21

Watching, judging: My job copyediting the Offbeat Empire (and how you can help!)

I've been working as the Offbeat Empire's copyeditor since January 2011. Not many other people get to say that their job description includes making sure that an editor knows the "zombie" baby in a photoshoot is actually a Nightmare Before Christmas reference. Not many other people need to correct the spelling of Cthulhu on an almost-weekly basis. And not many other people have to institute a Style Guide rule for the meme-inspired spelling of "I'mma."

But sometimes, though the perfectionist in me hates to admit it, things slip through the cracks…

34

5 ways we optimize old blog posts into super sticky landing pages

Web overlords often refer to "landing page optimization" when they talk about making users into "conversions." The user is converted when they sign up for the email newsletter, buys the product, drinks the Kool-Aid, etc.

While blogging has its crossovers, what the Offbeat Empire wants our landing pages to do is get readers deeeeeper into the sites. We want to show them what we've got, what differentiates us from similar blogs, and secondarily, to get them engaged with our various communication and social media touch points. Web publishing loves something sticky.

The strategy we're working on these days is to find older blog posts that are organically getting major traffic and, assuming that many of these readers are new to us, introduce them to the site and get them clicking on links. One example of this kind of "landing page" blog post is "Wedding invitation wording that won't make you barf," something Ariel originally wrote back in 2007 that still gets 47,000 unique hits a month.

Here's how we try to get readers to stick around…

7

Contagious content: the challenges of memes you don't want

Content is highly contagious. In my online communities, I've learned this over and over and over again — both for good and bad. We all know that content's contagiousness is what drives funny things going viral on the web. It drives the memes that I eat for breakfast each morning. Contagious content makes corners of the internet feel like one big hilarious inside joke. We're all infected with the awesome!

The challenges with contagious content is when the infection doesn't line up with the brand or editorial goals of a given website. LOLcats being contagious is AWESOME for the Cheezeburger folks — less awesome for someone trying to run a community dedicated to, say, ailurophobics.

Here are a few examples of contagious content challenges we deal with on the Empire, and how we deal with 'em:

4

Warm fuzzy of the day

RT @jessicakallam: @OffbeatAriel Just wanna say OBB has made me a more open-minded, respectful person. Thanks for feat. all styles & helping me grow. Aww, snorfle. I am up to…..