The 82 unlikeliest sources to help you learn online marketing

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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. Porn –>
  3. Freud
  4. A gold mine
  5. Christmas
  6. Wikipedia
  7. Alterac Valley
  8. Your girlfriend
  9. Super Bowl commercials
  10. Bill Belichick
  11. The World Cup
  12. The Premier League
  13. Fishing
  14. Baseball and poultry
  15. Table tennis
  16. Professional blackjack players
  17. George Costanza
  18. “Jersey Shore”
  19. Bob Dylan

  20. Vinny Chase of “Entourage”
  21. “Prison Break”
  22. Famous TV catchphrases
  23. Bob Villa
  24. Bob Dylan –>
  25. Deep Purple
  26. Hip-hop moguls
  27. Queen Latifah
  28. Die Hard
  29. James Bond
  30. The Godfather
  31. An old man and a fish bowl
  32. My Little Pony
  33. Jimmy Carr’s tax avoidance apology
  34. Fatherhood
  35. Steve Jobs
  36. Matthew McConaughey’s abs
  37. Selling knives
  38. World of Warcraft
  39. The Hunger Games
  40. 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. Tennis
  14. Kobe Bryant
  15. “American Idol”
  16. Conan O’Brien
  17. Proctology exams
  18. 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

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