The Art of Being Interesting

The Art of Being Interesting

Reader Comments (380)

  1. Hey, interesting post. (Someone had to.)

    I barely know where to start, you made so many points, but one that stuck out was the aspirin comment. When I started blogging, I found that helping people, and solving issues was the best way to drive grateful traffic. And grateful people are happy people.

    In fact, sometimes just solving a problem you yourself have and assuming others have it too can be effective. Case in point, I wrote a post on why I left for Blogger and another on how I’ve come to use Google Reader as my web brain.

    Both were borne out of personal frustration, but they have been two of my most popular posts to date (and neither contained scandalously clad women.)

    Great article Jon, thanks for sharing!

    Daniel Smith

  2. “Be Wrong” – that for me is probably the hardest thing to do.
    It’s so difficult putting yourself in a position that might invite (unwanted) criticism. But as you mentioned – thats not really the point – the point is to get people to pay attention and respond.
    PS – The Borat example is perfect – gave me my chuckle for the day.

  3. Not surprisingly, another gem from CopyBlogger, the type of post to read and re-read. And then read again, before ‘doing something’.

  4. I’m disappointed in you, Copyblogger.

    Half-naked women? Sure, it works. But do you endorse things just because they work? If so, I can list a whole bunch of slimy things you might consider for your list.

    This coming from Copyblogger feels surprising to me…like when someone whose integrity you value shows they just want to peak down your shirt after all. It’s like going back to high school.

    • Agree with Tammy. Not interesting. If anything, predictable and we’re over it.

      Some great ideas in the article, however.

  5. Thank you for sharing this on Twitter. I found it an enlightening post. No images of how I would implement some of your suggestions popped into my head right away. I will have to think about it a bit. Certainly, my blog can use some more character. Thank you! This was helpful to me. — Wendy J. Roan

  6. Tammy, I believe that was an attempt at humor. You know, break up the list with some levity?

    As Jon said, bloggers are far too serious. Blog readers, too.

  7. This first thing I thought about when I read the headline was Pick Up Artists. I read the book The Game awhile back and eventually realized the best thing you can do when trying to pick up women, was to make yourself more interesting. This of course relates to all aspects of life, including blogging.

    To add a couple of things I learned.

    #1 Talk in terms of the other person’s interest. Too often as bloggers it’s all about us. Remember who is listening.

    #2 Do interesting stuff. If you met someone and they said they had a blog you’d be ho-hum. But if they said they raced cars, you’d be interested. Be out of the ordinary.

  8. Brian, that’s not good enough. We women have just heard too many men tell us to lighten up after we’ve heard the 10,000th sexist joke. It’s a predictable response that does nothing for me. I do appreciate your direct note, though.

    • You can’t win them all. As a man, I am not humored with sexists joke myself. I am old-fashioned, i guess, in that I believe that what is suppose to be done in the bedroom must remain in the bedroom.

  9. Brian, here’s a tip from a conflict resolution expert: Defending doesn’t work well because the person who disagrees with you finds your defensive response lacking. That’s the case here.

    Explaining doesn’t work, because it assumes benign intention sanitizes unpleasant impact. That’s the case here.

    Acknowledging works, because acknowledgment and agreement are not the same. Acknowledging works because it (a) sends the message the blogger appreciates the reader’s interaction, (b) sends the message you’re willing to consider an alternative view, and (c) sends the message that you comprehend that there are many legitimate views.

  10. I so enjoy and benefit from all your writing. Your point on, courage to say what your really think, is my favorite. I’m an entrepreneur who blogs and is a professional speaker. One of my greatest experiences was enrolling in a stand up comedy class. This is great place to practice “being interesting and nothing is sacred”. It also unleashed so much of my reluctance to be really honest.

  11. Tammy, I didn’t write this post, Jon did. It’s up to Jon to acknowledge your competing viewpoint as the author, not me.

    I’m just sharing my point of view, just like you are. Mine happens to be different from yours, but you seem to think you’re automatically entitled to be right. In case you didn’t get the memo, being rigidly PC and humorless is not as cool as it never used to be.

    Quit telling me how to think and what to say, and I’ll show you the same courtesy. You’re coming across as more of a bully than a conflict resolution expert.

  12. Tammy-Let’s use your formula: You don’t like to see the naked figure used to illustrate a point. You somehow think less of those who do. Have I got that right?

    Jon- this is my favorite post you’ve written. For all the things it says about fully exploring the possibilities of communication in this discipline.

  13. Tammy: You seem to be looking for an apology. I can understand why, but I don’t feel one is justified, nor do I feel any explanation will satisfy you. So… I don’t think there’s anything else for me to say.

    Ron: That’s absolutely right. What is dating, if it’s not about getting attention? These techniques apply there as well.

  14. Loved the post (and the discussion is darn interesting,too!) I recently read Made to Stick (and reviewed it on my site in April) and this post certainly is (sticky)… Thanks for all the great ideas!! Now where can I find a picture of a scantily clad male… J/K!

  15. What should I do if I have a story and nothing else?

    No right and no wrong, no half nakeds that take aspirin.
    Instead of being irreverent, it’s irrelevant.

    And of course it lacks readers.

    But the story! The story!

  16. I like to be a little (okay, more than a little sometimes) irreverent in my blog posts. Ultra serious writing can be pretty dry and boring to read, and I’d rather write in a voice that is more similar to how people actually talk.

  17. Dear Tammy,

    As far as I know, that was your first ever comment, and you didn’t even introduce yourself first, compliment Brian on his tie, or wait till after you ate to complain to the waiter about the food. How offensive!

  18. I think this has been one of the most enjoyable comment threads I’ve ever read on here. More more!

    There’s a post for you guys – how to leverage your commentors to bring in traffic…

  19. I think what happened with Tammy and Brian is Tammy came here and turned everything around with #2, #5, #8, #12, and #13.

    I just know this was a traffic building technique she was trying to use to get us to browse over to her site. Which I did. Ahhh!! Got me!! Nice site by the way. I like the updateable story area with Ajax (it looks like Ajax anyway) 🙂 Sorry, once a geek always a geek.

  20. Should I respond — Should I leave it alone

    After grappling with myself for a bit…

    My thoughts as I read the post and then my opinion about the comments afterward.

    I noticed the reference to a naked girl. I thought “yep… too bad that works”. I made a split second **choice** not to look further into that.

    I moved on to the next bullet point – because I care about marketing and people’s insights and experience regarding it.

    I enjoyed the rest of the post – essentially taking what I could use, what made the most sense for my style and personality, and just left the rest.

    It’s all about choice, acceptance of what we cannot change and priorities.

    I personally knew I would be offended (yes I guess I’m a bit conservative) by the naked girl – so, I didn’t go there.

    I love the information here. It’s not new, but it is from a new perspective.

    The only thing I could add to this post about how to be interesting is this: Don’t forget to still be yourself. You can push yourself out of your comfort zone and try something different for sure. But, it’s my hope that people don’t don’t create a false image of themselves – thereby not really being true to themselves.

  21. A great post, except for the naked girl bit. I agree with Tammy, both her initial comment and her comment about jokes and lightening up. Don’t tell us to lighten up Brian when it is not you struggling to get men to relate to you beyond your appearance.
    On the other hand Jon did say it is ‘interesting’ to be ‘wrong’ in a post. You were Jon…and it is interesting… and gosh it works…I am duped again:-)

  22. I feel like I should write something, but I can’t come up with anything interesting. What the hell, I’ll give it a shot.

    I wrote a post about being virtually naked. We used an image of a naked woman. The image attracted a lot of attention to the words, which is the bit I care about.

    Different people will see it with different eyes, but I didn’t see anything nasty or sexist or exploitative in the image we picked. Startling, sure. We don’t get a lot of naked on copyblogger.

    Frankly, I deal with some pretty disgusting sexism on a not-infrequent basis in the professional world. People (ok, men) who don’t take women’s ideas seriously, who value work less because it’s produced by women, and who simply can’t get beyond their own definition of a woman as about 65% of a man.

    I get so tired of this I could put a fork in somebody’s eye. It pisses me off in a very major way. If I’m going to go to the barricades, it’s going to be over that.

    I’ve never had the slightest inkling of that kind of BS in my professional dealings with Brian or Jon. They respect me, they respect my work, my biology doesn’t particularly seem to interest them. It’s really quite refreshing.

    I understand that other women (and sometimes men) have a different reaction. Just speaking for myself, naked ladies don’t bother me. People like to look at pictures of naked people. *I* like to look at pictures of naked people. Naked people are inherently interesting. I just see it as a fascinating bit of monkey-wiring.

    And yeah, I do think it would work with a naked guy as well. It’s a different dynamic, but it’s still interesting.

    That’s how I see it. You may see it differently.

  23. oh, p.s., I forgot the most important thing–Jon, I loved this post! Bookmarking it for when I am desperate to come up with decent post ideas.

  24. Janice,

    Thank you for saying what I waited until reading all the comments to say. The post is about opening out your inner self. This is like panning a book or a movie you refuse to read.

    But at least there are commenters who understand Jon’s #1 pretty well. Except it turns out it’s not always interesting.


    I always enjoy your writing but this one is especially fine.

    #20 is what I wish for, of course, don’t we all? But #21 is the money tip.

    “The one and only thing of consequence is your reader. You can rail against this fact for as long as you like, but as long you do, you’ll never be interesting.”

    Yes, yes. Love it.



  25. I think the real way to drive a large amount of visitors to your blog and make real money out of it, is run a blog about the art of writing or advertising your blog like Copyblogger…

    Am I wrong ?

    Still, I enjoy Copyblogger because it helps me run a better blog ; but not one I will ever be able to draw a living from, I am afraid.

  26. Yes of course, but it grew quickly thanks to the topics aimed at bloggers in general.

    I am not criticising Copyblogger’s success. It deserves it.

    I just want to say that reading some of the topics discussed, any beginner might think that they will reach a similar amount of subscribers if they follow the advices given. This is simply not the case. That’s fine as long as we know it.

    In some way what we see claimed in Copyblogger and other blogs of the sort, is like a pyramid sale where only the few at the top make real money.

    If you are not blogging about the art of blogging, don’t give up your day job ; you’ll still need it for a very long time, if not, for ever.

    I guess I am saying all that because I am envious…

  27. Sonia: Comments like the one above make me feel like a tongue-tied fool. Thank you. 🙂

    William: It looks that way sometimes, doesn’t it? Some of the biggest blogs out there are about marketing topics. It’s easy to believe that they’re successful because of their subject matter.

    But really, that’s not the case. Look at all of the successful blogs in niches like personal finance and tech. Many of them are even bigger and more profitable than Copyblogger (not that we’re a lightweight by any means).

    Your niche does influence how big your blog can become, but it’s not nearly as important as you might think. All of the techniques here on Copyblogger have worked in hundreds of niches.

    Just keep reading. It took me over two years of reading Copyblogger to really start to understand and apply everything. Stick with it, and it will come together for you.

  28. Oh my goodness, I tongue-tied Jon, didn’t know that was possible. 😉

    William, it may surprise you (it surprised me) that Darren Rowse does far better financially with his photography blog than he does with Problogger.

    If you want to draw income from a blog, there are a number of ways to do that. Starting a how-to-blog blog or a marketing blog is probably the worst. (Trust me.) Stay open to possibilities & keep studying the craft of blogging, and don’t let yourself get discouraged. Some subjects are more profitable than others, for sure. But you don’t necessarily get a very good idea of what the more profitable subjects are just by looking at the technorati top 100.

    Let’s say you had a blog about koi ponds. If you created a loyal following, then created some eBooks and videos or even a full-blown Teaching Sells-style learning environment about koi ponds, you could make a decent amount of money with it. There are people making a living on weirder niches than that, believe me.

    It takes a lot of work. It takes a fair bit of knowledge. It takes focused effort. Sometimes it takes some creativity & trial and error. But it’s not magic.

  29. Sonia, I would like to put some more nails into the pseudo-puritan coffin that you prepared with your first answer about nudity.
    I am very interested to see all those who are that shy as to read your blog, come to Louvre. There are hundreds of rooms with naked women. What would they say there? Improper? How? Nobody said anything about nudity in times of Rubin. Are we going back?
    To speak about undressing it’s so logic just to show the end result of it -nudity.

    This reminds me a joke:
    One sales person had to reach a large city. But on way there he stopped in a little town with inly one main street. The man decided to stay for the night in the town. Suddenly he saw that his watch stopped. After checking into the hotel, he went out to look for a watch repairman.
    Towards the end of the street he saw a shop with a large watch in it’s window.
    Glad that he found what he was looking for, the man entered in.
    An old man stayed there near the wall and sharpened scissors.
    Our man took down the watch from his hand and showed it to the old man.
    -Young man! Do you want to give me your watch?
    -But why?
    -So that you will repair it.
    -But I don’t repair watches!
    -Not? Then what do you do?
    -I am circumsciser.
    -Ah! That’s why scissors?
    -Oh no. Scissors are for my nails.
    -Well. You are circumsciser. But why did you put a watch in shop window?
    -And what did you want me to put there?

    And Jonathan, It’s a great post as it is. The all of it. Even comments (but this last)

  30. Now here’s a list of solid advice that I can put to good use right away! Being consistently interesting is a tough thing to achieve in our blogging efforts. But I would imagine that a good combination of the advice listed here is a good way to stay on top of it…

  31. Sonia, Jon thanks for your comments. It is true that I am targetting a fairly small market. I feel today less like a victim and more like exploring new avenues to increase my reader base.

  32. Did someone mention ‘band camp’? 🙂

    I’d love to preach the way things SHOULD be (okay, that’s a blatant lie – preaching is ‘way boring to me) but the fact remains, people will gyrate to what THEY find fascinating and NOT what I adorn with whatever moralities I might uncover.

    Half-clad women certainly don’t do it for me, but if you put up a sexy Macgyver, you’ve got my (admittedly brief) attention…your quality has to compel me to continue to read.

    And if you put up some ‘here’s how NOT to be pounded into a pancake when the 5th degree black belt spars you into oblivion’… my gosh, instant fervor on my part!

    But I’ll bet I’m kinda sorta unique that way. 🙂

    Data points, Barbara

  33. This is a good post – alas, I tend to be a bore: I’ve book marked this post as a “spice rack” and will come back to these items from time to time … thank you!

  34. @William, that makes me so happy. I clicked through to your site–though I don’t read French well (in English I would rather write; in French I would rather talk), I think you may well find some avenues worth pursuing. I am very glad we could help you re-find your optimism.

  35. @Marisa, I’m quite partial to pictures of adorable toddlers. Seems to work for my crowd, anyway.

    Really if I had my way I’d illustrate every post with a LOLCat, but I think I’d have a mutiny on my hands.

  36. All these tips between copyblogger and problogger are making me more and more inspired to become a full time blogger, just got to get rid of the day job first, but not yet as I am only learning, then I will!

  37. Being startlingly honest can often back fire, especially in the political arena. Often times, people don’t even know what they actually need, and politicians just tell them but we “want” to hear. When one honest person comes along and spits the truth, they are often berated with hateful comments.

  38. Tage: That’s a good observation. If you really think about it, all of these strategies can backfire. It works though, even in politics. Look at how much attention Ron Paul was able to gain. Did it win him the nomination? No. But his honesty still caught the attention of LOTS of people.

  39. Very true! Pictures of half naked women are very interesting to see. However, I think it will only distract your readers unless your post is about the picture.

    But I like the last part. All of us are blogging for our readers so we really must prioritized them.

  40. Hey Jon,

    Sorry I’m late to this party. I’d have loved to been a fly on this wall 😉

    I’m gonna skip the silly parts of this one and just say that Tip #20 is the lead dog for my sled.

    I kinda said the same thing in a post about Meat Loaf-

    “Meat Loaf never just sang a song. He held musical events. Each and every song seemed to be an over-the-top, way over-done extravaganza.”

    Damn fine work.

  41. Excellent tips. To be wrong is needed courage. Or perhaps be very out of things …
    Creating the new and different is to few. This article is hardly an example of suggested. Hugs from Brazil!

  42. My favorite idea here:

    “Bloggers are far too serious. We’re so busy trying to teach that we forget to entertain.”

    In fact, if our writing isn’t entertaining, we’re probably not writing that well in the first place.

  43. Great post… and Tammy’s response proves several points made in the article itself, be courageous, have the balls to say something that not everyone will appreciate, of course, Copyblogger is established enough that your readers know what to expect and making statements that not everyone will like is sort of what we want from you..

  44. Excellent list, Jon. It’s challenging keeping the ball rolling and not become lazy which leads to boring. I like lists like these because it summarizes a bunch of ideas and blog articles into one quick powerful post.

  45. Mmm.

    Great article from Copyblogger (once again) and one of my favourite.

    I liked the first point the best. Firstly, because it caught my attention. Secondly, because it is original. Thirdly, because it is good advice. And, fourthly, because if you are a person offering, say, marketing advice, then being provocative can, in many cases, be just as valuable as being correct.

    And, lastly, just like to add that ‘being interesting’ is, also, bound up, closely, with telling an interesting brand story overall.

  46. One of the best articles on being different and get noticed. Being nice and easy comes naturally to most, which is common, Being wrong,funny or dorky is takes some conscious effort.

  47. Of all the copyblogger posts I’ve seen so far, I like this one best because it pushes me to create something completely new and unique. Many of your articles invite me to stand on the shoulders of giants and leverage their writing techniques. This one stands out because it calls me to dig into my own subjective personal experience, to take risks and push the edge.

    Thanks for the great post. I’ll refer back to it often.

  48. Nice!

    I was so shocked when you said: “Be wrong”. You get attention but do you really get the trust and value from your readers? There might be a great decrease in the number of readers and wouldn’t believe you anymore. I can say that it is good at the first place but in the long run it might be bad to your image.

  49. If there is one killer article I would recommend to any novice blogger like me then this is gotta be it. Man, I learned a lot from this and believe me you’ll see some of these principles applied in my succeding blogs. Thanks guys. I actually linked you up in my blog so my blogger friends can also benefit from this site. More power!

  50. Thanks for the words of advice.

    My fave: Do SOMEthing to stir ’em up. In fact, my favorite internet hang-out spots often have a way of stirring my mind.


  51. haye interesting post. I am new to blogging too. my blog has got the ranking in google but still there are not much visitors on that and the reason could be, I am unable to develop the interest. I guess, your post will help me a lot. Thanks a lot buddy.

  52. Hello Jonathan,
    Your post and advice are very different from others and true. I like your post because you suggest the things which are not normally suggested like in this post “Be Wrong” a different thing which not normally person tries to do.

  53. All these tips between copyblogger and problogger are making me more and more inspired to become a full time blogger, just got to get rid of the day job first, but not yet as I am only learning, then I will!

  54. Nice post again… I agree! Being interesting it one of the most important characteristics of a great blog or even an article. It will make your visitors keep coming back.

    Design can also play a vital role in determining a good blog. Usually, people often stays in a blog longer when the blog has cool and pleasant to eye designs.

    By the way… I think I will rather choose to “be right” and not to “be wrong” hehe. I wanted to be popular in a nice way.

  55. I like the (half) naked woman proof! Don’t know how you guys do it with these great tips everyday. Also, what about: leave room for others to contribute and show off their expertise?

  56. As I read your post I was reflecting upon how many of these techniques would work for non-blog websites. My conclusion is that several would! The post shakes up conventional thinking about what one ‘should’ write copy about.

    Thanks for the shake 🙂


  57. I remember my teacher in writing back in college. She said, the most important rule to be interesting when we write is to – exaggerate!

  58. Of the 21 points listed above, I like this one best: Unleash your inner dork. It brings a smile to my face. Perhaps a dork like me can identify with another dork.

    Very good post. Thumbs up.

  59. Thanks for the blogging insights. It’s not what you do [say] in your blog but what you ‘be’. Being an interesting person gets the readers and twitter followers. I am attracted by those bloggers/twitters that are interesting. Like you. You get my stumbleupon vote and a tweet.

  60. I’m beginning to be addicted to your blog! Sooo interesting! ;p

    The scantily clad woman also offends me, but I guess it does work (sadly!). Why don’t we test scantily clad men too? LOL.

    I think part of the reason it’s in the list is because of its controversy. Controversy always attracts attention.

  61. I’m glad I found your blog, it was on the IM Top Blogs and somewhere else yesterday… so great information, thank you – and I know this is a boring comment – my apologies :)…

  62. Ahh, the art of unleashing your inner dork! I love what David Meerman Scott said about it being OK to be a dork online (from time to time, not all the time, of course!). It’s true. Chris Brogan was just recently an online dork … he sent emails to the wrong email group. He had to apologize and people loved it! It showed them he was human instead of superhuman. Well, OK, maybe he is still superhuman and he just make the dork mistake on purpose, but we still love him! Anyway, great list of 21 tips and the inner dork tip is the best. It encourages those who are afraid to speak up online to dive right in. It is OK to be a dork … don’t worry about it, someone will be sure to correct you! Cheers, Stephanie

  63. Wow.. I’ve got to print this off and put on my desk so that I can read and remember it everyday! Great post, Jonathan!

  64. (in reference to #19)
    this post is like the 21 laws of power for bloggers 🙂

    thanks for the great information

  65. I really enjoyed this! The best thing about it is that all of these things are completely logical and simple. They are points we all recognize and agree with. But it’s funny how writer’s block can hit and suddenly these tools become illusive and overwhelming. I’m definitely going to bookmark this entry and use it next time I get stuck!

    Also, your “half-naked women” point reminded me of a rule that a teacher shared with my creative writing class back in high school. Someone asked him what the proper length would be for our next writing assignment. His response was, “It should be like a woman’s skirt. Long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to be interesting.” Ha! So I may add that to the list of tips.

  66. A well-thought out list. I wish I could be interesting all the time or even at will occasionally, but I settle for modest readership because it’s not like anyone is paying me, right?

  67. Im still stuck on number 8! I am living proof that sex sells, lol. In all seriousness though,this is a gr8 article.Totally loving number: 11) Unleash your inner dork

    thats exactly how I feel when I write.i see it as my ‘alter ego’ … almost like Beyonce/sasha fierce!!

    …but i think ‘inner dork’ works just as well! x

  68. I like your “Be wrong” idea, this is so true. I saw many blogs like this and it really draws peoples attention.

  69. I just printed this off! There are some great tips to put to use and continue to encourage my friends to grow beyond their current comfort zone and do many of the things written about in this post. Thanks!


  70. OK, This one was something that really made me sit erect and read.
    Grt read. Grt advices and i think most of them will definitely work if you do them jus right.

    Nice Work. Expect me back. 🙂

  71. Simple, informative, and set my mind reeling as to some of the options. Also helped me recognize a few things I do right. (Thanks for appreciating the writing, you are correct, we often forget that!) As for the naked women…it made me smile. Don’t think I’ll try it, though.. Still, I tried two facebook ads, one with a smiling young excec (woman) and other more professional looking with only guys. The appeal of the lovely woman won 3:1, regardless of client gender.

  72. Have just tweeted this as it’s an excellent article, with many good points. I love the one about the aspirin and there are plenty of new ideas for me to keep in mind.

    I find that the posts on my site where I have shown my ‘humaness’ by making a mistake or feeling deeply about something are the ones that get more responses. People love to know about people 🙂

    When I’m stuck without inspiration, I shall re-read this and get my writing juices flowing again. Thank you for a great resource Jonathan!

  73. Many bloggers crank out posts the way slaughterhouses crank out chickens?

    Is this true…like a slaughterhause cranks out chickens?

  74. 😛 Are people really that crazy over a tiny little suggestion that has been a universal marketing technique for decades? Notice he also said that women are attracted to such techniques? Are current Axe commercials offensive to you? Would you have been offended if he said “show a partly naked male?” Probably not…nor would most guys who would read that.

    It is uptight and people should lighten up. If you’re offended, you should take a break from the computer.

    Anyway great post, great list. Very useful information and definitely stuff to keep in mind.

  75. Naturally, all learning happens when we give ourselves freedom to experiment. In that process make mistakes and learn to laugh at them. So did I as I started blogging with lots of quirky posts. 🙂
    This post gives me lots of new perspectives to understand what readers might be interested to read.
    By and large, I’m writing from my perspective, and not giving a thought if that interests others. Maybe, I need to give a thought about it, too.
    Thanks for the lovely post, Jonathan!

  76. Great, GREAT post. Definitely had me thinking about somethings that I do well, not so well, and others that I have never even considered! “Do Something” is a big one. Everyone talks about doing stuff, but its the people that actually live it that are the most interesting, and thus, most successful.

  77. Having your own voice and blogging a monetizable niche is key. Couple that with hard work and you will succeed. Bloggers need to understand that it takes sometimes years to develop an audience and traffic.

    Keep blogging and be different!

  78. I have to agree with Natalia outrage here. I don’t care if sexist usage of women’s bodies *works*, it’s still disrespectful of women!

  79. If you scroll up and read the comments, Jon took a beating for that one a year ago when the post was new. I think he won’t make that mistake again, but who knows with him. 😉

    But seriously, he meant it as a joke. The post he links to was written by Sonia — she’s the one who used the half-naked woman trick.

    We thought that was ironically funny. Some others didn’t see the humor. Live and learn.

  80. Live and learn? Hardly.

    I’m proud of my ability to piss off a certain segment of the Copyblogger audience. It’s an indication that I’m successfully messing with their world. In my opinion, it’s a world that needs to be messed with.

    You’ll never be a good marketer if you can’t accept the power of sexuality. It dominates a huge portion of what people think about.

    And besides… why let your serenity be disturbed by a little dude in a wheelchair who clearly gets his kicks from writing controversial stuff?

    Life is too short. Get your panties out of a bunch.

  81. I thought this article deserved a Tweet especially with the discussion that ensued. It puzzles me though that a picture of a (half) naked woman sells (even among women) but a picture of a half naked man hardly does. That’s another example of the power of sexuality I guess.

  82. 21 techniques? Why 21!? Now I have to take my pants off in order to count all of them. But it could all work out. I could be the half-naked man in #8 and this might make Tammy happier.

  83. Hee hee lulz. Jon being proud to piss off a “certain segment” – sure why not? After all, it’s more comfortable to roll with popular opinion and dismiss the views held by the minority… as normal as folks being mesmerized by nekkid pics, at any rate!

  84. Some of these points have obviously been stated before, but you did a good job of adding freshness to them. Kudos to you for that.

  85. I just went through this post and it has a lot of good information. According to the criteria above, my blog posts would not be that interesting because I write in a very formal way. Maybe it would be a good idea to loosen up a bit.

    P.S. That half-clad women bit made me laugh!


  86. This is a good post – alas, I tend to be a bore: I’ve book marked this post as a “spice rack” and will come back to these items from time to time … thank you!

  87. “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” -Oscar Wilde

    Hey Jon,

    Be interesting by being an amplified version of yourself. I guarantee there’s no one else like that.

    Analyze your traits. Don’t try to spin some unique angle here; simply write them down. Then, take your favorite ones and push them to an extreme. Live in a suburb? You’re from the most boring place on earth. Smile often? You have the biggest, most relentless smile in the world.

    Utilize your extremes in whatever it is you create. Combine traits to achieve a Uniqueness Multiplier.

    By being completely yourself, you become unique. By amplifying your traits to an extreme, you become interesting.

    Be unique. Be interesting. Be an amplified yourself.

    Great list, serves as a useful reminder to never be boring or average,

  88. Show a half naked woman…yeah, right! Readers, visitors, other bloggers….it’s so unpredictable what people find interesting and what they click away from immediately. I’ve often slaved over articles just to find no real interaction from readers at all. Others that I basically “throw together” get double the comments and double the retweets. I think that’s probably saying something about me. Maybe the articles I’m slaving over don’t come across as being the real me….while the others are easier to relate to. It’s always a mystery.

  89. LOL!

    Being Wrong is the sorry of my life, I did not know a character defect could turn into a career. I have implented some of the ideas in this post already, the picture idea makes a huge difference! Thanks for the good information!

  90. “Be interesting” you said, and, I had no idea how hard that would be when blogging for my practice’s website!

    It takes hours to come up with a topic, figure out a headline, make a draft, and then edit it into usable shape.

    Of the several posts I’ve made only one has been much commented on – Frisco Chiropractor Uses ART for Sports Injuries. The title seems to be the key, an uncommon juxtaposition of Sports, ART, and Chiropractor.

    Any way, I have an increased respect for copywriters now!

    Grant Stowell, D. C.

  91. A great story is what I try to use the most. People relate to people so the best way to appear interesting is to appear as an imperfect ‘regular’ human being.

  92. This is a great blog with some exceptional posts. Sorry to say, this particular post doesn’t live up to the expectations!

    There are many flaws here. I didn’t enjoy this post as I did reading some others on this blog. Some of the points didn’t make much sense to me.

    Here are a few reasons why I am not impressed with the post:

    # The post was not funny or humorous at all, which we have come to expect from copyblogger site.

    # Most of the points do not have good examples, only general instructions unlike other posts on copyblogger.

    # Point no. 1 advices us to be wrong. It might attract attention but at the cost of spoiling your reputation and trust of people? How can reputed bloggers afford to be wrong???

    # Point 2 advices us to be correct. What kind of advice is this. Everyone tries to be right, so what is the need to include this advice at all. The author himself acknowledged this fact in the first point when he said that all world is trying to do the right thing.

    # Point 3 is “communicate what others can’t” – again this advice is not needed. People who can communicate their ideas well, will already be interesting enough and are probably getting lots of traffic to their sites. So they don’t need this advice.

    People who don’t have this skill will anyhow not benefit from this advice. They can’t do it no matter how hard they try to explain clearly what they want to convey.

    The only way for such people is to start learning and studying about how to develop this skill of clear communication. But the author didn’t give such advice to people who might be lacking this skill. So he has probably not put the readers interest in the forefront, which interestingly is his advice in the last point – point no. 21

    # Points 4 and 20 could have been much better and useful if we were provided with good examples rather then general instructions.

    All in all, this wasn’t such a good post to read. I am not saying it was bad – only mediocre. I didn’t feel like re-reading or bookmarking it.

    If this was published on any other blog, it wouldn’t have mattered much. But on copyblogger, such a post is unforgivable.

  93. I’ll make #15 even simpler: Like a poker player, you must inspire a question that people really, REALLY want answered. Example: This dude’s story about his daughter who went missing for 5-6 hours few weeks ago. He prefaced everything with recent news about a mysterious serial “highway rapist” at-large in his city. Next sentence: “She didn’t come back from lunch. No one knew where she was.” 20 minutes later, no one can pull themselves away. Guy laces in relevant hints and clues, using 1st person POV, but hangs on to the main question for the end. Turns out the woman had been T-boned by another auto, cell phone crushed, making her unreachable. Taken to ER, survived, and now in good health. The guy finally showed his cards, but only at the very, very end. THAT’s how to tell a story.

  94. Jon:

    Great stuff…I am reading a book called Fascinate right now, and it’s amazing to what great lengths folks will go to become fascinating to others and to be fascinated.

  95. This is really great. I never thought of doing such entertaining my readers. Now that I know, I will be like by myself in my real life.

    Because many have told me that I am a funny man that most of my friends made some joke conversation to each other.

    Thanks for sharing this great info of all time.

  96. Ok, now I have to do my part to shrink the scroll bar to a singularity. I could do that with about a three-page comment but that would exceed the effort I put into most of my blog posts, which is why I find Jon’s blog post so good. All of the points above could be distilled to one simple, difficult-to-do phrase: tell the truth.

    Truth be told, I’m exhausted tonight and haven’t eaten dinner. Yet, I find myself compelled to keep chiseling away at the scroll bar, slowly diminishing to my lower right.

    Has anyone ever completely disappeard a scroll bar? I’ve never seen a web page so long that the scroll bar disappears. There must be a default minimum scroll bar metric.

    There’s a blog post for someone out there (me?). Is it possible to write a web page so long that the scroll bar disappears? Does that operate differently on IE, Safari, Chrome, and Firefox?

    What are the legal and geopolitical ramifications of disappeared scroll bars? I’ll read that blog post if someone will write it.

  97. Awesome advice! Ironically, one of the big issues that we deal with in our business is a group of people who’s honesty is being questioned. This of course, makes for an interesting story. In fact, some of the stories really belong in a movie script they are so interesting in the sense that people will do absolutely amazing things as we analyze their background history as they perpetrate scams. This inspires me to begin blogging more about the bizarre world we live in.

  98. Fabulous list from Jon.

    As per #20, I would call this post a work of art. Though I prefer to think along the metaphorical lines of a string of precious pearls – each one glowing warmly.

    Nuff with the brownie points. I’ll be reading this one many times.

  99. All great points. As interesting as some of us are in the real world, often it’s hard to convey that to the masses of people online reading blogs.

    I think the humor and being right or wrong are great pieces of advice.

    People want to laugh, no doubt. And the majority of people want to be right OR at least prove that you’re wrong – the stuff great debates are made of.

  100. It really made me think of all the things that I should be doing that I am not. I think this could really help me be more interesting for sure.

    Great points!

  101. Being interesting is done on purpose but sometimes it is accidental. I need to be more creative in my article and blog writing to make them more interesting.

  102. Being interesting is decisive for most of the blogs! Most important is certainly that a blog develops a quality discussion, starting with a post that contains quality information.
    But this is not enough, as it should be ideally also witty, challenging, surprising, attracting the eyes of the readers. Blog owners who follow the above given advices of Jon Morrow certainly will not have lack of discussions among their blog readers and could increase their blog popularity.

  103. Being controversial is one thing. Deliberately saying the wrong thing loses credibility. No one will return to read wrong rubbish. Or did you mean “be politically incorrect”?

  104. Seriously, amazing article. I especially like the few points about provoking your readers; make them feel uncomfortable with themselves, reading the article, or with you. Incredibly effective!

    One that might also be worth mentioning is MASTERING GRAMMAR!

    Write in active voice and people won’t fall asleep while reading.

  105. Why doesn’t everyone unleash and embrace their inner dork? It makes perfect sense – break away from the norm, don’t worry too much about what other people think and get yourself noticed!

    • how does one unleash the inner dork on twitter? the 140 characters or less system gets me all confused…i would love to parade my inner dork around the crowd there but there’s not enough space there ever

  106. Nice. Especially liked to answer the question ‘who am i’? Its really about writing from our own place of individuality, our inherent uniqueness and being of value. GIving. Good stuff.

  107. I like the post… this is all stuff I’ve been thinking about lately.

    I think.. well here’s the thing.. how do you do all that stuff from a creating perspective? Do you know what I mean? Like when you’re in the moment trying to create something.. like I think the post makes a lot of sense for a detached 3rd person perspective.. but I’m not sure how it works from a 1st person perspective in the creative moment.

    It made me think a little about my emerging content strategy.. for a while I was in this dark place.. I’d have break downs and at a couple points I was suicidal.. so at those points I turned a video camera on myself. There’s a kind of raw emotional state to them that’s hard for me to watch.. and there’s a kind of radical honesty to them that’s a little on the scary side.. I posted one bit of them and that was hard.. for other’s I’ve had to kinda.. show a few people.. ask them what they think.. try and get a feel for the reactions.. I’m still not comfortable posting them really.

    Another thing is I’m an artist.. and I think artists whom are on the good side.. there’s a lot of experimentation that happens.. I mean one thing I could do is start posting animations, as an example. On average an animated short would probably take me about 2 weeks, at the least, to finish.. working full time on it.. which makes it not realistic if constancy is important… I mean I just wouldn’t be posting enough. But I have these little experiments.. where I’m playing with this or that.. which are kinda interesting..

    The blog posts I’ve done.. are kinda all work of art-ish. But a lot of them feel almost like the require a PHD to get through.. there’s a lot of stuff where I’m exploring metaphysics, stuff from various religious traditions, mythology, philosophy, psychology… and in a way undermining whatever your concept of reality is.. and your sense of who you are. Maybe if I simplified it a little more it would be attention grabbing?

    I don’t know…

  108. Even though you may think that posting pictures of a half-naked woman may draw up curiosity in marketing, I would strongly advise not using it because of its unethical implications.

    As a Christian, I would actually be compelled not to buy the product being advertised if this was implemented. This kind of an image sparks thoughts of the inappropriate use of sex before marriage that leads to broken relationships, broken families and many divorces in our culture.

    Let’s not only think about what “works.” Just because it “works” or “increases sales” does not mean that it is right.

    • You know.. as someone who disagrees with a lot of the christian stuff.. I have to say I kinda sorta agree.. and it’s sorta how I feel about brands using sex to sell stuff… I mean I’m not against sex out of wedlock.. but I do often feel insulted by the manipulating of people trying to use sex to sell stuff.. and I feel like it cheapens sex…

      On the other hand.. there’s a difference between nudity and nakedness.

  109. You know the saying “sex sells”. But it’s only the female sex that sells. Sometimes being wrong and admitting it can be a hard thing to do but I can see how that would lend itself to making you seem more genuine. I enjoyed the read.

  110. This post definitely achieved its goal. It is very interesting and much need for everyone to see.

    I especially liked #7- Offer them an aspirin. So many bloggers seem to post blogs that are irrelevant, that no one needs or cares about it. If you offer someone help on a problem, they will usually offer feedback on your advice which is the objective of a blog.

    We will most definitely be using these types in our blog.
    Thank you.

  111. Great post. From an SEO as well as usability point of view one might also want to add #21 and #22: structure your blog posts well for example with internal anchor links (great for optimizing your SERP snippet) and use the right keywords of course. Not only will this lead to better search engine visibility, it will also make your blog post easier to read since you use the most common words to describe a certain topic or theme.

  112. Jon: I love #14. If there’s one thing I have struggled with as a newbie blogger, it is being as contentious, confrontational and opinionated in my posts as I am in really life. People who know me in the offline world, know me to ask questions of the prevailing thinking in the room/office/world, et al. There are some who think it’s a narcissistic hobby of mine, while those closer understand that it’s an involuntary instinct – an itch that doesn’t get scratched enough that it ever goes away. And it’s in the blogosphere, particularly through reading people like Johnny B. Truent, that I have imagined a more candid Scott might one day might emerge. That said, I find that the absence of a #14 from my writing habits has left me often feeling uninspired. Yet a fire still burns inside, but alas I fear stoking it will drive all 11 subscribers away. I review my posts, for example, and regularly see them peppered with innocuous niceties such as, “possibly” and “occasionally,” when I want badly to insist on my positions with words like, “immutably” or “relentlessly.” And so it comes to this: my next post will be different. You have inspired me Jon. I will tell my army of 11 to like it or lump it! I will throw caution to the 1s and 0s and make my mark! Thank you for setting me straight. I need to speak with far more intent than I have thus far. Kudos on a fine read! (wow that got all LotR, didn’t it?).

  113. I agree with the list (I mean, YOU’RE WRONG! lol) but I think the key to using this list is having confidence in yourself because it gets tough when you feel embarrassed all the time from pointing fingers.

  114. Saying the right thing definately keeps peoples attention. I was reading the headlines of a group of miners killed inside a coal mine from the Xtra yahoo news some time ago.

    There had been lengthy investigations about the need to rescue immediately. People were getting anxious to get the whole rescue efforts going. Time was the factor. There were room for comments after the news post and I said a few positive comments and when I went back possibly a day later to read other peoples comments. My comment was thrashed at negatively. I could feel the emotions rising in my blood, so I made some constuctive criticism comments and left the whole post. I didnt even go back to read anymore. I’m not interested in carrying on reading what these negative bloodsuckers try to do. There are many out there.

  115. The first tip puts all kinds of interest in readers right away. Be wrong? That’s shock value for you considering all our lives we’re told to do the right things, be the right type of person, make the right decisions, and be right in arguments.

    “We long for someone that is willing to do the wrong thing, say the wrong thing, be the wrong thing.”

    That made my day. I’ve been thinking about certain events that have been going on in my own life and that alone cleared away all the confusion surrounding it.

  116. JON!
    I mean “Half naked Women”!

    Whats next up your sleeve? Public Office to get the word out?
    The House is going to have an opening.
    You’ll get my vote…

  117. 6. Make People Laugh: This is the point that I struggle with the most.

    Also I think it helps being opinionated because it can resonate with a certain set of readers strongly and in fact it can help define your subscribe base. I struggle with this aspect too because I am always open to hearing the other side of the argument and if it is compelling enough, I do embrace the other point of view.

    It is better to be a ‘Love him or hate him but you cannot ignore him’ person than somebody who tries to please everyone.

  118. What about be relevant? I guess it relates to breaking an important piece of news, but being relevant to the audience you are trying to hit is important.

  119. I think how interesting you are depends on the reader. If the topic is not of interest to them, they won’t find my writing interesting. I can think of many topics which I have zero or near-zero interest in and I can assure you I don’t find them interesting no matter how well it was written or delivered.

  120. The world is full of people trying to do the right things.”<—-you have to be wrong, in some påeopl,e’s minds, to be yourself.
    Producing art is a good idea; to get attention; but, really, people should learn how to communicate from their hearts through blog-posts as well. They will benefit.
    The aspirin-tip is a great one; if you can do this, you’ve proven you know your market (and $ awaits you).
    “Put your readers first”<—-give something and that gift will be returned ten-fold.

  121. Another great way to get attention is by making lists, as in High Fidelity! 🙂

    😛 keep posting!

  122. I read this post for the first time today and really enjoyed it. Interestingly I wrote a blog on my website this morning on the subject of Men and the Inner Feminine. I was tempted to post, as the featured image, an attractive, bikini clad young woman draped, mermaid style, over a stone in a stream. I decided it was too risqué and posted another image. After reading your blog post, I was struck by the synchronicity and decided to consider it a message. My blog post now features the bikini clad young woman! Take a look Thank you!

  123. Who else went straight back to the link about the naked woman after reading this post?!! Jon you make so many good points – this is a ‘print off and pin over the desk’ post. Who can forget your story – or Brian’s? If you can bare enough of yourself to really make a connection with your readers I think you’re more than halfway to success, whatever field you’re in. One thing I learned on my Creative Writing MA when creating characters in a story was to take aspects of one person and blend them with aspects of another person so that a) no-one would be offended and recognise themselves and b) what was created was still ‘real’ – like fusion cookery but with the fancy garnishes replaced with a classic twice-boiled stock (and more gossip and classic one liners).
    Thanks Jon!

    • I thought I was the only one that did that! Guess I’m forgiven then?

      I’m learning to apply my natural character into my writing so when you mentioned your creative writing experience, it makes me wonder whether I need to acquire that type of knowledge to better portray this. I kind of just went with the age old adage of “if you wanna be a writer, then write”

      This is definitely a reference article that deserves re-reading every now and again.

  124. Here’s what I love about the conversation back and forth about the (half) naked woman is that it had the exact impact the writer claimed. Articulating this truth does not offend me. It’s use might offend me, but that’s the beauty of this medium. You, me, we all have the power to offend, to defend and to persuade. I love that Tammy spoke her mind and that Brian offered up his view. We all get a little more informed, challenged on what we think we know and hopefully better at what we do.

  125. I generally like your blog posts but with due respect, I didn’t find the point ’14. Be Irrelevant’ a good one. Just to get more traffic or catch people’s attention, I don’t believe it is a good practice to say or do something that deliberately offends people’s sentiments. As it is, we are having enough trouble in the world due to insensitivity and intolerance of some people!

  126. I still like “Put you Readers First” as the top tip for being interesting.
    Too many pieces of content are self serving.

    Although in our society, “being wrong” tends to get quite a bit of attention!

  127. A very nice list indeed. I can hear the” PCers” circling however ready to pick thier least favorite point to pieces and not take the post as intended 😛 my favorite thing from this is how your comments show exactly how certain points get comments even though they clearly had some tongue in cheek value. All in all a good read.

  128. As the great saying goes…”if you can’t take a joke, you shouldn’t have joined!” – metaphorically speaking of course! An interesting thread – which is what it’s all about anyway!! Thanks for bringing the importance of humour and metaphors home to us.

  129. I find it interesting that being wrong is the first item on this list. Everybody thinks that if you’re wrong it’s such a screwup. If you’re never wrong you never took a stand. Good post. Helpful stuff.

  130. Thank you for contributing this post: I really enjoyed reading it.

    I appreciate a great sense of humour. I enjoy a good belly laugh as much as the next guy or gal. I am all for irreverence and poking fun at sacred cows. And risking. And experimenting with jokes and so on.

    But sometimes, we can take that game too far. We risk hurting the sentiments of true believers. Look at what happened in the case of Salman Rushdie and the recent controversy of the caricatures on U-tube. It was a PR disaster.

    Please understand: I am only playing the devil’s advocate here. Just for a different point of view, that’s all. Also, what do you have to say about those cultures where feminism is not a value; nor has feminism been a part of the social fabric.

    It can create a tricky situation for womenfolk, especially in a leadership position in such countries, don’t you think?
    Women having to get the job done and yet being faced with less than ideal situations. Just wondering. Cheers.

  131. Amazing techniques for really! I just can’t get being wrong technique since every blogger wants to be right only and that’s why they want to rectify mistakes. It is really a funny technique but actually working. I’m glad to know it’s one of the interesting things that can take the attention of your audience in some way. You really captured a great numbers of readers by this Jonathan. I love your inspiring message here, keep up!

  132. Hmmm. You wonder sometimes if people read the post. Well, I for one admit that I didn’t, but I did scan it. Scanning can truly make you completely misinterpret what was written, but I take a shot anyway. You see, I just don’t have the time to read blogs in detail… and I want the link so I post a comment.

    But I for one always do like what I read or scan on CopyBlogger. This article had some good ideas on grabbing attention, some that I use. Although the naked woman one I don’t. You see, completely out of context! I know, she’s only half naked. Still, I just don’t want that kind of trouble. But I do use curse words, sporatically. I mean, s*&(, how else will you stress the point sometime. Oh, I see, you censored me.

  133. Thanks for a great list and some unique perspective on writing to attract an audience. And I’m sure all the ideas you’ve shared have made a lot of bloggers much more interesting,

  134. Nice article one more time proving that it’s important to be different. You can’t always be funny or serious while writing your blog posts. Your reading audience is different, and if you want to keep people’s attention, you should change your tactics judging upon their reaction on your articles. People want to get knowledge but at the same time they do want to be entertained. So, give them what they want, and you’ll be on top!

  135. Point number 15 – tell a good story – is from my point of view the most important one. As a teacher for courses for business-starters in germany i tell my students mainly: Your idea has to be your own story, be in fire for that idea and let others know. If that part is missing, your idea to start your own business can be as well-thought as the idea of huge companies; if you don´t have your own connection with it, it will not work!
    By the way, graet article!

  136. Thanks for a great list and some unique perspective on writing to attract an audience. And I’m sure all the ideas you’ve shared have made a lot of bloggers much more interesting,

  137. I am very much in favor of number 13 (being extremely honest). My opinion is that when it comes to conversion rates, it’s very important to draw a very clear picture concerning your products or services. Obviously, you tell your visitors what the pros of your products/services are, but it helps just as much to be very clear about the cons of your products/service. By telling people why they shouldn’t choose for your services/products, you give people the feeling that you’re honest and sincere. People want a full picture. Nobody wants to feel like there’s a catch and that your offer is too good to be true.

  138. I like the “Make people laugh”. In the Netherlands we say: “if you didn’t laugh for one day, you’ve wasted that day. Thanks for this interesting post!

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