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What to Do When E-Books and Round-Up Posts Just Won't Cut It

by Danny Iny  |  
November 30, 2011
  |  4,399 views

In this article, you'll learn...

  • Why e-books and round-up posts work—and yet fail
  • Why your strategies should be unique and valuable
  • Six ways to create quality, one-of-a-kind content

Some strategies are tested and true. They've been used successfully by so many people in so many situations that we've learned to expect that they work, and will work for us. Period.

Round-up posts and e-books are both examples of that phenomenon. They've become ubiquitous, and for good reason. They seem to work, without fail. Or, do they?

Actually, no, they don't—and certainly not without fail. More and more, ubiquitous online marketing strategies, such as e-books and round-up posts, are working less and less.

Here's why those strategies are failing—and what you can do about it!

Why do round-up posts and e-books work, anyway?


Round-up posts are blog posts that "round up" the experts and stars in your industry, showcasing them on your blog. For example, you might ask contributors to provide their best tip about your subject area, to answer a relevant question, or to allow you to feature your favorite work from them in your post.

In all cases, the strategy behind that sort of post is the same, and it'll always work for the same two reasons:

  1. Experts will be flattered that you chose to feature them, which will make them like you and want to help you (e.g., by spreading the word about the round-up post).
  2. Round-up posts use the celebrity appeal of experts, as well as their insight and experience, to create compelling content for your audience.

E-books are just documents in PDF (or similar) format. A fancy cover and a graphic of the e-book as an actual, three-dimensional book might make it appear more than merely a digital document, but in the end it's merely that, and it's usually given away as an "ethical bribe" in exchange for the names and email addresses of your site's visitors.


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Danny Iny is a viral blogging expert and co-founder of Mirasee. You can download his Naked Marketing Manifesto in exchange for one tweet. Danny is co-author—along with Guy Kawasaki, Brian Clark, and many others—of Engagement from Scratch.

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