10 Innovative Approaches to Creating a Minimum Viable Product

the perfect time to prepare for a launch

Where I live, you can tell when summer arrives.

Long rows of plowed dirt as far as the eye can see. Dense waves of green wheat bending beneath the wind as far as the eye can see. Knee-high corn stalks as far as the eye can see.

It’s a perfect time to break out the cut-off jean shorts, steel beverage tub, and a Russian science fiction novel.

Circumstances may be different for you, but no matter where you are, the slow pace of summer is also the perfect time to prepare for a product launch.

Why prepare in the summer? And why launch a product?

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The ‘Short Copy’ Trap When Offering Free Opt-In Content

how to use the power of the free offer

The other day I was walking to our neighbor’s house to let his dog out. It was noon, bright, and hot. No wind, my hands in my pockets, my thoughts somewhere else.

As I rounded the corner, I ran into another neighbor — a thick, weathered man with short black hair. He was rolling a lawnmower to the end of his driveway.

He said, “You know anyone who wants a free lawnmower?”

I stopped and contemplated his offer. A free lawnmower? “Does it work?” I said.

“Yep,” he said.

I don’t need a lawnmower — mine is less than a year old — but the resourceful spirit of my grandfather said take it. You can figure out what to do with it afterwards.

That’s what free can do to you.

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The Disgustingly Simple Rule for Web Writing That’s Often Hard to Swallow

how to make your web writing easy to digest

Editor’s note: This article was Demian Farnworth’s first guest post on Copyblogger, published on January 14, 2009. Demian is now Chief Content Writer for Copyblogger Media and host of Rough Draft on Rainmaker.FM, so we’re re-running these tips again today as a reminder that in the long game of content marketing, everyone starts at the bottom.

In 1964, Richard Hofstadter wrote a Pulitzer-prize-winning book called Anti-Intellectualism in America. This rich, thorough book exposed the thread of anti-intellectualism that runs through the culture of practical America.

For example, even though the founding fathers were sages, scientists, and men of cultivation, the Federalists attacked their curiosity and idealism as too trivial for important affairs.

Did you know there’s a thread of anti-intellectualism running through good web writing and design? In fact, web usability demands mindless writing and design.

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8 Conversion-Boosting Ways to Personalize Your Content

how to get personal

Quick quiz: What would you be willing to give up to receive information that interests you?

Chocolate for a month? Your smartphone for a day? Sex?

Sounds crazy, but according to a July 2013 study by Janrain, 25 percent of adults would be willing to give up chocolate for a month to receive content tailored to their tastes.

Twenty-one percent said they would give up their smartphones for a day. And yes, there were people who said they would give up sex to receive information that interests them. Thirteen percent, in fact.

And not just for a day. Nor a week. No. They would give up sex for an entire month.

A month.

Think what that says about the pleasure people get out of personalized information — content that adapts to the right person at the right time.

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10 Ways to Piss Off David Ogilvy (Free Poster)

tip of the day - don't make David mad

You won’t like David when he’s angry.

Sure, he may be a gentleman with brains, but this English oven salesman turned chef turned farmer turned advertising giant has a temper.

For example, when he sat down to write only to find he had no ideas, he said, “I get bad-tempered. If my wife comes into my room I growl at her. (This has gotten worse since I gave up smoking.)”

In a note to the heads of his offices before planned visits he wrote, “Waiting for food puts me in a foul mood.”

But it seems he reserved his strongest moments of outrage for advertising.

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Here’s How Henry Rollins Writes (Slightly NSFW)

Authority Rainmaker 2015 keynote speaker Henry Rollins

Prolific is a weak word to describe Authority Rainmaker 2015 keynote speaker Henry Rollins. In fact, most words fail to capture his many dimensions.

In August of 1981, young Henry got his start, joining the seminal punk band Black Flag. Following the band’s breakup in 1986, he started 2.13.61, a record label and publishing company. Shortly after that, he formed the breakthrough Rollins Band.

He went on to become an author and spoken-word artist. Endless work in print, film, radio, and television followed.

But you might find yourself wondering why The Writer Files would showcase a punk icon. Simple …

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