The 48 Laws of Power-by Robert Green and Josst Elffers

Robert Greene, author of the bestselling 48 Laws of Power, tells us why he’s co-writing a book with 50 Cent.
“The whole idea behind my book The 48 Laws of Power is that power is timeless and universal, and doesn’t depend on any culture or time period. It was going on in the Bible when Joseph’s brothers threw him into a ditch and took his coat, and it’s going on today. To make that point legitimate, I had to bring in as many sources as possible from all periods and cultures, and also all arenas. I didn’t want to talk about just politics or war, I wanted to bring in figures like Houdini, and con artists, because I think of power as largely being a con game. This wasMachiavelli’s idea of power as well. It’s about the art of indirection.

by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers
Law 1
Never Outshine the Master
Always make those above you feel comfortably superior.  In your desire to please or impress them, do not go too far in displaying your talents or you might accomplish the opposite – inspire fear and insecurity.  Make your masters appear more brilliant than they are and you will attain the heights of power.
Law 2
Never put too Much Trust in Friends, Learn how to use Enemies
Be wary of friends-they will betray you more quickly, for they are easily aroused to envy.  They also become spoiled and tyrannical. But hire a former enemy and he will be more loyal than a friend, because he has more to prove.  In fact, you have more to fear from friends than from enemies.  If you have no enemies, find a way to make them.
 Law 3
Conceal your Intentions
Keep people off-balance and in the dark by never revealing the purpose behind your actions.  If they have no clue what you are up to, they cannot prepare a defense.  Guide them far enough down the wrong path, envelope them in enough smoke, and by the time they realize your intentions, it will be too late.
 Law 4
Always Say Less than Necessary
When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more common you appear, and the less in control.  Even if you are saying something banal, it will seem original if you make it vague, open-ended, and sphinxlike.  Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less.  The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish.
 Law 5
So Much Depends on Reputation – Guard it with your Life
Reputation is the cornerstone of power.  Through reputation alone you can intimidate and win; once you slip, however, you are vulnerable, and will be attacked on all sides.  Make your reputation unassailable.  Always be alert to potential attacks and thwart them before they happen.  Meanwhile, learn to destroy your enemies by opening holes in their own reputations.  Then stand aside and let public opinion hang them.
 Law 6
Court Attention at all Cost
Everything is judged by its appearance; what is unseen counts for nothing.  Never let yourself get lost in the crowd, then, or buried in oblivion.  Stand out.  Be conspicuous, at all cost.  Make yourself a magnet of attention by appearing larger, more colorful, more mysterious, than the bland and timid masses.
  Law 7
Get others to do the Work for you, but Always Take the Credit
Use the wisdom, knowledge, and legwork of other people to further your own cause.  Not only will such assistance save you valuable time and energy, it will give you a godlike aura of efficiency and speed. In the end your helpers will be forgotten and you will be remembered.  Never do yourself what others can do for you.
 Law 8
Make other People come to you – use Bait if Necessary
When you force the other person to act, you are the one in control.  It is always better to make your opponent come to you, abandoning his own plans in the process.  Lure him with fabulous gains – then attack.  You hold the cards.
 Law 9
Win through your Actions, Never through Argument
Any momentary triumph you think gained through argument is really a Pyrrhic victory:  The resentment and ill will you stir up is stronger and lasts longer than any momentary change of opinion.  It is much more powerful to get others to agree with you through your actions, without saying a word.  Demonstrate, do not explicate.
 Law 10
Infection: Avoid the Unhappy and Unlucky
You can die from someone else’s misery – emotional states are as infectious as disease.  You may feel you are helping the drowning man but you are only precipitating your own disaster.  The unfortunate sometimes draw misfortune on themselves; they will also draw it on you.  Associate with the happy and fortunate instead.
Law 11
Learn to Keep People Dependent on You
To maintain your independence you must always be needed and wanted.  The more you are relied on, the more freedom you have.  Make people depend on you for their happiness and prosperity and you have nothing to fear.  Never teach them enough so that they can do without you.
 Law 12
Use Selective Honesty and Generosity to Disarm your Victim
One sincere and honest move will cover over dozens of dishonest ones.  Open-hearted gestures of honesty and generosity bring down the guard of even the most suspicious people.  Once your selective honesty opens a hole in their armor, you can deceive and manipulate them at will.  A timely gift – a Trojan horse – will serve the same purpose.
 Law 13
When Asking for Help, Appeal to People’s Self-Interest,
Never to their Mercy or Gratitude
If you need to turn to an ally for help, do not bother to remind him of your past assistance and good deeds.  He will find a way to ignore you.  Instead, uncover something in your request, or in your alliance with him, that will benefit him, and emphasize it out of all proportion.  He will respond enthusiastically when he sees something to be gained for himself.
 Law 14
Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy
Knowing about your rival is critical.  Use spies to gather valuable information that will keep you a step ahead.  Better still: Play the spy yourself.  In polite social encounters, learn to probe.  Ask indirect questions to get people to reveal their weaknesses and intentions.  There is no occasion that is not an opportunity for artful spying.
 Law 15
Crush your Enemy Totally
All great leaders since Moses have known that a feared enemy must be crushed completely.  (Sometimes they have learned this the hard way.)  If one ember is left alight, no matter how dimly it smolders, a fire will eventually break out.  More is lost through stopping halfway than through total annihilation:  The enemy will recover, and will seek revenge.  Crush him, not only in body but in spirit.
 Law 16
Use Absence to Increase Respect and Honor
Too much circulation makes the price go down:  The more you are seen and heard from, the more common you appear.  If you are already established in a group, temporary withdrawal from it will make you more talked about, even more admired.  You must learn when to leave.  Create value through scarcity.
 Law 17
Keep Others in Suspended Terror: Cultivate an Air of Unpredictability
Humans are creatures of habit with an insatiable need to see familiarity in other people’s actions.  Your predictability gives them a sense of control.  Turn the tables: Be deliberately unpredictable.  Behavior that seems to have no consistency or purpose will keep them off-balance, and they will wear themselves out trying to explain your moves.  Taken to an extreme, this strategy can intimidate and terrorize.
 Law 18
Do Not Build Fortresses to Protect Yourself – Isolation is Dangerous
The world is dangerous and enemies are everywhere – everyone has to protect themselves.  A fortress seems the safest. But isolation exposes you to more dangers than it protects you from – it cuts you off from valuable information, it makes you conspicuous and an easy target.  Better to circulate among people find allies, mingle.  You are shielded from your enemies by the crowd.
 Law 19
Know Who You’re Dealing with – Do Not Offend the Wrong Person
There are many different kinds of people in the world, and you can never assume that everyone will react to your strategies in the same way.  Deceive or outmaneuver some people and they will spend the rest of their lives seeking revenge.  They are wolves in lambs’ clothing.  Choose your victims and opponents carefully, then – never offend or deceive the wrong person.
 Law 20
Do Not Commit to Anyone
It is the fool who always rushes to take sides.  Do not commit to any side or cause but yourself.  By maintaining your independence, you become the master of others – playing people against one another, making them pursue you.
 Law 21
Play a Sucker to Catch a Sucker – Seem Dumber than your Mark
No one likes feeling stupider than the next persons.  The trick, is to make your victims feel smart – and not just smart, but smarter than you are.  Once convinced of this, they will never suspect that you may have ulterior motives.
 Law 22
Use the Surrender Tactic: Transform Weakness into Power
When you are weaker, never fight for honor’s sake; choose surrender instead.  Surrender gives you time to recover, time to torment and irritate your conqueror, time to wait for his power to wane.  Do not give him the satisfaction of fighting and defeating you – surrender first.  By turning the other check you infuriate and unsettle him.  Make surrender a tool of power.
 Law 23
Concentrate Your Forces
Conserve your forces and energies by keeping them concentrated at their strongest point.  You gain more by finding a rich mine and mining it deeper, than by flitting from one shallow mine to another – intensity defeats extensity every time.  When looking for sources of power to elevate you, find the one key patron, the fat cow who will give you milk for a long time to come.
 Law 24
Play the Perfect Courtier
The perfect courtier thrives in a world where everything revolves around power and political dexterity.  He has mastered the art of indirection; he flatters, yields to superiors, and asserts power over others in the mot oblique and graceful manner.  Learn and apply the laws of courtiership and there will be no limit to how far you can rise in the court.
 Law 25
Re-Create Yourself
Do not accept the roles that society foists on you.  Re-create yourself by forging a new identity, one that commands attention and never bores the audience.  Be the master of your own image rather than letting others define if for you.  Incorporate dramatic devices into your public gestures and actions – your power will be enhanced and your character will seem larger than life.
 Law 26
Keep Your Hands Clean
You must seem a paragon of civility and efficiency: Your hands are never soiled by mistakes and nasty deeds.  Maintain such a spotless appearance by using others as scapegoats and cat’s-paws to disguise your involvement.
Law 27
Play on People’s Need to Believe to Create a Cultlike Following
People have an overwhelming desire to believe in something.  Become the focal point of such desire by offering them a cause, a new faith to follow.  Keep your words vague but full of promise; emphasize enthusiasm over rationality and clear thinking.  Give your new disciples rituals to perform, ask them to make sacrifices on your behalf.  In the absence of organized religion and grand causes, your new belief system will bring you untold power.
 Law 28
Enter Action with Boldness
If you are unsure of a course of action, do not attempt it.  Your doubts and hesitations will infect your execution.  Timidity is dangerous:  Better to enter with boldness.  Any mistakes you commit through audacity are easily corrected with more audacity.  Everyone admires the bold; no one honors the timid.
 Law 29
Plan All the Way to the End
The ending is everything.  Plan all the way to it, taking into account all the possible consequences, obstacles, and twists of fortune that might reverse your hard work and give the glory to others.  By planning to the end you will not be overwhelmed by circumstances and you will know when to stop.  Gently guide fortune and help determine the future by thinking far ahead.
 Law 30
Make your Accomplishments Seem Effortless
Your actions must seem natural and executed with ease.  All the toil and practice that go into them, and also all the clever tricks, must be concealed.  When you act, act effortlessly, as if you could do much more.  Avoid the temptation of revealing how hard you work – it only raises questions.  Teach no one your tricks or they will be used against you.
 Law 31
Control the Options: Get Others to Play with the Cards you Deal
The best deceptions are the ones that seem to give the other person a choice:  Your victims feel they are in control, but are actually your puppets.  Give people options that come out in your favor whichever one they choose.  Force them to make choices between the lesser of two evils, both of which serve your purpose.  Put them on the horns of a dilemma:  They are gored wherever they turn.
 Law 32
Play to People’s Fantasies
The truth is often avoided because it is ugly and unpleasant.  Never appeal to truth and reality unless you are prepared for the anger that comes for disenchantment.  Life is so harsh and distressing that people who can manufacture romance or conjure up fantasy are like oases in the desert:  Everyone flocks to them. There is great power in tapping into the fantasies of the masses.
 Law 33
Discover Each Man’s Thumbscrew
Everyone has a weakness, a gap in the castle wall.  That weakness is usual y an insecurity, an uncontrollable emotion or need; it can also be a small secret pleasure.  Either way, once found, it is a thumbscrew you can turn to your advantage.
  Law 34
Be Royal in your Own Fashion:  Act like a King to be treated like one
The way you carry yourself will often determine how you are treated; In the long run, appearing vulgar or common will make people disrespect you.  For a king respects himself and inspires the same sentiment in others.  By acting regally and confident of your powers, you make yourself seem destined to wear a crown.
 Law 35
Master the Art of Timing
Never seem to be in a hurry – hurrying betrays a lack of control over yourself, and over time.  Always seem patient, as if you know that everything will come to you eventually.  Become a detective of the right moment; sniff out the spirit of the times, the trends that will carry you to power.  Learn to stand back when the time is not yet ripe, and to strike fiercely when it has reached fruition.
 Law 36
Disdain Things you cannot have:  Ignoring them is the best Revenge
By acknowledging a petty problem you give it existence and credibility.  The more attention you pay an enemy, the stronger you make him; and a small mistake is often made worse and more visible when you try to fix it.  It is sometimes best to leave things alone.  If there is something you want but cannot have, show contempt for it.  The less interest you reveal, the more superior you seem. 
Law 37
Create Compelling Spectacles
Striking imagery and grand symbolic gestures create the aura of power – everyone responds to them.  Stage spectacles for those around you, then full of arresting visuals and radiant symbols that heighten your presence.  Dazzled by appearances, no one will notice what you are really doing.
Law 38
Think as you like but Behave like others
If you make a show of going against the times, flaunting your unconventional ideas and unorthodox ways, people will think that you only want attention and that you look down upon them.  They will find a way to punish you for making them feel inferior.  It is far safer to blend in and nurture the common touch. Share your originality only with tolerant friends and those who are sure to appreciate your uniqueness.
Law 39
Stir up Waters to Catch Fish
Anger and emotion are strategically counterproductive.  You must always stay calm and objective.  But if you can make your enemies angry while staying calm yourself, you gain a decided advantage.  Put your enemies off-balance: Find the chink in their vanity through which you can rattle them and you hold the strings.
Law 40
Despise the Free Lunch
What is offered for free is dangerous – it usually involves either a trick or a hidden obligation.  What has worth is worth paying for.  By paying your own way you stay clear of gratitude, guilt, and deceit.  It is also often wise to pay the full price – there is no cutting corners with excellence.  Be lavish with your money and keep it circulating, for generosity is a sign and a magnet for power.
Law 41
Avoid Stepping into a Great Man’s Shoes
What happens first always appears better and more original than what comes after.  If you succeed a great man or have a famous parent, you will have to accomplish double their achievements to outshine them.  Do not get lost in their shadow, or stuck in a past not of your own making:  Establish your own name and identity by changing course.  Slay the overbearing father, disparage his legacy, and gain power by shining in your own way.
Law 42
Strike the Shepherd and the Sheep will Scatter
Trouble can often be traced to a single strong individual – the stirrer, the arrogant underling, the poisoned of goodwill.  If you allow such people room to operate, others will succumb to their influence.  Do not wait for the troubles they cause to multiply, do not try to negotiate with them – they are irredeemable.  Neutralize their influence by isolating or banishing them.  Strike at the source of the trouble and the sheep will scatter.
Law 43
Work on the Hearts and Minds of Others
Coercion creates a reaction that will eventually work against you.  You must seduce others into wanting to move in your direction.  A person you have seduced becomes your loyal pawn.  And the way to seduce others is to operate on their individual psychologies and weaknesses.  Soften up the resistant by working on their emotions, playing on what they hold dear and what they fear.  Ignore the hearts and minds of others and they will grow to hate you.
Law 44
Disarm and Infuriate with the Mirror Effect
The mirror reflects reality, but it is also the perfect tool for deception: When you mirror your enemies, doing exactly as they do, they cannot figure out your strategy.  The Mirror Effect mocks and humiliates them, making them overreact.  By holding up a mirror to their psyches, you seduce them with the illusion that you share their values; by holding up a mirror to their actions, you teach them a lesson.  Few can resist the power of Mirror Effect.
Law 45
Preach the Need for Change, but Never Reform too much at Once
Everyone understands the need for change in the abstract, but on the day-to-day level people are creatures of habit.  Too much innovation is traumatic, and will lead to revolt.  If you are new to a position of power, or an outsider trying to build a power base, make a show of respecting the old way of doing things.  If change is necessary, make it feel like a gentle improvement on the past.
Law 46
Never appear too Perfect
Appearing better than others is always dangerous, but most dangerous of all is to appear to have no faults or weaknesses.  Envy creates silent enemies.  It is smart to occasionally display defects, and admit to harmless vices, in order to deflect envy and appear more human and approachable.  Only gods and the dead can seem perfect with impunity.
Law 47
Do not go Past the Mark you Aimed for; In Victory, Learn when to Stop
The moment of victory is often the moment of greatest peril.  In the heat of victory, arrogance and overconfidence can push you past the goal you had aimed for, and by going too far, you make more enemies than you defeat.  Do not allow success to go to your head.  There is no substitute for strategy and careful planning.  Set a goal, and when you reach it, stop.
Law 48
Assume Formlessness
By taking a shape, by having a visible plan, you open yourself to attack.  Instead of taking a form for your enemy to grasp, keep yourself adaptable and on the move.  Accept the fact that nothing is certain and no law is fixed.  The best way to protect yourself is to be as fluid and formless as water; never bet on stability or lasting order.  Everything changes.

65 Website Traffic & Link Building Techniques

by Nick · 85 comments

Photo by Hector Melo A.
This originally posted as 65 Website Traffic & Link Building Techniques. It has been reposted with the author’s permission.
1. Write something great about your niche and email other bloggers to let them know – there’s a good chance they’ll link to you
2. Have a signature link in forums that points to your site
3. Post links to your pages to social bookmarking sites.
4. Leave comments on other people’s blogs and link back to your site (tip: look in the digg upcoming section for blog posts about to get a lot of traffic).
5. Have the opposite opinion on everyone else on a popular topic, providing you can justify it. Everyone will get annoyed and link to you saying your wrong
6. Answer questions on Yahoo Answers – quote your website as the source.
7. Post in Yahoo and Google Groups with a link to your site in your signature
8. Make a 404 page that redirects to your homepage – no point losing visitors
9. Have an opt-in form – trade links with someone else who has an opt in form on your confirmation page
10. Review a product or company – if your review is positive email the company and ask to be featured in their press section. (this has worked really well for me)
11. Write articles and submit them to article directories
12. Write a Press Release and submit it to PRWeb (make sure it is newsworthy)
13. Use PayPerClick Traffic (e.g Adwords, MSN Adcenter, YSM)
14. Add an RSS subscribe button/link in a high profile spot on your site
15. Add a mailing list subscribe form in a high profile spot on your site
16. Add a bookmark this site link in a high profile spot on your site
17. Use a Tell A Friend Script on your site so people can email their friend about an article on your website.
18. Submit a blog to a blog directory
19. Submit you RSS feed to RSS feed directories
20. Mention your website in a post on Craigslist (don’t spam)
21. Optimize the titles of your pages for keywords people will search for
22. Buy links to your site
23. Buy reviews about your site on other people’s site
24. Buy banner space on other websites if you can get a good ROI
25. Send articles to ezine publishers with a link back to your website
26. Do a big viral push for a piece of link bait, post it in forums, social bookmarking sites like digg, email bloggers, and get a few people to vote for you on social bookmarking sites – this little push could start a viral chain reaction!
27. Have a link to your site on community sites like MySpace and FaceBook
28. Use a traffic trading system like BlogRush
29. Purchase misspellings of competitors domains and redirect your site (be careful of trademark infringement)
30. Create a freebie product to give away (ebook, software, whitepaper etc.)
31. Submit your site to the hundreds of free directories – use the viles-silencer list
32. Do a group feature where you get other website owners in your niche to participate – maybe asking them all an opinion on something.
33. Hold a competition for the Top 50 in your niche – 1 month later post the results and let everyone know who featured – watch them link back to say what there position was.
34. Pass out business cards when you go to industry events in your niche
35. If you have a product start an affiliate program and start approaching affiliates
36. Submit videos to video sharing sites like YouTube and Metacafe. Include a link in the description and within the actual video.
37. If you have a product send it to website owners to get reviewed.
38. Look at a big website within your niche and ask to write some guest posts for them
39. Create pages with links to your site on places like Squidoo and Hubpages
40. Place classified Ads on eBay with a link to your website
41. Use an autoresponder on your mailing list to keep people coming back to your site
42. Exchange links with a few related sites in your niche
43. Network! Email other site owners, phone them up, go to industry events and get yourself known. If they know your face they will likely talk about you on their site if you do something interesting.
44. Many forums have a place for you to advertise your site once – find them and do it.
45. Purchase advertising in other people’s mailing lists and newsletters
46. Create an Amazon profile and start submitting reviews
47. Create profiles on MySpace and start networking in groups that are interested in your site’s niche.
48. Conduct a survey and publish the results – make sure you let people know about it.
49. Get your hand on a load of PLR content for your niche. Add a commentary to the top, create a unique title, and post them all to your site – lots of new content and lots of new traffic.
50. Create a cartoon mascot for your site – then hold a competition for someone to create the best game for it – pay the winner a decent amount.
51. Make sure you have a memorable domain name that is short and catchy.
52. Use a well-searched for keyword within your domain name to help rank for that keyword.
53. If you sell a product ask someone else who sells a product to list your product with theirs, and you’ll do the same for them – split commissions on sales.
54. When you write a new article on your site – link to as many blogs as possible – they will likely see your site in their pingbacks, website stats, or Technorati. They will visit your site and possibly subscribe to it and link back at a later date.
55. Get your RSS feed syndicated to different sites like Zimbio and hubpages and Topix.
56. If your site is popular and has quality unique content then apply to get listed in Google’s News search.
57. Create a sitemap and submit it to Google (not great but might help)
58. Use your robots.txt file to stop Google indexing certain directories and pages on your blog (such as archives) to avoid duplicate content issues).
59. Create a couple of small 10 page sites related to your main site. Offer links on these smaller sites in return for links to your main site (this is triangular reciprocal linking).
60. Get yourself known as an expert and get featured in offline magazines, TV and radio stations.
61. Use an auto-translator service to translate your site into other languages – put it in a subdirectory and watch foreign traffic come in.
62. Make posts about sex (don’t have to post anything rude) – and watch the porn surfers find their way to your site through Google.
63. Post about celebrities current events if it relates to your niche – there’s always a lot of people looking up celebrity stuff.
64. Write good headlines/titles – good titles get more clicks.
65. Get some stickers with your domain name on. Go out and stick them on strangers and say “My Website Yeah, Check it out.”

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5 Creative Tips to Increase Blog Traffic and Boost Your Business

5 Creative Tips to Increase Blog Traffic and Boost Your Business

social media how toDoes your business have a blog?
Is it working for you?
If you said “no,” I wouldn’t be surprised.
But it doesn’t need to be that way.
Keep reading to discover why many blogs fail and what you can do to boost your traffic and brand.

What’s Wrong With Blogs?

This platform, if done properly, can generate tremendous traffic, leads and sales for your business that you otherwise would not have had.
Unfortunately though, most businesses do not blog well. Why? Because they refuse to think like a consumer.
They refuse to tell consumers the answers to the questions they most want answered. And it is because of this approach we so often hear the phrase, “Yeah, our company tried blogging, but it didn’t work for us.”
I own a swimming pool company, and when the economy crashed in 2008, it was our blog that really saved our business.
river pool blog
It's important to remember that it's called a "blog", not a "brag". In other words, we need to have our focus on education and information if we truly want to gain respect, trust, and authority.
By being relentless in our efforts to walk, talk and think like consumers—we were able to garner the love of search engines like Google and thereby get huge search traffic—but we were also able to rise to the top of the entire fiberglass pool industry.
Today, as I share these blogging success principles with companies around the country, I find there are basically two ways that people receive this unique approach to blogging:
“Sure this will work for our industry!”
“Oh no, this doesn’t apply to us at all!”
What’s funny is that folks in the same field often make these statements, yet the only difference is the desire and willingness to experiment with something new.
I say this because I don’t want you to automatically disqualify yourself and your business from what you’re about to read.
Whether you’re a B2B, B2C, product, service, local, international, big or small business—there are sound blogging practices here that could truly help your company.
But enough on that. Let’s talk about how you can take your blog to the next level.

5 Blogging Tips That Work!

#1: Leverage the power of “versus”

As consumers, we love to compare. In fact, we compare companies, products and “stuff” like crazy just to make sure we know we are making a sound buying decision and choosing the best product or service to fit our needs.
For example, because my company sells fiberglass pools, we are constantly explaining to our customers the differences among fiberglass, concrete and vinyl liner in-ground pools. For years, we kept getting these comparison questions on the phone or face to face from customers, so we knew it only made sense to blog about these subjects when we started this process of content marketing in 2009. In fact, the first comparison/versus article we ever wrote was entitled, “Fiberglass Pools vs. Vinyl Liner Pools vs. Concrete Pools: An Honest Comparison.”
article links
This one article led to tons of search traffic for my company, but it also opened the floodgates to so many other blogging possibilities and subjects.
After this article was written, I was able to see just how powerful the post was, as it ranked #1 on Google for many important keyword phrases, including:
  • Fiberglass vs. vinyl liner pools
  • Fiberglass vs. concrete pools
  • Concrete pools vs. vinyl liner pools
  • And many others
When I saw how quickly this article had captured so many long-tail keyword phrases (phrases of three or more words that have less search competition) in Google search engine rankings, I knew it would only make sense to continue with these comparison-based articles on the blog.
As you can see from the image below, the results thus far have been profound. In fact, just try searching any of the “versus” keyword phrases you see above and you’ll be able to verify how my pool company is on the first page of Google almost every time, usually with the ranking of #1.
versus search
Here are some of the top "versus" articles of my company website. Try searching the keyword phrases of each in Google and notice the results.
Keep in mind though these types of “versus” comparison-based articles aren’t just for getting the attention of Google and the search engines. In the article that compared fiberglass, vinyl and concrete swimming pools, the comparisons were truly unbiased and honest. I didn’t make fiberglass out to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. I talked about its pros and cons compared to the other types of pools in a very open manner.
And it was because of this (and all of the other comparison articles I wrote) that the blog soon became “the consumer voice” of the in-ground pool industry. People knew they could go there for honest and accurate information, and as a natural byproduct, our customers in Virginia and Maryland felt like they were dealing with the thought leaders of the entire industry.
So look for ways to compare the products and services you sell versus the products and services of others in your field. Give factual information about each. The opportunities here are almost endless and the amount of content ideas that can come from this one subject could very well give you dozens or even hundreds of blog post possibilities.

#2: People want the best, now give it to them

Think about all of the times you’ve asked the question,
“What is the best way to…?” or
“What is the best type of…?”
When it comes to researching and making a buying decision, we love to know the “best.”
There is also a very good chance the prospects and customers in your industry are online searching these types of phrases, which is why you should look for opportunities to utilize the word “best” in your content.
For example, as someone who writes about business blogging all the time, I decided to write an article on my marketing blog entitled “50 Qualities of the Best Business Blogs in the World.” Within two days of writing that post, it was ranked on the first page of Google for the phrase “Best Business Blogs,” which has generated significant traffic to the site since it was published. Furthermore, it’s these types of articles that will build your reputation as an expert in your field.
best article
Within 48 hours of writing this post, it was ranked on the first page of Google for a very important keyword phrase—"best business blogs."

#3: Focus on problems

Let’s pretend for a second you’re going to buy a pool and you decide to meet with a fiberglass pool builder and a concrete pool builder. Assuming you meet with the concrete pool builder and you tell him that you’re also considering fiberglass, what do you think he would say about the merits of fiberglass?
If you guessed he would likely start telling you about all the “problems” and “issues” of fiberglass pools, you’re right.
In most cases, when consumers are left to debate the merits of the two pools (or anything else, for that matter), where do you think they’re going to go to find out the truth and get an “expert” opinion?
The answer, of course, is the Internet. And in this case, they’ll likely go to Google (or any other search engine) and type in something like, “fiberglass pool problems” or “What are the problems with a fiberglass pool?”
If you're willing to address negative phrases like "problems" in your blog and company content, consumers will be impressed with your transparency and your brand will greatly benefit.
Knowing that people were constantly typing this phrase into the search engines, instead of being an ostrich and burying our heads in the sand, we decided to write an article on the entitled  ”Top 5 Fiberglass Pool Problems and Solutions.”
Immediately, the article shot up to #1 on Google for the phrase “fiberglass pool problems.” But not only that, because consumers saw how open and honest our company was about the product we sold, the article also generated many, many leads, as shown in the image below, and has been read over 100,000 times in the last two years.
problems conversions
Here are the highest-converting keyword phrases of my swimming pool website. Notice how well the phrase "fiberglass pool problem(s)" has done for lead generation. In fact, this one article has made our company over $500k in sales, as many of those leads eventually became customers.

#4: Reveal pricing

A few weeks back, I wrote an article on 5 reasons your content marketing must address price, in which I discussed the merits of addressing the subject of pricing on company websites. So as to not repeat that whole post, the premise behind being more open about this subject comes down to these factors:
  • Pricing questions are the first ones consumers tend to ask, whether it’s to Google or an actual person. So if pricing is that important to a potential customer, then we need to figure out ways to address the subject in our content or risk the chance of our web visitors looking elsewhere for the information they seek.
  • Because the pricing/cost subject is so critical and a popular search term in every industry, if you address this subject you’ve now put yourself in the position to possibly rank for those keywords in search and experience the huge numbers of visitors that come with it.
  • Be more open about pricing to set yourself apart from your competitors andgarner respect from consumers who appreciate your willingness to address their questions.
pricing stats
Here are the top 15 pages (in terms of views) for my swimming pool website over the last two years. Of these top 15, 5 are cost/price-related. These are also some of the highest-converting pages of the site as well.
Note: Just as we discussed in the previous article, addressing the pricing/cost subject doesn’t mean you necessarily give specifics. It may just include ranges or an explanation of the factors that dictate what a customer ultimately spends on your product or service.
With respect to your blog and business, a good idea when it comes to price is to write a cost-related article for every product or service that you sell. For some businesses, this means dozens if not hundreds of content opportunities, which will in turn continue to aggregate more search visitors and traffic to your site for months and years to come.

#5: Break news

If you truly want to be known as the voice of your industry, the subject of real-time breaking news can have an incredible impact on your company’s brand and authority.
Popular speaker and author David Meerman Scott has put a new name to this action: “Newsjacking.” He further says:
Whenever there is a hot story in the news, there is an opportunity to create and publish original content that the media will find and will get you coverage.
Newsjacking can be by writing a blog post, doing a YouTube video, creating an infographic, or even publishing a book on Kindle.
I’ve seen cases of “newsjacking” in all industries, but I’ll just mention one of my own here. About two years ago, a major fiberglass pool manufacturer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The day it happened, a few people who were familiar with my blog emailed me the news, at which point I immediately ran a story on the event. Not only did that article bring a record amount of traffic and attention to my blog that day, but it also still ranks for major keywords as well, which means continued traffic and leads to my website.
viking bankruptcy
If big news breaks in your industry, act fast and discuss the event on your blog. The results can have a lasting impact on your business.
So if you have a blog, keep your ear to the ground and listen for opportunities to present breaking news to the public. By doing this, peers and consumers alike will see you as a leader in your field, which will ultimately increase your chances of getting more business.

Now it’s your turn…

So there you have it, folks—5 unique blogging tips that will boost your business and brand.
What do you think? I’d love to know if you’ve tried any of the above suggestions. If so, what were the results of your efforts? Which ones do you feel like you can improve on the most? Finally, what are some other blogging subjects you would add to the list? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.

Overview of Blogging Tools

Learn to Navigate the Sea of Blogging Tools Available to Bloggers

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The blogosphere is an ever-changing place with new tools popping up everyday to help you make your blog as successful as possible. From tools to protect your blog from spam to tools to make your blog pretty, you can find them online. Following is an overview of the types of blogging tools available to bloggers through simple online searches:
Types of Blogging Tools
About Web Logs will help you understand what blogging tools can do for you and your blog and help you find those tools. Take some time to follow the links on this page. You just might find a tool that will help you save time or earn money!

  1. Before You Start a Blog
  2. Selecting a Blogging Application and Host
  3. Team Blogs and Multi-Author Blogs
  4. Creating a Blog
  5. Designing a Blog
  6. Writing a Blog
  7. Parts of a Blog
  8. Blogging Tools and Add-ons
  1. WordPress Plugins
  2. Wordpress Tips and Tutorials
  3. Developing a Successful Blog
  4. Blogging Rules and Ethics
  5. Reading and Finding Blogs
  6. Popular Blogs and Bloggers
  7. Blogging Reference Guide

Before You Start a Blog

Before you join the blogosphere, take a look at these articles to make sure you're ready.
Free Blog Promotion Toolwww.buzzbaiting.comLearn How To Get More Visitors. Marketing Your Blog Is Now Easier!
Create a Facebook Profilewww.Facebook.comFind & Share A Wide Variety Of Facebook Applications. Sign Up Now!
Super Search for search plugin Powerful, flexible CMS search

Selecting a Blogging Application and Host

Learn about the various blogging applications and hosts to help you choose the best one for you.

Team Blogs and Multi-Author Blogs

Learn how to create and manage a team blog and the multiple contributors who write for a team blog.

Creating a Blog

These tutorials and lessons will help you start your blog.

Designing a Blog

The articles below will help you improve the overall look of your blog.

Writing a Blog

The information in the articles listed below will help you learn how to write a blog that people want to read.

Parts of a Blog

Blogs are made up of many parts and pieces. Get the information you need to understand the basics of blog terminology.

Blogging Tools and Add-ons

Just when you thought you understood how to blog, you realized there are a wealth of tools and add-ons available to you to help you enhance and extend your blog. Learn about these tools and what they can do for you and your blog.

WordPress Plugins

Check out these WordPress plugins to add functionality and features to your blog.

Wordpress Tips and Tutorials

If you use Wordpress, these tips and tutorials will help you use the functions and features available to you.

Developing a Successful Blog

You've joined the blogosphere and published your blog. Now, learn how to make your blog successful.

Blogging Rules and Ethics

Understand the do's and don'ts of blogging with these articles.

Reading and Finding Blogs

Who else is blogging? Learn how to find them here.

Popular Blogs and Bloggers

Learn from the best-of-the-best in the blogosphere.

Blogging Reference Guide

Breaking down blogging into easy-to-understand snippets through frequently asked questions and a layman's glossary.