The Age of Persuasion

CBC Radio has an interesting show entitled The Age of Persuasion. Host Terry O'Reilly explores the countless ways marketers permeate your life, from media, art, and language, to politics, religion, and fashion. I found the most recent episode, Royal Jelly, a great listen. Terry looks at a handful of gifted individuals- and singular ad agencies- who have done more than change advertising- they’ve changed popular culture. They are the savants, the gifted, the elect- those with ‘royal jelly’. And they cause a $600 billion industry to un-learn everything it had learned about the craft of persuasion.


6 New Blogging Techniques

I was listening to a podcast episode of Six Pixels of Separation (#94), and here are 6 new blogging techniques, according to Mitch Joel, demonstrating how blogs have shifted as people learn what works and what doesn't.

1) Tell half the story - Instead of having a beginning, middle, and end to your posting, tell only part of the story so the other half can be generated by the community (and build traffic, essentially). A well-written blog posting may not generate many (or any) comments because there is nothing left to say, so leave the post open-ended.

2) Be provocative - With so many bloggers, your title needs to stand out. Being a bit provocative will help grab attention.

3) Use video - Embedding visuals and especially video will help get people excited, people often like to watch video rather than reading and it can really add to the content.

4) Write longer, well thought-out posts - Shorter, snappy posts are being filtered directly into Twitter or other micro-blogging platforms.

5) Blog frequently - If you don't blog frequently, your blog may be thought of as stale and will get lost in the sea of blogs.

6) Use your blog as your home destination - Instead of treating the blog your online journal, make it a core destination for your audience. This will also help with organic search rankings.

So these are a few things to think about as you set out to write your blog posts, and I know I will consider these suggestions for my own. Overall, I think it shows just how things are changing in the 'blogesphere'. What do you find is working for you?


Writing for Search Engines

There was a time where, in order to rank well with the search engines, all one needed to do was incorporate their keywords in mass quantities and - boom! Congratulations on attaining the number 1 position. Unfortunately, it hasn't been so easy for quite some time now, as search engine algorithms have evolved to consider what others think about the content as more of an indication of quality and relevance.

Here are 5 important things to consider when writing for web, in order to create content that is worth linking to, giving you a better chance of achieving strong search engine rankings:

1) Keywords: What are the relevant questions searchers are asking, and will your content answer them appropriately? Select your keywords accordingly and use them throughout the content on your site because general frequency can help rankings (though density does not).

2) Headlines and Title Tags: Use your targeted keyword phrase in your title tag, keeping in mind that the title tag is a headline that needs to, once again, answer the question the searcher has asked. Headline copy should compel the audience to read the first sentence.

3) Compelling Content: You want your content to be worth linking to, because without links from other authoritative sources you will not be able to rank well for a competitive search term. Answer the question in the search better and more comprehensively than the competition, make it easy to get to the content quickly, and then get to the point quickly (what is the benefit to the reader?).

4) Relevant Content: Search engines favour websites that have a lot of relevant, frequently-updated content, and they also like seeing a lot of links to other sites as well as within the site.

5) Related Words: Include words that are related to, or synonyms for, the keyword phrases you desire. Search algorithms are advanced enough to look for contextually-related words that support your keywords.

The best results will come from copy that is
keyword-rich without the reader becoming conscious of it; compelling in such a way that it tunes into the needs of the audience; specific yet concise; and relevant. Reader satisfaction is so crucial, because most of what determines the ranking success of any web page is caused by what happens off the page. Readers will be more inclined to link to your content from their sites if they are pleased with their experience.


Word of Mouth Marketing Seminar
March 6, 2008

"...Word of mouth is the new black. Two thirds of customer purchase decisions are now primarily influenced by word of mouth..."

Read more