How to Become an Exceptional Writer

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A man and boy sit in an old house crowded with furniture, sunlight, and dust.

The man stomps his foot on the hard-wood floor. He’s wearing a white shirt, black jacket, and black derby hat.

The boy is wearing the identical outfit. A guitar rests on his tiny knee. Tiny fingers grip the strings. Tiny fingers pluck the strings.

The man is nodding, rocking as the boy plays.

The man is Jack White — of The White Stripes, The Ranconteurs, and Dead Weather fame.

The boy is his son.

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Get Paid What You’re Worth: 37 Negotiation Tactics for Every Freelance Writer

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Do you freak out when you hear the word negotiation?

Does your gut turn, palms sweat, and heart pound when it comes down to talking price? Do you self-medicate with Tums and a tumbler of Wild Turkey?

Trust me. I understand. I’m not a natural born negotiator. I hate conflict. I hate rejection. But if writing is your business I’ve learned this: you have to know how to negotiate.

Making a living depends on it. But it doesn’t have to be hard.

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12 Lessons Learned from 12 Years of Writing

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Writing is hard.

Writing something worth sharing is even harder.

Writing something worth keeping — hardest.

That’s twelve years of professional writing experience summed up in fifteen words.

Experience that starts with a stint as a junior copywriter writing product descriptions … that morphs into a managing editor with my own staff of writers and proofreaders at an international organization … and ends with a successful business as a freelance web content strategist.

Writing has been my professional life. And naturally, I have a lot to say about it.

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10 Ways to Beat Online Obscurity

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Listen, I’ve got some bad news for you.

More than likely, no one knows who you are.

And more than likely, they never will.

How can I say that with such authority? Easy.

As of December 2010, there were over 152 million blogs on the Internet — in the U.S. alone.

That’s a lot of noise, with not a lot of signal coming through. Despite all the talk about relationships, conversation and reputation, online competition is tough.

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What 8 Best-Selling Magazines Can Teach You About Irresistible Content

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Copyblogger sits atop Ad Age’s marketing blog throne for one reason: they deliver smart, sexy, and super-useful content over and over.

Brian Clark and the Copyblogger team have built an online empire by creating content that entices readers, feeds them profitable advice, and gives them the essential elements of online marketing that works.

While many factors contributed to Copyblogger’s dominance, here’s one that I’ve picked out that you can easily grasp and imitate: write like the hottest magazine publishers around.

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The Dirty Little Secret to Seducing Your Readers

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I’m guessing you want to write copy that sells.

You want to write copy so irresistible it makes your readers scramble down the page — begging to do whatever it is you want when they’re done reading — whether it’s to make a purchase, send a donation, or join your newsletter.

You, my friend, want to seduce your readers.

Well, today’s your lucky day. In a few moments you’ll know not only how to work your readers into a lather … but also what a cold shower over-educating them can be.

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