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. The Super Bowl
  10. Super Bowl commercials
  11. Bill Belichick
  12. The World Cup
  13. The Premier League
  14. Fishing
  15. Baseball and poultry
  16. Table tennis
  17. Professional blackjack players
  18. George Costanza
  19. “Jersey Shore”
  20. Bob Dylan

  21. Vinny Chase of “Entourage”
  22. “Prison Break”
  23. Famous TV catchphrases
  24. Bob Villa
  25. Bob Dylan –>
  26. Deep Purple
  27. Hip-hop moguls
  28. Queen Latifah
  29. Die Hard
  30. James Bond
  31. The Godfather
  32. An old man and a fish bowl
  33. My Little Pony
  34. Jimmy Carr’s tax avoidance apology
  35. Fatherhood
  36. Steve Jobs
  37. Matthew McConaughey’s abs
  38. Selling knives
  39. World of Warcraft
  40. The Hunger Games
  41. 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