The Surprising Conversion Power of Priming and Conformity

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Imagine it’s late Wednesday afternoon.

The sun is setting. You are pulling on some sweats after a long day at work when you hear a knock at the front door. Your child — who doesn’t open it — yells up to you that there is a strange man on the porch.

And he’s got something in his hands.

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How to Nail the Opening of Your Blog Post

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The opening four notes to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony are the most popular notes in Western music.

Dun dun dun dum

They are stormy. Heroic. Disorienting. Short enough to be remembered. Portentous enough to be memorable.

Today you’ll find those notes everywhere. In movies, commercials, and songs when the dramatic and foreboding are needed … And we hardly bat an eye.

We recognize them, we know them, and we love those first four notes. Not so for Beethoven’s opening night at Vienna’s Theater an der Wien in 1808.

One contemporary composer of Beethoven — one who represented the consensus — said, “That sort of music should not be written.”

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11 Compound Word Errors that Might Make You Look like a Numbskull

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Even as a seasoned writer, I’m not immune to making simple but stupid mistakes. Take the word “jive” for instance …

Ever since I was kicking the slats out of my crib, I thought it meant “to agree with, to be in harmony.” But nnnnnnnnoooooo.

Jive is a language immortalized by the movie Airplane. The word that I should have been using was “jibe.”

Here’s the thing, the English language is full of pitfalls — simple errors that can alienate readers, turn off subscribers, and annoy buyers.

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Two Words That Will Make You a Smarter Content Marketer

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You don’t usually envision a poet engaging in a pistol duel — let alone twenty-nine — but that’s exactly what Alexander Pushkin did.

His last duel proved fatal.

Sadly, as long as there are two people on earth, there will be conflict. But it doesn’t always have to end in death.

I’ve been in several duels myself. Not of the pistol-slinging variety — but the copywriting kind. You’ll probably recognize the scenario …

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How to Keep Your Audience Reading

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Listen …

Just because you got people to read your headline doesn’t mean your job is done.

Nor is your job done if they read the first sentence. Or the second.

This article is a case in point.

I might have hooked you with the headline … intrigued you with the first sentence … lured you with the second, third, and so on, until you and I meet right here, at the ninth.

“Hmm,” I say, kicking a pebble with my shoe. “What to do next?”

I’ve got an idea.

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How to Write Copy Like Google

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Have you ever wondered who writes copy for Google … who puts together the words on the landing pages or in the video scripts for products like Gmail, Google+, Analytics, or Nexus?

Of course you don’t (unless you’re a copywriter). Because it doesn’t matter. You just want the product.

Now.

But why is that? Why does it seem that Google’s copy is so good, that their products are so hard to resist?

Well, it’s less about the writer — and all about the audience. Or, to be clear, what their writers know about the audience.

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