If I were to take a wild guess, I’d say that there is way over a hundred fairly popular online business courses available on different sites. While this does sound great for anyone who wants to learn how to take their undertaking off the ground, there is a “slight” problem with the quality of many of those courses.

To be more exact, when you’re searching for a new program to join, you can’t really know for sure if the thing is going to be quality or not. Everybody has great promotional videos, sales messages, testimonials, and what not, so that at first sight, every such program looks great. But it’s only after you’re two or three weeks in that you’ll know if it’s actually working out or not.

And what if it doesn’t work out for you? Well, if you’re dealing with a scumbag marketer then they are very likely to say something like:

“This product is only for people who are willing to work hard and take dedicated action. This isn’t for those who are searching for a quick fix. The results I’m presenting are not typical.”

Even though such message doesn’t sound that bad right away, it’s actually a mind trick. And the trick is simple: if you fail, it’s your fault (because you didn’t work hard enough).

I’m sorry, but if 90% of your “students” fail to achieve the promised outcome then it’s not their failure, it’s yours – the teacher’s.

Enter the genuine

nsdAnd this is where Niche Site Duel (NSD) comes into play. This is the second edition that’s just started. It’s run by Pat Flynn and focuses on teaching you how to create a niche site and make money with it (sorry for simplifying the idea, Pat, if you’re reading this).

Anyway, Pat understands that the best way of teaching is by example. That’s why in NSD, Pat builds a niche site himself and presents every step of the process with detailed descriptions, tutorials and so on.

In short, NSD is on the top of my online training resources revolving around the online business for two reasons:

  1. It’s free. I love free.
  2. Pat is not afraid to take the responsibility for what he’s teaching. He’s decided to lead everyone by example and if the program fails to achieve results (which it won’t) then Pat will be the one to blame.

What the rules are and where to join the game

There’s a hub for the duel at http://www.nichesiteduel.com/. You can get the most updated info, guidelines, rules, and so on, there.

Here’s a shortened version:

  • Everyone starts by picking a keyword they want to tackle with a new niche site.
  • Getting a domain and launching a site revolving around this keyword is the next step.
  • The final step is to make this niche site the go-to resource for its niche.

Obviously, that third step is the tough part where the action happens.

Now, why is it called a “duel?” Because it’s a race to see who can get the best results and “win” the duel.

Are you in?

Granted, this isn’t a course per se. It’s more action based. This means that every participant learns along the way by looking at what others and Pat are doing, and then in the end everybody wins.

The only question is: Are you in? I am. Feel free to connect with me on the NSD forum.


There’s a Thing Going On … It’s Called the Niche Site Duel, Here’s Why You Should Participate | newInternetOrder.com

Our Yoast SEO plugin handles optimization of your WordPress site for search engines and we dare say it does that pretty well. Most of that is technical optimization, like our XML sitemap functionality, as well as aids in content optimization, like your content and readability analysis. But there’s more to SEO than that. You need links pointing to your website and for that to happen, people need to talk about you and your website. That is the essence of social media, so our plugin helps you optimize for that as well!

In our SEO plugin you’ll find a Social menu. In this post we’ll explain what it does and what you should do when you’ve installed the plugin. We’ll focus on Facebook and Twitter, as these are the biggest networks out there. Of course, there’s a note about Pinterest too.

Facebook

Facebook’s OpenGraph is used by quite a few different social networks and search engines, but obviously the main reason for adding it, is for Facebook itself. Facebook’s OpenGraph support is continuously evolving but the basics are simple: in a few pieces of metadata you declare:

  • What type of content is this?
  • What’s the locale?
  • What’s the canonical URL of the page?
  • What’s the name of the site and the title of the page?
  • What’s the page about?
  • Which image / images should be shown when this post or page is shared on Facebook?

Most of the values above are filled out by the plugin by default based on your post’s data. It uses the locale of your site, the site’s name, your SEO title, the canonical, the meta description value etc to fill out most of the required OpenGraph tags.

If you fill out the data mentioned above, and share the URL of this post or page on Facebook, your Facebook post could look like this:

example of a post shared on FB

So what do you need to do?

First of all, go to SEO → Social, the Facebook tab and make sure OpenGraph is enabled. Then decide to use either a person or an application as the “admin” of your site, as this will allow you to use Facebook Insights. Just click the appropriate button and follow the on-screen guidance which will take you to facebook.com. Next, make sure you’ve entered the Facebook Page URL for your site or brand on the Accounts tab, as that will be connected to each post as the publisher.

The settings below that are for the Frontpage: which image should it use and what description should be used. Take some time and craft these, making sure the image is large enough (at least 200px x 200px).

Then, set a good default image. This will be used when you have a post or page that does not contain an image, so it can still be shared with maximal visibility. This image should also be at least 200px x 200px.

Lastly, go to your personal WordPress profile (just click on your name, top right in the settings) and add a link to your Facebook profile, if you want to associate your Facebook profile with your content. If you do, be sure to also enable the “Follow” functionality on Facebook.

As you can see, this is a few minutes work. After that, Yoast SEO takes all of the work out of your hands. Sometimes Facebook doesn’t pick up changes right away. So if you want to “debug” how Facebook perceives your page, open up a URL in the Facebook Debugger, this one for instance is for the Yoast.com homepage.

Optimize your site for search & social media and keep it optimized with Yoast SEO Premium »

Yoast SEO for WordPress pluginBuy now » Info

OpenGraph for Video Content

If you have video content, you would need to do more work, unless you’re using our Video SEO plugin. Our Video SEO will take care of all the needed meta data, and by doing so it will allow you to properly share your videos on Facebook.

Twitter

For Twitter, the functionality is quite similar to Facebook. The functionality is called Twitter Cards. For several of these values Twitter “falls back” to Facebook OpenGraph, so we don’t have to include everything, but it still is quite a bit. We’re talking about:

  • the type of content / type of card
  • an image
  • a description
  • the twitter account of the site / publisher
  • the twitter account of the author
  • the “name” for the domain to show in a Twitter card

If we share the same post as above on Twitter, with all the required meta data, this card would look like this:example twitter card

The title is taken from the SEO title you enter in the Yoast metabox, the description is taken from the meta description unless a specific description for Twitter is provided in the Social tab of the metabox. The image is the featured image of the post, unless a specific Twitter image has been specified. This leaves two values for you to fill out in the settings:

  • The site Twitter account, which you can fill out on the SEO → Social page under the Twitter tab;
  • The author Twitter account, which he / she can enter on their individual WordPress profile page.

Preview your social media post!

Want to check what your post or page will look like on Facebook or Twitter? Then you should get Yoast SEO Premium. It let’s you check, without even leaving the post editor, the layout of your post on Facebook and Twitter. Saving you lots of time switching between tabs! Joost explains how it works in this video:

Checklist for new authors

To get the most of all of the settings you’ve just set up, make sure each (new) author on your site fills out the following on their WordPress profile:

  • Facebook profile URL, make sure follow is enabled on their profile.
  • Twitter username.

What about Pinterest?

Pinterest’s Rich Pins allow for OpenGraph markup as well. To create a rich pin you should add variables like product name, availability, price and currency to your page. As this is mainly interesting for products, we decided to add functionalities to create rich pins to our WooCommerce plugin.

Conclusion

So go ahead and use Yoast SEO to optimize for social media! This isn’t very hard to do, it just takes a few minutes of your time and you will “reap the benefits”. As these social networks keep on adding new features, we’ll keep our plugin and this article up-to-date, so be sure to update the plugin regularly.

Read more: ‘Social Media Strategy: where to begin?’ »

launchA while ago, actually something like a year and a half ago, I launched a little tool called the statistical significance calculator. The thing was working just fine until I changed my design a couple of months ago, and then it stopped.

Since I believe it still is a great tool for assessing your split testing campaign’s results, I’ve decided to relaunch it. Or more accurately, make it work again.

If you know what this is about and don’t want to read any further then just click this link and test it for yourself: Statistical Significance Calculator.

However, if the thing that’s on your mind right now is more like “what the hell is statistical significance?!” then here’s your answer:

A/B testing

Let’s start with the basics. A/B testing or split testing is simply a method of running two versions of something (usually a marketing message or copy) alongside each other, taking note of the results, and then pointing out the better performing version.

Now, this “pointing out the better version” part isn’t always that easy. Sometimes the raw numbers simply don’t convey any clear message, and that’s where statistical significance comes into play.

The deal with statistical significance

In a word, statistical significance is a math-thing.

Its purpose is to tell us if we’re getting significant split testing results or not. In plain English, it gives us an insight if using our split testing results for making any kind of decision about the test subject is a good idea or not. In other words, statistical significance tells us what’s the chance of our test results being purely accidental.

Let me give you an example. Let’s say you have a split test around a given sales message. Version (a) managed to generate 12 conversions out of 100 views, while version (b) got 15 conversions out of 102 views. The question: Which is the better version?

Our simple human mind tells us that it’s version (b) – it has a 15% conversion rate while version (a) has only 12%. However, math tells us that the results are not significant (try them out in my calculator), and therefore, can’t be taken seriously.

In the example above, the test sample is simply too small to be able to determine anything accurately (100 views and 102 views) in relation to the number of actions/conversions (12 and 15).

My statistical significance calculator has been designed to point out every such situation, so you can make better decisions based on your split testing results.

Well, that’s it for the theory part. Here’s the link again: http://newinternetorder.com/statistical-significance-calculator/. The exact how-to guide is also there.

By the way, do you split test various elements of your site a lot?


My Statistical Significance Calculator Relaunches | newInternetOrder.com

This site is for model and designer Jessa Hinton.

It uses the WordPress engine with the PhotoPharm theme. Urban Legend web was contracted by Standard Really to make modifications to that theme, including

  • modifcations to the main menu and mouseovers
  • css styling modifications to the blog, ‘ask jessa’, press and contact pages
  • css styling modifications to the single posts

 

WordPress 3.5.2 is now available. This is the second maintenance release of 3.5, fixing 12 bugsThis is a security release for all previous versions and we strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately. The WordPress security team resolved seven security issues, and this release also contains some additional security hardening.

The security fixes included:

  • Blocking server-side request forgery attacks, which could potentially enable an attacker to gain access to a site.
  • Disallow contributors from improperly publishing posts, reported by Konstantin Kovshenin, or reassigning the post’s authorship, reported by Luke Bryan.
  • An update to the SWFUpload external library to fix cross-site scripting vulnerabilities. Reported by mala and Szymon Gruszecki. (Developers: More on SWFUpload here.)
  • Prevention of a denial of service attack, affecting sites using password-protected posts.
  • An update to an external TinyMCE library to fix a cross-site scripting vulnerability. Reported by Wan Ikram.
  • Multiple fixes for cross-site scripting. Reported by Andrea Santese and Rodrigo.
  • Avoid disclosing a full file path when a upload fails. Reported by Jakub Galczyk.

We appreciated responsible disclosure of these issues directly to our security team. For more information on the changes, see the release notes or consult the list of changes.

Download WordPress 3.5.2 or update now from the Dashboard → Updates menu in your site’s admin area.

Also: WordPress 3.6 Beta 4: If you are testing WordPress 3.6, please note that WordPress 3.6 Beta 4 (zip) includes fixes for these security issues.

Last night I pushed out an update to our WordPress SEO plugin, version 1.4.8. It included a ton of changes including support for the new author stuff Facebook announced yesterday. We had been testing all the other changes in that release for a while already and all seemed fine, so I was baffled when I released the update and got a flurry of complaints within like 2 minutes. It was our fault, sorry for that, but let me explain why.

I immediately rolled the release back and started to try and figure out what was breaking. I’d updated several of my own sites immediately and all were working fine. Luckily some people in the support forums had given the exact error message. Turns out we were using so called anonymous functions. These are awesome, if you need to do one small thing, this saves you the hassle of creating a function and cluttering the global namespace. But… They were added in PHP 5.3.

PHP 5.2

WordPress still supports PHP 5.2, even though PHP itself doesn’t even support it anymore and hasn’t been supporting it anymore for almost 2.5 years. If you look at the WordPress stats though, you’ll see a large amount of people (or rather, their web hosts) still runs PHP 5.2:

WordPress PHP versions

I think it’s fair to say the majority of web hosts out there are lunatics. If it’s your job to make sure web servers run fast and secure, how on earth can you run software on it that hasn’t been supported for over 2.5 years? Seriously, if my update broke your site last night, I’m sorry, truly, I am. But: go read this and upgrade to a decent WordPress host.

Seriously: PHP 5.3 was released as a stable version june 30th 2009. I remember that day well, my son became 3 years old that day. He’ll be 7 in just 9 days from now. The company Yoast didn’t even exist yet then. But yet we’re still relying on bloody old software.

Anyway, you can’t blame users for the lunacy of their web hosts, so we’ve been working on removing those anonymous functions and we’ve been doing another round of tests so we can now confidently release WordPress SEO 1.4.9. We’ve skipped 1.4.8 to avoid confusion in the support forums.

Lessons learned

First of all, I’ve downgraded my local development environment (on which I use MAMP Pro) to use PHP 5.2 instead of the PHP 5.4 I was sporting there. I’ve also, this morning, downgraded our test servers.

Next to that, Mark Jaquith was so kind as to hop in immediately when Scribu pointed me at a system called Travis CI and he helped me get it set up for WordPress SEO here.

Travis CI helps with automated testing of releases. We’ll have to write a lot of unit tests for it so we can test more of the plugin properly and in an automated fashion, but funnily enough… Travis CI doesn’t have support for PHP 5.2. So even though it’s awesome, it wouldn’t have prevented this issue.

In the end…

So, we / I made a mistake. We fixed it, we learned from it, time to move on. WordPress SEO 1.4.9 is out there and it’s awesome. We:

  • fixed several bugs;
  • added an XML sitemap for author / user profiles;
  • added better detection of that other big SEO plugin and our own old Robots Meta plugin and the plugin is now better at helping you import data from those and then disable them;
  • added support for Twitters new twitter:domain meta tag;
  • added support for Facebooks author / publishing release;
  • There’s more, if you want to know what, read the changelog.

This post first appeared on Yoast. Whoopity Doo!

I’ve been working on integrating our SEO plugins more deeply with Genesis the last few weeks and something dawned on me. Ever since I wrote my post on Genesis 2.0, I’ve been thinking: Genesis started a small revolution, but we should open that up. More theme developers should start doing a Schema.org API and if they do, we should make sure they’re interoperable.

In short: Genesis 2.0 added a Schema.org API, with hooks like:

  • genesis_attr_entry
  • genesis_attr_entry-title
  • genesis_attr_entry-content

These hooks are very consistently named, which is very important. There’s one “issue” though: they’re namespaced. They all start with “genesis_”, which is a good practice by the Genesis community and one most theme authors use. But let’s think about this from a plugin authors perspective: if I add support for Genesis Schema.org API and say WooThemes decides to adopt it as well but prefixes it with “woo_”. And then 10 other theme vendors do the same thing. Instead of having one line of code that filters a specific hook’s output, I have 10 add_filter lines to add, and I need to do that for every change.

The same is true with some other hooks that loads of us plugin developers need but WordPress core refuses to add. I’ve had lengthy discussions about the need for a body_open hook in core, but the core team has all sorts of reasons not to want that. I see why, but that doesn’t stop us, as the WordPress community, with coming up with our own standards for hooks and standardizing them in a proper fashion.

WordPress theme hook standardisation board

I think we should be able to get the big theme guys together and come up with a proper standard for these things and it wouldn’t even need much work. Because genesis naming is so elegant, everyone could copy their schema.org API and prefix it with their own standard prefix. The only thing we have to decide on together is a constant we define for the theme prefix.

I’d say WP_THEME_NAMESPACE would be good. What that would allow is for Genesis to define that constant as “genesis”, and for me as a plugin author to hook into that:

add_filter( WP_THEME_NAMESPACE . '_attr_entry', 'yoast_filter_function' );

This would then work with every theme that has support for that API and has defined the theme’s namespace. For other hooks it might be a bit more work, what I’d call “body_open” is in Genesis as “genesis_before”, which is semantically a bit weird in my opinion, but we should discuss.

I’d love to come up with a proper standard for these things. Which is why I’m calling for the formation of a WordPress theme hook standardisation ”board”. I’d love to standardise hooks that all big themes have in such a way that plugins can start to rely on them. We shouldn’t “rely” on the core team to do this, in my opinion. I’d love to get StudioPress, WooThemes and all of the other theme people on board and do this together. If you represent a theme company and would like to join, jump in in the comments and I’ll contact those of you who “register” their support to come up with a proper way of discussing this.

Update: of course 10 seconds after publication @nacin tells me something like this already exists in part: the Theme Hook Alliance. We should probably all work together :)

 

This post first appeared on Yoast. Whoopity Doo!

You know, when some people are asked to do a presentation on a subject, they start by thinking about what they’re going to say, how they’re going to say it, and what their presentation will contain.

Me, I just start writing code.

I was asked to present at WordCamp Seattle, on the specific subject of the GPL. Talking about licenses is pretty dry stuff, so I came up with some ideas and such and put them down and built a presentation. No problem. But naturally, I wanted to use WordPress to present it.

I’ve tried this sort of presentation-theme idea a couple years back, and didn’t really get anywhere good. HTML wasn’t up to the task at the time, not really. But in my searching for this again, I ran across the Google IO 2012 slides template.

It’s a neat template. Does some very cool stuff. HTML5, CSS3, clever Javascripty goodness. Bit annoying to adjust though, and very hardcoded. So, I turned it into a WordPress theme instead.

I call it “Slides”, because I’m bad at naming things.

If you want to skip straight to the download, you’ll find it at the bottom of the post, but I encourage you to read first, because if you just install it on an existing WordPress install, you’ll find your site to be instantly broken.

Now, for those people wanting to use this, note that it more or less takes over the whole WordPress install. The Posts menu is actually removed. So is Comments, for now, because I can’t think of a reasonably good way to show or allow comments on presentations yet. Might add them back later.

Since this takes over the whole WordPress install, the best way I can think to use it is on a multi-site install. I run multi-site myself, so creating a new subdomain site takes about 30 seconds. Just create a new site, give it a new domain mapping, and voila, done. So with this, I can easily pop off wcsea2013.ottopress.com as a new site, turn on the Slides theme, and create my presentation slides in there. Easy. So I recommend using this theme with multi-site if you’re planning on leaving the results online after the fact, sort of thing.

See, Presentations are not Blogs. The default WordPress “posts” model doesn’t really fit well. The “pages” model does, a bit, but there’s an inherent problem that Pages are difficult to put in a particular order. So I took a look around the plugin directory and found a plugin called Simple Page Ordering which fits the bill nicely. It lets you make all the Pages you want, and then drag and drop them in the Page list to re-order them. Very cool beans, and highly necessary for this sort of thing.

So I integrated “support” for this plugin, with the only real “support” being that if you don’t have the plugin installed, then the theme will give you a quick link to install it. :)

How the theme works:

  • The first three slides are hardcoded, the intro, the title, and the instructions.
  • Every “slide” after that is a Page.
  • There’s a custom taxonomy for picking individual slide options, which I’ll explain below
  • The Featured Image functionality is used for custom whole-slide backgrounds
  • The “Excerpt” is used as a “Presenter notes” field, which is awesome for reasons you’ll understand in a minute.

Now, let’s do a run-down of the theme:

First Slide

As you can see, it’s simply a logo with a “Follow along” message. The URL comes from WordPress itself, so it will be correct automatically. The logo can be changed through the Theme Customizer. All of the main configuration options are in the customizer in fact.

Customizer for slides

The Square Logo there, with my gravatar in it, is used on the next slide. The theme itself comes with a couple of default WordPress logos instead, BTW, not my scuba picture. :)

Second Slide

Here you can see where that square logo is used. I recommend using a transparent PNG here, for full effect. Additionally, you can see where the site title and subtitle become the name of the presentation. Just below that is the Event and Author Information, which is also configurable in the Theme Customizer screen.

Instructional Slide

The third slide is the instructions, and this is hardcoded for now. This is actually an important slide to have, because it shows that there are hotkey navigational controls. All these controls come from the original Google IO 2012 template, and boy are they cool. Look what happens when you hit P for example:

Speaker Note

Yes, those speaker notes you made in the excerpt fields pop up for the viewer to read directly. Your slides can be useful even if the person wasn’t able to attend the presentation itself. Very neat.

But the speaker notes play another important part too. There’s a hidden trick: Visit the site with the parameter ?presentme=true and you’ll get a new popup window.
(Note: Chrome’s popup blocker may block it, you’ll have to allow the popup.)
(Note 2: The theme will remember that you did this, visit it with ?presentme=false to turn it back off)

Popup Presenter Window

If you’ve used Keynote or Powerpoint’s various presenter modes, you’ll recognize this. This extra window lives separately from your main window, but has linked the navigation to it.

So, as a presenter, you’re connected to a projector or big screen. You have two screens connected to the computer, which are separate. You open the browser to your site, add the presentme=true parameter, and get this second window. You keep the second window on your display, and the main window on the big display (with the handy F hotkey to switch them both to fullscreen). When you click to the next slide in either window, both windows will change. You can see the next slide and your notes for this slide on your window only. And you don’t need anything more than a web browser; no presentation software required. Just a web browser, on any computer connected to the screens.

Speaking of any computer, the presentation looks pretty good on a touchscreen device too. Even takes advantage of touch motions for flipping slides. :)

You can press O to get an overview mode.

Overview mode

Want a full screen background in a particular slide? Set a Featured Image on that Page.

Full slide background

The normal black border background around the whole presentation is fully customizable too, in the Theme Customizer. It uses the normal WordPress Custom Background functionality for that.

Images and links work too. This is the web, after all.

Images in Slides

Now, these are slides, so the fonts need to be pretty big. If you find that the space is too limiting, then one of the available options in the custom taxonomy that Slides offers you is called, oddly enough, “smaller”. It makes somewhat smaller text.

Smaller text

Ooh, that page number doesn’t look too good in the bottom right though. No matter, there’s a “nobackground” option to eliminate that page number on specific slides:

No background

Not every slide has to look exactly the same though. Here’s a “segue” slide, which is a useful layout from transitioning from one larger idea to another. Note that the “title” is at the bottom, in lighter colored text, and the content goes up top.

Segue Slide

Finally, of course, there is a thank you slide, with a different layout entirely. Useful for the ending of a presentation. :)

slidesthankyou

There’s a “dark” option too, but the colors still need some work on that, so the less said, the better. The theme is a work in progress after all.

And being a work in progress, it’s still partially broken. :)

  • The Taxonomy stuff needs improvement. Right now, it has problems removing the items. Taxonomy was not meant to work with checkboxes, really.
  • There is a “build” class which you can add to any top-level wrapper (like a UL surrounding LIs), and this will cause fade-ins. That is, instead of going to the next slide, each line-item will fade in. The build class actually works on any nested tags, so a DIV with class=”build” that is surrounding P’s causes the fade-in effect to work just as well. But how to make that “easy” in the visual editor? I’m not sure.
  • The theme includes the “pretty print” code for doing code highlighting. Wrap the code in a PRE, give it a class=”prettyprint” and a data-lang=”language” for the language, and it will do code highlighting. However, the pretty print code in the original template did not include PHP, so I’ve added one I found elsewhere. But it needs testing. Additionally, in your “pre” code, add some B tags to surround a significant section. This will make the “H” hotkey cause the other code to fade-out when pressed, highlighting the code you want to draw attention to. This is all useful stuff, but a bit hard to use in the editor and thus needs a bit more work.

I’ve been screwing around with this for a while, and not making any real progress. But as they say, real developers ship, so what the heck. This is version 0.1-alpha-whiskey-tango-foxtrot. Try it out, on a test site. Use it for a presentation. Improve upon it. Send me patches.

But here’s the best thing about this theme: it works for the intended purpose. I presented using it at WordCamp Seattle… using nothing but my Chromebook. The Chromebook runs ChromeOS, which is little more than a glorified web browser. It has no other software but Chrome on it. But it does have a DisplayPort output, and with an HDMI converter cable, I connected it, dragged the main window to the big screen, and presented just fine with it. The browser alone is more than enough to do a presentation with. :)

DownloadDownload Slides-0.1.zip

It’s actually quite funny how the newest headline at Copyblogger says Leave Lame Behind only to present the lamest promotional video I’ve seen in months just under it…

I mean, check it out for yourself: Copyblogger (or go directly to the video on Vimeo).

Basically, it’s just a combination of catchphrases one after another.

lame

But let’s break the lame line by line:

“Meet Sally, she’s a rock star freelance writer.”

Now everyone’s a rock star {fill in the blank}. Quite possibly, if you’re not a rock star at what you do then you’ve failed. Besides, being a rock star is cool, you get to get hammered every night and drive a Bentley into a swimming pool. Is that what Sally does?

“Businesses turn to her for the smartest online content marketing strategies.”

There’s already a great opinion on this whole content marketing expressed by Joost, so I probably don’t have to explain what’s lame about it.

Then we meet Ned…

“Ned can write, but otherwise he has no clue what to do [with content marketing].”

I mean, yeah. Basically, freelance writers can only write, but finding a creative way to promote things along the way is seriously above their skillset. Writers are simply not skilled enough to figure this thing out, right?

“Are you ready for my secret? It’s called my Copyblogger.”

Again, sure. That’s the secret to a successful career as a rock star freelance writer (remember, driving Bentleys into swimming pools and stuff).

Then we start seeing Ned’s thoughts regarding the possible price of this (magic-bullet) thing… $275… $500… $842… $1005. Wow, Ned really knows the usual price points in the “internet marketing education” niche.

“Relax, Ned, it’s totally free.”

Well, using the word “totally” is kind of dangerous and deceptive. Because this means that there are no upsells, no one time offers, no additional tools or products to buy along the way, and so on … which we all know there are (if you make a snapshot of the video at 01:13, you’ll see that there’s an upgrade option available).

“Ned feels smarter already.”

He’s just heard about yet another online training, so why wouldn’t it make him feel smarter already, right? It’s not like he’s gone through a number of training courses in his career…

The verdict

The video is really impressive. There’s just so much lame packed into a minute and 35 seconds of video that it’s almost hard to believe.

That being said, the landing page for this thing – currently the homepage of Copyblogger – is really cool. It has clear content presentation and probably converts well even despite the video.

Being-real-comment-#1 ———————————–

Now, after all I’ve said, I have to admit that I’m not implying that the product isn’t good. It probably is. I’ve been following Copyblogger for years and enjoyed most of the free content they offer (didn’t buy anything though). So I’m only guessing this thing will be of similar quality… Only if it wasn’t for the video. Come on. You can do better than this, guys.

Being-real-comment-#2 ———————————–

Calling out an authority is actually a nice exercise if you have any kind of website. And it doesn’t matter if it’s a private or business project.

In short, we should always question authority, no matter who they are, even just for the sake of it.

So I have a challenge for you. Pick an authority in your niche, find something not-so-cool about what they’re doing, and share it with your audience. Be honest and let them know exactly what’s not cool.

And don’t expect the authority in question to read or comment on your post. Even though I am linking to Copyblogger in here, I seriously doubt that anyone from their team will come here to read my short rant. I’m expressing my opinion solely for you – my audience. Essentially, in a world where everyone is preaching Copyblogger’s new creation, there should be at least one man who’s not.


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