Archive for September, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Top 5 Inbound Marketing Articles to Start the Week: Improve Your Pitches

trashAs marketers, we’re all strapped for time. Unfortunately, when it comes to public relations, a rushed pitch is likely to end up in journalists’ and bloggers’ trash cans.

In this week’s top inbound marketing article, Chris Brogan shares his best tips for improving your PR pitches and increasing their chances for survival.

1. Improve Your Pitch’s Chance of Survival

Author: Chris Brogan on

As a popular influencer, Chris Brogan receives his fair share of pitches. In order to help you avoid contributing to bad PR, his article highlights some great ways to improve your pitches and their effectiveness.

Some of Brogan’s tips include targeting the right influencers, humanizing and personalizing your pitches, being concise, making it easy, and building relationships.

Marketing Takeaway: Crafting a good pitch takes time and effort. If you don’t do the work, your pitch will end up in the trash.

2. 10 Ways to Use Technology to Enhance Marketing

Author: Matthew Stibbe on MarketingProfs Daily Fix Blog

It’s obvious — the use of technology makes marketing more effective and efficient. We all have a number of go-to tech tools in our marketing tool belt, but Stibbe’s article highlights a few you may be missing out on or overlooking.

His article mentions a number of great ways to use technology to increase productivity, polish your presentations, improve the quality of your content, increase concentration, and facilitate collaboration, to name a few.

Marketing Takeaway: Technology is a great asset for marketers. Use the tools it offers to your (and your marketing’s) advantage.

3. The Most Influential Consumers Online are on Twitter

Author: Brian Solis on

Solis’ article discusses some very interesting data gleaned from recent research by ExactTarget and CoTweet. The goal of the 1,500 consumer-survey was to identify top motivations for following brands on Twitter. Of those surveyed, the research found that 72% publish blog posts at least monthly, 70% comment on blogs, and 61% write at least one product review monthly, proving that social consumers are both vocal and connected.

In summary, the research concludes that Twitter users are the most influential social consumers online today. Solis also cites similar research that supports this conclusion and reveals that a significant percentage of Twitter users share opinions about companies/products, make recommendations, and seek guidance.

Marketing Takeaway: Your consumers are talking about you on Twitter. If you don’t have a presence on Twitter, you’re missing out.

4. Why Being Too Diligent About Your Facts Can Hurt Your Content

Author: Sean D’Souza on Copyblogger

D’Souza’s article provides some great food for thought when considering the use of “facts” in your content. While we all want to make our content credible by supporting it with data, this article discusses the reality that research can often be tainted and explores the ways in which it can get that way.

While Sean is hardly saying you avoid using facts in your content, he does believe that your time is better off spent writing what you know and sharing your experiences, not spending hours upon hours researching data. His recommendation is to put your research on an egg timer.

Marketing Takeaway: D’Souza says it best: “Research makes things interesting, but your own case studies are just as interesting.” 

5. 3 Creative Ways to Drive More Traffic to Old Blog Posts

Author: Scott Cowley on Search Engine Journal

Do you publish a blog post, promote it, and then forget it exists? It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, promoting and optimizing evergreen content can do wonders for your business months — even years — after it’s been published!

Evergreen content can help drive traffic to your site and convert visitors into leads. In this article, Scott shares some great ways to optimize your older content to make it more functional today. Some of his suggestions include optimizing for relevant keywords already driving traffic, freshening up content by removing aging signs, and making your old post titles more boring (and thus more functional).

Marketing Takeaway: When it comes to old blog content, don’t enlist the “set it and forget it” mindset. Optimize old content and continue to reap the benefits.

Photo Credit: Steven Depolo

Weekly Press Release Optimization Webinars

Weekly Press Release Optimization Webinars

Find out how effective your press releases are and learn practical tips and strategies to make them even better!

Sign up to join HubSpot’s Director of Marketing & PR Manager live this Wednesday as they review 1-2 press releases submitted to Press Release Grader.

Connect with HubSpot:

HubSpot on Twitter HubSpot on Facebook HubSpot on LinkedIn HubSpot on Google Buzz


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PostHeaderIcon Discover Proven Money-Making Results for PPC Text Ads…Guaranteed

by Mike Fleming

I’ve started powering through David Szetela and Joe Kerschbaum’s new PPC book called Pay-Per-Click Search Engine Marketing: An Hour a Day and I really like this PDF
they made available online to their readers.  Although it’s about
classified ads, you can pull direct correlations to apply to your PPC
text ads when advertising on search engines.  Really, search engine
results pages (SERPs) are just like classified ads except the page is
digital instead of paper.

Here are some of the highlights that I personally took away –

1.  The Goal – The goal of your ad is not to sell a product.  It is to get a qualified prospect to click through your ad so that your site can sell them
Notice I said “qualified” prospect.  All too often advertisers are
paying for clicks that have no chance of buying.  The search intent and
what is being offered do not match.  Therefore, the goal of your ad is
not only to communicate your offering in a compelling way that will
motivate the click, but to motivate the right “clickers” so that you
don’t end up “selling air conditioners to Eskimos.”


2.  The Content
– If the ad is not read, it won’t stimulate any sales; if it is not
seen, it cannot be read, and if it does not command or grab the
attention of the reader, it will not be seen.  Your knowledge and
practice of the “master formula” of ad writing called “AIDA” will
determine the extent of your success as an advertising copywriter.

Attract the attention of your prospect
– Imagine your prospect scanning a SERP.  For him it is much like which
ride at the amusement park to take next.  Something must grab their
attention to direct their focus toward your product.  With text ads,
it’s all in the words and it starts with the headline.  It must be more
difficult for the prospect to ignore your headline than to stop and read
your ad.

To do this, you typically want to do the opposite of or be different
than most other advertisers.  You might ask a question, give a warning,
make a promise, etc.  Whatever you do, you want to make sure to test
powerful words that relate to the primary emotional benefit you’ve
identified your audience to be looking for.  Tip: It’s the reason that motivated their search in the first place.

Interest your prospect to desire the product
– Tell the prospect exactly how they’re going to benefit from the
purchase of your product using the appropriate emotional benefits.  This
is where you reiterate the benefits you’ve implied in your headline.

Cause your prospect to desire the product
– You have to build belief and credibility in the mind of the prospect
to assure him of his good judgment in the final decision to buy.  So,
give him evidence of the benefits you’ve promised.  Let him imagine
owning the product and visualizing the benefits you’ve promised.

Demand action from the prospect
– Psychologists say that when given a directive, a human’s first
instinct is to reply.  You can tell them what they’re going to miss if
they don’t take the action, tell them why procrastinating is a mistake,
or offer them a reward for acting now, etc.  Tell them what to do and
make it easy for them to do it.

3.  The Words
– Some words are more powerful than others.  Saying your ad must “spark
your reader’s interest” is more powerful than saying your ad must “get
the reader’s attention.”  Words spark feelings and getting prospects to
have feelings about your words is what you want to accomplish.  It is
the feelings that have the power.  If you are having trouble finding
power words to use in your ad, it is probably because you are
concentrating too hard on what words you want to use instead of what
sorts of feelings you want the reader to feel.  Decide on the feelings
first and then experiment with the words that best convey them.

Powerful Words.png

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

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PostHeaderIcon What Does Your Competition Know That You Don’t?

by Stoney deGeyter

Your competition should play an important role in your research before you move forward with any SEO, PPC, or online marketing campaign. In fact, it’s generally a good idea to do a fair amount of competitive research before you build a website or even decide what industry or niche to focus your efforts on.

Competitor knowledge isn’t the most important aspect of building a successful online business. You still have to be a good manager, know your product or service, and be able to sell, sell, sell! But, gaining competitive knowledge early on can help you guide your online marketing efforts into the most effective direction.

Do You Know What I Know?

Knowing about your competition isn’t as valuable as knowing what they know that you don’t. But, not everything your competitors know is truth or fact, so you have to be able to discern whether what they know is right or not, and then discard the information accordingly.

When it comes to on-page optimization, you can learn a lot from your competitors by looking at their websites. How they organize their navigation (their categories and sub-categories) can tell you a great deal about your audience. Or… it can lead you down the wrong path. This is where it is important not to look at one competitor only, but to look at as many as possible.

Be careful that you don’t jump on just any bandwagon. Just because a competitor or two may be doing things one way, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best way. For all you know they are copying off of each other, and creating and endless spiral of poor audience targeting. Talk about an opportunity for you to do things right!

Each competitor can teach you something new. Things like: what keywords are being targeted, the best way to provide content to your customers, and what kind of user experience is expected or has the best conversion rates.

There may not be one single answer, but enough research will give you some good ideas on how to move forward on your own site. Take the best from each one, and ditch the rest.

Early Research is Smart Research

Changing the course of your online marketing efforts mid-stream isn’t always as easy as it may seem. And, the consequences of such a change (though often a necessary change for long-term growth) can cause temporary loss of much needed momentum.

What has been propelling your marketing efforts forward can come to a sudden standstill, which will become obvious in loss of traffic, rankings, and likely in sales as well. This scenario is often devastating on a short term basis, since you are forced to start from the ground up all over again.

On the plus side, the effect may be very short lived. Depending on how well your site was built, optimized, and linked, and how drastic of a change is occurring, you may find some of the past efforts carry over to the new efforts. If a change is needed, it has to be done, even if there’s short term pain that must be endured. This is why it’s best to do your research up front, so you don’t have to change course later and suffer the consequences.

Your diligence in competitive research will give you a good idea of who they are, where they are, what they are doing, what’s right or wrong about their campaign, and what is or isn’t effective. This information will be invaluable to you as you develop your website, business, and online marketing campaigns.

With good research it is not so much about what your competition knows that you don’t… it’s about what you know that they don’t, and how you can use that information to gain a strategic advantage.

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

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PostHeaderIcon 70+ bloggers gathered for London Blog Club September meetup

London Blog Club

Want to spread your message to a crowd of London-based bloggers? London Blog Club is looking for sponsors. Contact Marko Saric for details.

Last week, more than seventy London bloggers gathered at the Talk Talk customer service centre in Oxford Circus for the September meetup of the London Blog Club.

The hot topic this month was music blogging, with cofounder and owner of indie digital label One Bird Records, Laura Scott, explaining her pro tips on getting exposure and using social media to promote bands and djs.

Guests were treated to drinks and refreshments by Talk Talk as they entered and attendees included a wide range of London based bloggers. Keen to share ideas and network were independent musicians, professionals, social media experts and internet enthusiasts. Beginners were well represented too as there was lots to learn all round.

Some of the topics covered were how to use video to enhance your marketing, how to get noticed in music journalism and building up your following through social media.

Back onto the rainy streets of London

Laura’s most significant audience was found on Twitter and she mentioned briefly how it can be quite confusing for a new user. It can take some time to get the hang of conversations happening across different users and does require some discipline to update regularly.

If you are trying to get into music journalism, Laura recommends getting out there, conducting video interviews and reviewing new artists work. Promoting the results of this fiercely will result in a larger following over time and will help to build a good base of influential contacts.

When reviewing work, bloggers can often be divided in their opinion. Should they be positive, even if they don’t like a band? Or should they always write what they think and be brutally honest? This was just one of the interesting topics thrown up for debate at the meetup.

After a brief question and answer session, the crowd came back together once again to network.

It was clear that everyone was having a little too much fun as our friends at Talk Talk began to slowly coax our internet addicted crowd back onto the rainy streets of London!

Want to spread your message to a crowd of London-based bloggers? London Blog Club is looking for sponsors. Contact Marko Saric for details.

Article by Shashank Deshmukh, a regular London Blog Club participant.

See more:

  1. London bloggers calling: Join the London Blog Club – video review
  2. London Blog Club – Blogging goals and to-dos
  3. Lessons Learned from major campaign launch – London Blog Club
  4. My Build A Better Blog presentation at London Bloggers Meetup video
  5. FOWA Gary Vaynerchuk And Facebook Developer Garage Interviews

Thanks for reading

My name is Marko Saric and I help bloggers succeed. Subscribe to the RSS feed to join thousands of bloggers and get all my blogging tips for FREE!

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PostHeaderIcon Replace Yahoo Linkdomain with Google Custom Search Engine

Posted by Justin Briggs

Hey everyone! My name is Justin Briggs, and I’m a SEO consultant at Distilled. A few weeks ago, I packed up and moved across the country to come to Seattle. Some of you might know me better as "seozombie" on Twitter. This is my first post on SEOmoz, but you can expect to see more from me here and on our blog at Distilled.

With the transition of Yahoo! to Microsoft’s Bing backend, webmasters have lost the ability to perform advanced searches using the link: and linkdomain: parameters. Rand Fishkin wrote a post about replacing the Yahoo! linkdomain: data with other data sources. Although Linkscape and Open Site Explorer provide a great data source, there is some functionality that Yahoo! had that isn’t present in other tools yet. The primary functionality I missed was the ability to perform searches against page content; not just page title, URL, and anchor text.

These link searches can help you identify link opportunities from other websites’ (such as competitors) backlinks.

Searching Content of Backlinks

To solve this problem, I setup a Google Custom Search Engine using data from Open Site Explorer. There are two exports of data you can use, which are links and linking domains. I’ll briefly go over the pros and cons of each as a data source in GCSE.

Linking URLS


  • Only search content that has links
  • Less noise


  • Limited to top links
  • Limited to 25 URLs per domain
  • Multiple links per domain reduces domain diversity
  • Limited content (5,000 annotations = 5,000 URLS)

Linking Domains


  • Search all indexed content on a linking domain
  • Find linking sources not included in OSE export
  • Greater domain diversity
  • More content (5,000 annotations = 5,000 domains of content)


  • More noise
  • Large linking domains like and have subdomains (lots of noise)
  • Results that don’t have link

Setup of Custom Search Engine

Setup of your custom search engine is very easy. For this example, I’m going to use linking domains from OSE.

1) Perform search in Open Site Explorer

Search Open Site Explorer

2) Pull linking domains for all pages on the root domain,  export to CSV

Link Domains in OSE

3) Get list from Excel

Domains in Excel

I used Find & Replace to add a * to the end of all URLs, for matching. You can sort by DA or linking domains. Google Custom Search Engine only allows 5,000 annotations, so only copy up to 5,000 domains.

4) Create Custom Search Engine

Go to Google Custom Search Engine.

How to Create Google Custom Search Engine

5) Perform your searches

So here are the pages on domains that link to, that include “link building” in the content and “resources” in the title.

Replace Yahoo linkdomain with GCSE

This solution gives you a new way to mine for backlinks opportunities using your competitor’s backlinks. You can also include linking domains from multiple competitors at the same time. However, you can only include up to 5,000 annotations at a time, so you might want to use some Excel filters to remove noise and duplicate entries.


Here are a few quick tips to speed things up.

  • Remove massive domains – Large domains like and can produce a lot of noise.
  • Use the –site:  search to reduce noise – If a particular domain is creating a lot of noise in your search, use a negative site search to remove it.
  • Search brand mentions – A search for the brand can help find the linking pages on these domains.
  • Search top anchors from OSE – Find the pages that include the anchors the site is targeting.

Example Queries

"powered by wordpress" "distilled"

Find pages that mention the brand “Distilled” and include “Powered by WordPress”. This is an easy way to find the blogs linking to Distilled.

“guest blogger” OR “guest post” OR “guest article” OR “guest column”

Find guest blogging opportunities, but filter out domains that may create a significant amount of noise.

"powered by vbulletin" AND seo

Find vBulletin powered forums mentioning SEO.

“link building” intitle:resources

Find link building resource pages.

Give it a Try & Search SEOmoz’s Backlinks

A few queries to try:
"top seo tools"
“link building” intitle:resources
"open site explorer" "powered by wordpress"

Go ahead, try it, you know you want to!


I removed linking domains with a DA greater than 90, just to remove some noise from larger domains. (Selecting this value to filter by was completely arbitrary and is just to make the example easier to use.)

Need More Queries?

Long List of Link Searchs (SEOmoz)

21 Link Builders Share Advanced Link Building Queries

74 B2B Link Building Queries

106 Sponsorship-Based Link Building Queries

I hope this helps everyone replace some of the functionality of the Yahoo! linkdomain comand. If you’ve got more link searches or ideas to add, please share.

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PostHeaderIcon How to Make Everybody Happy

A Guest post by Stanford from Pushing Social. Image by superbomba.


Your blog is like the popular kid at school.

It needs to look great, be funny, smart, and remember everybody’s name. It’s a tough job.

But the hardest part of the job is keeping everyone happy.

You are probably figuring out that your readers are not all cut from the same cloth. Although they may share a common interest, each has his or her own reason for visiting your blog. Some are casual readers, while others are hardcore fanatics that devour every word.

It’s easy to believe that every reader will be satisfied with your 300-700-word post. Not so. In fact, your standard post may only satisfy a fraction of your readers and leave the rest wondering, “Where’s the beef?”

If you want your blog to grow, get passed around, and inspire an engaged community, you’ll need to write content that makes everyone happy.

Wait, you can’t make everybody happy … right?

I know that blog readers — myself included — can be a fickle crowd. There’s a handful of blogs that I read daily and I have impossible standards. They need to write exactly the type of posts I like, publish them regularly, and never, ever, disappoint me. I’m a tyrant and so are your blog’s readers.

The problem is that you can’t write multiple types of posts every day to satisfy every reader.

But can you make all of your readers happy?

Crowd -> community -> core

Yes you can … by being smart about the content you produce and where you place that content.

It’s useful to think about your audience as overlapping circles of readers. At the center are the core readers. A little further out is your community of regular readers. Furthest out is the crowd, who occasionally visit. All together, these folks form the ecosystem for your blog.

Every day, people read your content and naturally settle into one of these circles. Your goal is to move the crowd to the core.

Let’s take a look at each group and some techniques for keeping them happy.

The core

These folks are dedicated to you. They visit your blog every day and are the first to comment, retweet, and mention your posts. You may even know these fans by name. Core readers are the first to sign up for email courses, pre-order products, and join your affiliate program.

Your goal as a “tribal leader” is to find and connect with your core as quickly as possible.

Core readers are disproportionately influential. Don’t be fooled by their small followings — their enthusiasm is infectious and they can rally a crowd through sheer persistence.

How to make core readers happy

Core readers hunger for more than your usual posts. They want to dive deeper into each of your posts and are starving for more detail. These folks have devoured your archive post and relate to you on a visceral level. You need to kick it up a notch to keep them satisfied. Here’s how to do it:

  • Go deep: Use email courses, private forums, and ebooks to give the core a deep dive into your content. My own Spectacular Posts email course is designed to give my core readers new information that I haven’t covered in a post. I don’t hold anything back because my core reader has an insatiable appetite for more information. So does yours.
  • Keep your eye on them: Create a list of your core readers in Twitter and bookmark their Facebook pages. Friend them, follow them, and regularly visit their blogs. Make sure they know that you are cheerleading for them.

The Community

Community readers are regular visitors to your blog. They are infrequent commenters but frequent retweeters. The community makes up the bulk of your blog’s traffic. They appreciate a consistent message and hate surprises.

How to make the community happy

  • Be reliable: Your community wants a steady supply of information that serves their needs. They share your goals and interests and want to hear more from you. Consistent posting encourages them to visit your blog often. Over time, you earn their trust and convince them that you have a resource worth sharing.
  • Use “edutainment”: Community readers plow through a lot of blogs every week. Dry, me-too posts are easily drowned out. To raise above the clutter, you need to combine entertaining and interesting viewpoints with your topic. These mashups can combine Lady Gaga and Blogging Tips or Ant Swarm Behavior and Project Management. This is guaranteed way to stand out in the RSS reader, and catch the eye of super-influencers too.
  • Be relevant: Community readers have a low tolerance for loosy-goosy, feel-good content that isn’t practical. They were attracted to your blog because you helped them solve a problem. They keep coming back because you are interesting and have a viewpoint that fits them like a glove. Don’t disappoint them. Keep an editorial calendar that continually delivers on-point content.

The Crowd

Outside of the community lies the crowd. Crowd readers are usually referred by another source. They are not regular readers and may only spend a few seconds on your blog. Your topic is likely to be complementary to the crowd reader’s main interest, but not a tight fit.

It’s tempting to dismiss the crowd since they aren’t your bread-and-butter readers. But smart bloggers work to satisfy the crowd because they bring fresh perspectives to the community. Your goal should be to turn the occasional crowd reader into a regular community or core reader.

How to make the crowd happy

  • Guest post: As you know, I’m a huge fan of guest posting as a way to reach readers that lurk outside your community. Guest posts allow other more influential blogger to vouch for you, giving you enough credibility to attract a larger audience. It’s not a mistake that many up-and-coming bloggers spend a large chunk of time guest posting to reach the crowd.
  • Build outposts: Outposts are social networking sites where you maintain a profile and special content. Youtube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are popular outposts that represent online watercoolers for millions of users. Pick one outpost to start with, and invest some time to build a presence there. Link your outpost to your blog and regularly post content there. Over time, your outpost will get on the crowd’s radar screen and start escorting new readers to your blog.
  • Be a peacock Don’t be shy. Every once in a while, write a post that grabs attention. Your post can be provocative, epic, or piggy-back on a popular topic in the news. These “peacock posts” get noticed by influencers and passed along to their network. Even though it’s hard to tell if your post will be a barn burner, you can increase your chances by regularly writing them!

What do you think?

Can you make all of your readers happy? Which technique will you try first?

Stanford obsesses about how to get passionate people’s blogs noticed and promoted at Pushing Socialexcept when he’s fishing with his boys. Follow him to get the latest about his new ebook “Get Noticed.”

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PostHeaderIcon This Week in the ShoeMoney Marketplace

New listings placed this week in the ShoeMoney Marketplace:

Want to get your job, product, or announcement out to hundreds of thousands of very targeted ShoeMoney readers? Create a marketplace listing today!

Interested in advertising on Facebook? Check out my latest post on Facebook Advertising

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PostHeaderIcon Dot Com Pho – Guerrilla Social Media Marketing Edition

This week’s Dot Com Pho heads back to basic at Happy Pho in Vancouver. When I said back to basic, I mean really back to basic. All the stuffs you expect at Dot Com Pho are here. The gadget of the week, the iPad app of the week, Ed Lau being the last person to show up, etc.

In addition to all the basic stuff, I got to review Guerrilla Social Media Marketing, a new book by my friend Shane Gibson and Jay Conrad Levinson. The original Guerrilla Marketing book sold over 20 million copies. It’ll be interesting to see how this social media version does. I was given two extra copies. If you want to try and win it, just reply to this blog post. I’ll draw the winners next week. Good luck!

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PostHeaderIcon Blogosphere Trends + Humour

This column is written by Kimberly Turner from Regator (a great tool that gathers and organizes the world’s best blog posts). – Darren

Once again, we’re taking a look at the stories bloggers have been writing about the most during the last seven days (list provided by Regator). This week, we’ll be using posts about those hot stories to look at one of the toughest forms of writing: humour. It’s difficult because senses of humour vary so much. What you find hilarious, might barely elicit a smirk from me or vice versa. Plus, there’s the added challenge of determining when it’s appropriate to take the amusing route and when a serious approach is best. It’s a challenge, but adding a bit of LOL keeps readers engaged and, in many cases, encourages more sharing. Fortunately, despite the challenges, there are a few tried and true tips to upping the funny factor on your blog. Let’s see how some bloggers have covered this week’s hot topics with humor…

1.  Christine O’Donnell
Huffington Post’s “The War on Lust Must Be Won
They say sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, but sometimes they are wrong. Sarcasm can be an effective form of humour, as shown in this example. It can often come across as sour grapes, so proceed with caution.

2.  Lady Gaga
Example:’s “Why It’s Time to Stop Paying Attention to Lady Gaga
Sarcasm—humour at someone else’s expense—can be funny, but adding a touch of self-deprecating humour can make it doubly so. In this example, the author writes, “I showed up to the office with shoes that didn’t match. For 11 straight days. One of them was a flip flop and the other was a woman’s hat. I know nothing about fashion, is my point, which is why I’m uniquely qualified to talk about Lady Gaga’s wardrobe choices, because she doesn’t either.” By making fun of yourself, you seem less bitter and judgmental and more…well, funny.

3.  American Idol
ROFL Razzi’s “ROFLash: Steven Tyler is Probs the New ‘American Idol’ Judge”
Some words are intrinsically funny. “Moolah,” used here is a funnier word than “money.” Onomatopoeic amusing words, like “splat” are often amusing. Other words are funnier than their counterparts for reasons that aren’t immediately apparent (but you’ll know them when you see them). For example, what’s funnier, “underpants” or “underwear”? “Spooks” or “phantoms”? “Canoodling” or “hugging”? There’s a theory that words that start with plosive consonants such as b, p, t, d, or k are intrinsically funnier. I’m not convinced this has been confirmed by science, but it seems plausible. Either way, use the funniest words you can find.

4.  Pope Benedict XVI
Friendly Atheist’s “Dear Benny…
The inappropriate can be hilarious. There’s a reason stand-up comics often write jokes about things that make people a bit uncomfortable, such as the Catholic sexual abuse cases. If you’re not inclined to be overly politically correct, approaching an inappropriate or sensitive topic with a healthy dose of humour can be very effective, as shown in this musical example.

5.  Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert
Indecision Blog’s “Here Are the “Rally to Restore Sanity” and “March to Keep Fear Alive” Hastags You Ordered
A conversational, informal tone that connects with readers directly is almost always funnier than formal language. This example addresses the readers directly, saying, “Oh my God, America, you were so annoying! Can’t you talk about anything else?!”

6. Katy Perry
Ministry of Gossip’s “In the Katy Perry ‘Sesame Street’ scandal, is Elmo the real villain?
The unexpected is funny. While everyone else was analyzing Katy Perry’s culpability in the scandalous Katy/Elmo video, this example focused on Elmo. “That Elmo character was totally naked.” Outrageous! … And hilarious.

7.  Joaquin Phoenix
Example:’s “Will Joaquin Phoenix Become The Craziest Celebrity Ever?
Find creative alternatives to standard approaches. In this example, Cracked puts its own spin on the omnipresent five-star rating system and determines that Phoenix was (at the time this was written, which was before it came out that the whole insanity thing was a ruse) “officially as crazy as…” three Tom Cruises, six Octomoms, half a Charles Manson, and four point eight barrels of flaming monkey poo. Taking a standard cliché and giving it a unique spin is often funny or, at the very least, interesting.

8.  Blockbuster
The Onion’s “Struggling Blockbuster Eliminates Rental Fees
Pick a joke and stick with it. This faux news example focuses on the ridiculous lengths the failing video rental chain will go through to draw customers. The joke is the same throughout, but is exaggerated to a greater and greater extent until, toward the end of the piece, fake Blockbuster says, “as a special introductory offer, cancel your membership with Netflix anytime in the next three months and we’ll do literally anything you ask of us.” The exaggeration paired with the commitment to the single joke throughout really works here.

9.  OK Go
The Awesomer’s “OK Go vs. The Muppets
If you don’t laugh, don’t expect others to laugh. Before you use a video in your post, like the one in this example, or hit publish on a comical (or supposedly comical) post, watch the video or read the post aloud. Sure, your sense of humour is unique, but you shouldn’t expect others to laugh if you don’t even find it funny. The humour in this video relies heavily on good comedic timing—and Muppets. Muppets almost always help.

10. The Social Network
Funny or Die’s “How Did We Spend The Facebook Outage?”
Actual behaviours and situations are often funnier than anything you can make up. You don’t always need to be overly clever. Next time you’re in an absurd situation, make a note of it. Remember that details often make a story, so be specific. You may be able to incorporate those humourous observations into a post somewhere down the line.

If you use humour on your blog, please share your tips in the comments. I’d love to hear from you. On a side note, the weekly trends will be changing to monthly trends after this post. I’ve had an amazing time connecting with ProBlogger readers and writing this column every week, but busy days are ahead so Darren has been kind enough to let me switch to the less frequent posting schedule to accommodate. Talk to you again soon!

Kimberly Turner is a cofounder of and Regator for iPhone as well as an award-winning print journalist. You can find her on Twitter @kimber_regator.

This Post is from: ProBlogger Blog Tips.

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PostHeaderIcon Copyblogger Weekly Wrap: Week of September 19, 2010

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This week, I finalized my plans to join the Blogworld hullaballoo in Las Vegas, which is where I’ll be winning my fortune at the blackjack tables, or possibly losing my house, or possibly not even playing blackjack at all. Blackjack is the game where you hit the ball on the rope until you wrap it around the pole, right?

Now, I try to be understanding, but you wouldn’t believe how hard it is to get Copyblogger to buy you round-trip first class airfare and a $3000 per night Sky Loft suite at the MGM Grand. The negotiations were intense. “But I write the wrapup,” I argued. “Who are you and why are you hiding in my closet?” Brian retorted.

And so it goes.

I decided in the end to be a team player anyway. Be sure to look for me by the pool, wearing my homemade shirt that says, “Forget sex. Teaching Sells.”

Here’s what happened this week on Copyblogger:


Why Being Too Diligent About Your Facts Can Hurt Your Content

Hooray! We don’t have to obsess over tons of contradictory facts anymore since any one of them could be wrong, incomplete, or tainted. Definitely check out Sean D’Souza’s alternate “moderate research” approach. Thanks, Sean! I’m off to write those posts about spontaneous generation and heliocentricity I’ve been holding back on.

Read the full post here.


Discover Your Strengths and Supercharge Your Business

Notice how the news never tells you about all the people who didn’t get killed? And notice how you tend to obsess on the negative things, comments, and criticism surrounding your blog? Sonia says to focus on what you do best and do it better if you want to get more mileage. Sounds more appealing, anyway.

Read the full post here.


7 Ways the iPad Can Bring Back Your Writing Mojo

I don’t totally understand the iPad. It’s like Apple took the iPhone and made it bigger. What’s next? Are ghetto blasters coming back? Still, Shane says they’re cool and would know better than me, so he’s got a list of 7 awesome apps to get you inspired and writing — maybe while cleaning your new, fashionable, gigantic satellite dish.

Read the full post here.


The Responsible Blogger’s Guide to Dealing with Big Brother

Another good title for this post would have been, “The internet is forever, so watch out or that video of you rollerskating in your underwear will leak out and go viral.” How you deal with comments left on your blog, stuff you’ve said casually, attribution, and libel could all come back to haunt you, so ignore it at your own risk. (Alternative way to deal with Big Brother: change the channel.)

Read the full post here.


Follow Your MAP to Greater Writing Productivity

I have to agree with the sentiment in the first paragraphs of this one, which is, “Wow, outlining a writing project makes me want to barf.” But I have to admit that Chris Birk makes a good argument for why you might want to do it anyway — in a simplified, more purposeful manner that will make your writing sparkle. But hopefully won’t make you barf.

Read the full post here.

This week’s cool links:

About the Author: Johnny B. Truant writes and sets up cheap* blogs and websites at (That’s “cheap” as in “inexpensive,” not as in “tawdry.”)

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