The 82 unlikeliest sources to help you learn online marketing


Sometimes being original is hard.

Sometimes you just wanna do anything but write that blog post.

And when these two universal truths combine, we get the content marketer’s standby: the ol’ compare-two-things blog post.

They usually have a headline like “X things Y can teach you about Z,” and they either:

  • capitalize on a pop culture moment or figure
  • provide specific instruction from a universally understood source or
  • just let the writer write about something he or she really, really likes.

Sometimes they teach you things. Sometimes they don’t.

As an experiment, I gathered up as many of these unlikely sources as I could find. I’m not here to hate — at least one of these links is mine — just to tell you that these sources that can teach you something about marketing are officially taken.

Update: OK, it’s far more than 67 sources now because I forgot some awesome posts. I don’t feel like doing the math again though. Just go with it.

40 unlikely things that can teach you about SEO

  1. A 67-year-old grandma
  2. "And this is how you optimize your header tags..."
  3. Porn –>
  4. Freud
  5. A gold mine
  6. Christmas
  7. Wikipedia
  8. Alterac Valley
  9. Your girlfriend
  10. The Super Bowl
  11. Super Bowl commercials
  12. Bill Belichick
  13. The World Cup
  14. The Premier League
  15. Fishing
  16. Baseball and poultry
  17. Table tennis
  18. Professional blackjack players
  19. George Costanza
  20. “Jersey Shore”
  21. Bob Dylan
  22. Vinny Chase of “Entourage”
  23. “Prison Break”
  24. Famous TV catchphrases
  25. Bob Villa
  26. Bob Dylan –>
  27. Deep Purple
  28. Hip-hop moguls
  29. Queen Latifah
  30. Die Hard
  31. James Bond
  32. The Godfather
  33. An old man and a fish bowl
  34. My Little Pony
  35. Jimmy Carr’s tax avoidance apology
  36. Fatherhood
  37. Steve Jobs
  38. Matthew McConaughey’s abs
  39. Selling knives
  40. World of Warcraft
  41. The Hunger Games
  42. Your mechanic

18 unlikely things that can teach you about social media

  1. Social drinking
  2. Working on his EdgeRank.
  3. Food trucks
  4. A local burger joint
  5. Farmers –>
  6. Chefs
  7. Rhinestone pumps
  8. Moneyball
  9. “Gangnam Style”
  10. Lady Gaga
  11. David Bowie/Ziggy Stardust
  12. Your local radio station
  13. Golf
  14. Tennis
  15. Kobe Bryant
  16. “American Idol”
  17. Conan O’Brien
  18. Proctology exams
  19. Masturbation

7 unlikely things that can teach you about content/writing

  1. A baby
  2. Toddlers –>
  3. Dr. Seuss
  4. Bacon
  5. The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show
  6. The Choose Your Own Adventure books
  7. “Mythbusters”

8 unlikely things that can teach you about email marketing

  1. “Lost”
  2. “Sesame Street”
  3. Santa
  4. Your toddler (yes, again)
  5. Slankets
  6. LOLcats
  7. Flash mobs
  8. Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer

8 unlikely things that can teach you about marketing

  1. A triceratops
  2. Michael Phelps’ 19th Olympic medal
  3. The royal wedding
  4. A blind squirrel –>
  5. A half marathon
  6. Toddlers (why so much with the toddlers, parent marketers?)
  7. Tyler Durden
  8. Eminem’s Chrysler commercial

And finally, a shout-out to our PPC friends, for whom I could only find one example of this phenomenon: What J.K. Rowling Can Teach PPC Marketers About Reaching Ideal Prospects. Where ya at, PPC-ers?

Photo credits (from top): TheBusyBrain ; the_toe_stubber; oetting ; ibz_omar ; Bev Goodwin ; Tomi Tapio via Compfight cc

Courtney Seiter

Listener, storyteller and petter of all animals. Content crafting at Buffer; sharing stuff about social media, workplace culture, diversity and music.

Listener, storyteller and petter of all animals. Content crafting at Buffer; sharing stuff about social media, workplace culture, diversity and music.

  • Raleigh Web Design
    • RavenCourtney


  • Rajesh_magar

    Impressive @RavenCourtney:disqus

    • RavenCourtney

      It was a labor of love. And ridiculousness. 😉

  • Textbroker

    Great list! What about Mythbusters and content writing? (Here and here

    • RavenCourtney

      Now added. :)

      • Textbroker


  • Divya Darshini


  • Rick Noel, eBiz ROI, Inc.

    Great list Courtney. I am guessing the CTR on #2 is by far the biggest winner of all those resources listed in your post. Interesting take by Shaun in that post :) Thanks for sharing.

    • RavenCourtney

      Probably a good guess. :)

  • Gary

    This is Awesome thanks for the list


    Really a Handwork, that is something impossible for me.