French Kissing with the Dark Lord of Blogging PR

Remember the exhilarating, confused, and naughty feeling you had the first time you french kissed?

You didn’t quite know what happened but you were anxious to um…refine your skills?

I felt that way when I finished Ryan Holiday’s book “Trust Me. I’m Lying”.

Ryan is a colorful, crafty, irreverent, genius. He’s the marketing chieftain at American Apparel where he turned provocative advertising into an art-form and profits. Out of college he become Robert Greene’s research assistant then moved on to be a sh*t-storm artist for Tucker Max. You can look up his handiwork on Google but make sure the kiddies aren’t in the room.

In Trust Me, I’m Lying, Ryan introduces readers to the dark art of PR in the blogging age. I’m not talking about Social Media Examiner or Spin Sucks but the behemoths that hijack millions of eyeballs a day like Gawker, TechCrunch, Boing Boing and the Huffington-Post. Ryan has made a living out of manipulating these giants into running stories that benefit his clients.

  • He’s bought billboards, defaced them, and sent the pictures to local LA blogs to create a viral firestorm
  • He’s hired porn stars to model American Apparel’s new clothing line
  • He’s intentionally offended gays, lesbians and bisexuals and sent them anonymous tips on where to protest.

…and that’s just the stuff that I feel comfortable writing about.

You Will Be Offended…

Ryan exposes the unethical and sloppy modern muckracking that blogs call journalism. He also teaches how to use these same tactics to get millions of dollars in free press. In any system where there’s money to be made, there will be a secret playbook for manipulating it. Trust Me, I’m Lying is that playbook.

Here’s why I want you to put this puppy on your Kindle, grab a glass of warm kool-aid and take notes. Ryan shows that when done right, breaking the rules is profitable. In the second-half of the book, he details the lines that you shouldn’t cross and how to cozy up to that line while keeping your soul.

For 40% of the bloggers out there who need to make a dollar from their content – traffic, attention, and pageviews are critical. It makes sense to know how the Arianna Huffington created a behemoth that sold for $350,000,000. It’s smart to understand how Gawker analyzes traffic, search keywords, and trending Twitter topics to create real-time editorial calendars.

Turn up your nose if you like, but read and take note first.

My Take…

I love this book. I dig Ryan Holiday. I won’t be using most of the tactics he revealed but… I will be using a few. I never did like the rules.

P.S. If you want some less naughty and controversial tips to getting blog readers then go here.

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About Stan

Stan Smith is the Managing Director of Pushing Social a content marketing consultancy for aggressive, results-focused organizations.