-clobber-them-with-offers” approach.
But that investment in your audience pays off in a long-term business that increases in value over time.
Today, I’m pleased to announce that our flagship program that teaches you how to build your online authority the “Copyblogger way” is open again.
And to celebrate, we’ve rolled back the membership price until next week. Click to join us inside Authority.
Online authority helps you build an audience around your product or service
We teach a flexible framework you can use to build a business based on your online authority.
Framework is an intentional word choice.
Our plan involves a set of actions that work for all kinds of online businesses. And once you know how they work together, you can apply them to your own business today, a new business you might start
You’ve heard the whispers, haven’t you?
“The internet has too much content already. You can’t get anyone’s attention with content marketing anymore.”
I beg to differ.
Sure, the internet is a vast sea of content. And the water level rises every day. But so does the discernment level of the average content consumer (read: all of us).
We’re not satisfied with slapdash information anymore. We won’t waste our time reading if your page looks uninviting. You won’t get our clicks if your headline promises nothing in exchange.
We’re not satisfied with junk content. Our content palates are more sophisticated than they used to be. This may seem like disheartening news. How can you hope to build online authority in such a challenging environment?
But I’m here to tell you that the grim realities of today’s internet give us many reasons to have hope for a bright future.
We’ve been preaching the three “grim realities” below since 2006, and they’re as true today as they were then. Today, in 2016, there has never been a better time to learn content marketing the Copyblogger way.
1. Building online authority takes time
Online authority isn’t built in a day, or a week, or a month. It takes a sustained effort over a long time.
Well, there’s no magic formula. It’s going to depend on your skills, the field you’re entering (and how much competition is there already), how often you publish, your positioning, and a myriad of other factors.
The one thing I can tell
Every business needs content. Not the bland, me-too nonsense that frequently clutters up our inboxes and feeds, but genuinely useful, interesting content.
Content that helps a business stand out amid the clutter and noise. Content that moves prospects closer to a sale. Content that can become a powerful differentiator for your company.
And businesses often have a tough time finding the writers who know how to create that type of content over time.
One of the reasons I think organizations struggle is that they don’t always know what qualities will make for a genuinely productive, profitable hire. And as you might guess, I have a few strong opinions about that.
So, here’s what I think you should look for when you need to hire a content professional to create the marketing that will move your business forward.
A professional content writer has a strong, confident writing voice
A strong, confident writing voice is essential.
Strategy, marketing, and persuasion techniques can be taught (that’s what we’re here for). Voice, on the other hand, develops over time and needs to come from within a creative, intelligent, sensitive human being.
While a solid writing voice can be developed over time (here’s how), your writer won’t ever get there without a lot of passion and commitment. Talent doesn’t hurt, either.
Look for a writer whose work is interesting, funny, smart, perceptive, and convincing. Look for someone whose writing you just like to read.
Some have it and some don’t. Insist on hiring the one who does.
I have a love/hate relationship with a soap company.
About five years ago, I stumbled across their products online. They boasted rare and unique scents and naturally-sourced ingredients. They were irresistible (to me, anyway). And their prices seemed reasonable.
So, I placed an order. And that’s when my troubles began.
I had to share my email address to complete my transaction. You know, to “receive an order confirmation.”
Within days, I found myself receiving marketing email after marketing email. Coupons. Special sales. New soaps. New scents. Free shipping.
I imagined their marketing department high-fiving one other and saying, “We’ve got one on the line. Quick! Reel her in!”
And you know what? The products I received were exceptional. They smelled amazing (I’m a sucker for a unique scent). So, I stuck it out for a while. But not forever.
Because I knew how wrong my experience was. I knew there was a better way to market your business. A kinder, gentler way — one that doesn’t alienate the very people you want to nurture.
Time went on.
I sent dozens of their catalogs to the landfill — a new one came in the mail every few weeks.
Finally, I gave up. After placing a few orders, I contacted the company and asked them to please — for the Love of All that Is Holy — stop sending me catalogs. I clicked the unsubscribe link in one of their many emails and used the form on their site to let them know
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and confused, I don’t blame you.
When using content marketing to build your business, you can work on: email marketing; cornerstone content; landing pages; paid traffic; building an email list; promoting your content on social media; creating opt-in incentives; writing and setting up an autoresponder (or five); offering webinars; using Blab or Periscope; running Facebook ads; offering content bonuses; hosting a podcast; creating content inside membership sites; publishing a book; writing guest posts … the tactics go on and on.
Faced with all these options for building your online presence with content marketing, where will you start?
What will you focus on first, second, and third?
Of course you’d like to have all of the above in place. And maybe someday you will.
But right now? All those tactics look like a mountain you need to climb. You don’t know which path to take to the summit. You don’t even know where to start!
At least, you didn’t know where to start. After reading this article, you will.
I’m going to share my favorite technique for making what seems overwhelming seem doable. I’ll show you how to prioritize those tasks so you can begin checking them off, one by one.
The fog of confusion will lift and you’ll have a crystal-clear view of the target you’re aiming for. Ready?
The answer is … it depends
One of the most-loved offerings inside our Authority advanced content marketing training program are the live Q&A sessions we host
At 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time today, the doors to our advanced content marketing training program, Authority, close again. We won’t reopen them until later this year.
If you’ve considered getting the support, training, and feedback that’s available to you inside this program but you haven’t joined yet, you may have a few questions.
In today’s post, I’m providing quick answers to the most common questions we’ve heard. And I’m happy to answer any follow-up questions you may have: just ask in the comments section at the end of the post.
What will I learn inside Authority?
Officially, Authority is advanced content marketing training.
But it’s much more than that.
Authority is a community of people of all stripes who use content marketing to promote something.
Inside Authority, you’ll find content marketers from every corner of the career world. Professionals like:
Small business owners
In-house content creators
Not to mention bloggers, authors, entrepreneurs, copywriters, designers, developers, and so on.
Members stay up to date with what works now. And they get the support, encouragement, and resources they need to build their businesses with effective content marketing.
How much time do I need to dedicate to Authority every week?
We know you’re busy, so we’ve made our Authority advanced content marketing training extremely flexible.
We offer a weekly live session you can attend while it’s broadcast, or you can catch the replay whenever it’s convenient for you.
Our forum is available 24/7 for you to get answers to your most pressing questions.
Some weeks, you may not check out the
Want to hear something scary? No, not scary like Five Nights at Freddy’s. More like disturbing. Alarming. Even depressing.
I used to write articles about:
How to protect yourself from necrotizing fasciitis
How to escape from an airplane safety slide
How to tell if you’ve been poisoned by sushi
Whether runners could benefit from platelet-rich plasma surgery
How much alcohol you should drink
Why the rate of concussions is higher among women
Now, what makes this admission scary is that I’m not a surgeon. And I’m not a nurse practitioner, physical therapist, or chiropractor.
In fact, I’ve never had any medical training in my life — nor have I ever slid down an airplane safety slide!
Horrified yet? Well, just wait. Because medical advice was not the only thing I used to freely dispense as a web writer.
I used to write articles about child injury law, start-up culture, buying an apartment in New York City, and so on. And I have absolutely no training, experience, or knowledge in any of those areas.
But what’s the big deal, you say? Journalists write about topics they’re not experts in all the time. They simply craft a story from expert sources and authoritative studies. What’s wrong with that?
However, the difference between what I was doing and what a journalist does is that I hardly had time to spell-check, let alone hunt down actual experts, studies, or statistics. Who would when you need to crank out 5 to 10 of these 500-word articles each week?
Sadly, the only knowledge I