Blogging & Writing

  • If you’re reading about a particular idea that’s got everyone’s attention, find a way to connect your own story to it.
    •Block Duplicate Content – The golden rule when it comes to on-page SEO is to make sure that you limit repeating the same textual content on multiple URLs.  The way to do this on a blog is to make sure your blog home page isn’t posting the entire textual content of each post.  So make sure your settings are only showing snippets from the posts on the blog home page. Also, make sure you block your comments pages in your robots.txt file because they are usually duplicates of your blog posts.
    •Check Your Text Navigation – Search engines find their way to content by following hyperlinks. Make sure you can navigate to your blog from your main website home page via text links. If you can do that, then so can the search engines.
    •Best content pages are typically topics that surprise or shock people in some way, or clear up a confusing topic.
    •The best SEO is good, non-newsy content that remains relevant for years.
    •The general lesson is that you need to find the fulcrum of attention for your specific writing, and then use it to leverage yourself attention that you can turn into new readers. If you’re unsure how to do this, ask yourself, “What is interesting or engaging about my writing to other people? What about my writing are people responding to? How can I use that to get more attention?”
    •Write on topics that are timely and controversial. “Controversial” doesn’t necessarily mean scandalous; it means a position that runs counter to the mainstream or expectations.
  • When posting to get feedback on a book coming up or anything, use different names and such so people won’t steal your future urls etc.
    •Write about what your most excited or angry about (don’t attack people, but rather the problem).
    •It’s more important to have a clear voice than to be a good writer.
    •Reddit AMAs
    •– Do Reddit AMAs on appropriate sub-reddits.
    •– Answer questions on Quora related to your niche.
    •– Do guest posts on niche specific blogs.
    •– Create author profiles on GoodReads and Amazon Author Central.
    •– Engage and communicate with fellow writers and readers on forums like Authonomy and Absolute Write.
    •Into trapeze or German techno? Our starting headlines might be “How to Perform 5 Tricks on the Flying Trapeze” or “German Techno 101.” That’s just a starting point. Then we expand to what your wider circle of friends or co-workers might be interested in. For example:

    •“How German Techno Can Make You a Better Agile Programmer”
    •“5 Principles of Flying Trapeze for Better Hiring Decisions”

    •See how that works? This recipe works, and it’s a plug-and-play format for getting started, and getting traffic.
    •How do you learn what works? Headlines are as old as writing itself.

    •There are many sources, but rankings and data sets (often prolific bloggers) are what you want. The simple version is: study Digg (look at “7 Days” or longer) and Seth Godin (look at the most retweeted).

    •Seth is a brilliant copywriter and outstanding headline craftsman. I notice one of his repeating headline patterns appeared to be “The Difference Between [A] and [B]”, which I tested successfully with “The Difference: Living Well vs. Doing Well.”
  • Piquing curiosity can be done with questions instead of statements, and my question-based post titles are some of the best performing (such as “Why Are You Single? Perhaps It’s The Choice Effect“), unless used more than 20% of the time, at which point, it appears that readers suffer “question burnout” and click-through plummets. This is a common problem with (over)use of lists (“17 Things You Can Do For…” etc.).
  • Would “Why Are You Single?” have worked well by itself? I don’t think so. But what the hell is “The Choice Effect”? Once again, this is exactly the point. I want that question to bother you enough that you click on the link and, most important, read the piece.
Software and Services
  • to find competitors
  • WeWatchYourWebsite (competitor of Sitelock): website security, disinfect when hacked

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