If you’d like to try Sumo products and are interesting in looking at their new pricing schedule, click this link. *disclaimer* this is an affiliate link and if you do decide to make a purchase, I will earn an affiliate commission for any purchases you make.

This is the Noah Kagan from Sumo edition of our how-to-write-like series which is an analysis into exactly how the top marketing and web writers put their words on the page to captivate, engage, and convert their audience. 

Sumo is more than just a blog, it’s a set of tools designed to help you improve the way you collect emails from prospective website visitors.

Their own website states: “We’ve spent over 4 years building these tools internally to grow our AppSumo Newsletter. They helped us grow to over a million subscribers.”

That’s a heck of a lot of subscribers, and obviously, if you have that many subscribers, you’re going to want to produce quality content, something the writers at Sumo do well.

Sumo is headed up by the Taco-loving Noah Kagan, who in and of himself is an impressive guy. Before Sumo he was employee #30 at Facebook and #4 at Mint.

For this blog post, we analyzed over 50 blog posts on the Sumo website to ascertain exactly how they manage to write such stellar content and today we’re going to break that down for you.

If you haven’t yet read any of the Sumo content, we recommend you start by checking out these posts:

  1.   https://sumo.com/stories/opt-ins-strategy-for-blogs
  2.  https://sumo.com/stories/best-email-subject-lines
  3.  https://sumo.com/stories/social-media-psychology
  4.  https://sumo.com/stories/quora-traffic
  5.  https://sumo.com/stories/visual-storytelling-marketing

Noah Kagan – The Data King

I think the most important thing to note about the kind of content Sumo produce is the amount of data they put into each blog post.

Now i don’t mean they search “[enter phrase] stats” on Google and rehash old stats that everyone uses.

No.

What they do that is significant is take these stats and back them up with their own data.

Imagine if you analyzed a million different email subject lines the level of insight you could find?

Well, that’s exactly what Sumo do. Let’s just look at these examples.

Noah Kagan

 

Clickbait titles?

If there’s one thing we can take from the kind of blog posts they produce on Sumo it’s that their titles could be deemed as clickbait.

…Except they’re not.

I’ll walk you through it.

Look at the following five article titles:

  1.  12 Jaw-Dropping Ways You Can Use Social Proof to Grow Your Business
  2.  The 8 Persuasive Words That Instantly Help You Sell More
  3.  401+ Ridiculously Useful Power Words to Increase Conversions
  4.   12 Essential Growth Hacking Ideas For Non-Growth Hackers (A Step-By-Step Guide)
  5.  6 Psychology Hacks That Immediately Increase Your Social Media Engagement Rates

What do you notice about them all? Firstly, you should notice that they’re long titles. There’s no doubt in your mind after reading the title what the blog post will be about.

Secondly, you should notice that they all have very large promises. Do you think peoples’ jaws actually dropped when they saw the social proof examples? Probably not.

Does that make the blog post any less valuable or interesting? Definitely not.

Looking deeper.

The thing about Sumo content is it’s great. It’s really that simple. So they can afford to use “clickbait” titles that aren’t actually clickbait because they actually deliver upon the promise they made.

Yes, some of the wording in the titles might be outlandish, but they can do that because they have the authority to and because the content behind the title matches up to the promises made.

So, YES Sumo use clickbait titles to encourage people to read their articles, but more importantly, the content they produce lives up to the standard.

Length

Sumo LOVE long content.

In fact, many of their blog posts are 4000+ words long.

What’s more, we couldn’t find a blog post with less than 2000 words.

Long content works for Sumo and it might work for you if you have these things at play:

  1. You know what you’re talking about
  2. You have something interesting to say.

But when it comes to the length of their sentences and paragraphs, Sumo take an opposite approach. We couldn’t find any paragraphs with more than 4 lines. In fact, most of them were just one line sentences following the other.

If you’ve read any of our other articles, you’ll know this is a common theme and it comes down to the length and depth your content goes into.

If you’re writing a 4000+ word article, you want your reader to guide through it seamlessly, they shouldn’t lose their place, they shouldn’t become confused.

So breaking your paragraphs into single or double lines allows you to break down the teaching methods into a clear and concise easy-to-read format.

Examples Examples Examples

Imagine you’re writing a blog post detailing how to improve your email marketing. Anyone and I mean anyone can write that article listing different tips they’ve found online.

It’s not hard. Just google “how to improve email marketing” and rewrite the top articles and you’ll have a new article.

But the problem with this, and the reason why these blog posts never seem to do well is while they might say a lot, they actually end up saying a little.

How much better would it be if that same email marketing blog post actually showed you the EXACT steps someone else did to improve their email marketing?

Well, that’s exactly what Sumo do in their blog posts.

Not only do they tell you about what you should do to improve your efforts, they show you their exact scripts, emails, replies….the lot and the results they had.

Noah Kagan

They’re not messing around because when Sumo lists tactics, skills or things you should try, they’re not just rehashing old information with nothing to back it up.

They’re showing you exactly what worked for them in the hope you can take something from it and make it work for you too.

If you’re rehashing old blog posts, and not actually adding any value, consider practicing what you preach.

It’s all about learning to walk before you can run.

If you can’t show actual steps of what you’re trying to teach, should you even be teaching about that topic?

Something to think about.

Tone and style

Noah and the team at Sumo adopt a conversational tone. Some of the phrasings they use:

  • Be a rad coworker
  • #boom
  • shitty, right?
  • Your subject line sucks
  • It’s so damn annoying

They don’t write like this because they’re a 12-year-old child chatting to their friend on instant messenger, (although out of context you might think that were the case). They write like this because writing for the web, especially in a field like marketing, you need to be entertaining and you need to resonate with your audience.

So when they produce an in depth guide of how to X, it feels more like your friend is just walking you through the steps you need to take.

As you read, you nod, you smile and you agree because you’re in the same position as all the other readers reading that post, unsure about how to do X.

And when you’ve finished the blog post…. you have a clearer understanding and don’t feel as though you had to undergo a university lecture just to understand it.

Takeaways

Noah and the entire content team at Sumo should be congratulated for their impressive content output. They never produce a subpar blog post and each post is jam-packed with knowledge of the industry and how to succeed.

If you want to read out other posts to find out how the top marketers put their words on the page to keep their readers enticed, check out the content here.

If you’d like to try Sumo products and are interesting in looking at their new pricing schedule, click this link. *disclaimer* this is an affiliate link and if you do decide to make a purchase, I will earn an affiliate commission for any purchases you make.