The Seven Links Challenge and the Best of the Web

Today’s Best of the Web post is going to be a little bit different.

Inspired by my friend Stuart Mills, we’re taking up the Seven Links Challenge, and issuing a challenge of our own.

Here’s what you’ll find in this post:

  1. My own selection of seven posts that I’ve written: the most beautiful post, the most popular post, the most controversial post, the most helpful post, the post whose success surprised me, the post I didn’t feel got the attention it deserved, and the post I am most proud of.
  2. Five bloggers that I nominate to pick up the Challenge, and write a similarly formatted post on their own blogs. These just happen to be the Best of the Web featured bloggers this week!
  3. A special Thank You to everyone who helped us to spread the word about our Semi-Local Business Survey. We rocked it out with over 150 respondents, and we’ve got some really great data (download the report here, or wait for us to write about the results next week)!

All right then, let’s get started with my seven posts…

Seven Posts in Seven Categories

My Most Beautiful Post – That would be my Entrepreneurs in Never Never Land: Leadership Lessons from Peter Pan post, that I wrote at very beginning of this blog, when we were getting less than 10 visitors per day. It captures my feelings about what it is to be an entrepreneur, and reminds me of why I do what I do. It still makes me smile every time I read it, and I still get misty eyed when I watch that video. :)

My Most Popular Post – Without a doubt, that would have to be my Why Guru Strategies for Blog Growth DON’T WORK… and What Does! post, which has over 200 comments (a number I’ve only cracked once, and that was on Copyblogger!). It’s popular for good reason, so if you haven’t read it, go check it out (and watch out for a book that I’m writing with Sean Platt, based on the same framework).

My Most Controversial Post – This is a toss-up between my Is the Bank of Social Capital… Broken? post here on Firepole Marketing, and my Building an Audience with Commenting Communities: Smart, or Sleazy?, which I posted on Danny Brown’s blog a while back. Not sure which was more controversial – you be the judge. ;)

My Most Helpful Post – That’s easy – hands down, it’s my How I Became the Freddy Krueger of Blogging post (thanks to Eugene Farber for the metaphor!). It’s pretty much a complete guide to success with guest posting, and it’s all self-contained in one post, for free.

My Post Whose Success Most Surprised Me – That would be my second post on Copyblogger: 21 Ways to Create Compelling Content When You Don’t Have a Clue. I thought it was a decent post, and a good fit for the Copyblogger audience, but definitely not a home run piece of work – but with 178 comments, 2,762 tweets and 463 Facebook shares, the audience clearly disagreed. :D

My Post That I Feel Didn’t Get the Attention It Deserved – There are quite a few of those (isn’t that how it goes?), but I think the winner in this category would be Desperate Housewives on Writing, Storytelling, and Selling, which I published on Big Girl Branding. I wanted to pitch the idea to Copyblogger, but by the time I got around to writing it, they had already run a post on the subject by Jeff Sexton. Oh well.

My Post That I’m Most Proud Of – There are a few posts that I’m proud of, but I had to choose just one, it would be High Impact Entrepreneurship: Confessions, Milestones, and Focusing On What Matters. I wrote it after being turned down from a job I had been working towards for two years, and it’s probably one of the most honest and open posts I’ve ever written (the runner up to this post would be Business Failure or Strategic Relocation?: It’s Your Call, that was kindly hosted by my friend Marcus Sheridan at the Sales Lion).

Five Nominations

Now for the nominations – these are the five pieces of content that most impressed us over the last couple of weeks. These are the bloggers that we hope will take up the challenge:

Ending the Grind: At the Crossroads. Ending The Grind At One Year – As you many already know, my new friend Steve Roy was put through the ringer when he unsuspectingly called Penelope Trunk for an interview. Since that experience, he’s been re-examining where he is and where he’s going, and he captures a lot of that in this honest and very valuable post.

Content Strategy Hub: 29 Brilliant Minds Share Uncommon Content Strategy Advice – My friend Eugene has just launched his new blog, and he did it with a bang. He assembled 29 brilliant minds (well, 28 plus me), and asked them a few questions that were designed to get at some really good insights – which is exactly what he got.

Tara Hunt: The 10 things I’ve done wrong… so you don’t have to. – Tara Hunt is the one person on this list who I don’t have the privilege of considering a friend (yet – here’s hoping!). This slideshow is probably the best I’ve ever seen on entrepreneurship and new venture creation. Take a few minutes to flip through it, and really think about the message she’s sharing.

Traffic Generation Café: PDF Traffic Generation: How to Tap into the Untapped – It’s getting to the point that it’s pretty rare for me to see a traffic strategy that I haven’t seen before, but when my friend Ana Hoffman talks about traffic, I know to listen. In this post she shares a brand new (to her and me, at least) strategy that isn’t particularly complicated or time-consuming, and can get great results. Ana, thanks for sharing!

ThinkTraffic: The Launch Strategy That Will Give Your New Blog Unstoppable Momentum – Weighing in at over 2,000 words, this is less of a post, and more of a mini-manifesto about launching a blog, from a guy who’s done it numerous times with spectacular results. I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with Corbett a fair amount of the past few months, and I wholeheartedly endorse anything he writes.

So Steve, Eugene, Tara, Ana, and Corbett, I hereby invite you to continue the 7 Links Challenge with a post of your own. :)

Thank You to Our Partners

Our Semi-Local Business Survey was a huge success, mostly because of the incredible support of all the people who helped us to spread the word. Here are all the posts that mentioned survey:

And of course, a huge thank you to the Toren brothers at, who are the authors of Small Business, BIG Vision, and were our partners in promoting the survey and pushing it through to completion.

Which of my seven posts is your favorite? Do you want to do a 7 Links Challenge on your blog? (If you do, let us know, and we’ll link to it!)

@DannyIny) is an author, strategist, serial entrepreneur, expert marketer, and the Freddy Krueger of Blogging. Together with Guy Kawasaki, Brian Clark, Mitch Joel, he wrote the book on how to build an engaged audience from scratch.

Danny Iny (@DannyIny, +DannyIny), a.k.a. the "Freddy Krueger of Blogging", is the proud founder of Firepole Marketing. He is the author of the Amazon best-seller Engagement from Scratch! (available on Amazon, or for free in our Engagement Toolbox), and creator of the Audience Business Masterclass.


  1. says

    Danny -  you never cease to amaze me. I’ve watched your progress since almost the beginning and you are an example of practicing what you preach. You’ve joined the ranks of elite bloggers with your new book. I’m going to take you up on your 7 challenge and will do a post next week. Stay tuned! (I’ve also shared your post on my social networks). Friends helping friends.

    • says

      Jeannette, thank you very much for the kind words. I don’t think I’ve joined the elite bloggers, but at least I get to hang out with them once in a while! ;)

      I’d love to see your Seven Links post – please shoot me an email after you publish, and I’ll help to spread the word. :)

  2. Stuart Mills says

    Great to see you take up the challenge Danny, you’re a man of your word!

    Also great to see what kind of work you consider the ‘elite’, I can vouch for those posts that I’ve already read, and so I’m sure the rest will be just as worthy :-)

    • says

      I certainly try to be… ;)

      Thanks for stopping by, Stu, and for giving me the idea – it turned out to be a lot of fun to look back on those posts and reflect. :)

    • says

      Thanks, Steve, but I really can’t take credit – I’m just passing the torch, as it were. I’d love to see your 7 Links post, though – shoot me an email after you hit publish! :)

  3. says

    Hi Danny -
    cool to read your posts, since I am a newbie, as a blogger. Not as a storyteller though :)

    I did the challenge in August and I have a different set of content and topics. ANyway, just wanted to say thank you for sharing. I find it so valuable to exchange advice, food for thought with one another.

    My 7 link challenge is found here:

    In’La Kesh :)

    • says

      Welcome, Michi, and thanks for stopping by!

      I looked at your post, and enjoyed reading about your exchange with your boss, that Agnes Halliwell – is that a true story?

  4. says

    This is a fantastic list. I had read most of your posts you listed, but not all of them. I will definitely be checking out the one I missed.
    I will also be checking out the blogs you mentioned to see if they follow in your footsteps. I hope they do!


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