Your Blog vs. The World: 7 Steps To Winning The War for Attention

Your Blog vs. The World:  7 Steps To Winning The War for Attention

Reader Comments (60)

  1. As usual, another great article and great links within the article that will lead to other great articles πŸ™‚

  2. Thanks Jon.
    This has given me something to ponder on over the weekend.

    Point 1 is right on about making a strategic content plan, you realy do need to know about your own niche, which is why I think you shouldn’t try to cover a wide area in the single blog. If you try to cover too much of an area, there is no chance you will be regarded as knowledgeable in the niche. A Jack of all trades is a master of none.

  3. Really great thanks for the article. It’ll absolutely change the way I’m blogging and using it for some bis stuff.

    Thanks again.

  4. @Manshu – Yep, that goes back to point #6. πŸ™‚

    @Garry: Sometimes, that’s true. I think it all comes down to how well you understand your audience though, regardless of how big it is. If you can speak to a big audience as well as you can a small one, then go for the big one.

  5. So here’s a question…

    I’ve been reading Copyblogger for a long time, maybe two years now. I know Brian used to or possibly still practices law and obviously provides fantastic content and is a valuable educational resource, but is that it?

    Does Brian advertise any type of services that I’ve missed? Speaking engagements… content writing, anything? His affiliation with Pearson for wordpress themes can’t be everything.

    I can’t imagine that he does all of this out of the kindness of his heart. He has to pay the bills somehow, right? The actionable exit can’t be more content all the time, could it?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  6. Great advice. I’ve found blog writing to have some similarities to journalism, but also some differences.

    Regarding the headlines, I think some folks get caught up in writing them for search engines and as a result don’t catch the potential reader’s attention.

    Re: Exit strategy. Excellent technique. Reminds me of the old inverted pyramid. You put the important stuff first because folks could stop reading anytime. Even better if you give them a place to go when they leave.

    Thanks for the excellent insights.

  7. Web Design Greenville (interesting name), I guess I should answer that. I no longer practice law at all (thankfully). I also don’t do any consulting.

    The combination of Copyblogger, Teaching Sells & Thesis alone will bring in close to $3 million in revenue this year based on current performance. The content we produce for Copyblogger is the engine that drives the whole enterprise.

    The fact that I don’t go around bragging about how much money I make like some do doesn’t mean it’s not happening. πŸ™‚

  8. Excellent post. You are very right about the war for people’s attention. Readers’ attentions are being pulled from all directions on and off the web.

    You’re definitely right about not only needing to capture subscribers but readers. I definitely don’t read every post for each blog I subscribe to, I just don’t have time (although Copy Blogger is doing a great job at keeping me reading!).

  9. @Web Design Greenville: No, it’s certainly not altruism. The reason why we give so much content away for free is it gets attention and keeps people interested. Over time, it also builds trust. That way, we can point readers to the occasional valuable resource (Thesis, Teaching Sells, affiliate offers, etc.), and lots of folks will buy.

    As Brian says, it’s very profitable. From a dollars per hour standpoint, he makes much more money than your average attorney, speaker, writer, or consultant. The rest of us aren’t doing so badly either. πŸ™‚

  10. Very nice Jon Tzu!

    And remember, sometimes the general only has pieces to the overall map, like a puzzle (Partnering Profits, hint, hint) and might need to call upon other 5-star generals.

  11. Fantastic post… I fully agree with the idea that it is an battle for attention. I’m always watching my links and subscriber counts but I’ve also in the process of purging the huge number of inputs crowding my reader so I see both sides very clearly.

    I need to step up my tactics… thanks for the thought provoking materials


  12. Ha, I am so calling Jon “Jon Szu” from now on.

    Despite my hippie aversion to military language, this is a kickass post. πŸ˜‰

  13. Yes, it’s true. There is much competition for attention both in the offline and online worlds (in the offline world alone we’re allegedly hit with somewhere in the vicinity of 3000 messages per day). Great strategies General Jon. May the best map toting, racoon catching General win!

  14. The metaphor of war is appropriate when you consider the masses of bloggers and content marketers now filling the web. If content is king, then attention is certainly queen.

    The only question I’d raise with this post and with Copyblogger in general is does all written blog content have to be considered “copy?”

    What about bloggers who use their personal voice and style to capture attention, and then sell their products using good copy? Can this method be just as effective?

    I just gave myself a post idea…thanks!

  15. As a reader, what keeps my attention on a blog it’s that I perceive there’s a person behind it. I’m interested in reading posts like this because they surely have value in what they communicate, but they also feel real.

  16. Excellent article with great information and links to follow. I must admit though — that by far my favorite was the analogy of raccoon hunting. As a city kid, I had no clue what you were talking about or even going to say. But true on many levels — readers/subscribers/potential clients you can try to chase them, but what you need to do is lure them in. Like the raccoon, readers/subscribers/potential clients also become annoyed with the ‘run around’ they don’t like the ads, and meaningless dribble containing empty or shallow promises. I guess the only difference between raccoons and our audience is the audience don’t attack, they just leave and never return.

  17. Probably the most important thing these days is the headline. You need one that grabs attention in tweets, in the RSS and in our archives. When I’m looking at 250 RSS links, the ones with the compelling headlines get read. The rest, get deleted.

  18. The most valuable advise in my opinion was that bloggers need to have an irresistible headline. The moment someone sees a title like – 7 steps to win the war for attention, half the battle is won. The other half, I guess, depends on the bloggers skill to hold his audience till the end of the post.

  19. A valuable post and an interesting read. It is true that catchy headlines and an interesting first paragraph will all hold the attention of the reader, but the fact still remains that the reader of today is short of time. Except for a few dedicated readers the rest are browse and move kind of readers. When they see a long post spanning about 7-8 paragraphs, they would just browse through to pick some important words from the post and move on. They would seldom read the closing paragraphs or, the call-to-action in it. So the average stay of a reader at a blog is very short and in this short span of time you need to put forward whatever you want to say.
    Hence I feel a short post of about 3-4 paragraphs with certain bold words (of course, catchy and important ones relevant to the post) will help you keep a reader on your page at least till the end of the post. A catchy headline like the one for this post, will sure add to it by drawing in the required attention.

  20. Wow that’s an awesome artcile,blogging is compared to battling it’s reallya battle to keep readers coming to your blog .

  21. Re Inbox and Feedreader scanners:

    From magazines and classified to blogs. Media changes, but the copywriter is always in a headline competition!

  22. “Know Your Allies: What Will Other Bloggers Link to” ..this is I think is most important one to concentrate upon.

  23. One thing leading to the other. This is the one thing I definitely understood here in this post. This clearly is more than a road map, it is also a bloGPS (blog GPS), where you guide your visitors through the post with a nice and gentle exit.

    Things is, you forgot to say that your exit door is never close. It is always open and that is why people come back for more.

  24. Great post – I love it and it is in my tagged posts with good avices. Using the war metaphor makes it interesting but I think the meat is in the steps. Recently I read book for presentations and some of the advices you give were also in that book. Your blog is presentation bt you are just not present – you need to do good job creating compelling story and making people come back.

  25. Great post and I love the war metaphor. Sometimes thinking about this when preparing a blog post will make me change the copy. Often in the hustle and bustle of blogging you can foget to be strategic and focus on what you’re trying to say rather than HOW you are saying it. Thanks for the timely reminder

  26. Outstanding post! I have bookmarked your post for future reference. What you said are true and it’s important that you know your competition and what to do about it.

  27. WHAT WILL OTHER BLOGGER LINK TO is a HUUUGE one. And that’s the really tough part–to get links to the pieces you want people to link to. But once you figure out that rigamarole, you’re set. It’s all about creating great content, but not looking like your baiting. It’s a tough line, and one I’m really trying to figure out.

    It’s all about providing value. Thanks for this very well thought out article. I may just link to it. πŸ™‚

  28. Good post! Comparing blogging to war is a good way to go. I’m a copywriter for an SEO compnany and I find your blog a source of much inspiration. Keep it up!

  29. Very well written article. That’s right, you’re at war everyday trying to get people’s attention. Especially on the Internet, people tend to have short attention span, so it’s important to have a killer headline.


  30. For a newbie like me, this post is a bit intimidating, if not downright discouraging – you know, David and Goliath. It did, though, provide some better weapons than a slingshot.

  31. Excellent aticle, I most heartily agree with the importance of building relationships. And as I struggle to build my own blog’s success I realize that I must make much more use of building exits and calling my readers to action. Thanks for the great article – stuff I can really use!

  32. A great headline with attention getting bold words, bullets for scanning, good content and for the last call to action for your readers -excellent advice!

  33. Jon,

    Sometimes hyperbole is needed to keep yourself motivated. Obviously this isn’t a war in the strictest sense, but at its core it is a battle for attention and you have to have the best strategies to survive. You bring this out wonderfully, and like all good war plans, make it seem like this war is nothing more than a solvable problem in search of someone willing to solve it.

This article's comments are closed.