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Tomorrow We Triple the Price on Copywriting Scorecard for Bloggers
Grab a Copy Today for just $9.97

copywriting scorecard bloggersUpdate: we’ve just launched the new version of this resource and the price is now $29.97. Congrats if you got it at the launch price. To those who missed out – the resource is still value – you get 100 pages of teaching and resources to help you optimize your posts for readers and search engines.

Almost two weeks ago we launched the brand new ProBlogger eBook – the Copywriting Scorecard for Bloggers.

Written by SEO specialist copywriter Glenn Murray it’s an eBook designed to help bloggers get their posts optimized for readers and search engines so that their posts reach their potential (you can read all about it here in more detail).

The feedback from those who have bought it has been incredibly positive with lots of great reviews hitting the web.

We are about to Triple the Price!

We launched this new eBook at the special introductory price of $9.97 and intended to put the price up to $14.97 this week. However – as often happens with launches like this – we’ve changed that plan.

The price is still going up on at midnight on 1 September (EST US time) but it is actually going up to $29.97 USD!

Yes – we’re tripling the price and we’re doing it for two reasons:

  1. we were told time and time again by those who have bought the eBook that $9.97 was a steal and that $14.97 was too cheap too.
  2. we decided to update the eBook significantly. One of the pieces of feedback that we got about version 1 was that it would be more useful with a working example that illustrated how to use the Scorecard. As a result – Glenn has spent time over the last 2 weeks adding a lot of new content to the eBook.

What’s in the Update?

The update is pretty significant – it adds a lot to the original version (it’s now over 100 pages) including:

  • NEW — A 33-page worked example, where we score one of my own posts and discuss our reasoning.
  • NEW — Electronic scorecard that automatically totals your score. You just select Yes or No.
  • NEW — Single page printable scorecard, containing all the the recommendations, but scaled to print on a single page.
  • NEW — Recommendation on using sentence case or title case for headings.
  • NEW — Expanded discussion of SEO copy.
  • NEW — Improved navigation, with bookmarks displaying to the left of the PDF, so no need to scroll back and forth between Recommendations and Scorecard.

Add to Cart

Who gets the update?

In short – everyone will get the new version.

As of 1 September at midnight – anyone buying the eBook at $29.97 will get version 2 of it automatically. We’ll also be sending it to anyone who bought version 1 before that time.

So if you’ve already bought it – you’ll get an email sent to you (your paypal email address) with download details of version 2.

If you’ve not yet bought it – but want to get it before the price rises – you can buy version 1 today and you’ll also get an email with download details of version 2 when it is released.

Again – everyone will get the new version – it’s just a matter of how much you pay for it. If you buy before midnight on 1 September you’ll secure it for $9.97 – if you wait until after that time, you’ll pay $29.97. The choice is yours.

More Updates and Bonuses?

Will there be more updates? At this point Glenn and I are pretty happy with how the eBook looks and works and are not planning too many more updates to it. However we are putting together some extra bonuses and resources for those who buy it.

We’re hesitant to announce them right now as they’re partly based upon reader feedback but we already offer those who buy the Scorecard a newsletter which we’ll be using to send send some extra content/tips out with. We’re also looking at running a Q&A podcast session for those who’ve bought the eBook.

So yes – there will be a few bonuses for those who have bought the Copyrighting Scorecard for Bloggers.

Grab Your Copy Today

copywriting-scorecard-bloggers-1.jpgSo if you’ve been umming and aaahing about whether to grab the Scorecard – it’s time to make a decision and lock it in at the intro price.

We’ll not be returning to the price of $9.97 again as it is only becoming more valuable as we add content to it.

Grab your copy today.

Add to Cart

Why Link Exchanges Are Like Mosquitoes

A Guest post by Akila from The Road Forks

Last week, I had a revelation when, after spending ten minutes fiddling around with a VPN in Podunkville, China, I opened my email and found four link exchange requests, including one asking to exchange links with “The Toad Forks” rather than our website, The Road Forks. As I slammed my laptop lid down, I realized that link exchanges are the mosquitoes of the blogging world.

Imagine that all of us bloggers — interesting and interested people engaged in making our blogs the Next Best Thing — sit down at a summer table with platters of thick-grilled hamburgers and corn on the cob next to an open cooler of dripping beers. The mosquitoes hover, pinching our legs and arms. We slap them away but their brothers come to replace them. They bloat with our blood, gorging and feeding on our health, and we develop unsightly rashes. That, my friends, are link exchange requests and we bloggers are helping these mosquitoes breed.

What is a link exchange request? A link exchange request is one where a site offers to link to your site in exchange for a reciprocal link. The key to this request is the requirement for a reciprocal link; in other words, if you don’t link to me, I don’t link to you.

Link exchange requests come in various forms. Some are from corporate entities seeking to promote blogs or sites by selling text links, though Google slashed PageRanks in 2007 in response to this tactic. Others are from bloggers — often, well meaning, newbie bloggers —- who send mass generic e-mails that cause me to inwardly groan, along the lines of, “Hey! Cool blog! Want to exchange links?”

Let me be clear, though: link exchanges are not e-mails from bloggers to others in the same genre inviting them to consider reading or linking to their blog because they have shared interests. If you are producing valuable content, you need to spread the word and e-mailing and networking with other bloggers is the best way to increase traffic to your site. Darren’s 11 tips to increase your chances of being linked to by another blogger boil down to two central tenets: get to know the person whose link you are asking for and produce content worthy of that link. A polite request that a person consider reading your blog is not the same thing as a request for a link in return for a link of their own.

Why do websites/bloggers want link exchanges? Link exchanges are an easy, get-rich-quick scheme to drive traffic and increase search engine results. In the short term, readers will jump to your blog, leading to more pageviews, ad revenue, and perhaps RSS subscribers.

Over the long term, links build your site’s “importance,” in the eyes of Google (and most other search engines, for that matter). A link exchange means more links for your site as well as theirs, more links leads to a higher Google PageRank, and a higher PageRank will cause a site to show up closer to the front page of Google search results, generating greater traffic for a site. Greater traffic means more ad revenue, fame, and the resulting glamour of being a hot-shot blogger.

The bad news: By participating in link exchanges, you risk injuring your reputation, the reputation of others, and angering Google. What do all successful bloggers have in common? Trust. A link might send new readers to your site but they are only going to keep reading your site if they trust that you will produce great content every week. The links on your blog are part of the content on your site; by linking to another site, you represent to your reader that the link is of good quality and will provide something valuable to the reader. If a reader clicks on a link that takes them to a site filled with ads for pills and dating programs, or to a blog that produces worse content than your own, the reader is going to question your judgment and wonder why you chose to link to that site. Nobody likes the guy who has to buy his friends. Unfortunately, by linking to one lousy site, you also devalue the other good sites on your blog. Bad for you, bad for your friends.

And, you certainly don’t want to irritate the most powerful player on the web. Google carries 71% of the search engine market and they hate link schemes. Google is in the business of providing the most accurate website hierarchy for a particular search term and falsely inflated links to a particular site lead to poor search results. In no less than three places in their Webmaster Guidelines, Google explains that participating in link schemes, including excessive link exchanges, could “negatively impact your site’s ranking in search results.”

Welcome to the new Internet where content is king.

Link exchanges are part of the old Internet, a system in which PageRank ruled and social media was a fancy word for e-mail. Today, Twitter, Facebook, and StumbleUpon drive more traffic to my blog (and, I suspect, most blogs) than links from other bloggers. In the last week of July 2010, Facebook not only dominated the social media sites but was the most visited website in the world – even more than Google – accounting for over 9% of all web traffic in that week. Facebook’s Like button and Twitter’s instantaneous communications reward interesting or useful posts without using artificial means to game a blogger’s popularity.

Google is taking advantage of this revolution with Caffeine, its web indexing system launched in June 2010 that crawls blogs, social media sites, commercial sites, and user generated content at a 50% faster rate. Previously, Google used to crawl pages once every few days or even less, resulting in stale web search results. Now, when you hit publish on your blog post, it will appear in Google search results in less than 30 minutes. This means that fresh content – whether in the form of blog posts, tweets, or Facebook posts – may be the key to landing at the top of Google searches. In fact, Google has recommended for years that webmasters stop obsessing about PageRank because it is only one of 200 factors used to determine search results.

The bottom line is that if you want to increase your readership in today’s Internet, focus on networking with other bloggers, effectively using social media tools to produce fresh content, and, most importantly, producing link-worthy content, rather than populating the Internet with infestations of spam-filled links. Maybe soon, we will all be able to sit back and bask in the sunny glow of a better, more usable Internet.

Read more from Akila at The Road Forks

Blogosphere Trends + Storytelling

This column is written by Kimberly Turner from Regator (a great tool that gathers and organizes the world’s best blog posts) – Darren

I went tandem skydiving for my birthday in June. As the small plane packed with adrenaline junkies climbed, my blood pressure did the same. The air felt thin in my lungs. The fields below grew smaller and smaller, turning into a patchwork quilt of greens and yellows. At 14,000 feet, my instructor and I shimmied to the doorway and shoved off into the nothingness. During the thirty seconds of freefall, the noise and power of the wind were overwhelming. The ground flew up at us. As my instructor pulled the parachute, we jerked upward for a moment before I heard him say the last thing you want to hear from your tandem skydiving partner: “Oh no. Oh no. Oh no!” Our chute had tangled and we were falling past those who had jumped before us. He shouted for me to “kick to the right like your life depends on it!” I did. A few seconds later, he yelled, “Look up!” I did. The chute flapped uselessly above us, a crumpled yellow napkin on a background of blue. “Keep going!” he ordered. I did. Eventually—what must have only have been 60 seconds or less but felt like far longer—our kicking and spinning paid off. The chute’s lines spun us quickly in one direction and I felt the wind catch us, slowing us to a lazy pace as we drifted to the ground.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because today, we’re going to use the weekly blogosphere trends from Regator to talk about the importance of storytelling in blogging. I could have reported the facts: When I went skydiving, our parachute got tangled, but we were able to straighten it out and land safely. And that’s the route that many bloggers take, but the straight facts aren’t always your best bet. Telling a story in a more narrative form adds emotional impact, suspense, interest, and imagery. People communicate in stories every day and, used sparingly and appropriately, they can add a lot to your blog. Let’s see how some bloggers used storytelling to enhance posts about this week’s top stories:

1.  Ground Zero Mosque

Example: Huffington Post’s “My Whole Street Is a Mosque

Lesson: Good stories have enough details to help readers form a visual. Mira Schor’s description of the streets of New York uses specifics such as the type of fake fashion accessories being sold on the street, the sort of people passing through the neighborhood, and the kind of prayer mats being used to paint a clear picture.

2.  Ken Mehlman

Example: The Seminal’s “On the Luxury of ‘Coming Out’ When You Feel Like It

Lesson: Use your own personal experiences and stories to connect with readers on an emotional level but be sure your story ties in with your post’s goal, as this one does. The fear and anger conveyed in this post are used to effectively contrast the writer’s coming out experience with Ken Mehlman’s.

3.  Tiger Woods

Example: Devil Ball Golf’s “The complete Tiger Woods timeline, from Escalade to divorce

Lesson: Stories are essentially a sequence of actions that create a plot. This post presents those actions in the form of a timeline but a narrative still forms—complete with conflicts, resolutions, and dramatic plot. Remember, something should happen in your story.

4.  Afghanistan

Example: Bors BlogHaircuts in Herat

Lesson: Make your story captivating and interesting…in other words, not something that your readers experience in their everyday lives. This story is dramatic, engaging, and puts readers into a situation they are unlikely to experience on their own.

5.  Facebook Places

Example: Ad Age’s “How to Almost Sabotage a Dinner Party With Facebook ‘Places’

Lesson: Depending on the purpose of your story, it may or may not be necessary to give a great deal of detail about the characters. Keep your focus on what’s relevant. In this post, it’s important to know that the friends involved are “20-somethings, a bunch of typical iPhone-toting over-sharers” because it directly relates to their reactions and helps make the author’s point. In my skydiving story above, it wasn’t necessary to go into detail about the instructor in order to make my point.

6.  Home Sales

Example: Jalopnik’s “I Sold Everything To Buy A Lamborghini And Drive Across The Country

Lesson: Use quotes and images where appropriate to add detail to a story. This post’s well-placed quotes and carefully chosen photos work with the text to create a fascinating story.

7.  Emmy Awards

Example: TV Squad’s “Oops! Most Embarrassing Emmys Moments

Lesson: Stories don’t have to be long. These anecdotes from the Emmys tell the tales in just one brief paragraph each, yet each has characters, conflict, and resolution—condensed yet appropriate in this application.

8.  Pakistan

Example: Journeys to Democracy’s “Personal Note: Flood Relief in Remote Kohistan

Lesson: The best stories have their fair share of suspense. Readers feel anxious to know the outcome and, therefore, won’t stop reading until the end. This post’s account of a “grueling 20-hour journey” uses tension well.

9.  Miss Universe

Example: PopWatch’s Miss Universe: Help me convince myself to watch

Lesson: Stories can be used to establish camaraderie with readers rather than to create tension and suspense. The introductory paragraph of this post isn’t particularly dramatic but does establish common ground with any other readers who were snarky with girlfriends in junior high or who grew up watching pageants. It also allows the blogger to share a bit of her personality.

10: The Walking Dead

Example: Warming Glow’s “Oh My God, ‘The Walking Dead’ Trailer Is Amazing

Lesson: Move beyond text to visually tell a story. Videos are, obviously, a great medium for storytelling and while this blog didn’t create the video included here, it is very appropriate for the readership and one heck of a good story.

Your turn! Have you recently used a story on your blog? Please share a link and any tips you may have in the comments. If not, give it a try this week and report back.

Kimberly Turner is a cofounder of Regator.com and Regator for iPhone as well as an award-winning print journalist. You can find her on Twitter @kimber_regator.

How to Get More Done

The most common question I’m asked lately seems to be:

“How do you get so many things done?”
[Read more...]

Premium WordPress Plugins – What are Your Favourites?

Yesterday I asked readers to suggest their favourite free WordPress plugins. The response was great and I’ll pull together a compilation of the most mentioned ones in the coming weeks.

However I’d also love to get your suggestions on the most useful Premium WordPress Plugins.

Over the last few years we’ve seen more and more premium (or paid) WordPress plugins released. At first many bloggers were skeptical about paying for plugins but of late I’ve noticed a bit of a shift and more and more bloggers are willing to pay for quality premium plugins.

If you’re a blogger who has forked out a few dollars for a premium WordPress plugin – I’d love to get your feedback on which ones you’ve found most useful.

So which are your favourite Premium WordPress Plugins – and Why?

Free WordPress Plugins – What are Your Favourites?

It has been a while since we had a survey on the topic of WordPress plugins so today I’d like to kick one off. What are your favourite FREE WordPress Plugins?

Try to keep it to your top 5 so that things don’t get out of hand – but please share which free WordPress plugins are most useful to you in comments below.

If you have some premium/paid ones that you want to suggest – please hold off on sharing those as I’ll run a post later in the week asking for your feedback on those.

So – what are you favourite free WordPress Plugins – and Why? Over to you!

Become a Playful Blogger and Inject Some Energy into Your Blogging

Is your blogging getting a little dry? Perhaps it is time to become a bit more playful as a blogger.

One of the things that I’ve learned over the years is that the more I ‘play’ and experiment with my blog the more I learn that helps me to make my blog better.

Experimentation helps you not only learn what works in the blogging medium – but also what works with your audience.
[Read more...]

6 Reviews of the Copywriting Scorecard for Bloggers

201008211308.jpgIt’s been a few days since I launched the latest ProBlogger eBook – Copywriting Scorecard for Bloggers. Since that time we’ve seen over 1000 purchases of the book and have had some fantastic feedback.

Here are of the first reviews so you can hear what others are saying about it.

1. Clare at Women in Business writes

“The eBook shifted my perspective on the purpose and value of each blog post. Sure you can have your call to actions at the end of the blog post – but does the content you’ve written support and encourage your visitor to take that action?” Read the full review

2. Ali Hale writes

“While reading, though, I was struck by how useful this book would be for many newer writers in the blogosphere. I see basic grammatical mistakes every day, and I also see posts which are fundamentally sound but poorly structured or formatted. It’s so easy to lose attention online, and this ebook would be invaluable to bloggers who are struggling to build an audience.Read the full review

3. Kristi from Kikolani writes

“In addition to the checklist, the beginning of the ebook gives you 10 questions to ask about your blog as a whole, as well as 11 questions to ask before writing each post. If you refer to these answers as you write each blog post, your writing will not only improve, but you should also see better reader engagement with your posts as well.” Read the full review

4. Paul from Blogging Teacher Writes

“When you find a weakness in your writing all you need to do is look up that section in the ebook, learn how to improve that part of your writing, and put it into practice. In no time it will become second nature and you’ll be writing high quality blog posts with complete ease.” Read the full review

5. Jennifer from Gurls Asylum

The Copywriting Score Card for Bloggers is a great product for all writers, especially those writing for the web. It shows many blog copywriting secrets in a way that is easily understood. The topics are actionable and often have a nice tip to help you use the topic better.” Read the full Review.

6. Stanford from Pushing Social

Check out this cool video review of the Scorecard – Stanford gives some thoughtful and considered analysis.

Updates and Price Increases

The feedback has overwhelmingly been a positive so far – however we’ve also had a couple of good suggestions on how to make it better. Glenn and I are already talking about how we can update it (any update will be given to those who already have it for free) to make it even more useful and anticipate having a significant update by the time the price goes up on 1 September (again, if you buy it now you’ll get the update free).

Keep in mind that the current price of $9.97 USD is an introductory offer. We’re putting the price up on 1 September. We’ve previously said that the price will go up to $14.97 USD but the feedback we’re getting is that it is worth more and with the updates we’ll most certainly put it up beyond that mark.

So to secure it at the introductory discount grab your own copy of Copywriting Scorecard for Bloggers now.

How to Make Your Blog Addictive Like World of Warcraft

A Guest Post by The Blog Tyrant

Self portrait in room listening to Orbital_remix_MMIX
Creative Commons License photo credit: andronicusmax

World of Warcraft has over 11 million subscribers paying monthly fees. It is one of the most addictive video games of all time. In fact, there are several websites devoted to just helping people quit the game. There is even a “detox center” in China that addicted kids are sent to. It is that bad. And while I don’t think these addictions are particularly funny, I do think we can learn a lot of valuable lessons from WoW that we can apply to our blogs. In this post I am going to show you how you can make your blog addictive just like World of Warcraft.

Unethical? Did they made it addictive on purpose?

A few months ago there was a TV show where a video game company was being sued over the death of a teenager who died as a result of being addicted to their game. During the case it was exposed that the company had hired psychiatrists to make the game play as addictive as possible and this addiction was the cause of the death. While the show never made any mention of names, a lot of people assumed it was based on WoW because there was a real life law suit on a similar matter. There had also been a lot of reports where medical experts said that the game was more addictive than cocaine. As to whether it was talking about WoW we don’t know and saying so would just be speculation.

As I have already said, I don’t think these addictions are funny. And if a company knows that their product is doing harm to kids and then continue to make it more and more enticing then I think some ethical questions have to be raised. The downside to any capitalist system is that the desire for profit often outweighs the side effects. And this is a shame.

I do not wish to celebrate the fact that some people are addicted to WoW, but I do think we can learn some valuable blogging lessons from their example. The reason I think it is okay to delve into these “tricks” is because I don’t think anyone will ever become addicted to a blog. And if you can grow your blog with these methods and then use it as a platform to help people I think that is a very good thing.

How to make your blog addictive like World of Warcraft

love wins
Creative Commons License photo credit: mangpages

Now that I have ranted about my ethical concerns we can get into the bulk of the post. I am going to go through a bunch of WoW features and then show you why they are so addictive and how you can apply that to your blog. As always, if you have any other ideas or thoughts please leave a comment and let us all know.

1. Appear popular

The first reason that WoW is so addictive actually starts before you even play the game. Before you even buy the CD. Every gamer you know has played Wow, all your friends are talking about it and you constantly hear about it in the media. This sets up the game in a very positive way because it makes you feel like you are missing out. When I heard that 11 million people were subscribed to the game I just had to take a look at what all the fuss was about.

This phenomena is called social proof and it is anything that shows someone that they aren’t the first to try out your service. People do not like to miss out on popular things but they also don’t want to be the first to try it. If you can appear popular you take away their concerns and set yourself up for success.

How you can apply it to your blog
There are quite a few ways you can apply these social proofs to your blog. Remember, you want to make people feel curious about all the other people involved but you also want to address their fears about being the first to try something. In order to do this you can try:

  • Showing recent comments
    Show your recent comments in your sidebar. This instantly tells people that there are other people interacting on your blog and that you have some level of popularity. Showing your recent comments is a wonderful idea as it also gets people involved in any discussions that you might be having.
  • Use Wibiya
    Wibya is a new toolbar that I am starting to see on a lot of the big blogs and websites, including Darren’s Digital Photography School. And yes, it is free. All you do is sign up for an account and then add some code to your site and you have this nifty new footer that shows everyone the number of people on your site, how to connect with social media, etc. It is a very useful way to make your blog appear less static and more dynamic.
  • Reference readers in posts
    When you are writing a post it is a good idea to give shout outs to people who visit your blog. For example, if some guy called Ben left a really good comment about something relevant to your latest post, why not give people a link to the discussion and mention his name in the article? This has the dual effect of showing that you get comments as well as increasing loyalty by being very personal and in touch with your readership.
  • Use subtle testimonials
    Everyone knows about testimonials on product websites but for some reason people don’t use them on blogs. A subtle and well placed testimonial can do wonders for making your blog more sticky. For example, in your About page you might want to have some dot points about your traffic, subscriber numbers or comment count. This has the effect of showing people that others are using your blog without plastering it all over your sidebar.

Appearing popular is important if you want people to feel like they need to be a part of the action. It is terrible when you arrive on a blog that looks lifeless and dead. On the other hand, when you arrive on a site that is awash with conversation and energy you just have to get into it. Be creative with your social proof.

2. Leverage people’s need to be in a group

Something very similar to point number one, and one of the most addictive things about World of Warcraft, is the fact that it leverages people’s need to feel a part of a group. This is a very primal and subtle psychological phenomena that all humans possess. We find partners, get married and have kids. We play team sports, join clubs and hang out in packs at school time. Humans need to feel part of a group.

When you play WoW you don’t play by yourself, you join groups of players from around the world and form guilds. Sometimes these guilds become very close and chat by email and IM and often log on at the same time each day to play together. This is an extremely powerful tool for making the game addictive, especially if the people have trouble making friends on the outside world. If you want to make your blog more addictive you have to leverage people’s need to be in a group.

How you can apply it to your blog
So how do you apply this to your own blog? How do you make people feel like they are special and a part of a group that wouldn’t function properly without them? Here are a few ideas:

  • Send emails
    When someone leaves a comment on your blog they usually leave their correct email which allows you to shoot them a message to thank them for commenting and let them know that you appreciate their input on your site. Now, there are plug ins that do this automatically but that is not what I am necessarily talking about. If someone leaves a great comment you might want to send a personal message thanking them for their expertise. Or if someone constantly leaves comments whenever you write you should thank them for the frequency. Make sure you reward the aspect of their behavior that you want them to continue.
  • Refer comments to other readers
    One of the first websites I ever sold was a fitness site that was mostly used by women. Over time I built up some very loyal readers and a lot of them were fitness experts, personal trainers and dietitians. If someone posted a question in the comments about a workout or diet plan I would occasionally send emails to the experts asking them to help them out. These experts then become frequent users of the comment section and always seemed willing to be a part of the action.
  • Name your team
    Something extremely subtle but extremely addicting is a team name. In the gaming world it is called a clan. Some clans are extremely hard to get in to and involve several “try out” phases. For example, in WoW you need to be at a certain level before even being eligible to join. Once you are in though you have brothers who look out for you in battle, give you hints, etc. It is just like high school! Giving your loyal readers, subscribers and commenters a clan name is an easy way to maximize the team spirit.

Make people feel like they are part of an exclusive group and you will have fans for life. Everyone needs to feel as if they have some sort of ownership in the blog, as if it might not be as good if they stopped visiting. This group mentality is an extremely strong tool for all online marketing.

3. Lure with the promise of rewards and new features

Why do people spend their entire lives playing Wow? Partly because the game is incredible, partly because the pollen outside gives me hay fever and partly because there is the ever enticing possibility of leveling up. Why is reaching the next level so amazing? Because you get to access new powers and weapons and challenge new bosses. You also get the bragging rights associated with being a level 80 as opposed to a pitiful 79.

Oh WoW
Creative Commons License photo credit: videocrab

Blizzard (the makers of WoW) constantly add new things to the game. They tweak the maps to make sure they are perfect, they change the damage of certain spells by minor margins to make the battles more interesting and they periodically release new updates that allow you to access new bosses, maps and, of course, levels. All of this keeps the game fresh and new and stops boredom setting in.

How to apply this to your blog
To make your blog feel super addictive you need to have a reason for people to come back. It has to be something that compels them to check back again and again and they have to feel like they might win or gain something new by doing so. Here are some ideas:

  • Have regular competitions
    Your blog should have regular (but not too regular) competitions that give away something useful. The prize could be won by leaving a certain amount of comments, subscribing to a feed or mentioning your blog on Twitter. Whatever your competition is it should be interesting. Something that gets people talking. Shoemoney and Overnight Prints did this extremely well once with his business card competition.
  • Have a long term but secret release
    One of the coolest thing Darren ever did on Problogger was build up a new feature that he was adding to the site. This created a lot of buzz as it wasn’t really something done before. Now the great thing about this was the way he did it; very subtly. First he acquired the domain name www.problogger.com which he previously didn’t own. We knew something was up. Then he dropped a few hints over the months. Finally he launched a new community on the address once everyone was seething with curiosity. Perfectly done. Try and have a long term reason for people to keep checking back on your site.
  • Plan your content and reveal it carefully
    We all know that you need compelling content to succeed but what a lot of people fail to do is release that content in a way that is interesting and alluring. WoW doesn’t just let you access all the maps and features at once. You’d be bored of it in a day. Rather, they slowly let you at it after you have earned it with interaction and game time (and subscription fees!). Try and think of your content in a similar way. An example we all know of is Darren’s 31 Days to Building a Better Blog.

Your content alone should be enough to get people to come back to your blog. But, if you add an extra incentive, some kind of nifty reward or new level, you are going to generate a lot of interest amongst those regulars out there. Without new levels, weapons and magic spells WoW would be dead and gone by now. So what are you adding to your blog in order to keep it exciting and new?

4. Create an alternative world for your readers

The real fans of WoW don’t see it as a game, they see it as an alternative world. A world in which they can perform magic, make friends, conquer towns and change. When playing World of Warcraft you get an almost identical physiological response to events that take place as if they had actually happened in real life. When you run into battle you get an adrenalin rush that makes your vision fuzzy and when you can’t solve a puzzle you get flooded with stress and frustration.

How to apply this to your blog – The ultimate way to make your blog addictive is to create an alternative world for your readers. A place where they can go and get away from the problems of their daily life and absorb themselves in a community of like-minded people. A place where they learn new things, feel more powerful than they really are and discover their inner potential.

  • Make it as interactive as possible – A blog should not just be a place where you read/write about something. That might have been the original intention behind their popularity but now they are so much more. If you want people to become addicted they need to be involved on every level. Let them suggest topics, ask questions in the comments and chat to you on Twitter and Facebook. Ask your readers for help and give them tasks to solve. The more interactive your blog is the more time people will want to spend there.
  • Make it beautiful and easy to use – Your blog’s design is so important because it has to sell your content. Read that carefully because I think a lot of people fail to grasp the idea. Your design sells your content. How many times have you left a blog because it was ugly or the font size was too small or the colors hurt your eyes? That could have been Shakespeare himself writing that blog and you wouldn’t have cared. Make sure your design is beautiful and your navigation is as simple as possible. The look and feel of your website should become like a second home to your readers.
  • Solve real world problems on your blog – One reason that people find it hard to leave WoW is because it solves some of their real world problems. The classic example is the kid who struggles to make friends in school but in Azeroth he commands an army. Your blog should always try to make people’s lives better. Your content should address issues in their life, even if only indirectly. But what if you run a product blog that only talks about antique cans or something equally as boring? Well make sure that you address concerns, give amazingly detailed responses and help people find the answers they seek. What do your readers want to feel and discover? What makes them happy? These are essential questions to know if you want to create an alternative world for your fans.

What do your readers want to feel and discover? What makes them happy? These are essential questions to know if you want to create an alternative world for your fans. And creating an alternative world is the best way to make your blog sticky.

Conclusion

This post could go on forever because World of Warcraft gets so many things right. In fact, it might have been quicker to just write about what they do wrong! In any event, if you give people rewards, help solve their real life problems and make them feel part of a group you are part of the way there. Perhaps most importantly, however, you should do as Blizzard does and constantly add new features, content and always be testing for ways to improve and grow. Now go outside for a while.

About the Author

The Blog Tyrant has sold several blogs for large sums of money and earns a living by relying soley on the internet. His Blog is all about helping you dominate your blog and your blog’s niche and only includes strategies that he has tried on his own websites. Follow him on Twitter or subscribe to his feed for all the juice.