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A Cheat Sheet for Writing Blog Posts That Go Viral

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About Jon Morrow

Posts by Jon Morrow:

On Gluttony, Selfishness, and Unleashing the Power Within

On Gluttony, Selfishness, and Unleashing the Power Within

People are getting more selfish every day.

Have you noticed?

In the US, today is Thanksgiving. Traditionally, it’s a holiday about thankfulness and family and generosity, a day to remind yourself of all the good things and people in your life.

But that’s changing.

It’s becoming more and more about gluttony. Not just sharing a meal with your family, but eating until you put yourself in a turkey-induced coma, waiting a few hours, and then doing it again. Or, if you’re really impatient, you just go into the bathroom and make yourself throw up, so you can eat some more.

Oh, and then there’s shopping. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, the best deals of the year, anywhere. You can finally buy all that stuff you don’t really need because, hey, you’re getting a deal.

Personally, I find it disturbing. Not the meals or deals, but the change of focus.

Getting food, getting full, getting a good deal, getting a discount, getting a break. Getting, getting, getting.

But what about giving?

What about focusing on other people?

What about selflessness and service and gratitude and appreciation?

It’s disappearing. Not just on holidays but in people in general.

And it bothers me. So today, I decided to take a stand.

I’m not eating a Thanksgiving meal. I’m not going shopping. I’m going to try not to think about myself at all.

Instead, I’m going to be thankful. You know, what the holiday was originally supposed to be about.
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11 Traffic Techniques That Are a Waste of Time for Beginners

11 Traffic Techniques That Are a Waste of Time for Beginners

Could it really be possible that almost everything you are doing to promote your website is a waste of time?

We’re not just talking about questionable hacks you picked up on some weird forum. We’re talking about proven techniques recommended by industry leaders in authority publications.

But you know what?

It’s mostly a load of crap.

Over the last five years, I’ve mentored over 2,000 bloggers. I’ve examined their promotional activities. I’ve seen their traffic stats.

And the vast majority of what you’re being told to do simply does not work.

It’s not just less effective than advertised. It produces almost no meaningful results whatsoever.

What, exactly, is a “meaningful result?”

Well, I’m glad you asked…
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Why Your Site Gets Such Pitiful Traffic (and What to Do about It)

Why Your Site Gets Such Pitiful Traffic (and What to Do about It)

So, your site’s about as popular as a fart in an elevator, eh?

I’ve been there, and well… it sucks. No simpler way to put it.

And worst of all, it’s not always clear why it’s happening.

It’s not like you’re one of those spammers publishing dozens of thinly disguised sales pitches a day. You genuinely care about your audience, and you try to publish content that’ll help them.

You’re probably on social media too, trying to build a little buzz through Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Maybe not every day, but you stop in when you can, sharing a thing or two.

But nobody seems to give a damn.

Not about your content. Not about your shares. Not about you.

And you’re starting to wonder…

What are you doing wrong?

The truth:

Probably a lot.

Beginners make mistakes. Just a part of life.

The good news?

You know that darkness you’re stumbling around in? Well, I’m going to turn on the light.

Nobody in the world has the power to make all the obstacles disappear, but I can at least help you see what you’re tripping over. Some of the mistakes you’re making might surprise you.

If you’re not getting the traffic you think you should be, the following are 10 of the most common reasons why:
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How to Be Unforgettable

How to Be Unforgettable

Note from Glen: Can I tell you a secret? This is my all-time favorite BBT post. It was first published long before I became editor but here it is again because the message is still so important. P.S. Happy holidays!

Can I tell you my worst nightmare?

I’m lying in bed in a nursing home, sick and dying, gasping for breath, knowing that any minute now I’ll be passing into the great beyond. And I’m scared, really, really scared, because I’m all alone, and I don’t know what’s going to happen, and oh God, it hurts so much…

But then it stops. My body goes limp, my last breath rattles from my lungs, my bowels release, and the heart monitor beside the bed flat lines, loudly proclaiming the end of the great and mighty Jon Morrow.

A few moments later, a nurse walks into the room, checks my pulse, and looks at her watch. She writes down my time of death on a form, pulls the sheet over my head, and goes back to her office, where she calls the morgue. A day or two later, I’m cremated with five other bodies, all of us too unimportant to even get our own urn.

And the worst part?

The next day, the sun comes up. The birds are singing. People eat breakfast, go to work, attend meetings… and nobody even notices I’m gone. The great wheel keeps on turning, and for better or worse, I’m forgotten. Goodbye cruel world, nobody gave a damn about me after all.

Scary, isn’t it?

Just writing it down gives me the willies.

It’s not just dying, although that’s certainly gruesome. It’s being forgotten. Down deep, I believe all of us have a primal need to be remembered, to pass something on to future generations, to leave some mark on the world saying, “I was here.”

If we’re being honest, I think maybe that’s one of the reasons many of us start blogging. There’s something immensely comforting about knowing your thoughts are out there for the whole world to read. You could kick the bucket tomorrow, but your words will live on, teaching, inspiring, and taking root in the minds of readers for generations to come.

Or at least that’s the idea.

What really happens, of course, is that you pour your heart and soul into a post, and no one seems to care. No comments, no links, no nothing. Come on over, friends, and check out my blog. We’re watching my ideas die in real time. Yuk, yuk, yuk.

And it’s disturbing.

When you pull up your blog, and you see it says “0 comments” next to every post, you feel like nothing has changed. Once again, you’re slipping through the cracks, passing into oblivion, one more nobody with a stupid little blog, God save your soul.

The good news?

It can change. You just have to realize your writing by itself isn’t a magic key to immortality. If you want that, you have to be unforgettable. You have to touch people so deeply, connect with them so powerfully that your ideas are burned into their minds.

Here’s how: More

Why Educating Readers Is No Longer Enough (and How to Really Build an Audience in 2014)

Why Educating Readers Is No Longer Enough (and How to Really Build an Audience in 2014)

Only fools depend on educational content to grow their audience.

There. I said it.

But…

What about all the huge sites like WebMD and Moz getting millions of visitors through publishing educational content?

What about all the blog, podcast and video heavyweights who say publishing educational content is key to building a presence online?

And for that matter, what about this blog post? Isn’t this educational content? Aren’t I being a bit of a hypocrite?

All fair questions. In the next few minutes, I’ll answer all of them.

For now though, let me pose another question:

If you’re a beginner, and you’re starting from scratch, what’s the best way to build an audience in 2014?

Ask a dozen popular bloggers that question, and at least half of them will tell you to publish great content. I would be one of them.

The problem?

It’s a useless answer. Here’s why:

Nobody truly knows what great content is. Not even me.

Let me explain. More